Home / All U.S. Cannabis business takeaways for week ending Feb. 8 (SLIDESHOW) By MJBizDaily StaffFebruary 8, 2019 - Updated December 17, 2021 SHARE MJBizCon 2023 tickets are now on sale! Discover the business solutions to elevate your cannabis retail game. Buy your ticket today. (Click on the orange arrows to advance the slideshow.) All eyes lock on the World Health Organization’s recommendation to reschedule cannabis, MedMen’s former chief financial officer sues the firm, and Los Angeles begins Phase 2 licensing of marijuana businesses – plus other important news from around the cannabis industry. WHO reveals stance on rescheduling cannabis After a nearly two-month delay, the World Health Organization released its recommendations for rescheduling cannabis. Member states still must vote on the proposals – and that won’t occur until at least March – but the changes would reclassify cannabis from the strictest category to one that recognizes a therapeutic value.MJBizDaily takeaway: If the WHO’s member states vote to accept the proposals, medical marijuana companies would likely see many more countries open their doors to the industry, leading to new business opportunities around the world. Each country would still need to develop its own regulatory framework, but insiders note the WHO’s recommendation is a positive first step. Ex-CFO of MedMen files lawsuit against company MedMen’s former chief financial officer, James Parker, filed suit against his former employer, alleging numerous misdeeds by top officials of the Los Angeles marijuana firm, ranging from Canadian securities law violations to excessive spending by senior management.MJBizDaily takeaway: This is the third lawsuit filed against MedMen in three months. While the legal woes are extremely unlikely to sink the company, the negative headlines could scare off potential investors and make it harder for MedMen to raise capital needed for additional acquisitions, according to industry watchers. (Photo by Lindsey Bartlett) Phase 2 licensing kicks off in Los Angeles The Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation announced it finally began issuing Phase 2 business licenses involving almost 600 applications it received last August and September. So far, only 34 nonretail licenses have been issued under Phase 2 – on top of 170 retailers that already were licensed last year. MJBizDaily takeaway: The Phase 2 licensing is a welcome development for established MJ firms, paving the way for them to finally open their doors for business. Newcomers to the industry, however, will have to stand by until spring, when Phase 3 licensing begins. Florida judge rules state’s medical marijuana dispensary cap is unconstitutional A Florida judge shot down the state’s cap on the number of medical cannabis dispensaries each operator can open, ruling the limits erect barriers that are contrary to a 2016 voter-approved constitutional amendment. MJBizDaily takeaway: The ruling stands to benefit existing vertically integrated MMJ operators by allowing them to open additional dispensaries beyond the 25 mandated by state lawmakers. Arkansas takes another step toward MMJ availability Arkansas licensed 32 businesses to sell medical marijuana, with sales expected to begin perhaps as soon as April. MJBizDaily takeaway: Despite Arkansas’ relatively small population of 3 million, the licenses could prove lucrative because only four dispensaries can sell product in each of eight regions across the state. Oregon cannabis supply-and-demand study underlines oversupply issue Research commissioned by Oregon regulators found that the state would have double the amount of supply if applications for cannabis business permits from all pending licensees are approved. MJBizDaily takeaway: The study could provide a road map for lawmakers and regulators to shrink the state’s cannabis surplus, such as reducing the size of cultivation operations and imposing a license cap. An alternative approach that’s been floated: allowing MJ businesses to export marijuana to other states.