Category Archives: News

Industrial Hemp Manufacturing LLC, A Wholly Owned Subsidiary Of Hemp Inc (OTCMKTS:HEMP), Fulfills a $1 Million Sales Agreement For – DrillWall

Industrial Hemp Manufacturing LLC, A Wholly Owned Subsidiary Of Hemp Inc (OTCMKTS:HEMP), Fulfills a $1 Million Sales Agreement For – DrillWall

Industrial Hemp Manufacturing LLC (IHM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Hemp Inc (OTCMKTS:HEMP), has entered
a $1 million sales accord for its proprietary kenaf hemp blended natural loss
circulation material (LCM) – DrillWall. LCM is aimed at the oil and gas
drilling industries. The agreement is valid for one year.

IHM receives first payment of $30,000

Bruce Perlowin, Chief Executive
Officer of Hemp, said its subsidiary IHM received the first payment of $30,000.
It has shipped DrillWall in January 2020. Industrial Hemp has received the
second payment of $60,000 on February 3, 2020, for the second batch of
DrillWall. The company expects to ship material worth $90,000 this month and
$150,000 worth DrillWall in March 2020. It will ship the balance material
throughout the rest of 2020.

Non-toxic and non-soluble in water

IHM produces DrillWall and
other industrial products in its manufacturing facility in Spring Hope, North
Carolina. The LCM – DrillWall is manufactured using hemp cellulose and kenaf.
It is non-toxic and non-soluble in water.

The biodegradable drilling
fluid additive finds wide usage in oil field drilling applications. Major gas,
oil, and water companies are using DrillWall. The product also acts as a
lubricating agent and borehole stabilizer. It eliminates differential sticking.
DrillWall plugs the leakages faster. It is economical, too, when compared to
other LCM materials.

The demand for industrial
hemp worldwide would reach $26.6 billion by the year 2025 from $4.6 billion in
2019, growing at a CAGR of 34%. Bruce said the company will distribute LCM
consistently throughout the contract period. The company is pleased with the
growing interest in DrillWall. It is the best option for purchasers searching
for non-toxic substitutes for their operations. IHM expects to generate more
revenues through aggressive sales efforts.

Featured in the Kingman Daily Miner

Hemp Incis featured in a leading news source – the Kingman Daily Miner.
According to the article published in The Kingman Daily Miner, Hemp Inc will
silently introduce brick-and-mortar retail stores – The King of Hemp Store in
Kingman, Arizona, in March 2020.

Products in The King of Hemp Store

Hemp Inc will sell products
like hemp denim jeans, pants, conditioners, hemp shirts, handbags, purses,
backpacks, jackets, shampoos, topicals, CBG, and CBD products through The King
of Hemp Store.

Published at Wed, 12 Feb 2020 13:06:00 +0000

Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) Lays Off A Fraction Of Its Workforce In Restructuring Efforts

Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) Lays Off A Fraction Of Its Workforce In Restructuring Efforts

Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) has communicated several of the changes it is making to several financial news outlets. The business guru made its statement via email after the close of the market on Tuesday.

Laying
off employees

This cannabis producer lay off about
10% of its workers in a bid to cut down on its operational costs. This global
restructuring effort is being looked at as a way for the company to ease the
tension among its shareholders. The investors in the company have been closely
monitoring its performance, with some expressing satisfaction with the turn of
events.

The cutting down of the company’s
workforce is one of the many moves the company will be resorting to in a bid to
regain stability.

November was an important month that
considering that it was the point the shareholders learned about the company’s
operating costs for 2019. Such instances have always been important for
investors who decide about the best time to make investments.

Shareholders and the concerned parties
aware of the company’s moves have shown mixed reactions. There is a section
that sides with the company saying that the decision was necessary. However,
there is the second lot that belives the company should have resorted to
something other than terminating the services of the dedicated workers.

Opinions
expressed

Tilray has been quick to defend its
decision outlining that it was in the best interest of the company and the
shareholders. According to it, there were always times that called for the
making of some difficult choices and that this was one of those moments.

Analysts following closely on the
matter have also aired out their views. They take the strong stand that the
business guru was trying its best to soften the landing, and that is in line
with the earnings reports.

