Reliable heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment can cost upward of $300,000 or more for a 5,000-square-foot growing facility in the cannabis space. Proper lighting might cost just as much.

But those environmental controls become less effective for an ideal harvest if they are not complemented by the intelligent application of air distribution through engineered ductwork, which isn’t overly complicated nor expensive in the grand scheme of a productive room, according to Geoff Brown, vice president of technical solutions for Quest.

Often an afterthought, airflow is currently the biggest hump for growers in relation to environmental controls, but it doesn’t have to be, Brown said. Through Quest’s partnership with Hawthorne Gardening Company, growers now have access to the Airflow Mapping service, a computer-aided analysis that calculates or predicts where a diffuser’s air will travel. In turn, growers have access to custom solutions to their specific facilities without making major changes to those facilities.

Featured here, Brown shares more about Airflow Mapping, the importance of intelligent air distribution, working with manufacturers, return on investment and other pertinent knowledge to help avoid oversights associated with environment controls.

Why is airflow so important in cannabis cultivation?

Ultimately it just comes down to building productive plants. Good air circulation at the leaf is what allows the leaf to breathe, to get rid of the oxygen around the leaf and to absorb more CO2 to make sure that the transpiration is happening and that you don’t have a locally deficient vapor pressure deficit (VPD). It’s really how the system needs to work. In my opinion, airflow is the single most overlooked thing in cannabis right now, or at least it is the next hump to get over.

As the popularity of Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) rises, questions remain about its legality, leaving some wondering if it's a good market opportunity for their business. 

LOS ANGELES, March 22, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Glass House Group, one of the fastest-growing, privately held, vertically integrated cannabis and hemp companies in California, announces its technology partnership with Alcott Enterprises. Over the past four years, Glass House Group has acquired numerous businesses and recognized the need to address a next-generation infrastructure technology investment and roadmap for future growth.

Alcott Enterprises is an information technology company delivering agile IT strategies and next-generation IT managed services with diverse industry experience leading digital transformations, providing consulting services and managing the technical infrastructure for companies across a variety of industries.

“The Glass House brand is a trusted and respected leader in the cannabis industry,” said Glass House Group Chief Operating Office Daryl Kato. “Partnering with Alcott Enterprises creates a strategic alignment of business and technology that supports a next-generation digital transformation and infrastructure to streamline Glass House operations and support business innovation.”

“We are excited to partner with industry-leading Glass House Group to power their digital transformation and deliver the technology supporting a next-generation infrastructure,” said Jordan Alcott, founder and CEO of Alcott Enterprises. The cannabis industry is a dynamic growth market that embodies complex compliance and forward-thinking technology solutions.]]>
W. Scott McGill | Adobe Stock
The clock struck 12 on March 20 and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham still didn’t have an adult-use cannabis bill on her desk.

House Bill 12, which cleared the lower chamber of the state legislature, 39-31, on Feb. 26, would legalize adult-use sales and consumption for those 21 and older, allow possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower or 16 ounces of cannabis extract, levy a 9% excise tax on cannabis and provide reinvestments toward communities disproportionately affected by prohibition.

The Senate had until noon on Saturday, which marked the end of the first 60-day session of New Mexico’s 55th Legislature, to send the legalization initiative to Lujan Grisham for a signature, but the upper chamber postponed floor debate and focused on other bills, according to the Associated Press.

Lujan Grisham plans to call the New Mexico Legislature into a special session on a tentative March 31 to finish working on legalizing adult-use cannabis, she said in a press release Saturday.

“Legalized adult-use cannabis is one of the best moves we can make in our work to build a bona fide 21st century economy in New Mexico,” Lujan Grisham said. “And New Mexicans are more than ready: poll after poll has demonstrated that our state wants this opportunity.”

