WORCESTER, Mass., April 13, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Cannabis Control Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan announced she will step down from her seat on April 30, ending a 25-year career of public service in Massachusetts.
Cannabis Control Commission
Jennifer Flanagan will step down from her seat April 30.

Most recently, Gov. Charlie Baker had appointed her to serve a four-year term as the Cannabis Control Commission’s public health representative in accordance with Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017 starting Sept. 1, 2017.

“I want to express my sincere thanks to Gov. Baker for the opportunity to serve as the public health appointee to the commission,” Flanagan said. “My motivation for accepting his appointment, and my primary goal throughout my term, has been to ensure the public health of Massachusetts residents remained a priority as the commonwealth regulated legal cannabis. I believe my contributions have kept that focus front and center as the commission has drafted and updated its regulations over the past three and a half years.”

“Commissioner Flanagan has been a strong advocate for public health throughout her long career of service for the people of Massachusetts and brought this expertise to her role on the Cannabis Control Commission,” Baker said. “Lt. Gov. Polito and I thank Jennifer for her willingness to serve on the commission, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors. We are in the process of reviewing candidates to serve in this seat and expect to make an announcement soon.”

Throughout her service to the commission, Flanagan offered a strong voice for the health and wellness of Massachusetts residents by advocating for patients and working to create and build out the agency’s award-winning public awareness campaign, among other accomplishments. More About Marijuana, which highlights the risks of underage consumption, responsible adult use, and the dangers of home cultivation and manufacturing, among other important messages, was honored with a Telly award in the campaign (local TV) category and a MarCom award in its website category.

“The commonwealth’s patients, consumers, parents and youth have greatly benefited from Commissioner Flanagan’s leadership over the past three and a half years,” Commission Chairman Steven J. Hoffman said. “Her vocal advocacy for public health will continue to safeguard Massachusetts residents long after she concludes her service to the commission, and her attention on Positive Impact Plans and Diversity Plans has helped us further our mandate to support and include disproportionately impacted communities in the legal industry.”

This is a developing story. It has been updated to reflect the governor’s signing of the bill.

The New Mexico Legislature worked overtime, and now adult-use cannabis legalization is official with Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signing legislation into law April 12, following two days of a special session in the House and Senate at the end of March.

The lower chamber cleared the three-time amended adult-use bill, 38-32, March 31, while the upper chamber added one more amendment before passing the bill, 22-15, later that night on the Senate floor, where the bill previously stalled during the legislature’s 60-day regular session that concluded March 20—a halt that sparked Lujan Grisham’s call for the special session.

The House reconvened shortly after the Senate’s March 31 passage to concur the upper chamber’s amendment to the bill, before officially sending it to Lujan Grisham for signing—with her ink this week, New Mexico became the 18th state to legalize adult-use cannabis.

“This is a good bill,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement following the legislature’s passage.

“This special session was a success,” she said. “And the work of making sure that this industry is a success, that New Mexicans are able to reap the full economic and social benefit of legalized adult-use cannabis, that workplace and roadway safety are assured to the greatest degree possible—that work will go on. Change never comes easily and rarely does it occur as quickly as we might like. But with this major step forward, we are signaling more clearly than ever before that we are ready, as a state, to truly break new ground, to think differently about ourselves and our economic future, to fearlessly invest in ourselves and in the limitless potential of New Mexicans.”

When companies raise capital and grow, the No. 1 thing they do is hire.

Vangst, a Denver-based recruiting platform that connects cannabis job seekers with employers, is now better positioned to service that demand after launching its Executive Talent service March 29, with Jennifer Bedford as the vice president.

According to CEO Karson Humiston, who founded Vangst in 2015, more than 210,000 people are directly employed by the U.S. cannabis industry—a Leafly report estimated that number to be even higher, at 321,000—with a 75% growth in employment over the last two years. The new Executive Talent service will help companies secure administrative-level talent as they continue to build out and grow their leadership teams, she said.

“Before hiring [Bedford] at Vangst, we engaged her for our VP of revenue search. It was hands down the best experience I’ve ever had with an executive recruiter,” said Humiston, who turned around and reverse-recruited Bedford to join her team.

Before taking on the vice president of Executive Talent position at Vangst, Bedford was a veteran recruiter at Signal Partners, a management consulting firm headquartered in Los Angeles, where she executed executive searches in the legal and compliant cannabis market. And before that, she serviced the consumer-facing tech sector. Overall, she is a 20-year veteran headhunter.

