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Colorado looks close to welcoming a surge of outside investors and capital to its marijuana markets, Hawaii kicks off a program allowing qualified visitors to purchase medical marijuana, bills pending before the California Legislature could mean the state’s cannabis industry might see another tumultuous year of changes – plus other important news from around the MJ space.
Is Colorado close to opening marijuana market to outside investors?
Colorado’s $1.5 billion-a-year recreational and medical marijuana market appears on the verge of opening up to public investors and large private investment funds.
MJBizDaily takeaway: The move could propel the Centennial State into the thick of the MJ public company and multistate operator frenzy. But some mom-and-pops worry they could be left out in the cold and the industry could become more susceptible to criminal activity.
Hawaii MMJ retailers can sell to registered patients visiting from out of state
Hawaii regulators announced that medical marijuana cardholders from other states now may register to buy medical cannabis when they visit. Qualified out-of-state patients can apply up to 60 days before their arrival in the Aloha State and receive cards online before landing on the Islands.
MJBizDaily takeaway: With more than 10 million visitors a year to Hawaii, reciprocity should be a solid boost to MMJ retailers’ bottom lines. State regulators predict 5,000 tourists will sign up for medical cannabis cards in the first year.
California Legislature to consider almost 60 marijuana-related bills A whopping 58 bills sit before the California Legislature in 2019 that touch on marijuana in one way or another. And while most aren’t hefty changes to state law, several could have major ramifications if they end up succeeding. MJBizDaily takeaway: Some of the top bills to watch include:
Assembly Bill 286, which would temporarily reduce state MJ taxes.
Senate Bill 67, which would resolve a current licensing crisis that has the potential to adversely impact the entire legal supply chain.
Senate Bill 51, which could solve the banking conundrum for California MJ companies.
INCB report says some MMJ programs violate international drug control treaties
Only a month after the World Health Organization recommended a less stringent scheduling of cannabis, the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) declared that recreational marijuana programs and several medical cannabis programs are “contrary to the international drug control treaties.” The international board targeted several countries for criticism, including the United States, Canada and Uruguay.
MJBizDaily takeaway: Because the INCB is charged with providing recommendations for international drug treaty compliance, this report could have a big impact on how UN member states eventually vote on the delayed cannabis scheduling measure. More immediately, it could impact existing import/export relationships, as a declaration of noncompliance for the Canadian market could raise questions.
Whoa, Canada! Canopy nabs Martha Stewart as CBD ‘adviser’
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is the latest celebrity to join the newly legal hemp industry. She’s agreed to advise Canopy Growth, a Canadian marijuana producer, on a line of hemp-derived CBD products.
MJBizDaily takeaway: The Stewart deal is the latest sign that Canadian cannabis producers are using capital made possible by legalization to lock down big endorsements and establish brands in the U.S. For now, hemp provides that legal route to the U.S. consumer. Expect many of these brands to expand to include THC-infused products the moment those become legal in the world’s largest economy.
New Mexico regulators passed an emergency rule to increase the medical marijuana plant count limit to 2,500 per cultivator, up from 450. The emergency rule is set to expire at the end of August, and MMJ companies hope to work with the state to develop permanent regulations that ensure adequate supply for patients.
MJBizDaily takeaway: This is a big win for New Mexico’s MMJ companies. The higher plant count limit should ease previous supply concerns and drive prices down, leading to more patient access, a subsequent boost in overall sales, and growth and expansion for existing medical cannabis firms.
Michigan medical cannabis industry responds to gov’s plan to nix licensing board
New Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer isn’t wasting any time intervening in the state’s medical marijuana industry, which has had a rough go transitioning to a nascent regulatory framework. Whitmer wants to abolish the state’s medical marijuana licensing board and create a new agency to oversee licensing for the MMJ and emerging rec MJ markets.
MJBizDaily takeaway: Many industry insiders saw the licensing board as subjective and inconsistent, so they believe it makes a lot of sense to have one agency overseeing both medical and recreational MJ.