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DENVER, Dec. 21, 2021 /CNW/ - PRESS RELEASE - Schwazze has announced that it has closed the acquisition of the assets of Smoking Gun, LLC and Smoking Gun Land Company, LLC. Total consideration for the acquisition was $4 million in cash and 100,000 shares of Schwazze common stock upon closing.

The Smoking Gun dispensary and assets are located on a prime retail corner on Colorado Blvd. in Glendale, Colo., in the center of the greater Denver metro area. This acquisition is part of the company's continuing retail expansion plan in Colorado, and including the recently announced planned acquisitions in New Mexico (December 3, 2021), brings the total number of dispensaries to 32. 

Since April 2020, Schwazze acquired or announced the planned acquisition of 32 cannabis dispensaries, including the ten R. Greenleaf New Mexico dispensaries. In 2021, the company also acquired or announced the planned acquisition of seven cultivation facilities, three in Colorado - SCG Holding LLC, Brow 2 LLC and Star Buds - and four licensed in New Mexico. The New Mexico acquisition will also add a manufacturing asset, Elemental Kitchen & Laboratories, LLC, to the company's manufacturing plant, Purplebee's in Colorado. In May 2021, Schwazze announced its BioSciences division and in August 2021 it commenced home delivery services in Colorado.

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VANCOUVER,Wash., Dec. 22, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – The Hawthorne Gardening Company, a whollyowned subsidiary of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, has announced the securingof multiple patents related to the design and functionality of the Gavita CT1930e LED light.

TheGavita CT 1930e includes innovative state-of-the-art technology that is coveredby various U.S. and international design and utility patents and patentapplications, positioning the product’s optics, design and unique constructionamong industry leaders. The novel technology package of the Gavita CT 1930ebrings unique benefits to growers of all sizes and a new level of performancefor LED fixtures.

“The issuance of these patents is a testament to the revolutionary design andperformance of the Gavita CT 1930e,” said Chris Hagedorn, president, HawthorneGardening Company. “Beyond providing cultivators with a highly energy efficientLED with proven growing power, this further demonstrates Hawthorne’s commitmentto leverage our R&D, technical services and distribution capabilities tohelp growers achieve short- and long-term success.”

TheGavita CT 1930e was introduced in 2020 and is among Hawthorne’s—as well asScottsMiracle-Gro’s—most successful product launches ever. It is the first andonly LED fixture that is a direct 1:1 replacement for HPS fixtures.Compatibility with wiring and electrical requirements for most indoor growingenvironments means this compact toplight can dramatically limit the cost anddowntime required to convert facilities of every size. The CT 1930e alsodelivers more uniform, full-spectrum light at up to 20% energy savings thansingle-ended HPS fixtures (based on average wattage of each fixture). The CT1930e is Design Light Consortium (DLC) certified and can qualify for additionalsavings through local energy rebates (region dependent).

Also,patent-pending controller technology embedded within each Gavita CT 1930eenables control of up to 2,000 fixtures per EL Series Master Control channeland helps maintain unwavering output from light to light. These productinnovations seamlessly combine together, and with other Hawthorne offerings, todeliver an unrivaled high-performance technology solution for high-performanceenvironments. For more information on the Gavita CT 1930e and other Hawthornesolutions, visit https://www.hawthornegc.com/.

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For a cannabis business operator who is trying to comply with strict state-by-state regulations in a federally illegal industry, the page speed of the company’s website may not be top of mind.

However, according to Dan Serard, director of business development for Cannabis Creative Group, a cannabis-specific marketing agency, page speed is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and could help set your company apart from your competitors.

RELATED: Social Media and the Cannabis Industry: Tips and Lessons Learned

“When you think about it from a very high level, essentially, if your competitor’s website is loading faster than yours, then they’ll outrank you,” he tells Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “Page speed is an important factor. … It really impacts your organic presence because if you have a faster page speed, then you have a better user experience and your content’s going to be up quicker, consumers are going to see your information quicker, and if it’s good for the user, then it’s good for the search engine.”

Here, Serard offers five tips to optimize page speed.

Each year since 2016, Cannabis Business Times has published its “State of the Cannabis Cultivation Industry” report, based on third-party research that tracks changes and trends occurring among cannabis cultivation businesses throughout North America. The 2021 “State of the Cannabis Cultivation Industry” report revealed key findings worth noting as you head into the new year.

