Maine: 17 New Adult Use Conditional Licenses Issued

MAINE: How big is Maine’s new adult-use cannabis industry? According to the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy, there are 17 new adult use conditional licenses. The breakdown includes seven marijuana stores, five cultivation facilities, four products manufacturing facilities, and one testing facility.

Curaleaf Completes The Acquisition Of Grassroots Creating The World’s Largest Cannabis Company

Market Leading U.S. Presence Across 23 States with Over 135 Dispensary Locations and Licenses

Mitchell Kahn, Grassroots Co-Founder and CEO, Appointed to the Curaleaf Board of Directors

MASSACHUSETTS:  Curaleaf Holdings, the largest vertically integrated cannabis operator in the United States, today announced that it closed its milestone acquisition of GR Companies the largest private vertically-integrated multi-state operator in the United States, on July 23, 2020.

With completion of the acquisition of Grassroots, Curaleaf is the world’s largest cannabis company by revenue and the most diversified vertically integrated cannabis company in the United States, the world’s largest cannabis market. The transaction expands Curaleaf’s presence from 18 to 23 states, with the combined company having affiliated operations spanning over 135 dispensary licenses, 88 operational dispensary locations, over 30 processing facilities and 22 cultivation sites with 1.6 million square feet of current cultivation capacity. Curaleaf’s expanded geographic dispensary presence now offers access to medical or adult use Cannabis to more than 192 million people, or roughly two-thirds of the United States population.

“The successful acquisition of Grassroots marks Curaleaf’s expansion into new vertically integrated markets in the Midwest, firmly establishing our U.S. market leadership position. This highly complementary combination brings together two companies with a shared vision for enhancing patients’ and customers’ lives with high-quality cannabis wellness and lifestyle products. I’d like to welcome all our new Grassroots colleagues, patients and customers to the Curaleaf family as we pursue our mission of improving lives by providing clarity around cannabis and confidence around consumption,” commented Joseph Lusardi, CEO of Curaleaf. “The integration of Grassroots is expected to be immediately accretive to our financial performance, with our unprecedented scale providing significant opportunities to leverage Curaleaf’s powerful consumer brands as well as new form factor innovations across our expanded national presence.”

Completion of the transaction strategically accelerates Curaleaf’s expansion into Illinois and Pennsylvania, which are among the largest and fastest-growing cannabis markets in the United States. Upon close, Curaleaf will hold a leading licensed cannabis presence in state markets including ArizonaConnecticutFloridaIllinoisPennsylvaniaMarylandMassachusettsMaineNevadaNew JerseyNew YorkNorth Dakota, and Vermont.

The cultivation and processing assets in Illinois have been transferred and the formal approval to transfer certain retail assets is expected imminently. Maryland operations previously affiliated with Grassroots may be transferred to Curaleaf after expiration of the statutory hold period, subject to regulatory approval and compliance with restrictions on ownership or control of multiple cultivation, processor and dispensary licenses in the State.

Mitchell Kahn, Co-Founder and CEO of Grassroots, commented, “Both Grassroots and Curaleaf are driven by a similar, positive culture and we are excited to join forces, adding scale and a combined strategic vision to create a dominant position in the industry. This opportunity would not have come to fruition without the strength of our highly skilled executive team, who have built an impressive portfolio at an unprecedented pace, with facilities in highly competitive markets. We look forward to integrating our talent and resources to build a great consumer product company – one that is dedicated to producing and delivering high-quality, safe and effective cannabis products to the customer.”

Curaleaf Announces New Board Member

Upon closing of the transaction, Curaleaf has appointed Mitchell Kahn, co-founder and CEO of Grassroots, to the company’s Board of Directors effective immediately. The appointment of Mr. Kahn expands the Curaleaf Board of Directors from five to six members.

“On behalf of the Curaleaf Board of Directors and management team, we are pleased to welcome Mitch to the Board. As a co-founder of Grassroots, he brings an impressive track record for success in building the largest private, vertically integrated U.S. multi-state cannabis operator. Combined with his deep experience across commercial real estate as well as the legal field, Mitch adds significant expertise and insight that will be vital as we extend our market leadership position and drive long-term shareholder value,” said Boris Jordan, Executive Chairman of Curaleaf.

