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Cannabis Industry Business Professionals Blogs, Press Releases and News Articles from the best journalist in the industry. Stay updated on all news from many online cannabis news outlets, on MjLink.com

Alabama Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence) is again sponsoring a medical cannabis legalization bill, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.

Melson announced plans last month to reintroduce medical cannabis legislation that he proposed in both 2019 and 2020. The Alabama Senate approved the measures both years, but the bills ultimately stalled in the House.

This year, Melson reintroduced his proposal in the form of S.B. 46, the Compassion Act, which would allow Alabama residents diagnosed with a qualifying condition, as well as designated caregivers, to access medical cannabis in the state, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.

The legislation would create the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, which would be charged with establishing and overseeing a patient registry; issuing medical cannabis cards; granting cultivation, processing, dispensary, transport and testing licenses for businesses; and outlining regulations for medical cannabis from seed to sale, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.

Melson’s bill would prohibit the smoking or vaping of cannabis, the news outlet reported.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 2, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Eteros Technologies, owner of Mobius Trimmer, a top brand of high-end cannabis and hemp processing equipment, has acquired California-based Triminator, a pioneer in harvesting equipment for professional growers of cannabis and hemp. The acquisition provides the Canadian-based Eteros Technologies with a broader product range and increased access to the U.S. market. Financial details were not disclosed.

The Mobius and Triminator product lines combine to form the world’s largest manufacturer of cannabis and hemp harvesting and processing equipment. Eteros Technologies, parent company of the Mobius line, plans to retain Triminator employees and leadership, and the company said both brands will continue to operate independently. Working in synergy, each will marshal greater engineering, sales, training and support resources to offer customers a comprehensive suite of processing solutions. This acquisition also means that the full Canadian designed-and-built Mobius line and full U.S.-built Triminator product line will be stocked and available across North America.  

“Just like Mobius, Triminator has built an amazing business from the ground up,” said Aaron McKellar, CEO of Mobius Trimmer. “Using innovation and ingenuity, Triminator’s team created machines that helped define the post-harvest process in modern cannabis and hemp agriculture. We look forward to building upon each other’s strengths to help even more farmers increase the efficiency of their harvest.”

The two product lines complement each other precisely because of their differences. Each is focused on providing full support to a specialized market. Triminator is committed to the cannabis and hemp farmer by building a community of hands-on brand ambassadors who have their own farms and can mentor other end-users on the craft of processing. The Mobius line has been focused on equipping and supporting growers who are operating in a large-scale, highly regulated environment, where SOPs and often GMP requirements drive processing operations and investing heavily in developing the training resources and technical documentation necessary to serve these end-users.

“This acquisition could not be a better fit from our perspective,” said Dana Mosman, CEO of Triminator. “We equip some of the most advanced farms across the globe and maintain our commitment to supporting farmers. Now our options to help these cultivators just increased exponentially. We look forward to continuing to meet the needs of the farming community, to help growers increase productivity and profitability in the rapidly evolving cannabis market.”

Each brand serves different customer segments. Mobius is one of the most technologically advanced harvesting options available, holding a number of patents in trimming technology and the largest market share in Canada among large-scale cultivators. Triminator has focused on the agricultural sector and small-to-midsize cultivators. The acquisition will give Mobius access to these businesses while providing Triminator access to Mobius’ customer service and technology.

Idaho lawmakers voted Jan. 29 to advance a joint resolution that would implement a constitutional ban on cannabis, according to an AP News report.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 6-2 to approve the proposed constitutional amendment, which would ban all psychoactive drugs that are not already legal in Idaho, the news outlet reported. The list of banned substances could then be adjusted if drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to AP News.

The amendment’s supporters argue that neighboring states have legalized cannabis through voter-approved initiatives, which could also happen in Idaho, while those opposed said medical cannabis should be available for residents suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses, the news outlet reported.

The joint resolution needs to pass the Idaho Senate and House with two-thirds majority in each chamber, according to AP News, and would then go before voters in the 2022 election.