1. More larger cultivators and more smaller cultivators.

With the proliferation of multistate operators (MSO’s) and continued emergence of larger cannabis enterprises in the market, it’s not surprising that the number of cultivators with 80,000 square feet or more of cannabis production space has increased over the past 5 years; that number climbed 11 percentage points, from 7% in 2016 to 18% in 2021. The number of cultivators with 50,000-79,999 square feet of cannabis production space also grew 4 percentage points from 3% in 2016 to 7% in 2021.

At the same time, the number of cultivators whose production areas spanned less than 5,000 square feet increased by 5 percentage points--from 34% in 2016 to 39% in 2021.

2. Small growers continue to dominate the industry.

Despite the greater increase in the number of larger cultivators compared to the rise in smaller cultivators, small cultivators continue to comprise the lion’s share of the North American cannabis marketplace. Nearly 40% of cultivators reported cannabis production areas of less than 5,000 square feet. Less than 20% reported cultivation production spaces of 80,000 square feet or more.


Studio
 

Branding agency Zero has teamed up with Dosist and Sunday Goods to develop a new suite of product lines for the Arizona cannabis market—dubbed Studio. The core idea is to use engaging design to capture the attention of specific segments of the growing consumer base.

Mark Goldwell, Zero co-founder and creative director, points to Dosist and Sunday Goods’ teams as being very tuned into the power of communicating with people through brand opportunities. This is a strategic pillar of the cannabis business, and it’s not something to overlook.

The brand lineup includes: Melted, Plant Based, Human Resources, Tell Your Friends, and Session, with each product line appealing to a specific type of consumer and a specific lifestyle (and bearing a design scheme that conveys such a message).

Studio is launching Melted first, directed at the experienced user. For them, cannabis is a major part of their personal identity in most cases. It’s a chance to develop a brand niche that doesn’t shy away from stoner imagery or cultural resonance. Bold graphics and stark, psychedelic black-and-white patterns help tell this story.

“This is for your everyday user,” Goldwell says. “This is for folks that are into tastes, strains, innovation, potency, those sorts of pieces. Coming out the gate with Melted, I think, was really wise, and it's doing really, really well. It feels very different than anything that's in the market, especially in Arizona from a brand standpoint. We’re going to be quickly following up in 2022 with a number of other brands that are different in their emotional value proposition and in how the brand looks and feels.”

TerraLeaf, a Pennsylvania-based, women-owned cannabis operator, has expanded to West Virginia to open a new Education Center in Huntington, W. Va, that will provide cannabis education to the company’s employees and the broader community.

The 5,000-square-foot Education Center held a VIP ribbon cutting ceremony Dec. 6 ahead of its Dec. 7 open house and grand opening to the public. It is located next door to TerraLeaf’s medical cannabis dispensary, which has been deemed operational by the state, but currently has no products for sale as the company waits for West Virginia’s growers to have cannabis available for wholesale.

“As you know, there’s a tremendous stigma about the use of cannabis, so our goal when we go into a community is to educate, educate, educate,” TerraLeaf founder Chris Visco told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “We teach people about the plant.”

TerraLeaf opened its first cannabis Education Center in Pennsylvania, where the company holds two medical cannabis licenses and currently operates three dispensaries. TerraLeaf has 45,000 unique patients across its three locations, Visco said, and the company built an Education Center when it expanded its corporate offices.

“It’s really important in each community to go first talk to the local elected officials, talk to the police department, talk to the fire department,” Visco said. “They’re all invited into our Education Center any time they would like to come.”


While Pfizer Inc. has become ubiquitous among those receiving COVID-19 vaccines, the American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company is now betting on the cannabis industry.

Last week, Pfizer announced it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire clinical-stage company Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. to the tune of $6.7 billion, with a transaction valued at $100 per Arena share in cash.

The press release for the proposed transaction omits any direct mention of Arena’s ties to the medical cannabis industry, but that pipeline is connected to cannabinoid therapeutics with an aim to help treat bowel disease, as reported by Forbes.

According to Arena’s website, Olorinab is a drug candidate for the treatment of pain and is a “full agonist of the cannabinoid Type 2 receptor (CB2).” CB2 is an endocannabinoid receptor predominately associated with immune system responses. Among its active ingredients Olorinab includes the drug SR144528, which has been used to study the function of the CB2 receptor.

RELATED: CBG: A New(er) Option for Cancer Treatment?

Arena’s initial focus for Olorinab is on treating visceral pain associated with gastrointestinal disorders. An oral form of Olorinab is currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating its efficacy and safety in patients experiencing abdominal pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome, according to the company website.  

