Stoner Symphony

CBD

New York Shut 75 Illicit Cannabis Stores in First Week as Lawsuit Fails to Derail New Crackdown

In its first week, ‘Operation Padlock,’ an initiative by the Adams administration to curb illegal marijuana sales, successfully shut down 75 unlicensed cannabis shops, officials announced on Tuesday. It came as a class action lawsuit from 27 retailers aimed at bringing an injunction against the new efforts to crack down on illicit cannabis shops was denied by a state court. In June, a group of New York City shop owners filed a class-action lawsuit against the city, claiming that recent enforcement measures against illegal cannabis sellers violate their constitutional right to due process. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court Southern District of New York, was seeking to halt Operation Padlock, an initiative by the city and the New York Sheriff’s Office to close down unlicensed cannabis shops. The 27 businesses involved argue that these closures, conducted without judicial oversight, breach the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and seek compensation for lost revenue. However, yesterday, the case was thrown out by a judge. Meanwhile, the crackdown on illicit cannabis shops, around 3000 of which are thought to be operating across the state, continues. During a City Hall press briefing on Tuesday, Mayor Adams acknowledged the ongoing challenge, stating that his team was ‘just getting started’. The operation commenced following the granting of enhanced enforcement powers to the city by Governor Hochul and state legislators last month. These new powers allow the city to shut down illegal shops without prior state approval. Initially, Mayor Adams had promised to close every unlicensed weed shop within 30 days of receiving these powers. However, on April 30, he adjusted expectations, aiming instead to make a ‘substantial dent’ in the number of illicit shops within the timeframe. Enforcement teams will also monitor closed establishments to ensure they do not reopen. The 75 closures resulted in nearly $6 million in penalties for the operators, though it is unclear how much has been collected so far. New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ administration has padlocked over 300 suspected illegal cannabis stores, seized more than $10 million worth of cannabis, and issued $23 million in fines in the first month of the operation. Source link

New York Shut 75 Illicit Cannabis Stores in First Week as Lawsuit Fails to Derail New Crackdown Read More »

Landmark Decision Looms as Supreme Court Reviews Hemp Case Under RICO

The US Supreme Court is set to rule on a hemp-related case for the first time since the enactment of the 2018 US Farm Bill. The case, Medical Marijuana, Inc., et al. v. Douglas J. Horn, centers on the application of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and whether manufacturers can be held liable for a person’s lost earnings and job benefits under this statute. The plaintiff, a commercial truck driver, was terminated after failing a random drug test following the consumption of a CBD product marketed as THC-free. He subsequently filed a RICO claim and state law claims against the companies behind the CBD product, arguing that his lost job earnings and benefits qualify as ‘business or property’ damages recoverable under RICO. Initially, a federal district court dismissed the plaintiff’s RICO claim, siding with the companies by stating that RICO does not cover personal injury losses. However, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned this decision and reinstated the RICO claim. The Supreme Court has now agreed to review the case. Should the Supreme Court uphold the Second Circuit’s decision, the plaintiff could be awarded up to three times his lost earnings, along with attorney’s fees. RICO, enacted in 1970, is primarily aimed at combatting organized crime by enabling the prosecution of individuals involved in ongoing criminal enterprises. Under RICO, individuals can be prosecuted for engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity, which includes a variety of criminal offenses such as fraud, bribery, and drug trafficking. The statute allows for severe penalties, including treble damages, which means affected parties can receive triple the amount of their actual damages, along with attorney’s fees. The 2018 US Farm Bill was a pivotal piece of legislation for the hemp industry, as it legalized the production and sale of hemp and its derivatives, including CBD, on a federal level. This bill distinguished hemp from marijuana by defining it as cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC, removing it from the list of controlled substances. The legislation opened up significant economic opportunities for farmers and businesses, allowing hemp to become a major agricultural product and leading to a surge in the availability and use of hemp-derived products. Earlier this week, the US Hemp Roundtable submitted an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of the defendants, arguing that Congress did not intend for RICO to address personal injury losses. The brief highlights the potential consequences of broadening RICO’s scope, including increased costs that could be transferred to consumers, making hemp products less accessible. Furthermore, heightened liability might drive manufacturers, distributors, and retailers out of the industry, diminishing economic opportunities for hemp farmers and businesses. Source link

