Marijuana Business This Week: MJBizConNEXT sees the future, critical California CBD hearing, Ohio eyes MMJ expansion & more

Wondering where hemp-derived cannabinoids are legal in the United States? Check out MJBizDaily‘s new delta-8 THC map.

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

WHAT’S NEXT: More than 4,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors are flocking to New Orleans for MJBizConNEXT 2019, where they will contemplate what’s ahead for the ever-changing cannabis and hemp industries.

For three days beginning Wednesday at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, attendees of MJBizConNEXT will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of session tracks in addition to exclusive education on the expo floor.

This year’s event features MJBizConNEXT’s first side-by-side hemp and marijuana conferences. The two have distinct agendas, allowing attendees to focus on the sessions that will benefit them the most.

On the marijuana side, MJBizConNEXT offers a highly diverse program featuring industry experts discussing key trends and offering insiders’ analysis.

Sessions and tracks include:

  • Money Matters – A series of three top-level panel discussions on investing in cannabis.
  • Level Up: Next Steps for Your Business – Six sessions featuring panels on topics such as raising expansion capital, creating strategic partnerships and changing company ownership.
  • On the Horizon: Emerging Markets and Trends – Stretching over two days, this track looks at the future of the industry with panels focused on developments in the U.S. and abroad.

Keynoting the event is Anat Baron, founder and CEO of Stashwall, who as an executive with Mike’s Hard Lemonade helped drive the startup beer competitor to national prominence in the early 2000s. She will discuss the similarities between the liquor and cannabis industries.

Meanwhile, the hemp industry brings businesses challenges of its own, with scant resources to help entrepreneurs take advantage of new opportunities in the booming market.

To help unlock those opportunities, the editors of Hemp Industry Daily are hosting the inaugural Hemp Industry Daily Conference, which also kicks off Wednesday. More than 1,000 attendees, including farmers, processors, CBD manufacturers and hemp retailers, will hear from industry pioneers to get insights on conquering hemp’s unique business challenges:

  • Finding harvest equipment.
  • Navigating confusing CBD regulations.
  • Preparing for nationwide and global competition.
  • Thriving amid falling wholesale prices.
  • Finding profit beyond the flower in grain and fiber markets.

The three-day hemp conference includes 29 educational sessions and exclusive networking opportunities. Attendees can also rub shoulders with colleagues in the marijuana industry at MJBizConNEXT’s shared expo hall.

Those interested in attending can register online or at the convention center starting at 8 a.m. June 11.

CONSIDERING CBD: A legislative measure to allow hemp-based CBD products to be sold in California – including food, beverages, tinctures and the like – will be heard Wednesday by a state Senate committee.

If the measure advances to the full Senate and then to Gov. Gavin Newsom, the change in law could open up a whole new range of business opportunities for hemp CBD companies.

But there’s still a good bit of regulatory uncertainty regarding hemp and CBD products in California, since the state’s health department last year stated that hemp CBD-infused food specifically won’t be allowed for sale until cleared by the federal government.

However, guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t look as if it’ll be forthcoming any time soon, based on mixed feedback from an FDA panel’s hearing on CBD in May.

While federal regulators struggle to come up with solid answers for hemp companies, states such as California are likely to continue forging ahead.

California insiders also expect the hemp CBD bill to pass the full Legislature and for Newsom to sign it into law, meaning the state would join a small cadre of others that have ignored federal inaction and established their own rules for hemp CBD companies.

MMJ EXPANSION: The State Medical Board of Ohio is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to include anxiety and autism spectrum disorder as qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use.

The board also will vote on whether to add opioid-use disorder, depression and insomnia, which a four-member panel of physicians recently voted against recommending after consulting with medical experts, the Associated Press reported.

The committee’s recommendation comes after the Medical Board sought online petitions from the public requesting suggestions for qualifying conditions to add to the current list of 21 conditions.

Many of the 110 petitions the Medical Board received asked that cannabis use be allowed for anxiety, the AP added.

FLORIDA APPEAL: An appeals court in Tallahassee, Florida, is set to hear arguments Tuesday in a dispute over whether the state health department and lawmakers violated a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana, Orlando TV station WOFL reported.

Florigrown, a Tampa-based medical marijuana treatment center, filed suit against the state after being denied approval for an MMJ license by the health department.

The health department petitioned the appeals court after a Leon County judge sided with Florigrown and issued a temporary injunction requiring officials to allow medical marijuana firms like Florigrown to do business.

According to WOFL, the judge’s ruling targeted parts of the law that capped the number of available MMJ licenses.

MJ DOMINATES LOCAL BALLOT: Nine marijuana ordinances will appear on the ballot Tuesday when residents of Bethel, Maine, go to the polls.

Ballots for four of the ordinances were approved by selectmen in April and are medical in nature, The Bethel Citizen reported. The other five are focused on recreational use.

Each ordinance contains 1,000-foot setbacks. The Marijuana Committee and Ordinance Review Committee agreed to extend the setbacks from 500 feet, which is the state standard, the newspaper reported.

EXPIRING LICENSE SCORECARD: There are 46 cultivation licenses set to expire this week in California, according to an analysis of state license data by Marijuana Business Daily. But things may be looking up: In the first week of June, the California Department of Food and Agriculture issued 120 permanent and 883 provisional licenses.