Colorado Legal Cannabis By The Numbers

COLORADO: How big is Colorado’s legal cannabis business?  According to statistics reported on the official Colorado State website, there are more than 460 medical marijuana grows, and more than 700 adult use cultivations in the Centennial State; with more than 1100 retail stores: 430 medical dispensaries and 700 recreational shops.

Here’s how the numbers break out:

Medical Marijuana Business License Numbers:

  • 466 Cultivations
  • 4 Delivery (Permits)
  • 7 Operators
  • 217 Product Manufacturers
  • 1 Research and Development and Research Cultivation
  • 439 Stores
  • 10 Testing Facilities
  • 7 Transporters

 Retail Marijuana Businesses License Numbers:

  • 703 Cultivations
  • 3 Hospitality
  • 9 Operators
  • 284 Product Manufacturers
  • 597 Stores
  • 11 Testing Facilities
  • 10 Transporters

Individual Licensees:

  • 1,732 Business Owners Licensees
  • 39,642 Employee Licensees

Acreage Announces Sale Of Maryland Dispensary

NEW YORK: Acreage Holdings, Inc., a vertically integrated, multi-state operator of cannabis licenses and assets in the U.S., today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with an undisclosed buyer, pursuant to which the Buyer, when permitted by state law, will purchase all of the issued and outstanding membership interests of Maryland Medicinal Research & Caring, LLC. MMRC is licensed to operate a medical cannabis dispensary in Baltimore, Maryland.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Due to regulatory restrictions regarding license transfers, the Buyer, upon approval by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, will enter into a managed services agreement with MMRC until the requisite time has elapsed before Acreage and the Buyer can close the transaction under the definitive agreement.  Closing of the transaction is contingent upon regulatory approvals.

“The sale of our Maryland dispensary is another step forward in our refocused strategy to accelerate our pathway to profitability,” said Bill Van Faasen, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Acreage. “It follows our divestiture in North Dakota, plus other cost-cutting measures completed earlier this year.  We are moving forward with our refocused plan as quickly as possible and we will continue to update shareholders on our progress as new events transpire.”

WSLCB Invitation For Public Comment: Draft Conceptual Rules For Marijuana Business Premise Certificate of Compliance

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is seeking public comment regarding draft conceptual rules. These draft conceptual rules are narrowly scoped to include a new rule subsection that provides a marijuana business premise certificate of compliance.  A draft, conceptual version of WAC 314-55-020 is linked here. The new subsection (6) is highlighted in blue.

Background
On July 8, 2020, the WSLCB filed a pre-proposal statement of inquiry (CR 101) to consider amending WAC 314-55-020 to establish a certificate of compliance for marijuana business premises consistent with the mandates of Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 6206 (Chapter 154, Laws of 2020). The CR-101 filing and supporting documents are located here.

Specifically, SSB 6206 amended RCW 69.50.331 to create a certificate of compliance for marijuana business premises, and became effective June 11, 2020. The amendment requires the Board to issue a certificate of compliance for a marijuana business applicant’s premises, if the premises met the distance requirements from restricted entities (such as parks, schools, and playgrounds) at the time the application was filed. The certificate allows the licensee to operate the business at the proposed location notwithstanding a later occurring, otherwise disqualifying factor regarding restricted entities.

The WSLCB invites and encourages your comment on the draft conceptual rule language offered as WAC 314-55-020 (6). Your feedback will be reviewed and considered before a CR 102, or rule proposal, is presented to the Board for approval.

Public Comment
Please forward your comments to Casey Schaufler at casey.schaufler@lcb.wa.gov by September 4, 2020. The CR102 proposal is anticipated to be presented to the Board on or after September 30, 2020.

Planet 13 Awarded Nevada Dispensary License

Planet 13 awarded Nevada retail cannabis license through settlement of the lawsuit against the Nevada Department of Taxation

NEVADA:  Planet 13 Holdings Inc., a leading vertically-integrated Nevada cannabis company, today announced it has agreed to a settlement of its ongoing lawsuit against the Nevada Department of Taxation and other parties which subsequently joined the litigation. As part of the Settlement, Planet 13 is receiving one provisional adult-use dispensary license in unincorporated Clark County, Nevada. The License will be used to re-open Planet 13’s former dispensary located at 4850 Sunset Road in Las Vegas, Nevada that closed on October 30, 2018 (the “Medizin Dispensary”).

