Massachusetts Marijuana Retailers Surpass $1 Billion In Gross Sales

Milestone reached nearly two years after adult-use sales started in Massachusetts; progress continues to achieve industry goals

MASSACHUSETTS: Adult-use Marijuana Retailers in Massachusetts have now tallied more than $1 billion in gross sales, according to information reported in the state’s mandatory seed-to-sale tracking system, the Cannabis Control Commission announced Tuesday.

At close of business on Friday, October 30, aggregate data recorded in Metrc by 80 Marijuana Retailers operating statewide reached $1,000,521,905, coming nearly two years after the first two adult-use stores on the East Coast opened their doors November 20, 2018.

“This sales milestone represents licensees’ ability to successfully support a safe, accessible, and effective adult-use industry, and I am pleased the resulting tax benefits will have a significant impact on communities throughout the Commonwealth,” Commission Chairman Steven J. Hoffman said. “These numbers also speak to Commission licensing and enforcement staff working around the clock to make sure these businesses and their products comply with all of our regulations, especially the health and safety provisions. Each year, as this marketplace matures, the public will continue to see progress on state mandates and Commission objectives, including our commitment to equity, and the steps we have taken in 2020 are evidence of that.”

Source: Cannabis Control Commission’s Open Data Platform

Over the first year of adult-use sales, from November 2018 to November 2019, 33 Marijuana Retailers generated $393.7 million in gross sales, before licensees ultimately tallied $444.9 million for the full calendar year of 2019.

Since January 1, 2020, Marijuana Establishments have already surpassed those figures, generating $539 million in gross sales despite two months of closures as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency in Massachusetts. During the pandemic, the Commission has implemented numerous protocols, including social distancing requirements, sanitation measures, and curbside service at licensed locations throughout the state that put first the health and safety of employees, patients, and consumers, while also supporting Marijuana Establishments’ ongoing operations. Read more at MassCannabisControl.com/COVID19.

Licensing, Agents, and Equity

Since Massachusetts’ first two Marijuana Retailers opened in 2018, 82 more have received notices from the Commission to commence operations statewide and are in the process of opening. Another 201 Marijuana Retailers with provisional or final license approval are completing the Commission’s inspection and compliance procedures towards that end.

In total, the Commission has licensed 688 Marijuana Establishments, including Cultivators, Product Manufacturers, Independent Testing Laboratories, Microbusinesses, and more. Currently, 40 Cultivators are open for business, with the capacity to grow up to a maximum of 1.26 million square feet of canopy in the Commonwealth.

The Commission is also in the process of finalizing changes to its adult-use regulations that will support home delivery of marijuana and marijuana products, after launching the initial license applications for adult-use Delivery-Only operators in May. To further the agency’s mission of ensuring industry participation by communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition, the evolving Marijuana Courier and Marijuana Delivery Operator license types will be exclusively available to certified Economic Empowerment Applicants (EEAs) and Social Equity Program (SEP) Participants for a minimum of three years. So far, the Commission has issued two Delivery-Only—or Marijuana Courier—licenses to such applicants and pre-certified 47 more who are interested in offering delivery services in Massachusetts.

To date, two EEA licensees, two SEP licensees, and five Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) – or state-certified minority-, woman-, or veteran-owned companies – have opened. Additionally, the Commission has issued provisional licenses to 14 more EEAs, 21 more SEP Participants, and 87 DBEs that represent they have attended the state’s Supplier Diversity Office class and received expedited review from the Commission. Another four provisional licenses have gone to applicants who maintain both EEA status and participate in SEP, while seven more provisional licenses have gone to SEP Participants who are also DBE certified.

As of October, across all categories of licenses, the adult-use cannabis industry in Massachusetts consists of nearly 10,300 active Marijuana Establishment Agent registrations, up from 6,700 in November 2019. Of those, approximately 33 percent identify as female and 66 percent identify as male, while 74.2 percent of registered and proposed agents identify as White, 6.7 percent identify as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish, and 5.9 percent identify as Black or African American.

This spring, the Commission’s first cohort of 143 SEP Participants received technical assistance and training across four teaching tracks. For the second cohort, 285 applicants qualified and now have access to technical assistance and training that started in July and continues through this winter. Participants who are approved for the program based on three criteria receive automatic program benefits, such as expedited application review by the Commission’s licensing team, certain fee waivers, and exclusive access to license types such as the Marijuana Courier and Marijuana Delivery Operator licenses.

Public Health, Safety, and Research

Throughout 2020, the Commission has continued to lead on initiatives that prioritize the public health and safety of Massachusetts residents and increase patient and consumer awareness. As part of its multimillion-dollar campaign, More About Marijuana, which has traditionally focused on responsible use and preventing youth access, the Commission has incorporated new educational materials about the dangers of home manufacturingCOVID-19 safety tips for cannabis consumers, and the risks of vaping, in response to statutory requirements and recent health emergencies.

