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NORWOOD, Mass., August 10, 2021 -- PRESS RELEASE -- MariMed Inc., a multi-state cannabis operator focused on health and wellness, has announced a series of appointments intended to help the company drive sales of its award-winning brand portfolio.  

Senior CPG marketer and former Sam Adams beer Chief Marketing Officer, Robert Hall, has been appointed as a Senior Brand and Marketing Advisor to MariMed. In that capacity, he will help MariMed establish data-supported, distinct brand strategies and brand building techniques as the company expands the distribution of its top selling brands and products across the country. Hall will also assist the company in the expansion of its marketing team and organization. 

Hall has been recognized for helping transform both the U.S. craft beer (Sam Adams brand) and hard seltzer (Truly brand) categories while working at the Boston Beer Company. Earlier in his career in a series of senior leadership roles, Hall was responsible for the overall marketing and profitability for Kellogg Company’s new Cereals and the marketing of the Natural & Functional Foods division. 

Kevin Compagna has joined MariMed as Vice President, Wholesale & Licensing for North America. The accomplished sales executive will be responsible for driving revenues and market share for the company’s top-selling products, including Betty’s Eddies fruit chews and Nature’s Heritage high quality flower brand, in markets where MariMed is already licensed as well as new markets via licensing partnerships. 

Compagna brings over two decades of spirits, beer and carbonated beverage sales experience, representing the full Constellation Brands portfolio at distributor Horizon Beverage, the Stirrings division of Diageo, the Moet Hennessy portfolio for that company, and Pepsi-Cola products as a Key Accounts Manager before that. 

LAS VEGAS, NV / Aug. 11, 2021 – Cannabis Conference and award-winning media brand Cannabis Business Times are pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Cannabis Leadership Awards , which recognize cannabis industry professionals who exemplify the leadership qualities needed to inspire and empower those around them and who work to better the industry and their communities.

The 2021 Cannabis Leadership Awards winners are:

Ngiste Abebe – VP of Public Policy, Columbia Care Graham Farrar - Co-Founder, President & Board Director, Glass House Brands Kevin Kuethe – VP of Cultivation, Lume Cannabis Co. Josh Malman - VP of Cultivation, Jushi Holdings Inc.Lilach Mazor Power – Founder & CEO, Giving Tree Dispensary Troy Meadows – Co-Founder & CMO, Legion of Bloom

Winners were selected from nominations of cannabis industry professionals from cultivation and/or vertically integrated companies (with cultivation and retail operations) in North America.

The award recipients will be recognized at an invite-only awards dinner and reception during Cannabis Conference on Aug. 25. In addition, they are featured in the August issue of Cannabis Business Times magazine, and their profiles are available at www.CannabisBusinessTimes.com.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to honor these six individuals whose visions and values are an inspiration to their teams and others in the industry,” said Cannabis Conference Editorial Director Noelle Skodzinski. “This year’s honorees stood out for their accomplishments in building employee culture, scaling businesses responsibly and sustainably, furthering cannabis legalization, prioritizing social equity, giving back to their communities and more. In this burgeoning industry, the Cannabis Leadership Awards are an opportunity to recognize the work of those paving the way for future generations of cannabis leaders to come.”

The Cannabis Leadership Awards are made possible with support from FOHSE – Future of Horticultural Science + Engineering.

Preventing outbreaks of pests and diseases in growing facilities is a top priority for cannabis cultivators, which is why Harbor Farmz utilizes tissue culture to create the healthiest mother stock plants possible for its nearly 11,000-square-foot canopy.

“The really good thing about having tissue culture in a production facility is that tissue culture is free of any kind of diseases like powdery mildew, botrytis or any kind of viruses, which let's face it, can make or break a facility,” says Deb Sweeney, tissue culture lab director at Harbor Farmz. “It also reinvigorates the cultivars. When you've been cloning plants, you're cutting them over and over. There's an open wound there and what's the plant going to try to do? It's going to try to heal itself. When there's an open wound, any kind of systemic disease can go in there.”

