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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.

How coronavirus crisis is affecting marijuana launches, licensing in ME, IL, MO

COVID-19 has delayed medical and recreational cannabis launches and licensing rounds around the U.S. in the short term as state and local jurisdictions scramble to complete the tasks and paperwork necessary for marijuana programs to move forward. Marijuana Business Daily’s Jeff Smith reviews the delays occurring in Maine, Illinois and Missouri in the video below.   […]

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Maine drops adult-use marijuana residency requirement after legal challenge

Maine regulators said they will stop enforcing recreational marijuana residency requirements, a move that came after counsel determined the state is unlikely to win a legal challenge over the matter. The Wellness Connection, the largest medical marijuana company in Maine, had sued the state in March, arguing that the residency requirement violated the U.S. Constitution by […]

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Maine’s adult-use marijuana program won’t start until more local approvals in place

Maine’s coronavirus-delayed recreational marijuana sales will start only when regulators are certain that enough stores will be open to meet demand, a state official said. Erik Gundersen, director of the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy, told Maine Public Radio that the local approval and licensing process has slowed because of the pandemic. “Even though 87 […]

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Georgia hires first medical cannabis director, but program timing still unclear

A director has been hired to oversee the licensing and launch of Georgia’s limited medical marijuana program, but the market’s rollout remains uncertain. The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission appointed Andrew Turnage as the program’s first executive director, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Turnage has licensing experience as the former executive director of […]

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Montana group continues push to get adult-use cannabis on ballot

A Montana group, rebuffed in its effort to collect digital signatures for a recreational marijuana legalization campaign, said Thursday it will begin collecting signatures in person while following strict public health protocols. New Approach Montana plans to start the signature drive May 9 and hopes to collect the necessary 25,468 signatures by the July 17 […]

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Florida high court considers marijuana vertical integration, adult-use vote

The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments via teleconference Wednesday on two issues that could significantly alter the state’s marijuana industry. One case is a longstanding issue of whether the vertically integrated structure of the Florida’s medical marijuana industry violates the state constitution. So far, lower courts have agreed with the assertion by the plaintiff, Tampa-based firm […]

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MedMen temporarily shutters five medical cannabis outlets in Florida

Los Angeles-based MedMen Enterprises temporarily closed five of its eight Florida medical marijuana dispensaries on May 3, according to the company’s website. A spokesperson for the multistate marijuana operator didn’t offer much clarity on the closures, which were first reported by Florida Politics. “We cannot provide comment at this time, but as soon as plans are confirmed, we […]

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Illinois adult-use marijuana sales strong despite coronavirus ‘headwinds’

Recreational cannabis sales in Illinois totaled $37.3 million in April as the state continued to experience strong activity even amid the first full month of a coronavirus-fueled, shelter-in-place order. April sales marked the second-highest monthly total for Illinois’ rec program since it launched on Jan. 1, the Chicago Tribune reported. Adult-use sales in the state for the first […]

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Cannabis firm 4Front raises $22 million via license sales, new debt

Multistate marijuana operator 4Front Ventures said it netted $18 million from the sale of its stake in cannabis retail licenses in Maryland and Pennsylvania and raised an additional $4 million through a private placement of convertible debt. The Arizona-based company said in a news release it expects the transactions will result in the company becoming […]

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Coronavirus sparks marijuana retail workers to try unionizing in Illinois, Massachusetts

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated unionization efforts at a handful of cannabis stores and dispensaries in Illinois and Massachusetts that, if successful, could result in thousands of dollars in added staffing costs for the multistate operators that own the establishments. Safety concerns are among the issues spurring the unionization efforts, as well as pay, benefits, […]

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