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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

Vermont House of Representatives Passes Bill to Regulate and Tax Cannabis Sales

Montpelier, VT — PRESS RELEASE — On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted in favor (90-54) of a bill that would legalize, regulate and tax cannabis sales for adults 21 and older. This is the first time the Vermont House has passed a bill to legalize cannabis sales.

S. 54 will now be scheduled for a final House vote, which is expected Feb. 27. If it passes there, it will return to the Senate, which has already approved a different version of the bill in a 23-5 vote. The House and Senate will have to agree on a final version of the bill before it can proceed to Gov. Phil Scott’s desk.

A summary of the bill can be found here.

Vermont legalized possession and cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and over in 2018, marking the first time any state legislature legalized cannabis for adults’ use through the legislative process rather than through a voter initiative. If the bill is enacted, Vermont would join the 10 states that have laws regulating and taxing cannabis for adult use.

An overwhelming 76% of Vermont residents support allowing adults 21 and over to purchase cannabis from regulated, tax-paying small businesses according to a recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling and commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project. The complete results are available here.

How Ocean Cannabis Company is Cleaning the Ocean, One Vape Cartridge at a Time

When California launched its adult-use cannabis market, Ocean Cannabis Company set out to trade its clamshell-style plastic packaging for something more sustainable.

The company’s co-founders, husband-and-wife team Patrick and Mary Ersig, started their search at an industry trade show, only to find more plastic.

“Everything was so much plastic and so many layers, … and we hated everything,” Mary Ersig tells Cannabis Business Times. “Nothing stood out to us that was great. We’ve always been philanthropists at heart. We always wanted to do good for the community, so we were like, ‘Let’s find something else. Let’s do something else.’”

The Ersigs settled on a biodegradable paper packaging to house its pre-rolls and vape cartridges, but the search continued until they found Oceanworks.

“All the plastic that we use, they collect from floating on the shores of Haiti,” Ersig says. “They actually go out and collect the plastic and turn it into the pellets. … It’s so important because there’s so much plastic in the ocean. … I don’t want to contribute to that problem, especially in cannabis. We should be a green industry. We feel like we can do our part and we should all do our part to help save … the planet and our ocean.”

Cannabis Conference Registration Rates Increase This Weekend: Don't Delay!

We're pleased to present a dynamite lineup of cannabis and hemp industry experts at Cannabis Conference 2020. You can see our full education schedule at cannabisconference.com and peruse our list of terrific speakers. 

We recommend acting fast: Registration rates increase after tomorrow. Feb. 28 will be the last day to get in at the lowest current prices ($400 off the walk-up rate).

We interviewed Janna Beckerman, professor and extension plant pathologist specializing in diseases of horticultural crops at Purdue University, to get a sense of what she's looking forward to presenting at Cannabis Conference 2020 and what she hopes attendees will take back to their businesses after the show. Here's what she had to say:

"Hopefully, they’ll become educated and not scared. I think this is one of these fields where people are very enthusiastic going in, and they can become quickly discouraged with some of the problems. I think the problems are to be expected, but they can be managed. You need to be patient and take the opportunity to learn, like this opportunity here. I hope they’ll come away feeling more confident in their ability to successfully grow their crop."


WSLCB Listen And Learn Forum: Draft Conceptual Rules Regarding Voluntary Licensee Consultation And Education Program Rules

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is hosting a Listen and Learn forum about draft conceptual rules regarding the voluntary cannabis licensee consultation and education program. Please join us on March 11, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at our Headquarters Boardroom, located at 1025 Union Avenue SE, in downtown Olympia. You Read the full article...

Surfside Acquires Good Harvest Co.

NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- PRESS RELEASE -- Surfside Solutions Inc., a provider of advertising and data solutions geared towards the cannabis industry, and Garden State Digital, LLC (dba "Good Harvest Co"), the data-led cannabis audience platform, have announced that they have completed an asset purchase agreement where Surfside has acquired all of the software, technology and other intellectual property related to the Good Harvest Co audience platform. As part of the agreement, Eric Meth will join Surfside as the Chief Strategy Officer.