The earnings were not impressive for
the company, and that is the reason it took a drastic measure. Most of the
analysts are not in support of the decision that led to about 140 employees
losing their employment. They think that it paints the company in a bad light
and believes there were better alternatives that the company should have looked
at.

Published at Fri, 07 Feb 2020 13:13:00 +0000

Insider Tips for Crafting a Cannabis Business Plan That Attracts Investors

Insider Tips for Crafting a Cannabis Business Plan That Attracts Investors

eCann Media is proud to showcase our portfolio of investments and subsidiaries. We have completed numerous investments across multiple verticals and sectors in the cannabis industry. Requesting an invitation will enable the eCann team to consider your eligibility for investment as well help us to identify the opportunities that best fit your needs and investment objectives.

Published at Thu, 06 Feb 2020 17:00:00 +0000

Chemesis International Inc (OTCMKTS:CADMF) Gives Its Shareholders The Latest Corporate Update

Chemesis International Inc (OTCMKTS:CADMF) Gives Its Shareholders The Latest Corporate Update

The favorable ruling by the Puerto
Rico Superior Court is a big win for Natural Ventures. This is one of the
subsidiaries of Chemesis International Inc (OTCMKTS:CADMF). It is a ruling that
has triggered the Puerto Rico Department of Health to reinstate some important
licenses of the subsidiary. These are specifically the cannabis cultivation and
manufacturing licenses that Natural Ventures has been holding over the years.

Chemesis
International says it will be business as usual

It might seem that the business
venture has left all its troubles behind! However, anything can happen, and
that is considering that there are ongoing appeal efforts in line with this
critical decision. Some parties are showing concerns saying that the licenses
had were not in conformity with the constitution. They believed that the
licenses are invalid and that there is a need for the San Juan court to
overturn its ruling by nullifying everything.

Chemesis International is undoubtedly
enjoying the court’s decision. It says that what matters for them currently is
the reinstatement of the licenses, which implies that its subsidiary is free to
continue with its operations. 

The business guru outlines that the
subsidiary will continue focusing on its licensed activities and that there is
no time to waste. It also says that it is targeting taking over market
leadership and will soon disclose more details regarding the recent
development.

Major
developments

 As a vertically integrated business, Chemesis
International has achieved so much in its many years in business. For instance,
this U.S. Multi-State operator has succeeded in establishing a large number of
operations internationally .some good examples are Colombia and Puerto Rico.

The business giant has also been good
when it comes to the handling of its capital allocation exercise. Sources
indicate that it has been enjoying the first-mover advantage over a long
period. It is considering venturing into some new markets and hopes to achieve
immense business success.

It also seeks to draw a clear line
that differentiates it from the rest in terms of the way it deploys resources
in leading markets. It has always been the company keen on taking advantage of
markets that present it with outstanding opportunities.

Published at Thu, 06 Feb 2020 13:15:00 +0000

Resource Innovation Institute to Host Indoor Agriculture Energy Solutions Conference

Resource Innovation Institute to Host Indoor Agriculture Energy Solutions Conference

SAN DIEGO – As California policy makers develop codes for Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), Resource Innovation Institute (RII) will convene the inaugural Indoor Agriculture Energy Solutions (IAES) Conference, connecting policy makers, utility program managers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, researchers, manufacturers, cultivators and investors to shape the future of energy policies and utility programs for CEA. The IAES Conference will be held at the San Diego La Jolla Marriott February 24-26, 2020.

Cannabis Business Times Science Editor Andrea Sparr-Jaswa will be speaking at this event.

Expanding on RII’s mission to advance resource efficiency in the rapidly expanding indoor agriculture sector, this first-of-its-kind event arrives at a critical moment in time for controlled environment agriculture. The urban and vertical farming sector is scaling rapidly for crops of all kinds, accelerated by cannabis legalization across North America. Urban areas and food deserts are looking at indoor farming as a way to access locally grown produce.  As the result, the carbon and energy implications of indoor controlled environments are becoming more impactful. Drawing from the experiences of early models, this conference will explore energy solutions for indoor agriculture without focusing on any one crop.

Conference attendees will access educational sessions presented by experts in the field, connect with leaders in the industry and discuss cutting-edge policies and technologies. IAES will elevate innovative solutions related to energy access, efficiency and sustainability and shape the future of indoor agriculture.