The New Jersey Assembly Community Development and Affairs Committee voted 4-2 on Jan. 29 to advance a new adult-use compromise bill, according to an NJ.com report.

The legislation is lawmakers’ second attempt to pass an adult-use implementation bill that Gov. Phil Murphy will sign into law, the news outlet reported.

Murphy refused to sign an earlier version of adult-use legislation until lawmakers added penalties for underage cannabis use, but that attempt at a “cleanup bill” fell apart when Black lawmakers voiced opposition to the proposal, arguing that the penalties outlined in the legislation would disproportionately impact minorities, according to NJ.com.

While the first version of the bill would have imposed a fine of at least $250 for those ages 18 to 20 who possess up to 6 ounces of cannabis, as well as a fine of $500 or more for those who possess more than 6 ounces, the new legislation lowers the fines to $50 for the possession of less than 6 ounces and $100 for the possession of more than 6 ounces, the news outlet reported.

The legislation would also prohibit law enforcement from stopping and searching a young person solely based on the odor of cannabis, according to NJ.com.

The Mississippi Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler that challenges the initiative process that legalized medical cannabis in the state, according to an AP News report.

The court issued an order Jan. 28 that schedules the hearing for April 14, the news outlet reported.

Butler filed the complaint in late October, just one week before Election Day, to challenge the petition process that qualified Initiative 65, the state’s medical cannabis legalization measure, for the ballot.

The measure, which voters ultimately approved, requires the Mississippi State Department of Health to implement a medical cannabis program by the middle of this year, AP News reported, but Butler’s lawsuit seeks to block the program, arguing that the proposal should not have been on Mississippi’s ballot in the first place because the initiative process is outdated.

According to the state constitution, petitioners must collect and equal number of signatures from five congressional districts, according to AP News, but Mississippi only has four congressional districts following the 2000 Census. In her lawsuit, Butler argues that with four districts, more than one-fifth of the signatures must come from each, the news outlet reported.

Many might expect that the wine industry shares similarities with the cannabis market, from the strict regulations to brand development strategies, but few might think to compare cannabis with window treatments.

However, according to Allison Siegel, the former president of Next Day Blinds and a former information technology and marketing executive for Total Wine & More, both roles provided valuable experience and expertise that will serve her well in her new position as chief operating officer for CULTA, a Maryland-based, vertically integrated cannabis operator.

RELATED: How CULTA’s Jay Bouton Works: Cannabis Workspace

At Next Day Blinds, Siegel grew accustomed to owning the customer experience from manufacturing to sale to installation, which is not unlike overseeing the cultivation, manufacturing and sale of medical cannabis products. And, she adds, the cannabis industry is growing rapidly like the wine industry once was, which makes Siegel excited to lend her talents to another quickly evolving market. 

Here, Siegel shares more about her professional background, how her experience guides her perspective of the cannabis market and her overall goals for CULTA as the company continues to grow in Maryland.

SANTA FE, N.M., Feb. 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PRESS RELEASE -- Ultra Health, a New Mexico-based cannabis company, won a favorable ruling on regulations promulgated by the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) in June 2020. The regulations – including the strictest testing requirements in the United States, arbitrary restrictions on hemp activities, and suspension or revocation of a license without notice – were all invalidated by Santa Fe District Court Judge Bryan Biedscheid.

Judge Biedscheid invalidated the rules after NMDOH failed to consult the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board regarding the new regulations and failed to provide substantial evidence to support the changes.

Ultra Health and several other medical cannabis industry operators filed a petition under Rule 1-075 NMRA, which authorizes appeals from administrative decisions. Rule 1-075(R) NMRA requires that the Court analyze whether the decision of the agency is supported by substantial evidence, or evidence that is relevant and that a reasonable person may accept as adequate to support a conclusion.