Tissue culture plants are incredibly tender and delicate, so Harbor Farmz must provide the best growing environment possible to ensure these plants get a strong start before advancing through its growth stages, Sweeney says. And lighting is one of the most important factors in achieving success throughout the growth cycle.

Here, Sweeney and Allister Malcolm, who also works in the tissue culture lab, share four best practices for lighting in tissue culture.

 

1. Start Slow and Low

Working in tissue culture is akin to trialing all of the time, as each cultivar has different lighting preferences, Sweeney says.

What started as a tour to celebrate summer and highlight a new line of cannabis edibles transformed into an effort to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to the people of Colorado during a series of pop-up vaccination clinics this past weekend.

Wana Brands, a cannabis edibles manufacturer, and The Green Solution, a Colorado-based dispensary chain, partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the local community during Denver-area stops along Wana’s Summer of Quick Tour.

The tour, which launched in early July to kick off the summer, initially aimed to highlight Wana’s Quick Fast-Acting Gummies. The company set up a van at dispensary locations along the tour to celebrate the new product line.

“It was basically a pop-up in the parking lot, and that was inspired more or less from the post-COVID summer that everybody was really looking forward to,” Kim Gibson, a territory account manager for Wana Brands, told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “They had the vaccinations, and there was this real sense of getting out and everybody being social again.”

As the summer progressed and more information surfaced about the Delta variant of COVID-19, Wana and The Green Solution wanted to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 10, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Confia, a leading technology platform for financial compliance, B2B/B2C transactions and secure banking services designed for the cannabis industry, announced its expansion to the East Coast, starting with Massachusetts, as the cannabis market continues to grow. Confia operates as the DBA for PointChain. The company is offering its core banking and transaction capabilities to East Coast cannabis operators, and plans to add additional services in short order. The expansion accompanies its launch of new marketing divisions and opening of new headquarters in Irvine, Calif.  

The ever-changing landscape of transactional banking for the cannabis industry has propelled Confia’s growth in recent months, where it now has full coverage in California, the world’s largest legalized cannabis market. Utilizing programmatic technology, Confia provides cannabis operators with access to affordable and efficient financial services that support the compliance and transactional complexity of the cannabis industry. With services such as API and web-based capabilities and new transaction features including escrow-based transaction contracts, Confia has created a technology-based ecosystem designed to enable the entire cannabis supply chain. 

Following its early success on the West Coast, the company is expanding to the East Coast market, with the goal of assisting up-and-coming operators looking to scale into new and emerging markets. The company is beta testing the platform first in Massachusetts before increasing Confia’s service area up to nine states by the end of 2021.

“Confia differs from other banking solutions in that it not only provides access to traditional banking services for cannabis businesses, it leverages an industry leading automated platform that offers a full suite of transactional-based financial solutions,” Confia CEO Mark Lozzi said. “We built Confia with the entire cannabis supply chain in mind, not just as a banking solution. For example, our cutting-edge automated transaction contracts will simplify the flow of funds within the industry, create trust and instill confidence among cannabis operators transacting with one another. We have worked with some of the largest operators on the West Coast, and with new states coming online every day, we are both excited and humbled to be taking our platform to the East Coast, starting with our beta launch in Massachusetts, and our sights set on Michigan and Florida next.”

Confia differs from other cannabis financial service providers with benefits such as:

 FDIC-insured eligible accounts Low-cost, high-limit cash deposits Incoming/outgoing ACH & wires Check deposits and payroll processing Automated compliance filing (SARS/CTRS) and tax payments  Touchless and low-cost consumer transactions 

Confia streamlines complex financial processes for the cannabis industry, addressing both compliance and secure payments in real time. As a licensed money services provider, Confia offers traditional banking and cash management services, bill pay services, unlimited B2B payments, API-powered payment solutions that service both businesses and the consumer, and lending solutions desperately needed in the cannabis space. To learn more about Confia, visit www.confia.io

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Maine’s adult-use cannabis sales surpassed $9 million in July, a 45% increase over June, according to a CentralMaine.com report.

Office of Marijuana Policy Director David Heidrich has attributed the increase in sales to summer tourism, market growth and the Fourth of July holiday, the news outlet reported.