“We’ve always known that as one of the top operators in Nevada, responsible for 9% of the state’s sales, we deserved to win a license from the Nevada Department of Taxation. Although we are not happy with how long the process took for us to obtain the license to re-open our original location, we are thrilled to be able to service our loyal customers who supported Planet 13 from day one,” said Larry Scheffler, Co-CEO of Planet 13. “The Medizin Dispensary at 4850 Sunset Road in Las Vegas is a fully built-out 4,750 sq. ft. store that offers the same dedication to customer service, high-quality products, and innovation that Planet 13 is known for, all in a compact footprint designed to compliment its local neighborhood.”

The Medizin Dispensary was closed on October 30, 2018, to transfer the license to the Planet 13 SuperStore located next to the Las Vegas Strip. During the last full quarter of operations, Q3 2018, the Medizin Dispensary generated $4.9 million in revenue with a gross margin of 53%. The Medizin Dispensary requires no additional CAPEX to open.

Nevada CCB Launches Investigations Into Three Nevada Dispensaries, Selling Potentially Unsafe Product

NEVADA: The Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) has opened investigations into three dispensaries for selling product that twice failed microbial testing.

On March 5, 2020, the Department of Taxation and CCB issued a directive to all dispensary/retail stores to immediately stop selling the product, Cherry OG F3, which failed laboratory testing for yeast and mold, coliforms, Enterobacteriaceae and Aspergillus.

At that time, the CCB instructed dispensary/retail stores to destroy or return the affected product to the cultivator and communicate that they took such action with the State. Despite the CCB’s directive, it appears three dispensaries retained their inventory of Cherry OG and began selling the product again in May.

Approximately 375 grams of the Cherry OG product were sold between May 19, 2020 and June 29, 2020 at the following Retail Stores/Medical Dispensaries:

1. Waveseer of Las Vegas, LLC (Jenny’s Dispensary), 5530 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89130 (License # 83760475147127946601);

2. Paradise Wellness Center, LLC (Las Vegas ReLeaf), 2244 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89104 (License # 54283805068313943868); and

3. Desert Aire Wellness, LLC (Sahara Wellness), 420 E Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89104 (License # 25729455103203031356)

On May 16, 2020, a hold on the product was temporarily lifted due to a CCB error that occurred during an unrelated investigation. However, the CCB’s health and safety advisory remained in effect; and under the directive, dispensaries should not have had the product in their inventory.

The CCB advises those who have purchased the product to avoid consuming it. Consumers should check any Cherry OG products for the source package # 1A404030000076F000006649. The CCB notified the aforementioned dispensaries and initiated investigations which are ongoing. There are no known reports of illness.

Helix Technologies Sells Security Guarding Business

COLORADO: Helix Technologies announced today the divestiture of its security guarding business. The strategic decision to sell the guarding unit solidifies Helix’s transition into a pure play technology company focused on the cannabis industry.

The divestiture of the guarding business is expected to increase gross margins and allow management to focus on growing the Company’s scalable, high margin suite of critical technology infrastructure services. Denver-based, Veteran-owned Invicta Group purchased the business and Security ProAdvisors LLC represented Helix in the sale. Helix will use the net proceeds to pay off existing liabilities and strengthen its working capital position.

“We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished with Helix Security. In a short time, we went from start-up–without a single client– to the undisputed leader in the Colorado security market, clearing the field of well-established, larger competitors, and leveraged that dominant position to expand into higher-margin critical technology infrastructure, and data. Now we will continue to bring that same discipline to bear – focused solely on our core technology strengths and on creating a more streamlined value proposition for investors” said Zachary L. Venegas, Helix Technologies’ Executive Chairman and CEO. “The additional working capital and narrowed focus provided by the divestiture will allow us to accelerate growth and continue shaping the cannabis technology landscape.”

Paul Ballenger, Invicta Group CEO added “This is a tremendous opportunity for us and our investors. Helix built a dominant business, and I could not be more excited to leverage our expertise to continue the rapid growth. Recent social unrest has underlined the need for this type of service, and I am excited to help our clients continue to grow while feeling safe and confident in their future.”

Are We Sleeping On The Women In Cannabis Media?

Recently, 420MEDIA CEO Kerri Accardi sat down with Tracy Lamourie for MJ News to discuss the exciting launch of her groundbreaking new venture A New Cannabis Channel

Here’s a peek into that conversation:

TRACY LAMOURIE: You have been doing some amazing things in the media and the cannabis space, and now you are combining the two in a way that I don’t think people are seeing just how groundbreaking it is!

KERRI ACCARDI: Maybe that’s because we didn’t Press Release our every move!

TRACY: Right! But now you are finally ready to let some of the secrets out! Can you tell us a little bit about the exciting things you have got going right now?

