LAS VEGAS, NV / ACCESSWIRE / September 1, 2021 / PRESS RELEASE / Planet 13 Holdings Inc., a vertically-integrated national cannabis company, has announced that it has entered into a definitive license purchase agreement with a subsidiary of Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. pursuant to which a newly acquired subsidiary of the company to be renamed Planet 13 Florida Inc. will purchase a license to operate as a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center issued by the Florida Department of Health to the seller, and no other assets or liabilities, from the seller for US$55 million in cash.

Licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs) are vertically integrated and the only businesses in Florida authorized to dispense medical marijuana cannabis to qualified patients and caregivers. MMTCs are authorized to cultivate, process, transport and dispense medical marijuana. As of Aug. 26, 2021, there were 22 companies with MMTC licenses with 371 dispensing locations across Florida. License holders are not subject to restrictions on the number of dispensaries that may be opened or on the number or size of cultivation and processing facilities they may operate.

"Florida has long been one of our most coveted markets with over 20 million residents, 130 million annual visitors and incredible consumer demand already demonstrated in the medical program. It was important for us to enter the market prior to a transition to adult-use to put the pieces in place to capitalize on this market in both the short and long term," said Larry Scheffler, co-CEO of Planet 13. "We are excited to introduce our best-in-class retail experience and portfolio of popular products to the Florida market and to continue to build the Planet 13 brand across the United States."

"After a lot of planning on how we wanted to approach this market, now is the time for action. We are well capitalized to complete the initial buildout of our cultivation and retail plan which includes a network of neighborhood stores in priority metro areas to support future SuperStores in Miami, Orlando, and other tourist destinations," said Bob Groesbeck, co-CEO. "We have a successful track record of completing large retail and cultivation buildouts on time and on budget. This expertise combined with our differentiated, experience-driven retail and diverse product portfolio gives us confidence moving into the Florida market."

As consideration for the license, the company will pay US$55 million in cash to the seller, with an initial deposit therefrom of US$2 million to be delivered by the company and held in escrow by a third party escrow agent upon execution of an escrow agreement as promptly as possible after the date hereof. The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions including the successful close of the Trulieve Cannabis Corp./Harvest arrangement transaction, the Florida Department of Health's Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) approval for Planet 13 Florida to acquire the license and other customary closing conditions. If the foregoing regulatory approval is not obtained, the company and seller will have the right to terminate the agreement.

BOULDER, Colo. (Sept. 1, 2021) – PRESS RELEASE – As many as 70 million people in the United States wrestle with unsatisfactory sleep. But today, sleep sufferers across Colorado have a solution—Wana Optimals Fast Asleep gummies. Fast Asleep is the first product from Wana Brands’ new line of daily wellness products, Wana Optimals, that are steeped in science and crafted to help people achieve different health goals through the power of plants.

Leveraging proprietary encapsulation technology for quick onset in 5-15 minutes, the Wana Optimals Fast Asleep custom sleep formulationpowered by Wana’s ongoing research on minor cannabinoids and terpenesis carefully crafted to address the root causes of sleeplessness, such as stress and physical discomfort, rather than simply inducing drowsiness, as with most sleep medicines. The majority of other products on the market are designed to knock a person out to sleep, while the Fast Asleep formulation is designed to get better sleep, faster.

Each fast-acting gummy contains 10mg CBD for calming and relaxing effects, and promoting REM sleep; 2mg CBN, which can lower stress, relieve tension, and alleviate physical discomfort; 2mg CBG for its relaxing and anti-inflammatory effects; 2mg THC, which works with the CBD to help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm; 1mg Melatonin, a sleep hormone to enhance the effects of these powerhouse cannabinoids; 30+ Specialized Terpenes, chosen via extensive user research for their sleep-promoting properties. 

“At Wana, we are fully committed to harnessing the power of the cannabis plant and delivering on the many promises it provides for different consumer experiences and benefits,” said Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands. “To do this, we are looking well beyond the two most well-known cannabinoids THC and CBD, at the many other cannabinoids and terpenes produced by the plant that are known to have their own pharmacological effects. Wana Optimals Fast Asleep is our first offering meant to achieve specific results like better sleep. Why use a sledgehammer when you can use a scalpel?” 

Fast Asleep is the first product in the Wana Optimals’ line of daily wellness products that leverage the power of a variety of rare cannabinoids, including CBG and CBN, for their unique effects. As consumer education about and research into cannabinoids grows, demand for these potent and dynamic plant compounds will continue to spike. Wana is at the forefront of cannabinoid research and development, and its Optimals line stands as a leading-edge product. Wana Optimals Fast Asleep Gummies are vegan and organically sweetened. 