Vangst’s recruiting services include staffing cannabis companies with positions like marketing managers, budtenders and social media coordinators. But, until now, it did not have an executive talent offering—Bedford’s specialty.

While Arizona moved quickly to begin licensing adult-use cannabis businesses in the wake of voters’ approval last fall, other states that flipped in the 2020 General Election are just now getting around to passing their legislative follow-through. Montana is one of them.

The states’ Republicans have led an effort to implement the adult-use measure—and amend it along the way, irking their Democrat counterparts.

A trio of cannabis bills made their way through the Montana House this week, with upcoming Senate votes on the way.

It’s a reminder that the ballot is never the last stop for cannabis reform. As a proposal becomes a bill, which becomes a law, many stakeholders will have their say,

We’ve rounded up some of the key cannabis headlines from the week right here.

The Montana House advanced three competing bills on regulating recreational cannabis in the state after Montana voters approved a measure to legalize adult-use cannabis last year. Read more This summer, Virginia is poised to make history as the first Southern state in America to legalize cannabis. But questions remain about the new laws governing the incoming industry. Read more Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s adult-use cannabis bill is far from the finish line, but the criminal justice aspect of the legislation was vetted and approved by the Joint Judiciary Committee in a 22-16 vote April 6. Read more 
What Purple Heart Patient Center owner Keith Stephenson was setting out to achieve in 2006 is similar to what he’s hoping to deliver to the Oakland cannabis industry when he returns in a few months. Read more 
In Rhode Island, Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth dispensary workers to unionize with United Food and Commercial Workers. Read more 

And elsewhere on the web, here are the stories we’ve been reading this week:

Raleigh News & Observer: “Democrats in the North Carolina General Assembly have made it clear they want to change the state’s marijuana laws, and they’re giving the legislature’s Republican majority several ideas on how to do so.” Read more Bloomberg: “Mexico’s proposal to legalize cannabis has hit a snag in the Senate, where a revised version of the bill is under consideration.” Read more New York Post: “Canada’s Canopy Growth said Thursday it will buy rival Supreme Cannabis for C$323.3 million ($256.85 million), as the world’s biggest cannabis producer bolsters its portfolio to tap surging demand.” Read more KRQE: “Recreational marijuana could soon be a booming industry in New Mexico. Northern New Mexico College is getting in the game early by launching a new class.” Read more Phoenix New Times: “Not only is local competition getting hotter in Arizona, but a new surge of out-of-state businesses is rushing into the state, looking to take advantage of the massive growth expected in Arizona's post-legalization cannabis industry.” Read more ]]>
The Montana House advanced three competing bills on regulating recreational cannabis in the state after Montana voters approved a measure to legalize adult-use cannabis last year.

As previously reported by Cannabis Business Times, 59% of voters approved of I-190, the adult-use legalization initiative, and 61% of the Montana electorate voted in favor of the plan to set the legal age of adult-use cannabis consumption to 21 years old.

According to the Associated Press, the voter-approved measure would allow for cannabis sales to begin in January 2022 and directed a significant amount of cannabis tax revenue toward conservation efforts.

But the bills advanced in the Republican-controlled House on April 6 did not follow that plan and suggested several changes to the voter-approved initiative.

House Bills 707, 701 and 670 were passed in preliminary votes after lawmakers debated them on the House floor, 8KPAX reported.

Republican Legislative leaders urged members to advance all three bills to the Senate to give more time for amendments and lawmakers to consider how to tax adult-use cannabis sales and what to do with the revenue.

LAS VEGAS, April 7, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – GreenBroz Inc., a U.S.-based, industry-leading developer of cannabis post-harvest processing technology, announced the launch of its Rise-N-Sort System. This powerful, fully integrated system combines the Rise Conveyor, Precision Sorter and Sorter Table to efficiently consolidate the movement and segregation of product into differing size groups. This three-part system allows a processing rate of 6 pounds per minute, representing a steep gain compared with the rate of 2 pounds per hour for hand processing.

“Our offerings are more than just solutions; they’re a growth plan for our clients,” said Cullen Raichart, founder and CEO of GreenBroz. “We are beyond excited to provide a purpose-built, industry-born solution that retains the quality of the product by protecting the delicate trichomes, while also increasing throughput significantly.”

This first-of-its-kind system operates gently without vibration, and is constructed using food-grade stainless steel, surgical steel, polyurethane and ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW), ensuring the product remains as close to fresh-off-the-stem as possible. Human touch points are minimized, mitigating contamination risk and ensuring end product consistency.

