Cannabis Industry Daily News

Illinois’ recreational marijuana sales near $11 million

Adult-use cannabis retailers in Illinois have sold almost $11 million of recreational marijuana since sales began Jan. 1.

According to state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the 37 licensed recreational marijuana stores registered more than 271,000 transactions since the launch of Illinois’ rec industry.

On the first day alone, sales nearly reached $3.2 million. Sales were so brisk in the first few days, in fact, that some retail MJ stores ran out of supply and needed to temporarily close.

A portion of adult-use marijuana sales is returned to a community reinvestment fund for social equity programs for the Illinois market, said Toi Hutchinson, senior adviser to the governor for cannabis control, CNN reported.

Some Illinois marijuana stores run out of product in first days of sales

A few adult-use cannabis retailers around Illinois stopped selling over the weekend and plan to remain closed for at least part of this week as they deal with product shortages.

Recreational marijuana sales began in the state on Jan. 1, and sales almost reached $3.2 million on the first day. Sales fell to just under $2.3 million on the second day.

It is unclear when the retail stores that stopped selling will start again, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“The demand was huge,” Neal McQueeney, principal officer of Midway Dispensary near Midway International Airport told the newspaper.

“We knew we were going to run out. It was a matter of when, not if.”

Because demand was expected to outstrip a limited supply, shortages had been expected.

NM medical marijuana growers use too much water, agencies fear

Medical marijuana growers in New Mexico might be straining some local water supplies.

The Peña Blanca Water and Sanitation District and Sile Mutual Domestic Water and Sewer Association wrote to state agencies and legislators saying they are concerned that medical marijuana growers are using a disproportionate amount of scarce water resources.

The agencies are asking that all producers applying for a medical cannabis license provide a valid water right for commercial agriculture with the Office of the State Engineer.

Nationwide, some marijuana companies are trying to minimize water usage as part of efforts to minimize their ecological footprints.

– Associated Press

Cannabis giant Harvest Health plans $87.5 million purchase

Harvest Health & Recreation, an Arizona-based multistate cannabis company, said Monday it is negotiating to pay $87.5 million in stock and debt assumption for Interurban Capital Group in Seattle.

Interurban is the owner and operator of Seattle-based Have a Heart, which has a total of 11 dispensaries in California, Washington state and Iowa. It also has licenses for seven marijuana retail sites in California.

The preliminary deal calls for an assumption of debt that could be converted into 205,594 shares of Harvest, subject to applicable Canadian laws.

Harvest trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange under HARV and on the over-the-counter markets as HRVSF.

For analysis and in-depth looks at the investment trends and deals driving the cannabis industry forward, sign up for our premium subscription service, Investor Intelligence.

Utah to award medical marijuana dispensary licenses

(This story has been updated to reflect that a third multistate operator received a license.)

Utah health officials plan to award pharmacy licenses to 10 companies to dispense medical marijuana at 14 sites across the state.

At least three of the licenses were awarded to multistate marijuana operators – Bloom Medicinals of Florida, Columbia Care of Illinois and Curaleaf of Massachusetts.

The issuance of licenses in Utah is considered a milestone development for the launch of the program later this year.

The sites chosen by the state health department are largely in metro Salt Lake City or elsewhere in northern Utah. However, they also include two in southern Utah and one in rural eastern Utah.

Eight sites might open as early as March while others would open by July, the department said.

Dispensaries in Utah might face licensing fees of $50,000 to almost $70,000 in a market where medical marijuana sales could reach $25 million-$35 million by 2022, according to Marijuana Business Daily projections.

– Associated Press

Michigan recreational cannabis sales near $6.5 million in first month

Adult-use marijuana transactions in Michigan reached almost $6.5 million during the first month of legalized sales in the state.

Recreational sales in Michigan, which kicked off on Dec.1. are expected to grow quickly in 2020 as dozens more adult-use retail stores are licensed, reported.

As of Jan. 2, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued 54 recreational cannabis business licenses, including 26 retail permits to retailers.

That is almost double the number of licenses that had been predicted, according to the agency.

Medical marijuana proponent Roe says he’s retiring from US House

A staunch proponent of researching medicinal marijuana for the treatment of military veterans plans to retire from the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee, a Republican who serves as the ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said Friday he will retire at the end of the year, according to CNN.

He introduced legislation earlier this year to direct the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct and support research on the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis usage on veterans diagnosed with PTSD, chronic pain and other illnesses.

A retired OB/GYN, Roe is in his sixth term in the U.S. House.

Kansas governor supports legalizing medical cannabis

(This story has been updated to reflect that the governor is a Democrat.)

Legalizing medical marijuana in Kansas is one of the top priorities in 2020 for Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

The Democrat told Topeka TV station WIBW that while she is not a proponent of legalizing recreational marijuana, she probably would sign a bill into law if Kansas legislators presented her with one.

Kansas might be spurred to legalize marijuana sales in some form because it is bordered on three of its four sides by states – Colorado, Missouri and Oklahoma – with legal cannabis markets.

Missouri medical marijuana grower at odds with state over license denial

A judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order against the state of Missouri that was sought by an applicant for a medical cannabis licensee.

Paul Callicoat and his family sued the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services after their application for a license was among hundreds denied by the agency.

They planned to convert their 70-acre property in Sarcoxi, Missouri, into a cultivation site.

Missouri started issuing MMJ cultivation licenses in December, though only 60 of 554 applicants will receive a permit.

– Associated Press

Michigan medical cannabis store wins mainstream design award

A medical marijuana dispensary in Michigan won a design award from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Flint-based Common Citizen won a Gold Award for retail design from the ICSC, a worldwide trade group for the shopping center and retail real estate sector.

The award is the first the ICSC has bestowed upon a cannabis retailer. The ICSC has more than 63,000 members in more than 100 countries.

– Marijuana Business Daily

Former top marijuana regulator in Maryland joins MJ firm

Joy Strand, a former executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, has joined Green Leaf Medical, a cannabis firm in the state.

Green Leaf hired Strand, who resigned from the commission in September 2019, as executive vice president.

Her role will be to coordinate the company’s government relations in several states, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Florida group trying to legalize adult-use cannabis sues over ballot process

The group seeking to put an initiative on the 2020 ballot in Florida to legalize recreational marijuana, has sued the state in an effort to get more time to submit signatures.

The group, Make it Legal Florida, alleges in a 57-page complaint filed in Leon County Circuit Court that a controversial election law enacted in July is unconstitutional in the way it imposes restrictions on the ballot initiative process.

The group also argues the process essentially established a “stealth deadline” of Jan. 2, 2020, for submitting the 766,200 signatures required to place the initiative on the ballot.

– Jeff Smith