Landmark Decision Looms as Supreme Court Reviews Hemp Case Under RICO Read More »

EIHA’s CBD Consortium Application Clears First Hurdle with FSA Approval

The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued its first positive safety assessment for a consortium application in its CBD Novel Foods approval process, seeing the European Industrial Hemp Association’s (EIHA) RP427 application progress to the ‘risk management’ phase. Coming just months after the first two individual applications were given positive risk assessments in May, this represents another major step forward for the UK CBD industry’s arduous journey towards full regulation. EIHA’s RP427 application represents over 160 companies from across the UK, Europe and the US, and includes over 1000 products. Given the complexities of attempting to approve hundreds of products at once, a strategy that was initially not allowed by the regulation, EIHA aimed to standardise the entire procedure, imposing strict guidelines on the starting material and extraction methods. EIHA’s Managing Director, Lorenza Romanese, told Business of Cannabis: “It’s easier to pass one product, but it is not the same to standardise 160 companies on the market that do not speak the same language. So it required a lot of effort to sit down with partners and standardise their products. “We made a huge effort to standardise the processes among the members of the consortium to ensure they were abiding by the stringent rules that make them compliant with what we have tested.” EIHA Board Member and UK Representative, Tony Reeves said “This is indeed excellent news for our sector and a milestone moment not just for our EIHA members but for the market in general as it represents a real potential to boost consumer trust in the category, enhance retailer confidence and provide a catalyst for investment in the industry.” What is included? In October last year, the FSA published a shock update to its consumer guidance on the recommended daily dosage of CBD. According to new ‘scientific evidence’, understood to have been gained from toxicological studies submitted by the industry itself, the FSA dropped its recommended daily intake (ADI) from 70mg a day to just 10mg a day. Given that hundreds of companies had already completed their dossiers and submitted them to the FSA, this late stipulation caused significant complications for swathes of the sector and raised concerns of consumer mistrust in the industry due the limited efficacy of CBD at these levels. With both of the previously passed applications falling within this threshold, many took this as confirmation that the 10mg limit was a prerequisite for applications to pass. According to EIHA, however, their application supports an ADI of 17.5mg a day ‘for six weeks’, while the FSA recommanded an ADI of 10 mg a day lifelong. In their assessment, the “Committee (ndr ACNFP) concluded that the applicant had provided sufficient information to assure the novel food, an isolated CBD as detailed in application RP427, was safe under the proposed conditions of use. The anticipated intake levels and the proposed use in foods and food supplements was not considered to be nutritionally disadvantageous”. Ms Romanese explained: “We submitted what the science revealed, meaning an ADI of 17.5mg a day. The FSA presented a provisional ADI of 10mg every day, our ADI is 17.5mg and the food supplement should be taken fr a period of 6 weeks, which in the long run is probably even more conservative.” The FSA are expected to give their final verdict on this ADI in the next ‘risk management’ phase. EIHA’s CBD Consortium Application Clears First Hurdle with FSA ApprovalEIHA explained that the guidelines given to its members in order for them to adhere to its standardisation include a starting material of industrial hemp grown from varieties listed in the European catalogue. Each oil product must use natural (non-synthetic) CBD extract in any vegetable oil, extracted using traditional methods of extraction as per EU directives. The association said in a statement: “The classification not only underscores our commitment to safety and compliance but also provides substantial benefits to EIHA members. The dossier supporting this classification was founded on toxicological data paid for by EIHA members, which has been granted confidentiality for a period of five years. “As a result, only EIHA members have the exclusive right to market these products under this classification. This exclusivity is critical as it ensures that only those who have contributed to the research and complied with stringent standards can benefit, preventing free riders from capitalizing on the efforts without having invested in the process.” Long awaited progress The risk assessment stage marks the latest significant step forward in the approval process, which has kept the industry in limbo since 2021. After publishing the ‘public list’ of validated CBD applications in June 2022, which allowed companies that had submitted complete dossiers to the FSA to continue to trade, those included moved to the ‘risk assessment’ phase. This phase, widely considered to be the toughest part of the approval process, sought to establish whether these CBD novel foods are safe under the proposed condition use submitted by each applicant. In May, 2024, following over a year with no meaningful progress, the FSA announced that Chanelle McCoy’s subsidiary, Pureis, and Cannaray received the first ever positive risk assessments for their applications. Earlier this week, EIHA announced that its consortium, created in 2019, had also moved to the next stage, seeing the number of products which could potentially be fully approved for sale in the UK rise dramatically. Ms Romanese explained: We should always recall that when we started the consortium back in 2019, joint applications were forbidden. So I really think that we have to acknowledge the bravery and the long term vision of the EIHA board. “It does not make sense to kill millions of rats and spend so much money, so we said let’s join forces. Now we have the first consortium, probably representing the biggest share on the market, that has achieved a positive risk assessment. “But the battle is not over yet, we still need to move our full spectrum application through the risk assessment stage and both need to be approved in Europe.