Missouri’s medical cannabis sales have reached $200 million since the state launched its first sales in October 2020, according to a press release.

More than 300 medical cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, testing labs, transporters, retailers and seed-to-sale providers are currently operating in the state, according to the press release.

RELATED: Missouri Medical Cannabis Program Adds Some 56,000 New Patients in Second Year

“Nearly every facility who was part of the initial round of licensing is now up and running and providing beneficial products and service to the patients of Missouri,” said Lyndall Fraker, Director of the Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation, in a public statement. “We are proud of the tenacity shown by both our regulatory team and all of the facility operators who were able to clear so many hurdles that COVID-19 presented during a critical time.”

There are currently 158,169 patients and 3,283 caregivers registered in Missouri’s medical cannabis program, according to the press release.

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) began accepting applications for adult-use cultivation, manufacturing and testing licenses Dec. 15, with plans to start accepting applications for retail licenses March 15.

The online application portal went live at 9 a.m. last Wednesday, according to an NJ.com report.

“We are happy to reach this milestone,” CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown said in a statement to the news outlet. “Applications are coming in, the platform is performing well, and we can officially mark the launch of the state’s recreational cannabis industry.”

RELATED: New Jersey Adult-Use Cannabis Applications Set to Begin in December

Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis and there are no deadlines for entrepreneurs to apply for licenses, NJ.com reported.

Curaleaf Holdings, a vertically integrated multistate cannabis [and CBD] operator, is likely to face a wrongful death lawsuit, the latest in a string of lawsuits related to mislabeled products.

Curaleaf is currently facing 10 lawsuits from consumers who allegedly ingested an incorrectly labeled CBD tincture that contained "undisclosed levels of THC," according to a product recall notice issued by the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC).

The recall was issued Sept. 21 for a single batch of the mislabeled CBD product, which was produced by Cura CS LLC and sold under Curaleaf's Select brand. Curaleaf acquired Cura and its Select brand in 2019 in a $948.8-million all-stock deal.

Peter Clateman, Curaleaf chief legal officer, tells Cannabis Business Times and Hemp Grower that about 500 bottles from the batch were sold.

The OLCC expanded the recall Sept. 24 to include another Select tincture that said it contained 1,000 mg of THC on the label, but after a round of preliminary tests, the OLCC found that the product did not contain any detectable THC. According to OLCC, Curaleaf sold an estimated 630 units of the mislabeled tincture.

Curaleaf acknowledged the mislabeling of the two tinctures was caused by "human error."

CHICAGO – December 16, 2021 — PRESS RELEASE — Cresco Labs, a vertically integrated multistate operator, today unveiled plans for its new Illinois Cannabis Education Center (ICEC), the first business incubator and workforce development center created by a cannabis company. The ICEC will expand the ongoing work facilitated by the Company’s SEEDTM (Social Equity & Educational Development) initiative. In partnership with educational institutions, workforce development organizations and business associations, it will provide immersive education and hands-on training in a functioning dispensary for social equity licensees, minority-owned ancillary businesses, students and members of communities adversely impacted by the war on drugs.

Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar, Illinois State Reps. Edgar Gonzalez, Eva Dina Delgado, Margaret Croke and La Shawn Ford, and Alderman Rod Sawyer joined Cresco Labs executives and staff for an unveiling event of the ICEC today.

“Despite delays in federal legalization, we embrace our responsibility to help make this industry more inclusive and to provide tangible pathways to business opportunity and employment for people from communities disproportionality impacted by the War on Drugs,” said Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs’ CEO & Co-founder. “The mission and goals for the Illinois Cannabis Education Center align with Cresco Labs’ values of social equity, social justice and inclusivity, which are critical for the development of a responsible industry, which creates respectable industry and will make cannabis the most robust industry possible.”

The ICEC will be a welcoming and community-focused destination, offering annual programming that aligns with SEED’s pillars:

Entrepreneurship: The ICEC will empower and jumpstart the creation of minority-owned plant-touching and ancillary cannabis businesses. Staff will provide technical assistance on the execution of business plans for new dispensary, craft grow and infuser licensees, as well as guidance for ancillary businesses seeking to provide goods and services to the cannabis industry.
Education & Workforce Development: The ICEC will collaborate with Illinois colleges and universities to provide cannabis curriculum for students, entrepreneurs and community members predominantly from historically marginalized communities. Participants will receive hands-on trainings focused on compliance, security, technology and daily operations in a formerly operational, fully functioning dispensary to understand all aspects of cannabis retail. The ICEC will also serve as a community recruitment center providing resources for employment at Cresco Labs and other Illinois-based cannabis companies.
Restorative Justice: The ICEC will serve as a venue for community and restorative justice-oriented events, such as expungement events.

