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TALLAHASSEE, Nov. 29, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Trulieve Cannabis Corp., the largest multistate operator (MSO) in the United States, announced the publication of its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report. The report contains standard disclosures from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards, The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Report highlights ESG achievements to date and serves as a foundation for demonstrating how the company's ESG approach, strategies and commitments are embedded within its core business.

"Since Trulieve was founded, our patients, customers and employees have been at the heart of everything we do,” CEO Kim Rivers said. “We believe in the power of cannabis for all and take great pride in providing access to innovative products for our customers, building engagement in the communities where we work and live, advocating for our industry, and ensuring a positive social approach to social justice and equality.

"While this is our first report, these principles and initiatives have been core to our business since its beginning. Our high standards of ethics and governance are integrated into the way we do business every day. We recognize that what we do from an environmental, social and governance perspective is important to our stakeholders, and we are proud of our commitment to transparency and responsibility as the first U.S. MSO to issue an ESG report."

Rivers added, "Cannabis is a generational opportunity. We know there's still work to do as we advance our sustainability journey, and we are committed to communicating our progress, holding ourselves accountable and being good corporate stewards to ensure the cannabis industry is safe, inclusive, equitable and sustainable for generations to come."

Key takeaways from the ESG report include:

Conducted our inaugural materiality assessment with an ESG consultant to identify and prioritize key non-financial topics for our business and stakeholders Formed a cross-functional ESG Steering Committee to collaboratively gather and validate baseline information and plan future initiatives Established ESG targets for 2022 with key activities of reducing our carbon footprint, broadening our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) activities, and establishing a board committee Reviewed Trulieve's environmental sustainability, approach to community engagement and social responsibility, and corporate governance protocols Discussed DEI initiatives across our company and within our communities Provided case studies to illustrate the report’s theme: The Trulieve Way

To download the full report, please visit the company's ESG webpage: trulieve.com/esg-dei-initiatives

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CHICAGO, Illinois, November 25, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Cresco Labs, a vertically integrated multistate operator and a wholesaler of branded cannabis products, announced the closing of its previously announced acquisition of Bay, LLC Cure Pennsylvania (Cure Penn).

Transaction Highlights

Three operational dispensaries in Lancaster, Phoenixville and PhiladelphiaCure Penn's dispensary locations are incremental and complementary to Cresco Labs' five existing Sunnyside dispensaries in PennsylvaniaA retail platform that outperforms the average revenues per-store in Pennsylvania, to be further improved through Cresco Labs' Sunnyside retail model

"Our focus heading into 2022 is on tailoring our strategy to the dynamics of each state to maintain a dominant market position and increase profitability," said Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs CEO and co-founder. "Between the acquisition of Cure Penn and the pending acquisition of Laurel Harvest, we are adding four new operational stores, licenses for five incremental stores, and 52 thousand square feet of indoor cultivation space in Pennsylvania.

"The moves we're making in this state to increase our retail footprint and add cultivation put us in the best position to remain the number one wholesaler in the current framework and continue to win when adult-use is ultimately introduced," Bachtell added. "Another example of our focus on strategic breadth, depth and execution as the path to success today and as this industry evolves."

The company expects to transition all stores in Pennsylvania to Sunnyside by the end of Q1 2022.

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In the months since delta-8 THC has exploded into popularity, debate over its legality and how to regulate it has pervaded regulators, law enforcement, and the hemp and cannabis industries. While the cannabinoid is naturally occurring in cannabis, many in the hemp industry have begun to convert it from CBD. It has provided a lucrative avenue for hemp producers and processors to sell CBD product that has otherwise lost much of its value over the course of two years, but its psychoactive effects have others questioning in which market it belongs—if any at all.

The main question at hand: Should delta-8 be regulated as hemp or in the state-legal cannabis market? 

A recent Cannabis Business Times/Hemp Grower survey of nearly 300 respondents working in the hemp and cannabis industries demonstrates just how controversial this question is. 

