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New Mexico’s Cannabis Control Division (CCD) announced Dec. 23 that regulators are now accepting applications for Integrated Microbusiness licenses, which allow small businesses to grow, manufacture and sell cannabis products.

“Small businesses are the heart of New Mexico’s economy,” Cannabis Control Division Director Kristen Thomson said in a public statement. “By creating a streamlined licensing process that allows microbusinesses to succeed in every sector in the cannabis industry, the state is continuing its commitment to standing up an industry that reflects New Mexico values.”

Applicants can now access the online licensing application system at any time.

The CCD announced earlier in December that it was opening the application process for manufacturing and retail businesses, and regulators awarded the first producer licenses Dec. 15.

New Mexico’s adult-use cannabis sales are set to launch by April 1 under the Cannabis Regulation Act, which passed last year to legalize cannabis in the state.

The Missouri Supreme Court will decide whether state regulators can disclose information contained in the medical cannabis applications they received after Kings Garden Midwest LLC, a company that was denied cultivation licenses in the state, argued that regulators’ decision to keep the information confidential limits its right to appeal.

Meanwhile, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has claimed that it is constitutionally obligated to protect the application information, according to the Missouri Independent, despite lower courts ordering the department to disclose it.

DHSS claims that a provision in the 2018 constitutional amendment that legalized medical cannabis requires it to protect the information. The language included in the amendment states that regulators “shall maintain the confidentiality of reports or other information obtained from an applicant or licensee containing any individualized data, information, or records related to the licensee or its operation,” the Missouri Independent reported.

The DHSS is asking the Missouri Supreme Court to reverse the lower court’s decision in order to uphold the confidentiality provisions outlined in the constitutional amendment.

Kings Garden filed two unsuccessful applications for medical cannabis cultivation licenses, and in its appeal, the company asked for unredacted copies of approved applications to help illustrate that the answers on its applications were similar to those of successful applicants, the Missouri Independent reported.

Tallahassee, Fla. – Dec. 28, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Trulieve Cannabis Corp. has announced several new executive appointments including; President, Steve White; Vice President & General Counsel, Nicole Stanton; Director of Investor Relations, Christine Hersey; and Executive Director of Corporate Communications, Rob Kremer. 

The White, Stanton and Hersey appointments follow the company’s Oct. 1, 2021, closing of the acquisition of Harvest Health and Recreation Inc.

“We are thrilled to officially announce the appointment of several members of the legacy Harvest team to key roles within our organization,” said Kim Rivers, Trulieve’s CEO. “The addition of talent and experienced leadership was a key component of the Harvest acquisition and further advances our strategy of expansion through the addition of regional assets and teams within our hub model. We also are adding to our leadership team as the company continues to experience significant growth.”   

These leaders deliver a breadth of experience from multiple industries to Trulieve’s leadership team:

