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California Department of Cannabis Control Seeks $128 Million in Penalties From Illegal Cannabis Businesses

The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is seeking $128 million in penalties from illegal cannabis businesses that regulators say produced and sold products in the state for more than a year without a license.

Regulators argue that “undisputed evidence” was revealed during the course of litigation and that the four business entities and three individual owners named as defendants in the case admitted to the illegal activity, which occurred for roughly a year and a half, Law360 reported.

"Both the admissions of the defendants and independent evidence gathered by the DCC support that the seven defendants 'engaged in unlicensed commercial cannabis activity' in the State of California for 527 days," the department told the court, according to Law360. "There is no triable issue as to this fact when determining the civil penalty that should be assessed in this case."

Regulators went on to argue that the department “should be granted summary since there were no contested issues left as to whether the defendants broke the law or what the civil penalties should be,” Law360 reported.

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control, the regulatory body that has since been replaced by the DCC, and the California Department of Public Health filed the lawsuit nearly two years ago, according to Law360. State officials accused the defendants of “flooding the regulated market with $64 million worth of cannabis gummies,” which were manufactured without a state license, the outlet reported.

The Parent Company Completes the Acquisition of Calma

SAN JOSE, California, Sept. 27, 2022 - PRESS RELEASE - TPCO Holding Corp. (The Parent Company), a consumer-focused California cannabis company, announced that it has acquired the remaining 15% equity of its Calma Weho LLC (Calma) dispensary following receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals.

Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan region, the 3,250-square-foot dispensary is one of eleven stores in the West Hollywood area that is licensed for storefront retail and is surrounded by cultural destinations and tourist attractions in every direction. Since the first closing, the company has rolled out its full brand offering and recently debuted its Monogram "store within a store" concept, providing consumers a curated experience of the Monogram brand and line of products.

"The energy and excitement at Calma are fantastic, and it boasts the best flower assortment in West Hollywood," said Troy Datcher, The Parent Company CEO and chairman. "It's both a beautiful dispensary and an incredible gathering space that we have used to host events and collaborations, including our recent FaZe Rain RCVRY product launch, which saw phenomenal community response and surpassed our expectations. With an intentional menu selection that showcases a variety of consumption methods, Calma caters to both those about to embark on their cannabis journey as well as experienced connoisseurs, and we are thrilled to have now completed the acquisition."

In connection with the final closing of the acquisition, The Parent Company issued an aggregate $1.5 million common shares of the company to equity holders of Calma.


4Front Ventures Launches Premier California Cannabis Brand 'Island' in Massachusetts

PHOENIX, Arizona, Sept. 27, 2022 - 4Front Ventures Corp., a vertically integrated, multi-state cannabis operator and retailer, announced the launch of its premier California cannabis brand, Island Cannabis Co., in Massachusetts. Following the company's acquisition of Island, a California-based producer of prerolls, flower and concentrate products, in April, the company began cultivating 11 new Island flower strains at its state-of-art flower facilities located in Holliston, Georgetown and Worcester, Mass.

The 11 new Island strains include Project 4516; The Cypher; Banana Puddintain; Garlic Z; Star 91; Mimosa; London Pound Mints; TK-43; Wonka Bars; Cookies & Cream; and Grapes n' Cream. Each strain has been hand-selected for its unique genetic lineage, terpene profile, potency, and nose. Island's new strains are initially available for purchase exclusively at 4Front's Mission Dispensaries in Georgetown, Worcester and Brookline, and are expected to roll out to partner dispensaries across the Bay State in the coming weeks.

"After our acquisition of Island earlier this year, we quickly set out to strategically bring the very best the brand had to offer to our customers, and I couldn't be more pleased with how quickly and efficiently our team was able to deliver these popular California fan favorites to Massachusetts consumers," 4Front CEO Leo Gontmakher said. "With the launch of Island in the Bay State, we're confident that even the pickiest of cannabis connoisseurs will fall in love with these strains and that, as a whole, the brand will create a loyal following, just as it has in the Golden State. We also look forward to bringing additional high-quality flower products from Island to Massachusetts in the very near future, including larger format flower offerings and Island's best-selling prerolls and infused prerolls in singles and multipacks."

