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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.

Marijuana MSOs post strong quarterly results, but investors tepid

September 13, 2021

All 10 of the largest publicly held marijuana multistate operators posted double-digit revenue growth in the quarter ended June 30, but stock prices remained weak as investors grow impatient with the slow pace of federal marijuana legalization efforts. Four of the largest five publicly held MSOs actually made a profit in the quarter, with Florida-based […]

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Biden’s vaccine mandate expected to apply to marijuana industry

September 10, 2021 · Updated September 17, 2021

The marijuana industry should expect to feel the same impacts as other industries from imminent federal regulations requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to impose a coronavirus vaccine mandate or mandatory weekly testing for those who don’t vaccinate. President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the proposed rules, which will be implemented by the Department […]

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Montana eases medical cannabis advertising rules

September 9, 2021

Montana regulators loosened the proposed rules for medical cannabis advertising after operators expressed concerns at public hearings about the initial draft regulations. The amended advertising rules: Clarify that a provider “may promote its business and market its brand but may not advertise marijuana or marijuana products except in electronic advertising.” No longer prohibit an MMJ […]

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Legal woes of CEO’s spouse bring marijuana MSO Trulieve unwanted attention

September 9, 2021

The recent criminal conviction of the husband of Trulieve Cannabis CEO Kim Rivers has cast an unflattering spotlight on the multistate marijuana operator, focusing attention on how the profitable company secured its Florida business license and renewing questions about its dealings with a construction firm partly owned by Rivers’ spouse. The case also offers lessons for […]

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South Dakota’s highest court relaxes rules for cannabis attorneys

September 8, 2021

South Dakota’s highest court has paved the way for attorneys to provide legal advice to cannabis-related clients. The state Supreme Court added to the professional conduct rules a provision allowing lawyers to counsel clients if the conduct is permitted by South Dakota marijuana laws, according to Sioux Falls TV station KELO. However, in providing advice, […]

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Missouri voters might see two adult-use cannabis measures in 2022

September 7, 2021

Missouri voters could well be asked to weigh in on two recreational marijuana legalization measures on the 2022 election ballot. Legal Missouri 2022. as expected, recently filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office, while Fair Access Missouri continues to work on getting initiatives on the ballot to strengthen the existing medical cannabis market as […]

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Ohio lawmakers call out lack of diversity in medical marijuana market

September 3, 2021

Concerns about diversity are being raised in Ohio as state regulators prepare to issue 73 additional medical marijuana dispensary licenses based on the same standards as a 2017 permitting round. Currently, only eight of the state’s 58 MMJ dispensaries are minority owned, according to Cleveland TV station WEWS, which cited state data. The additional licenses […]

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Ayr inks $80 million deal to buy three Pennsylvania cannabis dispensaries

September 1, 2021

Multistate operator Ayr Wellness signed a letter of intent to buy three medical cannabis dispensaries in Pennsylvania for $80 million, deepening the New York-based company’s presence in the fast-growing market. The $80 million acquisition of PA Naturals includes $20 million in stock, $25 million in seller notes and $35 million in cash, according to a […]

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Missouri medical cannabis operator snags $23 million loan for expansion

August 31, 2021

Missouri medical cannabis operator BeLeaf Medical raised $23 million to expand its cultivation facilities in the state. Florida-based AFC Gamma is providing the loan. The funds are being used to purchase a cultivation facility in Jonesburg and then expand that operation and two others, according to a news release. The loan will be secured by […]

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Maryland marijuana operator rebrands, starts franchise program

August 30, 2021

Maryland-based marijuana operator Curio Wellness rebranded its retail business under the entity Far & Dotter and started taking applications for franchises in Maryland and nine other hot markets as it aspires to capitalize on a cannabis retail trend. Far & Dotter, which is Swedish for father and daughter, reflects Curio’s founding by a father-daughter team, […]

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MA marijuana firm to pay $300,000 for inadequately compensating workers

August 27, 2021

A marijuana operator with three stores in Massachusetts agreed to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution and penalties after the state determined 282 employees were owed “premium pay” for work done on Sundays and holidays. The Massachusetts attorney general’s office, which conducted the investigation, also issued a citation to Massachusetts-based Theory Wellness CEO Brandon Pollock and […]

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Cannabis e-commerce platform I Heart Jane nets $100 million of capital

August 26, 2021

Jane Technologies, a leading cannabis e-commerce platform, said it raised $100 million of equity to expand its footprint, strengthen existing software and introduce new technologies. The California-based company, which does business as I Heart Jane, said in a news release that the funding was led by Honor Ventures, with participation from Third Point Ventures, Gotham […]

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