Nearly 75% of New Mexicans approve of cannabis legalization with provisions in place to ensure tax revenue is reinvested back into communities, including 94% of Democrats, 93% of Independents and 46% of Republicans, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

Editor’s Note: This article has been adapted from Chapter 2: Grow Rooms Today: A New Dawn from Getting Grow Rooms Right, written by Geoff Brown, Quest’s VP of Technical Solutions, and Dan Dettmers, Quest’s Applications Engineer.

Just as the cannabis industry has grown at a rapid rate over the past five years, the grow room environment has also experienced significant evolution. 

Growers have gone from amateur to pro, seemingly overnight. As they seek to produce massive harvests and secure a place in the market, they’re coming up against several major challenges associated with producing at scale. This is a new frontier for many and a new field that requires different ways of thinking — novel solutions, many of which are unfamiliar to both long-time growers and the new entrants into the industry like engineers and equipment vendors.  

The four key challenges of scaling up in this landscape are:  

Lack of experience across multiple domains,market and regulatory pressures,lack of standards,misapplication of traditional equipment. 

These four challenges have combined to put tremendous strain on the new, modern-day cannabis companies. However, before we can hope to solve these problems, we need to first understand what the problems and challenges are and how they came to be. 

 

This week’s big news turns our attention to Washington, D.C., where U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) reintroduced the SAFE Banking Act—this time with more than 100 bipartisan cosponsors. It’s yet another opportunity for his House colleagues to approve the banking reform bill, and the 2021 outlook is slightly brighter with a thin Democratic edge in the U.S. Senate.

Who knows what will happen? Democratic senators have promised “comprehensive” cannabis legislation in the coming weeks or months, so it remains to be seen how the federal government under a Biden administration will address the increasingly hard-to-ignore problem of cannabis prohibition.

Of course, that’s not the only headline in cannabis this week. States around the U.S. are moving on cannabis proposals at a lively clip previously unseen in this industry. Optimism abounds, though there are many angles and causes for political debate.

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

Without banking reform, like the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which was reintroduced by Rep. Ed. Perlmutter (D-CO) in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 18, financial institutions that work with cannabis clients have yet to receive full confidence in safe harbor at the federal level. According to Perlmutter, passage of SAFE Banking would allow cannabis-related businesses in states with some form of legalization and strict regulatory structures to access the banking system. Read more 
Three bills, which were passed by the Denver Finance and Governance Committee on March 16, would allow cannabis delivery, cannabis hospitality businesses and on-site smoking. They stand a good chance of passing into law. Read more 
At the state level in Colorado, a draft bill reveals one legislator’s 15% THC content proposal for cannabis products across the board. It’s up for debate, however, but the low-potency threshold certainly got the attention of the state’s cannabis industry. Read more 
Oklahoma may make it a bit more challenging for businesses to enter the medical cannabis industry, as the Oklahoma House passed a bill that would put a temporary license cap on medical cannabis businesses. Read more 
Want to follow the Emerald Cup festivities this year? The cannabis competition is going virtual with a new streaming option on SocialClub TV. Read more 

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

The Daily Beast: “Dozens of young White House staffers have been suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program due to past marijuana use, frustrating staffers who were pleased by initial indications from the Biden administration that recreational use of cannabis would not be immediately disqualifying for would-be personnel, according to three people familiar with the situation.” Read more 
Associated Press: “Legislation to legalize cannabis in New Mexico advanced Thursday toward a decisive Senate floor vote under a framework that emphasizes government oversight of pricing and supplies along with social services for communities where the criminalization of pot has led to aggressive policing.” Read more 
Yahoo! Finance: “Another quarter of financial metrics from U.S. cannabis company Green Thumb Industries topping Wall Street expectations was marked with at least two price target upgrades Thursday.” Read more 
Baltimore Fishbowl: “A bill set to legalize recreational cannabis in Maryland aims to give back to the community.” Read more 
Spectrum Local News: “[New York] State lawmakers are close to reaching an agreement on legalizing adult use cannabis in New York, but a familiar hurdle to its final passage remains: Reconciling the concerns raised by some Democratic lawmakers over traffic safety.” Read more 


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After three full years of hemp cultivation, Linda Noel was confident 2021 would be a success.

