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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.

Week in Review: Cannabis firm iAnthus’ CEO resigns, High Times’ retail move, IL delays adult-use marijuana licensing & more

New York-based multistate marijuana operator iAnthus’ CEO Hadley Ford stepped down after the company’s internal investigation found he should have disclosed personal loans that constituted a “potential or apparent” conflict of interest. MJBizDaily takeaway: The iAnthus case is a reminder to publicly held cannabis companies of the importance of transparent disclosures and strict adherence to conflict-of-interest […]

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DOJ memo suggests cannabis research held up amid flawed process

A 2018 U.S. Department of Justice opinion released as part of a court settlement explains why the Drug Enforcement Administration has delayed acting on marijuana research applications and is now revising its rules. The Justice Department legal memo concluded that the DEA violated international drug laws by not physically possessing the marijuana grown for research […]

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Illinois delays awarding 75 recreational marijuana licenses

Illinois will postpone the allocation of 75 additional business licenses for adult-use cannabis stores because of the coronavirus emergency, meaning existing operators will remain in command of the fast-growing market for the time being. The delay beyond the original May 1 award date was expected because Illinois’ governor issued a modified stay-at-home order that begins May […]

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Denver cannabis advisory group to examine social equity, diversity issues

Marijuana regulators in Denver have formed an advisory group that includes industry officials to recommend licensing and policy changes that could help diversify the city’s cannabis space and provide more equitable access to the market. The 24-person working group, which also includes city officials, trade groups, activists and others, will start by looking at new […]

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High Times makes bold move into marijuana retail with $80 million deal

The owner of pioneering cannabis magazine High Times said Tuesday it is acquiring 13 operating and planned marijuana retail stores in California for $80 million. The purchase, which is being made mostly in stock, reflects an aggressive move into retail under the company’s new management team. Los Angeles-based High Times Holding Corp. is acquiring the […]

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Class action lawsuits on rise against public cannabis firms, report says

Federal class action securities lawsuits against publicly traded marijuana businesses doubled from 2018 to 2019, a trend that’s typical in an emerging industry, according to a new report. The report, by Boston-based global law firm Goodwin Procter, detailed 13 cases filed in U.S. federal courts in 2019 compared with six in 2018. The cases included […]

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Week in Review: Federal cannabis aid, California social equity, Brazil medical marijuana & more

Marijuana lobbyists and a group of lawmakers are continuing their fight to include cannabis-related businesses in coronavirus relief packages. MJBizDaily takeaway: The marijuana industry is a significant contributor to state economies across the country. But because the plant is illegal federally, it remains an uphill fight to allow the businesses to be eligible for federal coronavirus […]

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Arkansas medical marijuana consumers are buying in Oklahoma

Arkansas has been losing medical cannabis sales across the border because of lower prices in Oklahoma. Prices are about half as much in Oklahoma for similar-quality products as in Arkansas, according to the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith, Arkansas, which is on the border. Another factor, according to the newspaper, is that Arkansas medical marijuana […]

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Florida man allegedly bilked investors of $3M in Colorado cannabis scheme

Federal securities regulators say that a Florida man raised $5.5 million from more than 60 investors through a promise of turning their money into huge gains in Colorado’s marijuana industry. But instead, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims, he spent $3 million to bankroll a lavish lifestyle that included: 11 classic and luxury cars. $465,000 […]

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US lawmakers pitch House bill to offer COVID-19 relief to cannabis firms

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation that would enable state-legal marijuana companies to qualify for U.S. Small Business Administration coronavirus relief programs, a stand-alone bill that could face an uphill battle in the current economic climate. State-legal marijuana companies and most ancillary businesses are shut out of current relief programs because […]

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US senators request small marijuana firms be included in coronavirus aid

A group of 10 U.S. senators is urging congressional leaders to include small, state-legal marijuana businesses and ancillary companies in any future coronavirus relief packages. Their letter follows a similar one last week signed by nearly three dozen members of the House of Representatives. Marijuana companies, including most ancillary businesses, aren’t eligible for current coronavirus-related […]

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