Mr. Kahn co-founded Grassroots Cannabis in 2014 and brings more than 20 years of senior executive experience. He currently serves as Principal and CEO of Frontline Real Estate Partners, for which he is also a Founder, and previously served as President and CEO of Hilco Real Estate. Mr. Kahn is a CPA, as well as an attorney who has formerly practiced real estate law. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, School of Business and Northwestern University, School of Law.

 

Ohio Board Of Pharmacy Publishes Updated Patient & Caregiver Numbers For June 2020

OHIO: The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy today published updated patient & caregiver numbers for June 2020. These numbers include:

  • 147,245 Recommendations
  • 116,497 Registered patients
    • 8,349 Patients with Veteran Status
    • 8,713 Patients with Indigent Status
    • 644 Patients with a Terminal Diagnosis
  • 91,330 Unique patients who purchased medical marijuana (as reported to OARRS by licensed dispensaries)
  • 13,140 Registered Caregivers

For the full list of program numbers, please visit the Program Update page.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Defense Bill Amendment Removes DOD CBD/Hemp Prohibition

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, secured an amendment to the annual national defense bill that would ensure that the U.S. Department of Defense may not prohibit the possession, use, or consumption of hemp products — in compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local law — by servicemembers. This would apply to hemp that meets the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 definition (amended by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018). The Gabbard amendment was included in the final version of the bill which passed on Tuesday, 295-125, and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

“There is great research being done around hemp, resulting in new products coming to market that are proven to help with ailments like insomnia, inflammation, chronic pain, epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-Traumatic Stress and more. Hemp products provide a form of treatment that serves as an alternative option for those who would rather pursue natural remedies rather than prescription drugs. This amendment passed with strong bipartisan support, ensuring our servicemembers have access to the same over-the-counter products that Americans all across the country benefit from today,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

The 2018 Farm Bill, known as the Agricultural Improvement Act, legalized hemp, defined as cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis). Currently, many over-the-counter products are sold that meet these parameters.

Pritzker Administration Announces Fourth Month Sales Totals For Illinois Adult Use Cannabis

State’s new adult-use cannabis industry generated more than $37 million in sales in April

ILLINOIS: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has announced preliminary numbers show statewide adult-use cannabis sales in April totaled $37,260,497.89. Dispensaries across the state sold 818,954 items over the 30-day period. Sales to Illinois residents totaled $29,735,650.41, while sales to out-of-state residents totaled $7,524,847.47. These figures do not include taxes collected. A portion of every cannabis sale will be reinvested in communities harmed most by the failed war on drugs.

Medical and adult use cannabis dispensaries remain open as part of the essential businesses and operations named in Governor Pritzker’s executive order signed on March 20, 2020. Both sides of the cannabis industry were included to ensure the cannabis supplier industry protects medical cannabis patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the revenue generated by adultuse cannabis sales funds the important social justice and equity goals at the core of Illinois’ adult-use law.

“Our top priority is to ensure consumers are safe when they go to a dispensary to purchase cannabis,” said Toi Hutchinson, Senior Advisor for Cannabis Control to Gov. Pritzker. “The steps we’ve taken to increase social distancing at dispensaries are accomplishing that, while also enabling this new industry to continue to grow. As such, curbside pickup will remain an option for medical cannabis users to obtain the product they need through May 30.”

Dispensaries are permitted to sell medical cannabis outside of their limited access area on their property or on a public walkway or curb adjacent to the dispensary. Medical cannabis patients will be able to continue to utilize their designated caregiver to purchase medicine for them. However, dispensaries may not deliver medical cannabis to a patient or caregiver’s home. These rules do not apply to adult-use cannabis sales; those must still take place inside the limited access area. A complete list of the rules extended may be found here.

NJ Department Of Health Issues Permit To Grow Medical Marijuana

NEW JERSEY: The New Jersey Department of Health issued last month a permit to Justice Grown in Ewing to begin growing medical marijuana. The permit was issued after a comprehensive review including several site inspections, background checks of its corporate officers and a review of its security operations and cultivation facility.

“As our program continues to grow, the Department wants to ensure that we also continue to increase access for all patients,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “This new permit brings the total number of operational medical marijuana cultivation sites in the state to 12.”

Justice Grown is the last Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) to receive a cultivation permit among the awards made by the Division of Medicinal Marijuana in December 2018. Earlier this year, the Division issued cultivation permits to Verano in Readington, MPX NJ in Pleasantville, TerrAscend in Boonton Township, and Columbia Care NJ in Vineland.

