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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.

Some global cannabis trade events, key for business marketing and growth, feel coronavirus sting

Some U.S. and international cannabis industry conferences and trade shows – important for marijuana and hemp businesses to market their products and cultivate relationships with vendors and buyers – are feeling the fallout from coronavirus fears. So far, a small number of cannabis-related business events in this country and overseas have been canceled or postponed. Other […]

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Medical cannabis sales begin in Utah

Utah’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened Monday as the state begins a gradual rollout of its medical cannabis program. Dragonfly Wellness in Salt Lake City is the first out of the gate. The state’s second dispensary is expected to open later this month. It will be followed by seven more in June and the final […]

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Florida legislators seek partial THC cap in medical marijuana

Florida would cap the amount of THC in medical cannabis at 10% for patients younger than 21 under a state Senate bill amendment filed Friday, a move that could be disruptive to the state’s fast-growing MMJ industry. The measure, however, isn’t as stringent as a proposal floated by Florida House lawmakers to cap all medical cannabis […]

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Cannabis regulators growing stricter in enforcing licensing rules but also willing to negotiate with companies

State marijuana regulators increasingly are enforcing strict regulations involving dispensary caps, residency requirements and ownership rules – actions that could harm the reputations of cannabis companies and jeopardize lucrative licenses that are sometimes worth upwards of millions of dollars. The increasingly assertive stance by regulators already has sparked legal skirmishes around the country, forcing some […]

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Vermont House gives initial OK to recreational cannabis sales, putting state on track to $160M market

The Vermont House of Representatives on Wednesday gave initial approval to legislation that would legalize adult-use marijuana sales, paving the way for a potential $130 million-$160 million market within five years of launching, according to Marijuana Business Daily estimates. The state House endorsed the measure by a vote of 90-54. The state Senate earlier passed […]

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Licensing appeals overwhelm Missouri’s medical marijuana program, point to widespread MJ industry concern about scoring fairness

Challenges by rejected medical cannabis license applicants have inundated Missouri regulators, despite state efforts to avoid such a mess by hiring an independent third-party scorer. Rejected small-business applicants complain that arbitrary scoring processes shut them out of a market designed to remain largely locally owned, while multistate cannabis operators (MSOs) won a big chunk of the licenses. The […]

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Medical cannabis business opportunities could swell in several states this year

Several states could expand their medical cannabis programs this year through new laws or regulatory policies, opening the door to additional business licenses, more sales for existing cannabis operators and fresh business for ancillary companies. The business prospects in the eight states listed below might not be as glitzy as new, hundred-million-dollar-plus cannabis markets. But […]

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New Mexico medical marijuana businesses had issues with failed recreational legalization bill

While legalizing recreational marijuana in New Mexico appears dead until 2021, this year’s legislative measure was problematic enough that even the state’s leading medical marijuana operator had deep concerns. Duke Rodriguez, the CEO of UltraHealth, which is “100% committed to legalization,” said rejecting this nearly 200-page version was probably the right decision by lawmakers. “They […]

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Rhode Island governor presses for adult-use cannabis legalization to keep pace on East Coast

Rhode Island’s governor is pitching an unconventional recreational marijuana legalization plan centered on state-owned stores operated by private contractors, which would offer modest business opportunities for cannabis entrepreneurs. The move reflects growing pressure to legalize adult-use cannabis along the East Coast after Massachusetts launched its recreational marijuana industry in 2018. It also dovetails legalization efforts by governors in Connecticut, […]

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Cannabis firms cautiously optimistic New York could legalize adult-use sales this year

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has revived the prospects for legalizing recreational marijuana sales in 2020 through the state’s Legislature, but cannabis businesses are taking a tentative approach after legalization efforts failed a year ago and similar sticking points remain. If the state approves adult-use cannabis sales, it is expected to create a multibillion-dollar recreational […]

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