Harvest Health & Recreation Acquires Only Licensed Dispensary In Casa Grande, Arizona

ARIZONA: Harvest Health & Recreation, a vertically integrated cannabis company with one of the largest and deepest footprints in the U.S., announced today the acquisition of Arizona medicinal cannabis dispensary Leaf Life in a transaction that includes the only cannabis dispensary in Casa Grande. Leaf Life will be transitioned to operate under Harvest’s House of Cannabis stores, known for top operational standards, best-in-class experiences and products and expert teams in developing trusted, quality-driven retail stores with a focus on bettering the community.

“Arizona is the third largest medicinal cannabis market in the United States, yet too many in our communities still do not have adequate access to dispensaries that offer the high-quality medicinal products and expert staff required to improve patient education and treatment outcomes,” said Harvest Executive Chairman Jason Vedadi. “Harvest is committed to ensuring the strongest operational standards for our industry on a national scale, and we are particularly proud of this acquisition in our home state of Arizona because it enables us to further improve patient access to high-quality medicinal cannabis products.”

“We chose to structure a sale with Harvest because we believe in their commitment to Arizona and their future success,” said Ricky Hendrickson, Leaf Life’s Vice-President . “As a testament to that belief we have agreed to a two-year lockup on the stock portion of our agreement and are confident we’ll be part of the Harvest family for the long-term.”

Arizona continues to be a priority market for Harvest with large scale growth projections this year. This transaction will expand Harvest’s industry leading position on operating licensing rights to include more than 210 retail and processing facilities in 17 states and territories across the U.S. Most recently in Arizona, Harvest opened Glendale’s first medical dispensary, and announced a six license acquisition from Devine Hunter, Inc. Harvest now has rights to operate up to 18 dispensaries and cultivation/processing facilities in the state, strengthening their leadership position as the largest operator in the market.

 

 

Arizona: Federal Judge Rules Medical Cannabis Patient’s Firing Violated State Law

MJLegalThe case is Whitmire v. Walmart Stores Incorporated

ARIZONA: A private employer acted improperly when it fired a state-registered medical cannabis patient for failing a urinalysis drug screen, a federal judge ruled last week.

United States District Judge James A. Teilborg opined that Walmart violated Arizona law by terminating an employee solely for testing positive for the presence of THC metabolites in her urine. The carboxy-THC metabolite is an inert breakdown product of THC which may remain present in urine for weeks or even months following cannabis exposure.

Under Arizona’s voter-initiated medical cannabis access law, an employer may not discriminate in hiring or firing based solely upon a patient’s “positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites, unless the patient used, possessed or was impaired by marijuana on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment.”

According to the US Department of Justice, urinalysis tests “detect drug use but not drug impairment. A positive test result … does not indicate abuse or addiction, recency, frequency, or amount of use, or impairment.”

In recent years, judges have similarly upheld patient protections in other jurisdictions, including ConnecticutMassachusetts, and Rhode Island.

The case is Whitmire v. Walmart Stores Incorporated.


cFor more information, contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500.

 

Harvest Health & Recreation Acquires Six Additional Licenses In Home State of Arizona

ARIZONA: Harvest Health & Recreation Inc, a vertically integrated public cannabis company with one of the largest footprints in the U.S., has entered into a binding agreement providing for it to acquire six additional licenses in Arizona. Upon closing, Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (Harvest) will control 16 licenses throughout its home state of Arizona, the country’s third largest cannabis market. Before this transaction, Harvest was already the largest operator in Arizona.

“Arizona is a logical place for us to continue to grow for a variety of reasons,” said Harvest Executive Chairman Jason Vedadi. “We have already acquired locations for the future stores and look forward developing dominant footprints in a number of states. Arizona is one of them; it’s a great market with significant upside.”

With 16 vertically integrated licenses, 11 open dispensaries, two cultivation facilities and one processing facility upon closing, Harvest expands what is already the largest footprint in Arizona. Harvest’s agreement is with Devine Hunter, Inc., formerly the state’s second-largest license holder, for an undisclosed amount of cash, stock and other consideration. With the closing of this transaction, Harvest controls licenses for 86 dispensaries, 23 cultivation facilities, and 22 processing facilities across the country.