4Front President of Massachusetts Operations and Island Co-Founder Brandon Mills added, "Taking proven products and brands like Island and strategically launching them in key markets is one of the things we do best. With the launch of Island in Massachusetts, we took the best operational practices our team learned from years of cultivating and manufacturing in California, and married them with in-market expertise at our facilities in Holliston, Georgetown and Worcester. Bringing together best-in-class genetics, cultivation practices, and production technology, we're delivering a premium cannabis value proposition, coast-to-coast."


‘A Very Long and Hard-Fought Battle:’ Inside One Company’s Quest to Secure Licenses in Illinois’ Adult-Use Cannabis Market

Illinois’ adult-use cannabis licensing process has been littered with legal challenges, and High Haven, a female- and minority-owned company based in the state, is just one of several business hopefuls embroiled in litigation to secure licenses to operate in the state’s billion-plus-dollar cannabis industry.

In an Aug. 10 order, a judge allowed the company, represented by Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP, to participate in a “corrective lottery” designed to recreate the odds that High Haven would have faced had it not been excluded from the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation’s (IDFPR) original lotteries in 2021 to award 185 adult-use dispensary licenses.

RELATED: Illinois Cannabis Retail Licenses Still in Limbo After Third and Final Licensing Lottery

High Haven subsequently won five retail licenses and is now in the process of raising capital to launch its operations in the state, where the company also holds adult-use cannabis infuser and transporter licenses.

“The case against the IDFPR has been a very long and hard-fought battle,” Casey Grabenstein, partner at Saul Ewing and lead attorney on the case, tells Cannabis Business Times.

Connecticut Social Equity License Applicants Receive Do-Over

Connecticut’s Social Equity Council members did not admit error, but they are allowing five adult-use cannabis license applicants they previously rejected to resubmit their social equity applications.

That decision, which council members approved during their Sept. 26 meeting, stems from the council’s July approval of 16 adult-use cultivation licenses from a pool of 41 applicants for satisfactorily meeting the requirements set forth by state law to qualify for the Disproportionately Impacted Area (DIA) cultivator license type.

During what was supposed to be a one-time application period, social equity applicants were required to show control of at least 65% of the qualifying business as well as meet the law’s income and residency requirements.

But one of the 25 rejected applicants filed a lawsuit on the grounds that the Social Equity Council changed the rules midway through the process and did not allow for amended applications, claiming that there was no discussion about requiring the 65% ownership status at a previous meeting held by the council. More companies followed with litigation and a dozen lawsuits had been filed by mid-August.

Eleven of those lawsuits challenging the state’s social equity licensing process were later consolidated as one in New Britain Superior Court.

Now, the Social Equity Council is offering a do-over for a handful of companies that did not originally meet certain requirements during the three-month applications period earlier this year, CT News Junkie reported. Those companies are Brownstone Sales LLC, Leaf CT LLC, Let’s Grow Hartford LLC, Shangri-La CT Inc. and White Oak Apothecary LLC. 

Custom Cones USA Pledges 10% of Profits from Pink Ribbon Pre-Rolled Cones to Support Breast Cancer Research, Urging Cannabis Businesses to Match Donation

WASHINGTON STATE, Kent, Sept. 27, 2022 - PRESS RELEASE - Custom Cones USA will donate 10% of profits on its Pink Ribbon pre-rolled cones charity drive in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and is encouraging other cannabis businesses to match the Washington-based company's pledge. A portion of the pre-rolled pink cones' profits, which feature the iconic pink ribbon on a filter tip with refined white paper, will go toward breast cancer research, community education, and resources to help those suffering from this disease via a donation to the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. 

"For our Pink Ribbon Cones for a Cause donation, it was crucial to find a charity that is both transparent and actively working to end breast cancer, as well as improve the lives of those in our communities suffering from this disease," Custom Cones USA CEO and co-founder Harrison Bard said. "This is why Custom Cones USA is so honored to partner with the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation this year, in an effort to further fund scientific research and other proactive measures like community education and screenings that the nonprofit prioritizes." 

