The case is titled Genetixs, LLC v. Julio Jones, followed by nine other individual and entity-named-defendants including retired Falcon receiver Roddy White. (White is listed individually in the charging document by his formal name, Sharod White.)
Additionally, White’s Mississippi LLC, “SLW Holdings,” is the fifth defendant in the civil case. Jones and White, through White’s LLC, had invested millions of dollars to start and operate a Southern California grow facility, Genetixs. The NFL players, through the holding company, shared a fractionalized ownership interest in the cultivation business with other Genetixs company members. In sum, the cultivation business, Genetixs, operated by the man Jones and White installed as the grow house’s chairman, is now suing the players and others involved in the business.
The 26-page civil complaint (also referred to as the “July 2021 lawsuit”) has been circulating across the Internet and the allegations are incendiary. Genetixs, a California LLC, which operated a grow house in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., has charged that each of civil defendants named in the case participated in a scheme that diverted over $3 million of cannabis a month from March to July 2021 from the Genetixs’ grow facility.
The accusations include claims that associates of Jones, White and others involved in Genetixs’ operations had siphoned off “400 to 2000 pounds of cannabis” through a hole in the wall of Genetixs’ Desert Hot Springs grow facility during an almost six-month period.
It also is alleged that Jones and White, and others, “facilitated” the dissipation of millions of dollars of what should have been Genetixs’ proceeds, and even enabled a former Genetixs employee (who had been hired by the LLC members on day one to build out and manage the grow site and was then fired a year later) to stay on, with family, as squatters at the facility.
After years of regulatory limbo that allowed registered patients in Georgia to possess—but not purchase—low-THC cannabis oil, the state has established a regulated market and has licensed six businesses to produce and sell the oil.
However, some industry stakeholders question the state’s licensing process and the businesses that ultimately won the right to operate in Georgia’s market.
“The process was relatively secretive for these companies to go out and apply for and receive these licenses,” Ryan Ralston, executive director of Peachtree NORML, told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary.
In 2015, Georgia legalized the possession of cannabis oil containing a maximum of 5% THC. In 2019, Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill that legalized the production and sale of low-THC cannabis oil in the state, and Ralston said Peachtree NORML followed this legislation closely.
“One of the things that really stuck out to us was the fact that if a grower was going to apply for a Class I or a Class II license, right off the bat, they were going to have to be willing to waive their Fourth Amendment rights,” he said. “Basically, if you were going to operate as a dispensary, you had to sign a Fourth Amendment waiver, allowing local, state, and federal officials and law enforcement officials at any given time to enter your property without a warrant and search your property. That was one of the initial red flags on the legislation that we opposed.”
During the keynote session titled “Sue’n the DEA: The Story of a Cannabis Research Breakthrough,” Dr. Sisley—a pioneering medical cannabis researcher and volunteer medical director for more than 40 state cannabis licenses—will share her journey on navigating scientific and legal complexities of medical cannabis research. Dr. Sisley will highlight cutting-edge discoveries from her roles in cannabis studies for pain management and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as a substitution therapy for opioids, and more.
Dr. Sisley will also explain how she and two lawyers took on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) through litigation and succeeded—eliminating the 52-year-old government-enforced research monopoly and eventually acquiring a Schedule I research license to cultivate cannabis flower for Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved clinical trials.
The Day 2 keynote session will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 25 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. PT.
“In a year when the potential for federal legalization has come front and center for this now-deemed essential business, it’s an especially exciting time to be highlighting the part my team and I have played in pushing the boundaries of what is truly possible with medical cannabis,” Sisley said. “I’m looking forward to sharing my story with the plant-touching businesses that work so hard to make medical cannabis a reality for people and exploring the ways in which we can collaborate together in furtherance of our industry goals.”
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to host Dr. Sisley at Cannabis Conference 2021 as our Day 2 keynote,” said Cannabis Conference Programming Director Cassie Neiden Tomaselli. “Dr. Sisley is the definition of a cannabis trailblazer. Her passion and perseverance for the plant, and the ways in which she and her teams have fought to prove its medical efficacy and legitimacy, are sure to inspire valuable takeaways for both industry veterans and new entrants alike.”
