Monday Rundown (12/13/21): Virginia Is For Shrooms


Dear readers, our newsletter is back! Starting today, we’ll send you a carefully curated rundown of the top cannabis news and events from the D.C. region and beyond. Every Monday morning. Straight to your inbox.

Your Weekly Buzz

  • Virginia activists on Thursday kicked off a statewide campaign to decriminalize a broad range of entheogenic plants, including psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics. The push for psychedelics reform in the commonwealth has garnered support from at least two state lawmakers.
  • New data shows federal prosecutions for cannabis trafficking and possession continued to decline in 2021. Meanwhile, fentanyl cases exploded as the potent synthetic opioid surpassed weed and crack cocaine to become the fourth most prosecuted drug.
  • Harm reduction advocates in Maryland were hopeful last week that state lawmakers would pass a bill to lower criminal penalties for possessing drug paraphernalia, but their dreams were dashed when Sen. President Bill Ferguson opted to skip a vote to override a veto of the legislation.
  • A New York Senate bill introduced on Friday would allow state-licensed cannabis operators to deduct some business expenses. Since the 1980s, an obscure federal law known as 280-E has prevented weed businesses from writing off operating expenses, leading to exorbitantly high tax rates for the industry.
  • In Maryland, multi-state cannabis operators now control close to 40% of dispensary licenses and nearly half of cultivation and processing licenses. The consolidation of the state’s weed industry has some independent businesses calling foul, though regulators say it’s not as dramatic as it looks. (Paywall)
  • Officials in Atlantic City pulled the plug on the Rekt Café last week after the cannabis “gifting” club failed to meet the city’s permit requirements. The owner hopes to reopen soon, but state officials are cracking down on storefronts that gift weed – a practice they say is clearly illegal.

  • A new medical cannabis education center opened its doors last week in Huntington, West Virginia and hopes to teach people about alternative forms of pain relief in a community hard hit by the opioid crisis. Industry experts say the mountain state is on the verge of a medical cannabis boom.
  • Curio Wellness, a Maryland-based medical cannabis company, gave WBAL a tour of its spanking new processing facility in Timonium. The company says the 34,000-square-foot expansion will help it keep up with the state’s rapidly expanding industry.

Cannabis Calendar

  • Weed Webinar
    Leafy Green Agency is teaching a live webinar on everything you need to know to launch a successful medical cannabis dispensary in Virginia, or to land your dream job in the industry. (Dec. 18; 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.; $200+)
  • Gift Exchange
    Culture Naturals is hosting a holiday-themed weed gift exchange with live music in D.C.’s Columbia Heights. Entry is free and masks are required. (Dec. 18; 3 p.m. – 7 p.m; FREE)
  • A convo on equity
    State delegate Jazz Lewis will be the keynote speaker for a “provocative” conversation on social equity in Maryland’s cannabis industry. Sip on a complimentary drink and enjoy live jazz by D.C.’s Eric Scott at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville. (Jan. 5; 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.; $99)
  • CannaCon NYC
    CannaCon, a major cannabis conference for industry professionals, will host its first event of 2022 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. The two-day event comes as New York regulators are preparing to launch recreational cannabis sales in 2023. (Jan. 7 & 8; $80 – 200.)
  • Homegrow rally
    Maryland Marijuana Justice is gearing up for a rally in Annapolis next month to urge state lawmakers to legalize home cultivation and, yes, advocates plan to bring their infamous 51-foot joint. General Assembly leaders say they want to put cannabis legalization to a ballot vote in 2022. (Jan. 12; 9 a.m.)


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