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Health Canada Grants Approval For Pure Sunfarms, A JV Of Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc (OTCMKTS:EMHTF), 65,000 Sq. Ft. Processing Center

Health Canada Grants Approval For Pure Sunfarms, A JV Of Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc (OTCMKTS:EMHTF), 65,000 Sq. Ft. Processing Center

Health Canada has approved 65,000 state-of-the-art processing center of Pure Sunfarms, a JV of Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc (OTCMKTS:EMHTF). Pure Sunfarms can achieve cost efficiencies in the production by optimizing the throughput and operations. The JV can also improve the quality of products and enhance product offerings.

High-quality products at reduced rates

Chief Executive Officer and President of Pure Sunfarms, Mandesh Dosanjh said the approvals from Health Canada for this additional space helps the company to improve operations and ensure quality in processing to deliver high-quality products to the customers at reduced rates. Pure Sunfarms will benefit from the improved space in the coming quarter. It expects to post better performance in the coming quarter.

Thirty-three dedicated rooms

Pure Sunfarms will include thirty-three dedicated rooms for packaging, extraction, drying, production, testing, storage, and staging in a total of 65,000 Sq. Ft. processing center. It will build eight rooms, each 3,800 Sq. Ft. for EU GMP certification requirements.

Chief Executive Officer and President of Emerald, Riaz Bandali said the share gains in early 2020 reflect the leadership of Pure Sunfarms in the market place in terms of higher volumes. Various capabilities, along with the new processing center, expect to improve the ability of Pure Sunfarms to take advantage of its operational knowledge to achieve further growth.

Pure Sunfarms is the bestselling brand in the category of dried flowers in the Ontario Cannabis store as of February 29, 2020. It has gained a market share of 13.5% in terms of kilograms sold. The company has also launched high quality dried cannabis in 28 grams packaging and available at BC cannabis stores online.

Emerald signs an LOI with Sigma Analytical Services Inc

Emerald signed a letter of intent with Sigma Analytical Services Inc to facilitate the takeover of its Avalite cannabis analytical testing operation. The duo also plans to enter into a preferred partnership.

The deal is subject to the approval of the boards of both the companies and after conducting due diligence. It expects to close the deal on or before April 19, 2020.

Village Farms, Pure Sunfarms, and Emerald have announced the settlement of all the disputes. They have discontinued the arbitration process.

Published at Thu, 02 Apr 2020 12:15:41 +0000

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc (OTCMKTS:HRVSF) Issues A Corporate Update: Signs An Accord To Acquire Interurban Capital Group, Inc For $85.8 Million

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc (OTCMKTS:HRVSF) Issues A Corporate Update: Signs An Accord To Acquire Interurban Capital Group, Inc For $85.8 Million

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc (OTCMKTS:HRVSF) has signed a definitive merger accord to takeover Interurban Capital Group, Inc for $85.8 million. The company will issue 309,452 multiple voting shares and assumes a debt of $19.1 million, which will be converted into 205,594 multiple voting shares. The assets of Interurban Capital comprise indirect and direct licenses. Interurban Capital holds rights to takeover entities together with licenses in Washington, Iowa, and California.

Greater financial flexibility

Steve White, CEO of Harvest Health said the company is pleased to welcome Heart dispensaries into its family. Following the merger with Interurban Capital, Harvest Health gets access to funds. Also, the new set of shareholders provides greater financial flexibility to Harvest Health. It will get access to more resources for investment in key markets that comprise Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, and Arizona.

Harvest Health increases the footprint

The merger is subject to the receipt of regulatory nod and waiver or satisfactory closure of the customary conditions for the transactions. Following the merger, Harvest Health will increase its footprint by the addition of 7 potential retail licenses in California, three open retail locations, two open retail locations in Iowa, and five open retail locations in Washington.

Changes in board and management

To enhance shareholder value in the long term, the company made certain changes in its executive team and simplifies its business model. Executive Chairman – Jason Vedadi at Harvest Health relinquished his role and also resigned from the board. This change came into effect on March 11, 2020. However, he will continue as a strategic advisor to the company. Mr. White will head the executive team at Harvest Health.

