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No major marijuana sales impact seen from vaping illness outbreak as MJ retailers focus on consumer education

9/9/19--A recent outbreak of pulmonary illnesses tied to electronic vaping devices has reportedly caused five deaths and sickened 450 people, but state-legal cannabis retailers across the United States have not yet been hit by a serious downturn in vaporizer cartridge sales as a result of public panic. Read

Italy’s interior minister declares war on cannabis, but stakeholders expect limited impact

5/10/19--Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini vowed to close all “cannabis light” shops in the country. “Cannabis light” is defined as cannabis with THC levels below 0.2%. Three shops were reportedly closed the day after the minister’s declaration, a move Salvini celebrated before issuing a new directive to intensify controls. 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

New Jersey governor: Push to legalize recreational marijuana is short on votes

3/21/19--Gov. Phil Murphy and two fellow Democrats, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate President Steve Sweeney, support the measure, which would legalize recreational marijuana for people 21 and older. But lawmakers have expressed reluctance, and the vote’s outcome Monday is uncertain. Forty-one votes are needed in the Assembly and 21 in the Senate. Read

California cannabis firms struggle to make sense of new track-and-trace system, fanning fears over its expanded rollout

3/21/19--Many California marijuana business executives welcome the state’s newly mandated track-and-trace system as an opportunity to ensure industry transparency – but they worry the technology’s rollout could prove rocky. Industry officials report widespread confusion about how to operate Metrc, the software the state relies on to power the track-and-trace system. Read

Cannabis business news you may have missed for the week ending Feb. 15

2/15/19--U.S. Congressional hearing on marijuana banking boost industry's hopes for reform, California announces the National Guard Troop will combat marijuana grows, legal marijuana sales top $6 billion in Colorado -- plus other important news from around the marijuana industry. Read

Oklahoma governor OKs rules for cannabis-infused food products

1/9/19--Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin approved new labeling, packaging, and testing rules for food products that include marijuana for medical use. The new rules require marijuana-infused food and beverage makers to comply with the state’s current food safety laws as well as the labeling and packaging laws for available cannabis products. The regulations also require edibles makers to disclose on labels a product’s THC potency, including marijuana ingredients and tracking information for the marijuana oil or source material. Read

Farm Bill agreement allows nationwide hemp cultivation for any use – including CBD

12/11/18--A long-awaited end to five decades of hemp prohibition has been approved by a House-Senate panel, potentially opening the door to hemp production in all 50 states for any use – including CBD. The measure is included in the 2018 Farm Bill, which passed the Senate 87-13 on Tuesday and still must pass the House before work is concluded for the year and all pending legislation dies. Read

Medical cannabis cardholders, growers dropping off in Oregon

11/5/18--Medical marijuana patients and growers across Oregon are abandoning the state’s MMJ program, according to reports. The number of patients registered with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) is reportedly half of what it was a year ago. Statewide, registered patients dropped 41%, from 59,137 to 34,892. 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

Ahead of Canada’s big day, forecast for cannabis industry gets a boost

10/16/18--On the eve of Canada’s historic launch of its recreational marijuana program, the global marijuana industry appears poised for explosive growth due to the confluence of a host of market developments. According to Wall Street analyst Vivien Azer of Cowen, Canada’s move to legalize marijuana across its 10 provinces “is the first step” in establishing marijuana as “a key functional ingredient” that will disrupt a group of consumer product categories collectively worth up to $500 billion. This perspective lands as the legal marijuana industry continues to log record rates of growth. Read

Week in Review: 5 business takeaways from the launch of Canada’s recreational marijuana market

10/19/18--The groundbreaking launch of Canada’s recreational cannabis market occurred on October 17. The world watched how marijuana businesses around Canada handled sales both online and at physical stores, potential product shortages, and other challenges tied to regulations and illicit-market competition. Marijuana Business Daily presents five notable takeaways from the nation’s historic day. Read

California drops ‘bombs’ in updated draft of permanent rules for cannabis businesses

10/19/18--California’s proposed marijuana business regulations continue to evolve, this time in an updated draft of permanent industry rules released Friday by state officials. The proposed rules – from the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, Department of Food and Agriculture and Department of Public Health – touch on areas including marijuana delivery, packaging, and events. Regulators are slated to finalize the rules by early December, following input from the public. Read

High Times parent hustles to lure cannabis investors; here’s what you need to know