When asked whether delta-8 should be produced and sold in the hemp marketplace, nearly half of respondents said yes. Meanwhile, nearly 60% of respondents said delta-8 should be produced and sold in the state-legal cannabis marketplace. (Respondents could select the hemp market, cannabis market, both or neither.)

The nearly even split among responses is indicative of the conflicting attitudes in both the hemp and cannabis industries surrounding delta-8.

 
How to Categorize Delta-8

Out of 295 respondents to the CBT/HG survey, 66 work directly in the cannabis industry (either growing, manufacturing or selling), and 196 work directly in the hemp industry. (The rest of respondents selected “other,” with responses ranging from prospective business owners and consultants to bankers and journalists.)


The South Dakota Supreme Court ruled that the voice of its people, who voted in favor of legalizing adult-use cannabis by a 54.2% majority in the November 2020 election, was not enough to influence public policy.
Keloland Media Group
South Dakota Supreme Court justices heard arguments unfold on Amendment A on April 28. The body's decision came Nov. 24. 

The five-justice court issued a final decision Nov. 24, 2021, that upheld Circuit Judge Christina Klinger’s February ruling that voter-approved Amendment A violated the state’s single-subject rule in Article XXIII of the South Dakota Constitution and therefore was an unconstitutional ballot initiative.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed less than a month following the election by Pennington County Sherriff Kevin Thom and South Dakota Highway Patrol Col. Rick Miller. Although a spokesperson said Republican Gov. Kristi Noem did not ask Miller or Thom to bring forth the lawsuit, two months later, on Jan. 8, 2021, Noem issued an executive order, asserting that Amendment A was unconstitutional, and launched a taxpayer-funded lawsuit challenging the ballot measure.  

Noem, who opposed legalization leading up to the 2020 election, nominated Klinger to the state’s Sixth Circuit Court in early 2019—roughly two years before Klinger struck down Amendment A.

The majority opinion in Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision was penned by Chief Justice Steven Jensen in concurrence with Justices Janine Kern and Patricia DeVaney, while Justice Mark Salter concurred specially, writing his own opinion, and Justice Scott Myren concurred in part and dissented in part.

The five justices heard arguments on Amendment A back on April 28. Their final opinions come nearly seven months later.


When Chris Abbott thinks about cannabis going mainstream, he envisions places like bars and grocery stores adding cannabis- and hemp-related drinks to their menus.

"I think there's an incredible opportunity for drinks to really increase the awareness and mainstream acceptance of cannabis, because when people get together, they drink. That's how people socialize," Abbott tells Hemp Grower.

Abbott is the co-founder of The Pathfinder Hemp and Root (The Pathfinder or Hemp and Root), a fermented and distilled hemp-based, non-alcoholic spirit.

In September, Hemp and Root launched in Seattle, Wash., and has since made its way into some of the most popular bars in the city. 

Building the Brand

Abbott co-founded his first cannabis company in Seattle in 2014: Mr.Moxey's Mints, a multistate edibles company that offers an array of cannabis- and hemp-infused mints. 

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has approved a cannabis decriminalization measure, sending it to Mayor Tishaura Jones for her signature.

Jones is expected to sign Board Bill 132, which would nullify the city’s existing laws that criminalize small amounts of cannabis, according to a KSDK.com report.

“Today, the [St. Louis Board of Aldermen] passed BB 132, which will repeal unjust marijuana laws while making St. Louis safer and more competitive,” Jones tweeted. “I look forward to signing this critical legislation, and I appreciate its cosponsors—especially [Ward 24]—for their work.”

"It has the buy-in from the public safety director,” Ward 24 Alderman Bret Narayan, the bill’s sponsor, told KSDK.com. “It has the buy-in from the director of personnel. We have talked to basically every stakeholder along the way.”

At the state level, two groups, Fair Access Missouri and Legal Missouri 2022, are working to place competing adult-use legalization initiatives on Missouri’s November 2022 ballot.