EIHA’s CBD Consortium Application Clears First Hurdle with FSA Approval Read More »

Regulators Target Delta-8 THC Edibles in Latest Enforcement Action

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), alongside the Federal Trade Comission (FTC), has issued a further five ‘warning’ letters to companies illegally selling copycat food items containing Delta-8 THC. It comes amid wider efforts to crack down on the flourishing intoxicating hemp industry federally, with an amendment to the upcoming US Farm Bill specifically targeting these products. Compounds like HHC and Delta-8 THC have proliferated across the US in recent months, and while a number of individual states have moved to regulate them, they remain legal and sparsely regulated at a federal level. This has driven a rise in copycat food products which contain intoxicating hemp-derived ingredients, that are often poorly labelled, ‘extremely easy to purchase and often available to youth’. Back in 2022, the FDA issues a warning to consumers about the sharp rise in these products, and now suggests that between January 01, 2021 and December 31, 2023, the FDA received over 300 adverse event reports involving children and adults who consumed Delta-8 THC products. Nearly half of these reportedly ended in hospitalization or emergency department visits, and two thirds of these followed the ingestion of Delta-8 containing food products aimed at children, including candy and brownies. In a press release published earlier this week, the FDA and FTC sent five warning letters to Hippy Mood, Earthly Hemps, Shamrockshrooms.com, Mary Janes Bakery Co. LLC and Life Leaf Medical CBD Center, while the FDA sent another letter independently to GrowGod LLC. According to the FDA and FTC, this forms part of an ‘ongoing joint effort to take action against companies selling illegal copycat food products containing Delta-8 THC’, and follows similar action taken in July last year, resulting in all the companies warned removing said products from sale. “Inadequate or confusing labeling can result in children or unsuspecting adults consuming products with strong resemblance to popular snacks and candies that contain delta-8 THC without realizing it,” said FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Namandjé Bumpus, Ph.D. “As accidental ingestion and/or overconsumption of delta-8 THC containing products could pose considerable health risks, the companies who sell these illegal products are demonstrating complete neglect for consumer safety. The FDA will continue to work to safeguard the health and safety of U.S. consumers by monitoring the marketplace and taking action when companies sell products that present a threat to public health.” Source link

Regulators Target Delta-8 THC Edibles in Latest Enforcement Action Read More »

Voyager Life Seeks Exit From Cannabis Market, IMC Pushes Through 6:1 Share Consolidation, & European Cannabis Firms Target US Listings

