MD hits over $10M in sales during first legal weekend; D.C. closes first social equity license round; VA Gov. still refusing to set up legal cannabis market


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Catch the Smoke: July 10, 2023

D.C. processes first social equity licenses

The total number of applicants that applied for D.C.’s first round of social equity licenses under the medical cannabis expansion will be made public this Thursday. According to ABCA, they received a significant number of applications in the last three days of June. The final results from these applications will be available on Thursday, published here.   

Rolling in hot

Maryland’s new adult-use cannabis market launched last weekend raking in over $10 million in sales. It was an almost $7 million increase compared to the same weekend in 2022 when only medical cannabis was available for purchase. People with cannabis charges will also now start to see expungement. All records for people charged with just cannabis possession will be expunged by July 1, 2024. People convicted of possession and intent to distribute can now apply to get their records expunged three years after they complete their sentence. The fee to file an expungement case is $30. 

A cold shoulder

Local hemp farmers and retailers are adjusting to the new restrictions on retail sales in Virginia. New restrictions on THC milligrams in hemp products went into effect this month. The reduction in legal THC content caused most retailers to sell their inventory quickly or throw it away. Gov. Youngkin’s administration made it crystal clear again he is not interested in moving forward with legalizing recreational sales though he doesn’t plan to overturn the Cannabis Control Act. 

In other news

Crack down

As New York continues to attempt to get a handle on its legal market, New York City approved fines for landlords who allow unlicensed cannabis sales. The measure, which was passed last week allows the city to fine landlords $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation. The measure also covers the sale of flavored vape products, which are illegal in New York State.

The last strongholds

Almost half of Americans live in a state where adults 21+ can legally buy weed. But the wave of legalization at a state level is slowing down. The Republican states rejecting legalization continue to do so wholeheartedly. Every county in Oklahoma voted against a legalization referendum this year. The patchwork of state laws continues to drag down the $35 billion dollar market, causing confusion in penalties and regulations. 

Loosening up

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would end cannabis testing for members of the military. The amendment is aimed at increasing the number of recruits as positive marijuana tests increase, particularly in states where it is legal.

No more Doritos

The FDA and FTC sent warning letters to six companies that sell delta-8 THC products that are packaged to look like popular food brands like Doritos, Jolly Ranchers and Cheetos. The agencies say that these products are misleading and could be dangerous for children. They sent the warning letters to Delta Munchies, Dr. Smoke LLC, Exclusive Hemp Farms/Oshipt, Nikte’s Wholesale LLC, North Carolina Hemp Exchange LLC and The Haunted Vapor Room.

In cookie news

At least two cannabis farmers in Colorado and Michigan received cease-and-desist demands from the owner of Oreo for selling and marketing the popular strain Oreoz using the cookies name and branding likeness.  

Must read: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) rang the bell of celebration last week, marking 50 years of enforcing drug laws in America without ever eradicating drugs. 

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This week, don’t miss

Lucky Leaf Expo Baltimore Maryland

Luck Leaf Expo hosts a cannabis business expo to catch up with industry experts and businesses. It will be hosted at the Baltimore Convention Center. (July 21-22, 9AM-5PM; $35-499)


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