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Jeff Smith, Legal & Regulatory Reporter

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.

Driven by Stem enters new cannabis market by acquiring Colorado Harvest

October 26, 2021

Florida-based cannabis multistate company Stem Holdings, known as Driven by Stem, signed a letter of intent to expand into the Colorado market by acquiring one of Denver’s oldest vertical operators. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. Colorado Harvest Co., which is registered as a limited liability company under High Country Supply, has two cultivation facilities, three […]

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Florida official calls for probe into Black farmer cannabis license

October 22, 2021

Florida’s agricultural commissioner is calling for the state’s top prosecutor to investigate a new rule that provides for a Black farmer medical marijuana license, saying it is discriminatory against Black farmers and “beyond unacceptable.” Agricultural commissioner Nikki Fried, who also is running for governor, is critical of a nonrefundable $146,000 application fee for the license […]

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US Postal Service enacts cannabis vape product restrictions

October 21, 2021

The U.S. Postal Service on Thursday issued a final rule that bans sending marijuana and hemp vape products in the mail, subject to certain exceptions. The ban was ordered by Congress last year in a law directed mostly at nicotine products. But the final rule, published Thursday in the Federal Register, covers marijuana and hemp […]

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‘Big cannabis can be good cannabis’: Q&A with Curaleaf CEO Joe Bayern

October 19, 2021

As the CEO of Curaleaf Holdings, Joe Bayern skippers the nation’s largest marijuana multistate operator. And he doesn’t shy away from touting the benefits of “big cannabis.” Bayern contends “big cannabis can be good cannabis.” But small marijuana farmers and retailers, for their part, might beg to differ. Those differences aside, Bayern’s mainstream business background […]

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Florida paves way for Black farmer medical cannabis license

October 15, 2021

Florida announced an emergency rule to issue one license designated for a Black farmer to compete in the state’s billion-dollar medical marijuana industry. The beginning of the licensing process comes four years after lawmakers established the requirement to address past racial discrimination issues, public radio station WLRN in Miami reported. The requirement was part of Florida’s […]

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Cannabis real estate lender gets FDIC-backed credit line

October 14, 2021

Pelorus Equity Group, a California-based commercial real estate lender to cannabis-related businesses, said it has secured a federally insured $20 million line of credit. Pelorus said it believes it’s the first company in the cannabis sector to obtain such a credit line from a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured bank. That statement couldn’t immediately be […]

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Federal judge shoots down Missouri’s medical marijuana residency rule

October 11, 2021

A federal judge in Missouri, as expected, struck down the state’s residency requirement for medical marijuana businesses, opening the fast-growing market to out-of-state operators. Judge Nanette Laughrey reportedly made the final ruling from the bench after only a seven-minute video conference, according to the Springfield News-Leader and other media. But the permanent injunction barring the […]

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US senators ask Justice Department to deschedule marijuana

October 11, 2021

U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren last week sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland urging that the Department of Justice remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances list. The Democratic senators, from New Jersey and Massachusetts, respectively, wrote that descheduling marijuana is long overdue and “would allow states to regulate cannabis […]

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