Key System Features:

Digital human machine interface (HMI) touch screen allows speed control for feeding and sorting.Constructed using food-grade materials.Entire system is washdown-ready, including the motors.All components can be made compatible with international power requirements.

The system is modular and can be combined with the GreenBroz Model M Dry Trimmer to create a complete end-to-end solution, taking raw product all the way from trimming to ready for packaging.

“The elegant design and efficiency we’re able to offer with this system is a direct result of the creativity and dedication of our engineering team and would not have been possible without our state-of-the-art, in-house design lab with complete rapid prototyping capabilities,” said Kevin Bower, GreenBroz lead engineer.

This week, cannabis advocates in Virginia notched another victory – after pressure from organizations like the ACLU, NORML, and Marijuana Justice, lawmakers agreed on Gov. Ralph Northam’s amendment to speed up the legalization of cannabis possession to July 1. Under the bill’s original timeline, possession laws wouldn’t have been changed until 2024, which remains Virginia’s target date for starting retail sales.

“We did what we do and organized, got Virginians’ voices up, and told the Governor, ‘Hey, before you sign this, we need some amendments to show some urgency,’” said Chelsea Wise, founder of the advocacy group Virginia Marijuana Justice. “It’s a huge win for us to speed this up three years.”

Votes on the amendment were split 20-20 along party lines, with Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax casting the deciding vote. Republicans had argued that the bill was incomplete, believing that more time was needed to study the issue and determine how best to enact full legalization. State Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment called the amendments “horribly flawed,” and implied that Northam was only speeding it up “to contribute to the resurrection of his legacy,” a reference to the stir created in 2019 when the governor admitted to appearing in a medical school yearbook photo depicting one man wearing blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Other changes in the bill

State Republicans were also unhappy about a provision added that would make it easier for cannabis workers to unionize. The new language gives the state’s incoming Cannabis Control Authority the power to strip licenses from any cannabis business that doesn’t remain neutral while its workers attempt to unionize. 

But supporters of the updated bill argue that legalizing the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis and growing up to four plants at home will benefit the communities hit hardest by prohibition. Even after the state decriminalized cannabis last year, Black Virginians were four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana offenses, according to local reporting

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s adult-use cannabis bill is far from the finish line, but the criminal justice aspect of the legislation was vetted and approved by the Joint Judiciary Committee in a 22-16 vote April 6.

The proposed legislation, An Act Responsibly and Equitably Regulating Adult-Use Cannabis, which Lamont unveiled during his budget address Feb. 10, would authorize the automated erasure of criminal records for those with cannabis-related drug possession convictions and charges.

The overall bill remains a work in progress—with language involving financial issues, regulatory issues, licensing issues and more— but the Judiciary Committee’s due diligence was to get the criminal justice components of the bill right, said Rep. Steven Stafstrom (D), who co-chairs the committee and also co-sponsors the legislation, Senate Bill 888.

“Our cognizance really is on the criminal justice, erasure piece, and I certainly have not heard much opposition to that because I think the language we have in here is language we’ve vetted through fairly well on the criminal justice aspects,” he said during the committee’s meeting on Tuesday.

“On the criminal justice components of this bill, this bill retains and improves upon the language we’ve seen for the last couple years on erasure of prior cannabis convictions,” Stafstrom said. “It puts in place what I believe to be an appropriate mechanism to deal with the issue of driving under the influence, something that is I know of particular interest to this committee, particularly given the fact that neighboring states are undertaking legalization.”

Included in S.B. 888, law enforcement units would be required to have a minimum number of officers report to the Police Officer Standards and Training Council no later than Jan. 1, 2022, so that each unit has state-accredited drug recognition experts to ensure adequate availability of drug recognition experts can respond to instances of impaired driving. Law enforcement units would be able to call upon drug recognition experts from other law enforcement units as necessary and available.

Virginia has legalized adult-use cannabis just days after New York and New Mexico lawmakers signed their legalization bills.

On April 7, the Virginia General Assembly approved Gov. Ralph Northam's proposal to amend the state's bill to legalize recreational cannabis in 2024 and accelerate the legalization timeline by three years. 

RELATED: Virginia Legislature Passes Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Bill

Starting July 1, 2021, adults 21 years and older will be able to possess and grow adult-use cannabis; however, retail sales are not expected to begin until 2024, as Vox reported.

