Burners Block is building compassion in DMV cannabis, D.C. sends cease and desists to unlicensed operators

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Williams gives away prerolls and food to community members.

Featured interview: Burners Block, building a compassionate cannabis community in the DMV

Welcome to The Outlaw Report’s new Q&A series, focused on the cannabis landscape of the Mid-Atlantic. Our series aims to shine a spotlight on the trailblazers and experts who are shaping the local cannabis industry. Through their first-hand experience and insights, we explore the successes, challenges, and stories of businesses and individuals at the forefront of cannabis policy, business and innovation in the region.
Our fourth interview features Burners Block, an organization focused on uniting Maryland’s Canna Community through advocacy, education and grassroots initiatives. Shawn Williams is the founder and CEO of Burners Block established in 2019. The organization recently partnered with Grow West to host a book drive. Williams is also a graduate of the University of Maryland’s cannabis program. Click the link to read the full interview!

Cease and desist orders given to four unlicensed D.C. dispensaries

Update: Safe House notified the Outlaw that they applied for a medical license on July 1, 2024. However, this does not allow them to continue gifting operations. 

City investigators delivered cease-and-desist orders to four stores after emergency legislation passed to expand the Alcohol Beverage and Cannabis Administration’s (ABCA’s) power to close unlicensed operators. While ABCA was already able to deliver cease-and-desist orders, last week’s legislation gives the agency more power to follow up and force businesses to close, even padlocking the stores like New York City officials.

ABCA gave unlicensed operators three months to transition to the legal market. Fewer than 100 shops applied despite estimates of hundreds in the city. A few of the first shops to apply have already opened as legal dispensaries. The medical market is struggling in the city, causing the legal market to pressure officials to close unlicensed shops that are leaching business from regulated dispensaries. Orders were served to HOTBOX, Smoke Island, Safe House and All American Papers. 

  • Last week, ABC’s Investigative agenda addressed the four unlicensed shops that received cease-and-desists in a closed meeting. 
  • We launched a map of legal dispensaries. 
  • The next ABC meeting is Wednesday, July 10, 2024, at 10:30 a.m.
  • The agenda says they will only be reviewing two agreements between ANCs and dispensaries. 
  • A congressional brief said rescheduling could allow D.C. to legalize adult-use cannabis, but complications could arise.  

One billion dollars in 365 days of MD expand cannabis sales

Maryland surpassed $1.1 billion in cannabis sales within a year of legalization. Adult-use sales make up the majority, exceeding $700 million. Governor Moore highlighted the economic benefits and focus on social equity within the new industry in a press release. The tax report was updated after a slight reporting error.

Virginia launches survey to improve medical cannabis program

The Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) is conducting a survey to assess patient satisfaction with the state’s medical cannabis program. The survey is open to medical cannabis patients, their parents/guardians and registered agents. It aims to understand how well the program serves patients and identify areas for improvement. Participation is anonymous and takes about 15 minutes.

East Coast Roundup

Delaware officials warned about scams targeting people applying for marijuana social equity licenses. 

The Massachusetts Inspector General who criticized the state’s Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) will speak to lawmakers today. 

New York City sheriffs busted an unlicensed distributor, detaining two people and confiscating at least 50 pounds of cannabis flower, a printing press, edibles and concentrates. 

North Carolina’s attempt to legalize medical cannabis failed again this year due to Republican opposition. However, an indigenous tribe in the state launched cannabis sales to all federally recognized tribal members. 

Culture & More 

A new federal sentencing report for 2023 found that drug trafficking cases that involved cannabis fell by 66.5% since 2019. 

Germany legalized recreational cannabis possession for adults in April, allowing people to carry up to 25 grams and grow up to three plants at home. However, the rollout has been slow due to strict regulations.

A small Canadian town known for relaxation also hosts Optimi Health’s massive legal psychedelic mushroom farm. 

Dos-Noun, a federal prisoner in Pennsylvania, wrote an essay describing cannabis use being common within the prison. He says it’s risky because even a small amount can lead to punishment, though some staff turn a blind eye.

Around the Country 

Despite a downward trend in California’s overall cannabis sales since early 2021, some pockets of the state are defying the trend. 

The DEA is proposing to reschedule cannabis as a Schedule III drug, meaning it would be recognized as a medication. However, this doesn’t mean it will be readily available in pharmacies.


California now requires responsible disposal of marijuana vape pens and batteries at hazardous waste facilities, and prohibits marketing them as“disposable.”

From the swamp

The Supreme Court’s decision on Chevron deference has caused debate about its impact on cannabis rescheduling. Some experts say the ruling won’t affect rescheduling much. Even without Chevron giving agencies more power, courts will still respect their decisions due to other factors. Others argue the ruling actually helps rescheduling by removing excuses the DEA previously used to reject rescheduling petitions. Some believe the ruling significantly hinders rescheduling. – Cultivated, a 5-minute daily newsletter for cannabis industry and policy professionals.  Subscribe today


The House cannabis banking bill received three new Democratic supporters for a total of 126

Shrooms

Public health officials warn that unregulated microdosing treats might contain harmful synthetic chemicals or even extracts from toxic mushrooms. While some claim to have psilocybin (a hallucinogenic compound legal in two states), the actual content is unknown and potentially dangerous.

The FDA is investigating a potential death linked to “Diamond Shruumz,” a magic mushroom candy. This follows a previous investigation into illnesses caused by the same product.

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