Interested cannabis companies can purchase pink cones to contribute to the cause. While only the Pink Ribbon cones' profits will go toward charity, other stock options are available for businesses who want to offer pink pre-rolls or packaging in time for October sales.

"Here at Custom Cones USA, we are proud to offer a way for the cannabis industry to give back to the community through our Pink Ribbon Cones for a Cause initiative," John Arriola, Custom Cones USA vice president of sales said. "As the industry's Pre-Roll Experts, we are also working tirelessly to keep plenty of alternate pink packaging options for pre-rolls in stock for October promotions–this helps small business roll out their own charity-focused products." 

Custom Cones USA is also able to fulfill custom orders of pre-rolled cones designed around a specific cause or for any event or promotion. Learn more about the company's Pink Ribbon Pledge and stay informed on all pre-roll industry happenings over at the Custom Cones USA blog. 


Headset Expands Data Services With the Launch of Bridge Signal

SEATTLE, Sept. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- PRESS RELEASE -- Headset, a provider of data and analytics to the cannabis industry, today expanded its suite of cannabis market and intelligence solutions with the launch of Bridge Signal. Building upon Headset's existing platform, which is powered by transaction data from over 26 point-of-sale integrations, the addition of menu-sourced data provides a new layer of real-time competitive intelligence designed for on-the-go users in a mobile friendly interface.

Headset's latest data tool, Bridge Signal, simplifies the cluttered landscape of online menus and limits the time companies spend scraping and collating menu data. Bridge Signal features a social media-like activity feed that tracks stock-outs, price changes, promotional activity and product arrivals throughout a specific region in real-time. The activity feed is accompanied by a retailer overview feature that allows users to dig deeper into the product assortment of nearby stores. Each week, Headset is committed to releasing new feature enhancements that will continue to advance the product's data security, data coverage, and reporting capabilities for both retailers and brands.

Through direct data partnerships with online menu providers, Bridge Signal provides a secure and reliable way to access competitive intelligence in real-time without the interruptions that alternative web-scraping models may encounter. The newly launched tool allows retailers to monitor changes in competitor pricing, product assortment and promotional activity. Bridge Signal also helps brands strategically prospect and find their competitive footing in an increasingly saturated landscape. In totality, Bridge Signal adds to an already robust ecosystem of data services and reinforces Headset as the most comprehensive solution for data and analytics in the cannabis space.

"In today's fast-paced, wide ranging market, Bridge Signal is more valuable than ever. There are, on average, 2,377 new products introduced per market per month. In California alone, there are 1197 brands competing across 971 stores. How do you stand out in a crowded market?" said Cy Scott, founder and CEO of Headset. "Bridge Signal simplifies the crowded industry and brings key pieces of data together in a mobile-friendly experience that is easy to digest."

To learn more about Bridge Signal, please click here.


Washington Department of Financial Institutions Approves Bankcard International Group's PIN Debit Payment Services for Cannabis Dispensaries

VANCOUVER, Wash., September 15, 2022 (Newswire.com) - PRESS RELEASE - Bankcard International Group (B.I.G.), a provider of cannabis merchant accounts for payment processing, announced that its services have been approved by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). Traditionally, cannabis businesses have had to use "workaround" solutions for electronic payments or accept cash only. B.I.G. offers retailers in Washington, and any state where cannabis is legal, the opportunity to accept PIN Debit card payments just like traditional retail businesses.

"We are thrilled that the Washington DFI recognizes the need for payment solution oversight and that we have met their standards to gain approval as a cannabis payment service provider. By offering a traditional debit-card payment option, we are paving the way for safer, more compliant, and more productive business," said Brett Taylor, CEO, B.I.G.

B.I.G. offers cannabis merchant accounts for PIN Debit payment processing, not cashless ATMs. Meaning, customers can purchase their products without the need to go to the ATM, sign up for a payment sending service, or carry cash. They simply insert their debit card, enter their PIN, and walk away--just like going to the grocery store. Until there is federal guidance, the major card brands still prohibit the use of credit cards for cannabis. However, many of the debit networks feel differently so long as strict compliance and reporting standards are maintained.