“Given the applicability of Rule 1-075(R)(2) NMRA, and the State Rules Act’s requirement that an agency ensure technical information is contained within the rulemaking record, the Court finds that Department’s decision to adopt certain provisions of the repeal and replacement of 7.34.4 NMAC is not supported by substantial evidence,” Biedscheid stated in the order.

Biedscheid also held that the NMDOH had not consulted with the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board as required by the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, NMSA 1978, Section 27-2B-7(A) (2019). “There is insufficient information in the record from which to conclude that the Board and Department consulted about the full extent of the repeal and replace rulemaking,” the court’s order stated.

In 2017, West Virginia became the 29th state to legalize medical cannabis for residents with severe medical conditions. Now, nearly four years later, the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) announced the approved applicants to receive a medical cannabis dispensary permit.

The notice states that “recipients of these permits can operate retail locations within West Virginia for certified patients.” 

Patient registration applications are set to open Wednesday, Feb. 3, at noon. Once applications open, eligible West Virginia residents can visit www.medcanwv.org to register. There will be no paper applications available.

Patient cards are only valid to use in West Virginia. They do not offer any legal protections for medical cannabis products obtained outside of the state, the notice states. 

To access a full list of dispensary permit holders and registered physicians in West Virginia, click here.

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DENVER, Feb. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- PRESS RELEASE -- GrowGeneration Corp., one of the nation's largest chains of specialty hydroponic and organic garden centers, has announced its acquisition of Grow Depot, a two-store chain in Auburn and Augusta, Maine. The acquisition brings the total number of GrowGen hydroponic garden centers in Maine to five, with locations in Auburn, Augusta, Biddeford, Brewer and York.

"It's a very exciting time in Maine's adult-use market, and we're pleased to expand our footprint in the state through our acquisition of Grow Depot, which has proudly served the Central Maine area for nearly a decade," said Darren Lampert, GrowGeneration's CEO. "With our expanded footprint, the Maine market is expected to generate 2021 annual revenues of over $20 million for GrowGen."

Founded in 2012 by Jim Parisi, Grow Depot carries a large catalog of equipment for indoor growing and hydroponic systems. As part of the transaction, both Jim and Anthony Parisi, with over two decades of experience in the indoor growing supply industry, and their 10 employees will join GrowGen's team of more than 450 grow professionals. 

The Grow Depot acquisition is the company's second of the year and follows yet another quarter of record earnings. Last month, the company pre-announced fourth-quarter revenues of $61.5 million, bringing full-year 2020 revenue to $192 million, up 140% from 2019. Same-store sales increased 63% for full-year 2020, compared to the previous year. The company also raised its 2021 revenue guidance to $335 million-$350 million and raised its 2021 adjusted EBITDA guidance to $38 million-$40 million. GrowGen plans to have 55 garden center locations by the end of 2021.

For more information about GrowGeneration, or to locate its stores, please visit www.growgeneration.com.

More than a dozen state legislatures are considering medical or adult-use cannabis legalization bills this year as momentum builds following the 2020 election, which saw five states pass legalization measures, and the U.S. House’s approval of the MORE Act, which would federally deschedule cannabis.

RELATED: 7 States That Could Legalize Cannabis in 2021

“The Election Day legalization victories certainly added to the momentum for other states to pursue marijuana reform, particularly in the Northeast, and lawmakers in several states have already taken action by introducing legislation to legalize marijuana,” Violet Cavendish, communications manager for The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), tells Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary.

MPP is focusing its efforts on advancing legislation to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia this year, Cavendish says, adding that New York and New Mexico are also key states to watch as state lawmakers consider legalization proposals.

On the medical cannabis front, MPP is actively working with patient advocates this year to advance legislation in Kentucky and South Carolina.

More than a dozen state legislatures are considering medical or adult-use cannabis legalization bills this year as momentum builds following the 2020 election, which saw five states pass legalization measures, and the U.S. House’s approval of the MORE Act, which would federally deschedule cannabis.

