Marijuana Business Magazine - Issue 09, Oct 2017

¬NDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS National & ¬nternational News Developments What’s Happening: Task Force Tells Sessions to Keep Status Quo for Legal Cannabis A task force assembled by U.S. Attor- ney General Jeff Sessions is giving him no ammunition to go after the legal marijuana industry, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety offered no new policy recom- mendations to advance the attorney gen- eral’s aggressively anti-marijuana views. The group’s report largely reiterates the current Department of Justice’s policy on marijuana. The task force encourages officials to keep studying whether to change or rescind the Obama administration’s hands-off approach to enforcement – a stance that’s allowed the nation’s experiment with legal cannabis to flourish. Marijuana Cultivators Up Nearly 25% in Canada After Licensing System Revamped The number of licensed medical marijuana producers in Canada has jumped nearly 25% over the past few months after the nation’s top regulator dedicated more resources to processing cultiva- tor applications to meet growing demand for cannabis. Since revamping and streamlining the application process in late May, Health Canada awarded another 11 licenses through late August, bringing the number of licensed producers (LPs) to 56. Health Canada had issued six licenses in the previous five months. The increase in cultivators has positioned the industry to better meet the nation’s growing demand for medical marijuana. The jump in culti- vators also comes as Canadian marijuana grow- ers prepare for the planned rollout of the nation’s recreational cannabis market next summer. LPs are scrambling to build new capacity amid concerns about a potential supply shortfall. Banking Troubles for Uruguay’s Rec Cannabis Businesses It didn’t take long for recreational marijuana businesses in Uruguay to encounter a key challenge that hinders U.S. cannabis companies: banking. Uruguayan pharmacies began selling adult-use cannabis July 19, but the South American nation’s banks are refusing to do business with compa- nies tied to marijuana. A government official – speaking on the condition of anonymity – said Uruguayan banks that deal with companies that sell adult-use marijuana risk running afoul of international finance laws. U.S. financial institutions, meanwhile, are hesitant to bank marijuana businesses because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level. 18 • Marijuana Business Magazine • October 2017