Those beginning years were rife with issues, including two broken contracts, an entire crop that went hot and cannabidiol (CBD) regulatory hurdles. She learned along the way, though, and hemp grown for CBD had become her primary crop at Terrapin Farm in Franklin, Mass., where she also grows tomatoes. 

But Noel wouldn’t have grown hemp a fourth year if not for the MA Hemp Industry Survive and Thrive amendment included in the state’s 2021 fiscal budget. The amendment allows licensed hemp producers and processors to sell their products to medical and adult-use cannabis dispensaries in the state. Because hemp-derived CBD is only legal for sale as a topical in the state, it’d bring about a lifeline for Massachusetts’ struggling hemp industry.

That amendment passed in December and was expected to take effect March 11. But so far, Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission (the Commission) has yet to administer an update, guidelines or even a timeline on when the industry can expect the market to open up.

“I’m hopeful by the time we go to harvest, there will be a market to sell in the state,” Noel says.

Now, a sense of urgency permeates the state’s hemp industry. The cultivation season is quickly approaching, and producers like Noel are left to decide whether to grow based only on the hope that regulations will be administered in time. Meanwhile, processors say they’re fielding a boom in calls from interested dispensaries, only to hang in limbo as they await guidance.

The city council will soon vote on three bills regarding cannabis regulations in Denver, as reported by 9NEWS.

The bills, which were passed by the Colorado Finance and Governance Committee on March 16, would allow cannabis delivery, cannabis hospitality businesses and on-site smoking.

"We are going to propose, as a city, that we safely opt-in to some of these new license types that the state has created," said Ashley Kilroy  the director of Denver's Department of Excise and Licenses. Kilroy will also pitch the latest proposal of city regulations, 9NEWS reported.

Kilroy said the city is proposing to lift the license cap on new stores and cultivation facilities, which has been in place since 2016, according to 9NEWS.

Social equity applicants are the only people who would be able to receive a delivery license until 2024, while permits for hospitality businesses, stores, transporters, cultivation and manufacturing would be limited to social equity applicants until 2027, according to 9NEWS.

The bills are an effort to make Denver's cannabis industry more diverse, equitable and inclusive, as cannabis business owners or top executives are predominantly white males, which misrepresents the community's demographics, 9NEWS reported.

MARCH 16, 2021, PRESS RELEASE: The Emerald Cup is proud to announce they will be going virtual and global for the first-time during their 2021 edition. Long known as the “Academy Awards of Cannabis” the iconic global cannabis competition will launch their own CTV channel on the SocialClub TV platform on April 5, 2021. Cannabis programming will run over the six days leading into the live-cast of the world-renowned Emerald Cup 2021 Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 11, 2021.

Fans of the event - new, old and all across the planet - will be able to enjoy:

High wattage exclusive live-musical and comedy performances (line-up revealed later this week)Insider access to the judging of awards with special appearances by B-Real (Cypress Hill/Dr. Greenthumb), Jimi Devine (LA Weekly) and Abdulluh Saeed (Great Moments in Weed History Podcast)A visual history of iconic moments from The Emerald Cup in a documentary formatA full library of past The Emerald Cup shows spanning 17 years of eventsFireside chats with leading names across the cannabis, and now psychedelic industryExpert filled educational panels concerning topics including "The Cannabis Plant: Terpenes And Beyond," "The future of Cannabis Genetics Around The Globe" and "Real Social Equity: Creating Impact Not Impressions"Interviews with hosts and founders Tim and Taylor Blake, Willie Nelson Lifetime Award recipient Winona LaDuke and many more

“The Emerald Cup 2021 is the global gathering that all cannabis enthusiasts should attend,” shares founder, advocate and author Tim Blake. “As we navigate a world turned “virtual” we are eager to bring our community to the global stage with never before access made possible by Social Club TV. The luxury of creating our event during the pandemic, and in this new spring season time slot, has allowed us to capture all the moments that go unseen, create intimate conversations, spread education, and enjoy the music and culture that surrounds our gathering. Our TV channel on SCTV will become the destination for all our fans now and forever.”

