In this week’s Cannabis Industry News Recap, you will find the top stories from around the industry for the week of June 3rd – 9th, 2019.
The plan involves legalizing the drug nationwide, removing non-violent convictions and private and federal health insurance coverage for marijuana. It’s the most extensive we’ve seen from a candidate yet, and it comes with fancy posters. The 2020 presidential race is looking like it will have cannabis under the spotlight.
“Marijuana legalization is a criminal justice issue, a health care issue, and an economic issue. It’s past time to make this happen at the federal level.”
With flavours such as ‘Half Baked’, ‘Cherry Garcia’, and ‘Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies’, it’s clear that Vermont-based ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t shy away from cannabis-inspired treats. So it came as a little surprise yesterday when the iconic brand announced its plans to produce a CBD-infused ice cream (using sustainable, locally-sourced CBD, no less!).
“You probably already know that we’re fans of all things groovy,” said the company in a press release. “So it’s no surprise that we can’t wait to get into the latest food trend: cannabidiol, or CBD.”
Ten years ago, if you’d said that by 2019 podcasts would be trending and cannabis would be legal, people would’ve asked you what you were smoking.
But now here we are. Long-form content is making a resurgence (partly in response to the fleeting nature of social media) and cannabis is a legal industry in Canada making massive social and economic waves. So it’s no surprise that a number of cannabis podcasts have sprouted up in the last few years. In our opinion, it’s a beautiful marriage.
Here are six of our favourite Canadian ‘pot-casts’:
Five days ago, the state of Illinois made headlines when it was announced that a bill to legalize adult use cannabis was passed by the House of Representatives in a 66 to 47 vote.
The bill that would allow adults 21 and older to consume, possess and purchase cannabis from licensed establishments is now heading to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s desk for his signature. Gov. Pritzker made it very clear that he will sign the bill into law making Illinois the 11th U.S. state to legalize recreational cannabis.
We did some digging and came up with the following list of U.S. multi-state operators (MSO) that could benefit greatly from the new Illinois cannabis market.
Officials in Winchester, Tenn. last week responded to reports of three fentanyl overdoses. The powerful synthetic opioid was in cannabis in two of the cases, making it likely the individuals involved had no idea they were consuming the dangerous substance.
There has been much discussion around whether or not cannabis consumers should be even more concerned with the origin of their bud, building on the ‘what if it’s laced’ caution told by concerned parents for decades. Unfortunately, those fears were substantiated in Winchester when fentanyl-laced cannabis was implicated in two recent overdose incidents.
A Delaware House committee approved a bill to legalize marijuana for adult use in the state on Wednesday.
The legislation would allow people aged 21 and older to possess, consume and purchase certain amounts of cannabis. It also contains a number of social equity provisions, including expungements for individuals with prior possession convictions.
The House Revenue & Finance Committee signed off on the bill in an 8 to 3 vote. It now heads to the full chamber for consideration.
With revenue of $8.6 billion-$10 billion, 2018 sales of legal recreational and medical cannabis in the United States topped spending on e-cigarettes, the Fortnite video game, and Goldfish crackers combined.
The data – published in the 2019 edition of the Marijuana Business Factbook – highlights how quickly the legal U.S. marijuana industry has grown. It now rivals Taco Bell’s annual U.S. revenue and, by 2020, will likely surpass yearly revenue figures generated by the National Football League.
The governors of twelve states sent a letter to congressional leaders on Monday, urging them to pass bipartisan legislation that would let states legalize and regulate marijuana without fear of federal intervention.
In the letter, the Republican and Democratic governors said that a majority of states have already moved to allow cannabis for medical or recreational purposes and mentioned that “state legislators across the country have filed hundreds of bills to legalize and regulate this emerging industry, provide protections for consumers, promote public safety and eliminate illegal sales.”
Canada is on the cusp of prying open a market for edibles and alternative cannabis products valued at 2.7 billion Canadian dollars ($2 billion), but sales will begin as “a slow burn” come October before gaining momentum, Deloitte estimates.
For its third annual report on Canada’s cannabis industry, Deloitte conducted in-person interviews with cannabis industry experts, an online survey of 2,000 adults and utilized a strategic alliance with data and analytics provider Headset.
A hearing is set for Wednesday on a proposal to legalize cannabis in the state of Delaware. The bill would make cannabis legal for adults over the age of 21 and would enable the state to tax it and regulate it, similar to alcohol.
Adults would be able to possess up to one ounce of cannabis. If the bill is passed and signed by the governor, cannabis could be sold by compassion centers, which also sell medical marijuana.
A bipartisan marijuana banking bill has taken three new steps closer to a full floor vote in the House of Representatives after it was formally reported by one committee, another key panel discharged the legislation and it was placed on the body’s Union Calendar.
The proposal, which would protect banks that service state-legal cannabis businesses from being penalized by federal regulators, was approved earlier this year by the House Financial Services Committee. On Wednesday, the committee issued a formal report on legislation, including an updated cosponsor list and incorporating amendments approved during its consideration in March.
The retired major general has been named chairman at Cannbit Ltd (TASE: CNBT) and he cemented the appointment by investing NIS 1.5 million ($420,000) in the company’s stock. He was already an investor in the firm, along with Swedish art curator Daniel Birnbaum and former Yesh Atid Knesset Member Yifat Kariv, and now he is heading up the firm’s board.
