Monday Rundown (12/20/21): Bye Bye, Brian!


Your Weekly Buzz

  • Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission Chair Brian Lopez on Thursday announced he would step down on Dec. 31. He served through nearly the entire storyline of Maryland’s fast-growing cannabis industry, from the launch of sales in 2017 to a more recent expansion phase that sought to bring more equity to the sector.
  • A panel of Virginia lawmakers recommended speeding up the launch of recreational weed sales to January 2023, but it remains to be seen whether the General Assembly will adopt the panel’s suggestion. Sales are currently scheduled to begin in 2024, as stipulated by legalization laws passed earlier this year.
  • Ryan Ha wasn’t cut out for the nine to five life. So in 2014, he launched D.C.’s first delivery service for motivational speeches. But most people don’t flock to Dreamy for inspirational quotes. They know it better as a fast and reliable way to get weed straight to your doorstep.
  • 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.
  • Two Republican lawmakers on Thursday lambasted the Biden administration for its “lack of action” on cannabis reform, calling on the president to immediately deschedule the plant “for the sake of patients across the country.”
  • A Colorado mom warned Virginians that she lost her son to “marijuana psychosis,” but local cannabis advocates are pushing back on the claim by arguing there’s no known link between pot use and mood disorders. (Listen)

  • Nearly 500 of New York’s 1,518 municipalities have now opted out of adult-use cannabis dispensaries, per data from the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Officials still have two weeks to decide whether they’ll ban weed sales, so the number is likely to keep growing. Opponents of retail weed say they’re worried about the potential effects of cannabis on children.
  • Pennsylvania regulators keep sending cryptic emails to inform cannabis patient that they’re reviewing the safety of weed vapes, but it’s unclear what exactly prompted the investigation, or what people are supposed to do with that information.
  • Canadian mixed martial artist Elias Theodorou, who suffers from a brain disorder called bilateral neuropathy, is on a mission to reform cannabis laws in professional sports. On Saturday, he fought his first professional fight in the U.S. since gaining an exemption for weed use from a state athletic commission.

Cannabis Calendar

  • Enjoy a cocktail, find a last-minute gift and get a medical cannabis consultation while you’re at it during Stop Smack’n Restaurant & Lounge’s Black-owned holiday pop-up event in Shaw. (Dec. 23; 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., $5)
  • 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, 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.)
  • 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.)
  • Cannabis industry professionals will get a chance to mingle over craft beer, tacos and live music at this networking event hosted by Baltimore’s Full Tilt Brewing. Proceeds go to medical cannabis research and education. (Jan. 19, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., $25)


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