Joe Zahaitis, president, B.I.G. remarks, "We are very excited about this recognition by Washington state, further expanding our presence as a leader in legitimate cannabis processing around the country. We look forward to talking to new cannabis clients every day and welcome Washington State to the gold standard in compliant cannabis payments."

While the rapidly growing cannabis industry continues to struggle with access to traditional services, PIN Debit payments are a significant step forward for cannabis retailers and delivery services.

Nick Bendge, owner, Sparket Cannabis Market in Port Angeles, Wash., says: "… Using B.I.G.'s processing system, we have increased our average daily spend (ADS) compared with cash transactions, alleviated stress by having significantly less cash on premise and know that any issues that may arise will be quickly resolved with their great customer assistance ..." about B.I.G.'s PIN Debit services.

Study Finds Feeding Spent Hemp Biomass to Lambs Does Not Affect Health, Meat Quality

In a recent study, researchers at Oregon State University found that spent hemp biomass can be considered an alternative feed for lambs.

Hemp and its byproducts are currently not approved for use in animal feed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO); however, FDA approval for spent hemp biomass to be allowed for use in livestock diets would allow CBD hemp farmers to have an end use for their leftover hemp byproducts.

Earlier this year, AAFCO issued a joint letter of concern calling for more research on hemp in animal feed to ensure it is safe for the public, animals and industry, Cannabis Business Times reported.

"We understand the importance of supporting the hemp industry, and yet we also believe it is simply too soon to know whether hemp is safe for farm and ranch animals, as well as for our pets," AAFCO said in the letter. "Our goal is for more research to ensure the safety and well-being of the public, our animals, and our agricultural industry."

And researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) have taken the initiative and conducted several studies on feeding spent hemp biomass to livestock.

RELATED: Beyond Grain: Oregon Researchers Study Feeding Spent Hemp Biomass to Livestock

National Hemp Growers Cooperative Sets Sights on Bioplastic Opportunities

The National Hemp Growers Cooperative (NHGC) is a Mississippi-based organization with members across the U.S. that aims to provide opportunities for its growers and help them excel in their businesses. Recently, the cooperative has turned its attention to bioplastics.

NHGC recently partnered with Troy University's Center for Materials and Manufacturing Sciences in Alabama–where several of its members reside–to further the research and development of biodegradable plastics using hemp fiber and to create more market opportunities for its growers, particularly within the automotive industry.

The Center for Materials and Manufacturing Sciences opened in 2018 with help from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which awarded the center a three-year $3.2 million grant to further develop research related to polymers and polymer recycling. The NIST has since awarded the center two additional grants totaling $5 million to aid research.

Nick Walters, NHGC managing partner, says the center’s existing research and development efforts helped pave the way for the partnership. He adds that NHGC National Membership Coordinator, Max Howell, is also an alumnus of Troy University, further cementing the cooperative’s partnership with the university.

The university works closely with one of the largest plastic recycling companies in the U.S., KW Plastics, located in Troy, Ala., Walters says.

As part of the partnership, NHGC members will grow the hemp for the research, while KW plastics will provide the different types of recyclable plastics the Center for Materials and Manufacturing Sciences needs throughout the research and development.

28 Vie For Louisiana’s New Medical Cannabis Retail License

Competition for Louisiana’s 10th medical cannabis retail license features some heavy hitters from the sports, educational, political and law enforcement realms.

Under legislation that took effect last month, Louisiana’s retail footprint could more than triple with the state’s nine existing operators now allowed to open up additional dispensaries in each of their respective regions.

Also under House Bill 697, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy is required to issue the state’s first new medical cannabis retail license since the program’s inception three years ago, allowing a 10th operator to enter the market in the New Orleans region.

RELATED: Louisiana Lawmakers Pass Medical Cannabis Expansion Bill

State officials have received 28 applications for that 10th license, and many of them are high-profile bidders, The New Orleans Advocate (NOLA) reported. Among those vying for the first new retail license since commercial sales launched in 2019 include:

Steve Gleason, a former NFL safety who played seven seasons with the New Orleans Saints and was later diagnosed with ALS;Tulane University;Warren Riley, a former superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department from 2005 to 2010; and Katie Bernhardt, who chairs the Louisiana Democratic Party.