He follows two former Israeli Prime Ministers and several leading public figures into this growing sector. Ehud Barak, who led the country from 1999 to 2001, served as Minister of Defence from 2007 to 2011 and was immortalized in the Stephen Spielberg movie Munich, got the ball rolling in September 2018 when he became chairman at InterCure (TLV: INCR).
Medical marijuana companies in Connecticut likely will see a boost in business after the state expands its MMJ program with five new qualifying conditions.
A board of physicians recommended the new conditions at the Department of Consumer Protection’s regular meeting Monday, and the agency’s commissioner promptly accepted them, according to the Hartford Business Journal.
The new conditions are:
Minister Blair has made this call to order in response to the CBC revelations that many citizens of the area of Masson-Angers, Gatineau, are inconvenienced by the strong smells that emanate from the greenhouses of the largest supplier of the Quebec Cannabis Society (SQDC).
Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin and Masson-Angers District Councilor Marc Carrière did not want to vote to force the company Hexo Corp to control odors, saying the company respects standards in force.
Unlicensed marijuana shops still plague Los Angeles’ legal cannabis operators, and the California Minority Alliance (CMA) said it may sue the city attorney’s office if the agency doesn’t step up enforcement efforts against illicit businesses.
The organization sent a letter to L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer seeking more enforcement against illegal shops, which some estimate still number in the hundreds. The potential lawsuit underscores the continued threat that unlicensed retailers pose to the city’s legal businesses.
The Jamaican government will be putting pressure on the U.S. Congress to approve bipartisan legislation that would shield banks that service state-legal marijuana businesses, the country’s finance minister says.
Speaking at a recent trade show convention, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw said that Jamaica will use its diplomatic channels to advocate for the bill, which cleared the House Financial Services Committee in March.
A Chinese sweetener company is moving into the hemp-derived CBD sector with plans to invest $60 million in a hemp processing facility in the Midwest.
Layn Corp., based in the Guangxi province of China and best known for its stevia and monk fruit ingredients, plans to extract CBD from hemp, according to Food Navigator-USA. Layn says it will build a hemp extraction facility somewhere in the Midwest by late 2020.
Calgary already has 29 cannabis stores. Ready for 25 more in the weeks ahead? With the provincial government’s decision to lift a moratorium on new stores, it’s expected to clear five new stores to open in Alberta each week as pot supplies improve.
A business strategist with the City of Calgary’s community standards said new stores will be popping up around town and it should be noticeable. Matt Zabloski said 25 store owners already have their development permit, building permit and business licence for a pot shop.
The UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), which oversees compliance with the three international drug control conventions, recently issued an alert regarding policies on drug-related offenses.
In the announcement, the Board advocates for the decriminalization of simple possession, underscoring that “There is no obligation stemming from the conventions to incarcerate drug users who commit minor offences.”
A potential medical marijuana program in France could soon be at the discretion of the nation’s Health Ministry after a group of senators agreed in principle to approve cannabis for therapeutic use.
However, important hurdles must be cleared before France joins the ranks of neighboring Germany in establishing a medical market – and it could still be months before any products reach patients.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo does not believe legislation legalizing recreational marijuana in New York will pass before lawmakers adjourn for the year this month, he said June 3, 2019. Cuomo supports legalization but said he doesn’t think there are enough votes in the state Senate to pass a measure. Lawmakers are scheduled to finish their session on June 19, 2019.
While there’s broad support for legalization among members of the Democratic-led state Legislature, lawmakers have so far failed to reach a consensus on the many details of taxing and regulating marijuana. Many lawmakers also want legalization to be accompanied by provisions expunging past low-level marijuana convictions.
Although Las Vegas was set to open a slew of cannabis lounges in the coming months, giving pot consumers a place where they can smoke weed in a social setting, a bill being pushed through the Nevada Assembly could end up delaying this concept. Its success could mean that the millions of tourists that pour into Sin City may have to wait a few years before they have access to the Amsterdam-style consumption areas that many advocates say are needed right now.
It was just last week that lawmakers advanced a bill to the state Senate (39-1) intended to create a Cannabis Advisory Commission and Board. The goal of this action is to take cannabis licensing and regulation out of the hands of the Department of Taxation and give it to the board.
Washington state regulators advised cannabis businesses to follow regulations that provide warnings when sending out text messages as advertisements, just as with any other marijuana ad.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board issued a notice that aside from outdoor ads, all advertising must include the following information:
Federal officials would be blocked from punishing banks for working with marijuana businesses under an annual spending bill released by congressional Democratic leaders on Sunday.
The legislation, which is set to be considered by a House subcommittee on Monday, would also remove a longstanding rider that prevents the city of Washington, D.C. from spending its own money to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis sales.
Thai regulators have adopted key rules governing the production, distribution, and export of medical cannabis, laying the groundwork for businesses looking to expand in the new industry.
The regulations were approved by the Cabinet last week, about five months after Thailand legalized marijuana for medical use, according to Reuters. The new regulations stipulate that marijuana is allowed only for medical or scientific purposes, and the country must stay onside international treaty obligations.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) commemorated Hemp History Week on Thursday with what has become an ongoing annual tradition of celebrating the crop’s usage while displaying a basket full of hemp-derived products.
The senator said he could think of “no better way to celebrate than by recognizing our big win last December,” when Congress passed agriculture legislation that included a provision federally legalizing hemp.
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