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How state marijuana legalization became a boon for corruption

12/27/20--In the past decade, 15 states have legalized a regulated marijuana market for adults over 21, and another 17 have legalized medical marijuana. But in their rush to limit the numbers of licensed vendors and give local municipalities control of where to locate dispensaries, they created something else: A market for local corruption. Read

The fight over who gets to sell weed in New Jersey

12/29/20--Voters in New Jersey were set to issue a verdict on legal marijuana. New Jersey voters amended the state constitution and joined the ranks of the now 15 states that have approved recreational pot use and sales. The measure was broadly popular: More than two-thirds of voters were in favor, a margin higher than in any other state so far, and the amendment is expected to create a pot market second only in size to California’s. Many have hailed the voters’ decision, including Gov. Phil Murphy, who championed the measure. Read

Celebrities, cash and questions: A new force roils the cannabis prisoner-release movement

12/30/20--The star-studded group known as the Last Prisoner Project is calling on cannabis enthusiasts to help secure the release of people convicted of marijuana-related crimes. However, many have claimed that the organization failed to follow through on commitments to support preexisting groups while doing relatively little on its own to reduce the level of incarceration.  Read

Cannabis company Aphria to acquire SweetWater Brewing for $300M

11/4/20--Canadian cannabis giant Aphria is expanding into the U.S. with its $300 million acquisition of SweetWater Brewing Company, according to a release. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2020. Based on volume, SweetWater Brewing is one of the biggest independent craft brewers in the U.S. Aphria has several medical and adult-use cannabis brands in Canada. Read

Why Canadian cannabis firm Aphria bought US craft brewer for $300M: Q&A with CFO Carl Merton

11/5/20--Aphria’s deal to buy Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Co. is believed to be the first time a large Canadian cannabis company reached across the border to buy a successful craft brewer. Marijuana Business Daily spoke with Aphria Chief Financial Officer Carl Merton about the rationale for the acquisition, and the company’s future plans in the U.S. market. Read

Marijuana legalization proponents outraising opponents 36-to-1 in 2020

10/27/20--Financial support for marijuana legalization, both medical and recreational, has grown significantly in 2020 compared to 2016. Proponents of state ballot measures have outraised opponents this election season by almost 36-to-1, a massive increase from four years ago when advocates outstripped the opposition by only 4-to-1. Read

COVID-19 pandemic a ‘boon’ for legal cannabis in Canada as marijuana industry turns two

10/17/20--Canada’s legal marijuana industry is experiencing an increase in sales, more brick-and-mortar stores and competitive pricing upon reaching two years in business. Since Canada legalized recreational marijuana on Oct. 17, 2018, legal sellers and producers have struggled to compete with the black market, but there have been recent gains in the licensed industry. Read

Jay-Z launches his very own cannabis line called Monogram

10/24/20--On Friday, Jay-Z launched a cannabis line called Monogram in partnership with California cannabis company Caliva. Although this is his first official line of cannabis with Caliva, Jay-Z joined the company in 2019 as its chief brand strategist. Read

With eye on election and beyond, marijuana industry spends millions on lobbying

10/12/20--According to an article published in Marijuana Business Daily, if Congress moves closer to passing a bill to legalize marijuana, it’s likely lobbying efforts and spending will intensify, given that a crucial question is how the federal government would regulate a national cannabis industry. Read

Interstate commerce in 2021 | States Can’t Wait

9/22/20--Sensible Markets is calling on governors of legal and soon-to-be-legal states to join an interstate compact to regulate commerce in legal cannabis between them, and to seek Congressional approval in 2021. Read

Perception of cannabis health information labels among people who use cannabis in the U.S. and Canada

6/1/20--This study explored perceptions of cannabis health information labels among people who used cannabis in the last 12 months residing in the U.S. and Canada. Results of the study indicate that respondents living in Canada were less likely to say information was new and rated most messages more believable than those in the U.S. Respondents from legal U.S. states were less likely to say information was new compared to other states. Respondents who used cannabis daily rated acceptability of labels lower (27.8%) than those using 1-48 days (40.6%). Read

Beleave joins growing list of Canadian cannabis insolvencies

6/5/20--Beleave has become the latest in a wave of Canadian cannabis companies seeking creditor protection. The Toronto-based company will apply for a creditor protection order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Friday, according to a news release. Read

Perceived importance of factors in cannabis purchase decisions: A best-worst scaling experiment

5/29/20--This study examined cannabis users’ perceptions of the relative importance of policy-relevant factors when they made cannabis purchase decisions. Results indicate that cannabis users in general perceived product characteristics, quality, and price to be important factors in their willingness to buy cannabis in dispensaries. There were heterogeneities in the perceptions by cannabis use purposes. Read