Jason said he would help Harvest Health to transition into a multi-state cannabis firm. With the strength of the management team at Interurban Capital and on closing the financing, Harvest Health is better positioned to continue development efforts. He said it is time for him to leave the company and allow it to grow under the leadership of Mr. White. Jason will continue to provide advisory services depending on the need.

Mark Barnard, the current board member, will take charge as the chairman of the board. His previous stints include executive roles at Unilever and Diageo PLC.

Published at Fri, 03 Apr 2020 12:25:29 +0000

Acreage Announces Operational Updates, Executive Resignation, Suspension of Guidance and Termination of Proposed Deep Roots Acquisition

Acreage Announces Operational Updates, Executive Resignation, Suspension of Guidance and Termination of Proposed Deep Roots Acquisition

As a medical cannabis patient and caregiver, Aaron “Roy” Scalia understands the power cannabis has to benefit those who are suffering.

After sustaining a brain injury in a motorcycle accident in 2002, Scalia turned to medical cannabis during his recovery, and in 2015, he founded AAA Pharmaceutical Alternatives as a licensed medical caregiver to serve patients in central Maine.

“Through the use of CBD and THC, I’ve been able to really cope with everything that I’ve been faced with and because of that, I’m able to help others,” Scalia tells Cannabis Business Times. “People can relate because they may have had an accident or they’ve been through trauma in their lives, [and] we can share our stories. … I can talk about things that helped me and a lot of times, it helps them.”

When Maine voters legalized adult-use cannabis in 2016, Scalia saw it as an opportunity to expand his reach beyond the state’s registered patient base.

“We’ve been servicing people in the medical marijuana care industry for the past five years, and it’s been great,” he says. “With the new market getting ready to explode in Maine, we want to be able to offer our products to everybody, not just the people who have medical marijuana cards.”

When the Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) issued its first round of conditional adult-use cannabis licenses last month, Scalia realized this goal—AAA Pharmaceutical Alternatives secured vertically integrated licenses for cultivation, product manufacturing and retail.

“We got three of the 31 [licenses] that were given out,” Scalia says. “We do everything in house. We don’t outsource for anything, which I think is great because we have total control over everything that’s going out and that we put our name on.”

Scalia attributes much of his company’s success to lessons he’s learned from Dr. Dustin Sulak, a cannabis doctor on the East Coast who helped AAA Pharmaceutical Alternatives formulate many of its products and develop some of its standard operating procedures in the beginning.

AAA Pharmaceutical Solutions’ products have always undergone third-party testing before hitting store shelves, which Scalia says prepared the business for the rigorous testing that will be rolled out with Maine’s adult-use cannabis market.

The company has also stayed ahead of the curve with product labeling, Scalia adds.

“Anything that goes out of the store has to have an ingredients label and it has to have THC levels [on the label] because consumers, they want to know what they’re putting in their bodies,” he says. “Luckily for us, we were located next to Dr. Dustin Sulak for the first two years that we were operational, and he played an instrumental role in us doing all of that.”

With conditional adult-use licenses in hand, Scalia is completing a 5,000-square-foot cultivation facility on the same property as his store to ensure an adequate supply for the broader adult-use market. Construction is also underway for a larger product manufacturing facility, and Scalia plans to sell flower and finished product to other retailers in Maine once the adult-use market gets up and running.

“We’ll be not only able to help the people who come in our store, … but we’ll also be able to help other stores [that] maybe were awarded a retail store license but not a grow license,” he says. “They’ll be able to buy their flower and products, if they need any, from us because we’ll be able to wholesale, as well. That’s pretty exciting for us.”

AAA Pharmaceutical Alternative’s five-year head start in Maine’s medical market has equipped the team with a wealth of knowledge when it comes to recommending products to customers, Scalia adds.

“With everything that we do now and the testing that goes into it, we’re able to pinpoint what will work for … your body or your situation,” he says. “We have a really good idea with every product what the customer is going to experience because of trial runs and other people using it. We’re all patients here, too, and we’re able to see the medicine work on ourselves and we’re able to talk with others.”