The Commission issued three industrywide emergency orders over the past year in response to reported occurrences of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) in the Commonwealth and across the nation. Staff also surveyed licensees to understand the ingredients and sources of additives used in licensed products, published multiple sets of testing results pertaining to regulated vapes—effectively clearing their use of Vitamin E acetate—and issued new packaging, labeling, and testing requirements, including the testing of finished vaping products to protect consumers against hazardous additives and contaminants. This summer, the Commission’s Second Amended Quarantine Order Applying to Vaporizer Products provided several options for licensees to address previously quarantined products manufactured prior to December 12, 2019:

  • Voluntarily disposing of vaporizer products;
  • Releasing vaporizer products from quarantine for sale if first retested or remediated; or
  • Repurposing quarantined vaporizer products into other marijuana products after reclaiming marijuana oil from the quarantined product.

The Commission continues to develop a product database that will enable law enforcement, state and local officials, such as school administrators, and parents, to determine whether products that may be illegally diverted into the hands of youth and/or the public came from a licensed source or the illicit market.

Finally, the Commission released five comprehensive research reports in the past year which focus on youth usagepreliminary industry assessmentthe impact of legalizationthe state of the data, and the effectiveness of the Commission’s public awareness campaign. Work is underway to conduct a baseline assessment of impacts to the healthcare system, adult-use cannabis behaviors, the utility in using public safety data to assess social equity provisions, legal and illicit market cannabis use behaviors, cannabis-related disciplinary actions in schools, as well as continuing the primary collected surveys included in the Marijuana Baseline Health Study.

Additional information about the Commission’s sales, licensing, and equity data is available by visiting MassCannabisControl.Com, by contacting the Commission by phone (774-415-0200) or email (Commission@CCCMass.Com), or following the agency on Facebook and Twitter.

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

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

  • 181,566 Recommendations
  • 140,409 Registered patients
    • 9,756 Patients with Veteran Status
    • 10,290 Patients with Indigent Status
    • 765 Patients with a Terminal Diagnosis
  • 115,155 Unique patients who purchased medical marijuana (as reported to OARRS by licensed dispensaries)
  • 15,854 Registered Caregivers

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

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

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

  • 168,678 Recommendations
  • 131,654 Registered patients
    • 9,267 Patients with Veteran Status
    • 9,694 Patients with Indigent Status
    • 724 Patients with a Terminal Diagnosis
  • 103,642 Unique patients who purchased medical marijuana (as reported to OARRS by licensed dispensaries)
  • 14,775 Registered Caregivers

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

OLCC Compliance Education Bulletin: Medical Sales To A Designated Caregiver

OREGON: The OLCC has added a “Bulletins” section to its Recreational Marijuana Program website with important information for licensees and marijuana worker permit holders.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is providing the following information to: recreational marijuana licensees.

The bulletin is part of OLCC’s compliance education. It is important that you read it, and understand it.If you don’t understand it please contact the OLCC for help.

Failure to understand and follow the information contained in this bulletin could result in an OLCC rules compliance violation affecting your ability to work or operate your business.

A bulletin previously issued by Metrc inadvertently provided the incorrect date for when the CTS functionality change takes place.  The change in Metrc is effective starting September 14, 2020.

Bulletin CE2020-04 covers the following issues:

  • Medical Sales to a Caregiver
  • Sales Limits to Caregivers and Patients
  • New Metrc Functionality – Designating Caregiver Sales

Compliance Education Bulletin CE2020-04 provides updated guidance on medical sales to a Designated Caregiver, sales limits caregivers and patients, and changes in Metrc functionality for caregiver sales.

Medical Sales to a Designated Caregiver

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) provides for patients to designate a caregiver who can purchase and possess marijuana items for the patient. The caregiver’s card references both the caregiver’s and patient’s registration number.

Effective September 14, 2020 new functionality in the Cannabis Tracking System (CTS), Metrc, now allows retailers to designate sales as “caregiver” sales, in addition to consumer and patient. When a caregiver sales is recorded, either manually in Metrc or through API or CSV upload, the retailer must input both the patient and caregiver numbers.

Rules allow for a patient and their caregiver to jointly possess up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana. This is to say, a retailer may sell up to the daily limit under both the patient’s and caregiver’s cards under the caregiver sales. This will go into effect when the daily sales limit returns to 8 ounces on September 18, 2020.

The bulletin describes the new functionality in Metrc and provides a step by step guide to entering a caregiver sales manually in the system. Metrc has previously provided API partners with details on this addition, so they should be ready to use this functionality in their systems.

Questions regarding the contents of this bulletin may be sent to marijuana.cts@oregon.gov.

Curaleaf’s Select Elite Live Cartridges Reach $1M Sales In Florida Within 30 Days

MASSACHUSETTS  Curaleaf Holdings, a leading vertically integrated cannabis operator in the United States, today announced that its line of Select Elite Live cartridges has reached $1 million in sales since launching in the Florida medical market on August 6.Select Elite Live features high quality, high potency oil with a wide variety of strain-specific flavor and effects. Curaleaf will unveil additional Select product offerings to Florida’s medical patients later this year, including the best-selling high potency broad spectrum Select Elite cartridges. As a recognized industry leader, Select is committed to maintaining the highest quality control standards and testing transparency and delivering the best experience possible.