RELATED: 7 States That Could Legalize Cannabis in 2021

“The Election Day legalization victories certainly added to the momentum for other states to pursue marijuana reform, particularly in the Northeast, and lawmakers in several states have already taken action by introducing legislation to legalize marijuana,” Violet Cavendish, communications manager for The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), tells Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary.

MPP is focusing its efforts on advancing legislation to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia this year, Cavendish says, adding that New York and New Mexico are also key states to watch as state lawmakers consider legalization proposals.

On the medical cannabis front, MPP is actively working with patient advocates this year to advance legislation in Kentucky and South Carolina.

This week, U.S. Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) introduced the Marijuana 1-to-3 Act to move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. At the state level, lawmakers in North Dakota and Florida introduced adult-use legalization proposals, while a Kentucky legislator put forth a measure to legalize medical cannabis.

Here, we’ve rounded up the top 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.

Federal: U.S. Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) has introduced the Marijuana 1-to-3 Act to move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. Although rescheduling would lift the burden of tax code 280E and make cannabis research easier, the move would not end federal prohibition entirely. Read moreCalifornia: The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has filed proposed emergency regulations with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to implement Assembly Bill 1525, which became law in September to provide the state’s licensed cannabis businesses broader access to financial services. The new law provides a safe harbor for banking institutions doing business with cannabis companies and essentially makes it easier for cannabis businesses to start relationships with banks. Read moreAfter a judge ruled that cannabis billboards are illegal on California roads that cross state borders, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) has issued a notice announcing new rules for the advertisements. Under the new regulations, cannabis companies cannot place new billboard ads on any interstate highway that crosses the California border, and businesses must remove any current billboards placed along these roads. Read moreNorth Dakota: Rep. Jason Dockter has sponsored an adult-use cannabis legalization bill, despite his opposition to legalizing cannabis in the state. Dockter believes legalization is inevitable as more states regulate cannabis within their borders, and says lawmakers should draft a legalization proposal instead of leaving the issue in the hands of a ballot initiative campaign. Read moreNorth Dakota lawmakers are also considering legislation to update the state’s medical cannabis program. Bills pending in the state legislature would expand the list of qualifying conditions and allow access to edible products, among other changes. Read moreKentucky: Sen. Steve West has introduced a medical cannabis legalization bill, Senate Bill 92. The legislation would allow practitioners to recommend medical cannabis to their patients, and would legalize the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, sale and delivery of cannabis products in the state. Read moreFlorida: Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Sen. Jeff Brandes have filed complementary bills to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state. Smith’s H.B. 343 would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older, while Brandes’ S.B. 710 revises “the sales tax exemption for the sale of marijuana and marijuana delivery” for cannabis purchases. Read moreMontana: Rep. Matt Regier is drafting legislation to amend I-90, the ballot initiative voters approved in November to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state. Regier plans to introduce bills that would give more cannabis tax revenue to human services, as well as allow licensed dispensaries to advertise their products. Read moreTennessee: Rep. London Lamar introduced legislation this week to decriminalize the possession of less than one ounce of cannabis. H.B. 413 would essentially legalize the possession and the casual exchange of up to one ounce of cannabis, as long as no transaction is taking place. Read morePennsylvania: Gov. Tom Wolf called for adult-use cannabis legalization in his 2021 agenda. “The revenue generated from legalization will be used to support historically disadvantaged small businesses through grant funding and provide them the assistance they need to build back from the economic crisis and strengthen our economy,” Wolf said. Read more

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf called for adult-use cannabis legalization in his 2021 agenda, which was released Jan. 28, according to a local CBS 21 News report.

Legalization is part of Wolf’s economic recovery efforts as the state continues to battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the news outlet reported.

“The revenue generated from legalization will be used to support historically disadvantaged small businesses through grant funding and provide them the assistance they need to build back from the economic crisis and strengthen our economy,” Wolf said. “Additionally, a portion of the revenue will support restorative justice programs to help the individuals and communities that have been adversely harmed by the criminalization of marijuana.”