New Hampshire has 441 legal cannabis industry jobs, study finds

5/31/20--The state of New Hampshire has 441 legal cannabis industry jobs, according to a study by Leafly. Moreover, Leafly concludes that cannabis-related jobs are growing faster than the employment growth that’s occurring in the nation’s other industries. Yet the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics does not tabulate the number of jobs supported by legal marijuana, according to the analysis. Read

The hidden titans of pot

4/30/20--The three-part series, "Hidden Titans of Pot," uncovers stealth moves by large investors poised to dominate this nascent industry and outmaneuver regulators. Read

Staying safe while delivering weed in the pandemic

4/10/20--While millions of Americans are at home, socially distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus, delivery service workers in the cannabis trade face a new problem: keeping employees safe from the virus. Read

Coronavirus gave cannabis companies a big bump in sales and it wasn’t just for the wake-and-bake set

4/5/20--While the American economic sectors ground to a halt in response to the coronavirus crisis, cannabis dispensaries saw their sales soar by double digits. On March 16th alone, sales doubled in California. Roy Bingham, CEO of cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics, said he expects the industry to not only ride out the coming economic storm but continue to grow. Read

Bankruptcy and restructuring in the cannabis industry in 2020 and beyond

4/6/20--While states continue to legalize cannabis, and the federal government continues to consider softening its stance, difficult questions persist at the intersection of cannabis and bankruptcy. As the cannabis industry continues to evolve in 2020 and beyond, those questions only become more acute. Read

Legal marijuana market future trends landscape 2028

4/6/20--The demand within the global market for legal marijuana has been increasing on account of growing awareness about the uses of marijuana in several medical applications. Additionally, some of the states in the US have also permitted the usage of marijuana for recreational purposes, thus, giving an impetus to the growth of the global market for legal marijuana. Read

American Bar Association hosts cannabis executives in Illinois

9/20/19--The American Bar Association hosted a roundtable discussion in Chicago on Thursday during which executives from some of the cannabis industry’s biggest companies debated current trends in the industry and weighed predictions about what’s next. Read

Former Canopy CEO likely headed to United States next

7/9/19--Bruce Linton, former co-chief executive officer of Canopy Growth Corp., is already working at another firm, and plans to spend more time at tiny software-services company Martello Technologies Group Inc. Linton may also be exploring some of the US opportunities, according to Greg Taylor, chief investment officer at Purpose Investments Inc. and manager of the $38 million Canadian ($29 million) Purpose Marijuana Opportunities Fund, which holds Canopy stock. Read

Cannabis company supplier GrowGeneration adds ex-Home Depot CEO Nardelli as strategic adviser

7/10/19--GrowGeneration Corp., an owner and operator of specialty retail hydroponic and organic gardening stores serving the cannabis sector, has appointed Bob Nardelli, a former chief executive of Home Depot as a senior strategic adviser. Nardelli will work with management to explore potential partnerships, advising the company's CEO Darren Lampert and board on matters relating to the supply chain, merchandise, branding, distribution, new product launches, pricing and channel selection. Read

Why hacktivists say you should invest in Zig-Zags

7/10/19--Anonymous Analytics, the financially-minded faction of the hacktivist group Anonymous, is encouraging investors to buy shares in Turning Point Brands (TPB), the company behind Zig-Zag rolling papers. The group describes the company as “highly profitable, but woefully under-covered and under-valued,” making it a promising investment. Read

NY lawmakers race the clock, Minnesotans mobilize for adult use, earnings watch & more

5/13/19--This week, Marijuana Business Daily featurs notable stories and events to watch for in the coming days: New York adult-use marijuana legalization supporters are working feverishly to get a final bill together by June 19. In Minnesota, the push to legalize adult-use marijuana ramps up this week. And, Canadian risk-management and security services firm 3 Sixty RiskSolution plans to release its earnings results for the first quarter. Read

ICCI Announces Steph Sherer as President

4/25/19--International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI) announces its co-founder, Steph Sherer, as President. Sherer has made medical cannabis available to patients worldwide. During her time as Executive Director of ASA, Sherer was responsible for the drafting of some of the first distribution laws in the United States and has been a leader in bringing patients to the table with lawmakers. Read

Beyond Massachusetts, states struggle to limit marijuana behemoths

3/21/19--Massachusetts is not the only state struggling to limit the dominance of large marijuana companies. Maryland bars companies from owning more than one store. In December, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission expressed concern about a “proliferation” of management agreements, saying it had objected to at least a half-dozen that appeared to skirt state regulations. But the commission announced in January it will wait for guidance from the state’s Legislature before taking further action. Read