PRESS RELEASE - HUB International continues to strengthen its cannabis capabilities with the appointment of Evan Stait as Canada Cannabis Specialty Leader. Stait will work alongside Jay Virdi, HUB Chief Sales Officer of Cannabis Specialty for North America, in supporting the practice strategy nationally.
Stait will play a leading role in continuing the rapid growth of HUB’s presence in the cannabis industry. As Canada legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2018 and medicinal purposes in 2001, and with the continued advancements in the industry, his focus will be on enhancing cannabis insurance solutions and risk services, further developing innovative resources for clients to support their needs and expanding HUB’s knowledge and expertise to help cannabis clients succeed.
“Evan is a top producer and retail insurance advisor,” said Virdi. “With his depth of expertise and experience, Evan’s appointment further strengthens our industry leading Cannabis specialty practice group."
Stait began his insurance career in 2012 and joined HUB in 2014. He specializes in emerging and complex risk sectors, such as cannabis manufacturing, and cross-border solutions. Recently, he led the team to devise some of the first outdoor crop insurance solutions for cannabis and hemp.
Stait has also published multiple articles related to cannabis insurance risks and has been featured on industry podcasts. He received his master’s degree from the University of Alberta and carries the Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) designation.
TORONTO, Aug. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PRESS RELEASE -- The Flowr Corporation has announced it that its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, RPK Biopharma Ltd, has entered into a series of agreements with Cookies Creative Consulting and Promotions Inc. whereby RPK Biopharma will be cultivating and distributing Cookies products in Portugal from its E.U. GMP facility in Sintra. Pursuant to the terms of the licensing agreements, RPK Biopharma will cultivate and have the exclusive rights to sell Cookies branded products, including non-cannabis merchandise, in Portugal for three years subject to certain milestone commitments. Flowr has commenced the process of importing the Cookies branded genetics from Canada into Portugal and expects to be able to commence commercial production by year-end. Cookies will assist Flowr with the development of a retail distribution strategy in Portugal through the country’s existing pharmacy networks and the design of up to three proprietary retail pharmacy outlets in the country. RPK Biopharma is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Holigen Holdings Limited.
Cookies is an international cannabis brand led by Berner, co-founder and CEO of Cookies, an accomplished entrepreneur and rapper. Cookies has taken a leading role in the development of genetics, such as Girl Scout Cookies, and has been at the forefront of cannabis culture globally. Today, the Cookies brand is available in the United States, Canada, Israel and Spain. The Cookies brand extends beyond cannabis and is also a leading clothing and lifestyle brand. In 2021, Cookies was voted as one of the hottest cannabis brands in the world by Ad Age.
“We will be growing the most recognizable cannabis strains in the world in Portugal, including Gary Payton, Cereal Milk, Gelatti, Pancakes and Pink Runtz. As we do in Canada, we want our operations in Portugal to cultivate only ultra-premium medical cannabis and a partnership with Cookies was a no brainer for the company,” commented Darryl Brooker, chief executive officer of the Flowr. “We cannot wait to grow the Cookies branded genetics and proudly display their brand. Establishing this partnership is the next step in the evolution of our business in the E.U. and will provide us with a competitive advantage in the fast-growing E.U. medical cannabis market.”
“The fact Portugal decriminalized drugs back in the early 2000’s and people in the U.S. are still being locked up for cannabis 20 years later, shows the world, especially the U.S., that we can learn a lot from their forward thinking. The partners we chose in Portugal have one of the most advanced facilities I’ve seen and will be producing some of the best cannabis in the world. It’s partnerships like this that keep me excited about the growth and expansion of Cookies worldwide,” commented Berner, co-founder and CEO of Cookies.
RPK Biopharma will be cultivating the Cookies branded genetics at its 25,000-square-foot purpose-built indoor facility located in Sintra, Portugal, which is located just outside of Lisbon. The Sintra facility is an indoor cultivation, extract processing and finished product packaging facility. The Sintra facility obtained its E.U. GMP certification in the first quarter of 2020. RPK Biopharma is positioned to distribute its medicinal product to other European countries that allow the sale of medical cannabis.
Columbus, OH – PRESS RELEASE – The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol resubmitted their summary language for an initiated statute legalizing the adult use of marijuana to the Ohio Attorney General’s office on Aug. 13.