Despite Maine’s long history of legal access to medical cannabis (limited possession of medical marijuana has been legal since 1999, and Maine voters approved the state’s regulated medical cannabis program in 2009), Scalia says that some have hesitated to enroll in the program for fear of losing their jobs or other issues, and he is looking forward to expanded access for these individuals.

“I’m so excited to become part of the adult-use marijuana market because it’s going to open it up for all those people who couldn’t get a card because of their situation,” he says. “There are a lot of different reasons why many people who need marijuana haven’t gone out and gotten their medical marijuana card because of the stigma that’s around it, … [but] we encourage everyone to come and try it because there are a lot of different things that we have here that can help you. … I don’t want it to be any different than if you need something to self-medicate, you go to Rite-Aid and get it. I want you to come to our store.”

The OMP planned to launch adult-use sales in June, but has since announced plans to delay the market due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In a memo issued March 24, the OMP said a June launch could conflict with social distancing guidelines.

Although no specific timeline has been announced, the OMP said it “is proceeding at full speed to fulfill the will of Maine voters and establish and adult-use program. If and when it becomes apparent that a spring launch of this industry no longer appears viable, we will communicate that fact to you as quickly as possible.”

In the meantime, Scalia and his AAA Pharmaceutical Alternatives team are continuing preparations to ensure they are ready to serve the broader market and meet any new sales trends that might emerge.

“I think that the flower is always going to trump everything,” Scalia says. “I think it always has and it probably always will, but I think the concentrates are running a close second.”

Scalia is also anticipating a surge in CBD sales. “I think that as people learn more about CBD and the benefits of it, … it becomes more of an option for everyone because of its effects, and it’s easy to take.”

Although the COVID-19 crisis has cast some uncertainty over what’s to come, Scalia is still predicting a strong start to Maine’s adult-use market, especially given society’s shifting perspective on cannabis amid the pandemic.

“I’m really foreseeing an awesome year,” he says. “I think [cannabis] is going to be one thing that helps us rebound as a society. Marijuana has always been known as this evil Schedule I drug, but now it’s saving lives and it’s considered essential in the eyes of the government. Who would have thought this day would come? We’re considered an essential business while everything is closed down around us. … It’s great that everyone is coming around in a time of need.”

Published at Fri, 03 Apr 2020 19:28:00 +0000

Innovative Industrial Properties Acquires Massachusetts Industrial Space for $26.8 Million

Innovative Industrial Properties Acquires Massachusetts Industrial Space for $26.8 Million

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIP), the first and only real estate company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: IIPR) focused on the regulated U.S. cannabis industry, announced today that it closed on the acquisition of a property in Athol, Massachusetts, which comprises approximately 199,000 square feet of industrial space.

The purchase price for the Massachusetts property was approximately $26.8 million (excluding transaction costs). Concurrent with the closing of the purchase, IIP entered into a long-term, triple-net lease agreement with a subsidiary of Ascend Wellness Holdings, LLC (AWH) for continued operation as a licensed cannabis cultivation and processing facility. AWH is expected to complete tenant improvements for the property, for which IIP has agreed to provide reimbursement of up to approximately $22.2 million. Assuming full reimbursement for the tenant improvements, IIP’s total investment in the property will be $49.0 million. The lease provides for an initial annualized aggregate base rent of 13.5% of the sum of the initial purchase price and tenant improvement allowance, subject to a phase-in of the base rent associated with the tenant improvement allowance at the beginning of the term.

As the pioneering real estate investment trust (REIT) for the medical-use cannabis industry, IIP partners with experienced medical-use cannabis operators and serves as a source of capital by acquiring and leasing back their real estate assets, in addition to offering other creative real estate-based capital solutions.

This Massachusetts property represents IIP’s third real estate transaction with AWH. In December 2018, IIP acquired a 75,000 square foot industrial facility in Illinois and entered into a long-term, triple-net lease agreement with AWH for use as a regulated cannabis cultivation and processing facility, with IIP’s total investment in the property being $33.0 million. In July 2019, IIP acquired a 145,000 square foot industrial facility in Michigan and entered into a long-term, triple-net lease agreement with AWH for use as a regulated cannabis cultivation and processing facility upon completion of redevelopment, with IIP’s total investment in the property, assuming full reimbursement for tenant improvements, expected to be approximately $19.8 million.