“We have the opportunity to take the lessons learned from initial government, utility and non-profit responses addressing the energy and carbon impacts of regulated cannabis and apply them to the broader world of controlled environment agriculture,” said Derek Smith, Executive Director of RII. “These learnings will inform controlled environment agriculture broadly. This is precisely why we are hosting the Indoor Agriculture Energy Solutions conference. And we look forward to convening top stakeholders to join the dialogue.”

Registration can be secured via https://www.iaesconference.com/registration.

To request media credentials or to schedule an interview, please contact Shawna Seldon McGregor at 917-971-7852 or shawna@themaverickpr.com.

Published at Wed, 05 Feb 2020 17:58:00 +0000

Emblem Cannabis Corporation, A Subsidiary Of Aleafia Health Inc (OTCMKTS:ALEAF), Enters A Pact With Kinstate Inc To Introduce Cannabis-Infused Sublingual Strips Canada

Emblem Cannabis Corporation, A Subsidiary Of Aleafia Health Inc (OTCMKTS:ALEAF), Enters A Pact With Kinstate Inc To Introduce Cannabis-Infused Sublingual Strips Canada

Emblem Cannabis
Corporation,
a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Aleafia
Health Inc (OTCMKTS:ALEAF),
will introduce cannabis-infused sublingual
strips and the underlying sublingual strip technology to the adult-use and
medical-use cannabis market in Canada. The company entered a definitive accord
with Kinstate Inc to this effect.

Exclusive
Canadian rights

As per terms of the accord, Emblem Cannabis
gets exclusive rights to produce and sell Kin Slips Products. It will also have
the right to use the associated manufacturing technology, proprietary
formulations, and IP of Kinstate to introduce the format in other overseas
markets. The company will manufacture the Kin slips and innovative cannabis
formats in-house at its Ontario processing facility.

Consistent and smoke-free cannabis experience

The wellness and
health-conscious consumers will enjoy consistently, and smoke-free cannabis experience
with Kin Slips sublingual strips. Kinstrips currently offers a variety of
sublingual strips in more than a hundred retail outlets in California. They
have an on-set time of 10 minutes. The consumers can enjoy the new format in
Canada in Q2 2020.

Recognized for product innovation

The Kin Slips
brand is widely accepted for leadership in the product innovation that
comprises Excellence in Technology Award for the infused extractions and
products from The National Cannabis Industry Association, featured in leading
national publications that include Forbes, Bon Appetit, and Rolling Stone. It
is also recognized as the best sublingual/ topical company.

Geoffrey Benic,
Chief Executive Officer of Aleafia
Health, said Kin Slips product line of Kinstate is already proven in the
largest cannabis market in the world. The company’s approach in leveraging the
formulas, packaging, branding, and manufacturing know-how of the proven
partners expedites its objective to introduce the premium and unique cannabis
health/ wellness brands. 

Josh Kirby, Chief Executive Officer of
Kinstate, said the company is pleased that its award-winning Kin Slips are
available to the audience across the world. Kirby further said the commitment
of Aleafia Health to cannabis wellness and health aligns with its objective of
offering the customers with a natural and discrete cannabis experience.

Aleafia Health is now a constituent company of
the S&P/MX International Cannabis Index because it meets the minimum market
capitalization as well as the liquidity threshold.

Published at Wed, 05 Feb 2020 13:12:00 +0000

Businesses Are More Profitable And Innovative In States With Legal Marijuana, Study Finds

Businesses Are More Profitable And Innovative In States With Legal Marijuana, Study Finds

To investigate the impact legalization has on the economy, researchers at the University of Iowa analyzed 9,810 corporations between 1991 and 2017, finding “a multitude of positive effects” after a state enacts medical marijuana laws.

“Firms headquartered in marijuana-legalizing states receive higher market valuations, earn higher abnormal stock returns, improve employee productivity, and increase innovation,” the authors said.

The study, which was reviewed by Marijuana Moment but has yet to be published, found that having cannabis laws on the books can unleash the previously untapped potential of employees and helps companies attract new talent.

Corporations “become more productive and hire more productive human capital from out of state after the passage of the law,” the authors wrote.