Once Justice Grown receives its permit to dispense, the Division will notify the patients and caregivers by email of the opening date.  Justice Grown’s dispensary will also be located in Ewing.

There are nine ATCs currently dispensing medical marijuana: Greenleaf Compassion Center of Montclair, Compassionate Care Foundation of Egg Harbor, Garden State Dispensary of Woodbridge and Union Township, Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center of Cranbury, Curaleaf NJ, Inc. in Bellmawr, Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus and Rise in Paterson and Compassionate Care Foundation of Atlantic City.

Program participation continues to grow. There are now 75,468 patients, 2,949 caregivers and 1,149 physicians participating in the program.

Patients and caregivers can visit the Division’s website if they choose to change their preferred ATC. The change can also be made by calling the Customer Service Unit of the Division of Medicinal Marijuana at 844-419-9712 and does not require changing ID cards.

Patients can refer to the FAQ section of the Division of Medicinal Marijuana website for additional information. Active physicians enrolled in the program are listed by county and medical specialty.

New Jersey residents interested in registering for Medicinal Marijuana can click here.

Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter @njdeptofhealth, Facebook /njdeptofhealth, Instagram@njdeptofhealth and Snapchat @njdoh.

For more information, visit our homepage at nj.gov/health.

Ohio Board Of Pharmacy Publishes Updated Patient & Caregiver Numbers For April 2020

OHIO: The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy today published updated patient & caregiver numbers for April 2020. These numbers include:

Researchers At Israel’s Rambam Hospital:  Cannabis May Help Severely Ill COVID-19 Patients

ISRAEL: Rambam Health Care Campus is leading cannabis research that could be helpful in the treatment of severely ill COVID-19 patients. Clinical trials have been scheduled.

Researchers in the Center for Cannabis Research at Rambam Health Care Campus, led by the center’s Director Dr. Igal Louria-Hayon, hope to study the effects of cannabis use on severely ill COVID-19 patients in clinical trials scheduled to begin in the next few months. Preliminary investigations indicate that several types of cannabis may have the potential to prevent the life-threatening cascade of inflammation in these patients. Information gathered to date indicates that a major cause of death in COVID-19 patients is the storm of “cytokines” released when the body’s immune system recognizes a new and threatening invader. This may result in an out-of-control inflammatory response which worsens the illness and can even lead to death.

Active components in cannabis activate an internal system in the body that has been dubbed the “endocannabinoid system.” Since the body naturally produces and utilizes substances similar in structure to the active components of cannabis, it may also respond broadly to the cannabis plant itself. A Biobank database of COVID-19 patients at Rambam will help facilitate research into the possible therapeutic effects of cannabis in battling the deadly virus.

“Cannabis has known anti-inflammatory properties, and we have been conducting advanced research on the use of cannabis to treat other diseases with widespread inflammatory responses. At the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, we directed our efforts and experience to join the world-wide battle against this epidemic,” said Dr. Louria-Hayon.

Dr. Louria-Hayon, researchers in the Cannabis Research Center investigated multiple cannabis strains, and they were able to narrow the field to about 15 species strains that appear to have the ability to prevent the intense inflammatory response experienced by some COVID-19 patients. “We detected signs that cannabinoids contribute to the sophisticated fabric network of intercellular communications,” Dr. Louria-Hayon said. “Intercellular communication based on cannabis-like substances also exist in the immune system,” said Dr. Louria-Hayon. “If we understand how cannabinoid components are used in intercellular communication, we can help influence this communication in the event of a disease, to disrupt it or empower the communication to convey desired messages.”

Dr. Louria-Hayon explained that in order to understand the mechanism of the effect of cannabis on COVID-19, researchers are drawing on inflammatory cell samples from COVID-19 patients. “For the first time in Israel, a laboratory experiment has been undertaken to explore the effect of various types of cannabinoids on the white blood cells of COVID-19 patients,” he notes. Each cannabis strain has hundreds of active substances, and Dr. Louria-Hayon stated that they want to examine the receptors to which these substances bond, the cellular messages that are communicated, and the extent to which cannabinoids reduce the inflammatory response. “We believe that we will be able to accelerate the pace of investigation and move more rapidly to clinical applications, due to access to the National Biobank at Rambam,” said Dr. Louria-Hayon.