Maine’s 44 licensed adult-use retailers reported 124,004 transactions last month that totaled $9.4 million, which generated $943,500 in tax revenue for the state.

Adult-use cannabis sales launched last October, and July marks the first month that adult-use sales have matched medical sales in the state, according to CentralMaine.com.

Maine’s adult-use market has reported about $38.7 million in total sales since the market launched last fall, the news outlet reported, and the state has raked in more than $3.8 million in total tax revenue.

SEATTLE and NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- PRESS RELEASE -- Leafly Holdings Inc., an online cannabis discovery marketplace and resource for cannabis consumers, and Merida Merger Corp. I (NASDAQ: MCMJ), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Merida Capital Holdings, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement with respect to a business combination. Upon completion of the proposed transaction, Merida will adopt the Leafly name and its common stock is expected to be listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol LFLY. The transaction values the combined company at an implied, fully diluted enterprise value of approximately $385 million and equity value of approximately $532 million, subject to any redemptions by Merida stockholders.

Based in Seattle, Wash., Leafly is a content-first, community-driven, three-sided marketplace that attracts the world's largest cannabis audience. Across its website and mobile app, Leafly empowers a highly engaged audience of more than 125 million annual visitors to understand, select and reserve cannabis products from licensed retailers.

Leafly provides a subscription-based platform for more than 7,800 brands and 4,600 paying retail subscribers. Approximately 55% of North American retail licensees are currently subscribed to its marketplace and advertising services. As a non-plant touching platform with leading brand recognition, a user-friendly experience, and an established position in core growth markets, Leafly is well positioned to capitalize on accelerating legalization trends and e-commerce adoption across North America.

Yoko Miyashita, chief executive officer of Leafly, said, "For the past decade, we have focused on building a unique, legally compliant marketplace with an equal emphasis on educating consumers and enabling them to reserve cannabis products from legal, reputable providers. With this transaction, we are looking forward to entering the next phase of our company's journey – creating more personalized consumer experiences, driving more value to our retail partners, amplifying brands on our platform, and further scaling our presence in local markets as legalization continues. Our consumers recognize Leafly as one of the most trusted brands in cannabis, and we do not take that trust for granted. We are excited to partner with Merida's deeply experienced team to create even more value for our consumers, partners and shareholders."

Peter Lee, president of Merida Merger Corp. I, commented, "Merida Capital is very excited to be involved in this transformative event for Leafly. We have seen firsthand how consumers respond to Leafly's innovative technology and proprietary insights. Leafly has a proven flywheel and clear and achievable growth plans, and we look forward to leveraging our team's demonstrated track record with other high growth ancillary cannabis companies to support their transition to the public market."

The cultivation, sale and use of medical cannabis is now legal in Western North Carolina, specifically in the Qualla Boundary, after the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians announced the approval on Aug. 5. 

New Mexico’s Cannabis Control Division announced the members of its Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee on Aug. 6.

The advisory committee was created by the Cannabis Regulation Act, the state’s adult-use cannabis law, to weigh in on the rulemaking process. The group will advise the Cannabis Control Division on the development of regulations covering best practices, the promotion of economic and cultural diversity in cannabis licensing and employment opportunities, and the protection of public health and safety.

The following people will serve on the Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee:

A cannabis policy advocacy organization, Emily Kaltenbach, Santa Fe CountyA labor organization, Esther Lopez, Bernalillo CountyA qualified patient, Nathaniel PaolinelliA state or local agency with relevant expertise as the Director and the Superintendent deems appropriate, Paul Haidle, Bernalillo CountyAn Indian nation, tribe or pueblo with relevant experience as the Director and the Superintendent deem appropriate, Perry Martinez, San Ildefonso PuebloExpertise in public health, Steven Jenison, Santa Fe CountyExpertise regulating commercial activity for adult-use intoxicating substances, Lou Ann Branch, Bernalillo CountyExpertise and experience in cannabis laboratory science, Ginger Baker, Bernalillo CountyExperience in environmental science, Miguel Santistevan, Taos CountyExpertise in small business development, Chase Gentry, Curry CountyExpertise in water resources, Harold Trujillo, Mora CountyExpertise in other relevant areas as the Director and the Superintendent deem appropriate, President Richard Bailey, Rio Arriba CountyPrevious experience as a cannabis retailer, cannabis producer or cannabis manufacturer and who is a non-voting member, Rachael Speegle, Bernalillo CountyChief Public Defender Bennett Baur, Santa Fe CountyEddy County Sheriff Mark Cage, Eddy CountyFirst Judicial District Attorney, Mary Carmack-Altwies, Santa Fe CountyRoswell Police Chief Phil Smith, Chaves County