“We believe the ICEC’s community-based approach to engagement will provide every participant with the knowledge, skills and ongoing support they need to realize their potential in the cannabis industry,” said Chima Enyia, EVP of SEED at Cresco Labs. “The ICEC is a first-of-its-kind cannabis education center—the only place in Illinois where new licensees can get real-world, on-the-job trainings in a dispensary to learn operations and train staff. It will nurture the ambitions of students so they so they can make informed decisions about their future and the careers they might choose to pursue in cannabis. Through integrating the opinions and ideas of every participant, coupled with leveraging our collective resources and networks to support our communities throughout Illinois, we look forward to engaging with community partners in the opening of this center. This is just the unveiling—the real work begins now.”

The ICEC will open early 2022 at 3812 N Clark St. in Chicago. For more information about Cresco Labs’ SEED initiative, visit crescolabs.com/seed.

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Columbus, OH – PRESS RELEASE – The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 206,943 signatures in support of an initiated statute legalizing the adult use of marijuana to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office today.

The Secretary of State, in coordination with county-level Boards of Elections, will now begin the process of verifying the signatures. If at least 132,877 signatures are verified and the 44 county requirement is met, the statute will be presented to Ohio legislators for consideration.

“The success of our petition drive shows just how eager Ohioans are to end prohibition and legalize the adult use of marijuana,” said spokesman Tom Haren. “We look forward to receiving the results of the Secretary of State’s review, and are eager to begin working with legislators on this important issue.”

For consumers, the proposed law:

Legalizes and regulates the cultivation, manufacture, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products to adults aged 21 and up.  Legalizes home grow for adults aged 21 or older with a limit of 6 plants per person and 12 plants per household.

Haren believes everyone should support the robust regulatory and taxation system. While regular state and local sales taxes will also apply, included is a 10% cannabis tax rate on adult use sales that would be allocated as follows:

2021 was another year of growth—and challenges—for the cannabis industry. 

Connecticut, New Mexico, New York and Virginia legalized adult-use this year, while states that legalized in the 2020 election—including Arizona, Montana and New Jersey—established regulatory frameworks for their adult-use programs. 

Delta-8 THC caught the industry’s attention as several states moved to regulate or ban the compound, and Texas drew particular scrutiny after the Department of State Health Services moved to ban the production and sale of delta-8 in October. 

Access to banking remained one of the biggest obstacles for cannabis businesses, with federal legislators removing the latest iteration of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act from a national defense spending bill in early December. 

As we look toward 2022 and the continued evolution of these and other industry issues, we reflect on Cannabis Business Times’ top 10 most popular articles of 2021. 

Marijuana Policy Project | mpp.org
Toi Hutchinson will take over as Marijuana Policy Project's president and CEO in January. 

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – The Marijuana Policy Project announced that Toi Hutchinson will join the organization as its new president and CEO. Hutchinson, a former Illinois state senator, most recently served as senior adviser to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on cannabis legalization implementation. 

For the past year, MPP Executive Director Steven Hawkins has led both MPP and the United States Cannabis Council (USCC). Hawkins will now exclusively focus his efforts on federal cannabis reform at USCC. MPP will remain a member of USCC and continue to share staff, board members and resources. 

“Toi’s unique resume is perfectly suited to lead MPP as we finish our reform work state-by-state across the country,” MPP Board Chairman Sal Pace said. “Toi worked alongside MPP as one of the initial authors of the Illinois adult-use cannabis legislation to ensure that the law contained a strong social justice framework that included decriminalization in addition to legalization. MPP has always been focused not only on legalization but also on doing it right and ending the war on drugs.”

“I am proud of what we have accomplished at MPP and look forward to working alongside Toi in the fight to end cannabis prohibition,” said Hawkins, president and CEO of USCC. “MPP played a pivotal role in incubating USCC, and we are now taking that work to the next level. Toi is an incredible leader, and I know that our organizations will work tirelessly to advance our shared goals.”

“The MPP Board is thrilled with the work Steve accomplished during his four-year tenure. These past four years have been the most productive years yet for marijuana reform. MPP will continue to work with Steve as a member organization of USCC, including continuing to share some staff between the two organizations,” Pace said.

