AFC Gamma Provides Justice Cannabis Co. With $22 Million Senior Secured Credit Facility to Fund its New Jersey Expansion

By AFC Gamma, Inc.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., May 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AFC Gamma, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFCG) (“AFC”) today announced it has provided a credit facility of $22 million to Justice Cannabis Co., a Chicago-based multi-state operator with licenses in eight states. The credit facility is designed to provide Justice Cannabis Co. with the capital necessary to purchase and complete the build out of its 72,000 square foot cultivation and processing facility, along with the buildout of a dispensary, both in Ewing, New Jersey.

“We are pleased to support Justice Cannabis Co. as it continues to expand its operations in New Jersey,” said Leonard M. Tannenbaum, AFC’s Chief Executive Officer. “With adult use marijuana recently legalized in the state, we believe New Jersey will have favorable supply and demand dynamics for years to come and we are excited to be working with Justice Cannabis Co. in order to fully capitalize on this growing market.”

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Cannabis is medicine. Just ask the parents of children with seizures

By Evan Cole Lewis

I will do my best to respond rather than react to the April 27 opinion piece by Jeff Macintyre titled “Cannabis not ready to be called a medicine, yet.” I am a pediatric neurologist and epilepsy specialist by training, with over 500 adult and pediatric patients in my practice currently being treated with medical cannabis for epilepsy and a broad range of other neurological conditions.

When I first read this piece, I thought how I should reference the results of the five major randomized controlled trials that have been completed in complex, drug-resistant pediatric epilepsy. These studies show that medical cannabis exerts the same degree of antiseizure control as our traditional antiseizure drugs, with comparable side-effect profiles. I thought how it would be helpful to point out that cannabis, in the form of a purified CBD oil called Epidiolex, has been approved as a medical treatment for certain types of epilepsy in children by the FDA in the U.S., the EMA in Europe, and NICE/MHRA in the U.K. I thought I might share stories of the numerous children I have personally treated with unrelenting seizures who, after failing multiple medications for several years, finally responded to cannabis.

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Jim Belushi is chasing the magic in cannabis

By Matt Burns

Idon’t think Jim Belushi was high while we talked on Zoom this week. Instead of a joint, he was puffing on a cigar, but he was still happy and smiling.

“I have my brother’s face on it. I have the Blues Brothers brand. It’s got to be good shit, man.”

Jim Belushi was telling me about his weed, specifically about the small 0.7 gram pre-rolls he sells — the perfect size for the post-COVID era, when passing a joint to a friend is likely discouraged. Belushi started his farm with 48 cannabis plants in 2015. Now, six years and one pandemic later, there are 200 plants in each of his four high-tech greenhouses along the Rogue River in southern Oregon.

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What the United States can learn from Canada’s cannabis clarity

By Michael J. Armstrong

The inherent contradictions of American cannabis laws seem to appear in the news almost every week.

At the state level, for example, Virginia recently became the latest jurisdiction to allow adult cannabis use, effective this July 1. But just days later, a court upheld United States federal tax laws that treat state-licensed cannabis businesses as illegal drug traffickers.

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Dispensary Review: Tommy Chims Smokes Swade Cannabis’ Weed

By Thomas K. Chimchards

Dispensary employees, as a group, must be the cheeriest subset of retail workers out of the whole lot.

That’s not to imply they are dipping into their employers’ stash or anything, nor would I suggest that their jobs are particularly easy. But so far my experiences purchasing weed in St. Louis’ nascent medical marijuana industry have consistently involved dealing with some of the friendliest, most happy-to-be-here workers I’ve seen in my many years of exchanging money for goods. It feels like there’s a certain pervasive sense of wonderment that we’re even able to do this right out in the open — after all, not long ago both buyer and seller would be looking at potential jail time for the things that happen within a dispensary.

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Morocco: Cannabis farmers hopeful of legalisation for medical use

By Africanews and AFP

Moroccan farmer Mohamed Morabet is hoping to come out of the dark and sell his hashish his summer on the open market as Morocco plans to legalise cannabis for medical use.

The government of the world’s top hashish-producing nation last month ratified a draft bill to legalise its medical use, and parliament is expected to debate the legislation this week.

According to a report released last year by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Morocco is the world’s biggest producer of cannabis resin, or hashish.

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Looking For Marijuana Stocks To Buy On Robinhood? 2 For Your Watchlist Next Week

Looking For Marijuana Stocks To Buy On Robinhood? 2 For Your Watchlist Next Week

Looking For Marijuana Stocks To Buy On Robinhood? 2 For Your Watchlist Next Week | Marijuana Stocks | Cannabis Investments and News. Roots of a Budding Industry.™

Published at Fri, 23 Apr 2021 14:10:52 +0000

Cannabis Business Times Launches Podcast Series: How to Win a Cultivation License

Cannabis Business Times Launches Podcast Series: How to Win a Cultivation License

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam detoured his signing of adult-use cannabis legislation, but an amendment package decided by a tiebreaker cleared a path for the stroke of his pen on Wednesday.

The state’s legislative chambers overcame differences to pass a compromise bill on Feb. 27, after each body passed different measures—Senate Bill 1406 and House Bill 2312—to legalize cannabis possession, personal cultivation and retail sales for adults 21 years and older.

The problem? Those legalization efforts, including possession laws, would not have gone into full effect until Jan. 1, 2024. Following the legislature’s passage, Jenn Michelle Pedini, Virginia’s executive director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said that timeline wasn’t good enough and she hoped to continue working to accelerate specific facets of legalization. Northam agreed and pushed to expedite certain components of the legislature’s bill. 