Read More

Published at Tue, 04 Feb 2020 20:22:48 +0000

Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Bills Advance in New Hampshire and New Mexico, MedMen CEO Steps Down: Week in Review

Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Bills Advance in New Hampshire and New Mexico, MedMen CEO Steps Down: Week in Review

At least 30,000 customers across multiple U.S. cannabis dispensaries have been impacted by a data breach linked to point-of-sale software company THSuite, and Matthew Dunn, associate managing director in the Cyber Risk Practice of Kroll, says the news should get cannabis business owners thinking more critically about their cybersecurity measures.

The recent data breach was first discovered by internet privacy researchers at vpnMentor, according to a Mashable report. The exposed data was stored in a completely unsecured and unencrypted location owned by THSuite, the news outlet reported, and was first discovered on Dec. 24. vpnMentor’s researchers contacted the THSuite team, and the database was closed on Jan. 14.

More than 85,000 files were leaked in the data breach, including at least 30,000 records that contain personally identifiable information, Mashable reported. Full names, birthdates, phone numbers, email addresses, street addresses, patient names and medical ID numbers, and information about specific cannabis purchases were included in the records, as well as photographs of scanned government and employee IDs, according to the news outlet.

“Whether it’s retail or any other company that has its sensitive data compromised, we see cybercriminals utilizing that type of information to conduct additional types of cyber-related attacks, but also using that information for fraudulent financial transactions, identity theft or other types of criminal actions,” Dunn told Cannabis Dispensary.

The cannabis industry is still relatively new, with start-ups launching all the time, and cybersecurity strategies might not always be a priority for new businesses who are just getting up and running, Dunn added. Still, he said, there are responsibilities associated with storing and maintaining sensitive customer data, and businesses should not take that lightly.

“The bottom line is that a cannabis dispensary as a retailer is really no different from any other retailers as far as the threats that they would face, other than the fact that they are relatively a new industry, … which makes them a target that way,” Dunn said. “The commodity itself makes [cannabis businesses] an even higher threat risk, but they still need to employ the same practices that any retailer or cyber business should be engaging in at this time to protect themselves, as well as the information that they are entrusted with maintaining on their networks.”

Criminals may conduct cyberattacks that encrypt a company’s files, or they may launch denial-of-service attacks, which could render a company’s network unusable. These data breaches could cause significant damage to intellectual property and proprietary information, including outright theft of those assets.

“When you start looking at potential lost hours or business opportunities, especially if you’re an e-commerce business and people can’t access your website or your employees can’t access the database that they need to do your business, this could potentially be putting you out of business for a while, while you recover what’s been compromised,” Dunn said.

Therefore, cannabis businesses—like any other business—must take steps to implement cybersecurity strategies.

RELATED: How to Guard Against Cyber Breaches at Your Cannabis Dispensary

“The first thing I would suggest is you need to educate your work staff and provide them with some type of security awareness training to let them know that they are being targeted every day, so they’re a little bit more leery of every email that comes in that may look legitimate,” Dunn said.

Phishing emails have become extremely common, he said, and can entice employees to click on a link or open an attachment that contains malware, which could negatively impact a company’s network.

“They’ll conduct social engineering techniques. They’ll make phone calls. They’ll try to get you to give up your credentials, so they can log in to your network. They’ll make it look like it’s coming from a trusted employee,” Dunn said. “So, the education and the awareness are the primary things you can do to let people know they’re being targeted.”

Companies should also implement policies focused on cybersecurity, he added, such as requiring robust passwords, instituting multi-point verification systems and encrypting sensitive data.

“Passwords are still one of the primary ways we protect access to the network, as well as the data on there,” Dunn said. “Utilize multi-faceted authentication, so that you need to have two forms of authentication to get access to your network, your email or even to databases that have sensitive information in there. Utilize encryption to encrypt data that’s sensitive, so that even if it does get compromised, the criminals won’t be able to determine what that information contains, so it’s protected that way.”

Operating systems and other software should always be updated, as well.

“Companies will put out these patches, these upgrades, because they’ve identified vulnerabilities within those platforms,” Dunn said. “They know that cybercriminals are trying to take advantage of those vulnerabilities to compromise your networks, so make sure you’re exercising those patches when they come through to make sure you’re secure.”