Surfside works with customers across multiple industries, combining a single customer view with advanced audience modeling, media activation and cross-channel measurement. The company's proprietary technology unlocks new revenue streams for its partners by allowing them to monetize first party datasets to better understand and target their current and future customers.

Good Harvest Co allows brands and marketers to find and attract qualified segments of cannabis consumers through data-led shopper marketing. Through the Good Harvest Co platform, brands and dispensaries are connected to relevant consumers based on online and offline purchase data. With the acquisition by Surfside, these audiences will now be available immediately on the Surfside demand-side platform and within the Surfside data taxonomy for media activation. Further expanding Surfside's reach as it pertains to deterministic datasets and bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds.

Eric Meth, CEO and founder of Good Harvest Co, notes, "As technology within the cannabis space continues to evolve and expand, customers are seeking solutions that not only solve current issues they're facing, but a trusted partner that will work with them to address future needs. Combining our expertise in the cannabis and shopper marketing verticals, with Surfside's established and leading technology in consumer intelligence, ensures that we're able to provide long term strategic value for our customers."

"This acquisition furthers our investment and commitment to the cannabis industry and unlocks new potential for companies to significantly increase profitability, gain a competitive edge, and utilize technology that has historically only been available in mainstream verticals," said Michael Blanche, co-founder of Surfside. "We know that companies in the industry are facing complex challenges when it comes to interacting with customers and we see compliance as a requirement, not a feature. We aim to provide businesses with technology that not only helps navigate this complex industry, but is cutting edge across multiple verticals, pioneering the next generation of consumer-centric solutions.


Florida veterans warn lawmakers against capping THC in medical marijuana - Cannabis News

Veterans are pushing back against a proposal backed by Florida House leaders that would limit the amount of THC in medical marijuana, an effort they say is not based on science and could be harmful to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

House Speaker José Oliva has called the proposed 10% cap on THC, the euphoria-inducing component in cannabis, a priority, but Senate leaders have remained skeptical about the need for such a limit.

Smokable cannabis now being sold by the state’s medical marijuana treatment centers has potency of as high as 30%.

Click here to read the complete article

Dara Kam ~ News Service of Florida via MiamiHerald.com ~ 

Coronavirus Outbreak Impacts Cannabis Industry - Cannaibs News

The cannabis industry, like so many global concerns, is dependent on labor in China’s factory zones.

The scope of the crisis now facing China is truly staggering, and clearly poses a threat to the country’s generation-long thrust of prodigious economic growth and that includes one industry that has close ties to cannabis, vaping.

By the Chinese government’s own count as of Feb. 17, a total of 72,436 people are confirmed to be suffering from the COVID-19 coronavirus, while 1,868 people have died.

Click here to read the complete article

Bill Weinberg ~ CannabisNow.com ~ 

Viola Launches Viola Cares With National Non-Profit Organization Root And Rebound

Social Impact Initiative Aims to Destigmatize Minority Representation and Increase Social Equity Within the Cannabis Industry CALIFORNIA: Viola, a nationwide leader in the production and sale of premium quality cannabis products founded by NBA veteran Al Harrington, today announced the official launch of its social equity initiative - Viola Cares. Through education, equitable offerings, expungement, and incubation programs, Read the full article...

Why won’t your doctor prescribe you cannabis? - Cannabis News

Almost 60% of US healthcare providers feel negatively about medical cannabis, while less than 12% view it positively.

These results, the product of a survey reported in the forthcoming March 2020 issue of Preventative Medicine, provide a startling insight into the relationship between medical cannabis and those who can prescribe it.

The survey, which investigated the opinions of 1,439 licensed clinicians anonymously from 2011 through to 2017, hints at some of the hurdles cannabis needs to clear for doctors to warm to it. 

