Catch the Smoke: June 26, 2023
A run down of D.C.’s cannabis products
From edibles to concentrates, the Washington Business Journal took time to explain all of the cannabis products offered in the city. They chatted with Jon Foshee, Director of marketing for District Cannabis and Linda Mercado Greene, owner and CEO of Anacostia Organics. Check out their list of the biggest D.C. cannabis companies here. Takoma Wellness Center is currently the biggest D.C. based employer.
Federal Ban on D.C. Marijuana Sales Renewed for Another Year
A spending bill that was recently approved by congressional lawmakers would continue to block Washington, D.C. from regulating marijuana sales. This is the third year in a row under a Biden administration that Congress included a provision in the spending bill that prohibits D.C. from using its local tax dollars to create a regulated cannabis market. The provision has been sponsored by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), who is a vocal opponent of marijuana legalization. D.C. lawmakers and advocates criticize the provision, saying that it is an infringement on the District’s home rule authority.
Maryland recreational cannabis preps for big demand
Maryland will begin selling recreational marijuana on July 1, 2023. Adults 21 and older will be able to purchase up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flower, 500 milligrams of THC concentrates, or 10 grams of THC-infused products. Sales are expected to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state. However, the launch of recreational sales has been met with some challenges, including long lines at some dispensaries and limited product availability. Photos of the preparations here.
Free seeds for everyone
Maryland will legalize recreational cannabis on July 1, 2023. To celebrate, a nonprofit group called Maryland Marijuana Justice (MDMJ) will be giving away 30,000 cannabis seeds at 1 minute past midnight on July 1. The seeds will be handed out at 13 volunteer-run locations throughout Maryland. Adults ages 21 and up will be eligible to receive the seeds. MDMJ is concerned that the new law only allows citizens to grow two plants at a time, but they are still celebrating the legalization of recreational cannabis in Maryland.
Virginia bans synthetic cannabis products.
A ban on synthetic cannabis products like delta-8 will go into effect in Virginia on July 1st. The ban was passed in response to concerns about the safety of these products. It is expected to have a significant impact on the hemp industry, as many companies sell synthetic cannabis products. Some businesses are already planning to mark down their synthetic products in order to sell them before the ban takes effect.
New Jersey Union Launches Program to Help Workers Enter Legal Weed Market
New Jersey’s largest cannabis union is offering a summer program to help people enter the legal weed market. The program is open to people of all backgrounds, regardless of whether they have any prior experience in the cannabis industry. The program will cover topics such as cannabis cultivation, product manufacturing, and retail sales. The program will also provide participants with hands-on training at a local dispensary. The program is free to attend, and applications are being accepted now.
New York’s medical cannabis program has been neglected since the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2021.The program has only 38 dispensaries open, and many patients are struggling to access medical cannabis. The state’s Office of Cannabis Management has been slow to approve new dispensaries, and the program’s regulations are complex and confusing. Patients are calling on the state to do more to support the medical cannabis program.
Gov. gets busy cracking down
Governor Kathy Hochul announced that New York State has begun enforcing the law against unlicensed cannabis businesses. The enforcement actions have resulted in the seizure of nearly $11 million worth of illicit products. The new law allows state agencies to levy hefty fines and initiate the process of shutting down businesses selling cannabis without a license. Governor Hochul said that the enforcement actions are a “clear and strong message” that illegal cannabis sales will not be tolerated in New York State. She also said that the enforcement actions are necessary to protect public health and ensure consumer safety.
In other news
NFL Invests in CBD Research to Find Opioid Alternative for Concussion Treatment
The NFL and its players union are jointly awarding $1 million in grants to support research on the therapeutic benefits of CBD as a pain treatment alternative to opioids for players with concussions. The research will be conducted by independent researchers at the University of Regina in Canada and the University of California, San Diego. The goal is to determine whether CBD can be used to effectively manage pain and improve cognitive function in players with concussions.
Senate Committee Approves Bill to Allow VA Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana
A Senate committee approved a spending bill that would allow VA doctors to discuss and recommend medical marijuana to veterans living in legal states. The amendment was introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and passed in a voice vote. If the bill is signed into law, it would be a major victory for veterans’ advocates who have been pushing for years to allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana.
Mushrooms: The FDA released its first-ever draft guidance for psychedelics research, just days after congressional lawmakers filed a bill asking for it. The guidance provides researchers with information on how to conduct safe and ethical research with psychedelics.
This week, don't miss
Just Cannabusiness Knowledge Cafe (Learn, Share Knowledge & Network!)
The Department of Small & Local Business Development (DSLBD)’s Innovation & Equitable Development team (Inno.ED) hosts Just Cannabusiness Knowledge Cafe series for DC residents and entrepreneurs interested in learning, sharing knowledge, and networking as they build or explore the regulated, medical cannabis marketplace at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Room 401 E 901 G Street Northwest 1st Floor Coworking Space Washington, DC 20001. (June 28; free)
Please submit your upcoming cannabis event here.