Harvest Will Be Awarded Ohio Medical Marijuana Processor License

ARIZONA:  Harvest Health & Recreation, a vertically integrated public cannabis company with one of the largest footprints in the U.S., announced the Ohio Department of Commerce, pending background checks, will award the company a provisional processor license under Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program. The application scored among the top 26 after being judged on a series of standards and merits, including relevant experience across multiple verticals in the cannabis space, prior demonstration of compliance, financial viability and proposed community benefits. With the win, Harvest will hold a processing license, a tier 1 cultivation license and three retail dispensary licenses in Ohio, making it the only multi-state operator to be organically vertically integrated in the state. Harvest holds over 60 licenses nationally, expanding its national footprint across 12 U.S. states.

“Ohio has an important long-term role in the cannabis industry,” said Steve White, founder and CEO of Harvest. “It has the seventh largest state economy, a skilled manufacturing workforce and a growing patient count. We are thrilled to open fully vertical operations, and look forward to contributing to the Buckeye economy for years to come. This is a solid win for us coming on the heels of big retail victories in Pennsylvania and Santa Monica, California.”

Founded in 2011 in Arizona, Harvest is now one of the only consistently profitable, vertically integrated cannabis companies in the U.S. The company brings together in-house cultivation, manufacturing, retail facilities, construction, real estate and technologies, backed by experienced finance, compliance, operations, real estate, human resources, marketing and legal teams, who have a proven and trusted track record in writing applications and working in the cannabis industry. With more than 525 employees, Harvest plans to continue to grow its operations across the U.S. throughout 2019 and beyond.

An international leader in the cannabis industry, Harvest holds itself to the most stringent health, safety and quality standards in the industry when it comes to the growth, production and sale of cannabis medicines and products for consumers. Since its founding, the company has donated more than $500,000 to veterans, seniors, children, patients-in-need and other charitable recipients.

 

Long-Term Cannabis Use Associated With Lower BMI

ARIZONA: Lifetime cannabis exposure is associated with lower body mass index (BMI), according to longitudinal data published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Researchers from Arizona State University and the University of Pittsburgh assessed the association between long-term cannabis exposure and cardiometabolic risk factors in a cohort of 253 men. They reported that greater marijuana exposure was associated with lower BMI as well as lower cholesterol levels and other risk factors.

“Cannabis use is associated with lower BMI and lower BMI is related to lower levels of risk on other cardiometabolic risk factors,” they concluded.

The findings are consistent with those of prior studies concluding that cannabis exposure is associated with lower BMIlower rates of obesity, and fewer incidences of type 2 diabetes.


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Associations between cannabis use and cardiometabolic risk factors: A longitudinal study of men,” appears in Psychosomatic Medicine.

 

Cura Partners Expands Operations To Arizona

Cura supports Arizona’s medical marijuana market and gears up for additional domestic and international expansion

ARIZONA: Cura Partners, one of the largest marijuana companies in the world, known for its best-selling brands Select Oil and Select CBD, recently opened its Arizona headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. This move signifies the company’s commitment to bringing the safest and cleanest medical marijuana products to legal U.S. and international markets. The company began offering its Select Elite and Weekender vape pens to dispensaries and Select CBD (hemp-derived cannabidiol) products to dispensaries and a few retail outlets in the state in October.

The Arizona office currently has 30 active team members, with an expected growth to 75 employees by mid-2019. In addition to Arizona, Select now operates in four U.S. states including Oregon, California and Nevada, with additional U.S. and international expansion on the horizon. “Our recent expansion to Arizona supports our mission to be the leader in this space,” said Cura President and Chief Executive Officer Cameron Forni.“We are thrilled to be providing Select products to the Arizona community and look forward to hiring local residents and bringing more superstars into our Cura family.”

The company has seen unprecedented growth, and was recently listed by Portland Business Journal as the fastest-growing private company in the state’s history. Cura also ranked no. 45 on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies, and was the first company of its kind to ever rank this high on the list. Everything the team does at Cura is built upon six core values, which are embodied by every employee: customer welfare, candor, driving results, thriving on rapid change, striving to be a superstar, and hiring and mentoring superstars.

“We look forward to working with the Arizona medical marijuana community,” said Adam Pressler, General Manager, Cura Arizona. “While we are just kicking off our production in Arizona, we have already found it to be a positive experience for our team and our colleagues. This is an emerging industry that is growing rapidly, we are thrilled to help pave the way for everyone in Arizona’s medical marijuana community.

As Cura Partners, Inc. expands to new markets, its number one priority remains providing only top-tier pesticide-free products to retailers and consumers. All Select brand products are run through a full-extended pesticide analysis as well as full-potency and microbial analysis, making Select the only marijuana company in Arizona currently utilizing these stringent testing practices. The brand has established itself as a market leader in every state it expands to by testing to its extremely strict testing regulations even when the state does not require the same level of pre-market testing.