According to a recent ABC News article, Northam's proposal contains some of the following legislative changes:

Northam is proposing two budget amendments; one to fund a public awareness campaign on the health and safety risks of cannabis and another to measure funds to help law enforcement recognize and prevent driving under the influence of drugs.His amendments authorize adults 21 years and older to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis without the intent to distribute it. The amendment would continue to prohibit laws such as consuming while driving or possession on school property. The proposed amendments would speed up the expungement and sealing of criminal records. They would allow residents with cannabis convictions to request a lower penalty or for their records to be sealed.His provisions will permit households to grow up to four cannabis plants starting July 1, 2021 and require the plants to be labeled and out of range and sight from individuals under 21 and the public.

Northam said in a tweet that legalizing the possession of adult-use cannabis in Virginia is a "monumental step to address racial disparities in our criminal justice system and build an equitable, inclusive future for our commonwealth."

WASHINGTON, April 6, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – PRESS RELEASE – Today, the Cannabis Freedom Alliance (CFA) launched to end the prohibition, criminalization and overregulation of cannabis in the United States. The CFA aims to do so in a manner consistent with helping all Americans achieve their full potential and limiting the number of barriers that inhibit innovation and entrepreneurship in a free and open market.

Steering membership includes prominent national advocacy organizations, including Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a political advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers; Mission Green/The Weldon Project, a nonprofit that advocates for the release of individuals incarcerated for cannabis offenses; Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank; and the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (GACC), a cannabis trade organization. Weldon Anglos of Mission Green/The Weldon Project and Randal John Meyer of GACC serve as co-coordinators for the coalition.

Weldon Angelos said, “Ending cannabis prohibition and incarceration is a moral imperative. For too long, cruel laws punishing non-violent cannabis offenses have destroyed the lives of individuals throughout this country—myself included. It is high time that Congress and the president right this wrong and allow those harmed by cannabis prohibition the chance to participate in the cannabis industry like the millionaires and billionaires doing so now. But we can’t do this alone. We need both sides to come together on this, which is why we launched this coalition.”

The CFA is aimed at accomplishing four core values through federal legislative reform:

Federal De-Scheduling and Criminal Justice Reform. Seek the complete removal of cannabis from the schedules of the Controlled Substances Act to bring an end to cannabis criminalization, and allow innovation, industry and research to thrive.Reentry and Successful Second Chances. Seek to ensure individuals who were formerly incarcerated or current gray-market operators are given a second chance in society and have an equal ability to contribute to the cannabis market during its transition from an illicit to legal market.Promoting Entrepreneurship in Free and Open Markets. Seek federal and state regulatory frameworks for cannabis which promote public safety while ensuring low barriers to entry and non-restrictive occupational and business licensing is the norm. Market rules must not allow control by crony interests or inhibit small companies and entrepreneurs through unnecessary limitations or overregulation.Competitive and Reasonable Tax Rates. Seek to ensure the total tax burden—federal, state and local combined—imposed on cannabis businesses should not raise costs so as to incentivize the continuation of illicit markets.

“For too long, the criminalization of cannabis has hurt Americans, from individuals’ unnecessary involvement with the justice system to the damage dealt to communities by the expensive and failed war on drugs,” said Brent W. Gardner, the chief government affairs officer for AFP. “Americans for Prosperity is excited to work alongside our partners to bring cannabis businesses into the light, replacing black and gray markets with a free and fair legal framework that improves public safety and emphasizes entrepreneurship and equal opportunity. In this context, cannabis commerce will become a way for Americans to lift themselves up, rather than a barrier holding them back.”

Reason Foundation Vice President of Policy Dr. Adrian Moore said, “We are excited to work together on the twin goals of ending the failed prohibition of cannabis, with all the costs to lives, liberty and the economy that come with it, and ensuring that cannabis black markets are replaced with free, fair and competitive legal cannabis markets.”

Buckeye Relief | buckeyerelief.com
The Buckeye Relief infused-foods team, including Kitchen Manager Emily Rollo (front left), Executive Chef Marc London (front right), Kitchen Tech Lupe Rivera (back row, from left), Kitchen Tech Ricardo Yepez and Assistant Kitchen Manager Ryan Fatica, carefully craft a line of cannabis edibles with a focus on taste and effectiveness.

The first time Marc London received a complaint about the taste of his chocolate, there was only one response he deemed appropriate.