Steve White, President – White co-founded Harvest Health & Recreation in 2011 and served as CEO until the acquisition of the company by Trulieve. As an early pioneer in the U.S. legal cannabis industry, White led the company as it grew from a single dispensary to become one of the top multi-state operators with cultivation, manufacturing, and retail operations in several markets. White spearheaded one of the industry’s most successful license application teams, paving the way for rapid growth through organic license awards and capital efficient expansion. As a former litigator, White successfully navigated the complex patchwork of different regulatory regimes across various U.S. markets while advocating for expanded access to cannabis for patients and adult use consumers. White serves as a member of the boards of the Arizona Dispensary Association and charitable organization Harvesting Hope. White graduated from Arizona State University Honors College summa cum laude with a B.S. in Political Science and earned a Juris Doctorate from Washington & Lee University, School of Law.Nicole Stanton, Vice President and General Counsel – Stanton served as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Harvest since 2019, overseeing the legal department and compliance program. She received the Public Company General Counsel of the Year award by the Arizona Corporate Counsel in April 2021.  That same year, the Harvest legal department was nominated for Legal Department of the Year. Prior to joining Harvest, Stanton was employed by the national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP for nearly 20 years. She served as the office managing partner of the firm’s Phoenix office from 2013-2018, as well as the firm’s assistant general counsel from 2009-2019. While managing partner, she was responsible for overseeing more than 100 lawyers and 75 professional legal staff, covering 11 different legal practice areas. She is a veteran litigation and legal ethics counsel. Her success as defense counsel garnered her an established and credible reputation across business practices including awards as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona from AZ Business Magazine (2015-2108) and Phoenix Business Journal’s Most Admired Leaders (2014). Stanton holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Utah and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona, College of Law.  She has taught legal ethics at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and is a member of the prestigious American Law Institute. Christine Hersey, Director of Investor Relations – Hersey served as Director of Investor Relations at Harvest since June 2019. She has over 20 years’ experience in corporate, buy-side and sell side roles working in and covering a variety of sectors including biotech, cannabis, cleantech, and consumer retail at Durant Partners, Efficacy Capital, M.S. Howells, Savitr Capital, and Wedbush Securities. Hersey previously covered global securities traveling throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Prior to her career in finance, Christine worked as an environmental engineer and project manager. Hersey earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, M.S. in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University, and an MBA and M.S. in Finance from Boston College.Rob Kremer, Executive Director of Corporate Communications – Kremer has nearly 30 years of experience in both corporate and agency settings. In his role at Trulieve, he will oversee both internal and external communications. Kremer spent the past 10 years as a partner at Rhythm Communications where he developed and implemented successful programs and campaigns. Client leadership includes Chick-fil-A, General Mills, Mizuno, as well as celebrities such as Champ Bailey, Ludacris and Ray Lewis, among many others. Previously, he served as in-house PR at both Coca-Cola and Aetna U.S. Healthcare, as well as an internal communications consultant at Hewitt Associates. Several campaigns under his stewardship have been recognized for regional and national awards. Kremer is a graduate of the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia and serves on numerous philanthropic boards.
Despite near-zero-degree temperatures, an overflowing parking lot marked the first day of adult-use cannabis sales at Lionheart Caregiving in Yellowstone County, Mont.

On Jan. 1, the dispensary was one of many to experience the start of a new era of adult-use cannabis sales in the state, the Helena Independent Record reported.

Two dispensaries with locations Missoula, Mont., Puffin Canna and The Higher Standard, had their busiest days ever on New Year’s Day after previously solely serving medical patients, according to television station KPAX.

“It’s been going amazing,” Matty Coen of The Higher Standard told KPAX. “We had people coming in right off the bat. We opened half an hour early even and people just started flowing in.” Coen’s role at the business is budtender, per the Independent Record, which published a photo of Coen selling a pre-roll to a customer.

The Higher Standard owner JJ Thomas told the Independent Record that there have been obstacles getting to this point where his business can sell adult-use cannabis.

"I'm thankful for everything, thankful for my health, (to) be able to do this because it’s taken a toll on me and my family to build all these stores and get here, but it was a dream I had," said Thomas, whose business has locations in Helena, Missoula, and Butte. "I'm hoping to create a legacy for my family."

SACRAMENTO and EUREKA, Calif., Jan. 1, 2022 – PRESS RELEASE – The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) in California is now accepting requests for equity fee license waivers from businesses that meet certain eligibility standards.
 

Fee Waiver Eligibility

 

The cannabis business must meet the following criteria:

Equity ownership: Individuals who meet the equity criteria own 50% or more of the business.Gross revenues: The business has gross revenue of $1.5 million or less per year. If a new applicant, the business expects gross revenue of $1.5 million or less for the first year.

Equity owners must meet at least one of the following criteria:

Cannabis conviction or arrest: The owner was convicted of or arrested for a cannabis offense before Nov. 8, 2016.Household income: The owner’s household income is less than or equal to 60% of the Area Median Income for the local jurisdiction where they live.Neighborhood: The owner lived for at least five years between 1980 and 2016 in an area disproportionately impacted by past criminal justice policies implementing cannabis prohibition. Learn more about qualifying neighborhoods, or use our map tool to see if you lived in a qualifying area.