MARSHALL,Mich., Dec. 20, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Common Citizen, which produces safe, high-quality cannabis products for patients andadult-use customers, announced the launch of its Principle product line, which is nowavailable at its retail stores. All net proceeds from Principle sales go backinto the communities Common Citizen proudly serves.

Principlecannabis is now available in a single, 1-gram pre-roll in a decorative tin atCommon Citizen’s retail locations.

“OurPrinciple product line embodies our priority of people over product, andarrives just in time for the holidays to help our ongoing efforts to reinvestin the diverse communities we proudly call home,” Common Citizen CEO Michael Eliassaid. “The Principle project also helps us educate the common citizen about themany wellness benefits of cannabis and helps achieve our goal of eliminatingstigma around its production, distribution and consumption.”

Principlewas unveiled at a recent two-day media event, which included a tour of CommonCitizen’s state-of-the-art hybrid greenhouse in Marshall and the company’sflagship retail location in Flint. The event included dignitaries and membersof the national media and culminated in the launch of the film “Cannabis For Humanity” in Detroit.The film embodies Common Citizen’s mission to serve the unique cannabis needsof patients and adult-use customers across Michigan. A public release date forthe film will soon be announced.

Watcha preview of the film here.

Creatingtangible impact through cannabis ventures requires action, sustained engagementand collaboration with partners already doing transformative work to achievethis goal. To help advance these efforts, Common Citizen has partnered withCannaclusive to better serve its employees and local communities. In the comingmonths, Cannaclusive will help Common Citizen direct its profits toorganizations dedicated to creating meaningful opportunities for marginalizedcommunities.

Eindhoven, the Netherlands, PRESS RELEASE – Signify today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with ams OSRAM to acquire Austin, Texas-based Fluence for USD $272 million (EUR 242 million) on a cash and debt-free basis. This acquisition will strengthen our global Agriculture lighting growth platform and extend our position in the attractive North American horticultural lighting market.

The acquisition is fully in line with our strategy to expand in attractive growth segments and our commitment to improving food availability by providing growers with horticultural lighting that helps them to reduce resource consumption and increase yields. We expect the global market for agricultural lighting to grow by more than 20% per year to EUR 1.6 billion in 2024.

The acquisition will add Fluence’s complementary horticultural lighting technology to our existing knowledge and expertise. This includes light recipes for the legal growing of cannabis1 - which, due to the legalization in Canada and many US states in recent years, currently generates the majority of Fluence’s sales – and light recipes for the company’s fast-growing business to grow other crops. Fluence’s technology also includes more than 140 issued and pending patents, focusing on areas such as light quality, thermal management and installation methods. Currently Fluence generates a majority of its sales in North America.

“We’re excited to announce that we’re acquiring Fluence, strengthening our agricultural lighting business, one of our main growth platforms. It also further underlines the strategic importance of the North American market to our business,” said Harsh Chitale, Division Leader Digital Solutions at Signify. “We’re looking forward to welcoming the team from Fluence. Its lighting innovations and solid go-to-market strategy have helped build a recognized brand with a strong position in North America and a fast-growing business in Europe. We feel that now is the right moment to join forces, allowing both of us to serve more customers with high-quality horticulture lighting products.”

“Since Fluence’s founding, it has been our sole mission to improve the interaction between light and life to yield a healthier and more sustainable world. Adding our lighting solutions to Signify’s strong portfolio empowers our combined businesses to deliver the world’s most advanced horticulture technology to cultivators on a global scale,” said David Cohen, CEO of Fluence. “The combination of our companies will immediately expand our collective footprints and inject valuable expertise into both companies’ product innovations. We look forward to uniting with the Signify team.”

Fluence employs more than 200 people. In the trailing 12 months (October 2020 to September 2021), Fluence generated USD 141 million (EUR 124 million) in revenue. Fluence will operate as an entity within Signify’s agricultural lighting business in Division Digital Solutions.

2021 was another year of growth, but also uncertainty, for the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.

For Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Cannabis Law Practice and chair of the firm’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness Practice, and Marc Adesso, partner of Saul Ewing’s Cannabis Law and Corporate practices, there are several key developments from 2021 that will impact the industry’s outlook in 2022.

Here, they share their predictions.

1. Federal policy reform has stalled.

While this year saw cannabis policy reform efforts gain momentum at the federal level, Havens said there was “no real advancement,” even for incremental reform like the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act.