Pacific Northwest heat waves have been challenging growers—and their plants—since June. What do these extreme heat waves mean for hemp crop harvest this fall?

Gordon Jones is an assistant professor of general agriculture based at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center for Oregon State University.  Jones says well established hemp plants, transplanted in good conditions with proper root growth, can withstand a fair amount of heat stress—as long as they have access to water. 

But with extreme heat come other obstacles like reduced access to water, wildfire smoke and declining worker morale.

“On some grand level, the smoke, the heat, and the drought are connected, and we could probably have a climate change discussion at the macro scale,” says Jones. These challenges make growing hemp in extreme heat a game of survival. However, there are steps farmers can take early on to prevent heat stress and still have a successful harvest.

What is an 'Extreme Heat Wave'?

The World Meteorological Organization states that a heat wave is when the daily maximum temperature exceeds the average maximum temperature by 9 degrees Fahrenheit for more than five consecutive days. From June 24 to June 29, Pacific Northwesterners experienced a 1-in-1,000-year heat event when temperatures peaked at 116 degrees.

In extreme heat conditions, hemp leaves droop and fold up in a protective measure. If the stress is not mediated, they will yellow and become crisp. Once a plant is matured, there’s not a lot of changes growers can make, warns Cedar Grey, founder of Siskiyou Sungrown, a CBD wellness product brand in Southern Oregon.

It’s been five months since former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) but little headway has been made on adult-use cannabis legalization.

Kathy Hochul, who became New York’s first female governor last week—after Cuomo resigned following months of sexual harassment allegations—plans to change all that by jumpstarting the state’s legal cannabis market through nominating appointees to the state’s management office and control board.

During a press conference Tuesday evening, Gov. Hochul called for a special session of the New York Legislature to begin at noon Sept. 1. The session will deal with freeing up the state’s “long overdue” cannabis program, as well as addressing the state’s rent and eviction crisis, she said. It will also address the state’s Open Meetings Law to allow more access to meetings.

When Hochul was sworn into the governor’s office last week, she said one of her top priorities was to get rental relief to families in need. But she said Tuesday that getting the cannabis program up and running is also one of her first concerns.

“I also have an agenda item that’s very important to me and that is to jumpstart the long overdue decisions pertaining to establishing cannabis in the state of New York,” Hochul said. “I’ll be appointing my nominations to start the process to legally produce and distribute cannabis in the state of New York.”

Hochul is tasked with nominating an executive director for the new Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and naming three appointees, including a chairperson, to the Cannabis Control Board (CCB).

Mississippi lawmakers are working on legislation to legalize medical cannabis in the state after the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved legalization initiative in May, but Agriculture and Commerce Secretary Andy Gipson is wary of a proposed plan that would require the Department of Agriculture to license and regulate the industry.

During an Aug. 27 interview with SuperTalk Mississippi, Gipson expressed concerns that overseeing a medical cannabis program would distract the department from its primary focus of supporting the state’s farmers.

“Our farm groups do not want this program under the Department of Agriculture,” he said. “[We’ve got to] stay focused on supporting our farmers and legal agriculture, not this illegal substance that they’re basically asking me to bless. I’m not ready to do that.”

Gipson said he is hesitant to regulate something that remains federally illegal, and classified cannabis as a drug rather than an agricultural product.

Initiative 65, which passed in the November 2020 election before being struck down by the Mississippi Supreme Court, charged the Mississippi State Department of Health with regulating the program.

Consumption lounges are set to hit the Nevada cannabis market in 2022.

The consumption lounges became authorized after Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 341 into law in June. The legislation established the licensing and regulatory framework for cannabis consumption lounges in Nevada and paved the way for an unlimited number of lounges to open across the state, Cannabis Business Times previously reported.

The final passing of the legislation came roughly four years after Nevada legalized adult-use cannabis and years after setbacks and debates about the bill from the rival gaming industry, Cannabis Business Times reported.

However, the wait for consumption lounges in Nevada is finally over. According to The Nevada Independent, consumption lounges are on track to set up shop in the state by mid-next year due to a recent funding boost from the states’ Interim Finance Committee (IFC).

Roughly two weeks ago, the IFC unanimously approved three items at the interim committee that would provide the states’ Cannabis Control Board (CCB) with funds to acquire more staff, administer cannabis revenue toward education funding and work with the states attorney general’s office to establish regulations, NI reported.

Tyler Klimas, CCB executive director, said the items passed by the IFC would “direct $10.9 million to fund 23 new full-time employees at the regulatory agency,” NI reported. Klimas also added that the employees hired would fulfill positions in control of the consumption lounges’ compliance and background checks, licensing, suitability determinations and criminal investigations.