The initial summary language was rejected by the Ohio Attorney General earlier this month.
“We appreciate the Attorney General’s feedback on our initial filing, and have fully addressed the issues flagged in this updated filing” said spokesman Tom Haren. “We look forward to beginning the signature collection process upon approval of our summary language by the Attorney General.”
Because the FDA (and the DEA) previously approved CBD as an active ingredient in a pharmaceutical drug, Epidiolex, the cannabinoid is now stuck on a separate regulatory path that does not jibe with food, beverages or dietary supplements—according to the FDA’s response to applicant Charlotte’s Web. It’s a tough bit of news for the industry, but it’s also not surprising.
That’s where Congress might be able to help.
“While we disagree with FDA’s reasoning, believing we provided extensive and credible scientific evidence that supported a different outcome, this decision affirms the path to regulatory clarity must come from Congress,” Charlotte’s Web Chief Executive Officer Deanie Elsner said in a public statement.
We’re going to stay tuned on that one.
With all that said, we’ve rounded up some of the key cannabis headlines from the week right here.
The number of active patients grew by more than 46,000 during the past year, representing a 14% increase to the current total of nearly 376,000 patients, according to a licensing report released by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) on Aug. 2. That means roughly 9.4% of the state’s population is actively registered in the medical cannabis program.
Also in the report, Oklahoma has 469 more licensed businesses than this time last year, bringing the active total to 12,598. That list includes 8,625 growers, 2,325 dispensaries and 1,523 processors, in addition to transporters, laboratories and other licensees.
“Oklahoma has one of the largest programs in the country,” the Marijuana Policy Project stated in a policy update released May 3. “Despite the pandemic, the medical cannabis market has been booming, and the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority reports that the state collected over $127 million in state and local taxes from medical cannabis in 2020.”
After voters approved State Question 788 to legalized medical cannabis on June 26, 2018, Oklahoma became the quickest state in the nation to implement an effective medical cannabis law.
Less than two months following S.Q. 788’s passage, Oklahoma opened its application process for businesses and patients—OMMA received 366 patient applications and 205 commercial applications in the first hour of opening its portal. In all, 23 people were approved for medical cannabis licenses on the first day. The first sales began about a month after that.
In the episode, Power shares the most significant challenge she faced during her dispensary’s transition: how fast the turnaround time would be after Arizona legalized adult-use cannabis. On the first day of recreational sales, Power was still waiting on packaging and machinery to be delivered, while in the process of hiring staff members and opening a new retail location. It was undoubtedly a challenge but well worth it in the end. “Mistakes will be made, and it will be challenging, but they will only make you stronger on the other side,” Power said. Her advice to other dispensaries that have or will soon experience the transition is to not be too hard on themselves.
The topics covered are a glimpse of the session “Expand Your Medical Dispensary To Adult-Use: What You Need To Know” at the Cannabis Conference (Aug. 24-26 at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino). The panel discussion will cover:The challenges that came along with the shift from medical to adult-use;How to navigate the supply and demand curve while making the transition;How the medical market has changed now that adult-use is legal in Ariz.;The difference in customer profiles after making the shift; and The importance of having recognizable brands at your dispensary and communicating the significance of them.
To hear from Power in person about how to successfully expand your dispensary from medical to adult-use, register for Cannabis Conference 2021. Her session, “Expand Your Medical Dispensary To Adult-Use: What You Need To Know,” will be held Aug. 24 from 11:20 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT. Register before rates increase Aug. 20, 2021. Click hereto review pricing and to register.
Tune in to new episodes of Beyond the Show every Friday on Spotify, Google Play, iTunes or CannabisBusinessTimes.com.]]>
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed 30 bills into law Aug. 10, including one that would allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis for patients with opioid use disorder.
House Bill 605 also allows out-of-state patients to access medical cannabis in New Hampshire, as long as they are qualified medical cannabis patients in another state.
The new law takes effect in October, and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services will be responsible for adopting rules regarding how dispensaries can verify out-of-state patients’ credentials.
Tangelo Flo offers a balanced cannabinoid profile (a “type-II” chemotype, in parlance that’s making its way into the commercial space, meaning one that features a mixed-ratio cannabinoid profile). Even as high-THC cultivars and products continue to top the sales charts, industry chatter is keen on a more balanced suite of chemicals. That’s where FRB Genetics’ R&D work has taken the team, led by Reggie Gaudino.