KERRI: Absolutely! I’m the founder of 420MEDIA, a full-service marketing and content creation agency.  Over the past 6 years we have been documenting the legalization of cannabis in the US. Currently we are in the process of launching a cannabis TV channel across ROKU, Apple TV, Firestick TV, Android TV, two mobile apps and online, with original programming, including a docu-series.

We are bringing education through entertainment with unprecedented opportunities for targeted advertising to cannabis and CBD companies.  We are super excited to take a very fragmented space and streamline the information to the mainstream while showcasing products and services in a way the public has yet to see.

There are so many people that they hear about CBD or they hear about the benefits of cannabis,  but they don’t know where to find a product or even worse they try a product that’s called CBD and it doesn’t work and right away they’re judging CBD as nonsense, but when you read the bottle it’s really hemp seed oil or something that doesn’t have CBD in it at all.

We really want to help guide people seeking knowledge. At the end of the day, we all have an endocannabinoid system with receptors for the plant on a molecular level. I don’t think the majority of people really understand that – and when they do it’s going to be a game changer.

TRACY: Absolutely- you’re talking education, you’re talking entertainment, the business of cannabis, literally anything relating to cannabis you will find on this channel. I know to bring something like this together doesn’t happen alone and you really have been able to gather an incredible team, some big names not just from cannabis but from the advertising world, from the world of marketing, from the world of media – you are bringing them all together, can you tell us about some of the people you have behind you and some of their experiences before joining you on this groundbreaking project in the world of cannabis.

KERRI: We have a phenomenal team that has come together absolutely from the mainstream industry. We have Emmy award winners; we have advertising executives – in fact the person who is creating our logo created one of the most iconic advertising campaigns I think ever in the world!

TRACY: Unbelievable!

KERRI: We will put names and more information and promo out over the next few weeks.

TRACY: I’m excited to see this develop. Can you tell me some more about the content, and I know it is incredible – you have got people at the top of their industries from athletics to the medical fields, not just one doctor but probably ten from across America – can you tell us a little bit about the content and the experience of gathering that over the years? I know it is a literal library, or a museum of cannabis history over the last few years.

KERRI:  Yes -we have a massive library of professionally filmed content – literally over 300 pioneers- on camera plus products, music, panels and speakers, and original programming.

Super bowl champion Marvin Washington hosts one of our series which explores cannabis from an athlete’s perspective. We have him in a CBD lab, pharmacy, events, as well as closed sets interviewing fellow NFL players and nurses – so it really is different insights coming through him.

Then we have another series hosted by a nurse and educator Heather Manus that is more geared to the medicinal side of the plant. What is the endocannabinoid system? Dosing, our receptors, what are the products and the different methods of ingestion and how does it affect us. Why is this plant working for people? We have another series called “Faces Of Cannabis” featuring over 30 pioneers sharing their story and insight into cannabis – from Wanda James who is on Netflix right now, to a child named Landon Riddle who is cancer free for seven years and he is nine years old to Dr Dina, the women the show “Weeds” was based on. We have a lot.

To me, in a time that is so divisive – to have over 300 people on camera to camera of different ages, ethnicities, and financial backgrounds that agree on one thing is pretty powerful.

TRACY: I know you have spoken in the past about the personal part of your mission.

KERRI: It’s super simple. I left New York on December 10th, 2013 I left on a mission to educate the world about cannabis.  My Aunt Kathy died. My best friend, my mentor, my everything. She died, and she didn’t have to. She definitely didn’t have to suffer like I watched.

I knew that no one would listen to me unless I knew what I was talking about, so I started at the bottom, literally – learning how to grow, meeting with patients, doctors, growers, lobbyists and more. This was back in 2013 in CA – it was a much different world.

In January 2014 NY quazi- legalized medical cannabis through executive order and thus 420MEDIA was born.

TRACY: What a journey. Somewhere your aunt is smiling down on you right now saying, ‘WOW! I inspired all this.’  You really are changing the world with this.  That’s not just language, people are going to see that as this develops – it’s going to be epic.

KERRI: What people don’t understand is that cannabis isn’t new, this medicine isn’t new, even the cannabis industry isn’t new – it’s new in the regulated space. California has been legal-ish for over twenty years and has been helping thousands of people.

TRACY : Now let’s talk a little about the business of cannabis, and I know from a business perspective it’s often difficult to get your message out in the space, struggles around advertising, struggles around restrictions and limitations on social media, lots of barriers about getting your message out there that we don’t face in messaging with other consumer products. So what you are doing is absolutely valuable to people in the cannabis marketing space.  Can you tell us a little bit about this really unprecedented advertising opportunity?