Medical marijuana gaining traction as alternative to prescription drugs

2/27/19--Overall, the number of countries that have already moved to legalize marijuana on some level has prompted other countries to consider marijuana for medicinal use as well. According to data compiled by Imarc Group, the global medical marijuana market was estimated to become more than 11 billion dollars (US) in 2017. Read

How New York is preparing for legal weed

2/21/19--New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed the “Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act” (CRTA), which would legalize marijuana for adults over 21, and create an Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) to oversee a new recreational marijuana program, as well as the existing medical program. Cuomo has said that he’d like to see state lawmakers vote on the bill in April, and if passed, it would be effective immediately, with retail sales starting early next year. Read

Why the legal cannabis industry loves the Ford Transit van

2/27/19--In order to transport both marijuana and cash, a nondescript-looking Ford Transit cargo van has emerged in US states (and Washington, DC) where marijuana is legalized. Though not as rugged as the armored cars banks use, the Transits used by marijuana businesses undergo all kinds of security upgrades that get them close enough. Read

Trump ousts cannabis threat Jeff Sessions as attorney general

11/7/18--U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who less than a year ago stunned the marijuana industry by ripping up Obama-era protections for state-legal MJ businesses, has been forced out by President Trump. The development could ease industry concerns that the Department of Justice will unleash a crackdown on state-legal marijuana businesses – though much will depend on whom Trump picks as Sessions’ permanent replacement. Read

Pot group predicts $1B in Nevada tax revenue over 7 years

10/26/18--The state of Nevada could reap more than $1 billion from marijuana production, processing, and robust sales during the first seven years of recreational pot sales, according to an industry group’s economic analysis released Friday. The 33-page report was made public just weeks after state officials reported first-year taxable pot sales totaled almost $530 million, exceeding expectations by some 40 percent. Nevada received just under $70 million in tax revenues on that figure. Read

Verano™ Holdings launched to consolidate national cannabis assets with $120 million financing and Acquisition of Florida licenses

10/23/18--Verano Holdings, LLC Co-founders George Archos and Sam Dorf today announced an $120 million financing comprised of $88 million equity investment by Toronto-based Scythian Biosciences Corp., an additional private financing of $32 million, as well as acquisitions, transactions, and executive hires that bring together numerous successful marijuana enterprises under the newly created Verano Holdings, LLC, and verano™ master brand. Read

Two-day stint for Palisade trustee

4/13/18--Jesse Loughman, owner of Palisade's only retail and medical marijuana stores, resigned as a trustee in Tuesday's municipal election less than 48 hours later in order to keep his day job. Loughman said he learned from officials with the state's Marijuana Enforcement Division that he could not act as a town trustee while holding marijuana licenses for the town. Read

Action Alerts

10/19/18--Representing nearly 2,000 member-businesses and tens-of-thousands of cannabis professionals, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is leading the charge to protect legal cannabis businesses, defend state laws, and advance federal policy reforms. Read

Event aims to help millennials of color break into the marijuana business

9/26/18--The Boston Cannabis Control Commission, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and Roxbury’s National Center of Afro-American Artists hosted an event on Tuesday night for millennials of color to network and talk about equity and breaking into the retail marijuana industry. Read

WeedMD signs cannabis supply agreement with Nova Scotia liquor corporation

8/27/18--WeedMD announces that it has entered into a purchase agreement with the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (“NSLC”) to supply its branded cannabis products for the adult-use cannabis market in Nova Scotia. Read

‘I don’t think I look like a stoner’: the women changing the face of the cannabis industry

8/12/18--As weed’s legal status loosens across the US, the way cannabis is being marketed, sold, and celebrated is evolving. An industry that has been dominated by men is finding a female voice in consumers and new business owners. There are now yoga retreats, workouts, day spas, parties, conferences – all for women who like weed. As the weed market continues to grow, women are shifting perceptions of the drug and its users. Stoner stereotypes are being knocked back and women are talking openly about the place weed has in their lives. Read

Journal Times editorial: Pot referendums could sway election

8/12/18--This coming November, City of Racine residents will have the chance to vote in an advisory referendum on the question of whether marijuana should be legal for medicinal and/or recreational use, as well as what the potential revenue should be used for. Keeping in mind the fact that the marijuana referendums could sway the election, the poses the question: Is this the right time? Would April be a better time? Read

Colorado company changing name to add ‘hemp,’ remove ‘pot’

