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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.

Judge overrules state over New Mexico medical marijuana reciprocity

A New Mexico judge rescinded new state requirements that made it more difficult for certain out-of-state visitors to access the medical cannabis program through a reciprocity provision. Santa Fe District Judge Matthew Wilson, in a ruling Tuesday, agreed with Ultra Health, the state’s leading MMJ operator, that the additional requirements went beyond New Mexico statute […]

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Impending adult-use marijuana program will test ‘made in Vermont’ ethos

Vermont’s new recreational cannabis program is projected to generate roughly $250 million in annual sales by the middle of the decade, but homegrown companies might find themselves pitted against larger out-of-state businesses. Three medical cannabis businesses – including multistate operators Curaleaf and iAnthus Capital Holdings – are poised to take advantage of a five-month head […]

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Group inks $182.8M of cannabis deals in bid to become publicly traded REIT

A New York-based limited partnership said it has entered binding agreements to acquire 15 marijuana-related properties in nine states for $182.8 million with the intention of becoming a leader in the cannabis real estate investment trust (REIT) sector. Subversive Real Estate Acquisition REIT characterized the acquisitions as its qualifying transaction to be among the first […]

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Maine cannabis companies now qualify for energy-efficiency grants

A ratepayer-funded agency in Maine that promotes sustainable energy will allow licensed marijuana businesses to apply for energy-efficiency grants. Efficiency Maine lifted a ban on cannabis businesses by a vote of 5-2, saying marijuana businesses are as likely as other industries to stay in business long enough to justify such grants, according to the Portland […]

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Florida’s highest court hears more on key medical marijuana licensing case

In a rare move, the Florida Supreme Court heard additional oral arguments Wednesday on a case to decide whether the state’s medical marijuana licensing scheme is unconstitutional, with questions focusing in large part on whether the system is closed or open. The case will decide if Florida’s vertically integrated market should be opened to stand-alone […]

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Challenge to WA cannabis residency requirement returned to state court

A legal challenge to the Washington state’s cannabis licensing residency requirement is being sent back to state court by a federal judge. U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle wrote in his order Monday that while he has jurisdiction, case law indicates federal courts should abstain until state-law questions have been resolved. The plaintiff, Idaho businessman […]

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Asset sales, market growth might boost cannabis multistate operator finances

Publicly traded multistate marijuana operators appear to be in better financial health than they were at the beginning of the year, but many have shed operations in potentially lucrative markets to bolster their balance sheets. MSOs are benefiting from growing marijuana markets, strong sales during the coronavirus pandemic and some easing in the capital markets […]

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US Supreme Court declines to weigh in on cannabis overtime pay case

How federal labor laws affect state-legal marijuana businesses could remain murky after the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear an overtime pay case in the cannabis sector. A petition by Helix TCS, a Colorado cannabis security firm, for the Supreme Court to review the case was denied, Law360.com reported. Employee Robert Kenney alleged in […]

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Illinois marijuana retail applicants sue over state’s do-over plan

Illinois is continuing to run into major legal problems in its bid to award 75 additional marijuana retail licenses and prove the merits of its social equity plan. Three applicants who qualified for the final lottery sued the state, challenging Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to allow unsuccessful applicants to get a second opportunity, according to […]

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West Virginia awards licenses to 10 medical marijuana growers

West Virginia regulators awarded 10 medical cannabis cultivation permits as one of the country’s slowest MMJ programs to launch took a major step toward a possible market start in spring 2021. The cultivation license award winners included at least three multistate operators – New York-based Columbia Care, Illinois-headquartered Verano Holdings and Massachusetts-based Holistic Industries – […]

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Green Thumb’s sale-leaseback cannabis deal in Ohio valued at $32.2M

Marijuana multistate operator Green Thumb Industries announced an amended sale-leaseback deal valued at up to $32.2 million for a facility in Ohio, reflecting a further loosening of capital – especially for expansion in fast-growing markets. The transaction with San Diego-based Innovative Industrial Properties calls for $25 million in additional funding from the initial agreement to […]

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