“Thank you,” said London, the executive chef at Buckeye Relief, a medical cannabis cultivator and processor in Eastlake, Ohio, about 15 miles northeast of Cleveland, where he and Kitchen Manager Emily Rollo carefully craft infused foods with a focus on taste and effectiveness. Their line of edibles includes chocolates; locally sourced honey; Wana gummies; and Keef Brands, an infused beverage available in lemonade and strawberry kiwi.

Tony Lange | cannabisbusinesstimes.com
Buckeye Relief's 25,000-square-foot indoor grow facility became operational in July 2018 in Eastlake, Ohio. 

Buckeye Relief, which has a 25,000-square-foot indoor grow facility that became operational in July 2018, launched its kitchen operation shortly after getting an extraction license in the spring of 2019. While Ohio legalized medical cannabis in 2016, statewide sales didn’t begin until early 2019.

An executive chef by trade, London always worked with chocolate when he owned a prepared-foods store and a catering business in the mid-80s, he said. Since London believes chocolate is one of the most complex food products on the planet to work with, he made it his mission to search high and low for the best commodity on the globe to infuse, he said.

Buckeye Relief co-founders Andy Rayburn, CEO, and Scott Halloran, chief operating officer, began the planning phases of their company in 2016, shortly before Ohio’s passage of medical cannabis House Bill 523—two years before Buckeye Relief became operational—which provided London ample time to track down the right chocolate for the operation.

LAS VEGAS, NV – April 6, 2021 - Cannabis Business Times, the leading B2B publication dedicated to the cultivator/grower segment of the cannabis industry, and Cannabis Conference, the leading educational event and expo for professionals at plant-touching cannabis businesses, is pleased to announce the launch of its inaugural Cannabis Leadership Awards (C-LAS).

With the support of FOHSE – Future of Horticultural Science + Engineering, the C-LAS will recognize five cannabis industry professionals who exemplify the leadership qualities needed to inspire and empower those around them and who work toward the betterment of the entire industry.

Cannabis Leadership Awards recipients will have made significant contributions to the cannabis industry, such as:

Contributing to the industry’s advancement through their innovation and expertise;Enhancing the lives of employees, customers, communities and the industry at large through their leadership, generosity, charitable giving;Excelling in environmental stewardship;Working with legislators and regulators in crafting and updating cannabis laws and regulations in a productive way; and/orOtherwise making a positive impact on the industry.

Cannabis Leadership Awards recipients will be recognized at a special awards reception at the Cannabis Conference 2021 (Aug. 24-26 at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino) and featured in Cannabis Business Times magazine.

“We are thrilled to launch the Cannabis Leadership Awards,” Noelle Skodzinski, editorial director for GIE Media’s Cannabis Group said. “Many awards recognize corporate achievements, but we want to celebrate truly amazing people in the cannabis industry—those who inspire others and have a positive impact on their colleagues, the cannabis industry and the world around them.”

Cannabis Group Publisher Jim Gilbride said, “In any industry, there are people who just stand out as exceptional in all they do. People who make the workday better for their colleagues and make their communities and the industry better by their actions. They deserve to be recognized, and we are pleased to launch the Cannabis Leadership Awards to give those leaders in the cannabis industry the recognition they deserve.”

P.L. Light Systems | pllight.com

BEAMSVILLE, Ontario, April 5, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – P.L. Light Systems has reached an exciting milestone, as the company celebrates 40 years of delivering professional grow-light systems to the horticultural industry. The company distributes products across Canada, the U.S. and South America from its manufacturing facility in Beamsville, Ontario, Canada—which is also the base for the company’s team of passionate and experienced professionals. Throughout the company’s 40 years, its philosophy has remained unchanged—to deliver innovative, reliable horticultural lighting solutions that result in optimal lighting performance and maximized yields for growers. The company’s commitment to these goals, along with strong customer loyalty, has helped it achieve long-standing success as one of the leading horticultural lighting manufacturers. 

P.L. Light Systems has been operating since 1981, when it first opened the doors of its Canadian office as the North American division of Poot Lichtenergie B.V. – servicing both the North American and South American markets. As one of the original pioneers in horticultural lighting, Poot Lichtenergie first began producing horticultural lighting systems in the Netherlands in 1977. Today the company remains privately owned by a Canadian investor in the horticultural industry.

“In this day and age, it is not frequent that companies are able to adapt and change their business models, to be able to continue serving the customers and industry that they started in over 40 years later,” President Todd Philips said. “Things have changed dramatically in the past 40 years in the horticultural industry, but one thing that hasn’t changed is P.L. Light Systems’ dedication to providing their customers industry-leading supplemental lighting solutions, and top-level local manufacturing, service and support in the North and South American markets. Our team of passionate, dedicated, caring professionals have been here for our customers for the past 40 years, and are committed to constantly reinventing ourselves, our products, and our service levels to ensure we have the opportunity to serve our customers, old and new, for another 40 years and beyond.”