Voyager Life   Aquis-listed CBD brand Voyager Life is the latest cannabis firm to be eyeing an exit from the sector, a move that has proven popular with its investors. In late June, Voyager announced that it had entered into an option agreement for a reverse takeover of Kansas based natural gas producer M3 Helium Corp. As such, Voyager has issued 57,611,552 new ordinary shares to M3 Helium shareholders, representing 57% of the Voyager’s issued share capital as enlarged by the new ordinary shares. Voyager has conditionally raised £864,468 by issuing new shares priced at 3 pence each, with investors being granted a warrant to buy another share for 6 pence each within two years for every two new shares bought. The raised funds will support M3 Helium’s development, drill a new well, prepare necessary documents for re-admission to trading, and cover general working capital. Crucially, should the deal be approved by shareholders during the company’s general meeting, taking place today (July 18), Voyager plans to exit the cannabis market altogether, and has put plans in place to dispose of its current cannabis portfolio. It said that despite recent successes in its retail operations, ‘even taking account of the low valuations currently ascribed to CBD and cannabis companies’, its board believes the disposal of these operations will be possible in the near term without being a significant cash drain on the company. Voyager plans to sell its plant-based health and wellness operations, including a manufacturing facility, e-commerce and wholesale activities, and three retail stores in Scotland. “The Company’s manufacturing, e-commerce and wholesale operations can be profitable without the burden of the expenses of being a public company and, despite challenges on the high street, market rents for at least two of Voyager’s shops are now materially higher than the rent paid by the Company so transferring these leases in the short term is a realistic possibility.” Its planned exit from the cannabis industry comes off the back of two failed acquisition deals over the past two months which would have significantly expanded the companies foothold in the industry. In April, Business of Cannabis reported that a proposed merger with embattled UK medical cannabis cultivator Northern Leaf had fallen through. The proposed deal would have valued the newly combined entity at £5m based on Voyager’s share price at the time, assuming a ‘deferred consideration’ is paid in full. According a trading update in June, the last-minute cancellation of the deal amid concerns that its fundraise would not be sufficient to meet Northern Leaf’s needs had taken its toll on Voyager’s financial position. With this significant drop in value preventing it from pursuing an additional fundraise and the failed deal meaning no working capital is available to ‘acquire additional equipment for its manufacturing division’, the company quickly ‘identified a new merger partner’. This unnamed partner was reportedly a European company that would have been ‘transformative on the scale of Voyager’s operations as well as opening up several new markets’. Despite working with the company over the last six weeks to agree heads of terms in principle, the company once again pulled out of the deal at the eleventh hour, putting a significant strain on the companies financial position. Notably, Voyager’s CEO Nich Tulloch is set to rejoin fellow CBD company Chill Brands, of which he was previously the CEO, as a Non-Executive Director.   European cannabis firms believe now is the ‘perfect time’ to go public Cannabis rescheduling in the US is poised to provide the embattled industry with a sorely needed financial boost, set to have ramifications for companies across the globe. While the most immediate impact will be tax breaks, which are expected to divert billions back into the pockets of the US’s largest multi-state operators, the most significant impact globally is likely to be the loosening of restrictions around major financial institutions. Although cannabis will still be federally illegal, reclassifying it as a Schedule III substance is expected to mean risk averse institutions like banks, insurance companies and major financial markets will begin opening up to the cannabis industry. With rescheduling making its way through the legislative procedure, a number of European companies are already preparing to capitalise on these new freedoms, targeting listing on the NASDAQ. According to a report in the Financial Times, UK-based medical cannabis distributor Grow Group is planning an IPO on the exchange early next year, targeting a valuation of more than £100m. As Business of Cannabis has previously reported, Grow has been targeting a listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) since 2021. In 2022, its CEO Ben Langley told said that it had come close to ‘pushing a button’ on an IPO numerous times, and had been consistent both with its private investors and publicly that its aim was always to be a publicly listed company. He said at the time: “I feel like that is likely to be within the next 12 months. We continue to watch this space prudently. We’re not just going to jump into it blindly.” Despite this long-held ambition, the company has turned its sites across the Atlantic, suggesting that the NASDAQ would help the company achieve a higher valuation. Wellford Medical, a newly combined medical cannabis company consisting of Cannaray Limted, Therismos and Canadian cultivator Aqualitas, is also reportedly targeting a listing in the US. Its Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, Joshua Roberts, who spearheaded the companies rebranding at Cannabis Europa last month, told the publication now ‘could be the perfect time’ to list on the NASDAQ and ride the new wave of positive sentiment towards cannabis. Somai Pharmacueticals, which recently significantly expanded its European footprint with the acquisition of RPK Biopharma from Akanda, similarly believes now may be the perfect time to go public. Its CEO, Michael Sassano, said that he is seeking a €250m valuation on the US exchange, alongside a secondary listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange, or LSE. Despite this new found optimism, both investors and companies will likely remain cautious