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators have authored a letter urging Congressional leaders to keep the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022.

RELATED: U.S. House Adds SAFE Banking to Defense Spending Package

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) is leading the effort, which calls on members of the Armed Services Committees in the House and Senate to pass the banking legislation, according to a press release.

The SAFE Banking Act, which has passed the U.S. House of Representatives five times, most recently in September as an amendment to the NDAA, would allow state-licensed cannabis businesses to access banking services despite federal prohibition, which currently restricts cannabis operators from using basic financial services like checking accounts and credit cards.

The Nov. 23 letter, which is also signed by Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), Angus King (I-ME), Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ), urges leadership in the Armed Services Committees in both chambers of Congress to retain the SAFE Banking Act in the final conference version of the NDAA, which will ultimately be considered by the full House and Senate.

A new poll has revealed that 67% of Texans support adult-use cannabis legalization, and that the issue has bipartisan support in the state.

A Nov. 11 survey from the University of Houston and Southern University found that of the 67% of respondents in favor of legalization, 46% support it strongly and 21% support it somewhat, according to the San Antonio Current.

Of those opposed to legalization, 20% are strongly opposed, while 13% are somewhat opposed, the news outlet reported.

Fifty-one percent of respondents in favor of legalization identify as Republicans, according to the San Antonio Current, while 79% are Democrats and 70% are Independents.

The Texas Legislature expanded the state’s medical cannabis program to include cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as qualifying conditions during the 2021 legislative session.

The three parties that will likely replace Chancellor Angela Merkel as Germany’s next governing coalition support adult-use cannabis legalization, and regulators have a lot to learn from not only the nation’s existing medical cannabis market, but also adult-use legalization in other countries, according to Niklas Kouparanis, CEO of Frankfurt-based cannabis holding company Bloomwell.

The Social Democrats (SPD), the Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens plan to introduce legislation to legalize cannabis, which would be sold to adults through specialized shops like the dispensaries in the United States, as soon as the parties sign formal coalition papers to officially become the new government after Germany’s elections in September.

The Road to Legalization

Germany legalized medical cannabis in 2017, and all the nation’s physicians, barring veterinarians and dentists, can prescribe pharmaceutical cannabis to their patients.

“We had a very dramatic increase of patients, and … we needed to supply these patients somehow,” Kouparanis told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “We had a supply shortage in the beginning days.”

Bloomwell was founded in 2020 as a holding entity for multiple companies, including Ilios Sante, a medical cannabis wholesaler and distributor, and Algea Care, a telemedicine provider that has more than 70 specialized doctors on its platform to treat Germany’s patients with medical cannabis.

The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has issued a recall for many cannabis products in the state due to inaccurate and unreliable test results. 

Retailers must pull almost all products, except for inhalable cannabis concentrate products, tested by compliance facilities Viridis North, LLC and Viridis Laboratories LLC between Aug. 10 and Nov. 16. Cannabis inhalable products include:

Vape cartsLive resinDistillateAny other cannabis concentrate created through residual solvent extractions

All retail locations that have sold such products must display the MRA’s recall on the sales floor and ensure it is visible to all consumers for 30 days from the date the notice was issued.

Licensees that have products in their inventory that fit the criteria have the following options:

Destroy the product and provide proof of destruction to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the product retested for the microbials compliance panel.Send the product back to the original licensee source so they can destroy or have the product retested as a larger batch. 

If a licensee opts out to send back or retest a product, they must “create new METRC packages with new METRC identification numbers prior to transferring or submitting the products for testing,” the notice states.

Additionally, consumers who have purchased a product that meets the criteria can return it to the location of purchase for proper disposal. Consumers who have experienced adverse reactions from consuming such products should report their symptoms to a physician and the MRA by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone: 517-284-8599, the notice states.

Uber has taken its first step into the cannabis market, several months after Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshah told CNBC that the company would “absolutely” consider cannabis delivery in the U.S., depending on regulation.