Missouri did not launch medical cannabis sales until Oct. 16, 2020, but a report released earlier this month revealed the extent to which licensed patients were lined up for access.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) issued 56,448 new patient licenses and 12,062 renewed patient licenses between Dec. 6, 2019, and Dec. 5, 2020, according to the department’s second annual report of the Missouri Medical Marijuana Regulatory Program.

The DHSS approved 23,000-plus patients and caregivers in program year 2019—before commercial sales began—with roughly 33% also approved to home cultivate. That year, Missouri home cultivators were comprised of 7,276 patients and 298 caregivers.

But with the state’s first medical cannabis sales launching this past October, the number of approved patients grew by roughly 200% during 2020. In addition, approved caregivers grew from 563 to 2,146, and home cultivators grew from 7,574 to 19,831.

DHSS is required by law to annually submit a report to the governor regarding the efficient discharge of its responsibilities.

“It is an honor to be a part of the great success of this new medical industry in Missouri,” Lyndall Fraker, director of the section of medical cannabis within the DHSS, said in a news release Aug. 19, when the second annual report was published.

Columbus, OH – PRESS RELEASE – The Ohio Ballot Board certified the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s initiated statute language as a single issue Aug. 30. The certification means that CRMLA can begin the process of collecting the more than 130,000 signatures required to present the proposed legislation to Ohio legislators.

RELATED: Group Launches Effort to ‘Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’ in Ohio

“We’re happy with today’s outcome and believe the ballot board made the right call on this one,” said spokesman Tom Haren. “We look forward to beginning the signature collection process and working with our state legislators to create a safe, legal, and highly regulated cannabis market in Ohio.”

After collecting more than 130,000 signatures to formally send the initiative to the Ohio General Assembly, the legislature will have four months to consider the proposed legislation. Should they opt not to pass the bill as is, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol can collect an additional 130,000 signatures to present the issue to Ohio voters on the November 2022 ballot.

Haren also noted that the legislature can act now: “Ohioans overwhelmingly support cannabis legalization, and we’re ready to work with legislators to end prohibition today.”

The North Carolina Senate Health Care Committee became the third Senate panel to approve a medical cannabis legalization bill Aug. 26, according to an AP News report.

The Judiciary Committee approved the legislation June 30, then passed the bill again Aug. 24 after a second review, where lawmakers addressed an amendment with changes requested by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The legislation cleared the Senate Finance Committee July 21.

Senate Bill 711, called the NC Compassionate Care Act, would allow patients with qualifying conditions, including cancer, epilepsy and HIV, to access cannabis products, and would authorize a newly created state commission to license 10 medical cannabis suppliers, which could open up to four dispensaries.

The Health Care Committee approved an amendment to the legislation that increases the amount of a prescribing physician’s required training from three to 10 hours, AP News reported.

An adult-use cannabis legalization bill gained momentum in the Delaware House this spring before it ultimately stalled after debate over a social equity fund included in the legislation.

Now, the sponsor behind that legislation, Rep. Ed Osienski (D-Newark), has plans to reintroduce a substitute bill in January, when the Legislature reconvenes for its 2022 legislative session, according to a Cape Gazette report.

“I hope to get this done before Washington takes steps, because this will give Delaware businesses a head start before the federal government changes its regulations,” Osienski told the news outlet. “States that didn’t take this action will be slow starting out, whereas states that have will have a head start and be able to sell their product across state borders.”

Last year’s attempt at legalization, H.B. 150, included a social equity fund that would have provided grants or loans to minority business owners to operate cannabis businesses in areas that have been disproportionately impacted by prohibition. The legislation did not specifically outline how the fund would be financially supported, and when Osienski filed an amendment to address funding, some legislators argued that it weakened the bill, the Cape Gazette reported.

Osienski told the news outlet that a group is currently working on revised language to clarify that a commission will work to create a social equity fund for minority applicants.

Kind Idaho Chair Jackee Winters is laser-focused on qualifying the group’s medical cannabis legalization initiative for the state’s 2022 ballot in order to help her daughter, who suffers from a brain tumor, get legal access to cannabis.

“It’s time for Idaho to grow up,” she told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “There are people here who suffer, and we’re behind the times. We need medical advancements in Idaho, and I don’t want to have to relocate my entire family. … It’s not fair that she’s got to suffer, and they basically try to turn us all into criminals by not letting us have our own choice.”