Consumers looking for the cleanest, safest and most potent products can now find Select products in over 40 Arizona stores statewide including Harvest, The Mint, Metro Meds Dispensary, Curaleaf, Desert Rose, Sky Dispensaries and Nature’s Medicines. Select offers a wide array of products with THC levels ranging from zero percent THC in its CBD products, to more than 90 percent in its Select Elite vape pen line.

MedMen Expands Its Presence in Arizona

Acquisition of Vertically-Integrated Operator Adds to MedMen’s Growing Footprint in One of the Top Medical Marijuana Markets in the U.S.

CALIFORNIA: MedMen Enterprises has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire control of Kannaboost Technology Inc. and CSI Solutions LLC, collectively referred to as “Level Up,” in a cash and stock transaction valued at $33,000,000. Level Up holds licenses for two vertically-integrated operations in Arizona, which include retail locations in Scottsdale and Tempe, as well as 25,000 square feet of cultivation and production capacity in Tempe and Phoenix. As part of the transaction, the Company will also receive a 40 percent stake in top-selling brand K.I.N.D. Concentrates (“K.I.N.D.”), which is currently distributed in over 90 percent of the dispensaries in Arizona.

medmenThis acquisition strengthens our presence in one of the top cannabis markets in the U.S.,” said Adam Bierman, MedMen chief executive and co-founder. “We will continue to identify highly accretive transactions in core states and remain laser focused on executing our retail playbook.”

Inclusive of Level Up and other pending acquisitions, MedMen’s footprint includes licenses for 69 retail stores and 17 cultivation and production facilities across 12 states.

In Arizona, the Company now controls three premier retail locations, 65,000 square feet in total cultivation and production capacity, and distribution and co-manufacturing rights for several top brands in Arizona, including K.I.N.D., Kiva, Mirth Provisions, HUXTON and Old Pal. The Company also has plans to introduce its [statemade] line of branded products to the Arizona market over the next 12 to 18 months.

“We have worked tremendously hard to build a company that puts the needs of patients in our local communities first,” said Michael Colburn, co-founder of Level Up. “This marks an exciting new chapter for our brands and for the medical marijuana patients who have supported us,” added Daryll DeSantis, Level Up co-founder.

MedMen Acquires Monarch Wellness; Expands Reach Into Arizona Medical Marijuana Market

CALIFORNIA: MedMen Enterprises  announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with WhiteStar Solutions to acquire control of Monarch, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based licensed medical cannabis license holder with dispensary, cultivation and processing operations through the acquisition of Omaha Management Services, LLC. In addition, MedMen will acquire from WhiteStar their exclusive co-manufacturing and licensing agreements with Kiva, Mirth Provisions and HUXTON for the state of Arizona.

medmen

“Our strategy has been to establish our brand in the primary markets of California, Nevada and New York,” said Adam Bierman, MedMen chief executive and co-founder. “We have a leading presence in those primary markets and we are now ready to expand our reach. Arizona, with its robust medical marijuana program and connectivity to California and Nevada where our brand is already strong, makes this a great fit.”

Arizona is one the largest medical marijuana markets in the country with over 172,000 current patients. The state also represents one of the larger addressable adult-use markets in the U.S. A ballot measure to legalize adult-use narrowly missed in 2016, and is expected to return in 2020.

Founded in 2013, Monarch is among the top medical marijuana dispensaries in the country, known for exceptional patient service, commitment to cannabis product education and innovative operational concepts. Monarch is the first cannabis dispensary to break ground in Scottsdale with impressive product offerings in its portfolio and a run rate revenue of over US$10 million.

In addition to the medical marijuana dispensary, Monarch is licensed to operate a 20,000-square-foot cultivation and manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona. As one of the top wholesalers in the Arizona market, Monarch distributes branded products to over 60 dispensaries in the state.

As consideration for the acquisition, the Company will pay approximately 80 percent in stock and 20 percent in cash. The stock consideration will be satisfied by way of issuance of shares of MedMen Enterprises, Inc.

The transaction is expected to close within 90 days and is subject to customary closing conditions.