The ride-hailing company has partnered with Canada-based cannabis retailer Tokyo Smoke to offer online cannabis ordering in Ontario, Canada, through the Uber Eats app.

Beginning early next week, Uber Eats will list Tokyo Smoke's products under a section labeled "cannabis" within the app. Consumers will then be able to place an order for pick up at the nearest Toyko Smoke store in Ontario, a spokesperson told CNN Business. At this time, consumers cannot purchase such products for delivery.

It is currently unclear whether the company has plans to expand online cannabis ordering across Canada or within the U.S.

"We will continue to watch regulations and opportunities closely market by market," the Uber spokesperson told CNN Business. "And as local and federal laws evolve, we will explore opportunities with merchants who operate in other regions.”

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MARSHALL, Mich. – PRESS RELEASE – Common Citizen, which produces cannabis products for patients and adult-use customers, today announced it will donate more than 2,000 14-pound frozen turkeys this Thanksgiving to those in need across Michigan. The effort is part of Common Citizen’s continued commitment to giving back to the communities it proudly serves.

“At Common Citizen, we are committed to serving the communities we call home, and our turkey giveaway is our way of helping make sure no one goes hungry this Thanksgiving,” said Common Citizen CEO Michael Elias. “Cannabis For Humanity begins with serving the needs of the common citizen, and we look forward to helping our friends and neighbors in need across Michigan enjoy this holiday season.” 

Common Citizen is partnering with local municipalities and organizations to distribute turkeys in the following communities: 

EastpointeLansingMarshallFlintBattle CreekPontiac Ferndale WestlandDetroitLake OrionLathrup Village

“We are excited to partner with these amazing organizations in distributing turkeys to individuals and families in need across Michigan this holiday season,” Elias said. “Working together, we will help serve those in greatest need in our communities during this special time of year.”

The Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners have released draft rules to govern how physicians can recommend medical cannabis to patients, according to a press release.

The regulations include rules on the registration and required training for physicians who would like to certify patients for Alabama’s medical cannabis program, which was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey in May.

According to the draft rules, physicians can recommend medical cannabis as a treatment for the following conditions after other medical treatment or therapy has failed:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)Cancer-related cachexia, nausea or vomiting, weight loss, or chronic painCrohn’s DiseaseDepressionEpilepsy or a condition causing seizuresHIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight lossPanic disorderParkinson’s diseasePersistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related to pregnancy, cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome, or cannabinoid hyperemesis syndromePost-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Sickle Cell AnemiaSpasticity associated with a motor neuron disease, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)Spasticity associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or a spinal cord injuryA terminal illnessTourette’s SyndromeA condition causing chronic or intractable pain in which conventional intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective

The Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners will accept public comment on the draft rules through Jan. 4, 2022.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is also working on its own regulations regarding the licensing of cultivators, manufacturers and dispensaries, according to the press release.

Thailand will establish an International Medical Cannabis Research Center to advance its plan to become a world-class cannabis production and development hub, according to a Benzinga report.

The Public Health Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with RxLeaf World Medica to create the center, which aims to explore genetic research on medical cannabis, the news outlet reported.

The center will bring together doctors, researchers and experts from Canada, the Netherlands and other countries to exchange medical cannabis knowledge and conduct product research and development, according to Benzinga.

Thailand legalized medical cannabis in 2018, and opened its first full-time cannabis clinic last year.

In the third quarter of 2021, major U.S. cannabis multi-state operators (MSO) and several top Canadian licensed producers (LP) enjoyed healthy revenue and continued expansion. 

Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary reviewed quarterly earnings statements and talked to industry executives to analyze how things went in the 2021’s penultimate quarter while preparing for another landmark year in 2022.