9/13/18--High Times Holding Corp., the parent company of the iconic marijuana culture magazine High Times, is looking to attract a large number of small investors as the publication works to go public, bolster its brand, and shore up a balance sheet mired in debt. Read

Marijuana growers stare down costly, burgeoning environmental regulations

8/28/18--Marijuana growers face a slew of requirements under California’s environmental regulations, with applicants spending tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to meet requirements, industry watchers reported. Yet, California cultivators aren’t the only ones bracing to deal with the financial load surrounding environmental rules. Growers in other states are experiencing it as well. Read

Oregon slashes daily purchase limits for medical cannabis patients

8/27/18--In a bid to stem the flow of marijuana product to the black market, Oregon regulators have ordered a steep cut over the next six months in the amount of cannabis that medical MJ patients can buy on a daily basis. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) last Thursday reduced purchasing limits for Medical Marijuana Program cardholders to 1 ounce of cannabis per day, down from the previous limit of 24 ounces per day. Read

Bruce Linton discusses deploying CA$5 billion, Canopy’s commitment to international growth

8/16/18--Canopy Growth, a Canadian medical marijuana giant, is taking a massive 5 billion Canadian dollar ($3.8 billion) investment and going all in on worldwide medical and recreational cannabis business opportunities, the company’s CEO, Bruce Linton, said during an exclusive, wide-ranging question-and-answer session in Toronto. Constellation Brands – which owns, distributes, and markets 100 beer, wine, and spirits brands, announced this record-setting investment in Canopy Growth, the largest involving a marijuana company to date. Read

Week in Review: Arizona’s defiant marijuana firms, California deadline & big cannabis investment in Iowa

7/6/18--Marijuana Business Daily presents closer look at some notable developments in the cannabis industry over the past week, including but not limited to a Arizona cannabis companies defying a court decision banning the sale of extracts, California marijuana businesses deal with the state’s July 1 transition, and an emerging player in the MJ industry planning a large indoor grow in Iowa. Read

Here’s how California might enforce violations of marijuana business rules

7/3/18--For now, regulators say they plan to maintain a softer approach to enforcement instead of immediate crackdowns in which fines are levied on companies that don’t heed the law. The Bureau of Cannabis Control, which oversees retailers, distributors, testing labs, and microbusinesses, will likely run point on inspections and enforcement, although the DFA oversees growers and the DPH governs edibles makers and concentrate producers. The strongest enforcement actions will likely be reserved for repeat violators. Read

California initiates enforcement against approximately 500 unlicensed marijuana businesses

2/21/18--Less than two months after California’s legal cannabis industry launched on New Year’s Day, state officials are starting to target hundreds of marijuana companies that are operating illegally without a license. The state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control has sent out about 500 cease-and-desist letters to companies that are doing business but haven’t begun the application process. Read

New SBA lending rules could curb loans to marijuana and hemp businesses

5/1/18--The U.S. Small Business Administration updated its lending guidelines with new rules that could have a major impact on businesses servicing the marijuana and hemp industries – not just plant-touching companies. The revised guidance, published in early April, prohibits banks from issuing SBA-backed loans to any company that has a direct business relationship with a cannabis or hemp business. 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

Washington state halts issuing of hemp licenses, citing budget shortfall

12/5/17--Washington has stopped issuing hemp licenses because the program is too expensive. The Washington Department of Agriculture won’t issue hemp licenses for 2018 unless state lawmakers devote $313,000 to the program, according to Capital Press, which covers agriculture for six Western states. Read

As marijuana consumption licenses stall, some entrepreneurs see opportunity

10/10/17--Despite numerous setbacks following rules for the nation’s first licensed marijuana consumption clubs, a few cannabis entrepreneurs are hoping the apparent standstill gives them an opportunity to be the first in Denver to open for business. However, some say Denver’s rules are still too strict, and severely limit potential locations. Nevertheless, Denver entrepreneurs who are still planning to apply say they’re up to the challenge. Read

Michigan raids lead to closure of 8 medical marijuana dispensaries

10/5/17--Eight medical cannabis dispensaries were raided and forced to close in northern Michigan. According to Traverse City Police Chief Jeff O’Brien, the raids were executed simultaneously after a monthlong investigation involving undercover officers who bought medical marijuana at the dispensaries despite not having “a patient-caregiver relationship.” Though no arrests were made, law enforcement agents seized cash, medical marijuana, cannabis plants, edibles, and wax. Read  