AWH is a vertically integrated cannabis company, and is operating in each of Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. AWH has raised $100 million in equity capital to date, including a $28.2 million round of financing that closed in December of last year. AWH is expected to have its first cannabis harvest at its Athol facility this month, and in January, received its provisional license from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission for what is expected to be one of the largest dispensaries on the East Coast, a 16,000 square foot retail location situated near Faneuil Hall and TD Garden in the heart of downtown Boston. The Boston location is expected to open in January 2021.

“Abner and his team have achieved a tremendous amount of success over the past year, executing on their focused business model and ramping operations, and we are thrilled to support them as their long-term real estate capital partner on this third transaction in Massachusetts,” said Paul Smithers, President and Chief Executive Officer of IIP. “We are pleased that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in step with other state and local jurisdictions, has deemed medical cannabis an essential product, providing continued access to patients throughout the Commonwealth during this very difficult period.”

“We greatly value our real estate partnership with IIP, and are very pleased to team with them for a third time on our Athol facility,” said Abner Kurtin, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of AWH. “With the tremendous acclaim and market success of our Ozone brand in Illinois and Michigan, we look forward to bringing our curated selection of cannabis products to the people of Boston and throughout the Commonwealth.”

Similar to other states during this coronavirus health crisis, Massachusetts authorities ordered all businesses that are not offering essential services to close operations for a period of time. However, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission deemed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers and Certifying Health Care Providers as essential services that will remain open during this time, while instituting new protocols, such as certifications via telehealth, social distancing, cleaning and steps to protect populations particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

As of April 2, 2020, IIP owned 54 properties located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, totaling approximately 4.0 million rentable square feet (including approximately 1.2 million rentable square feet under development/redevelopment), which were 99.1% leased (based on square footage) with a weighted-average remaining lease term of approximately 16.1 years. As of April 2, 2020, IIP had invested approximately $675.5 million in the aggregate (excluding transaction costs) and had committed an additional approximately $158.8 million to reimburse certain tenants and sellers for completion of construction and tenant improvements at IIP’s properties. These statistics do not include up to approximately $13.4 million that may be funded in the future pursuant to IIP’s lease with a tenant at one of IIP’s Illinois properties, or the approximately $32.5 million that may be funded in the future pursuant to IIP’s lease with a tenant at one of IIP’s Massachusetts properties, as the tenants at those properties may not elect to have IIP disburse those funds to them and pay IIP the corresponding base rent on those funds. These statistics also treat IIP’s Los Angeles, California, property as not leased, due to the tenant being in receivership and its ongoing default in its obligation to pay rent at that location.

About Innovative Industrial Properties

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. is a self-advised Maryland corporation focused on the acquisition, ownership and management of specialized industrial properties leased to experienced, state-licensed operators for their regulated medical-use cannabis facilities. Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. has elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust, commencing with the year ended December 31, 2017. Additional information is available at www.innovativeindustrialproperties.com.

About AWH

AWH is a market leading, vertically-integrated operator with retail and production facilities in Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey. AWH is breaking down traditional walls in the cannabis marketplace to create a unique, in-store customer experience and providing exclusive brand partnerships. AWH owns and operates state of the art cultivation facilities, growing heirloom and exotic-blend strains and producing a curated selection of products with effect-based categorization. AWH operates under the retail brands Illinois Supply and Provisions (IS&P), Michigan Supply and Provisions (MS&P) and Ohio Supply and Provisions (OS&P). AWH produces and distributes Ozone products and fosters exclusive brand partnerships with brands such as Cookies. For more information about AWH, visit www.awholdings.com.