Bernhardt, in particular, was recently a target of accusations by Gary Chambers Jr., of Baton Rouge, a pro-cannabis candidate running as a Democrat to become the first Black U.S. senator for Louisiana.

Australian Government Could Override State Laws to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis

The Australian government could override state laws to legalize adult-use cannabis nationwide.

That’s according to new constitutional advice provided to the Greens as the minor party ramps up its legalization campaign, The Guardian reported.

David Shoebridge, the Greens’ justice spokesperson, told the news outlet that the advice, given by constitutional lawyer Patrick Keyzer, paves the way for federal cannabis policy reform.

Shoebridge plans to release a draft bill later this year to legalize adult-use cannabis at the federal level, The Guardian reported. It would be the first attempt to legalize cannabis through Australia’s federal parliament, according to the news outlet.

RELATED: Australia’s Capital Legalizes Adult-Use Cannabis

'There Will Be Some Actions Forthcoming:' Kentucky Governor Reaffirms Plans to Legalize Medical Cannabis Through Executive Action

After the Kentucky Legislature failed to send a medical cannabis legalization bill to his desk during this year’s legislative session, Gov. Andy Beshear set to work to find a path forward for the state’s patients—a path that could eventually end in an executive order to legalize cannabis for medical purposes.

Beshear reaffirmed his plans to potentially legalize medical cannabis through executive action last week after receiving an initial report from the Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee Sept. 22, the Murray Ledger & Times reported.

“It’s based on the expertise of the individuals that include doctors and pharmacists as well as advocates and then those that personally have gotten relief from the use of medical marijuana, or medical cannabis,” Beshear said, according to the news outlet. “It’s also based on the input of meetings that were conducted all across Kentucky because we were committed to listening to the people of Kentucky, which parts of the general assembly have refused to. With that information, we’ll be making final determinations on actions that we could take, but there will be some actions forthcoming.”

The Kentucky House approved legislation in March to allow doctors to prescribe medical cannabis by Jan. 1, 2023, for a specified list of qualifying conditions. The proposal, Republican Rep. Jason Nemes' House Bill 136, prohibited smoking as a form of use and did not include home cultivation provisions.

The bill failed to gain traction in the Senate, however, prompting Beshear to consider an executive order to bring a medical cannabis program to fruition in Kentucky.

US House Judiciary Committee Passes Criminal Justice Reform Legislation

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved a pair of bills last week to help those convicted of cannabis-related crimes seal and expunge their records.

The committee, led by Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., passed the legislation Sept. 21 in a bipartisan vote, NORML reported.

The Clean Slate Act, H.R. 2864, would automatically seal many non-violent federal cannabis-related convictions and establish new criminal penalties for anyone who improperly shares information about another person’s sealed convictions, according to NORML.

The legislation does, however, include provisions that would allow some sealed convictions to appear on background checks for certain safety-sensitive jobs, according to the organization’s reporting.

The Fresh Start Act, H.R. 5651, would allocate federal funding to help states automatically expunge convictions for cannabis-related crimes and other offenses, NORML reported.

Trulieve Launches Khalifa Kush Cannabis in Florida Through Exclusive Partnership With Wiz Khalifa

TALLAHASSEE, Florida, Sept. 26, 2022 - PRESS RELEASE - Trulieve Cannabis Corp., a multistate cannabis operator, announced the official launch of Khalifa Kush premium medical cannabis products in select Florida retail locations Oct. 1. This is an exclusive partnership with multi-platinum selling, GRAMMY and Golden Globe Award-nominated recording artist Wiz Khalifa in Florida. Patients can visit any Trulieve location in Florida on Oct. 1 for a chance to receive Khalifa Kush swag and prizes.

To celebrate the product launch, Wiz Khalifa will personally meet with Trulieve patients at three South Florida dispensaries on Saturday, Oct. 1:

1:00 p.m. @ Coral Springs – 10404 W Atlantic Blvd.2:30 p.m. @ Hollywood – 2908 Hollywood Blvd.4:00 p.m. @ North Miami Beach – 15100 Biscayne Blvd.