“I am excited to work with this outstanding and diverse advisory committee to make sure that real people, from all walks of life and all parts of the state, have a strong, clear voice as the adult-use cannabis industry starts up in New Mexico,” Regulation and Licensing Department Superintendent Linda Trujillo said in a public statement. “Adult-use cannabis is creating exciting economic opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs and communities around the state. With this committee’s guidance, we will continue to meet our goal of making this new industry accessible.”

RELATED: New Mexico Prepares for April Launch of Adult-Use Cannabis Sales

As cannabis policy reform continues to sweep the country, groups in several states are launching grassroots efforts to put decriminalization and legalization measures in front of voters in the November 2022 election.

This week, we’ve rounded up headlines on campaigns celebrating important milestones in the ballot initiative process—and those that have run into setbacks—as well as news on licensing lottery winners in Illinois, lawsuits to note in California and Oklahoma, and more.

On the ballot initiative front, Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan has conditionally approved two cannabis-related measures for the state’s 2022 ballot, allowing the local organizations supporting the initiatives to begin gathering signatures. One measure would legalize medical cannabis, while the other would decriminalize cannabis for personal use. Read more

Idaho cannabis advocates are also trying to get a medical cannabis legalization initiative and a decriminalization measure before voters next year in what Idaho Citizens for Coalition for Cannabis Spokesperson Russ Belville calls “the most hostile state” toward policy reform. Both initiatives must gather 64,946 signatures by May 1, 2022, to make the ballot. Read more

A push to get an adult-use legalization proposal before lawmakers in Ohio could be in trouble after Attorney General Dave Yost ruled that a summary of the initiative petition was not a “fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.” Read more

BOCA RATON, Florida, August 5, 2021—PRESS RELEASE--Jushi Holdings Inc., a vertically integrated, multi-state cannabis operator, announced a series of upcoming launches of branded cannabis products in the Commonwealth of Virginia, beginning with the debut of its brand, The Lab, in the form of .5g and .3g vaporizable cartridges. The company is expected to launch the brand, Tasteology, beginning with its chewables line in the coming weeks. With Virginia set to start flower sales in late Q3 or early Q4, Jushi also plans to launch two of its flower brands, The Bank and Sèche, to help meet growing patient demands. Jushi's brands will be available for purchase at BEYOND / HELLO Manassas, additional BEYOND / HELLO locations once opened, as well as at partner dispensaries across Virginia.

"In December 2020, we completed the initial build-out of the vertically integrated facility operated by Dalitso LLC, our 100% owned pharmaceutical processor permit holder, and officially began serving patients in-store at our BEYOND / HELLO Manassas dispensary, the first of six BEYOND / HELLO locations to be opened in Virginia," said Jim Cacioppo, Jushi chief executive officer, chairman and founder.

"After completing the initial build-out of the facility, our focus shifted to cultivation, manufacturing and processing to improve product availability and diversity of products for medical cannabis patients in Virginia," Cacioppo added. "As we begin to roll out our full suite of products and brands in the commonwealth, we mark the moment when Virginia—'the sleeping giant' of cannabis markets—has awoken."

Vapes & Concentrates: The Lab

Famous for high-quality, precision vaporization products, Jushi's award-winning brand, The Lab, brings a wide selection of vaporization cartridges and disposables to Virginia, and will be available for purchase at BEYOND / HELLO Manassas, partner dispensaries across Virginia and at additional BEYOND / HELLO locations once opened. Through cutting-edge technology and equipment, The Lab continues to lead the way in bringing the unique experience of flower to new, modern mediums. The Lab is also available at dispensaries across Nevada and Pennsylvania, including Pennsylvania's BEYOND / HELLO locations.