7/3/18--PotNetwork Holdings, a Colorado CBD maker, is changing its name to to BioTech Hemp to take the word “pot” out of its title and add “hemp.” The company, which owns the brand Diamond CBD, said the change “underscores the company’s strengthening identity as a dominant player in the CBD industry.” Read

Pot peddlers are declaring war on booze

1/15/18--Marijuana boosters have declared war on booze. The number of billboards and other advertisements aimed at converting drinkers into tokers or nibblers of edible marijuana has exploded over the past several years. Read

Wholesale pot prices plummet

12/27/17--As California counts down to the commencement of a new recreational cannabis industry, the wholesale price of pot has been crashing. Wholesale prices have been dropping for a decade, and the decline has accelerated in the past year due to an overabundance of unregulated weed. Read

Tripp Keber resigns as CEO of marijuana edibles powerhouse Dixie Brands for new role

12/15/17--Tripp Keber, the co-founder and CEO of Dixie Brands, resigned from the company Friday afternoon, effective immediately, to assume a new role in the marijuana industry. He will be taking on a “leadership role” with Rose Capital. Rose is one of Dixie’s largest funding partners and is taking the lead on new investment to help Dixie expand nationally and overseas. The resignation is part of a move that will partner Dixie with an upstart private equity company that is assembling a portfolio of infused products companies. Read

Medical Marijuana, Inc. announces prominent coverage on Mexican news station about benefits of CBD and Global CBD Policy

11/2/17--During a recent interview on Azteca TV Mexico, Raúl Elizalde, General Manager of subsidiary HempMeds® Mexico, explained that the World Health Organization will address cannabidiol along with a list of other substances that they are analyzing to know if they need to be updated and scheduled as psychoactive substances. Read

California congressman calls for action from cannabis industry

9/22/17--Freshman Congressman Lou Correa, a Democrat from Southern California, urged the business community to contact their members of Congress about the renewal of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which he said could be in danger of expiring in December. “I’ll tell you, there are a lot of folks up there that are ready to support you,” Correa said of Congress. But, he added, more outreach and education is sorely needed from the marijuana industry. Read

Law school podcast: Cannabis and the law

9/21/17--In the 14th episode of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Planet Lex podcast series, host Dean Daniel Rodriguez talks to Charlie Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs, and Northwestern Law alumna Dina Rollman, chief counsel at Green Thumb Industries (GTI), about the complexities of the marijuana industry, including how Illinois has set a precedent for regulatory programs, the banking challenges facing cultivators, and the battle for more research within the United States. They also discuss the role of lawyers within the cannabis business, and how they each got involved in this new and evolving industry. Read

California marijuana services firm sets up shop in Boston, joins Chamber of Commerce

9/17/17--Weedmaps, one of the country’s larger and more established marijuana firms selling software to licensed cannabis operators, is finalizing a lease for a downtown Boston office to accommodate its sales and lobbying team. Its executives want to be in close to the rollout of new rules for the nascent industry in Massachusetts and have the firm well-established locally by the time dispensaries open up next summer. Weedmaps also just became the first marijuana-related company to join the Boston Chamber of Commerce. Read

Marijuana producers announce multimillion-dollar pot deals with New Brunswick

9/15/17--Provincial Finance Minister Cathy Rogers and Health Minister Benoît Bourque announced that New Brunswick has struck deals with two licensed medical marijuana companies -- Moncton, N.B.-based Organigram Holdings Inc. and Smith Falls, Ont.-based Canopy Growth Corp -- to help supply its recreational market when the federal government’s planned legalization of recreational cannabis goes into effect next July. The company claimed the arrangement has an estimated annual retail value of $40 million to $60 million. Read

Eaze is moving into recreational marijuana delivery with $27 million in new funding

9/14/17--As California is set to begin issuing licenses for the cultivation and selling of the plant for recreational use at the beginning of 2018, a whole new revenue stream is opening up for the weed delivery startup Eaze, which just raised $27 million in Series B financing and claims a 300 percent year-over-year increase in gross sales. Read

Meet the 24-Year-Old entrepreneur who just launched a careers site for pot jobs

8/31/17--Karson Humiston, a Denver-based 24-year-old entrepreneur who founded Vangst Talent Network as a college student, has helped cannabis companies fill job openings for the last two years. Since then, her 20-person recruiting team has paired 3,000 people with pot jobs — and aims to fill another 10,000 by 2020. The job board, which is free for users who fill out profiles and $70 a month for companies, caters to a broader array of positions. Read

