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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.

Alabama inches closer to key vote on medical marijuana legalization

Alabama state House Republicans opposed to medical marijuana legalization used a filibuster to block a vote after hours of debate Tuesday, but the measure is expected back on the House floor Thursday. The Alabama Senate approved a relatively restrictive program by a 21-8 vote in February. However the House is seen as a higher hurdle […]

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Washington state bolsters marijuana social equity program

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law a bill that strengthens a social equity program enacted in 2020 to provide more marijuana retail opportunities to minority businesses in the state. This year’s measure, HB 1443, expands and further defines a social equity program that provides retail license priority, grants and other technical assistance to individuals […]

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Marijuana MSO Green Thumb expands into Virginia

Illinois-based multistate operator Green Thumb Industries is expanding into Virginia with a definitive agreement to acquire medical marijuana company Dharma Pharmaceuticals. The deal comes only weeks after an adult-use measure was signed into law in Virginia. Financial terms of Green Thumb’s acquisition weren’t disclosed. Dharma holds one of five MMJ licenses in Virginia. But the […]

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Multistate marijuana operator Cansortium nets $71 million of capital

Miami-based marijuana company Cansortium, which operates the Fluent brand, raised $71 million of capital in debt financing for financial liquidity and market expansion. The four-year senior secured loan will bear a 13% annual interest rate. A $50 million tranche of the loan includes a lower interest rate but warrants that the lenders can exercise into […]

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SD high court hears arguments on adult-use cannabis measure

The South Dakota Supreme Court is moving closer to deciding whether to uphold a voter-approved amendment to legalize adult-use cannabis after hearing oral arguments Wednesday that focused on narrow constitutional issues. Gov. Kristi Noem, an anti-marijuana Republican, is trying to strike down recreational marijuana after voters in her state approved legalization by a 54%-46% margin at […]

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Tobacco giant Philip Morris eyes marijuana market opportunities

Multinational tobacco company Philip Morris International reportedly is analyzing the marijuana industry for its market possibilities but hasn’t yet determined its next move. The New York-based cigarette maker told Bloomberg News that it is looking at the potential pharmaceutical and consumer plays and assessing such factors as cannabis benefits and risks. “We are doing all […]

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New York’s Native American communities eye recreational cannabis

Native American communities in New York are making plans to get into the recreational marijuana business, hard on the heels of the state’s enactment of an adult-use legalization law. The Shinnecock Indian Nation on Long Island plans to build a marijuana growing facility with hopes of beginning sales later this year, while the Saint Regis […]

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These states could still legalize recreational or medical cannabis in 2021

Several more states could legalize adult-use or medical marijuana before their legislative sessions adjourn in 2021, possibly generating hundreds of millions of dollars in new business opportunities in the coming years. Now that New Jersey and New York legalized recreational marijuana programs – which together are expected to produce more than $4 billion in annual […]

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Federal probe into Florida congressman said to include his marijuana ties

Federal investigators reportedly are looking into whether embattled Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida took gifts in exchange for politically influencing medical marijuana policy. CNN reported Friday that U.S. Justice Department investigators are examining whether a trip to the Bahamas in 2018 with several young women was part of a pay-to-play arrangement in the marijuana […]

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US appeals court denies cannabis firm Harborside’s bid to end 280E

A U.S. appeals court has rejected California-based Harborside’s bid to stamp out Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code, dealing a major blow to the marijuana industry’s hopes of eliminating a federal tax provision that has cost companies countless millions of dollars over the years.

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