That piece of legislation, which would allow banks to provide services to the federally illegal cannabis industry, cleared the House for the first time in 2019, and twice in 2020 as part of two separate COVID-19 relief bills. This year, the House passed the SAFE Banking Act for the fourth time in April before approving it a fifth time as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in September.

Entry into today’s cannabis space is rife with obstacles posed by states with opaque licensing awarding procedures, caps on entry, as well as other challenges set in motion by local governments (and local officials) seeking bounty of all sorts for the privilege of operating a business within the city, town or county’s physical boundaries.

 

In the last few years, we’ve seen lawmakers pass imperfect laws that intentionally or negligently include loopholes that undermine a law’s stated purpose and that can be contorted—for example, to benefit multi-state operators over social equity beneficiaries. Government officials (often behind closed doors) sometimes steer their associates, friends, or those to whom they have ties to the prizes of cannabis licenses, zoning allowances, and/or amenable community host agreement buy-ins. It feels to many that the deck is rigged. Grumbling does little because unless confronted by lawyers or litigation (of the criminal or civil litigation kind), those involved typically deny any impropriety.

As a result, civil lawsuits against states and localities are becoming commonplace. Consider the flurry of civil litigation in Illinois against the way it awards licenses, or the December 2021 lawsuit filed against the city of Gloucester, Mass., sued by a cannabis operator for charging almost $500,000 as a “community impact fee” above the state’s statutory limit for a cannabis company seeking to operate in that bucolic seaside city. The cannabis business operator’s lawyers there allege that the fees, excess taxes, and charitable giveaways are in no way reasonably related to the costs incurred by the municipality to permit the business to operate in the city. The cannabis company lawyers are also asking the court to bar the city from assessing such fees and have even asked the court to order the city to refund some of the money already paid.

The lawsuit is indicative of those broader trends within the regulated cannabis space.

 

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has its work cut out after more than 1,500 adult-use cannabis applications were filed ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for the state’s 26 social equity retail licenses.

The licenses are tied to applicants who have recently lived in 87 qualifying ZIP codes, ADHS officials announced in October.

RELATED: Arizona Releases Qualifying Residency Requirements for 26 Social Equity Cannabis Retail Licenses

While ADHS officials did not release details about their residency requirement selection process—there are more than 500 ZIP codes in the state—the chosen areas appear heavily focused on or near Native American reservations, The Arizona Republic reported.

The 26 licenses are in adherence to Proposition 207, the adult-use cannabis ballot measure Arizona voters passed in the 2020 election, establishing that those licenses be awarded to applicants impacted by prohibition.

A limited license state, Arizona’s adult-use cannabis program allows for a total of 169 retail licenses. To be eligible for the 26 social equity licenses, applicants must meet three of four qualifying criteria, including the residency requirement, set forth by the ADHS.

Live resins separate themselves from other concentrated cannabis products by their higher terpene contents. These products offer consumers an experience closer to smoking flower compared to distillates, which have been stripped of most of their natural terpenes and aromatic compounds during the drying, curing, and/or extraction process—although they often are reinfused with flavor to improve user experience.

Live resins are produced by flash-freezing cannabis flower before the drying and curing stage—this preserves the volatile terpenes and other essential oils found in the biomass. Extractors then process that frozen material, ensuring they capture any and all terpenes during the decarboxylation stage, and reintroduce the original terpenes into the extracted cannabinoid mix. These products can then be filled into vape cartridges and other vaporizers, or “dabbed” on glass water pipes.

These high-terpene products are hitting all-time highs in sales and are growing at a faster rate than other concentrate categories, according to data from Headset.

“Live Resin” total sales in California, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington from January through November grew by 29% from $255 million in 2020 to $329 million in 2021. This was more than double the growth rate of the total “Concentrate” category, which increased in sales by 14% over the same time frame. “Live Resin” also makes up the plurality of “Concentrate” sales, increasing in category share from 29% in 2020 to 33% in 2021. In comparison, its closest rival is “Wax” with 24% of Concentrate sales. 

At Revolution Global, an Illinois-based cultivator and processor that recently won a 2021 High Times’ Illinois Cannabis Cup in the “Best Concentrate” category for its Blueberry Clementine live resin this year, live resins make up 5%-7% of total monthly sales, according to Dusty Shroyer, the company’s president and COO. While live resin products are especially popular with the connoisseur crowd, he says the increasing number of products in the category is mostly supply, not demand, driven.

Especially in markets like California, “there's an abundance of greenhouse cannabis that's getting frozen straight off the stem,” Shroyer explained, noting this “has allowed extractors there to have a lot of live resin material.”