Celebrity sues CBD line, claiming trademark violation

9/28/17--Actress Jessica Alba is suing a Colorado business that makes CBD nutritional supplements, claiming that Honest Herbal infringes on the trademark of her Los Angeles firm, The Honest Co., which makes personal-care products and vitamins. Alba argues in the federal lawsuit filed in California that the 3-year-old CBD company is trying “to confuse consumers and profit from the goodwill and consumer recognition associated with The Honest Co.’s HONEST Marks,” which include product lines Honest Beauty, Honest Man, and Honest Baby. 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

Las Vegas recreational marijuana retailer advertises with airline

9/1/17--Las Vegas recreational marijuana retailer Acres Cannabis completed a deal to advertise in Allegiant Air’s in-flight magazine, another sign of a growing movement by cannabis companies to expand their advertising reach through transportation outlets. Acres said it will begin running a full-page ad in Allegiant’s Sunseeker magazine on Sept. 1, the Las Vegas Sun reported, and the campaign will run through October. This appears to be the first time a cannabis company has run an ad in an in-flight magazine. Read

Second Michigan recreational marijuana campaign gets OK

8/18/17--A second – and now competing – campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan has gotten the go-ahead from state officials to begin collecting signatures in a bid to make the 2018 ballot. The campaign, Abrogate Prohibition Michigan, was approved by the state board of canvassers to move ahead with its goal of 315,654 signatures, the Detroit Free Press reported. Read

New Jersey medical marijuana panel proposes 43 conditions

8/4/17--New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel has recommended that the state’s health department add 43 conditions to the list of illnesses that would qualify patients to receive medical cannabis cards. Many of the suggested additions are variations of the same condition, including several categories of chronic pain, anxiety, migraines, and fibromyalgia, among others. Other conditions recommended by the panel include arthritis, autism, asthma, opiate-use disorder, and irritable bowel syndrome. Read

PNC shutters marijuana group’s Ohio bank account

7/14/17--One of the nation’s largest financial services companies, Pittsburgh-based PNC, recently shut down the account of the Ohio chapter of the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Read

CA lawmakers approve merger of rec, MMJ regulatory systems

6/16/17--The California legislature approved a state budget plan that includes a proposal from Gov. Jerry Brown to merge the regulatory systems for both medical and recreational marijuana businesses. The new system will allow California marijuana retailers to sell both rec and medical at the same physical storefront. Read

Vegas MMJ grower begins trading on Canadian Stock Exchange

6/19/17--Friday Night Inc., a Canadian company that owns a medical marijuana cultivator and CBD company in Las Vegas, has started trading on the Canadian Stock Exchange, a move that could make it easier for other U.S. plant-touching companies to list in Canada. Friday Night Inc. previously traded on the TSX Venture Exchange – the junior exchange of the Toronto Stock Exchange – under the name QuikFlo Health. Read

Florida could someday be home to massive medical marijuana businesses

6/19/17--Primed to become one of the nation’s most lucrative medical marijuana markets once it’s up and running, Florida’s program will license just a handful of businesses to produce, process, and distribute all MMJ sold in the state. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he “absolutely” intends to sign the medical marijuana bill. This will bring to 17 the total number of companies authorized to produce and dispense full-strength medical cannabis across the state, and the maximum number of dispensaries will increase to 425. Read

Nevada firm picked to run LSU’s medical marijuana program

6/16/17--Louisiana State University selected GB Sciences, a Nevada-based marijuana company, to operate the school’s medical marijuana program, one of two in the state. GB Sciences is a vertically integrated marijuana firm that specializes in cultivation as well as extraction for medical purposes. Read

International standards organization to tackle cannabis

6/13/17--Pennsylvania-based ASTM International, a not-for-profit that has developed professional standards for a host of industries, is now going to tackle marijuana in a newly announced partnership with the American Herbal Products Association. The groups have signed a memo of understanding to cooperate on a set of professional standards for the cannabis industry. Read

AG Sessions to Congress: Kill medical marijuana protections

6/13/17--U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked four congressional leaders at the beginning of May to omit key medical marijuana industry protections from a new federal spending bill. Sessions specifically asked that language from the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment not be included in any appropriations bill, or similar provisions, that would “in any way inhibit the (Department of Justice’s) authority to enforce the Controlled Substances Act.” Read