P.L. Light Systems reputation as “The Lighting Knowledge Company” sets it apart from other competitors in the controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) industry, by providing superior knowledge and expertise, based on the unique requirements for each project. The company also largely credits its success and reputation to the enduring relationships with its customers, partners and team members.

This year, in appreciation of its customers’ ongoing support over the years, P.L. Light Systems will be offering special anniversary promotional offers through the end of 2021. Please contact your regional sales manager to find out more information. For more information on P.L. Light Systems please visit www.pllight.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Almost three years after filing a lawsuit over patent rights, United Cannabis Corporation (UCANN) has dropped its complaint against Pure Hemp Collective.

The basic contention, according to UCANN in the summer of 2018, was that Pure Hemp Collective had infringed on the company’s patent for “[a] liquid cannabinoid formulation wherein at least 95% of the total cannabinoids is cannabidiol (CBD).”

At the time, the dispute was seen as a legal broadside in the emerging intellectual property rights conversation in the cannabis industry. Depending on where the case went, CBD-rich concentrates would be in the crosshairs of a major IP fight.  

“It could be construed as an over-broad patent that's going to impact a lot of companies creating these types of products,” David Gold, intellectual property attorney at Cole Schotz, told us in 2018. “The second question ... is whether any of these products—there could be a very sophisticated, unique, new, novel, non-obvious product that is very much patentable that there's no prior art on that at some point is going to be the subject of litigation. Are the courts going to hear it? How is the judge going to treat it when it's clearly used in connection with these controlled substances?” 

For the cannabis industry, this case won’t provide the resolution that other businesses may seek.

Last year, UCANN filed for bankruptcy. That case didn’t get far, either, as a judge dismissed the bankruptcy filing due to UCANN’s work in the federally illegal cannabinoid space.

ORLANDO, FL – (April 5, 2021) – GIE Media Inc., the publisher of Hemp Grower magazine, announced today the launch of Hemp Grower Conference, which will take place Nov. 8-10, 2021 at Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla. The event will feature three days of education and expo, bring together hemp growers, industry experts, solutions providers, and more.

“The inaugural Hemp Grower Conference will be an opportunity for hemp industry stakeholders to come together to learn valuable market insights and discover grower-specific innovations and technology solutions that will bolster their businesses,” said Group Publisher Jim Gilbride. “GIE Media and the team behind the event have a deep history of creating successful events that bringing together industry constituents to help advance agricultural markets and the businesses in them.”

“Hemp growers—whether they’re growing hemp for grain, fiber or CBD—face many hurdles in this young industry. But they also have great opportunities,” said Editorial Director Noelle Skodzinski. “The Hemp Grower Conference will bring together industry pioneers, successful businesses, leading researchers and regulators to help all hemp growers navigate the cultivation, business and regulatory challenges they face, as well as understand the coming market trends and opportunities that can help shape the future of their businesses. Attendees will come away motivated with new tools in their toolbox that will help them find success.”

The Hemp Grower Conference education program will be created by the editors of Hemp Grower magazine and a conference advisory board of professional hemp growers and other industry leaders.

Members of the Hemp Grower Conference 2021 Advisory Board include:

Jeff Kostuik, Director of Operations for Hemp Production Services and Hemp Genetics InternationalRachel Berry, Farmer and CEO of the Illinois Hemp Growers AssociationBear Reels, Senior Director of R&D Cultivation for Charlotte’s Web Alyssa Ann Collins, Director of Penn State University Southeast Agricultural Research & Extension Center Luke Zigovits, Owner and Farm manager for Higher Level Organics Louis Vega, Founder and CEO of ¡WEPA! Farms Marty Mahan, Farmer and President of the Heartland Hemp Co-OpMaureen West, Chief Compliance Officer for Functional Remedies LLC

In addition, an expo hall will feature leading technologies and solutions providers dedicated to helping hemp growers succeed.