Voyager Life Seeks Exit From Cannabis Market, IMC Pushes Through 6:1 Share Consolidation, & European Cannabis Firms Target US Listings Read More »

SNDL Restructures: 106 Jobs Cut, $11M Investment for $20M Savings

Canadian cannabis giant SNDL has announced plans to enact a major financial restructuring project, slashing 106 full time positions. The embattled company says it will require a one-time investment of $11m over the next 18 months to push through the restructure, which it hopes will help it save $20m annually. This will be achieved through the ‘optimisation of corporate overhead spending’ and the consolidation of its cannabis segments into a single unit under the leadership of Tyler Robson. SNDL says it expects to reap the full benefits of this restructure by mid-2025, and start to ‘capture some of the opportunities’ as early as Q3 2024. It comes just days after SNDL moved to purchase the debt of Delta 9 Cannabis for US$21m, making the company its senior secured creditor, now owed more than $40m by the company. ‘Agressive’ demands for repayment from SNDL are understood to be one of the key factors which drove Delta 9 to obtain creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditor Arrangements Act (CCAA), granting ot a 10-day stay on claims and proceedings. Following advice from legal and financial advisors, Delta 9’s board reportedly decided that CCAA protection is in the company’s best interest due to its cash and liquidity issues, debt repayment challenges, and limited ability to raise capital. Delta 9 has entered into a binding term sheet with 2759054 Ontario Inc., operating as The FIKA Company, to maximize value for shareholders and creditors. The FIKA Company will acquire Delta 9’s cannabis retail and logistics businesses and facilitate a sale and investment solicitation process for its licensed cannabis production business. The Plan Sponsor will provide up to $16 million in interim financing and propose issuing shares and repaying secured debt as part of the restructuring process. John Arbuthnot, CEO of Delta 9, expressed confidence in the agreement with FIKA, believing it will maximize value for all stakeholders. Throughout the restructuring, Delta 9’s management will continue daily operations under the oversight of Alvarez & Marsal Canada Inc., the court-appointed monitor. A comeback application to seek further approvals, including the term sheet and interim financing, is scheduled for July 24, 2024. Meanwhile, the Toronto Stock Exchange is expected to review Delta 9’s listing status. Source link

SNDL Restructures: 106 Jobs Cut, $11M Investment for $20M Savings Read More »

Cannabis Rescheduling Sparks Over 30,000 Public Comments Ahead of Deadline

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has recieved over 30,000 comments on the planned cannabis rescheduling since opening up for public consultation in May. According to the DEA’s website, 31,311 comments have been submitted since May, including 2666 in the past week, as the July 22 deadline rapidly approaches. As Business of Cannabis has previously reported, the DEA published its formal proposal for cannabis rescheduling on May 21, 2024, officially putting what is set to be the most meaningful overhaul of cannabis regulation in 50-years into motion. The publication of the proposal means that the 60-day comment period was open for ‘all interested parties’ including the general public, stakeholders in the medical and scientific community, legal and regulatory experts, industry representatives, advocacy groups, and government agencies. Specifically, the proposal calls for comments relating to the economic analysis of the proposed changes and encourages commenters to provide detailed descriptions, especially concerning the impact on small entities, and to support their comments with empirical data. While many of the comments voice their support for the changes, with many urging the government to go even further and deschedule cannabis altogether, opposition to the move is also gathering pace. As such more than 500 comments have included sample comments from staunch cannabis opponents Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), who have previously demanded a public hearing on rescheduling and called for an extension of the comment period. Last week, the rescheduling project was dealt a major blow after a controversial spending bill aimed at blocking it was passed by a key House Committee. If the amendment makes it into law, the Department of Justice would be blocked from spending any funds on the rescheduling project. Separately, the GOP-led committee has demanded the Biden administration explain how and why it decided to reschedule cannabis, raising concerns about the impact on users mental health and the effects of driving under the influence. A report from the the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (Ag/FDA) appropriations bill calls on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general to explain the scientific review into cannabis that led to a Schedule III reclassification recommendation, Marijuana Moment reported. Source link