If you participate in your local jurisdiction’s equity program, you can show you meet the equity criteria through an attestation on the fee waiver form. If you don’t participate in your local equity program or are in a jurisdiction without an equity program, you can submit documents to show your eligibility. 

 

Resources for Equity Businesses

 

New Web Pages

The state cannabis website, cannabis.ca.gov, has two new pages that explain the eligibility criteria and steps to request a fee waiver.

Spoiler Alert: This 2022 outlook does not include references to federal legalization or SAFE banking legislation. In fact, the biggest opportunities in cannabis exist independently of any federal action. Additionally, operators that really think through how they can intersect with the largest themes in the industry will be best positioned for whatever is to come (whenever it arrives).

2021 was the year that cannabis as an essential business moved from pandemic crisis response to standard operating procedure. There has been time to refine and put into practice all the ways we responded to 2020 and COVID-19. Some states made big moves, and some states experienced growing pains brought on by regulation and supply conundrums.

I see the cannabis industry navigating two themes in 2022. These themes will present challenges and opportunities for all of us.

1. Normalization before legalization

Cannabis is quickly becoming part of everyday life in America. That train has left the station. 68% of Americans support full legalization and 91% believe cannabis should be available for medicinal purposes. Pop culture continues to embrace cannabis (looking at you Bieber, Seth Rogen, Jay Z, and Kate Hudson). Mainstream media is running feel good stories on the medical benefits of cannabis—and I’ve noticed more people adjacent to the industry making an effort to learn and participate. This is the first time an industry will reach normalization before it is fully legal. The friction that illegality creates must be navigated as normalization pulls the industry forward into the limelight. What are those key navigational landmarks? I’ve outlined them below:

Existing programs will evolve; and new states will enter the mix.

Current medical programs will continue to expand. Minnesota is adding smokable flower in Q1 2022, and edibles on Aug. 1. Also, the state will have doubled the number of open dispensaries in the past two years. Ohio is expanding licenses and several other states are opening additional license opportunities.

COSHOCTON, Ohio, Dec. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ - PRESS RELEASE - Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc., a multi-state, vertically integrated cannabis operator focused on bettering lives through cannabis, announced the closing of the company's definitive agreement to acquire Ohio Cannabis Clinic, LLC, d/b/a Ohio Cannabis Company and its licensed medical marijuana retail dispensary in Coshocton, Ohio. The announcement represents AWH's second dispensary in the state.

Located at 23024 Co Rd 621 Suite 1, the dispensary will benefit from its position close to all major thoroughfares and it is less than 90 minutes from all major cities including Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland. The dispensary will offer patients access to a wide selection of high-quality products across flower, pre-rolls, vapes, edibles and topicals.

"Ohio is a key focus of expansion for our Ascend brand given its rapidly-maturing market and near-term potential for adult-use," said Abner Kurtin, CEO of AWH. "We are thrilled to officially add a second Ascend location to our Ohio retail portfolio and look forward to continued growth in the state as we further secure our position in the most attractive U.S. cannabis markets."

There are currently 56 medical-use dispensaries in Ohio serving the state's more than 186,590 registered medical cannabis patients. Coshocton is a key addition to AWH's portfolio, adding brand awareness and reach while increasing patient access to cannabis as it looks to continue its expansion throughout Ohio.

As previously announced, AWH completed the acquisition of BCCO, LLC, which operates a medical dispensary in Carroll, Ohio, currently operating under the Ohio Provisions retail brand and announced the definitive agreement to acquire OCC. The company plans to migrate both the Ohio Provisions and the Ohio Cannabis Company brands over to the Ascend brand. AWH is vertically operated in all of the states in which it operates, including Ohio; AWH owns a cultivation facility in Monroe, OH. The company also previously entered into an option agreement with Marichron Pharma, LLC to acquire their processing facility in Monroe, Ohio, pending regulatory approval.