KERRI:  Everything was born out of a problem, and the problem is that brands do not have a place to advertise consistently. I learned about this over the past 6 years of owning an agency and having different television deals and advertising opportunities. They can just change their mind and the rules and the pricing and all sorts of craziness. This was created to enhance cannabis brands and products and give them a place to advertise and share their information very similar to television and TV commercials and when we go back into production we will have opportunity for product placement and sponsorships, so it is a space that will literally give brands the opportunity to showcase their product in high level content that has a truly targeted audience – because you aren’t coming to this channel to watch a baseball game.  You are coming to this channel to learn about cannabis

What’s the value of your athlete CBD cream being seen in a series hosted by a Super Bowl champion who also happens to have a case going to the Supreme Court over the legality of cannabis? What does it mean to have your brand showcased amongst medical professionals discussing the benefits of cannabis?

TRACY: So right now, can companies get involved? Right now, is there opportunity?

KERRI: Yes! What we are doing now, given the COVID-19 situation, is selling permanent placement in three of our series where we will build in commercials to showcase those brands and services. If you are in a series with Marv Washington, for example, you are in there forever. So, brands are getting multiple digital assets and a lifetime value. If they don’t have a commercial, we can have it created for a slight up-charge. If they do have a commercial, they can send it to us, and it will literally be edited in as if it was a part of that series. It is only for our inaugural series!

TRACY: So right now, anyone can get in on the ground floor, in there forever, they can basically write their own story right now as far as where they want to be.  As a publicist and a marketing person, I’m definitely excited about this for my own brand and for my clients, it’s great to be able to get in on the very beginning.

OLCC Rules Advisory Committee Meetings Added Substances in Marijuana Rules Package AUDIO

OREGON:  The OLCC has released the audio from the July 29, 2020 Licensee and Industry RAC. The topic of the advisory meeting was draft rules concerning additives and added substances in the states legal marijuana products.

Listen to the audio here:

 

FSD Pharma Announces Decision To Surrender Health Canada Licenses For Subsidiary FV Pharma Inc.

FV Pharma to shut down operations within 30 days

CANADA: FSD Pharma Inc. today announced that it has notified Health Canada of the Company’s decision to forfeit the licenses of its wholly-owned subsidiary, FV Pharma, Inc.  and suspend all activities by FV Pharma within 30 days of the notification date. FSD Pharma has begun the process of liquidating all FV Pharma assets, including the sale of the Company’s cannabis production facility in Cobourg, Ontario.

“It is now clear to us that our shareholder value is best served in closing down our medicinal grade cannabis operation in Cobourg, Ontario and reinforcing steps to advance pharmaceutical R&D efforts on our lead compound FSD201 (ultra-micronized PEA) and continuing to explore the acquisition of other compelling compounds to expand our drug development pipeline,” said Raza Bokhari, MD, Executive Co-Chairman & CEO.

“Our pharmaceutical R&D team led by Dr. Edward Brennan is actively working to submit an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) to the FDA for the use of FSD201 (ultra-micronized PEA) to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients by down-regulating the over-expressed pro-inflammatory cytokine immune response to SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. We are hopeful to initiate the phase 2 clinical trial before the end of this year and remain cautiously optimistic that our study may improve treatment outcome for COVID-19 patients.”

The Company is not making any express or implied claims that its product has the ability to eliminate, cure or contain the COVID-19 (or SARS-2 Coronavirus) at this time.

CalCPA Cannabis Industry Symposium Examines Impact Of COVID-19, Regulation & Economic Outlook On CA’s $3 Billion Cannabis Sector

CALIFORNIA: COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the California economy, and the cannabis sector has not been immune. Supply chains have been disrupted, revenues have taken a hit, and labor has been impacted. California’s cannabis industry is feeling the pain and seeking a path to recovery through economic stimulus, innovation and new business models, and solid advice from key advisors like CPAs who guide them through complex tax, accounting and auditing matters.

On August 7, 2020, CalCPA will again bring together leading experts and thinkers at its annual Cannabis Industry Virtual Symposium, where attendees will learn about the latest tax, legal and accounting updates impacting cannabis industry businesses and the professionals who advise them. Speakers will provide insight into new, recently implemented policies, outcomes from the COVID-19 stimulus legislation, interpretation of tax law, review of banking rules, trends in federal legislative actions, how to handle bankruptcy and receivership, and valuation of cannabis businesses.