Innovative Industrial Properties Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that IIP believes to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than historical facts, including, without limitation, statements regarding the acquisition and lease of the Massachusetts property, AWH and the Massachusetts regulated cannabis market, are forward-looking statements. When used in this press release, words such as we “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe” or “should” or the negative thereof or similar terminology are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such statements. Investors should not place undue reliance upon forward-looking statements. IIP disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Copyright Business Wire 2020

Published at Fri, 03 Apr 2020 11:18:27 +0000

Pure Harvest Cannabis Group Is Trading At A Large Discount Compared To Asset Value

Pure Harvest Cannabis Group Is Trading At A Large Discount Compared To Asset Value

Since 2014, Colorado has been the epicenter of the US cannabis industry and we have seen countless leading brands become national names after establishing market dominance in Colorado.

Although California and Florida are two of the most talked about cannabis markets, Colorado represents a massive opportunity, and this is an opportunity that we are excited about. Last year, we saw increased interest in the Colorado cannabis market after Governor Jared Polis passed regulation that would allow cannabis companies to raise capital, complete go-public transactions, acquire other companies, or be acquired.

2020 has been a banner year for the Colorado cannabis market and has been highlighted by the acquisition of The Green Solution, a leading US cannabis retailer. Over the next year, we expect to see further consolidation of the Colorado cannabis market and this is a trend that our readers need to be aware of.

During the last year, the cannabis sector has been under considerable pressure and this has created a great opportunity for companies to acquire cannabis operators that are trading for a discount. A majority of cannabis companies have strained balance sheets and will only be able to survive this tough period through a merger or an acquisition. We have been highly focused on companies that are capitalizing on this opportunity and are making accretive acquisitions to support continued growth.

When it comes to consolidating the Colorado cannabis market, Pure Harvest Cannabis Group, Inc. (PHCG) is one of the first names that comes to mind. During the last few months, the company has been working tirelessly on the completion of previously announced acquisitions and we are impressed with the way the management team has been able to execute. Over the next year, we expect Pure Harvest announce additional acquisitions as it continues to expand its presence in strategic US markets.

An Execution Story in the Making

The last month has been busy for Pure Harvest and we are favorable on the way activity has ramped up. During the last two weeks, the company has reported two significant transactions, and this is an opportunity to have on your radar. We are favorable on the way these assets complement the business and want to provide an update on the opportunity.

The first transaction reported by Pure Harvest in the month of March was an agreement to acquire Sofa King Medical Wellness Products (SKM), a vertically integrated cannabis operator located in Dumont, Colorado. The dispensary is strategically located near Colorado’s most famous ski resorts and we are favorable on the amount of value that the location adds to the entire operation.

Shortly after this announcement, Pure Harvest announced a major milestone and entered into an agreement to acquire 51% of How Smooth It Is, Inc. (HSII), a licensed medical cannabis processor that is based in Riverdale, Michigan. The acquisition represents a substantial growth opportunity for the business, and we are bullish on the Michigan market. Last year, the state legalized recreational cannabis and we expect Pure Harvest to benefit from having leverage to this market.

HSII plans to offer a wide range of cannabis-infused products (i.e. chocolate bars, gummies, beverages, and other Pure Harvest branded products) and will operate out of a 5,800 square foot facility. HSII has a proven track record in regard to extracting, processing and manufacturing an array of products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The acquisition further expands Pure Harvest’s product line and we expect the acquisition to quickly prove to be accretive.

A Growth Story that is Trading for a Discount

Although Pure Harvest has been advancing a number of important company initiatives, the shares have been under pressure and have traded lower with the rest of the cannabis industry. During this time, Pure Harvest has held up better than its peers and we believe that it has substantial catalysts for growth.

Once the assets in Colorado and Michigan are fully operational, Pure Harvest will be generating significant revenues and we will be monitoring how the management team is able to execute on these projects. Due to the management team’s track record, we are confident in their ability to execute and find this to be an important aspect of the story.

Colorado and Michigan represent a burgeoning cannabis markets and Pure Harvest has attractive leverage to these opportunities. When compared to its peers, Pure Harvest is trading at a considerable discount and we believe that it has a favorable risk-reward profile at current levels. We believe that Pure Harvest is in the early innings of a major growth cycle and has visible catalysts for growth.

If you are interested in learning more about Pure Harvest Cannabis Group, please email support@technical420.com to be added to our distribution list.

