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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.

Marijuana REIT to invest $67.8 million in Pennsylvania facility

Innovative Industrial Properties (IIP) and Atlanta-based multistate marijuana operator Parallel have struck another sale-leaseback deal. The San Diego-based real estate investment trust (REIT) said it has closed on a transaction valued at up to $67.8 million to purchase a cultivation and processing facility owned by Parallel in Pittsburgh and to fund improvements to the facility. […]

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Minnesota House OKs adult-use marijuana; Senate passage unlikely

In a historic vote, Minnesota House lawmakers approved an adult-use marijuana market, but the state Senate is unlikely to consider the measure before the legislative session ends May 17. House lawmakers voted 72-61 in favor of the bill, HF 600, after five hours of debate late Thursday. The measure includes provisions such as training and […]

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Two US House Republicans pitch federal marijuana legalization bill

Two Republican congressmen in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced a bill that would legalize marijuana federally in a manner similar to alcohol. The bill, “Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses, and Medical Professionals Act,” is sponsored by Reps. David Joyce of Ohio and Don Young of Alaska. The two congressmen are […]

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MA cannabis businesses forced to pay $2.5M in unlawful fees, study shows

Cannabis companies in Massachusetts have paid at least $2.46 million in fees more than lawfully allowed under “host community agreements” (HCAs), according to a new study that reiterates the need for reform. The study, paid for by the Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association and conducted by the University of Massachusetts in Boston, was released Tuesday during […]

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Blockbuster Trulieve-Harvest deal could revive cannabis megamergers

After several months of smaller, more focused transactions, Florida-based Trulieve’s $2.1 billion deal to acquire Harvest Health & Recreation could mark a resurgence in cannabis megamergers, industry experts say. Big mergers and acquisitions generally have been on hiatus for the past year or so amid the coronavirus pandemic, falling cannabis stock prices and close antitrust […]

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Verano nets $100 million in upsized loan to support cannabis moves

Illinois-based Verano Holdings entered into an amended $130 million loan agreement that provides the multistate cannabis operator an additional $100 million of funding at an annual interest rate of 9.75%. Verano said the upsized loan will improve the company’s liquidity and flexibility and support its strategic growth. The credit agreement has a maturity date of […]

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Two California officials sentenced to two years in marijuana corruption case

Two former California city officials were each sentenced to two years in prison for accepting $35,000 in cash bribes in January 2020 in exchange for ensuring that a marijuana dispensary application would be successful. The case reflected the FBI’s determination to crack down on public corruption in California’s marijuana market and revealed publicly the presence […]

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Cannabis M&A surges in hot Pennsylvania market with $400 million in deals

Merger and acquisition activity is sizzling in Pennsylvania, with more than $400 million worth of deals announced since March alone, as local cannabis businesses cash out and multistate operators seek or expand footholds in the rapidly growing mid-Atlantic market. Cultivation and processing operations are fetching $100 million and more. And dispensary licenses are commanding prices […]

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Alabama lawmakers send medical marijuana measure to governor

A medical marijuana legalization measure is headed to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey after lawmakers gave their final approval late Thursday. The state Senate, as expected, concurred with changes made by the House of Representatives, which passed the bill in a historic 68-34 vote earlier in the day Thursday. The state Senate had passed its version […]

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Alabama lawmakers pass landmark medical cannabis legalization bill

Alabama took a major step toward becoming the 39th state in the nation to legalize a medical cannabis market, albeit a relatively restrictive one, after the House passed an amended bill by a vote of 68-34 Thursday. The state Senate already had approved the Alabama Compassionate Act, Senate Bill 46, by a 21-8 vote in […]

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Credit Suisse reportedly halts US cannabis stock transactions

Global investment banking firm Credit Suisse Group reportedly has told customers in recent months that it has decided to stop executing stock transactions of cannabis companies with U.S. operations or hold those securities. It was unclear Wednesday the extent of the impact of the decision. But Reuters, which reported the move, cited sources who believe the […]

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