"I've always been driven to create art and products that change people's perceptions or offer different experiences, so to me, Khalifa Kush is a big part of that," Khalifa said. "Trulieve is the perfect partner for us because of its commitment to providing the highest quality products and best possible patient experiences." 

Each of the three event locations will provide patients with unique shopping experiences ranging from branded merchandise, live DJs and other unique experiences, and limited meet-and-greet opportunities with Khalifa. A select number of lucky patients at the three locations that Khalifa visits will receive coveted tickets to the Khalifa Kush afterparty from the artist himself.

"Trulieve is honored to have the iconic Wiz Khalifa as an exclusive partner in Florida to curate and promote his unique product line," said Kim Rivers, Trulieve CEO. "As an artist, he has such a strong vision of how he wants to express himself. Together, we've created a line of products that offer best-in-class cannabis to Florida patients and represent the passion and creativity that Wiz Khalifa is known for."

The Khalifa Kush product line will expand to all statewide locations in the coming months (updated location list available online). Khalifa Kush products are also available in Trulieve owned and operated locations in Arizona.


Planet 13 Receives Approval to Expand Cultivation Operations in Nevada

Planet 13, a vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operator, is continuing to expand its Nevada footprint.

The company announced that it has received approvals to operate its 22,000-square-foot Nevada cultivation expansion and that the first harvest is underway–ahead of the originally planned timeline of Q4 2022, according to a press release.

RELATED: The Dispensary Disruptor

Larry Scheffler, co-CEO of Planet 13, said the expansion will help support the development of the company’s product lines.

“We are thrilled to be able to expand our supply of premium quality flower for our popular Medizin, TRENDI, and Leaf & Vine flower lines. The expanded cultivation will also support our TRENDI vape and concentrates and HaHa edibles which are among the top selling brands in their respective categories in Nevada,” he said. “I commend the team for their work [in] getting this project done ahead of schedule, enabling us to increase vertical integration, share of shelf at both the SuperStore and in the wholesale market, and ultimately profitability.”



Ascend Announces Several Social Impact Initiatives, Expungement Events

NEW YORK, Sept. 26, 2022 – PRESS RELEASE – Ascend Wellness Holdings Inc. (AWH), a multistate, vertically integrated cannabis operator focused on bettering lives through cannabis, announced an array of programs and initiatives to support cannabis expungement efforts. The announcements include increased donations through the Ascend Foundation to address the impact of the war on drugs, donations to equity organizations around the country and coordinated expungement clinics to provide opportunity in the communities most harmed by the consequences of historical and current U.S. drug policy.

Special Expungement Events

AWH will host a week of events across the U.S. that offers expungement and other legal services to formerly incarcerated individuals. Not only will the clinics assist in expungement and record sealing, but they will also help attendees access other critical resources, such as housing, mental health support, legal services and more. AWH's expungement events will kick off with a clinic this October in Montclair, N.J. Additional events will soon be announced for the fall via Instagram @ascendholdings. For more information and event details, visit https://www.awholdings.com/expungement-clinics.

Ascend Foundation

In addition, AWH has increased donations through its previously announcedAscend Foundation, expanding the company's Corporate Social Responsibility to organizations around the country that support expungement efforts, economic empowerment and community engagement locally. The foundation is committed to the holistic wellness of communities and supports organizations that keep communities healthy—mentally, physically and financially. The foundation strives to uplift grassroots organizations that are led by the communities that they represent, with proven track records of their ability to deliver on their promises and resources. The foundation has recently donated more than $65,000 to several such organizations in Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and more, funding a variety of efforts toward restorative justice. Those organizations are the following:

Westside Justice CenterMichigan Cannabis Freedom Coalition Mass CultivatedBlack Economic Council of Massachusetts Urban League of Ohio


More Employees Come to Cannabis From Retail Than Any Other Industry

Vangst, a cannabis industry recruitment business, issued a new report this month that draws something of a flow chart for the growing employment base in the cannabis industry. These new employees up and down the cannabis supply chain must be coming from some other line of work, right?

The top sector from which cannabis employees arrive is retail, according to the report, and the dispensary environment offers a neat translation of that customer-service skill set. But that’s not the only lateral move that brings folks into the industry. 