Growth Rates Settling In

While cannabis sales are still growing at a healthy clip overall, signs of a maturing market are starting to emerge: many U.S. companies saw a drop in revenue growth compared to earlier quarters. Illinois-based Green Thumb Industries (GTI) pulled in $233.7 million for the quarter, an increase of 5.3% on Q2 – quite a bit lower than its 14.1% increase from Q1 to Q2. Curaleaf, another major American MSO headquartered in Massachusetts, saw sequential growth drop 10x in Q3 compared to Q2. Cresco Labs, a top American cannabis wholesaler, reported 2.6% quarter-over-quarter growth compared to almost 18% in Q2.

In Canada’s smaller and more mature market the problem appeared to be worse. The Ontario giant Canopy Growth reported a 3.5% decline in net revenue compared to Q1 2022 (the Canadian equivalent to the U.S. Q2 2021). Aurora, another major Canadian cannabis player, experienced an 11% year-over-year decline in revenue for the quarter.

It’s true that some of these slowdowns are simply the result of seasonal shifts. It’s also possible that last year’s sales figures were inflated by widespread lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend that has since eased.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has collected nearly enough signatures to advance its adult-use cannabis legalization proposal in Ohio, according to the Ohio Capital Journal.

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

Thomas Haren, an Ohio-based attorney and a spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, told the news outlet that he expects the group to gather the 133,000 required signatures by the end of the month.

If the group succeeds, the Ohio Legislature would have four months to consider the coalition’s initiated statute, which would legalize the personal use, sale and possession of cannabis in the state.

The proposal would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis or 15 grams of cannabis extract. Adults would also be permitted to purchase cannabis at dispensaries or grow up to two plants at home for personal use.

A South Dakota legislative board has adopted a report from a committee dispatched by the Legislature to study draft legislation on medical and adult-use cannabis in the state.

The committee drafted nearly two dozen bills that would change South Dakota’s medical cannabis program, according to The Globe, as well as an adult-use legalization bill that committee chairman Bryan Breitling told the news outlet would be a “fail-safe” if the state’s Supreme Court upholds a lower court injunction against South Dakota’s voter-approved Amendment A.

RELATED: Any Given Thursday: South Dakota Supreme Court’s Indecision on Adult-Use Cannabis

The Legislature’s 15-member executive board voted to accept the committee’s report, although the vote does not represent endorsement of any of the draft bills, The Globe reported. The legislation will likely surface during the state’s upcoming legislative session, according to the news outlet.

South Dakota’s cannabis study committee broke into two separate panels, one on adult-use and one on medical cannabis, and received testimony from legal and health experts, cannabis advocates, and local leaders, The Globe reported.

CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 22, 2021 – Cannabis Conference, the leading event for plant-touching businesses in North America that brings together thousands of industry professionals, is pleased to announce the promotion of Scott Anthony to Director of Sales.

Anthony has been instrumental in the rapid growth of Cannabis Conference, as well as its award-winning media brand Cannabis Business Times (CBT) since CBT’s acquisition and print launch in 2015. In this new role as Director of Sales, he will work to expand the sales team for Cannabis Conference—which provides exhibiting and marketing opportunities to solutions providers for cultivators, dispensary operators and extraction professionals within the legal cannabis and hemp industries. Anthony will also be overseeing the sales growth of Cannabis Business Times, Hemp Grower and Hemp Grower Conference.

“Based on Scott’s strong track record over the past six years navigating the rapidly evolving cannabis and hemp markets, he is the right person to lead the continued growth of the industry’s most important conference for licensed operators,” Cannabis Conference and Cannabis Business Times’ Group Publisher Jim Gilbride said.  

Cannabis Conference Director of Sales Scott Anthony

“It's been exciting to witness the exponential growth in these markets since we launched CBT,” Anthony said. “Cannabis Conference creates an invaluable opportunity by taking the foundation of CBT’s high-quality educational and marketing platform and translating it into a curated in-person experience. Each year, exhibitors are excited to get in front of thousands of targeted decision-makers that are looking for solutions to better their businesses. I'm looking forward to guiding our talented sales team to expand these marketing and event opportunities in 2022.”