Cannabis organizations merge to create certification group

6/7/17--The Organic Cannabis Association and the Ethical Cannabis Alliance have merged into a new organization: the Cannabis Certification Council. The council’s mission will be to independently certify cannabis products as organic and “fairly produced.” The new organization will issue seals that businesses can use to market products. Read

Medical marijuana company advertises in New York subways

5/23/17--Vireo Health of New York, one of the state’s five licensed MMJ companies, on Monday launched a large-scale medical cannabis advertising campaign in the New York City subway system that targets nearly 100 stations with posters touting MMJ. If the campaign encounters no pushback, it would be a notable marketing breakthrough for both Vireo and the state’s MMJ industry, which has struggled for multiple reasons, including tight advertising restrictions. Read

MPP chief ready to barter for marijuana campaign donations

4/28/17--Rob Kampia, executive director of Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), solicited tobacco business interests in Michigan in search of campaign donations to run what will likely be a multimillion-dollar, 19-month endeavor. Although efforts were largely unsuccessful, MPP did secure a $50,000 donation from Wild Bill’s Tobacco, a chain of smoke shops involved in the Michigan negotiations. However, according to Kampia, that money was “to keep our ears open” – not in exchange for any particular provision written into the ballot measure. Read

Alcohol, tobacco interests eyeing Michigan marijuana market

4/27/17--The tobacco industry is eyeing the retail end of the of the cannabis industry in Michigan, and industry officials have raised the possibility that both tobacco and alcohol companies could be positioned to profit from secure wholesale transport of cannabis. The scene in Michigan highlights how more established industries will likely insert themselves into the legalization process to gain a foothold in the multibillion-dollar cannabis industry. Read

Recreational cannabis states prepping for possible federal crackdown

4/25/17--California, Colorado, and Oregon have begun taking steps to protect recreational marijuana businesses and consumers against a possible federal crackdown under the new Trump administration. Many have urged the president and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to lay off marijuana businesses. Trump, however, has not articulated a policy stance on cannabis, so lawmakers in California, Colorado and Oregon – all three recreational cannabis states – have begun taking matters into their own hands. Read

Oregon vineyard owners sue to halt nearby cannabis cultivation

4/21/17--Oregon vineyard owners in the heart of the state’s wine region filed a lawsuit asking a judge to ban a neighbor from cultivating marijuana, complaining that the smell of cannabis could drift over and taint their grapes. The winemakers’ lawsuit claims the marijuana farmer’s outdoor grow could jeopardize the Momtazi’s Demeter Biodynamic certification, which recognizes the vineyard for organic farming. Read

Rhode Island governor calls for delay in legalizing rec marijuana

4/17/17--Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo is calling on lawmakers to delay passing legislation that would legalize adult-use cannabis. Raimondo says they should instead support legislation to create a 15-member study commission to make recommendations to lawmakers by March 1, 2018. Read

Las Vegas cannabis lounge options are taking shape

3/28/17--Marijuana consumption lounges in Las Vegas are looking more and more as if they’ll become a reality for cannabis entrepreneurs. During a Clark County marijuana advisory panel meeting, the board discussed proposals for such a concept and how cannabis clubs would be regulated. Nevada is one of a number of states considering laws to allow consumption of marijuana in public places. Read

Canadian medical marijuana producer to open online store

3/29/17--Canopy Growth Corp., Canada’s biggest publicly traded medical marijuana producer, plans to launch an online store that will offer patients one-stop shopping for the company’s various brands. The move sheds light on how Canadian cannabis companies could increasingly turn to the internet as a new approach to peddling their products, particularly as the country rolls out its new recreational market. Read

Colorado bill would let growers reclassify rec marijuana to medical

3/27/17--The Colorado Legislature is considering a bill to allow growers to reclassify their inventory as medical marijuana in the event of a federal crackdown. Though the measure has yet to receive a full vote in either the state House or Senate, it has passed one Senate committee with bipartisan support, an indication that politicians on both sides have no desire to see Trump gut the adult-use cannabis industry. Read

Canadian producer invests $3M in Arizona medical marijuana grower

3/28/17--Aphria, a federally licensed Canadian medical marijuana producer, increased its investment in an Arizona medical marijuana grower by $3 million. Aphria now owns 5% of Copperstate Farms LLC through its subsidiary, Aphria (Arizona), and Copperstate Farms Investors controls the remaining 95%. Copperstate owns about 1.7 million square feet of greenhouses in Snowflake, Arizona, and plans to have approximately 348,000 square feet of that space in operation for medical cannabis production by the fall. Read