How to get a job in the marijuana industry

8/30/17--A recruiting agency for legal cannabis firms has launched a website that aims to serve as a one-stop shop for employers and job seekers. The site, Vangsters.com, allows hopefuls to apply to jobs and crate employee profiles, with a focus on marijuana-specific skills and software. Read

Local owners open RIPE upscale marijuana store

9/1/17--The city of Pueblo's newest retail marijuana store, RIPE, short for Rooted in Pueblo Excellence, features a sleek "industrial chic" open-floor approach designed to appeal to novices and experts alike. Owners Susan Singleton and Nick Christensen wanted a showcase store for Pueblo. "We kind of designed our's like an Apple store," Singleton said of the store. Read

“Made in Alaska” program welcomes marijuana businesses

9/2/17--The state-sponsored “Made in Alaska” program that allows a business to use a featured logo if its products are made in the state is accepting applications from marijuana businesses. Marijuana businesses are still barred from using the official “Alaska Grown” label put on state agricultural products because that program receives federal funding, but the “Made in Alaska” program, whose label features a polar bear and a black bear, does not receive federal funding, which is why it can be opened to marijuana businesses. Read

Tiny Colorado town has a weed store for every 170 people

8/31/17--Parachute, a community of only about 1,200 people just off Interstate 70, has approved its seventh recreational marijuana store. This Colorado town, which turned to pot when its natural gas tax revenue took a hit, continues to establish itself as a destination for drivers for that stretch of the I-70 corridor. Read

Scotts Miracle-Gro sells off international operations to focus on core business and hydroponics

8/31/17--Scotts Miracle-Gro has shed its Australia and European businesses in a deal that frees up the company to direct its attention on lawn-and-garden products and an ambition to become “the world’s most successful hydroponic gardening business.” The international deal comes a year after Scotts shuttled its LawnService business into a joint venture with TruGreen. Read

How 3 black visionaries are bringing the hood into the marijuana industry

8/30/17--The Hood Incubator, a collective founded by electoral organizer Lanese Martin, community organizer Biseat Horning, and Yale MBA Ebele Ifedigbo, is an organization aimed at helping blacks become entrepreneurs, investors, and employees in California’s cannabis industry. Their plan was to organize people in the San Francisco Bay Area’s underground marijuana trade, educate them, teach them how to get access to funding or invest their own, and create pathways to ownership legally. Read

Women in the marijuana business face a ‘grass ceiling’

8/31/17--Not long ago the marijuana business was way ahead of U.S. business overall in the leadership positions held by women. Yet, as the industry has become more mature and more mainstream, instead of building on that leadership, it’s going in reverse. Men are now edging out the women. The percentage of executives in U.S. marijuana-related companies who are women has collapsed to 27% from 36% in just one year, according to the latest anonymous survey by Marijuana Business Daily. Read

Legal marijuana bringing sweet smell of success for producers, city

8/26/17--With local voters favoring legalization, the city of Arlington is poised for economic development. The mainstreaming of marijuana is big business in Arlington, creating jobs and revenue while becoming good corporate partners with the community to address pressing social issues and lending a hand through volunteer projects. The city counts 14 producers inside the city limits, and 30 overall with an Arlington address, ranging from intimate mom and pop farm growers to industry leaders. Read

Medical marijuana gets the green light in Tampa

8/24/17--City council members gave medical marijuana the green light in Tampa. In a 6-1 vote, council members approved an ordinance regulating dispensaries and processing facilities within city limits. The ordinance bans dispensaries and grow facilities 500 feet from a school, but it also lets owners request an exemption to open up shop inside that restricted area. Locations are limited to commercial, retail, and industrial districts, and are not allowed in residential areas. Read

Santa Ana marijuana dispensary modernizes the way to purchase pot

8/24/17--MedMen, one of the largest marijuana retailers in the country, opened its newest medical marijuana dispensary in Santa Ana, offering around 1,000 products, including concentrates, flour, edibles, canine/feline products, and topicals. The store aims to make this a true retail experience by being innovative and bringing in new products as well as placing iPads on tables so a customer can interact and learn about a product. MedMen plans to sell recreational marijuana in January — if the city allows it. Read

Marijuana tech company Massroots is acquiring CannaRegs for $12 million

8/23/17--Massroots, a technology platform for cannabis consumers, is acquiring CannaRegs in a stock deal for $12 million. The acquisition allows MassRoots to become a one-stop shop for cannabis businesses, to connect with customers and ensure they're in compliance with all state and federal regulations, Massroots CEO Isaac Dietrich told Business Insider. The acquisition is part of a larger push to consolidate Massroots' business-to-business offerings. Read