Cannabis Rescheduling Sparks Over 30,000 Public Comments Ahead of Deadline Read More »

New Hamshire Adds Anxiety to List of Medical Cannabis Conditions as Two Further Expansion Bills Make Progress

Medical cannabis has been made available to treat anxiety for the first time in the state of New Hampshire, while a separate bill opening up the treatment for any symptom is making its was through the legislature. Last week, New Hampshire’s Governor, Chris Sununu, signed House Bill 1349 into law meaning that clinicians will now be able to prescribe medical cannabis for ‘generalized anxiety disorder’ in the state. As one of the few remaining US states which is yet to legalize cannabis for adult-use, having recently rejected a legalization bill, the move could work to bolster the state’s medical cannabis market. According to the most recently released figures, the state had 13,000 registered medical cannabis patients in 2022. Now that anxiety is set to be added to the list of conditions in 60 days time, alongside chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy and cancer, the door could open for thousands more patients to secure a prescription. While the governor vetoed a bill that would enable licensed cannabis cultivators to open a second location, two more bills are in the works that would further expand the state’s medical cannabis industry. House Bill 1278 would enable clinicians to prescribe cannabis for ‘any debilitating or terminal medical condition or symptom for which the potential benefits’ of medical cannabis would likely outweigh the health risks. Furthermore, Senate Bill 357 would see any healthcare provider licenced to prescribe drugs and controlled substances to prescribe medical cannabis. Source link

New Hamshire Adds Anxiety to List of Medical Cannabis Conditions as Two Further Expansion Bills Make Progress Read More »

Morocco Makes First Legal Cannabis Export Since Rule Change in 2021

Morocco has successfully completed its first legal cannabis export since making the move to legalise cannabis for medical, pharmaceutical and industrial uses in 2021. This is a landmark development for the country amid its ongoing efforts to transition its thriving illicit cannabis cultivation industry into a legitimate export market and capitalise on its already dominant position in exporting to Europe. It comes amid a torrent of applications from farmers, who until recently had remained largely skeptical of the opportunities presented by the legal market, seeing the legally licenced cultivation area in the country increase tenfold year on year. As investors and businesses look to capitalise on the burgeoning opportunity, the National Agency for the Regulation of Cannabis-Related Activities (ANRAC) is now actively searching for export opportunities, having attended Cannabis Europa last month and reportedly visiting the Netherlands, Portugal and the Czech Republic recently. First exports In the second quarter of 2024, Morocco exported 100kg of cannabis resin with a THC content of less than 1% to Switzerland, selling its produce for between €1400 and €1800 per kilogram, Le Monde reported.  This followed an announcement from ANRAC in April, suggesting that an individual operator and a cooperative had exported 65.5kg of cannabis products to Switzerland (55.5 kg of CBD resin with a THC content of less than 1% and 10 kg of cannabis flowers with a THC content of less than 0.3%), as of April 23, 2024. While this will come as positive news for farmers, some 400,000 of which are thought to rely on the cannabis industry (both illicit and legal) as their primary source of income, it represents just a drop in the ocean of cannabis being produced in the country. In March this year, ANRAC reported that the country’s first medical cannabis harvest in 2023 produced 294 metric tonnes (294,000kg). With only a fraction of these staggering amounts being exported, it’s currently unclear where the remaining produce ends up, whether it is used by the rapidly increasing number of local businesses, or whether some may have found its way back into the illicit market. Business of Cannabis has contacted ANRAC for clarification on these statistics, but has received no response at the time of writing. These figures also pale in comparison to the estimated size of the country’s illicit cannabis production market. According to the European Union Drugs Agency and Europol’s recent indepth analysis of the illicit European cannabis market, most of the cannabis resin available in Europe comes from Morocco and enters the region via Spain, which seized 672.5 metric tonnes of cannabis resin in 2021 (over 82 % of the European total). This is despite a significant decline in resin production seen in recent years, with the cultivated area decreasing from around 47,000 hectares (2010-2018) to 21,000 hectares in 2019, a 55% reduction. As such, resin production is thought to have dropped from between 700-760 metric tonnes between 2010 and 2017 to 424 metric tonnes in 2018, climbing back to 596 tonnes in 2019, but the report suggests these figures could still be an underestimation of the real scale of the industry. Change is happening However, it appears these figure may be starting to shift. In May 2023, two years after cannabis was legalised for export, farmers in the region remained cautious about transitioning to the legal market, particularly in the remote mountainous regions where the majority of production takes place. One farmer cited fears that ‘the benefits will go to the state… and that we will be left behind’. Others said they were ‘in the dark’ about what benefits the legal market would bring them over the illicit market, and which seeds, prices and processes they’d need to work with to be accepted. According to figures from ANRAC, this transition is now gathering serious momentum as the benefits, which would see farmers earn four or five times as much for their crops, became more apparent. As of April 23, 2024, ANRAC reports that it has issued some 2900 authorisations, a significantly increase on the 609 in 2023. This was reflected in the overall cultivation area which now stands at 2552 hectares, compared to just 286 in 2023. Alongside thousands (2637) of farmers, a further 168 authorisations were granted to 61 operators, including a pharmaceutical company, 16 cooperatives, 37 companies and seven individuals. The regulator is also promoting the use of local ‘beldiya’ seeds over imported ones due to their hardy nature and disappointing first crop, and is reportedly working with Morocco’s National Institute of Agronomic Research to certify and distribute these local seeds to farmers by 2025. Around 760 hectares of the cannabis grown by April 2024 was done using this seed, seeing 42 cannabis products manufactured for legal production and submitted for registration to the Medicines and Pharmacy Directorate (DMP). These included 11 cosmetic and personal hygiene products and 31 food supplement products, with seven registration certificates now understood to have been issued by the DMP. Meanwhile, nearly 200 operators are understood to have entered the cannabis market since legalisation in 2021, with the Moroccan Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry and Innovation (FMIIP) suggesting the market could be worth around €400 to €600 million within four years. As the market seeks to captialise on the international opportunity, some 54 permits were issued last year, with a further 39 being granted since. With an imbalance remaining between supply and demand, the Moroccan Coalition for Medical and Industrial Use of Cannabis alongside many farmers are calling on the government to consider launching a domestic adult-use market. This coalition, established last June, is set to host a series of debates and seminars with parliamentarians to lobby for the establishment of an adult-use market. Source link