State privacy statutes vary and may actually require companies that maintain sensitive data to implement reasonable security measure to protect that data, Dunn added. Business owners should work with legal counsel, insurance companies and cybersecurity consultants who are familiar with these regulations to develop a cybersecurity strategy and a plan of action in the event of a breach, he said.

Business owners should also perform regular self-assessments of their networks to better understand and remediate any vulnerabilities or gaps, Dunn added. They should also consider cyber liability insurance policies to provide protection in the event of a breach.

“The companies need to protect themselves, similar to what they would do for property insurance or for any type of physical theft,” Dunn said. “You need to be thinking about the data you contain in your network, as well, because you are being trusted to protect people’s personal information, whether it’s just their identity information, or it could be medical information that people would not want to see compromised and being posted over the internet or in dark web forms that are being traded between criminals operating in that area.”

Published at Sat, 01 Feb 2020 13:00:00 +0000

Detroit Delays Legal Cannabis Sales, More Flawed Decision-Making

Detroit Delays Legal Cannabis Sales, More Flawed Decision-Making

Michigan became one of the newest states to fully legalize cannabis, on December 1, 2019. In many respects, it epitomizes why cannabis legalization is failing (or at best, making very slow progress) in many U.S. states.

Michigan has learned very little from states (like California) that have failed miserably in creating the framework for a healthy legal cannabis industry that can phase out the cannabis black market.

One of the primary arguments for legalizing cannabis is to eliminate the sale of unlicensed, unregulated, uninspected black market cannabis. When a new jurisdiction legalizes cannabis, the politicians always claim that “eliminating the black market” is one of their top priorities.

Then they create a regulatory framework that cripples the legal industry.

Here Michigan’s state government and its local governments are guilty of making both an old mistake and a new mistake.
The old mistake was when the state government allowed local governments to “opt out” of legalization. This is a mistake made by almost all U.S. states.

In Michigan, roughly 80% of local governments have chosen to block legal sales – at least initially. In California, nearly 80% of local governments continue to block legal cannabis sales more than two years after full legalization commenced.

How do you eliminate the cannabis black market when 80% of cities/counties are blocking the sales of legal cannabis? You can’t. The black market still controls roughly 75% of sales in California.

Local governments can’t “ban cannabis”, because the cannabis black market is omnipresent. They can only block legal cannabis sales and force their residents to buy unregulated/uninspected cannabis products.

In short, there is no rational reason why local governments should be able to block legal cannabis sales (in cannabis legal states). U.S. cities have experienced only positive benefits from cannabis legalization. Michigan’s state government should not have allowed local governments to block legal cannabis operations.

Conversely, in Illinois, the most recent state to fully legalize cannabis (January 1, 2020), roughly 60% of local governments are already allowing legal cannabis sales.

The result? Illinois is selling more cannabis in a day than Michigan sells in a week – with comparable populations.

Detroit, Michigan’s largest population hub, just voted to further delay legal cannabis sales. This is to give Detroit’s city council enough time to make the new mistake that is undermining the U.S. legal cannabis industry.

What is this new mistake?

Like many U.S. governments, Detroit wants the (private sector) legal cannabis industry to pay for all the government sins of cannabis Prohibition.
 

This week, the Detroit City Council unanimously voted to extend a temporary ban on legal cannabis sales through March 31 in order to give the city time to create a social equity program for its new industry. In the meantime, local police are working to crack down on black market pot shops that have sprung up to meet customers’ demand for weed.

City Councilman James Tate introduced this new ordinance in order to ensure that the city’s weed industry would include a “pathway for Detroiters to be gainfully employed,” according to The Detroit News. “We have to use this legislation to identify ways to reduce the financial barriers of entry and eliminate the structural obstacles that many urban cities are seeking to resolve among communities of color,” Tate wrote in a social media post.

Detroit’s (legal) “weed industry” didn’t exist when Detroit and other U.S. jurisdictions were persecuting Americans with anti-cannabis laws that should have never been on the books.

Detroit’s cannabis industry didn’t exist when Detroit’s police were (in particular) persecuting members of minority groups with these flawed anti-cannabis laws.

So why must the city’s cannabis industry be treated as some form of legalized charity to advance a “social equity” agenda?

For example, U.S. Big Banks have been caught (again and again) discriminating against minority groups in order to badly gouge them on loans and other transactions.