A cross of Green Crack and Cherry Wine, the new cultivar boasts approximately 31% total cannabinoids and a rich, citrus-forward mango flavor. Green Crack is a THC heavyweight, and Cherry Wine is a popular hemp variety.
Front Range Biosciences runs a marker-assisted hemp breeding program, and the Cherry Wine options were fairly limitless for the FRB Genetics team. (FRB Genetics licenses the breeding technology from Front Range Biosciences, which is not a plant-touching company.) Gaudino’s wanted to showcase some of the good work being done on those hemp varieties—and perhaps usher those genetics into the broader adult-use cannabis space.
The Cherry Wine side of the equation posed an interesting challenge, because Gaudino’s team was looking for a high CBD producer that could also remain compliant as a hemp variety (clocking in under 0.3% THC content). That’s no small task. This process involved thousands of seeds and countless hours spent observing the different Cherry Wine plants. They landed on an ideal phenotype, one that brought a robust plant structure and healthy yield to the breeding process with Green Crack’s THC powerhouse lineage.
The parent plants here offered a vitality that would make growers’ jobs much easier—something that’s important when bringing commercial considerations into the breeding process.
“Aurum has always been at the forefront of cannabis and hemp testing. We strive to meet and exceed the requirements of the state, ISO, and the federal government by innovating quickly,” says Aurum’s owner and Lab Director Luke Mason. “Being nimble makes it possible for us to get certified by the state while simultaneously working our way through DEA registration.”
The CDPHE’s Industrial Hemp Lab Certification is the first of its kind for any state and Aurum Labs is one of only two CDPHE Certified Hemp Testing Labs in the nation. Colorado is requiring industrial hemp manufacturers and wholesalers to conduct a robust suite of compliance tests that includes potency, microbial contaminants, pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, and mycotoxins. This panel of tests is required for industrial hemp products intended for human consumption, which is anything ingested or applied topically. Aurum Labs adheres to the most stringent hemp testing lab standards in the nation.
The process to become DEA registered poses additional challenges because of Aurum Labs’ classification as a Colorado Marijuana Testing Facility. With Schedule I substances on premises, Aurum had to postpone DEA inspection to avoid potential criminal charges and is now navigating a more rigorous registration process.
Current DEA registered labs received approval because they were either new to cannabis and hemp testing or they recently opened a new location without Schedule I substances already on site. Registering operational labs with cannabis samples on site has forced the DEA to redesign how they register existing labs, putting Aurum at the center of this groundbreaking development.
“The CDPHE hemp testing requirements are the most extensive in the nation and we are excited to provide this quality of testing to the national market ahead of federal regulations,” says Liz Mason, Aurum Labs’ director of operations. “I believe that our DEA registration will be a testament to our commitment to the hemp industry. We want to continue to provide comprehensive compliance testing to an industry that is still managing risk in a turbulent legal environment.”]]>
Charlotte’s Web had submitted an application requesting FDA approval of a full-spectrum hemp extract that includes CBD. The FDA objected to the application, pointing out that just a few years ago it had already sent CBD down the path of active ingredients in pharmaceutical drugs—putting the cannabinoid at odds with the ingestible food and beverage and dietary supplement market. In 2018, the FDA approved GW Pharmaceuticals’ epilepsy drug, Epidiolex, which contained CBD as an active ingredient. (The Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA] later followed that move with its own approval of Epidiolex, as well.)
“CBD is the active ingredient in the approved drug product, Epidiolex. Furthermore, the existence of substantial clinical investigations involving CBD has been made public,” Cara Welch, acting director of the FDA’s Office of Dietary Supplement Programs, wrote in a letter to Charlotte’s Web. “Accordingly, your product may not be marketed as or in a dietary supplement.”
Seeing a catch-22 in any future CBD application to the FDA, the team at Charlotte’s Web pointed to the U.S. Congress as an inevitable arbiter of this debate. The FDA, it is being reasoned, sent CBD down one regulatory path—closing off another regulatory path before the market had a chance to catch up.