The purpose of the study is to treat the inflammatory storm as it develops and before the patient’s condition deteriorates and a ventilator is needed. “We hope that by decoding the cannabinoid activity mechanism during inflammatory storms, we can treat COVID-19 patients where conventional drugs have failed,” Dr. Louria-Hayon said. “The uniqueness of our cannabis treatments is based on our understanding of the mechanisms of cannabinoids activity and scientific findings.”

Dr. Shlomit Yehudai-Reshef, Director of the Rambam Medical Research Institute, explains, “We saw the establishment of a Biobank pool for COVID-19 research as essential to securing rapid answers and accelerating critically needed research. Blood samples are the most accessible resource for continuous sampling—to understand biological processes during the disease and to develop vaccines and drugs.”

“At Rambam, dozens of COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized in recent weeks, from whom blood samples were collected for clinical and research purposes”, she said, noting that “despite the complexity and high risk, we found a safe way to separate the white blood cells, including the immune cells from verified patients.”

Washington: WLSCB Virtual Listen And Learn Forum: Draft Conceptual Rules Regarding Marijuana Licensee True Party Of Interest Rules

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has rescheduled a Listen and Learn forum on draft conceptual rules regarding marijuana true party of interest regulations described in WAC 314-55-035 to accommodate concerns around the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please join us virtually on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. via WebEx in alignment with guidance and recommendations issued by the Governor’s office.

As you may recall, the Board began to consider revisions to existing marijuana true party of interest rules by initiating a formal rule inquiry under WSR 18-22-54 in October, 2018. Those efforts were extended by the passage of Engrossed Substitute House Bill (ESHB) 1794, concerning agreements between licensed marijuana businesses and other people and businesses, including royalty and licensing agreements relating to the use of intellectual property during the 2019 regular session of the Washington State legislature

During the summer, and into the fall and winter of 2019, WSLCB held multiple meetings with industry association representatives, licensees, and others to draft the conceptual rules we’ll be discussing during this Listen and Learn session. These conceptual draft rules reflect an engaged and inclusive developmental process that embodies not only WSLCB’s commitment to regulatory stability and consistency, but to listening to and learning from the input of licensees. They also represent a significant agency policy shift in the removal of the spousal vetting requirement.

An agenda is attached to help you prepare. Please come prepared to offer feedback and suggestions regarding this new rule section and the draft conceptual rules.

If you wish to join us virtually, we’d like to offer the following reminders:

  • Virtual participation will be structured to allow one speaker at a time though a hand-raising feature on WebEx.
  • If you experience difficulty with audio or visual elements of virtual participation, please be patient.

Please remember that we are still in the developmental phase of rulemaking, and these are not proposed or final rules. To help you prepare for this listen/learn/contribute forum, please review the guidance document prepared for this and future forums.

Questions? Contact Kathy Hoffman at katherine.hoffman@lcb.wa.gov

To join the WebEx Event:

Event address for attendees: https://watech.webex.com/watech/onstage/g.php?MTID=e13ac4927e2202ebbb097b00732f4e5b0

To attend by phone: (TOLL) +1-415-655-0001 or (TOLL FREE)+1-855-929-3239

Access code: 285 815 516

Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board Issues Emergency License Suspension For Smoking Exodus in Port Orchard

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Friday issued an emergency suspension for Smoking Exodus, a vapor product retailer, after an investigation found multiple violations of their state licenses and violations of state and federal drug laws. The suspension is for the licensee listed below:

Smoking Exodus:1382 SE Lund Avenue, Suite 150, Port Orchard, WA 98366

The suspension covers the licensee’s Cigarette, Tobacco, and Vapor Product Retailer license, and comes after an investigation by the WSLCB including multiple complaints and onsite visits. The violations included manufacturing vapor products without the required license, having alcohol on the premises, living in the premises, and the presence of drug paraphernalia which tested positive for methamphetamine.

The license will remain suspended for a period of 180 days, during which the WSLCB will pursue permanent revocation due to the aggravating circumstances of the case.

The WSLCB educates licensees to reach compliance and enforces Washington’s liquor, cannabis and tobacco laws and regulations. The WSLCB is mandated to ensure that licensees in Washington State follow state laws and regulations. When licensees fail to comply with state law the Board, under state authority can take action including the issuance of suspensions to ensure public health and safety.

Emergency suspensions represent an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power and the WSLCB is mandated to ensure that an emergency suspension is reasonable, justifiable and legal. This is the first Board-issued emergency suspension of 2020.