Has Detroit passed legislation “to identify ways to reduce the financial barriers of entry and eliminate the structural obstacles that many urban cities are seeking to resolve among communities of color” so that more minorities are employed in banking?

Of course not. And these were/are crimes committed directly by the Big Banks against African Americans.
 

“It’s clear that Detroit’s medical marijuana industry is overwhelmingly owned and operated by individuals who don’t live in the city and take their dollars back to their communities,” Tate continued. “It’s critical that we take the necessary time now to ensure that Detroit’s impending recreational marijuana industry will properly reflect the demographic of the city it’s located in.”

Is Tate proposing that U.S. banks operating in Detroit “take their dollars back to the community”? Of course not.

Is Tate proposing that U.S. banks also “properly reflect the demographic of the city” with respect to their hiring practices? Of course not.

Unlike U.S. banks, legal cannabis companies are guilty of no crimes. But the legal cannabis industry is going to be obstructed and restricted by Detroit’s government with “social equity provisions” that will further undermine the industry.

The effect of this misguided policy-making is that even once Detroit legalizes cannabis sales, the legal industry will under-perform.

Because of over-regulation and over-taxation, even many well-funded cannabis companies are unable to generate enough operational efficiencies to compete with the cannabis black market.

How will all the mom-and-pop cannabis stores envisioned by Detroit (owned/operated by members of minority groups) compete with the cannabis black market?

For one thing, they will have to approach U.S. banks for capital – the same U.S. banks that consistently rip-off members of minority groups. It would be comical, if it weren’t such tragically flawed policy-making.

Should members of U.S. minority groups receive assistance in overcoming the legal/economic effects from the government’s persecution of Americans via cannabis Prohibition?

Yes.

They should receive government assistance for these government crimes. And this government assistance should come out of general tax revenues.

All Americans are responsible for voting in the governments that persecuted some Americans with anti-cannabis laws. All Americans must pay for the compensation.

The U.S. legal cannabis industry is not some organized charity. Guilt-ridden U.S. politicians should not be expecting the industry to pay for their own crimes.
 

Published at Fri, 31 Jan 2020 19:23:20 +0000

Missourians for a New Approach Collecting Signatures to Place Adult-Use Marijuana Initiative on November Ballot

Missourians for a New Approach Collecting Signatures to Place Adult-Use Marijuana Initiative on November Ballot

Several state legislatures are considering adult-use cannabis legalization proposals this year, but those efforts could be abruptly halted if the states’ governors oppose policy reform efforts.

So, where do governors stand on the issue in 2020?

NORML released its 2020 Gubernatorial Scorecard Jan. 29, and assigned a letter grade of “A” through “F” to each U.S. state’s governor based on their cannabis-related comments and voting records in 2019.

Thirty-two U.S. governors—including 22 Democrats and 10 Republicans—received a passing grade of “C” or higher, according to NORML’s findings. This is an increase from last year, when only 27 governors earned passing marks.

Nine governors (all Democrats) received an “A” grade, while 12 governors (11 Democrats and one Republican) earned a “B” grade from NORML. Eleven governors (nine Republicans and two Democrats) received a “C.”

Eighteen governors received non-passing grades, according to NORML. Ten (nine Republicans and one Democrat) received a “D” grade, while eight—all Republicans—received an “F.”

Here, we take a look at where the governors of the 12 states most likely to legalize this year ranked on NORML’s scorecard.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) – D

NORML acknowledges in its report that Ducey signed legislation last year that requires third-party lab testing for all medical cannabis products in the state, as well as a bill that reduces the fee associated with medical cannabis patient ID cards, but, as the organization points out, the Republican governor opposed the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to legalize adult-use cannabis. In 2019, Ducey reaffirmed his opposition to the issue, NORML reported.

Nevertheless, Arizona is launching new legalization efforts this year with two 2020 ballot initiatives. One, which is backed by the Arizona Dispensaries Association, was filed with the state in August. The Arizona Cannabis Chamber of Commerce has announced its opposition to this initiative and plans to work with the legislature this year to bring a competing proposal to November’s ballot.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) – D

Hutchinson has historically opposed cannabis policy reform, according to NORML, and though he didn’t veto any cannabis-related legislation in 2019, he also didn’t enact any either, according to the report.