“The transformation of The Emerald Cup 2021 from a yearly staged experience into one that can be watched on-demand is not an easy feat,” shares Social Club TV’s CEO Josh Otten. “By launching an entire channel dedicated to the Emerald Cup we can enable content from the past, present and future to be delivered to fans across the globe and give the Emerald Cup a permanent platform that moves beyond the event-based experience and into a real multi-media destination."

 

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On March 17, the Colorado Senate passed a bill in a 33-1 vote that would allow K-12 students with serious medical conditions easier access to cannabis-based medications while at school, as reported by the Associated Press.

Under the current law, any cannabis-based medication can only be possessed and administered to students by a parent or caregiver while on school grounds. Still, school principals are permitted to store it.

Parents expressed their frustration at the Senate Committee on Education, describing their children's hardships while trying to get their medicinal cannabis at school. Some parents said they often have to leave work or opted for their children to learn remotely to make it easier for them to receive the medication, as reported by the Associated Press.

The new bill would help limit parents' frustration as it "removes the discretion from the school principals and requires school boards to implement policies allowing for the storage, possession and administration of cannabis-based medicine by school personnel."

It would also allow school employees to possess or give medicinal cannabis to students and protect nurses who distribute the medication to students at school.

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DENVER, March 18, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Growlink is proud to announce the new Growlink TDR Substrate Sensor. In partnership with Acclima, these high-quality time domain reflectometry (TDR) sensors are not only more accurate than the competition, but they last an average of 20 years, providing tremendous value. For more technical information on the quality of TDR sensors, check out this article

Precision crop steering

Connect up to four TDR sensors and four irrigation valves to the Growlink Smart Irrigation Controller, and easily and seamlessly implement a crop steering program. Use the Growlink App to visualize your data, evaluate rules performance and test new optimizations.

Deliver real-time data wherever and whenever you need it. Easily and automatically steer an entire crop’s growth for consistent crop performance with predictable quality and yield. Enjoy increased productivity as a single grower can manage large facilities and multiple locations from the palm of his or her hand. This is next-level crop steering only from Growlink.

Manual and autonomous mode

Set the amount, frequency and timing of irrigation events to steer growth. Growlink’s learning software enables users to save hours each day combing through data and adjusting irrigation timers, while ensuring the right decisions are made at the right time.

Shannon Price | Adobe Stock
State-legal cannabis companies aren’t stashing large stacks of cash behind walls or rubber-banded bankrolls in hidden vaults.

Helping motor more than $17.5 billion of legal cannabis sales in the U.S. in 2020, there were 515 banks and 169 credit unions providing services to cannabis-related businesses at the end of last year, according to Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) quarterly cannabis banking update.

But those banks are not the “national associations” of the world. Big financial institutions, like JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and PNC, are not going to get into the cannabis space directly, unless there’s more formalized federal reform, said Jonathan Havens, a partner at Saul, Ewing, Arnstein and Lehr’s Philadelphia-based law firm.

Counseling clients on regulatory, compliance, enforcement and transactional matters, Havens has companies in the cannabis industry turn to him for advice on how to get and keep their products on the market, where access to banking comes in handy.

According to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s FinCEN, banks can accept cannabis-related deposits, but there are several compliance steps those institutions need to take, such as filing Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). When the FinCEN issued guidance in 2014 to clarify the expectations for financial institutions seeking to provide services to cannabis-related businesses, it opened the door for banks to jump into the space—but that door only opened so far.

“I think a lot of these bigger banks said, ‘You know what? The cannabis industry is just not big enough business to us. And, so, it’s not worth it to us,’” Havens said. “The risk isn’t worth it to them.”