MIAMI, Dec. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ayr Wellness, a vertically integrated U.S. multi-state cannabis operator (MSO), today announced the opening of its newest dispensary in Eustis, Fla.

The dispensary will occupy over 3,000 square feet of prime retail space in the idyllic lakeside city of Eustis, just south of The Villages – a vibrant, 55+ community widely touted as America’s most popular retirement community. The store is the first Florida dispensary to have been fully designed and built by the Ayr team and incorporates design elements inspired by the company’s upcoming Boston-area flagship dispensaries in Back Bay and Watertown.

In February 2021, Ayr purchased Florida-based Liberty Health Sciences, which included 31 dispensaries across the state. Since then, 12 additional locations have opened – bringing the total number of dispensaries to 43. With over 650,000 enrolled patients, Florida’s cannabis market ranks third in the nation by total cannabis sales and generated over $1.2 billion in medical cannabis revenue in 2020. BDSA forecasts Florida’s cannabis market will generate $2.6 billion in sales per annum by 2026.

Jon Sandelman, founder, chairman and CEO of Ayr Wellness, said, “With 43 stores now open in Florida and another 30 locations under lease, we continue to expand our presence with our latest opening in Eustis. The Eustis store is notable both for its prime location, and for being Ayr’s first Florida store to incorporate our customer-centric design philosophies. The retail experience highlights our improved product selection, curated to meet consumer needs across every product category, and is designed to foster meaningful relationships with every customer and community member who comes through our doors."

DENVER, Colo. December 30, 2021 -- PRESS RELEASE -- Marijuana rules from the General Assembly’s 2021 legislative session go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022 for all regulated marijuana businesses across Colorado. New rules of note include the reduction of daily sales limits of medical concentrate from 40 grams to eight grams (two grams for 18-20 year olds), the development of an educational resource stores are required to provide with every concentrate purchase, and a new process for outdoor cultivations to establish and obtain approval for contingency plans to prepare and respond to adverse weather events. Final rules were adopted by the State Licensing Authority on Nov. 10, 2021 after a summer and fall of extensive stakeholder engagement led by the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED).

“The General Assembly delegated significant items for MED to tackle during rulemaking this year, and we wouldn’t have been successful without the active engagement and hands-on effort we received from our stakeholder community,” said Dominique Mendiola, MED Senior Director. “While parties didn’t always agree, the diverse perspectives of our stakeholders were critical to ensuring we ultimately got to a place of acceptable compromise that aligned with the legislative direction. But, our work isn’t complete. We will continue to refine regulations and support the implementation of these new rules well into 2022 and beyond.”

Highlights of notable key rules that go into effect on Jan. 1 include:

As a result of HB21-1317: Regulating Marijuana Concentrates:

Patients over 21 years of age can now purchase no more than eight grams of Medical Marijuana Concentrate and patients ages 18 to 20 can purchase no more than two grams of Medical Marijuana Concentrate per day unless otherwise recommended by a physician. Previous limit was 40 grams per day. No changes were made to Retail Marijuana Concentrate purchases, which remain at eight grams per day.Creation of an educational resource pamphlet to be distributed with all medical and retail concentrate purchases (includes a recommended serving size for Concentrates).Creation of the Uniform Certification Form for medical marijuana stores to accept official documentation from recommending providers to outline an exception (either physical or geographical hardship) for patients to purchase above their statutory daily limit of Concentrates. Requirements for stores to document patient’s daily purchases in Colorado’s marijuana inventory tracking system to ensure that no individual is purchasing above their daily limit across stores.

As a result of HB21-1301: Cannabis Outdoor Cultivation Measures:

PORTLAND, OR. – In a special meeting on December 28, 2021 the Oregon Liquor andCannabis Commission approved significant changes for regulating the legal marijuana industry and put in place standards for regulating hemp products sold in Oregon’s general marketplace. The changes in the recreational marijuana rules package reflect the cannabis industry’s rapid evolution and the blurring of distinctions between hemp and marijuana products. 