Chewables: Tasteology

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) issued 55 cannabis dispensary licenses Aug. 5 in the second of three licensing lotteries, which will ultimately license a total of 185 new retail businesses.

The license winners were chosen from a pool of 589 applicants who qualified under the state’s social equity program and scored 85% or higher.

“Social equity and justice are the heart and soul of the Adult-Use Cannabis Program in Illinois,” said Toi Hutchinson, Senior Advisor to the Governor for Cannabis, in a public statement. “Today’s results open the door to increasing the diversity of the industry and continue building on our successes in expunging convictions and investing in communities disproportionately harmed by the failed war on drugs.”

The full list of licensees can be found here.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office announced the series of three lotteries last month to award the 185 new cannabis retail licenses.

There is one cannabis question that is regularly searched across a variety of Internet platforms: How many states have legalized adult recreational use of cannabis as of today? As a cannabis law professor and a legal analyst for emerging cannabis businesses, I often am asked that very question. My response is always the same, no matter the date or the year: “It depends on how legalization is defined.”

State-based cannabis legalization can happen in two ways.

One way is evidenced by those states which permit voters to place topics on the ballot for a vote. The other way is through the legislature, when a state’s assembly writes and passes legalization legislation which is ultimately signed off by that state’s chief executive.

When defined like that, Connecticut became the 19th U.S. state to legalize adult recreational use when, on June 22, 2021, Connecticut governor Ned Lamont signed into law a bill passed by the Connecticut legislature.

This does not mean, however, that Connecticut’s already existing medical cannabis program morphed or expanded into an adult recreational system overnight. Rather, by the terms of the 184 pages of legislative analysis for the law entitled “AN ACT CONCERNING RESPONSIBLE AND EQUITABLE REGULATION OF ADULT-USE CANNABIS,” as of July 1, 2021, possession of small amounts of cannabis would be decriminalized. Also placed in motion, and announced by Connecticut’s administration, regulated adult recreational sales by dispensaries would begin the following year. Connecticut’s new law also has social justice and equity components to include an automatic expungement of drug conviction provision which will commence in the near future.

Six weeks before Connecticut, New Mexico legalized adult recreational use on April 12, when New Mexico’s governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law previously passed recreational legislation. New Mexico’s legislation authorized adult-use retail sales to begin no later than April 1, 2022.

An Ohio coalition’s push to legalize adult-use cannabis got the wind knocked out of it Thursday.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost ruled that the summary of a 45-page initiative petition was not a “fair and truthful statement of the proposed law,” essentially grounding the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s push to collect the necessary signatures to put its petition before the Ohio Legislature.

The Ohio Supreme Court has defined “summary” relative to an initiated petition as “a short, concise summing up,” which properly advises potential signers of a proposed measure’s character without the necessity of pursuing it at length.

“Having reviewed the submission, I am unable to certify the proposed summary as a fair and truthful summing up of the proposed chapter,” Yost said in his written decision.

The initiative petition, “An Act to Control and Regulate Adult-Use Cannabis,” does not seek to enact a single law, rather, it seeks to add an entire chapter to the Ohio Revised Code, according to Yost, who said his only obligation is to determine whether the submitted summary is fair and truthful.

Overall, Yost’s office identified seven items in the 45-page petition that were omitted from the summary, which were outlined in the written decision.

Idaho cannabis advocates are working to place medical and decriminalization measures on the 2022 ballot in what Russ Belville, spokesperson for the Idaho Citizens Coalition for Cannabis, calls “the most hostile state” toward policy reform.

Belville’s organization is in the process of collecting the 64,946 signatures required to place the Personal Adult Marijuana Decriminalization Act of 2022 (PAMDA) on Idaho’s 2022 ballot. The initiative aims to end arrests for the personal possession of 3 ounces of cannabis or less in private by adults 21 and older.

PAMDA would not create a commercial adult-use cannabis industry in the state and maintains the criminality of cannabis possession, use and sales in public, as well as all cannabis cultivation and driving under the influence.