Oklahoma made it challenging for businesses to enter the medical cannabis industry, as the Oklahoma House passed a bill that would put a temporary license cap on medical cannabis businesses.

The House passed House Bill 2272 on March 10 in a 69-21 vote. As stated in the bill summary, the measure would “direct the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) to cap the number of dispensary, processor and grower licenses beginning Sept. 1, 2021.”  This would include the total number of active licenses and pending applications submitted before that date.

Rep. Josh West, who created the bill, said he designed it in an effort to slow down the state’s growing illicit market industry, as reported by Oklahoma’s News 4.

While the state’s medical cannabis industry is booming, West argues that people are taking advantage of the OMMA’s limited insight into the industry by purchasing licenses with no intention of operating a business or skipping from license to license, as reported by Oklahoma’s News 4.

According to the article, the state has more than 10,000 active licenses for growers, processors and dispensaries; however, the bill aims to reduce the number of active licenses to 8,000: 2,000 dispensaries, 1,000 processors and 5,000 growers.

Starting on Sept. 1, 2021, any dispensary, processor or grower licensee who cannot prove he or she actively used the license for 18 months is not authorized to renew that license, the bill summary states.

BURLINGTON, Mass., March 16, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Agrify Corporation (NasdaqCM:AGFY), a developer of highly advanced and proprietary precision hardware and software grow solutions for the indoor agriculture marketplace, announced it has entered into a binding letter of intent, which sets forth the principal terms of a partnership currently being negotiated with Atlantis Hydroponics to build out a 2,500-square-foot research and development facility. The new R&D facility will be at the Atlantis location in Georgia, where Atlantis has a license to grow hemp in the state.

“At Agrify, we passionately believe indoor, large-scale cultivation is the future of agriculture, and by investing in R&D partnerships, we can continue to foster the necessary data and technology needed to advance the industry,” said David Kessler, chief science officer of Agrify. “We are excited to be potentially working with Atlantis to improve sustainable growing practices while addressing the market need for consistent high-quality products. Our solution works for a wide variety of crops, and we expect that this new facility will help further develop the technology for our offering in the hemp space.”

Atlantis Hydroponics Certified Master Grower Jeremey Doan said, “This collaboration with Agrify is intended to advance our mission to bring self-sustaining gardening practices to the forefront of agriculture and help them become an integral part of our communities. We are dedicated to the manufacturing of great products using a data-first approach, and this facility should enable us to determine how we can grow high-quality, consistent hemp in a future-forward and sustainable manner.” 

The R&D facility is expected to focus on increasing concentrations of certain phytochemicals and metabolites (like CBG, CBD, terpenes and flavonoids) via the manipulation and control over abiotic elements in the growing environment, such as temperature and light spectrum. Agrify and Atlantis believe this research will lead to further stabilization and control over the chemotypic expression, and ultimately to safer and more consistent phyto-derived medicines and products. Testing capabilities at the R&D facility will also include mechanical component testing and improvements, new product development evaluation, remote customer “simulation” studies and LED light mapping and evaluation.

The completed R&D facility will be comprised of Agrify’s Vertical Farming Units (VFUs), Integrated Grow Racks (IGRs) and Agrify Insights software platform, and operations are expected to commence in April 2021, subject to entry into a definitive agreement.

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ridder.com
HARDERWIJK, Netherlands, March 17, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Ridder is proud to introduce its new transparent energy-saving screen fabric, which has been developed especially for use in vertical roller screen systems. The RES 10 R FR screen is the clearest energy-saving screen in its class, has a very stable structure and is flame-retardant. This means it saves energy while minimizing the amount of light lost.  
ridder.com

Vertical Installation 

The use of an energy-saving roller screen system along sidewalls has become an important standard when cultivating crops that require intensive heating. In the past, many growers placed polycarbonate along sidewalls to prevent the loss of precious heat during colder periods. These days, in many new-build and renovation projects, the use of polycarbonate has given way to a movable vertical roller screen system featuring energy-saving screens along sidewalls. The use of a vertical roller screen system also enables multiple (temporary) compartments to be created within a greenhouse. The new transparent RES 10 R FR roller screen system from Ridder is particularly suitable for both applications.  