Portland, OR – December 27, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Chalice Brands Ltd., a consumer-driven cannabis company specializing in retail, production, processing, wholesale and distribution, has announced the company received all required regulatory approvals from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) and Clackamas County to complete its previously announced acquisition of the assets of Tozmoz, LLC, an Oregon limited liability company, and it has reached an agreement on final terms.

“We are happy to formally close the transaction with Tozmoz, a partner that has been instrumental in strengthening Chalice’s product portfolio, specifically for Elysium Fields and RXO. While we awaited for the necessary regulatory approvals, unexpected delays occurred because of the ongoing pandemic. As a result of the closing, Chalice will continue to benefit from the expertise and broad capabilities that Tozmoz provides to support our product-focused business strategy, with the opportunity to further expand our diverse portfolio of products,” stated Jeff Yapp, president and CEO of Chalice. “With a focus on serving the highest quality of cannabis products on the market, our combined organizations are poised to leverage our ability scale as we continue to cement our position as a leading West Coast operator.”

Pursuant to the terms of the Asset Purchase Agreement, Chalice purchased substantially all the assets of Tozmoz, including the facility located in Clackamas County, which serves as the headquarters for multiple extraction options as stated above, for total consideration of 1,268,116 shares of Chalice stock, a 48-month promissory note for US$400,000 bearing six percent interest, and forgiveness of $650,000 of promissory notes owed to Chalice. Chalice has satisfied certain conditions by way of the previous consulting agreement with Tozmoz, resulting in zero cash due at closing.

Founded in 2015 as one of the first OLCC licensed processors in Oregon, Tozmoz established itself as a premier cannabis extractor in the state. Tozmoz offers multiple extraction processes including CO2, hydrocarbon and ethanol, and both short path and wiped film distillation. Additionally, Tozmoz provides product manufacturing and formulation, as well as packaging services, providing clients OLCC-approved products ready for wholesale distribution and retail sale.

“Having worked closely with Chalice over the past year, I couldn’t have asked for a better leadership team to help elevate my business to a much higher level. When it comes to the field of cannabis, I am a dinosaur, and I have never seen a team in this industry so capable of building a true west coast cannabis powerhouse,” commented Joel Klobas, Co-founder of Tozmoz.

CHICAGO and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PRESS RELEASE -- Green Thumb Industries Inc., a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and owner of RYTHM, Good Green and incredibles branded cannabis products, has announced it has closed on an acquisition of LeafLine Industries. As one of only two licensed cultivators in the Minnesota medical cannabis market, LeafLine is licensed to grow, process and dispense cannabis directly to patients.

“We are excited to enter the Minnesota medical market and broaden access to cannabis products for Minnesota patients,” said Green Thumb Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler. “We look forward to caring for LeafLine’s existing patients while ensuring a seamless transition. And looking ahead, we are ready to begin providing patients access to high-quality flower and edible products, both of which have been recently approved. As we kick off 2022, Green Thumb is thrilled to welcome over 100 new team members, a new state and five new retail locations.”

The acquisition of LeafLine includes a cultivation facility and five open and operating retail locations in Eagan, Hibbing, St. Cloud, St. Paul and Willmar. Green Thumb will also maintain the opportunity to open up to three additional retail locations in the state.

With the acquisition, Green Thumb has cannabis operations to serve over 50% of the United States population, including in: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.

With a population of nearly six million people, Minnesota began medical cannabis sales in 2015 and currently has only about 29,000 registered active patients according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The state currently has 17 qualifying conditions, including chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder and seizures. Products available include vape, tinctures and topicals, with flower and edibles coming later in 2022. Green Thumb’s presence in Minnesota will further enhance and support the medical cannabis patient community through its high-quality branded products and experiences.

The holiday season is the perfect time to reflect on the year that was and set goals for the year that has yet to be. With that in mind, we checked in with our advisory board members to learn what they see as an important lesson from 2021 and a key trend to keep an eye on in 2022. It’s a pivotal moment in cannabis, but aren’t they all? 

