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Maryland in cahoots with Wells Fargo to shroud cannabis tax profits; D.C. second license round opens tomorrow; Maine is flooded with illegal Chinese Cannabis grows

Catch the Smoke: Aug. 28, 2023

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Takeoff for second D.C. license round

Tomorrow at 9 A.M. the gates raise for the next application round for D.C.’s medical cannabis expansion. The D.C. regulatory authority has a handy application page here. Any questions can be sent to ABCA.cannabislicensing@dc.gov. This is the second licensing period, following the previous social equity round for courier, cultivation centers and manufacturers. Social equity applicants will also be accepted in this round, but it is unclear if those licenses awarded to equity applicants will count towards the cap. D.C.’s market must be 50% social equity so all normal license rounds are capped at the number of licenses awarded to social equity applicants. 

Email us at info@outlawreports.com to tell us your application experience or issues. 

  • Petworth is getting a cannabis grow where Petworth Social once existed. 

MD market stomping out D.C. medical market

In a strange Washington Post article focused on the changing lingo of weed (a word which is apparently not used anymore), the owner of Anacostia Organics admitted that the new adult recreational market in Maryland is “kicking our butts,” in terms of business. We reported last week that medical sales in D.C. continue to drop for a second month.

State commits federal crime, calls it good business

Kidding, sorta. Maryland is working hand in hand with Wells Fargo to “craftily” code marijuana tax revenue to protect the bank as it takes in federally illegal drug profits. Maryland Matters first reported the comments last weekend. While we are happy for Maryland and its bank, it’s absurd to watch prosecutors take down alleged crime rings (read about below) for laundering “drug money” from illicit cannabis through money orders and suitcases while a state technically commits a similar crime as a governmental entity.

Small town goes against MSO Trulieve

A small town Maryland Mayor decided to bank his towns plummeting prospects on a cannabis grow. Now, the multistate operator, Trulieve, has bought the company, and it’s not buying the agreement previously made to call the town home. The town and Trulieve disagree about the almost 5% of profits owed to the town. The sticking point seems to be what profits fall under the agreement. Mediation is scheduled for this Wednesday. 

  • Though adults can no longer be searched due to weed smell in Maryland, minors still can be searched for smell.

  • New law prevents Maryland from taking kids away due solely to parents use of cannabis, but advocates say more is needed to protect parents rights. 

  • Maryland Congressman is set to bring an expanded federal expungement for cannabis possession bill when fall session begins. 

East Coast Round Up

New York’s entanglement continues to tangle

A court order blocking new applicants to the state’s cannabis market continued after a Friday hearing. But, 30 applicants who applied in time may be able to open. The rest of the applicants from multi-state operators to small businesses must wait at least two more weeks for the results of the legal challenge by veterans to the alleged unfairness of the state’s social equity program. These licensing issues are blocking a potential $1.2 billion annual revenue for the state. 

  • A farmers market for weed opened with the New York State Fair. 

  • Harlem’s first legal cannabis dispensary is set to open next week. 

  • A trial lawyer penned a column telling out of state cannabis companies they likely will be unable to sue for protection in New York under federal law. 

  • Another person fell in a 24 person indictment from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces’ investigation that busted a multi-year cannabis operation in the Capital Region in New York. The defendants are accused of money laundering and importing thousands of pounds of weed over multiple years from 2018-2022. 

  • A $34,000 fine was levied against a location in NYC as the city targets unlicensed edibles. 

New Jersey cannabis tax revenue is sending $5 million to a violence prevention program this year. 

New Jersey cops can’t get fired for off-duty cannabis use, ruled a commission.

New Jersey’s Cannabis Trade Association is blaming the state’s regulatory authority for slow growth. 

Maine’s cannabis growers said that the retail market has meant more work for less money. As pounds dropped from $4,000-1,300 many of the little farmers are leaving the industry. (California has seen the same change.)

Culture Corner

Text marketing company, Twiliocut service to the cannabis industry. It joins the ranks of T-Mobile and AT&T in cracking down on users not complying with federal regulations. 

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) came out swinging against cannabis, saying it violates the “spirit of sport” and turns athletes into unfit role models. 

Conway the Machine talked to High Times about the healing properties of cannabis, his new strain “Scatterbrain” and more. 

Allen Iverson is bringing his cannabis strain to Pennsylvania in partnership with former NBA player Al Harrington’s cannabis brand Viola.  

Thailand’s cannabis industry is facing much of the same issues that legal U.S. states are struggling to overcome, but investors from across the world are still pouring money into the market. 

In a new survey, patients said that cannabis can treat neuropathy as well as opioids. 

Money, honey Canadian companies are backing out of the American CBD industry as the market feels oversaturated and the industry’s coffers take overall hits.

From the Swamp

The SAFE Banking Act enlisted another cosponsor for a total of 68 with Rep. Steube, W. Gregory, a republican from Florida.

A cannabis reform activist discovered that some Maryland police were reporting cannabis possession citations as arrests to the FBI who complies nationwide crime stats. After a DOJ formal investigation was recommended, the DOJ took 14 months to respond and suggest that the FBI investigate itself internally. 

Maine’s congressional members formally asked the DOJ to shut down an alleged slew of Chinese national connected illegal cannabis grows in their state. The letter was sparked by a Daily Caller article which broke a memo that said almost 270 properties across the state could be tied to illegal Chinese cannabis operations generating up to $4 billion sent back to China. This follows hundreds of grows being shut down in Oklahoma.

This week, don't miss

The Black Canni: The Living Well presents The Black Canni, a conference focused on Black entrepreneurs and leaders in the cannabis industry at Baltimore Unity Hall. (Oct. 14-15; $25-100)

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