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Omar Sacirbey

Omar has been a professional journalist since 1998, covering everything from international business and Wall Street to politics and religion. His stories have appeared in Newsweek International, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today and other major outlets. Omar graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1998, and prior to that he was a Bosnian diplomat. He is based in Boston.

Vermont appoints regulators to oversee recreational cannabis industry

Advancing efforts to launch Vermont’s recreational marijuana industry, Gov. Phil Scott announced his three appointees for the state’s Cannabis Control Board. According to Montpelier-based VTDigger, the governor’s picks are: James Pepper, a deputy state’s attorney for the Department of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs. Pepper would chair the board. Julie Hulburd, human resources director at the Vermont […]

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Expanding Ayr acquires New Jersey medical cannabis company

Ayr Wellness, a multistate marijuana operator with offices in New York and Toronto, agreed to a $101 million acquisition of GSD NJ, a vertically integrated medical cannabis company. Ayr, which changed its name in February from Ayr Strategies to Ayr Wellness, said in a statement it will pay: $41 million in cash. $30 million in […]

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Colorado marijuana businesses provide THC products for MJ research

Two Colorado-based marijuana companies are teaming up with the University of Colorado Boulder to study the heath impacts of flower and infused edibles. Native Roots, a Denver-headquartered medical and adult-use cannabis retail chain of 20 stories, will provide flower for the CUChange Cannabis Research Team’s study, and Wana Brands, a Boulder-based edibles company operating in […]

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Cannabis MSO Cresco expands in Massachusetts via $90M acquisition

Chicago-based cannabis multistate operator Cresco Labs is spending $90 million to acquire all the outstanding equity interests of vertically integrated Massachusetts operator Cultivate. According to a news release, Cresco is paying $15 million in cash and $75 million in stock for Cultivate – plus potentially up to another $68 million in earnouts if certain financial […]

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Maine’s largest city about to open recreational cannabis license floodgates

Maine’s biggest city, Portland, could soon be awash in recreational cannabis retailers after a slow implementation process. SeaWeed Co. opened March 12, Grass Roots Marijuana Shop is expected to open Tuesday March 16 and another 31 applicants are awaiting licensing approval, the Portland Press Herald reported. Most of those applicants are expected to be operating […]

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How ‘essential’ transformed the US cannabis industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic

During the tumultuous weeks and months of the past year, a nine-letter word emerged as a game changer for the nation’s legal marijuana industry: “essential.” It began about a week after the World Health Organization on March 11 declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. That’s when California announced a statewide business lockdown, followed by […]

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Detroit sued over locals-preferred cannabis licensing rule

An aspiring cannabis business owner who says she has lived in or around Detroit most of her life is suing the city for allegedly discriminating against marijuana business license applicants who don’t meet the definition of who qualifies as a resident. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court, according to Law360. Plaintiff […]

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Las Vegas cannabis retailers get OK to offer drive-thru service

Las Vegas offers drive-thrus for alcohol, gambling, weddings and peep shows, and now the tourist mecca is allowing cannabis stores to offer the service. The Las Vegas City Council voted 6-0 on Wednesday to rescind a citywide restriction on marijuana retail drive-thru operations, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Marijuana business advocates and other industry stakeholders […]

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Nearly 20 Vermont towns vote to allow recreational cannabis sales

Voters in Vermont’s biggest city, Burlington, as well as the state capital, Montpelier, and at least 16 other towns approved recreational cannabis sales in their communities. At least 27 cities and towns went to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to allow recreational cannabis businesses, the Montpelier-based VTDigger reported. The votes were conducted as part […]

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Alaska’s interim cannabis chief gets permanent appointment

Glen Klinkhart, who has served as interim director of Alaska’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) since 2019, was given the job on a permanent basis. Klinkhart’s installment as full-time AMCO chief was made official Monday by Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The governor appointed Klinkhart as interim director of the agency in November 2019. Klinkhart, who […]

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Washington DC weighs competing recreational cannabis bills

Washington DC lawmakers have two recreational marijuana legalization bills to consider after Mayor Muriel Bowser and City Council Chair Phil Mendelson introduced separate measures. The move is significant because after District of Columbia residents voted in 2014 to legalize adult use, Congress used an arcane federal law to prevent DC tax dollars from being used […]

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