“While we disagree with FDA’s reasoning, believing we provided extensive and credible scientific evidence that supported a different outcome, this decision affirms the path to regulatory clarity must come from Congress,” Charlotte’s Web Chief Executive Officer Deanie Elsner said in a statement, as published by Bloomberg.
In a public statement released by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, the organization echoed Elsner’s reference to the legislative branch in Washington, D.C: “This should be a clarion call to Congress that it is time to step in and pass legislation to ensure that CBD products are held to the same standard as all dietary supplements and food ingredients, and to reject an NDIN-only path. It’s been more than two and a half years since hemp was legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill, and without congressional intervention, the hemp farming industry will continue to struggle, and consumers stand to lose as well.”
Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana met the signature requirement last year to place a medical cannabis legalization measure on the state’s 2020 ballot, but the group’s victory was short-lived after the Nebraska Supreme Court struck down the measure before Election Day.
Now, Jared Moffat, who has worked on the Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana campaign through his role as a campaigns coordinator for the Marijuana Policy Project, said the campaign is retooling its efforts with plans to put the issue on the 2022 ballot.
“It’s been a long journey, that’s for sure,” Moffat told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “After the Supreme Court kicked us off the ballot last year, the campaign committee wanted to respond and signal to everyone that we weren’t giving up.”
Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana filed a single-sentence constitutional initiative for the 2022 ballot, hoping to avoid a similar legal challenge as last year, when opponents argued that the ballot language included more than one question, thus violating the single-subject rule outlined in the Nebraska Constitution.
Signed into law by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on June 15, House Bill 1535 expands the state’s medical cannabis qualifying conditions to include cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
House members originally passed the legislation to include chronic pain as a qualifying condition, in a 134-12 vote on April 28, but the Senate nixed that condition from its amended legislation that passed in a 31-0 vote a month later.
The House also intended on raising the THC limit for medical cannabis from 0.5% to 5%, but the Senate lowered that increase to 1% in its approved version of the bill. The THC cap differs from many other state medical programs that don't have low-potency limits, like neighboring Oklahoma.
Republican Rep. Stephanie Klick, who sponsored H.B. 1535, had the opportunity to reject the Senate’s changes with her fellow sponsors in the lower chamber. But, instead of risking the watered-down expansion to the medical program, the House concurred in a 119-25 vote.
AUSTIN, Texas (Aug. 12, 2021)—PRESS RELEASE—Fluence by OSRAM, a global provider of energy-efficient LED lighting solutions for commercial cannabis and food production, announced today the results from a series of multiyear global studies analyzing the effects of broad-spectrum white light on cannabis, Merlice tomatoes and bell peppers.
The studies found that while spectrum sensitivity is cultivar-dependent, broad-spectrum lighting strategies—which include green light and other wavelengths largely absent in narrow-band spectra—improved crop yield, morphology and overall performance in selected cultivars when compared to narrow-band spectra with high ratios of red and far-red wavelengths.
“The results from our global studies show how effective broad-spectrum white light can be in improving crop performance for many cultivators around the world,” said Dr. David Hawley, principal scientist at Fluence. “Broad-spectrum strategies are about balance and flexibility in the spectrum itself as well as the overall cultivation approach. While there are certain scenarios in which narrow-band spectra, or pink light, may make sense from an energy efficiency or crop production perspective, we’ve found that many cultivars simply perform better under broad spectra across the KPIs cultivators care about most: yield, morphology and overall quality. Our latest research empowers us with new insights to assess each grower’s objectives, weigh those objectives against a facility’s unique financial, environmental and energy parameters, and then ultimately derive a tailored solution for each cultivator.”
A collaborative study with Wageningen University and Research (WUR)—led by researchers Leo Marcelis and Ep Heuvelink—evaluated differences in yield, morphology, development and quality for Merlice tomatoes grown with the VYPR top light series under four light spectra: PhysioSpec BROAD R4, PhysioSpec BROAD R6, PhysioSpec BROAD R8 and PhysioSpec DUAL R9B. BROAD R4, R6 and R8 all contain significant fractions of green light and other photosynthetically active wavelengths, while DUAL R9B is a narrow-band spectrum that contains almost no green light.