Stable and Flexible 

Compared to a conventional horizontal screen system, rolling a wall screen up produces a different type of stress on the screen fabric. This can affect the properties of the screen. Thanks to the flexible but stable structure of the new transparent RES 10 R FR wall screen, the screen properties of the energy-saving fabric remain consistent and reliable. The flexible structure also makes the screen easier to install. 

ridder.com
 

Ideal for Use in Baffle Screens Too


With all the buzz surrounding Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the cannabis industry, many questions circulate around what the up-and-coming cannabinoid is, where it comes from, and its legal status.

The National Cancer Institute defined Delta-8-THC in a statement as an analogue of THC that contains neuroprotective properties that can increase appetite and reduce nausea, anxiety and pain. It produces some psychotropic effects that are less potent than Delta-9, the primary form of THC found in cannabis.

Though it is naturally occurring in cannabis, Delta-8-THC can be converted in a lab from cannabidiol (CBD) and Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), says Dr. Ethan Russo, M.D., a board-certified neurologist and founder and CEO of CReDO Science. He says he believes it is most commonly converted from CBD.

Industry stakeholders disagree over if it is federally legal and whether it presents a market opportunity for hemp and cannabis businesses.

Photo courtesy of Lifted Made
Disposable Delta-8 vaporizers from Lifted Made's Urb brand 

Lifted Made, a wholly owned subsidiary of Acquired Sales Corp, entered the Delta-8 market last summer when there were only a handful of brands in it, said Nicholas S. Warrender, vice chairman and COO of Acquired Sales Corp and CEO of Lifted Made.  


Christopher Boswell | Adobe Stock
No state in the country has implemented an adult-use cannabis program before a medical cannabis program, but don’t tell that to the Wyoming House Judiciary Committee.

The nine-member committee entertained two cannabis-related bills during a meeting March 12, including one that would require the state health officer to establish a report on the implementation of a medical program, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. But the other proposal, a full-legalization bill that provides a roadmap to adult-use implementation, won the committee’s endorsement, 6-3.

Sponsored by Republican House Majority Whip Jared Olsen, House Bill 209 includes a 30% excise tax on the sale of adult-use cannabis and cannabis products. Clearing the Judiciary Committee, which Olsen chairs, the bill is now on its way to the House floor for further debate.

According to a fiscal note attached to H.B. 209, the tax would generate in excess of $46 million dollars. Roughly $30.7 million of that revenue would be allocated to public schools through the School Foundation Program fund, and $15.3 million would go to local governments for fiscal 2022, 2023 and 2024—the note did not include projections beyond three years. The Wyoming Department of Revenue derived those estimates from 2020 cannabis sales in neighboring Colorado, adjusting for its own state’s population.

While Wyoming state law currently only allows for the sale and use of cannabidiol (CBD) products, Wyomingites who live in the state’s capital city of Cheyenne are within 10 miles of the fully legalized Colorado border.

Another added revenue stream, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture figures H.B. 209 would generate north of $2 million from licensing fees for the estimated 100 cultivation facilities, 50 manufacturing facilities, 25 secure transporters, five testing facilities, 200 retail stores and 50 microbusinesses per the proposed bill, according to the attached fiscal note.

Colorado State Rep. Yadira Caraveo isn’t sure how the draft version of her cannabis regulatory bill leaked ahead of the 2021 legislative session, but she’s eager for the debate to take shape. Among the legislative proposals is one that’s perked the ears of many in the industry: a 15% cap on THC content. 

KOAA reports: “According to Rep. Caraveo, 15% THC was selected as an initial figure because of data from other countries which shows anything greater than 15% can be concerning in terms of effects on the developing brain.” 

She acknowledged to the news station that the 15% benchmark is a “starting point” and not something that the industry should expect as the final word in this legislation. Hearings on the bill are under way, with more expected soon. 