Other “feeder industries” cited by Vangst include food services, manufacturing, health care, marketing, construction and hospitality. Considering that the U.S. cannabis space now supports 430,000 jobs and counting (according to Leafly’s 2022 numbers), the Vangst report adds some context to the inflow of workers. 

The backdrop of this data is what many have termed “the Great Resignation,” which took the credit for at least some of the 47 million Americans who quit their jobs in 2021. That figure is important, because Vangst notes that 33% of cannabis employees have been in the industry for less than a year.

“As cannabis companies professionalize, they’re hiring for more and more traditional roles that don’t necessarily require knowledge of the cannabis plant or its history,” the report states. “They’re also increasingly able to match or beat traditional sector pay.”

RELATED: 2022 Best Cannabis Companies To Work For – Cultivation 

TerrAscend, TRP Partner to Bring Cannabis Brand Cookies Into Pennsylvania

TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2022 – PRESS RELEASE – TerrAscend Corp., a North American cannabis operator, announced that it has entered into an agreement with TRP—the cannabis holding and operating company with the exclusive rights to introduce the nation’s most coveted Cookies products to Pennsylvania. Strains from Cookies premium genetics will be made available at TerrAscend dispensaries across the commonwealth and Cookies stores owned and operated by TRP to open in the coming months. Under the terms of the multiyear agreement, TerrAscend will cultivate and manufacture Cookies products in the Keystone State.

In the coming weeks, TerrAscend will launch Cookies products at each of the company's “Apothecarium” and “Keystone Canna Remedies” dispensary retail chains across Pennsylvania.

"It's exciting to announce this agreement and continue to collaborate with Berner and his team on sharing these world-class products with patients in Pennsylvania," TerrAscend Executive Chairman Jason Wild said.

"Pennsylvania has always shown Cookie's love and we could not be more excited to expand our reach on the East Coast with our partner TerrAscend. We're excited to launch a fresh menu of California flavors in what has become a very strong and important market for cannabis in the U.S.," said Berner, co-founder and CEO of Cookies.

"TRP is excited to partner with TerrAscend to bring some of the most desirable genetics out there to the patients of the Pennsylvania, and are looking forward to providing patients with the full Cookies experience when we open our flagship stores in the commonwealth,” said Brandon Johnson, co-founder and CEO of TRP.

With this relationship in place, Cookies products will also be available to patients at TerrAscend's The Apothecarium and Keystone Canna Remedies dispensaries in Plymouth-Meeting, Lancaster, Thorndale, Bethlehem, Allentown and Stroudsburg.

SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals Opens Portugal Manufacturing Facility

LISBON, Portugal, Sept. 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PRESS RELEASE -- SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals Unipessoal LDA has officially opened its new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical EU-GMP facility in Portugal. SOMAÍ’s phase 1 manufacturing footprint spans 3,800 square meters of manufacturing floor, independent laboratory and offices, ensuring SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals’s prominence as the largest expandable cannabis manufacturing facility in the EU.

To date, the facility has already processed 500 kilograms of the highest quality THC-rich cannabis flower to validate SOMAÍ’s processes and product launches. In the pharmaceutical cannabis sector, SOMAÍ has the most product SKUs and capabilities to date. The company boasts NextGen 2.0 formulations based on increased bioavailability and fast absorption, with 42 product launches expected through 2023 and early 2024, six unique delivery methods and multiple proprietary flower lines.

The total focus of the SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals team is on delivering EU-market-authorized finished products. Additionally, they are setting new industry standards by pursuing clinical trials for absorption and in vivo trials for indications like arthritis and chronic pain into their launch models.

“There is great joy in delivering a new cannabis facility as more infrastructure is needed to satisfy the growing demand in Europe and Globally,” said SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals CEO and Chairman Michael Sassano. “SOMAÍ is creating the products of tomorrow for Europe based on know-how of what is in demand and working for patients in the largest most competitive US markets.”

In addition to their new facility, SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals is delivering a focused marketing program headed by a Top 40 pharmaceutical marketing agency, Solaris Health. SOMAÍ’s new website is the beginning of a long-term strategy that will increase SOMAÍ’s presence in the sector and highlight all upcoming product launches.