Winters said Kind Idaho has a “skeleton crew” of volunteers in different parts of the state, and has collected roughly 5,000 of the 65,000 total signatures needed to get the group’s medical cannabis legalization measure, the Idaho Medical Marijuana Act for 2022 (IMMA), before voters next year.

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 in the state.

“We’re asking for regulated medication—cannabis—that would be available to [patients] when they need it,” Winters said. “We really need something … for the people in Idaho who suffer.”

Illinois is in the final stages of licensing new cannabis retailers in its adult-use cannabis market, which launched in January 2020, but employees in the state can still be fired for testing positive for cannabis use.

To change that, Democratic Reps. Bob Morgan, Kambium Buckner and Kelly Cassidy have sponsored H.B. 4116, which would prohibit employers from terminating—or refusing to hire—employees based solely on a positive drug test for cannabis.

The bill places limits on the allowable amount of cannabis in an employee’s system; legal limits would be 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms per milliliter of saliva.

Since cannabis remains federally illegal, federal employees or those with federal contracts would be exempt from the law, according to a KHQA report.

The legislation also provides exceptions for certain groups like emergency workers, and it would allow employers to take disciplinary action against employees who are impaired on the job.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission held its second meeting this week, where commissioners indicated that the state’s medical cannabis program may not launch by September 2022, as originally planned.

The 14-member commission, which only received its final appointments last month, met to begin discussions about the framework of the program that will eventually allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients with one of several qualifying conditions, including autism, Crohn’s disease, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Medical cannabis sales were originally expected to launch by September 2022, but commissioners now anticipate that cultivation licenses may not be available until then, which could delay the program’s launch into 2023, according to a WSFA report.

“The legislation was initially [supposed] to start in September of 2021 and [it was] pushed it back a year not thinking that we could get organized and going this fast,” Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission Chair Dr. Steven Stokes told the news outlet. “Sen. [Tim] Melson was here; he said he would assist us in enabling legislation in the first session so maybe we can move it up.”

The commission is still accepting applications for a director until Aug. 30, WSFA reported. A director will be appointed at the next meeting on Sept. 9.

BOCA RATON, Fla., Aug. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PRESS RELEASE -- Jushi Holdings Inc., a vertically integrated, multi-state cannabis operator, announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Franklin Bioscience OH, LLC, a licensed medical cannabis processor in Ohio. FBS – OH operates an 8,000-suqare-foot, state-of-the-art processing facility located in Columbus, Ohio. Additionally, the company has launched a series of upcoming brands and products in the State of Ohio, beginning with the debut of its brand, Sèche, the company’s fine flower line, which is currently available for purchase at partner dispensaries across the Buckeye State.

Jushi plans to follow the Sèche brand launch with the debut of Tasteology, the company’s brand of premium, real fruit, cannabis-infused gummies and tarts, available in the following cannabis-infused gummies flavors: Blueberry Calm, Peach Balance and Mango-Pineapple Boost, and in the following cannabis-infused tarts flavors: Green Apple Balance, Sour Watermelon Boost, Blue Raspberry Calm and Mellow Mint. Jushi’s award-winning vaporization line, The Lab, in the form of .5g and .3g vape cartridges with rechargeable batteries, will also make its official Ohio debut in the coming weeks.

With the company’s previously announced acquisition of OhiGrow, LLC, one of 34 licensed cultivators in Ohio, and Ohio Green Grow LLC (collectively, “OhiGrow”), Jushi expects to start its first cannabis plants this month at the OhiGrow facility in Toledo, Ohio. Jushi also expects to bring additional Sèche flower product lines, along with its award-winning flower brand, The Bank, to Ohio medical cannabis patients in the first quarter of 2022. Currently, the company’s Sèche and The Bank brands are available at dispensaries across Nevada and Pennsylvania, and are also expected to launch in Virginia in September of this year.

Jushi Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Founder Jim Cacioppo commented, “We are cultivating and producing brands in Ohio that are exciting, connective and relevant to Ohio’s medical marijuana patients. Through our continued dedication to research and development, our team has a firm understanding of what our customers and patients are looking for in cannabis products. Jushi’s objective is for our brands and product offerings to not only meet but exceed cannabis consumers’ expectations. From innovative and genetically superior flower lines, to top of the line concentrates and unique edible offerings, our goal is to reinvent, redesign and redefine the cannabis experience."

The New Mexico Cannabis Control Division (CCD) adopted its final rules Aug. 24 for adult-use cannabis production, with plans to begin accepting license applications from cultivators later this week, according to a KRWG report.

The regulations, which are effective immediately, include licensing requirements and plant count limits for cultivators that allow licensees to grow a maximum of 10,000 plants at a time.