This is not the first time that Wolf has called for adult-use legalization to combat the economic fallout of the pandemic; the Democratic governor made a similar proposal last summer, which was met with mixed reactions from industry insiders.

Wolf will make his annual Budget Address Feb. 2, CBS 21 News reported.

The North Dakota Senate voted Jan. 28 to kill Sen. Oley Larsen’s S.B. 2234, legislation that would have allowed registered medical cannabis patients and caregivers to grow up to eight cannabis plants, according to The Bismarck Tribune.

RELATED: North Dakota Lawmakers Consider Legislation to Update Medical Cannabis Program

Larsen told the news outlet that the bill was meant to improve medical cannabis access in the state for patients who have trouble visiting dispensaries.

Opponents of the legislation, including law enforcement officers, expressed concerns about how growing operations would be regulated, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

Other medical cannabis-related bills currently pending in the state legislature would allow patients to access edibles, as well as restructure the state’s medical cannabis advisory board, according to the news outlet.

Revolutionary Clinics, a Massachusetts-based medical cannabis dispensary, has dropped its lawsuit against Cambridge over the city’s ordinance that allowed only social equity applicants to receive adult-use retail licenses for a two-year period, according to a MassLive.com report.

A judge initially sided with Revolutionary Clinics in January 2020, ruling that licensed medical cannabis dispensaries must be able to immediately seek licensure in the adult-use market.

An appeals court then ruled in April that the city’s existing law was fair, which prompted Revolutionary Clinics to take its case back to the original judge in August. This time, the judge sided with the appeals court decision, and when Revolutionary Clinics brought the case back to court in October, it was ultimately dismissed.

“Rev firmly believes that the best remedies are developed through collaboration and partnership, rather than restrictions,” Revolutionary Clinics said in a statement to MassLive.com. “Although we maintain our position that the moratorium in Cambridge conflicts with state law, we ultimately recognize that this legal conflict needs to end. We have decided to drop the lawsuit and will instead focus more of our time, attention, and financial resources to help build impactful equity programs in the communities we serve."

DETROIT, Jan. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – PRESS RELEASE – Gage Cannabis Co., a cannabis brand and operator in Michigan, announced the final closing of its Regulation A, Tier 2, equity financing. In total, Gage issued 28,571,400 subordinate voting shares for gross proceeds of US$50,000,000, the maximum amount qualified under the company's offering circular (see Gage Cannabis Co. Offering Circular). The oversubscribed offering included demand from both institutional and retail investors and significantly expanded the company's ownership base through the addition of over 1,000 new shareholders.

The company expects to use the proceeds from the offering to expand its retail footprint, pursue accretive acquisitions and help position and solidify Gage as the leading cannabis operator in the state of Michigan.

"We are humbled and excited by the significant interest and investor demand we received for our oversubscribed Reg A financing," said Fabian Monaco, president of Gage. "Michigan is one of the fastest growing cannabis markets in the United States, and Gage is well positioned with a robust balance sheet to continue to grow our market share as the leading operator with the best brands in the state. This is a great first step in our journey to becoming a publicly traded company, and we're excited to continue to drive long-term shareholder value.”

Go-public Plan in Q1 2021

As previously announced, the company continues to pursue a potential go-public transaction, which it expects to complete in Q1 2021. Gage encourages interested investors to visit www.GageInvestors.com for more information, or to contact its investor relations team for further information or to be added to its shareholder distribution list at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Giving Tree Dispensary, the only female majority-owned dispensary in Arizona, received its license to sell adult-use cannabis Jan. 22, and the dispensary is getting ready for sales to begin.

Giving Tree opened and began selling medical cannabis in 2013. Since then, it has become one of the longest-standing cannabis companies in Arizona.

Last week, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) began accepting applications for its newly passed adult-use cannabis law. Lilach Mazor Power, Giving Tree Dispensary founder and managing director, says she submitted Giving Tree's application the first day they opened.