Watch the full February hearing below.

The main idea, Caraveo said, is to curb effects on underage consumption. She cited anecdotal mental health issues in a February hearing on the bill.

“A lot of things have been said in public, including the inaccurate statement that I’m trying to decimate the industry in Colorado,” she told fellow lawmakers at the time. “That is not my goal. This is the start of a conversation about public health issues that I’m seeing as a doctor and that are being reported not only by CDPHE but by other physicians, parents and advocates who have reached out to me and contributed to my knowledge base on this issue.”

CrackerClips | Adobe Stock
Everything is bigger in Texas, and that might be why a one-size-fits-all program for adult-use cannabis isn’t the way to go.

State Rep. Jessica González, a Democrat whose district encompasses parts of Dallas and Grand Prairie, introduced House Bill 3248 on March 8, which aims to allow counties and local municipalities to decide for themselves whether or not to adopt ordinances for adult-use cannabis.

The bill directs the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to adopt the necessary rules to implement, administer and enforce the legislation's health and safety framework, including licensing, regulation, testing standards and transportation, according to a press release from González. The commission would be required to establish those rules no later than July 1, 2022.

H.B. 3248 would impose a 10% tax on the sales price of cannabis products, with 60% of the revenue generated from that tax being allocated to the state’s Foundation School Fund, according to the press release. The remaining revenue would be directed as follows: 20% to participating local governments for the purpose of oversight; 10% to cannabis testing and quality control; and 10% to cannabis regulation.

“[Fifteen] states in America have legalized cannabis, and 26 total states have decriminalized the use of cannabis,” González said. “In a recent study, 54% of Texans supported the legalization of recreational cannabis use. While Texas has made progress with the Compassionate Use Act, we have been left behind on a potential revenue source that would increase investments in public education, stop the unnecessary arrests for cannabis possession and create jobs in our state. We should allow our local communities to make the best decision for themselves in regards to cannabis legalization, and H.B. 3248 would allow that for adults 21 years or older.”

The Compassionate-Use Program is the law that governs the medical use of low-THC cannabis by patients diagnosed with seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, terminal cancer and other ailments. But the program’s pitfalls, like restrictions on where companies can store their inventory, came to light during a widespread winter storm that left delivery drivers immobilized by hazardous road conditions last month.

As cannabis prohibition and criminalization has negatively impacted many Californians and California communities, the state’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) partnered with the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) to provide $15 million in grant funding to help those caught in the sightlines of the war on drugs, building upon the $40 million in cannabis equity funding previously awarded by the state. 

GO-Biz and BCC announced Monday that the Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions will distribute the funds. The grants program works to improve economic justice for populations and communities impacted by cannabis prohibition by providing funding to local jurisdictions committed to promoting equity in the legal cannabis marketplace and eliminating barriers to entering the regulated cannabis industry.

Individuals convicted of a cannabis offense have a hard time entering the cannabis industry due to lack of resources, including the capital, business space, technical support and regulatory compliance assistance, the release states.

The jurisdictions will use the funding to advance cannabis equity programs, part of a broader effort to create a diverse legal industry. It will also aid program applicants and licensees by providing waived or reduced licensing fees, low- or no-interest loans or grants, and technical assistance like one-on-one consulting, training and navigation assistance with cannabis licensing and regulatory requirements, according to the release. 

“As we work to safely reopen our economy, leading with equity across all sectors will ensure a just recovery and further our commitment to create a truly diverse legal industry,” said Nicole Elliott, senior adviser on cannabis to Gov. Gavin Newsom. “These efforts stand as a testament to our values as a state, and I applaud the work being done by these jurisdictions as they thoughtfully embrace this challenge.”

And the state’s previous funding efforts have made a memorable impact on businesses. The CEO of Green Peakz, Jessie Grundy, said the California Cannabis Equity grant he received was “one of the best things to happen to his company.”