Once the CCD begins accepting cultivation license applications through its online system, it has 90 days to approve or deny the applications it receives.

“We are ready for business,” Regulation and Licensing Department Superintendent Linda Trujillo told KRWG. “The Cannabis Control Division is committed to supporting licensees to maximize the economic opportunities that adult-use cannabis sales offer our state.”

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

TORONTO, Aug. 25, 2021 /CNW/ - PRESS RELEASE - The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd., a producer of premium certified organically grown cannabis, has announced it completed its first international commercial shipment consisting of cannabis flower and other extracts destined for the highly anticipated South African medical cannabis market. 

TGOD's cannabis flower will be the first to be distributed legally in the country at a commercial scale. Its products received the approval of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). This illustrates the value of TGOD's organic portfolio and bolsters its position in securing international market access. TGOD continues to see demand and opportunities for superior quality, high potency and consistent products, which the CleanCraft processes enable TGOD to deliver.

"This is an important milestone in our strategy to export our certified organically grown medical cannabis products to international markets. We are confident that our in-country partner will continue to develop this nascent market and that TGOD's portfolio of products will be well received by patients that have previously lacked access to legal, high-quality medical cannabis," commented Sean Bovingdon, TGOD's CEO and Interim CFO. "We are pleased to be able to complete our first shipment mid-Q3 2021, in line with our corporate objectives. This is setting the base for our large-scale commercialization into the international market in 2022."

A medical cannabis legalization bill cleared the North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee for the second time Aug. 24, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Senate Bill 711, called the NC Compassionate Care Act, originally passed the Judiciary Committee June 30, then cleared the Senate Finance Committee July 21.

The legislation was then sent to the Senate Health Care Committee before being pulled and sent back to the Judiciary Committee for a second review, where lawmakers addressed an amendment consisting of “mostly technical changes,” according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Some of the changes were requested by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the news outlet reported, while others were based on medical cannabis regulations established by the Utah Legislature.

Changes adopted by the Judiciary Committee include adding a new category for patients with terminal illnesses who have been diagnosed with less than six months to live, the Winston-Salem Journal reported, as well as a ban on smoking or vaping cannabis within 1,000 feet of a workplace, K-12 school, childcare facility, or house of worship.

It’s no secret that many of California’s legal cannabis businesses have been struggling to thrive since the state launched its first adult-use sales in 2018.

To help support the industry, the County of Humboldt launched Project Trellis in 2019 as a three-tier initiative that provides business support and resources to the industry, covering cannabis business micro-grants, local equity, and marketing and promotion.

“It was created through a resolution that provided 10% of our local cannabis cultivation taxes to be returned to the community through this project,” said Peggy Murphy, economic development specialist for the County of Humboldt. “It covers three basic programs.”

The Micro-Grant Program offers grants of up to $10,000 for cannabis and ancillary businesses—including cultivators, retailers, distributors and manufacturers—for projects approved by the Project Trellis Committee. The grants are competitive, and applications go through the committee for scoring and ranking.

In its first year, Project Trellis awarded $180,000 in microgrants, and in its second year, it awarded $519,000. The grants have funded a variety of projects, Murphy said, including business’ organic certifications, water tanks and solar panels.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) conducted its third and final lottery Aug. 19 to award 75 cannabis retail licenses, but final licenses cannot be issued until lawsuits brought forth by applicants are resolved.

WAH Group LLC alleges in its lawsuit that regulators mistakenly excluded the company from Illinois’ first licensing lottery, which took place July 29.

WAH Group claims state officials told the company that it would qualify for the next lottery, which occurred Aug. 5, but WAH alleges in its lawsuit that the scoring process was flawed because regulators awarded bonus points to applications submitted by veteran-owned businesses.

WAH Group revealed that one of the company’s partners is a veteran during a supplementary scoring period, after applicants learned that those extra points were needed to receive a perfect score on their applications and qualify for the licensing lottery, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report.

In an Aug. 16 ruling, Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobius ordered IDFPR to include WAH Group in the Aug. 19 lottery, where the company ultimately won two of the 75 available dispensary licenses.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost approved revised language for an adult-use cannabis legalization measure Aug. 20, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Earlier this month, Yost rejected a previous version of the language, which was submitted by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. Yost ruled that the summary of the group’s 45-page initiative petition was not a “fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.”

The group submitted revised summary language Aug. 13.

RELATED: Group Launches Effort to ‘Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’ in Ohio

The proposed law would legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, testing and sales to adults 21 and older. Adults would be allowed to grow up to six plants at home for personal use, with a maximum of 12 plants per household.