Catch the Smoke: Aug. 7, 2023
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D.C. opens August application period to social equity applicants
The District’s medical cannabis expansion takes the next step at the end of the month. The fourth license period opens on Aug. 29 for non-social equity applicants for couriers, cultivation centers, and manufacturers. After a last minute city council expansion of the social equity definition, ABCA announced last week that this application period will also be open to social equity applicants. Before, it was solely open to non-social equity applicants. There are 24 cultivation center, 20 manufacturer, and two courier licenses available for non-social equity applicants.
DO NOT MISS: The Application info session this Thursday at 10 AM. Register here. Applications will be accepted for the available 24 Cultivation Center, 20 Manufacturer, and 2 Courier licenses.
Maryland sells over $87million in recreational weed
Recreational sales hit record levels in Maryland during the first month of adult use legalization. The $87.43 million recorded out paced New Jersey and New Mexico’s first months by almost quadruple.
Virginia begins hemp prohibition
Multiple Virginia state businesses were fined in five-figures as officials begin to crack down on hemp products. There were five non-compliance letters sent as of July 24, fining businesses from $13,000 to $97,500. The fine can be reduced to $10,000. But multiple businesses have already decided to close up shop and move out of the state rather than face the new market’s restrictions.
Two billion dollar merge flops
Columbia Care and Cresco Labs, both corporate cannabis companies ended their $2 billion merger last week. Columbia Care operates multiple dispensaries in Virginia. Both companies have seen their shares drop over 50% in the past year as the cannabis industry faces price drops and federal legislation continues to stall. Columbia announced efforts to open more dispensaries in Virginia as part of its profit plan.
East Coast Round Up
A New Jersey officer will be reinstated and given back pay after state officials adopted a judge’s ruling. Four officers were fired after testing positive for cannabis use after work following the state’s legalization in 2021. The city lost the lawsuit because they could not prove the officer was impaired during work or used cannabis on the job.
Padlocks pulled out
New York continues to bust unlicensed cannabis shops. “I’m Stuck” had seven shops shut down and was allegedly selling cannabis illegally and to underaged consumers. The owner could face fines reaching into the millions.
Delaware has created a long and difficult process for legal recreational sales to begin despite legalizing adult use. Retail stores aren’t set to open until late 2024 and even 2025 leaving cannabis user with a conundrum of where to get legal weed.
Bill Gates told Seth Rogen he smoked weed in high school to be “cool.”
A new study revealed that workers who use cannabis off the clock are no more likely to be involved in workplace accidents than non-users. But, the risk doubles if they use cannabis on the job.
Something we should all read: our battles in the comment zones of social media are good for no one.
From the Swamp
- The SAFE Banking Act got another sponsor on Friday: Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, [D-MD]. There are 67 total, but there is no sign that there is more hope for this bill to pass when Congress reconvenes this fall. Hickenlooper is also throwing his weight behind passing the Act.
- A new bipartisan bill introduced by Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Republican Representative Nancy Mace from South Carolina proposes easing the federal employment restrictions on past and current cannabis use.
- The VA continues to prohibit doctors from recommending cannabis for military veterans.
This week, don't miss
The Common Good Conference: The Common Good hosts a full-day, immersive conference combining the business and culture of cannabis in Washington, DC. at Eaton Hotel. (Sept. 29; $55-150)