Courtesy of Giving Tree Dispensary
Power

"The applications were all online through our business account with the health department," Power said. "From the last eight years, the health department already has a lot of information about us. So, what we had to do is fill out a one-sheet application about our facilities, upload it at the station for each board member and show a level one clearance card, and then pay $25,000 online. It took me about 10 minutes."

A few days after Power applied, it was approved.

"Any current license holder that is already operating in the medical program and is in good standing with the health department should be approved," she said. "Good standing means that department came and did their inspection, you passed it and fixed any corrections that they asked you to fix so that your policies and procedures are now matching the medical and adult-use market."


Tennessee Rep. London Lamar (D-Memphis) introduced legislation Jan. 26 to decriminalize the possession of less than one ounce of cannabis, according to a local WTVF report.

H.B. 413 would essentially legalize the possession and the casual exchange of up to one ounce of cannabis, as long as no transaction is taking place, according to a FOX 17 report.

Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk announced last summer that his office will no longer prosecute minor cannabis possession offenses that involve less than half an ounce of cannabis, and Lamar told WTVF that there should be a statewide standard for how law enforcement deals with cannabis.

“What we want to do is make sure there’s a unified standard across Tennessee where no matter what county you’re in, there’s the same standard around criminalization and having the possession of marijuana,” Lamar told the news outlet.

Elsewhere in the state, Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) has announced plans to introduce a new medical cannabis legalization bill this year after previous attempts stalled in the legislature.

The November 2020 presidential election broke records. More votes were cast for president (some 165 million) than ever before in our history

We have not surpassed this percentage of voters in a presidential election (approximately 67%) in 120 years, that is, since the election of William McKinley and his Vice president Theodore Roosevelt in 1900 at 73.7%. 

However, this uptick of participation in the political process has revealed entrenched partisanship. This, when coupled with what we witnessed on the steps of the capitol, shows that we are a nation riven by polarization. Reminiscent of 1860, as the nation splintered over slavery, we appear hopelessly divided by what the framers called “faction,” or as it is known today “political tribalism.”

Our politics (riffing on James Madison’s Federalist Papers Number 10) has devolved into jersey-wearing domestic factions with “citizens united and actuated in some common impulse . . . adverse to the rights of other citizens.” Social scientists have confirmed that 21st-century politics is less about principles and more like allegiances to home-town sports teams with many voters, quoting a University of Kansas study, “caring more about . . . winning . . . than they do [about] ideology or issues.”  

But partisan-Mason Dixon divisions have not infused every political issue. There is one that trumps the jersey, and has done so from the mountains to the prairies: it is cannabis legalization. Blue, red, and purple states voted green this past November.

Five states from diverse regions of the country had cannabis on the ballot in November, specifically: Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. And as Rolling Stone magazine “vernacularly” noted, “[e]very single weed initiative passed on election day.”

While the world turned upside-down in the spring of 2020, the general profile of cannabis consumers began shifting as well.

“There was a significant amount of new customers,” Socrates Rosenfeld, co-founder and CEO of online ordering platform I Heart Jane, says. This pointed to a growing comfort with the idea of cannabis, particularly among those who perhaps hadn’t tried it in the past or hadn’t consumed anything beyond flower. “Product discovery was another trend. We saw people adding new products, new complements or substitutes to their cart. That was really interesting.”

With 500,000 SKUs on the platform, consumers across the U.S. have been able to settle into the shopping experience from their home.

“We've seen a lot more activity and searches and adding multiple items to a card, comparatively shopping, within category and cross-category,” Rosenfeld says. New product silos—like concentrates, in particular—have been rising in the sheer number of sales transactions over the past year.

This coincides with the ascent of online ordering and curbside pickup more broadly. On the retailer’s side of the transaction, this means more data—which allows for a more nuanced approach to purchasing and inventory tracking.

Before March 2020, Rosenfeld says that I Heart Jane was tracking 17% online ordering across the U.S. As the quarantine lifestyle became the norm, that stat jumped to a peak of 50%. “That’s held steady, six, seven, eight, nine months,” he says.