Award-winning, legacy D.C. cannabis grower loses everything to eviction


Catch the Smoke: Nov. 20, 2023

Legacy grower evicted 

A legacy grower who goes by Neil Snyder was evicted from his home and grow last week after his landlord found his living soil beds and plants. Neil has grown weed for over 40 years and won two awards for his flower at this year’s National Cannabis Festival. He prides himself on the whole interconnected universe he creates in his living soil beds. Losing his garden which he put blood, sweat, tears and his soul into, has been catastrophic. He’s looking for work and a place to live and a home for his garden equipment. He hopes to find a job managing a legal grow in the DMV. Find him here.

Unlicensed businesses slow to get approval 

Five new businesses received conditional approval, four I-71 operators received placards for their current locations, including Cloud 9 and DC Smoke during last week’s Alcohol Beverage and Cannabis Administration meeting. The first two weeks of the unlicensed store license period saw 25 total applications. Only eight stores have been approved. Three standard licenses listed on the agenda the first week of November have still not been approved, likely due to lack of social equity applicants (ABCA did not confirm this by publishing).

  • The next meeting to consider licenses will be Dec. 6.

  • The social equity retailer/internet retailer license info session will be Feb. 6, register here. The application period starts on Mar. 1, 2024.

  • Georgetown’s proposed limit on weed stores will not be able to be enacted until March 2024 IF it even gets approved.

D.C. medical weed sales all time low

D.C. released the monthly medical cannabis program metrics for October, revealing a slight drop in dispensary sales and the second consecutive monthly drop over $300,000 in cultivation sales. But due to newly included manufacturer sales of $761,330, D.C.’s medical program was able to reach a four month high for revenue. Read more here.

Maryland social equity approvals soar

MCA updated the number of social equity approvals to over 1,000 as of Nov. 13. They will continue to approve more of the over 3,000 applications as additional information is provided by applicants. Remember only 179 licenses for all businesses are currently available. The application opened last week and closes Dec. 12.

  • The state released new packaging and labeling guidelines.
  • Republicans want to roll back the end of police searchers based on cannabis smell.
  • An 88-year-old woman used ChatGPT to make an 89-page manual for her retirement home cannabis club.
  • Maryland’s Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund survey closes on Nov. 24. Fill out here to tell the state how funds should be used to benefit communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs.

East Coast Round Up

New York’s governor signed tax legislation that will help expand the state’s federal 280E work around that prevents state-level legal cannabis companies from tax deductions.

New York regulators approved new hemp rules with strict THC limits, despite ongoing litigation. They also delayed a vote on a settlement that would allow the state to issue retail marijuana dispensary licenses.

Connecticut made $25 million in revenue last month.

Only 10 Connecticut cannabis companies have fully launched despite over 50 pending registered licenses, raising worries that many of the businesses may never reach operational status. MSOs own most of the state’s current stores and all of the grows.

Pennsylvania is unlikely to legalize weed next year.

New Hampshire is closer to launching a state-run cannabis market but key divides remain.

Culture Corner

It was a wild week on the culture side. Snoop Dogg said he quit smoking, for real. We’re wondering when the edible line drops.

Benzinga published a fake interview with Cookies founder Berner. It blamed it on external unpaid contributor content, and others said the interview was AI generated.

Maryland cannabis company owner Jack Dobyn and Berner sparred on X about the fake interview. Dobyn seemed to believe some of the interview or at least that Berner is “in deep shit.”

Berner also basically admitted to being a pimp in a REAL resurfaced interview. Even more reason for him to do more to bring women into the weed industry, just saying.

The CDC put out a case study on a woman who died in 2022 from asthma issues from working in a Massachusetts grow and production facility. This is the first death attributed to cannabis facility induced asthma.

The Emerald Cup’s fall Harvest Ball was canceled, a sign of continuing hard times for growers.

A former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent is challenging his termination in court after testing positive for THC following the use of CBD products derived from federally legal hemp.

HERBL, California’s largest cannabis distributor, collapsed after amassing over $2.2 million in debt from unpaid invoices. The company’s downfall is attributed to a combination of factors, including overtaxation, competition from unlicensed operators, and overly burdensome regulations. HERBL’s failure is seen as a sign of the broader challenges facing the legal cannabis industry in California.

From the Swamp

A GOP-controlled House committee blocked amendments reforming weed and psychedelic laws, including protections for legal states from federal interference.

Congress may just extend the current Farm Bill for another year, allowing hemp businesses to maintain their legality through 2024 while a new bill is duked-out.

Don’t miss this week

The Black Canni – More than smoke!: The Living Well Center hosts a panel session for cannabis users seeking information about the use of cannabis to address health concerns such as anxiety, pain and more West North Avenue & North Pulaski Street, Baltimore. (Dec. 3 10AM-12PM; $18)

Please submit your upcoming cannabis event here


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