D.C. legal cannabis market sees record slow January sales as unlicensed shops transition to legal


Prominent I-71 stores absent from D.C.’s legal cannabis transition

Far fewer than expected D.C. gifting stores (76 applications vs. estimated hundreds) applied to transition into legal dispensaries. While 26 initially received placards, 65% remain unapproved, with some requiring revisions and others missing key details like location.  Many stores that joined an industry group called The I-71 Committee were not on the list, including well known shops such as Gifted Curators, Legacy, Monko and Peace in the Air who self-certified themselves as I-71 gifting shops and participated for years in industry advocacy and community events. Read our whole story here.

Patient exodus and slow Jan. sales in DC med market

January 2024 saw over $1 million less in revenue compared to January 2023, and most concerning: patients served fell by over 1,500. Dispensary sales plummeted by a couple hundred thousand dollars, hitting a four-year low. Nearly 1,900 patient certifications expire in the next three months, while overall resident registrations dropped by almost 700 (11%) in January.Read our analysis here.

  • Three license applicants were sent back to licensing specialists last week. None were approved. The next ABC meeting is Feb. 21 at 10:30 AM. Watch

Maryland caught in lawyer’s web, announces lottery

Maryland is the most recent victim of a California lawyer and cannabis entrepreneur’s serial suing of state cannabis social equity programs. This is the latest in a series of similar lawsuits he has filed across several states. The lawyer argued the residency requirement in Maryland is unconstitutional. This could potentially delay the launch of the state’s cannabis program, similar to previous lawsuits in other states. Read our analysis here.

  • Update: The State respond to the lawsuit, stating that Ms. Jensen never applied for a cannabis license and did not seek verification for “eligibility as a Social Equity Applicant under either of the two criterion related to having lived in or gone to a public school in a zip code that qualifies as a disproportionately impacted area,” according to Andrew Garrison, Chief of the Office of Policy and Government Affairs MCA.
  • According to recent court documents, Maryland intends to host its lottery for licenses the first week of March.
  • 8 of 10 weed licenses seeking equity licenses in Md. are minority- or woman-owned
  • A Senate committee passed a bill to protect medical cannabis patients’ gun rights.

Another try for Virginia cannabis

The Virginia House and Senate passed competing bills that would launch the legal cannabis market, but law enforcement is against the cannabis retail market. The biggest differences in the bills fall in market launch and taxes. HB698 would grant an early start to current medical cannabis businesses and new equity microbizs and a 9% tax. SB448 would set up a more general licensing process and up to a 17.5% tax on products. These bills still have to pass Gov. Youngkin who has frozen a market launch.

  • Hemp violations enforced by VDACS hit 3,663 violations since last summer resulting in $113,675 in paid fines from 21 businesses.

East Coast Round Up

Pennsylvania’s Gov. Shapiro believes legalizing marijuana is inevitable due to neighboring states’ actions and potential revenue gains. He emphasizes responsible use and education, comparing it to regulating alcohol consumption.

Retail marijuana sales in Delaware are delayed to March 2025, but officials released draft regulations for the state’s adult-use marijuana market.

New York approved over 100 licenses on Friday after delay after delay the past few years in their market launch.

Around the country

Mike Tyson released a new line of co-branded cannabis seeds through a collaboration with Royal Queen Seeds, offering six different strains to home growers.

A new federal law requires many U.S. cannabis companies, except those formed before 2024, to file reports disclosing beneficial ownership information by January 1, 2025 or within 90 days of formation. Most are unaware of this requirement.

From the Swamp

Including hemp in the USDA’s Census of Agriculture is a big win for the industry, providing comprehensive data at county and state levels and enabling further research into its health and growth. This detailed information is expected to facilitate progress in federal regulation of hemp and other cannabis priorities.

A House bill protecting people in public housing from getting evicted got another cosponsor, totaling 3.

A house bill to remove 280E cannabis biz tax penalty added another cosponsor for 11 total.


A doctor in Washington state is appealing a DEA decision denying him access to psilocybin for terminally ill patients. He argues the DEA failed to explain its reasoning and wants the court to order a review under state and federal “right-to-try” laws.

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