Pursuant to an agreement between StoneBridge Partners LLC and Pure Harvest Cannabis Group (PHCG) we have been hired for a period of 90 days beginning March 11, 2020 and ending June 11, 2020 to publicly disseminate information about (PHCG) including on the Website and other media including Facebook and Twitter. We are being paid $7,500 per month (PHCG) for or were paid “0” shares of restricted common shares. We own zero shares of (PHCG), which we purchased in the open market. We plan to sell the “ZERO” shares of (PHCG) that we hold during the time the Website and/or Facebook and Twitter Information recommends that investors or visitors to the website purchase without further notice to you. We may buy or sell additional shares of (PHCG) in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, provide public dissemination of favorable Information.

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Anthony Varrell

Anthony Varrell is Managing Director of StoneBridge Partners LLC. SBP continues to drive market awareness for leading firms in the cannabis industry throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Published at Fri, 03 Apr 2020 11:47:06 +0000

Mexico’s Senate Asks Supreme Court to Extend Deadline for Cannabis Legislation

Mexico’s Senate Asks Supreme Court to Extend Deadline for Cannabis Legislation

New York’s cannabis advocates had a renewed sense of hope at the dawn of the new year, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed in his January State of the State address to renew his push to legalize adult-use in 2020 after last year’s legalization efforts stalled in the legislature.

Cuomo seemed to be making good on his promise when he included a plan to legalize and tax adult-use cannabis in his initial state budget proposal in January, but as the COVID-19 outbreak turned into a global pandemic and the April 1 deadline to approve the sprawling budget loomed, hope that legalization could be accomplished through the budget process began to fade.

Cuomo told reporters March 31 that it was “not likely” that the legalization proposal would be included in the final budget, according to a New York Post report, adding that there was “too much” to accomplish and “too little time.”

“We’re not going to get there,” Cuomo said later, during a WAMC radio interview, according to the New York Post. “In truth, that is something that has to be talked through and worked through, and the legislature wasn’t here.”

As in many other areas of the country, the COVID-19 crisis has stolen the spotlight in New York, and Cuomo has been placing his attention on the virus since the state’s first confirmed case was reported March 1, the New York Post reported.

“I think everyone is just focused on one thing right now,” Joshua Horn, partner at Fox Rothschild, told Cannabis Business Times. “There’s a real problem in New York at the moment. New York is getting hit harder than other states.”

Still, many believed that Cuomo and lawmakers would stay on track to legalize cannabis through the budget process this spring, especially given the shortfalls the state was facing prior to the virus that were only exacerbated by the pandemic.

“There will be, in my view, tremendous budget shortfalls in New York, among other states, in dealing with the virus and the economic fallout from that,” Horn said. “States are looking at deficits, and they’re looking for new sources of revenue.”

According to James Ansorge, a New York-based attorney with Cozen O’Connor, New York faced a $4 billion deficit prior to the coronavirus outbreak, and state officials now predict a shortfall of $7 to $ billion due to the pandemic.

Added pressure to find new revenue streams saw Cuomo and lawmakers continually negotiating the details of the legalization proposal, Ansorge said.

“Everyone wants to get it done—the governor, the majority of the legislature, industry advocates and the people of New York,” he told Cannabis Business Times. “The question is, is there the time and the focus to finalize the deal?”

Although the answer to that questions seems to be a resounding “no,” Ansorge expects the New York Legislature to consider legislative proposals to legalize adult-use cannabis later in the session, although it is unclear when lawmakers may return to attend to regular legislative business.

While the regular session typically runs from January through June, Ansorge said the legislature may not return until summer or even early fall due to the COVID-19 crisis. And even when they do return, he added, the chances of cannabis legalization clearing the legislature are unclear.

“The other complication, politically, is that it’s much more likely for adult-use to be finalized in the budget since it’s a single up/down vote on an omnibus bill, which gives cover to folks whose districts might be on the fence,” Ansorge said. “If it’s done as a standalone bill by the legislature and it’s a roll call vote, it puts some folks in difficult positions during an election year. So, if it’s not done in the budget, the outcome becomes less optimistic.”