NORML also notes the slow rollout of Arkansas medical cannabis program; voters passed a 2016 initiative to legalize medical cannabis, but regulators took three years to approve the state’s first dispensaries, which weren’t licensed until January 2019.

Hutchinson has stated that the rollout of the program was not unduly delayed, however, and that the law was implemented in a way that was “best for all Arkansans,” according to NORML’s report.

The Marijuana Policy Project is backing the Drug Policy Education Group and Arkansans for Cannabis Reform in submitting an adult-use ballot initiative this year, and two other groups are also collecting signatures for competing measures.

As of late January, Arkansans for Cannabis Reform had gathered roughly 10,000 of the required 90,000 signatures needed to earn a spot on the ballot.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) – C-

DeSantis’s middle-ground rating is representative of Florida’s state of legislative limbo. Two political action committees recently suspended their efforts to get legalization initiatives on the state’s 2020 ballot and are now looking toward 2022.

Florida Sen. Jeff Brandes, however, has since stated he hopes to legalize cannabis before then with a new bill he filed Jan. 13. The bill aims to incorporate small businesses in the state’s adult-use industry while including expunging provisions for those convicted of simple cannabis possession.

Meanwhile, DeSantis has been rather clear-cut in his opposition of adult-use legalization, stating it will not become Florida law “while I’m governor,” NORML notes.

DeSantis did, however, sign S.B. 182 last year after advocating for it strongly, which repealed a ban on the possession and use of herbal cannabis formulations by qualified patients. NORML notes DeSantis also led legal and regulatory changes to create additional licensed dispensaries in the state.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) — C+

Montana is settling into a very engaged role as a leader in the newly legal U.S. hemp industry, but it remains to be seen what the state does on the THC-rich cannabis side of things. Bullock has gingerly addressed shortcomings in the state’s medical cannabis program, and he’s taken a rather tepid approach to anything close to full legalization.

We’re guessing that it’s the electorate that will be doing a lot of heavy lifting in Montana this year, and, given the state’s blend of liberal, conservative and libertarian politics, that may be the most effective way forward.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) – D+

While Sununu did sign legislation into law last year that allows physician’s assistants to make medical cannabis recommendations, as well as a bill to allow individuals convicted of low-level cannabis convictions to petition the court for an annulment, he vetoed several other cannabis-related measures and remains opposed to adult-use legalization, NORML reported.

Among the legislation Sununu shot down last year was a bill to eliminate a mandatory three-month waiting period for patients seeking medical cannabis, which lawmakers ultimately voted to override, according to NORML’s report.

Sununu also vetoed a measure last year that would have allowed medical cannabis patients to cultivate up to three cannabis plants at home. While the House voted to override this veto, the Senate was not able to muster the two-thirds majority to override the veto in that chamber.

Another bill Sununu rejected last year would have allowed the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries to operate as for-profit entities, which stakeholders argued would increase patient accessibility.

Two adult-use cannabis legalization bills have been introduced in New Hampshire this year. One, which would allow adults to possess up to ¾ of an ounce of cannabis and to grow up to six plants at home for personal use, cleared the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Jan. 28, and is expected to receive a full House vote Feb. 6.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) – A-

Murphy campaigned on cannabis legalization but has yet to make good on his promise, although he has significantly expanded the state’s medical cannabis program.

In 2019, Murphy expanded patients’ access to medical cannabis when he signed legislation that will add dozens of medical cannabis providers to the six that are currently operating in the state. Murphy also signed a bill last year that will allow the expungement of low-level cannabis crimes.

Although Murphy continues to support legalization efforts in the state, an adult-use legalization bill failed to garner enough support in the Senate last year, causing lawmakers to instead place the issue on the state’s 2020 ballot.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) — A

Lujan Grisham has made cannabis legalization a priority in 2020. “This is the fact: recreational cannabis can be the next frontier of our economic expansion,” she said during her recent State of the State address. “We can get in on the ground floor or we can try to play catch up. I know which one I prefer. And I know which one New Mexicans prefer.”