When Flora Growth debuted on the Nasdaq in May 2021, the company publicized the U.S.-based initial public offering (IPO) as the first known cannabis cultivator to list without using a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), reverse merger or dual listing. The move included a $30 million pre-IPO equity raise in 2020, and then another $16.6 million once it completed the IPO.

Since then, the globally motivated company, which leverages natural, low-cost cultivation practices on a roughly 250-acre, all-outdoor operation in Bucaramanga, Colombia, has been full steam ahead on executing its strategic plans, including a headquarters relocation from Toronto to Miami.

During the past six months, Flora Growth has acquired California-based Vessel Brand Inc., a vaporization brand, for $30 million, and entered into various partnerships and distribution agreements.

Specifically, Flora Growth also made a $2.4-million preferred supplier investment to a Hoshi International subsidiary in Portugal, and the company also secured a licensing agreement to enter the cannabis beverage market under the Tonino Lamborghini luxury lifestyle brand, with a CBD product line that aims launch in the first quarter of 2022.

RELATED: Cannabis Pipeline to Europe is Open; Flora Growth is Investing

These moves are the first of many synergistic steps intended by Flora Growth to launch its 300-plus products across the world, president and CEO Luis Merchan told Cannabis Business Times.

Leaders in the Rhode Island House and Senate say they are very close to reintroducing legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, and that the issue has the support it needs to cross the finish line next year.

“We’re very close to being able to, in the month of January, release the framework of a bill that will begin a robust public hearing and vetting process,” House Speaker K. Joseph Sherkarchi (D-Warwick) told Providence Business News.

Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey (D-Warwick) told the news outlet that lawmakers plan to introduce the legislation early in the 2022 legislative session and get a vote in both chambers by February.

“Once it goes through the hearing process, I think that it will pass in both chambers overwhelmingly,” McCaffrey told Providence Business News.

In early 2021, Rhode Island lawmakers unveiled a pair of adult-use cannabis legalization proposals, which both ultimately stalled.

DENVER, Colo. - December 22, 2021 - PRESS RELEASE - The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) released licensee demographic data for December 2021. The Division is committed to reporting information that allows the state and members of the public to understand the diversity landscape of Colorado’s Regulated Marijuana industry and measure progress on statewide social equity-related initiatives. Based on this data, minorities comprise 16.6% of owner licensees, an increase from the June 2021 baseline number of 15.2%. The following tables provide additional insights into the demographics of Colorado’s commercial marijuana industry.

Regulated Marijuana License Demographic Information - Dec. 1, 2021

MED’s Wildly Important Goal (WIG) FY 21-22: Promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in the marijuana industry, measured by an increase in minority-ownership of marijuana businesses from 15.2% to 16.8% by June 30, 2022.

As of Dec. 1, 2021, there are 46 approved Social Equity licensees (9 issued in November).

Dec. 1, 2021 Race/Ethnicity Data:

Employee Licenses: Approximately 45% or 19,164 Employee licenses did not disclose or their race/ethnicity is unknown. Owner Licenses: Approximately 12% or 230 Owner licenses did not disclose or their race/ethnicity is unknown. Employee Licenses: Those who disclosed their race/ethnicity as Caucasian held 66.7% of Employee licenses, compared to 6.2% who disclosed themselves as Black, and 17.0% for those who disclosed themselves as Hispanic/Latino.Owner Licenses: Those who disclosed themselves as Caucasian held 83.4% of owner licenses, compared to 2.8% for those who disclosed themselves as Black and 7.9% for Hispanic/Latino.

Overall Individual License Data

Another dynamic year in the cannabis industry is coming to a close, and there’s certainly no shortage of themes and narratives and characters to look back on for a sense of all that’s happened. Here, the CBT editors provide some thoughts on their favorite stories of 2021. 

North Carolina’s Compassionate Care Act, a medical cannabis legalization bill that stalled during this year’s legislative session, will likely resurface at the Statehouse next year, according to a Spectrum News 1 report.