BOCA RATON, Fla., April 5, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – PRESS RELEASE – Jushi Holdings Inc. (CSE: JUSH) (OTCMKTS: JUSHF), a vertically integrated, multistate cannabis operator, announced that its subsidiary, Production Excellence, LLC, has completed the previously announced acquisition on July 25, 2019 of 100% of the equity of Franklin Bioscience NV, LLC (FBS Nevada). FBS Nevada holds medical and adult-use cannabis cultivation, processing and distribution licenses issued by the Nevada Cannabis Control Board and currently operates cultivation, production and distribution facilities in North Las Vegas. Jushi also owns the real estate associated with FBS Nevada’s facilities in North Las Vegas. The facilities acquired include two adjacent buildings with cultivation, manufacturing and distribution capabilities.

In July 2019, the Jushi’s subsidiary, Production Excellence, entered into the Nevada market under a management services agreement with FBS Nevada. FBS Nevada operates one of the two 7,500-square-foot adjacent facilities and has upgraded the facility with state-of-the-art, indoor, double-stacked cultivation that yields approximately 2,500 pounds of high-quality dry flower per year. FBS Nevada has partnered with third-party extractors to produce a suite of high-quality vape products and concentrates, under the award-winning brand The Lab, and offer pre-packaged flower and infused blunts, under the award-winning brand The Bank. Jushi has also introduced new products, including edibles, under the brand Tasteology, and fine flower and pre-rolls, under the brand Sèche.

To better serve the Nevada market, FBS Nevada plans to connect the two facilities to create a single production space for a total of approximately 16,600 square feet. The expansion is expected to more than double cultivation capacity and incorporate a CO2 and hydrocarbon extraction facility with a full kitchen to ensure a broad assortment of products across all categories.

“We are extremely pleased to complete this acquisition and solidify our presence in Nevada, particularly the Greater Las Vegas region,” said Jim Cacioppo, CEO, chairman and founder of Jushi. “We look forward to continuing to serve the Nevada wholesale market with high-quality flower and a full suite of cannabis brands including infused products. While Nevada, and specifically Las Vegas, has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we see great opportunities with the expansion of our facility and exploring attractive M&A prospects as we look to expand our footprint in this strategic limited license market.”

NEW YORK, March 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- PRESS RELEASE -- Thrive Agritech, Inc. announced today the market release of the new Pinnacle LED grow light.

Energy-efficient LED technology allows the 600W Pinnacle light to effectively replace the best 1,000W double-ended high pressure sodium lights commonly found in greenhouses and high intensity indoor cannabis operations. The new light can achieve the most demanding requirements, having demonstrated canopy intensities exceeding 1,500 PPFD in indoor flower rooms. Pinnacle utilizes leading-edge LED chip technology that generates an ideal combination of power and efficiency with a spectrum optimized for plant health and crop yield.

Thrive Agritech CEO, Brian Bennett, added, "We are truly excited about this announcement. Pinnacle makes it simple for our customers to replace their legacy lighting technology with state-of-the-art LED technology. And for customers designing a new facility, they will benefit from Pinnacle's ease of installation, low maintenance, high energy efficiency, and exceptional crop yields."

As with all Thrive Agritech products, Pinnacle is IP66 waterproof, UL8800 certified for safety, and comes with a standard 5-year warranty.

In what was arguably the busiest week in cannabis legalization history, both New York and New Mexico pushed their bills across the finish line and became the 17th and 18th states, respectively, to greenlight an adult-use market. What comes next is a great deal of regulatory planning, but the excitement in the industry is tremendous right now—as it should be.

And it doesn’t seem like that political momentum is slowing down at all.

Other states on the road to legalization include: Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania. We’re eager to see how state legislatures approach the question.

We’ve rounded up some of the key cannabis headlines from the week right here.

After years of debate, sudden and swift action in the legislature made New York the 17th state to legalize adult-use cannabis. Read more The New Mexico House and Senate members worked into the evening hours Wednesday to amend the adult-use legalization bill during a special session called by the governor—and ultimately passed it. Read more 
Oklahoma’s medical cannabis legislation and regulation is still a work in progress, despite the state legalizing medical cannabis nearly three years ago. Changes are coming. Read more The SAFE Banking Act is back in Congress, and political momentum is swinging in favor of the cannabis industry’s need to normalize its relations with financial institutions. We spoke with Safe Harbor Services Vice President Amanda McComb about some of the recent trends and changes that she’s seen in banking the cannabis industry. Read more 

And elsewhere on the web, here are the stories we’ve been reading this week:

Frederick News-Post: “Green Goods is the retail brand of Vireo, a cannabis grower and wholesaler with more than 100,000 square feet of greenhouse space in Maryland,” and its next opening is the city Frederick. Read more Bloomberg: “Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is pushing the Senate toward lifting the federal prohibition on marijuana with legislation that would represent the biggest overhaul of federal drug policy in decades.” Read more CNN: Cannabis legalization is expected soon in Mexico, where the president has signaled support for the move. Read more Marketwatch: “A key force in Wednesday’s [stock market] action was retail interest in MSOS, reflected in the monster trading volume on the ETF, which was well over its daily average and significantly higher than the sector.” Read moreForbes: “Latino entrepreneurs interested in opportunities in the cannabis industry have a new resource with last week’s launch of the National Hispanic Cannabis Council. The new nonprofit aims to promote participation and leadership in the legal cannabis industry by Hispanics while addressing the community’s underrepresentation in the sector.” Read more  


BOCA RATON, Fla., April 1, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – PRESS RELEASE – Jushi Holdings Inc. (CSE: JUSH) (OTCMKTS: JUSHF), a vertically integrated, multistate cannabis operator, announced the first phase of its previously announced expansion project at its Pennsylvania cultivation facility located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Pennsylvania Medical Solutions, LLC (PAMS), has entered into an amendment of its existing lease with Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIP), making available an additional $30 million in funding for the first phase of property development of the facility. The funding will be used to complete the buildout of the existing 89,000-square-foot building and an approximately 40,000-square-foot expansion of the facility for a total of 130,000 square feet. The first phase of the expansion, with an estimated budget of approximately $40 million, is expected to add approximately 26,000 square feet of canopy for a total of 45,000 square feet and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.

PAMS is also in the design stage for the second phase of the planned expansion, which would add approximately 60,000 square feet to the building and increase total canopy to approximately 110,000 square feet. Jushi expects PAMS to begin the second phase of the expansion in the third quarter of 2021, with a revised preliminary budget between $25 million – $30 million and an estimated completion date of the second quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals. The estimated combined cost of the two phases of expansion has increased to $65 million – $70 million, from its prior preliminary total of $50 million, as Jushi has increased the size and scope of the proposed expansion. The facility is expected to be approximately 190,000 square feet after both phases of the buildout have been completed. In addition to these two contemplated phases of buildout, PAMS continues to assess and develop further expansion opportunities at the facility to meet the needs of patients and wholesale market demand, now and in the future.   

“We are excited to officially commence the first phase of expansion at our subsidiary’s Pennsylvania grower-processor facility,” said Jim Cacioppo, CEO, chairman and founder of Jushi. “We continue to see strong growth in the Pennsylvania medical market and this expansion will allow PAMS to significantly increase its canopy space and production capacity to solidify availability of its award-winning, high-quality branded suite of products to both our 11 BEYOND / HELLO medical marijuana dispensaries as well as into the wholesale market across an approximately 100 medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the commonwealth. This expansion is also expected to create over 100 new jobs and generate additional tax dollars in the Scranton region. We appreciate the strong support of IIP as a long-term real estate capital partner, teaming with us to provide strategic real estate capital at an opportune time for our continued expansion in Pennsylvania.”

The facility produces high-quality, indoor grown flower, extracts and concentrates, and is strategically located within minutes of Interstate 81, Interstate 84 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, enabling efficient distribution to the 111 dispensaries currently operating across the commonwealth, including Jushi’s 11 operational BEYOND / HELLO dispensaries.

Galloway, N.J., April 1, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – A new Cannabis and Hemp Research Institute at Stockton University (CHRIS) will provide education, research and resources for the local and national market.

The new institute builds on the Cannabis Studies academic programs at Stockton to develop research focusing on hemp cultivation practices, non-medical cannabis research, lab testing and the creation of hemp and cannabis educational materials.

“As the first university in New Jersey to offer a Cannabis Studies minor in 2019, Stockton is poised to do important research into areas that can provide opportunities for our students and emerging industries, and enhance the economy of the state,” said Professor of Biology Ekaterina Sedia, coordinator of the Cannabis Studies minor.

Robert Mejia, an adjunct professor of Cannabis Studies at Stockton, said the institute will host educational and career fairs and help set the standard for hemp and cannabis education in New Jersey and the nation.

Initially, the CHRIS testing lab’s focal point will be to provide testing services to hemp growers, processors and finished product manufacturers. Although New Jersey was the third state to institute guidelines for hemp cultivation, the state’s hemp industry is barely in the beginning stages.

Opportunities to create a whole host of environmentally friendly hemp consumer products, including building materials, food, and ethanol and plastic replacements will lead to a more sustainable future, Mejia said.