She has expanded patient access to medical cannabis, and it’s heartening to see a governor treat the medical and adult-use marketplaces with similar degrees of commitment. The New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee recently passed a legalization bill, signaling some serious momentum in the legislature. New Mexico is one of the most promising states on the legalization chart this year.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) – A-

Last year, Cuomo moved the needle toward decriminalization with Assembly Bill 8420-A. The new law, NORML notes, reduced penalties for low-level possession offenses, expanded on the state’s existing decriminalization law and created an automated process to review and expunge criminal records involving the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis.

While a legalization bill didn’t make it past the New York legislature last year, Cuomo has expressed interest in trying again.

He has included adult-use marijuana legalization into the state budget proposal the past two years. The governor has also been in support of cannabis research, proposing the State University of New York (SUNY) form a Global Cannabis and Hemp Center for Science, Research and Education.

This year, he proposed working with the neighboring states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut “to coordinate a safe and fair system and legalize the adult use of cannabis,” according to his Twitter. He started that work in October of last year when he hosted the Regional Cannabis Regulation and Vaping Summit.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) – C+

Though Burgum has historically expressed his opposition to broader adult-use marijuana legalization, NORML notes, he did take steps last year to ease criminalization and access for medical patients. H.B. 1050 reduced penalties for possession of a half-ounce of cannabis and position of paraphernalia, while several other bills expanded patients’ access to medical cannabis.

NORML notes the state has enacted new procedures permitting people with low-level possession charges to seek unconditional pardons.

Still, Burgum has not made any public statements in support of adult-use legalization, and the most recent ballot initiative back in 2018 failed.   

Time will tell whether Legalize ND’s new version of an adult-use ballot initiative will take hold. The new proposal places limits on cannabis possession, bans home grow and establishes a 10-percent excise tax on cannabis sold at dispensaries.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) — B+

Last year, Wolf made a very encouraging statement when he stood with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and advocated for adult-use cannabis legalization in his state. “We are calling for the General Assembly to seriously debate marijuana legalization,” Wolf said at the time. “There are multiple bills introduced to advance that measure with support from many legislators … [who] agree with the many Pennsylvanians with making adult-use regulated marijuana legal. That includes me. I agree with that. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together.”

Since then, now that we have a piece of very interesting piece of cannabis legalization language in the Pennsylvania Legislature, the biggest concern has become obstinate Republican lawmakers.

The state has become a mid-Atlantic leader in the medical cannabis industry, pairing state university medical centers with licensed cannabis businesses in an effort to ensure patients have access to the very best products—backed by science. It’s a model worth replicating elsewhere. Pennsylvania will be an exciting arena for how new cannabis markets in the U.S. will develop over the next few years, and it seems clear that Wolf acknowledges this.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) — F

Noem has presided over one of the most anti-cannabis states in the U.S. since she was elected in 2018 (although the state’s bleak history with cannabis began much earlier than that).

We’re covering the two cannabis reform measures being floated to the electorate this year, and—no surprise—Noem opposes both. To put it simply, NORML’s team writes, “Governor Noem has historically opposed all efforts to liberalize marijuana laws in South Dakota.” If the voters of South Dakota choose to pursue cannabis legalization this year, there will be a harsh governor with whom to reckon on the other side of the ballot box.

While we’re on the subject, Noem doesn’t even want to allow her state to have a role in the newly legal hemp industry. “There is no question in my mind that normalizing hemp, like legalizing medical marijuana, is part of a larger strategy to undermine enforcement of the drug laws and make legalized marijuana inevitable,” she said.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) – B+

Northam was outspoken last year in his support for decriminalizing cannabis, noting that it could ease overcrowding in prisons and free up law enforcement and court resources. He was also active signing several cannabis bills into law last year. One, S.B. 1557, permits physician assistants and nurse practitioners to issue medical cannabis recommendations, while another, S.B. 1632, permits the use of certain cannabis formulations on school grounds.

NORML also notes that Northam didn’t veto any legislation in 2019 regarding cannabis.

Support around its legalization is growing among other lawmakers in the state. After his first cannabis legalization bill stalled in the legislature in 2019, Del. Steve Heretick announced plans in September to try again this year. He recently told RVA Mag that “this year, such efforts are likely to find success.”

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has also announced his support for adult-use legalization vowed to work with state leaders to take steps toward policy reform.

Published at Fri, 31 Jan 2020 16:16:00 +0000