Marijuana Business This Week: Utah selects growers, CBD comment period ends, NJ to post MMJ apps & more

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(This story has been updated with Utah’s decision to delay the issuance of cultivation licenses.)

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

AND THE WINNERS ARE … : The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, which is overseeing cannabis cultivation under the state’s new medical marijuana law, plans to award up to 10 grow licenses by Monday.

Applications became available during the last week of May, according to Salt Lake City NPR affiliate KUER.

Interested growers paid $2,500 to apply for a license and will be expected to ante up an additional $100,000 to grow the plant beginning this summer. That license would be good for only about 18 months.

Andrew Rigby, the department’s director of medical cannabis, told KUER he expects the $1 million-plus estimated revenue from the licensing will be enough to get the program through 2020, when the first batch of licenses expire.

In 2021, growers in compliance with state law will be able to keep their licenses, Rigby said.

By that time, he said, the renewal price could be higher or lower than the current $100,000, depending on the department’s needs.

UPDATE: The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food announced it is delaying the announcement to the end of the month.

CBD COMMENT DEADLINE: The period for hemp entrepreneurs and the public to comment on forthcoming rules for CBD ends Tuesday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended the comment period late last month, tacking on an additional two weeks.

The FDA forbids the use of CBD in ingestible products such as food and dietary supplements.

FDA officials leading the CBD review have said the agency is “committed to evaluating the regulatory frameworks for nondrug uses, including products marketed as foods and dietary supplements.”

NEW JERSEY MMJ APPLICATIONS: Forms for businesses interested in applying for one of up to 24 new permits to enter New Jersey’s expanding medical marijuana program were to be posted Monday.

Licenses will be distributed by region.

  • Northern Region: two cultivation, five dispensary and one vertically integrated (grower, cultivation and dispensary).
  • Central Region: two cultivation, five dispensary and one vertically integrated.
  • Southern Region: one cultivation, five dispensary and one vertically integrated.
  • One at-large vertically integrated permit.

Applicants can seek up to three permits but may submit only one application per region. Those seeking a vertically integrated permit may submit only one application.

EARNINGS ROUNDUP: Organigram Holdings, whose wholly owned subsidiary, Organigram, produces cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Canada, is expected to report third-quarter earnings results for its fiscal year ended Aug. 31 before the markets open Monday.

New Brunswick-based Organigram is focused on producing indoor-grown cannabis for medical and recreational marijuana consumers in Canada, as well as developing international business partnerships.

Announcing its second-quarter results Monday after markets close is Valens GroWorks, the British Columbia-based provider of cannabis products and services focused on proprietary extraction methodologies, distillation, cannabinoid isolation and purification.

SURVEY SAYS: Residents of Concord, California, have until Friday to complete a 10-question survey on potential commercial cannabis business regulations.

The city is considering whether to allow cannabis retail stores and small-scale cannabis cultivation, distribution and manufacturing companies to open in Concord, according to the East Bay Times.

Officials are seeking input from residents on what kinds of regulations they’d like to see for such businesses.

The newspaper quoted a city-commissioned survey from 2017 in which 69% of a sample of “likely voters” said they would support the sale of medical marijuana in Concord and just over 50% indicated support for the sale of recreational marijuana within city limits. Most also expressed support for allowing cannabis testing, manufacturing and cultivation facilities in the city.

The survey is available here.

EXPIRING LICENSE SCORECARD: There are 98 cultivation licenses set to expire this week in California, according to an analysis of state license data by Marijuana Business Daily.