Morocco Makes First Legal Cannabis Export Since Rule Change in 2021 Read More »

Ohio’s Cannabis Rollout: 182 Facilities Receive Provisional Licenses for Adult-Use Sales

Ohio’s cannabis regulator has issued over 100 provisional adult-use cannabis licenses to dispensaries across the state as it prepares for sales to finally launch. As Business of Cannabis reported previously, Ohians voted by a 57% majority to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state in November 2023, giving regulators a deadline of September 07, 2024, to fully implement the programme and begin awarding licenses. In mid-May, the political deadlock keeping Ohio’s adult-use cannabis rollout in limbo was finally broken, meaning the state’s 124 medical cannabis dispensaries could begin the application process. The deadline for Ohio Division of Cannabis Control (DCC) to begin accepting licenses was June 07, and the deadline for them to start issuing certificates, September 07, is fast approaching. As such, the DCC has now notified 182 facilities that they have qualified for a provisional license, including six testing labs, 33 cultivators, 39 processors and 104 dispensaries. The organization said there won’t be a single set date when sales in Ohio will begin, but that it will depend on the retailer based on staffing, stock and other considerations. However, full licenses and sales are expected to begin this summer. Speaking to local news publications, DCC spokesperson James Crawford said that the review process is ongoing and it generally being conducted on a first-come-first-served basis. He added that a number of factors determine how quickly these certificates can be issued, including whether they have filed a complete application, if they can certify completed employee badging, and certify that surveillance and security standards have been met. “However, current medical marijuana licensees who have already met the requirements for dual-use licensure and have their points-of-sale properly configured are anticipated to have a much quicker turnaround for issuance of a Certificate of Operation,” he continued. Source link

Ohio’s Cannabis Rollout: 182 Facilities Receive Provisional Licenses for Adult-Use Sales Read More »

Scroll to Top