Nevada medical cannabis licenses fetch almost $2 million

3/28/17--Oregon-based cannabis oil company Golden Leaf Holdings paid $1.925 million to acquire cultivation and extraction licenses from NevWa, a Nevada company that does business as Grassroots. NevWa’s two licenses allow for distribution and sales in Nevada, including prominent tourist destinations Las Vegas and Reno. Read

Study: Cannabis is making a dent in beer sales

3/20/17--Almost 30% of Americans say they are now buying legal marijuana instead of beer, or would consider doing so if it were sanctioned in their states, according to a study by Cannabiz Consumer Group. The results shed light on a potentially large customer base for cannabis companies. Read

Pacific Northwest marijuana investment network set to launch

3/21/17--The newly launching Cannabis Investment Network (CIN) aims to connect marijuana firms with financial backers. The organization is hoping to serve smaller-scale firms that are looking to raise from $500,000 to $3 million. The self-described “angel group” will function more as a conduit to connect investors with potential investments, instead of raising and deploying capital itself. Read

New cannabis advocacy group aims to sway federal government

3/21/17--A group of cannabis companies has banded together under the name of New Federalism Fund (NFF) to form a nonprofit political advocacy group designed to protect the legal marijuana trade. The NFF plans to work with Congress and the Trump administration to achieve its goals. Read 

RI medical marijuana panel sets first meeting in eight years

3/20/17--Eight years after its formation, a legislative committee tasked with overseeing Rhode Island’s medical marijuana program will meet for the first time on March 28. The committee includes the head of the patient advocacy group that pushed for Rhode Island’s medical marijuana law as well as two MMJ patients and a caregiver. Read

Third lawsuit launched in Canada over tainted medical marijuana

3/16/17--A third proposed class-action lawsuit over pesticide-laden medical marijuana in Canada raises additional questions about Health Canada’s claim that people who consumed the tainted cannabis weren’t becoming ill. Canopy Growth Corp., which bought Mettrum at the start of the year, and Organigram have vowed to fight the allegations. Read

Oxford University receives $12.3M to study medical marijuana

3/16/17--One of the world’s top research universities, Oxford University, has received 10 million pounds ($12.3 million) from a London-based private equity firm to study the medical benefits of marijuana, a move that could lead to more acceptance of MMJ as a medicinal therapy worldwide. According to a news release, Oxford will use the money to identify state-of-the-art medical therapy by researching the “molecular, cellular, and system mechanisms of cannabinoids.” Read

Alaska regulators seize imported CBD oil in raids

2/10/17--Alaska officials raided an unspecified number of recreational cannabis shops and seized “thousands of dollars worth of imported CBD oil." A news release from the Alaska Marijuana Control Office confirmed that “several retail stores” appeared to be in violation of state laws that mandate specific testing, labeling, and packaging for marijuana products. Read

Arizona growing into medical marijuana juggernaut

2/6/16--Arizona has grown into one of the largest medical cannabis markets in the nation, behind only California and Michigan in terms of patient counts. Looking forward to 2017, Arizona’s medical cannabis industry shows no signs of slowing down and likely will continue to develop into one of the more lucrative markets in the nation. Read

Denver MJ company recalls products for possible pesticides

1/23/17--Denver marijuana company Green Man Cannabis is voluntarily recalling marijuana and cannabis-infused products after samples showed they could contain residual levels of illegal pesticides. The city’s environmental health department is probing whether the company's products were exposed to unsafe pesticides. Read

$740K in sales for NH medical marijuana businesses

1/17/17--New Hampshire’s four fledgling medical marijuana dispensaries made $740,000 in sales during their first few months of operation last year. The figures, which are included in a new report by the state’s health department, cover sales from the time each dispensary opened last year through Sept. 15. The report also lists how much money each company raised and how much it spent by that date as well. Read

Two of Washington’s largest recreational marijuana chains on the selling block

1/17/17--Washington state’s two top-selling cannabis retailers, Main Street Marijuana and Uncle Ike’s,  are for sale. They have united in an attempted joint sale of both companies for $50 million. The move underscores how some cannabis entrepreneurs are taking the opportunity to unload their businesses while they are strong and can command a hefty price tag. Read