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Jeff Smith

Jeff is an award-winning business journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers in Colorado, Maine, New Mexico and Alabama. He also has worked as a journalist overseas in Asia and West Africa. His stories have appeared in National Geographic online and The New York Times, among other publications.


Medical cannabis business opportunities could swell in several states this year

Several states could expand their medical cannabis programs this year through new laws or regulatory policies, opening the door to additional business licenses, more sales for existing cannabis operators and fresh business for ancillary companies. The business prospects in the eight states listed below might not be as glitzy as new, hundred-million-dollar-plus cannabis markets. But […]

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New Mexico medical marijuana businesses had issues with failed recreational legalization bill

While legalizing recreational marijuana in New Mexico appears dead until 2021, this year’s legislative measure was problematic enough that even the state’s leading medical marijuana operator had deep concerns. Duke Rodriguez, the CEO of UltraHealth, which is “100% committed to legalization,” said rejecting this nearly 200-page version was probably the right decision by lawmakers. “They […]

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Rhode Island governor presses for adult-use cannabis legalization to keep pace on East Coast

Rhode Island’s governor is pitching an unconventional recreational marijuana legalization plan centered on state-owned stores operated by private contractors, which would offer modest business opportunities for cannabis entrepreneurs. The move reflects growing pressure to legalize adult-use cannabis along the East Coast after Massachusetts launched its recreational marijuana industry in 2018. It also dovetails legalization efforts by governors in Connecticut, […]

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Cannabis firms cautiously optimistic New York could legalize adult-use sales this year

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has revived the prospects for legalizing recreational marijuana sales in 2020 through the state’s Legislature, but cannabis businesses are taking a tentative approach after legalization efforts failed a year ago and similar sticking points remain. If the state approves adult-use cannabis sales, it is expected to create a multibillion-dollar recreational […]

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US House lawmakers make marijuana banking reform pitch to key senator

The four lead sponsors of the successful cannabis banking bill in the U.S. House of Representatives are urging the chair of a key U.S. Senate panel to work in partnership to move the issue forward in the Republican-controlled Senate. In a letter released Tuesday, the four representatives praised Senate Banking Chair Mike Crapo, an Idaho […]

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US House panel calls for stepped-up marijuana research, which could prove critical to federal reform

In a positive signal for the cannabis industry, lawmakers from both parties and three government witnesses told a U.S. congressional subcommittee Wednesday the federal government urgently needs more access to research around marijuana. But it remains unclear when that will occur, which could hinder the cannabis industry’s prospects if additional research findings are needed to […]

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Trulieve fights short-seller report as its dominance in Florida medical cannabis market continues

Trulieve Cannabis, the predominant player in Florida’s medical marijuana industry, is fending off attacks raised in a recent negative research report as competitors try to cut into the company’s nearly 50% market share in the state. Grizzly Research promotes itself as doing in-depth research of publicly held companies, but its website doesn’t list a headquarters address or […]

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US House panel to hear marijuana reform issues

Cannabis reform is getting its first hearing in front of members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce committee on Wednesday, but no one from the industry has been called to testify. The Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing titled “Cannabis Policies for the New Decade,” which is focused […]

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California gov moves to simplify cannabis regulatory, tax systems

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration on Friday announced plans to simplify the state’s cannabis regulatory and tax systems, which have been blamed for enabling an illicit market to continue to thrive. The proposed changes, which will be in Newsom’s state budget proposal, come in the wake of recommendations by an independent agency that the state overhaul […]

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