The legislation, which is sponsored by Democratic State Sen. Paul Lowe and backed by Republican Sens. Bill Rabon and Michael Lee, would create a regulatory framework to allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients with conditions including cancer, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), epilepsy, Crohn’s disease and sickle cell anemia.

Any patients in hospice care would also be eligible to access medical cannabis under the proposal, Spectrum News 1 reported.

The Compassionate Care Act would establish an advisory committee under the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a new commission, to oversee the state’s medical cannabis industry, according to the news outlet.

The new commission would then be charged with awarding 10 licenses to vertically integrated medical cannabis businesses, which could open up to four dispensaries each, Spectrum News 1 reported. The Compassionate Care Act would require each licensee to open at least one retail outlet in a Tier 1 county, the poorest counties in the state.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Dec. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ - PRESS RELEASE - Trulieve Cannabis Corp., a cannabis company in the United States, has opened its eighth medical cannabis dispensary in the Tampa area. The Tampa-Fairgrounds Trulieve, located at 7702 E. Hillsborough Avenue near the intersection of I-4 and I-75, begins serving patients at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

There will be deals and specials throughout opening day, including a 25% discount for all registered patients at the Tampa-Fairgrounds location. Grand opening festivities will include St. Petersburg-based Craft Tee custom t-shirt printing, music, and numerous partner giveaways. As always, all first-time guests are eligible for a 50% new customer discount at any Florida-based location. Trulieve also offers statewide home delivery, convenient online ordering, and in-store pickup.

Statewide on Tuesday, Dec. 21, Trulieve will continue its 12 Days of Cannabis promotion with the launch of the TruChocolate Dark Chocolate Cranberry and special one-day deals on brand partner, Bhang's dark and milk chocolate edibles. 

As the state's leading medical cannabis provider, Trulieve's retail employees are trained to provide personalized patient care and support individuals at every stage of their cannabis journey. Trulieve dispensaries throughout Florida offer on-site consultations to help patients obtain appropriate medical products and dosages to ensure optimal cannabis experiences.

"Trulieve is excited to expand access to medical cannabis in Tampa and to continue building strong relationships in the community," said Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve. "Our company is driven by our commitment to providing tailored, high-quality patient care to as many patients as possible."

LAS VEGAS, NV / ACCESSWIRE / December 20, 2021 / PRESS RELEASE / Planet 13 Holdings Inc. and Next Green Wave Holdings Inc. have announced that they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement (the "Agreement") pursuant to which Planet 13 will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares (the "NGW Shares") of NGW, by way of a court approved plan of arrangement, for total consideration of approximately C$91 million (the "Transaction").

Proposed Transaction

Under the terms of the Agreement and based on pricing as of Dec. 17, 2021, shareholders of Next Green Wave ("NGW Shareholders") will receive 0.1081 of a common share of Planet 13 (the "Exchange Ratio") subject to calculations as described below, and $0.0001 in cash, for each NGW Share held. Based on Planet 13's 10-day volume weighted average price ("VWAP") and the Exchange Ratio as at Dec. 17, 2021, the implied deal price per NGW Share is C$0.465, representing a premium of approximately 52% to the closing price and 44% to the 10-day VWAP of NGW Shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange (the "CSE") as of Dec. 17, 2021. The Exchange Ratio is subject to adjustment as follows:

If the 10-day VWAP of Planet 13 common shares (the "Planet 13 Shares") on the CSE immediately preceding the second business day prior to the closing of the Transaction (the "Planet 13 Closing Price") is below C$5.50 but above C$4.06, then the Exchange Ratio will be calculated as C$0.4650 divided by the Planet 13 Closing Price;If the Planet 13 Closing Price is less than or equal to C$4.06, then the Exchange Ratio shall be 0.1145; andIf the Planet 13 Closing Price is greater than or equal to C$5.50, then the Exchange Ratio shall be 0.0845.

After giving effect to the Transaction, and based on pricing as of Dec. 17, 2021, NGW Shareholders will hold approximately 9.2% ownership in the pro-forma company (on a fully-diluted basis).

Transaction Rationale