Click here to read the complete article

Emma Stone ~ Leafly.com ~ 

6 Retail Expansion Tips for Cannabis Dispensaries

GrowHealthy opened its first medical cannabis dispensary in West Palm Beach, Fla., at the end of 2018, and the company finished 2019 with 11 total retail outlets in the state, as well as a delivery service. With its twelfth dispensary opening last month and its plans to open eight more between now and July, the company is rapidly expanding throughout Florida while keeping quality high and internal communication flowing smoothly.

GrowHealthy is part of iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc., a multistate cannabis operator that owns multiple retail brands in Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. Once the company opens the additional eight dispensaries in Florida this year, it will evaluate how many additional retail locations it should pursue in Florida in the second half of 2020 and in 2021, and where these locations should be positioned in the state.

“This state has been really welcoming to us,” Jeff Finnerty, GrowHealthy’s senior director of marketing and sales, tells Cannabis Dispensary. “Every geography we’ve gone into has been a success for us, and we couldn’t be more excited to be entering into eight new local markets in the next several months. We think that the future is bright, and that we can see the impact on patients and people’s lives, and that’s the most rewarding part of the whole thing, that people are finding solutions to their illnesses and symptoms that they haven’t been able to find in years. This is opening up avenues to better lives for a lot of people.”

Here, Finnerty shares retail expansion tips for cannabis dispensaries, based on best practices that have worked for the GrowHealthy team as it continues to expand throughout Florida’s market.

Photos courtesy of GrowHealthy

1. Be deliberate when scaling up.

Before a company can even think about expanding, it must have a clear and attainable mission that can then be applied to new locations and operations.

Medical Marijuana, Inc Subsidiary HempMeds Brasil Sponsors Autism Event At Rice University In Houston

 CALIFORNIA: Medical Marijuana, Inc., the first-ever publicly traded cannabis company in the United States that launched the world’s first-ever cannabis-derived nutraceutical products, brands and supply chain, announced today that its subsidiary HempMeds Brasil, in partnership with the Consulate General of Brazil in Houston, sponsored “Autism Together We Are Stronger” at Rice University on February 22. “We see events like this one as prime opportunities to Read the full article...

USDA Publishes “Economic Viability of Industrial Hemp In The United States: A Review of State Pilot Programs”

BY TYLER B. MARK, JONATHAN SHEPHERD, DAVID OLSON, WILLIAM SNELL, SUSAN PROPER, AND SUZANNE THORNSBURY After a hiatus of almost 45 years, the 2014 Farm Bill reintroduced industrial hemp production in the United States through State pilot programs. This study documents outcomes and lessons learned from the State pilot programs and examines legal, agronomic, and economic Read the full article...

Will Pennsylvania’s Legislative Leadership Consider Adult-Use Cannabis Proposals This Year?: Legalization Watch

With three adult-use cannabis legalization bills pending in the legislature and strong support from the governor, lieutenant governor and the public, Pennsylvania should have no problem legalizing this year, but advocates say leadership in the legislature will likely block any proposals from advancing before the current two-year session ends in December.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced his support for adult-use cannabis legalization last fall alongside Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. Wolf then attended New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Cannabis Regulation and Vaping Summit in October, where the pair met with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut in an effort to coordinate the states’ approach to cannabis policy reform.

Fetterman embarked on a recreational marijuana listening tour last year to get public input on the issue from all 67 Pennsylvania counties, and reported that he found strong public support for legalization.

Lawmakers took notice of the momentum.

Pennsylvania Rep. Jake Wheatley has announced plans to introduce the state’s newest legalization proposal in the form of House Bill 2050. The legislation aims to lower the initial application and licensing fees in an effort to make the market more accessible for businesses, and would impose a 10% wholesale tax on business-to-business transactions, although cannabis growers and processors that have partnered with an existing Pennsylvania farm would be exempt from the tax.

Acreage Announces Grand Opening Of The Botanist By Compassionate Care Foundation in Atlantic City

The Botanist by Compassionate Care Foundation is the first The Botanist dispensary to open in the state of New Jersey NEW JERSEY:  Acreage Holdings, one of the largest vertically integrated, multi-state operators of cannabis licenses and assets in the U.S., today announced the opening of The Botanist by Compassionate Care Foundation on Saturday, February 22, 2020, Read the full article...

