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Newsletter: D.C. cracks down on unlicensed shops as PG County and Virginia face Cannabis roadblocks

D.C. agency gets more power to go after unlicensed cannabis shops

Washington D.C.’s medical cannabis program is expanding, but unlicensed retailers are a problem. To address this, the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA) got new legal powers including: 

  • Shut down unlicensed retailers and seize their cannabis products.
  • D.C. Council legislation allows this, ensuring due process for the retailers.

This crackdown follows ABCA’s attempt to get unlicensed shops to become legal, which many failed to do. ABCA’s emergency rules (pending D.C. Council approval) will solidify these new enforcement measures.

  • The ABC Board meets April 24 at 10:30 A.M. Watch
  • Last Prisoner Project leads bipartisan charge for cannabis reform in D.C.
  • Two new medical dispensaries, Green Theory and District Cannabis, opened 
  • NBC featured District Cannabis and Green Theory in a 420 special
  • A few photos from this year’s National Cannabis Festival

PG pot princess mission faces resistance in affluent Black suburb 

Prince George County in Maryland, an affluent majority-Black suburban county, wants to make it more difficult for cannabis businesses to locate in its county by pushing them into industrial zones. This desire is contradicting lawmakers’ attempts to right some of the wrongs of the War on Drugs by creating legal cannabis business opportunities for Black people. The Washington Post focused on Hope Wiseman, a young Black woman who started Mary & Main in 2018 and her experience owning a cannabis business. The state is attempting to pass legislation to prevent MD counties from controlling the locations of dispensaries. 

Festival canceled and Youngkin draws criticism 

A Virginia Senator criticized Gov. Youngkin for vetoing a bill that would have given resentencing relief to people with cannabis convictions. Other senators said that it will likely be 2027 or later before adult-use cannabis launches under a new governor.

  • 420 festival was abruptly canceled due to low ticket sales according to organizers. 

Paste Magazine did a deep dive into the cannabis industry in Virginia.

East Coast Round Up

New York is continuing to attempt to flip its legal market on. There are currently 112 adult-use cannabis dispensaries across New York State.  

Around the country

Dutchie, a cannabis tech company that supports many dispensary’s back and front ends, crashed on 4/20 for six hours. It crashed last year for a little under two. Some businesses said they lost close to $100,000 in sales. 

After a rollercoaster of boom and bust, the US hemp industry seems to be finding its footing. According to a new USDA report, prices and acreage for domestic hemp are stabilizing or even growing in many states.

A Colorado bill that forces social media platforms to ban people who talk about psychedelics and other state legal drugs is a step closer to passing. 

Arizona’s cannabis social equity program failed to help communities harmed by the war on drugs. A bill to return licenses to original winners (only 3 of 26 remain) failed due to opposition from the governor and an unlikely ally, a conservative lawmaker against social equity.

Culture & More

A new Harris Poll found widespread surprise about continued marijuana prohibition, with high use rates and declining stigma: six in ten Americans are surprised cannabis hasn’t been legalized. It also found four in 10 adults are cannabis consumers. 

A Gallup poll found one in ten Americans use cannabis at least 10 times a month.

A little over 50% of U.S. adults have tried cannabis according to 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

From the Swamp

No news on rescheduling or rescheduling this week, but lots of political posturing by the Biden administration. 

Oregon’s Democratic representative told Ask a Pol that cannabis is a “sleeper issue” this election. A California Democratic told Ask a Pol that there is no need to pressure Biden on expungements because it’s “a given.”

The Justice Department is cracking down on cannabis businesses suspected of illegally getting COVID relief loans, with whistleblowers potentially profiting by reporting them.

The House Cannabis bill got two new cosponsors for a total of 115. Former Senator Cory Gardener told a Benzinga conference that banking reform is closer than ever. We are not holding our breath.

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