The Idaho Citizens Coalition for Cannabis has partnered with Kind Idaho, which is also working to collect 64,946 signatures to place the Idaho Medical Marijuana Act for 2022 (IMMA) on next year’s ballot.

IMMA would legalize the possession of up to 4 ounces of cannabis for medical purposes, as well as the home cultivation of up to six plants for patients with a “hardship waiver.” The measure would also create a system of dispensaries to sell medical cannabis to qualified patients.

Illinois adult-use cannabis sales have hit yet another record, reaching $127.8 million in July, about a $12.3 million increase from June, which reported over $115.5 million in recreational sales.

According to a monthly report by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, over $85.4 million of those sales came from in-state residents, while more than $42.3 million came from out-of-state residents.

In July, the sales from out-of-state residents hit a record-high and showed a $10 million increase from the previous month, which reported over $36.3 million in sales from out-of-state residents.

Perhaps the record-high number of sales from out-of-state residents was driven by regular summer tourism and Lollapalooza, the state's annual four-day musical festival held in Grant Park.

According to Quad-City Times, Lollapalooza was launched 30 years ago in 1991 and made its way to Illinois in 2005. Since then, the music festival has brought in hundreds of thousands of guests each year, infusing millions of dollars into the state’s economy.

Jane, an e-commerce cannabis platform, also reported a boost in recreational cannabis sales according to Quad-City Times, reporting that 18 Chicago dispensaries saw a 6% increase in sales over Lollapalooza weekend, compared to the four weekends prior. Additionally, Jane reported that pre-rolls had the highest growth in sales, increasing 27.5%, even though smoking is prohibited in Grant Park.

After graduating with a marking degree from Howard University, Tahir Johnson spent several years working as a financial adviser for firms such as PNC, SunTrust Banks and Morgan Stanley. But for the past three years, Tahir Johnson has turned his focus to cannabis business and policy, working in a variety of roles, including as business development and diversity and inclusion manager at the National Cannabis Industry Association. In April, the U.S. Cannabis Council, a coalition of industry businesses, advocacy organizations and associations, announced Johnson’s appointment as director of social equity and inclusion, where he will lead social equity initiatives at the state and federal level, as well as working to improve diversity at cannabis businesses across the country. Johnson will also continue to host his Cannabis Diversity Report podcast, featuring interviews with people of color who work in a various industry roles. Johnson spoke with Cannabis Business Times about his priorities in his new role and how he plans to help and hold companies with social equity goals accountable.

Editor’s Note: This is an extended version of an interview that was published in the August 2021 issue of Cannabis Business Times.

Michelle Simakis: What is one of the most important aspects of your role and your priority at the U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC)?
Tahir Johnson: One of the great parts about my role is that I'm also dually employed with the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), and it really allows me to have that grassroots approach because MPP is really actively involved in cannabis state policy and a number of things. So what that does is give me the opportunity to work together with our policy teams and have a great impact across a number of areas and to make sure that social equity is always at the forefront of our agenda.

I think one of the things that's important is to make sure that with any legalization measure, a bill or whatever we move forward with, it's important that equity is included and is a part of the conversation, to make sure that we have that story of economic justice. That’s something we need to always keep sight of as we end prohibition.

MS: Tell me about your work with cannabis businesses specifically that are members of the USCC. What social equity programs do you envision helping launch at companies?
TJ: I want to pilot programs with historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) because I believe that can be a pipeline for careers and economic opportunity in the industry. I would like to bring in traditional social justice and civil rights organizations and really unify the social equity community to be able to push our agenda for social equity … and [organize] a social equity summit. I really want to enforce accountability, so making sure that we have tools to hold our members accountable and educate them on social equity and to make sure that, not just from a policy standpoint, but internally within our membership, we're making sure that our companies have best practices for social equity.

MS: What would holding members accountable look like?
TJ: It’s tracking diversity metrics across organizations, and then also programs. We have some great members that have great social responsibility programs focused on social equity, so to be able to replicate those examples across the industry … we think that those are models that we can show the good that can be done to companies.

