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D.C. medical sales continue to slope downward while Maryland takes off and receives flood of new applications

Catch the Smoke: Dec. 18, 2023

D.C. sales slope downward up as market expansion continues

Metrics for November 2023 show that cannabis sales in D.C. dropped overall from October while dispensary sales fell by over $90,000. Despite Maryland’s legalization of adult-use, Marylanders still lead out-of-state patient registrations. The sluggish market doesn’t signal a great forecast for the dozens of new stores and businesses hoping to come online next year. 

  • The last ABC Board meeting saw 10 new businesses placard and two awarded conditional licenses. The next board meeting is Jan. 10, 2024. 

Maryland rakes it in again

The state’s market continues to be on fire as it netted almost $56 million in sales in November. Adult-use sales continued to eclipse medical sales with flower being the most sold item. Remember, the adult-use stores that came online don’t even include new businesses, just medical licensees who expanded to adult-use. The first application round for new licenses closed last week with over 1,700 applicants for just 179 licenses. 

  • Seven Points Agro Therapeutics agreed to pay $62,000 to MCA after violations including a janitor stealing over 15 lbs of weed and undocumented green waste this fall. The grower will also submit additional documentation for the next two years to MCA to keep its license. 

  • Pharmacann, Inc., a Delaware parent company of six cannabis businesses, was found in violation of ownership statutes after MCA found almost 12,000 unauthorized shares were transferred in the last three years. They were fined $30,000. 

VA Democrats try to force cannabis legislation 

Virginia is trying to take D.C. for everything it’s worth. First the District looks to lose the NBA team and The Washington Capitals to Alexandria. And now, a top senator wants to make the move contingent on cannabis legalization. Things are not looking great for Washingtonians.

  • A Virginia state senator, Adam Ebbin, expressed confidence that a bill legalizing and regulating marijuana sales could reach Governor Glenn Youngkin’s desk next year. However, securing bipartisan support, crucial to avoid a potential veto, remains the challenge.

East Coast Round Up

Massachusetts’ cannabis stores are shuttering as prices drop and so do sales. At least 17 businesses have either returned or lost their licenses in the past year. 

Connecticut’s lack of product variety in its adult-use market pushes consumers to shop out of state which lead to a drop of overall sales in October despite it launching less than a year ago. 

New Jersey fined TerrAscend last week setting the state up for a showdown between regulators and big weed. 

Pennsylvania’s governor signed a bill that allows growers to sell direct to patients while also allowing dispensaries to cultivate. 

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management adult-use application window will close on Monday, December 18, 2023, at 5:00PM EST. The state also reported ten new dispensaries opening and over 40 anticipated by the end of the month. MSO’s get to enter the market on the 29th.

Culture Corner

WWE Superstar Liv Morgan (real name Gionna Daddio) was arrested in Sumter County, Florida last week on charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. When the deputy approached the vehicle, they reportedly smelled marijuana and found a small bag of marijuana in a pink fuzzy bag inside the car.

Puma announced a new sneaker made from hemp. 

Colorado’s cannabis tax boon is deflating as the state sees a $143 million decrease in marijuana tax revenue as sales decline.  

Colorado is also abandoning radio frequency identification chips in their seed to sale tracking next year. 

Stizzys takes a hit as it comes to light that the owner was the landlord to illegal dispensaries while building the legal brand in California. 

NORML released its annual legislative report covering new legal states and newly enacted expungement laws. 

From the Swamp

Federal cannabis legalization could nearly triple tax revenue, bringing in $8.5 billion annually compared to $3 billion in 2022, according to a new report. 

If the DEA reschedules marijuana to Schedule III, a domino effect could cause numerous state-level changes due to “trigger laws” in over half the country. These laws automatically adjust state cannabis scheduling to match the federal designation.

Almost 30 former federal prosecutors wrote a letter to Biden urging him to leave marijuana as a Schedule I drug. The letter said “Almost no one has benefitted from legal weed, but there is one group coming out on top: drug cartels.” 

The House cannabis banking bill got an additional Republican co-sponsor. 

Shrooms

A U.S. appeals court denied a doctor’s attempt to compel the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to forward his petition for rescheduling psilocybin (a psychedelic drug) to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This setback in Dr. Sunil Aggarwal’s fight for terminally ill patients’ access to psilocybin therapy comes after years of legal wrangling.

Don't miss this week

Maryland Cannabis Industry Symposium – Elements for Success: CannabizMD will host a discussion focused on success with cannabis entrepreneur Tahir Johnson and other leading cannabis industry experts at 337 Brightseat Road Suite 220 Hyattsville, MD (Feb. 24, 12-5 P.M.; $75)

Please submit your upcoming cannabis event here


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