According to Grandview Research, the global cannabis market will surpass $70 billion by 2028. In addition, the United States’ CBD market forecast is expected to experience 202% growth over the next five years, reaching $16 billion in 2026, according to Brightfield Group.

In alignment with the industry’s exponential growth, Cannabis Conference has grown from a small event in Oakland, Calif, to an established industry conference that brings 3,000+ cannabis professionals to Las Vegas. In 2022, 200+ exhibitors will span 85,000 square feet, offering products and solutions exclusively for cultivators, retail dispensaries and manufacturing professionals. These providers include (but are not limited to) software, plant inputs, equipment, consulting and legal services, and more. Cannabis Conference 2022 will also offer 40+ industry-leading educational sessions, guided by the expertise of 90+ presenters and panelists.

NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2022 – PRESS RELEASE – LeafLink, a unified B2B platform for cannabis, announced the expansion of its logistics services, originally launched in Michigan in April 2020, to Massachusetts, California and Oregon. Since its launch, LeafLink has worked with trusted partners to build the largest logistics network in the cannabis industry, delivering over $325 million a year in wholesale cannabis orders.

With the expansion of its logistics services, LeafLink accelerates the growth of its full platform across North American legal cannabis markets. LeafLink is the platform that cannabis businesses trust to handle mission critical functions. More than 10,000 cannabis businesses use LeafLink to transact $4.6 billion+ in wholesale commerce and $430 million+ in payment volume a year. The company estimates that 42% of U.S. wholesale cannabis orders flow through its marketplace.

LeafLink's logistics offerings are unique to the markets they're in and are built specifically for the intricacies of the cannabis industry. In Michigan and Massachusetts LeafLink offers a transportation solution that enables cannabis brands to increase reliability, efficiency and transparency in their shipping practices. While in California, the company offers a retailer-focused solution for the warehousing and fulfillment of a retailer's inventory with a technology layer that allows buyers to restock from that inventory as needed—increasing profit margins by reducing stockouts, unlocking bulk discounts and streamlining inventory operations.

The Oregon offering combines the transportation model from Michigan and Massachusetts, with reliable, efficient and quick storage and delivery of products across the state. The overall value-add of LeafLink's logistics offering is that it allows brands and retailers to cut costs associated with transportation and fulfillment so they can invest in core competencies like product development, brand building and customer experience without ever missing a sale.

LeafLink has a robust selection process for partnering with locally licensed operators to bring the offering to life. The collaboration of these partners is instrumental in bringing value to cannabis brands and retailers through best-in-class service and operating procedures. Transporters also see value in working with LeafLink by tapping into the volume of orders brought through its wholesale marketplace, and through the ease of working with LeafLink's technology to create efficiency and automate compliance.

"Our logistics partnership with LeafLink has exceeded my expectations across the board," said Abbe Schnibbe, CEO of Plymouth Armor Group, LeafLink's partner in Massachusetts. "Through our work together, our company has been able to increase our operational efficiency, while simultaneously expanding our sales and marketing reach. From the start, it has been a true partnership in every sense of the word—every decision from the strategic level down to daily route optimization is made in lockstep across both our teams."

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) may reconsider a ban on the sale of edibles in the state’s adult-use market, according to New Jersey 101.5.

Regulators’ interim regulations for the state’s forthcoming adult-use cannabis market include a rule that prohibits dispensaries from selling cannabis-infused cookies, brownies, gummies or any products that resemble food.

RELATED: New Jersey's Adult-Use Cannabis Market Won't Include Some Infused Products

However, at its last meeting, the CRC invited input from invited guests and the public about how to handle these products, New Jersey 101.5 reported, and some provided feedback indicating that regulators should reconsider the ban.

“Any form of edibles should be permitted as long as the regulatory procedures are followed,” Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana, told the commission, according to New Jersey 101.5. “There should be no arbitrary exclusions placed on cannabis products.”