 

 

First Medicinal Cannabis Kitchen Of Its Kind in the Country Debuts In Arizona Friday, Oct. 5

Full-service Kitchen will offer chef-prepared foods to patients from a cannabis-infused menu

ARIZONA: The Mint Dispensary, operator of one of the largest medicinal cannabis dispensaries in the United States, is launching the country’s first full-service cannabis kitchen in Tempe, Ariz., on Friday, Oct. 5. Patients seeking relief through medicinal cannabis can now access freshly prepared, cannabis-infused meals created by a professional chef at the dispensary’s 12,000-square-foot Tempe location.

As part of the Tempe dispensary’s recent $2 million renovation, The Mint Dispensary’s state-of-the-art commercial kitchen will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner options, in addition to snacks. While pre-packaged, shelf-stable food items have been available at dispensaries, this is the first time that patients will have access to fresh foods that are prepared on-site with a customized dose of cannabis.

“Our industry continues to evolve at an exponential pace,” said Eivan Shahara, CEO of The Mint Dispensary. “We saw a large unmet need from patients who were regularly visiting our dispensary; they were looking to access fresh and healthy cannabis-infused foods. We know that the right kinds of healthy foods can help people to battle a variety of illnesses, from cancer and epilepsy to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. We’re using our knowledge about food and nutrition to help patients in their search for fresh, healthy snacks and infused meals.”

The new kitchen will offer a complete menu of artisan burgers, pastas, pizza, and other delicious cannabis-infused meals that patients can order to go. The new kitchen will also have a barista, a juice bar, gelato, and a wide assortment of pastries. Chef Carylann Principal, a classically trained chef and cancer survivor, created all of the recipes for the dispensary. She joined The Mint Dispensary’s team as executive chef to share her food and nutrition knowledge with other people who are facing similar battles.

“Our kitchen is one of a kind,” said Chef Principal. “It’s a place where art meets science. In addition to understanding the variety of flavors that different cannabis strains can add to any dish, we’re also carefully calculating customized cannabis doses. We’re not only delivering delicious and fresh foods, but we’re also meeting the often-complex nutritional needs of patients who are living with a wide range of illnesses.”

Available in customized doses ranging incrementally from 10 mg and up, the breakfast/snack menu includes Blueberry Muffins, Apple Fritters, Donut Holes, Raspberry Linzer Bars, Scones and Banana Bread, which are all available individually or in combination with coffee. For lunch and dinner, patients can choose from Artisan Burgers, Hatch Chile Macaroni & Cheese, Street Tacos, Fries and Pizza. A full menu will be available at themintdispensary.com when the kitchen officially opens.

Chef Principal and her five-member team will prepare a steady stream of foods during the dispensary’s regular operating hours – from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Catering services for large medicated events, as well as occasions such as weddings, birthdays and funerals, will be offered starting in mid-November. The Mint Dispensary will also introduce home delivery and offer specially made holiday meals for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve/Day. In all instances, medicinal cannabis cards will be needed for the number of people who will be served.

The Mint Dispensary kitchen will also hold free cooking classes on Sunday mornings, starting around the holidays. Patients with a medicinal cannabis card must register ahead of time to attend a cooking class, as space is limited to 15 people.

Arizona: Supreme Court Affirms That Lawmakers Cannot Ban Medical Cannabis Access on College Campuses

ARIZONA:  The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld an appellate court decision striking down a 2012 law that sought to forbid medical cannabis access on college campuses.

Lifetime NORML Legal Committee member Tom Dean represented the patient-defendant in the case pro bono, and called the decision a “victory for democracy.”

Justices opined that the 2012 law was unconstitutional because it impermissibly sought to amend the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which voters passed in 2010. State law limits the legislature’s ability to amend, repeal, or supersede voter-initiated laws.

“Because the AMMA sets forth a list of locations where the legislature may impose ‘civil, criminal or other penalties’ when a person possesses or uses marijuana, § 36-2802, and because that list does not include college and university campuses (unlike pre-, primary-, and secondary-school grounds), we assume that the voters did not intend to criminalize AMMA-compliant possession or use of marijuana on public college and university campuses,” the court ruled. It further rejected the state’s claim that a campus-wide ban was necessary in order to preserve universities’ federal funding.

“If the State had prevailed, they could then have tampered with any and all ballot initiatives, past, present, and future,” said Dean. “This is a victory for all Arizona voters and especially for medical marijuana patients.”

The ruling sets aside the felony conviction of defendant Andrew Lee Maestas, who was initially charged and found guilty of the possession of 0.4 grams of marijuana despite his status as a state-registered medical cannabis patient.


For more information, contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500. The case is Arizona v Maestas, No. CR-17-0193-PR.