Just two days before state officials are slated to unleash a new batch of lucrative pot shop permits, a Michigan-based cannabis firm dropped a federal lawsuit Tuesday that threatened to derail the long-delayed licensing process amid pressure from a coalition of minority applicants.
Sozo Health filed the suit July 16 against Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the acting director of the state agency that oversees dispensaries, claiming the state’s licensing rules are unfair and sought to delay three upcoming lotteries to issue 185 dispensary licenses.
The move came just a day after Pritzker enacted a law that created many of the new licenses in a bid to get the problematic process back on track. That same day, his administration also scheduled the lottery drawings, the first of which is set for Thursday.
For over a year, the licensing rollout has been stymied by delays, litigation and protests from applicants who criticized the grading process and railed against the clouted and well-financed firms that have already qualified to win permits prioritized to social equity candidates, a designation created to bolster minority participation in the lily-white weed industry.
Some minority applicants have now banded together to lobby for their mutual interests and
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved cannabis retail outlets in the unincorporated Riverside County communities of Bermuda Dunes and Highgrove, though Supervisor Karen Spiegel warned no additional marijuana shops will be approved in the latter for the remainder of her term as board chair.
“No more after this,” Spiegel told representatives of the Department of Planning regarding Cheapest Hydro’s outlet near La Cadena Drive and Center Street. “It’s getting a little high (in number). I have a commitment to do what’s best, and this is the last one.”
Cheapest Hydro’s 13,559-square-foot facility will be the fifth cannabis outlet in Highgrove permitted by the board in the last year. The location has been specifically zoned for cannabis retail and manufacturing operations.
The proposal ran into opposition from members of the Highgrove Municipal Advisory Council because of the cluster of dispensaries already present, and because it would be visible to school children using a pedestrian bridge in the area.
PROVIDENCE — Businesses hoping to win licenses to operate six new medical marijuana dispensaries in Rhode Island will be waiting longer.
The lottery to award the coveted licenses won’t happen in the first week of August as expected, state regulators say, because the administrative appeal of one of the rejected lottery applicants continues.
That appeal first delayed the lottery from getting off the ground in the spring.
Now a lottery won’t be scheduled “until that appeal has run its course,” Matthew Santacroce, chief of the Office of Cannabis Regulation within the Department of Business Regulation, said Tuesday.
How long that will be remains unclear, Santacroce said; he said he may have a better sense of the timing of events “in a couple weeks” after more meetings between lawyers for the DBR and the rejected applicant.
The explosive, unregulated growth of delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is coming with a dangerous consequence: Poison control centers across the country are reporting a rise in calls from those who have ingested the cannabinoid.
So far this year, as of July, the North Carolina Poison Control Center reported 157 cases related to delta-8, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. Virginia is reporting “dozens” of calls this year.
The rise in calls can be attributed to a number of factors, from the market’s lack of standards to delta-8’s accessibility to minors.
But perhaps the most concerning cause for an increase in delta-8 poison center calls is due to mislabeling–in some cases, consumers hoping to buy these products may be purchasing unregulated, illegal cannabis without knowing.
“This is part and parcel for what happens when you have an unregulated market,” says Jonathan Miller, general counsel for U.S. Hemp Roundtable.
Mislabeling Plays a Role
A recently published report shines a light on just how prominent mislabeling is in the industry. Leafreport.com, a peer-reviewed watchdog website for the cannabidiol (CBD) industry, found that more than half of the 38 products
MARSHFIELD – This week, a sign will go up on Route 139 for a business that’s truly the first of its kind in Marshfield: a recreational marijuana dispensary called South Shore Buds.
“Our hope is, that when all is said and done, everyone in Marshfield is like, ‘This is great, this is the best thing that ever happened,’ ” owner Ben Virga said. “The members of the select board are all very supportive and think this is a good thing for the town. We’re very lucky.”
Virga’s company received approval from town officials last year to build the facility at 985 Plain St., formerly home to Buckles and Boards. Construction started in January and with work nearly complete, Virga hopes to submit final paperwork to the state Cannabis Control Commission in the coming weeks. He is aiming for a September opening.
Marshfield is one of a few communities on the South Shore that did not vote to ban dispensaries after recreational marijuana was legalized by state voters.
Immersive entertainment is the new thing in New York, and now it is coming to the city in the form of a cannabis pop-up.