Rutherford, CA - August 12, 2021 - PRESS RELEASE - Today, Napa Valley Fumé introduced fumé, a modern cannabis brand for the experienced cannabis consumer. The strains showcased in the fumé line are hand-selected based on their unique terpene profiles and the sustainability practices of the grower—to highlight the best of #CaliforniaCannabis.
fumé was created for the informed cannabis consumer who understands that terpenes are key players in their experience and that THC simply introduces the psychoactive element. These consumers care about how their cannabis is grown—having a strong passion for the environment—and believe in giving back to the cannabis community.
“We are thrilled to bring fumé to market,” said Eric Sklar, co-founder and CEO of Napa Valley Fumé. “We took two years to develop the brand, keeping the customer in mind with every decision made from the sustainability of the packaging to the quality and uniqueness of the featured strains. We believe fumé will set the new standard for the premium cannabis segment. ”
Unique, high-quality cannabis, grown responsibly
fumé strains are uncommon as they are small-batch cannabis with complex cannabinoid and terpene profiles that deliver a full-spectrum experience. The strains are visually appealing, have vibrant colors and produce enticing aromas when squeezed. Each large bud was cured to perfection and hand-trimmed with care.
In the latest lawsuit over Illinois’ cannabis retail licensing process, a judge has barred the state from issuing any new dispensary licenses—including those for medical retailers—until the case is settled.
Wah claims state officials told the company it would qualify for the next lottery, which occurred Aug. 5, but Wah alleges in its lawsuit that the scoring process was flawed.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 16, the Chicago Tribune reported, and Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobius has ordered the state not to award any new cannabis retail licenses until he issues a ruling.
Illinois plans to hold a third and final licensing lottery Aug. 19, but the court order means that the 185 dispensary licenses issued during the lotteries are on hold until the case is settled. State officials have noted that the lottery results may change based on further court orders or administrative review, according to the Chicago Tribune.
When Denver-based Lightshade and multi-state operator Holistic Industries made the switch from high pressure sodium (HPS) lighting to light-emitting diode (LED) technology in their cannabis cultivation facilities, each operation’s retrofit presented its own set of challenges and lessons learned, but both journeys started with similar reasons for the switch.
Dan Banks, the vice president of cultivation for Lightshade, says he analyzed the total amount of illumination needed at the company’s 20,000-square-foot greenhouse facility and determined that the 336 supplemental HPS lights in the space did not provide enough luminosity.
“You can get more illumination per watt of power used by the LEDs versus traditional HID/HPS lighting,” Banks says. “It’s more bang for your energy buck. For us, it was less about using less energy and more about using the energy more efficiently.”
In the spring of 2020, Lightshade installed roughly 200 of Fluence by OSRAM’s VYPR LED fixtures to complement its HPS lighting, and this past spring, the company commenced replacing all of its HPS lights with 440 additional LED fixtures.
“In terms of selecting the Fluence VYPR, my colleague, Nick [Drury], in his capacity working for MJardin in the past, had done a lot of different trials with LED lights, and he had liked what he had seen with Fluence,” Banks says. “… You know that they’re investing in the further development and R&D of their fixtures, and you know they’re going to support the lighting technology. That was big for us.”
A group of Democratic state lawmakers in Wisconsin gathered at a dispensary in South Beloit, Ill., Aug. 10 to announce the introduction of a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis.
Rep. Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit), Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) and Sen. Melissa Agard (D-Madison) were joined by Beloit City Council President Clinton Anderson and Rock County District 15 Supervisor Yuri Rashkin at the Sunnyside dispensary in South Beloit to introduce the legislation, which the sponsors said would generate new tax revenue for the state and address the racial inequities of cannabis prohibition, according to a Beloit Daily News report.
Spreitzer, Bowen and Agard estimated that an adult-use cannabis market in Wisconsin could generate $160 million in annual tax revenue, and the legislation would earmark 60% of this revenue for a community reinvestment fund to support communities that were most disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.
“However you feel about cannabis use, keeping it illegal isn’t helping anything. It’s only hurting. The people of Wisconsin are ready for legalization,” Spreitzer said when the trio of lawmakers unveiled the bill, according to Beloit Daily News.
The legislators referenced cannabis tax revenue in Illinois, the news outlet reported, which hit another record in July when the state’s dispensaries reported $127.8 million in adult-use sales.