Week in Review: Federal cannabis aid, California social equity, Brazil medical marijuana & more

Marijuana lobbyists and a group of lawmakers are continuing their fight to include cannabis-related businesses in coronavirus relief packages.

MJBizDaily takeaway: The marijuana industry is a significant contributor to state economies across the country. But because the plant is illegal federally, it remains an uphill fight to allow the businesses to be eligible for federal coronavirus aid.

Marijuana and ancillary business failures and job losses likely will be exacerbated if the industry continues to be mostly shut out of financial-relief programs.

Hemp businesses vie for federal stimulus money

Farmers and other hemp businesses in the United States have another shot at federal coronavirus-related funding after Congress passed a $484 billion economic stimulus package.

MJBizDaily takeaway: Despite hemp’s legal status, industry officials reported that many businesses were denied relief in the first round of stimulus funding. Advocates have been working hard to try to change the situation.

Hemp farmers, in particular, might need federal help and banking access to make wise business decisions around planting season. But it remains unclear how many hemp farmers and other businesses will benefit from this latest stimulus and recovery round.

California boosts social equity funds

California awarded cities and counties another $30 million for social equity programs after disbursing $10 million last fall.

MJBizDaily takeaway: The additional assistance could be key to the health and growth of the state’s social equity program, especially during what’s been a difficult business environment for many companies.

Funding will include technical and worker-recruitment assistance, reduced or waived licensing fees and even assistance in preparing for emergencies such as the pandemic currently challenging the industry.

Brazil OKs first medical cannabis product

Brazilian regulators authorized the first medical cannabis product – THC-free CBD – under rules developed last December.

MJBizDaily takeaway: This is another important step in the development of a cannabis industry in Latin America’s largest economy.

The 2019 rules ban domestic cultivation but allow manufacturing. They also pave the way for a potentially large market for companies exporting raw extracts, isolated cannabinoids and finished products to Brazil.

Surviving cultivators experience firmer prices

A new Marijuana Business Daily report and video offer a snapshot of cultivation trends across the U.S. in both recreational and medical marijuana markets. (Most of the research was done before the coronavirus outbreak.)

MJBizDaily takeaway: Cultivators in more mature adult-use markets such as Colorado, Oregon and Washington state have experienced dramatic ups and downs as well as market attrition. But growers that survived have experienced higher prices and demand.

In newer recreational markets such as Illinois and Michigan, high initial consumer demand and constrained supply have translated into high prices.

Mexico still poised to legalize cannabis

Coronavirus has stalled hemp and marijuana legalization efforts in Mexico, but a bill could pass in the legislative session later this year.

MJBizDaily takeaway: If the measure is approved, Mexico would be the world’s most populous country to legalize cannabis regardless of THC content. But it could take years before regulations are in place to launch a commercial market.

Jeff Smith can be reached at [email protected]

For more of Marijuana Business Daily’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the cannabis industry, click here.

2 comments on “Week in Review: Federal cannabis aid, California social equity, Brazil medical marijuana & more
  1. Pat on

    Ca. “Social Equity” concern:

    The whole cannabis movement was bourne out of social inequity. Blacks, latinos, and others from disadvantaged backgrounds whom were typically at the lower socioeconomic rungs of society, had carved out a living for themselves at great risk. The other group were composed of a young adult ( usu middle/upper class ) group that hadn’t yet found their individual paths in our society; ( 18-25 ) that saw weed as an expression of opposition to the status quo, “the establishment.” One would have thought, that as 215 and 420 were maturing during the 20 yr evolution from illegal to legal, that the former group would have had first seat at the table. Like 100% first seat. Instead, the special interests/deep pocketed money found a way to violently wrangle and wrest this opportunity from the aforementioned, to call it their own. Many of those that facilitated this b.s. that were against legalization the whole time. It took local and state gov. to accomplish this great social injustice. So, with the passage of the 2016 so called law, only the very well monied AND connected can participate in this new scheme, because of all the non-sensical barriers that were put into place; not to mention that there really is no standardization in the process. Let’s call it for what this really all is: It’s a scheme and a scam. So, what was really accomplished was an intensification of the social inequity. These historical risk takers have been largely pushed out of the ability to participate “legally” because the gov. and their cronies want to keep the prices jacked. So, what’s the resulting effect of all this? An even GREATER number of people that are going to keep doing what they’ve always done. And are they still at risk? Oh yeah. And, it’s not about public health, public safety or the environment. It’s about keeping the money in the hands of a very few. The corporate democrats; like Newsom, who tout social fairness, are among the jokers that behind the scenes got all of this to where it’s at now. They are willing to toss their historically disadvantaged pioneers and their progeny under the bus, because they ( personally ) hope to get something out of the deal. So, to keep talking about the “social equity” question is ridiculous to this group and other’s like them. They’re going to tell you that you’re better off pissing against the wind. One other thing… Before this 2016 “law” came into being, when did we ever have all of these problems with weed? Vaping deaths? Etc. How many past Presidents whom were self-admitted pot smokers ( and not go to jail, and stayed President ) have anything so wrong with them that caused their inner circle and constituency question their ability, that they should have been removed from office? Had it been the common man; esp. one of modest to impoverished means: Whole different story.

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