On April 7, the General Assembly approved the Democratic governor’s amendment package by way of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax casting the deciding vote in a split Senate. As a result, adults 21 years and older will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis and grow up to four plants per household starting July 1, 2021—speeding up the timeline 2 1/2 years.

“As of July 1, 2021—who’s counting, but 71 days from now—Virginia will no longer police adults for possessing small amounts of marijuana,” Northam said during his signing ceremony Wednesday. “What this really means is people will no longer be arrested or face penalties for simple possession that follow them and affect their lives. We know that marijuana laws in Virginia and throughout this country have been disproportionately enforced against communities of color and low-income Virginians.”

According to Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC)—the state’s non-partisan research arm—the average arrest rate of Black Virginians for marijuana possession was 3.5 times higher than the arrest rate for white individuals from 2010-2019, and their conviction rate was 3.9 times higher than white individuals.

The social equity implications of ending prohibition were mentioned by everyone who spoke during the governor’s signing ceremony, including Democratic Sens. Louise Lucas and Adam Ebbin, who were primary sponsors of S.B. 1406, Democratic Delegate Charniele Herring, who sponsored H.B. 2312, and Democratic House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn.

Representing the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) as the governor’s lead deputy chief diversity officer, Alaysia Black Hackett said, “This law establishes social equity as a pillar and major priority. Specifically, as mentioned before, it focuses on health equity, economic equity and equity in criminal justice. I want to especially highlight that it was critical for there to be equitable business licensing, especially for those who have been in the past criminalized and disenfranchised by marijuana laws.

“Secondly, the social equity reinvestment fund, an important structure in this legislation, provides resources that will elevate and uplift those persons, neighborhoods, communities and families most negatively impacted by the disparate enforcement of marijuana laws. This bill makes Virginia a national leader as we lean into many uncomfortable truths about the legalization of marijuana and the true meaning of being many Virginians but one commonwealth.”

Also included in Northam’s amendments, new language gives the state’s incoming Cannabis Control Authority the power to strip licenses from any cannabis business that doesn’t remain neutral while its workers attempt to unionize, a provision that drew partisanship on the opposite side of the aisle in the General Assembly.

But adult-use legalization in Virginia was partisan to begin with—neither the House bill nor the Senate bill attracted any Republicans sponsors or co-sponsors. That did not deter Democrats from their efforts. When Democrats flipped both chambers in 2019, they gained control of both the legislature and governor’s office for the first time in more than two decades.

“This is another example of Democrats, yes Democrats, listening to Virginians and taking action on the will of the people,” Northam said, “from expanding health care to over 500,000 people, to commonsense gun legislation, criminal justice and police reform, ending the death penalty in Virginia, fairer voting laws, moving forward clean energy, giving our teachers and state employees a much-deserved raise, and now legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Virginia. On these and many other initiatives, Democrats have delivered.”

Statewide polling data released Feb. 2, 2021, by Christopher Newport University’s Watson Center for Civic Leadership showed that 68% of registered voters in Virginia, including majorities of Democrats and Republicans, support adult-use cannabis legalization. That mirrored the 68% of Americans who support legalization, according to a November 2020 Gallup poll.

According to JLARC, a fully legal cannabis industry in Virginia will create more than 11,000 jobs in sectors ranging from farming to retail. The Cannabis Control Authority, which the governor’s signed legislation aims to establish by July 2021, will oversee regulations and licensing. The five-member board of directors will institute the number of licensees, which cannot exceed 400 retailers, 25 wholesalers, 450 cultivators and 60 product manufacturers.

Many of the provisions in the roughly 300-page bill are subject to a reenactment, meaning a second review and vote by members of the General Assembly in 2022. But other provisions, such as simple possession and home grows, require no further action.

“Over the past two months, I have answered more times than I can count, ‘How did Virginia just legalize cannabis?’” said Pedini, who also serves as NORML’s development director. She gave credit to the Democratic leaders at the governor’s signing ceremony and to Virginians who supported the effort to become the first state in the South to legalize cannabis.

“Today and together, we celebrate an extraordinary victory for cannabis justice in the commonwealth,” she said. “I’ve also mentioned countless times how Virginia is the single most prepared state to ever undertake a legalization effort. The study and the workgroup both prioritized legalization that ensures equity, consumer safety and restorative justice. This is why the legislation succeeded, and on its first attempt.”

Published at Fri, 23 Apr 2021 12:52:00 +0000

U.S. House of Representatives approves cannabis banking bill

By Reuters

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday passed legislation that would allow banks to provide services to cannabis companies in states where it is legal, a step towards removing what analysts say is a barrier to development of a national industry.

Lawmakers voted 321-101 to approve the bill and send it to the Senate.

The bill clarifies that proceeds from legitimate cannabis businesses would not be considered illegal and directs federal regulators to craft rules for how they would supervise such banking activity.

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Whoopi Goldberg plans new cannabis venture

By Celebretainment

Whoopi Goldberg is set to launch a new cannabis brand.

The 65-year-old star ended her partnership with Maya Elisabeth on their Whoopi & Maya line in 2020 after four years but she’s now preparing to get back into the market with a product line named in honour of her family members.

The ‘View’ star is expected to share details of the new venture in the inaugural issue of Black Cannabis Magazine, of which she is the cover star.

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Investing In The Green Rush