This pop-up, known as The Stone Age, is the first-ever immersive cannabis pop-up in NYC, and it is a “multi-sensory cannabis experience.” The space will take up 9,000 sqaure feet in a building in Chelsea, and it will open September 15. Visitors can expect
This new event is bound to bring fun and excitement to NYC, as visitors to the state get stoked for the fun and fantastic new event. However, it won’t be strictly a cannabis recreational party, as there will also be serious themes to consider throughout the installation.
What exactly those eight installations will be is yet to be revealed, but will be told to visitors closer to opening. According to The Stone Age Instagram, it will be “a one-stop shop for all things hot in the green industry—from demos of innovative products to destigmatization, advocacy and more.” It will be exciting to see exactly what this means and what will be rolled out.
Courtesy fo ShutterstockImmersive and Inclusive
The business is also woman- and minority-owned. Sasha Perelman and Elizabeth Santana are working with local and national cannabis
Voters to determine number of recreational cannabis dispensaries
Voters in Mt. Pleasant in November will decide whether the city should allow 10 recreational marijuana dispensaries.
City commissioners on Monday approved language for a ballot question asking voters to approve a change in a city ordinance that will increase the number of licenses for recreational dispensaries from three to 10.
The move came after several people, including a Central Michigan University graduate who works in the cannabis industry and the co-owner of a local medical marijuana business who says she is losing money because she didn’t get a recreational license when a panel of city officials scored applications last year.
Commissioners in a 5-1 vote with Pete Tolas opposing and Lori Gillis absent approved language and set the question on the Nov. 2 ballot.
City Clerk Heather Bouck verified the signatures earlier this month.
During public comment Monday night, supporters of Consano, a medical marijuana dispensary near downtown Mt. Pleasant, spoke of recreational marijuana being “here to stay” and noted that more dispensaries will create competition, as well as arguing that the number of dispensaries has no impact on the number of people purchasing cannabis.
New Mexico could be in trouble when it comes to cannabis availability. In a recent hearing, experts stated that New Mexico will likely run out of recreational cannabis product within the first week of when sales go live.
Linda Trujillo, Superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department, spoke with the Economic Development and Policy Committee on July 26 and stated that it’s likely the state will experience what she refers to as “Krispy Kreme syndrome”—or high demand at the opening of a Krispy Kreme franchise.
Obviously referring to the future of cannabis sales, Trujillo said that they anticipate not having enough product to meet demand by the time the program launches next year. “It’s highly likely we will run out of cannabis in the first week, if not the first two weeks,” she said in the meeting. Her information is based on the first few weeks of other states’ recreational cannabis launch programs.
According to Trujillo’s estimate, the state would need to make sure it has grown 500,000 plants in order to meet the expected demand. It isn’t as easy as growing that amount though; Trujillo also noted that they should account for at least an 18 percent growth failure rate.
Part of Barcelona’s charming appeal is its concentration of hundreds of cannabis clubs—known locally as asociaciónes—but that could come crashing to an end in the city’s latest setback. The Supreme Court dealt another blow to the legal loophole that allowed around 200 local clubs to continue operation.
They are defined officially as private members’ clubs, but the associations generally rely on luring tourists, with a membership fee of around €10 ($11.83)—and it usually goes towards the first purchase, anyways.
In 2014, the Public Health Agency of the Generalitat de Catalunya proposed tight new measures to regulate the clubs. The Generalitat is the regional government of Catalonia—having broad powers under Spain’s decentralized system, although it cannot override Spanish national law. And Spanish law allows private cannabis use.
The cannabis clubs reached a setback in 2017, when the Supreme Court overruled the local Catalan law. That law once maintained that “private consumption of cannabis by adults… is part of the exercise of the fundamental right to free personal development and freedom of conscience.”
The clubs continued to operate, however, under a city bylaw that regulated the sale of cannabis. But that too has been overruled by judges, taking the authority away from city officials.
The mayor of Denver, Colorado, wants to direct a portion of marijuana sales tax revenue toward a new $50 million loan fund to help minority investors join the city’s recreational cannabis industry.
Mayor Michael Hancock’s proposal also includes working with the financial industry. Recreational marijuana sales commenced in Colorado on Jan. 1, 2014.
“History exposes an amazing imbalance when it comes to this industry,” Hancock said in his annual state of the city address. “Many investors in the industry are White and male. At the same time, many people of color are still weighed down by past convictions for possession of marijuana and, as a result, they are barred from entering the industry.