Marijuana Business This Week: MMJ sales in AR, MJBizDaily’s first Euro symposium, CBD and epilepsy & more

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Here are some notable stories and events to watch for in the coming days:

SLOW GROWTH: Medical marijuana sales in Arkansas are expected to begin Sunday, but concerns persist whether supply will meet demand.

Three of the five licensed cultivators had begun growing as of late April with one, Bold Team in Cotton Plant, expected to have its initial harvest ready for the first day of sales, Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin told the Associated Press.

But with only one cultivator ready to harvest and 10,500 Arkansas residents licensed for medical marijuana use – 40,000 are expected when all licenses are issued, according to the AP – the specter of shortages looms.

Arkansas officials last week gave approval to the state’s first MMJ dispensary, Doctor’s Orders RX in Hot Springs.

A second Hot Springs facility, Green Springs Medical, is scheduled for inspection Thursday, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

MJBIZDAILY EURO SYMPOSIUM: Marijuana Business Daily’s first European Cannabis Symposium is taking place Monday at the Scandic Copenhagen Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. It will focus on Europe’s medical marijuana and hemp markets.

Leaders in cannabis business, research and policy are gathering for a daylong conference offering educational sessions on the latest in technology and science as well as the potential impacts on global markets.

Denmark’s Minister of Health, Ellen Trane Nørby, is keynoting the symposium.

Nørby has been a member of Parliament for the Danish Liberal Party since 2007 and served as health minister since November 2016.

To see the full list of featured speakers, click here.

TEXAS HEMP BILL: A Texas House bill requiring the state Department of Agriculture to adopt rules establishing a hemp program is scheduled to be heard Monday in the Senate Agriculture Committee.

House Bill 1325 calls for a program “that promotes the cultivating and processing of hemp and the commercial sale of hemp products, as defined by the bill, and that regulates hemp production in Texas,” according to the bill analysis.

HB 1325 does not legalize marijuana or high THC-based oils. The proposed legislation is for hemp farming and products only.

The measure allows CBD to be added to foods, drugs and cosmetics.

CBD AND EPILEPSY: At this week’s annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, a team of physicians will present its latest findings on how the use of Epidiolex – the first CBD medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – can help curb some forms of epilepsy. (See the GW Pharmaceuticals item in the earnings roundup below.)

The research found the drug reduced seizures by nearly half in children with Dravet syndrome, a rare and severe form of the neurological disorder, according to HealthDay News.

The team of doctors is led by Dr. Ian Miller, director of the Epilepsy and Neurophysiology Program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami.

The AAN’s annual meeting runs through Friday in Philadelphia.

COASTAL CANNABIS: The California Coastal Commission this week is scheduled to consider an ordinance that would allow cannabis cultivators to begin growing in areas near the coast, or so-called coastal-dependent areas.

There currently are no state-approved laws governing commercial cannabis on the county’s coastline, according to the Times-Standard in Eureka, California.

The ordinance lists caps on the number of cultivation sites that would be allowed in each of the county’s various coastal areas.

If approved, the measure would allow 171 permits across all zones.

EARNINGS ROUNDUP: GW Pharmaceuticals will announce its financial results Monday for the quarter ended March 31.

Headquartered in London, GW is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform.

GW, along with its U.S. subsidiary, Greenwich Biosciences, received FDA approval for the Epidiolex (cannabidiol) oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome in patients 2 or older.

It is now available by prescription in the U.S.

Las Vegas-based CV Sciences will release financial results for its first quarter ended March 31 after the markets close Wednesday.

CV Sciences operates a consumer product division focused on manufacturing, marketing and selling plant-based CBD products to a range of market sectors as well as a drug development division focused on developing and commercializing novel therapeutics utilizing CBD.

Alcanna said it also plans to release its first-quarter 2019 financial results after the markets close Wednesday.

The Edmonton, Alberta-based company is one of the largest private-sector retailers of alcohol in North America and the largest in Canada, operating 235 locations in Alberta and British Columbia as well as Alaska.

It also runs six cannabis retail stores under the Nova Cannabis brand.

Village Farms International said it expects to report its first-quarter 2019 financial results after the close of trading Thursday.

The company, headquartered in Delta, British Columbia, is one of the largest vertically integrated greenhouse growers in North America.

It owns a 50% stake in British Columbia-based cannabis grower Pure Sunfarms Corp.

Village Farms recently announced it intends to pursue opportunities to enter the U.S. hemp-derived CBD market.

It has established a joint venture, Village Fields Hemp USA, for multistate outdoor hemp cultivation and CBD extraction.

Also on Thursday, Toronto-based Cronos Group will announce its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31.

Cronos Group is a global cannabinoid company with international production and distribution across five continents.

YES AND NO: At its February meeting, the Petoskey (Michigan) City Council broke from the pack of neighboring communities by signaling its willingness to allow medical marijuana facilities within its city limits.

On Monday, however, the Council is poised to vote on an ordinance that would opt the coastal resort community out of allowing recreational marijuana facilities in the city.

City Manager Rob Straebel acknowledged the Council’s stance on medical versus recreational “may appear to be fairly counterintuitive,” according to the News-Review in Petoskey.

“There’s a lot of ambiguity associated with (recreational). … It’s a lot like getting into a game of some sort and not knowing what the rules are,” Straebel said.

SCHOOL’S OUT; CANNABIS IN?: Residents of Heath, Massachusetts, are being asked to vote for a second time on whether to sell a former schoolhouse to a cannabis company.

The old Heath Elementary School building went up for sale this year and received one bid of $250,000 from cannabis company Carnegie Arch to cultivate, manufacture and possibly sell cannabis on the 12-acre site, the Greenfield Recorder reported.

The school has been vacant since 2017.

In a 95-77 vote, residents in March vetoed an item to permit town officials to sell or lease the school. The item required a two-thirds majority to pass.

The Greenfield Recorder noted Carnegie Arch has said it would create about 20 to 30 jobs in Heath. They range from management positions, with salaries of $60,000 or more and benefits, to part-time roles paying $14 to $22 per hour.

The vote is scheduled for Saturday at the town’s annual meeting.

EXPIRING LICENSE SCORECARD: There are 74 cultivation licenses set to expire this week in California, which would bring the total number thus far in May to 108, according to an analysis of state license data by MJBizDaily.