Horn, however, believes the coronavirus outbreak could rally the necessary support among lawmakers.

“Once the virus is under control, I could see [legalization] picking up momentum because it will be a brand-new revenue stream, which the state will need due to depletion of its coffers because of the virus,” he said. “In a strange confluence of events, I could see the virus actually pushing this along.”

The fate of last year’s adult-use legislation came down to one swing vote, Ansorge said, and this year’s efforts could be just as close.

“It sounded like there are enough votes in the Senate, but the main disagreement appears to be over … where the revenue will be spent,” he said. “Will it go into a general fund for the state, or will it go to specific social equity and substance abuse programs? That’s the main outstanding issue.”

Taxation, social equity and public safety are the three main pillars of legalization that lawmakers have been grappling with, Ansorge said. Many legislators have expressed concerns over not only where the tax revenue will go, but also the appropriate rates of taxation. Others are wondering how law enforcement should deal with drivers who may be driving under the influence of cannabis, Ansorge added.

“Whenever any state goes forward with adult-use, they have to invest quite a bit in [the] training of the enforcement division, and the details there are always needing to be discussed,” Jessica Wasserman, partner of Greenspoon Marder’s International, Government Relations and Cannabis Law Practice Groups, told Cannabis Business Times.

To address social equity, Cuomo’s legalization proposal includes provisions for what he calls “Opportunity Applicants”—applicants from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by prohibition.

“The broader picture is that the governor has said he wants to pass policy on the merits, not just for revenue, which is a smart and responsible thing to do,” Ansorge said.

Still, a legislative effort to legalize this year could hit other timing snags, depending on how long the coronavirus crisis lasts.

“Another reason it’s really hard to imagine that there would be another bill right away is Cuomo [planned] to go around to various states that had a history of adult-use and … talk to their legislators and regulators, tour some facilities and so on,” Wasserman said. “That would’ve given, I think, a real vision for the social equity piece, which is handled differently in different states.”

Published at Thu, 02 Apr 2020 14:42:00 +0000

Bacteria Killer? Research Suggests Cannabidiol Has Antibiotic Potential

Preliminary research out of the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience indicates the cannabinoid cannabidiol is effective in killing bacteria in lab testing – including some that have become mainstream antibiotic resistant.

The research, carried out by IMB’s Centre for Superbug Solutions’ Dr Mark Blaskovich in collaboration with Australia’s Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd, determined cannabidiol was very effective at bowling over a wide range of gram-positive bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus (responsible for staph infections), and Streptococcus pneumoniae; the bug responsible for pneumococcal disease.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis plants – including industrial hemp. There’s been all sorts of claims made about the therapeutic potential of CBD and while no doubt some won’t be validated, there’s mounting evidence suggesting it could be extremely useful in treating or managing various conditions.

The UQ release says there has previously been some limited evidence pointing to cannabidiol being a bacteria-killer, but CBD is yet to be thoroughly investigated for its potential use as an antibiotic.

To read more …

At the Capitol, Texas Tries to Catch Up With Cannabis

Oklahoma’s making Texas look bad. They’ve got a robust medical marijuana program, a head start on industrial hemp production, and cannabis laws that are significantly less terrifying than ours. In fact, all our bordering states – including those in Mexico – offer medicinal cannabis for their residents with chronic conditions. From where we stand, it’s hard not to feel like the Lone Star State is behind the curve and missing out: on job creation, on new income streams, on tax revenue, on an equitable justice system, on a crucial component of health care.

Much of that could change during this landmark session of the 86th Texas Legis­lat­ure, running through May 27, during which a state-record 59 cannabis-related bills have been filed on topics ranging from decriminalizing marijuana possession and use to growing hemp, broadening the availability of cannabis-based medicine, regulating drug testing, and clarifying legalities surrounding CBD and other cannabis derivatives. Recreational marijuana access is not on the table, but as the 10 states where it is legal have already proven, it’s often not a giant leap, but a cavalcade of baby steps that leads to true legalization. Given that, here’s the lay of the land.

To read more…