Also when I think of corporate social responsibility plans, the Eaze (a USCC member) Momentum program in particular [has] more resources and training, and they actually give grants to operators and access to capital, [which is] one of the most difficult problems for startup businesses. That is a program that I really admire.

DENVER (August 3, 2021) – PRESS RELEASE – Wana Brands, an edibles manufacturer, is partnering with The Green Solution (TGS), one of the first recreational cannabis brands in the nation, and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) to host COVID-19 vaccination clinics during Summer of Quick Tour at key Denver metro TGS dispensaries during the month of August.

“With the resurgence of the Delta variant, it’s more important than ever to provide access to the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands. “The Summer of Quick Tour events support efforts by CDPHE to provide easy and quick access to vaccines, and we hope that this can allow even more Coloradans to get vaccinated as we work together to defeat this virus."

“The Colorado community has been an incredible source of inspiration throughout the pandemic, from our essential employees at our dispensaries and retail outlets to the vital work of our healthcare professionals,” said Steve Lopez, CEO of The Green Solution. “We’re proud to work with Wana Brands and CDPHE to create these vaccination sites at TGS dispensaries around Denver, which will offer an opportunity to help move the state further along in our recovery from this difficult time. Our hope is that those who have yet to get the vaccine will take advantage of TGS creating easier access to this life-saving vaccine.”

On July 2, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced that 70% of the state’s residents had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which places the state in one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. But the remaining 30% of Coloradans remain at risk for the illness and the deadly Delta variant that is spreading rapidly across the country, resulting in large increases in infections among the unvaccinated. The partnership between CDPHE, Wana Brands and TGS is part of the ongoing effort to raise the state’s vaccination rate even higher to protect against further outbreaks and deaths.

The vaccination clinics will be held during Wana’s Summer of Quick Tour to celebrate summer as the company rolls out its Wana Quick Fast-Acting Gummies in more markets across North America. Locations and times include:

Saturday, Aug. 7 from 4:00-6:00 p.m.  

South Dakota made history last year when voters approved medical and adult-use cannabis legalization on the same ballot, but now, lawmakers are considering changes to the state’s medical cannabis law.

The Legislature’s Medical Marijuana Study Subcommittee met Aug. 4 to review the proposed rules for South Dakota’s medical cannabis program, and KELO reported that members of the panel are working privately on potential changes to Initiated Measure 26, the measure voters passed in November to legalize medical cannabis.

Sen. Bryan Breitling, chairman of the subcommittee, said legislation to tweak the state’s medical cannabis law could be considered Nov. 9, when lawmakers meet for a special session that is held every 10 years to draw boundaries for the Legislature’s 35 districts, according to KELO.

Lawmakers could also submit proposals of their own, Breitling told the news outlet, and some, including Reps. Fred Deutsch and Carl Perry, have indicated that they have changes in mind that they plan to pursue either during the special session on Nov. 9 or when lawmakers reconvene in January for the 2022 legislative session.

The Medical Marijuana Study Subcommittee’s workgroups have been charged with issuing recommendations on medical cannabis issues, establishments and law enforcement, KELO reported, and the panel must issue its final recommendations at its next meeting on Sept. 1.

A new state regime for legal cannabis brings with it a new group of investigators and enforcers. New licensees may face state officials who are still learning and interpreting the regulations, have an abundance of investigatory resources with very few targets, and an eagerness to demonstrate they can effectively police the industry. As a result, a new licensee can face repeated audits and inspections until eventually it hits a tripwire that leads to a full-blown investigation.

A state investigation can involve document requests, employee interviews, product testing, and, in the event of a negative finding, lead to a possible suspension of product shipments or license revocation. Depending on the allegations, companies must also stay attentive to federal criminal exposure if information is shared with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

This explainer unpacks how to protect your company and navigate an investigation to a favorable (and profitable) long-term outcome.

The Legal Gray Area of the Initial Grow

Between the time a state votes to legalize and the time consumers can buy the product off a shelf, a lot has to happen, resulting in a year or more of lag time between “legalization” and “open for business.”

What happens in between?