Illinois: Pritzker Administration Announces Revenue Figures For First Month Of Adult Use Cannabis

ILLINOIS: The Illinois Department of Revenue announced that adult-use cannabis sales generated $7,332,058 in cannabis tax revenue during the month of January, with an additional $3,147,928.29 generated in retail sales tax revenue. Governor Pritzker’s recently released budget conservatively estimated the state would collect $28 million in cannabis tax revenue during the remainder of the fiscal Read the full article...

Law Enforcement Is Trying To Be Cannabis Cool, But It’s Not Easy - Cannabis News

How is a cop supposed to tell the difference between a consumer using a legal product, and an illegal consumer using or transporting a product from the illicit market?

Law enforcement wants to take marijuana-intoxicated drivers off the road. But roadside testing devices are still unavailable.

They want to help stop the illicit cannabis market. But one person’s ounce of weed looks like another’s.

They have their drug dogs at the ready. But drug dogs hit on hemp and marijuana, legal or not, and are being phased out or overruled.

Click here to read the complete article

Illinois: Recreational weed sales net $10M in tax revenue in 1st month - Cannabis News

The sale of recreational marijuana in Illinois generated $7.3 million in cannabis tax revenue last month, the Illinois Department of Revenue announced Monday.

The Revenue Department also reported that an additional $3.1 million was generated in retail sales tax revenue.

Dispensaries across the state sold nearly $40 million in recreational pot last month.

Click here to read the complete article

Associated Press ~ 

Governor Cuomo Announces He Will Visit States That Have Legalized Cannabis Programs to Help Inform His Efforts to Pass Legislation as Part of Budget

Builds on Regional Cannabis Regulation and Vaping Initiatives Previously Announced With Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts Governor Cuomo: “I’m going to visit Massachusetts, Illinois and California or Colorado, which are three states that have legalized it and have different versions, and bring my team to meet with them, discuss what they’ve done, Read the full article...

Cannabis Research Center Opens at Michigan’s Lake Superior State University

Michigan’s Lake Superior State University (LSSU) launched Cannabis Chemistry and Cannabis Business majors in the fall of 2019, and on Feb. 21, the university held a ribbon cutting for the opening of a new cannabis research center, which will provide hands-on training for students in the Cannabis Chemistry program, according to an MLive.com report.

The 2,600-square-foot Cannabis Center of Excellence will help train undergraduate students through “hands-on, innovative experience using state-of-the-art instrumentation and industry protocols,” the news outlet reported.

LSSU students can earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the chemistry program, and a bachelor’s degree in the business program, according to MLive.com, and graduates from the chemistry program are expected to be in high demand for safety labs and quality assurance positions in the cannabis industry and beyond.

LSSU is not the only Michigan university with cannabis programs, MLive.com reported—Northern Michigan University launched a Medicinal Plant Chemistry program in 2017, and the University of Michigan in 2019 launched PharmSci 420, a course that covers cannabis biology, chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, epidemiology and pharmacokinetics.

Massachusetts Regulators Aim to Cut Wait Times for Cannabis Business Licenses

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has announced plans to hire additional staff in order to cut the average wait time for cannabis business licenses from 121 days to 60 days, according to a MassLive.com report.

The agency unveiled its plan at a Joint Ways and Means Committee budget hearing Feb. 24 to address one of the most common complaints from prospective cannabis entrepreneurs, the news outlet reported.

The commission plans to achieve its goal in its 2021 fiscal year and will take a total fiscal 2021 operations budget of $12.4 million, a $2.8-million increase from last year, MassLive.com reported. The total budget request is $16.3 million, which includes regulation of the medical cannabis program and a statewide public awareness campaign, according to the news outlet.

The commission launched in 2017 and to date, has licensed 246 cannabis businesses, MassLive.com reported.

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