“We are thrilled to have received such a positive response to Elite Live from our Florida patients, and look forward to continuing to provide innovative new products for their cannabis needs,” said Joe Bayern, President of Curaleaf. “The immediate success of Elite Live in Florida speaks to the power of the Select brand, and we are confident about our continued growth in the state.”

Select, known as America’s #1 Cannabis Oil Brand, has been on a path of rapid expansion since it was acquired by Curaleaf in February 2020. Select products are now available in over 950 independent dispensaries across 12 states, including ArizonaCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutFloridaMarylandMichiganNevadaOklahomaOregonMassachusetts and Maine. The Select brand will continue to expand across the U.S. with its launch into Ohio’s medical market later this month.

Curaleaf has continued its retail expansion in Florida, recently announcing the opening of its Clearwater and South Tampa locations and plans to open a new Brandon area dispensary later this month.

Curaleaf Opens New Cannabis Dispensary In Clearwater, Florida

New Location Marks Curaleaf’s 29th Storefront in Florida and 89th Nationwide

FLORIDA: Curaleaf Holdings, a leading vertically integrated cannabis operator in the United States and one of the largest cannabis operators in Florida, announced today that it has opened a new dispensary in Clearwater, Florida, marking its 29th retail location in the state.Curaleaf Clearwater, located at 2082 Gulf to Bay Boulevard, will carry a wide range of Curaleaf and Select brand products. Select, known as America’s #1 cannabis oil brand now available in 12 states, launched earlier this month in Florida with Select Elite Live, the brand’s new enhanced live resin product, which combines high-quality THC oil and live resin high-terpene extract. The company also recently launched the first-to-market Curaleaf sublingual tablets. The Clearwater location is the first of three new medical dispensaries the company plans to open in the market this quarter.

“Curaleaf remains committed to the Florida market and its patients by providing high-quality medical cannabis products and new consumption formats that make cannabis accessible for all,” said Joe Bayern, President at Curaleaf. “We are thrilled to open Clearwater and support the health and wellness needs of more Floridians.”

Florida’s continued growth in patient registration makes it one of the nation’s fastest-growing medical cannabis markets in the country. Currently, there are over 394,000 medical patients enrolled in the Florida program – about 1.8% of the state’s population – with approximately 5,000 new patients joining each week.

In response to COVID-19, Curaleaf continues to implement new policies and procedures, including curbside services and contactless and cashless payment through approved credit and debit card services, to keep patients, customers and employees safe during this time. To see Curaleaf’s dispensary locations in Florida, please visit www.curaleaf.com/locations/#florida.

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority Names New Director

OKLAHOMA:  The deputy director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will serve as interim director of the authority, officials announced Friday.

Kelly Williams replaces Travis Kirkpatrick, who was recently named deputy commissioner of prevention and preparedness at the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Kirkpatrick, who will oversee the OMMA from his new position, chose Williams for the interim post. Kirkpatrick had been named director of the authority in January after serving as interim director for about three months.

“This is a young agency and we have seen massive growth over the past two years,” Williams said in a statement. “I look forward to the challenges and the rewards of growing the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority into an agency that will make Oklahomans proud.”

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:

CANADA: Cannalogue Introduces COVID-19 Compassionate Care Program For Medical Cannabis

Physician-led online marketplace offers discount of 20-50% on select products for frontline workers, seniors and financially strained

CANADA: In response to the closure of storefront retailers due to COVID-19, online marketplace Cannalogue announced today a new Compassionate Care Program that seeks to provide better access to medical cannabis for all Canadians. 

Qualified candidates including first responders, seniors, nurses, teachers, and those facing financial strain due to work shortage/layoffs can enroll in the program to receive selected products at a discount of 20-50%.  The doctor-recommended, Health Canada approved products include oils, capsules, and dried flowers from as low as $3.50/gram.  As the most inclusive program in Canada, Cannalogue’s Compassionate Care Program is also available to veterans, individuals currently enrolled in a disability, federal or provincial assistance program and Indigenous peoples.

“COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on all Canadians” says President and CEO, Dr. Mohan Cooray. “As a result, we’ve seen an upsurge in cannabis use among patients managing symptoms such as pain, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and stress – especially from symptoms related to COVID-19 isolation.  Cannabis is a natural plant medicine that can be used safely to manage mental health issues without the dependency effects we see from alcohol, opioids or narcotics.  During this unprecedented time and without access to storefront retailers, we want to help Canadians receive the products they need,” he says.

Additionally, with limited access to doctors or pharmacists during self-isolation, Cannalogue’s medical staff can assess and provide dosage recommendations over the phone.  “Cannalogue is an essential national medical service that Health Canada has confirmed will be fully available to patients during the pandemic. No matter how long we face the challenges of COVID-19, Cannalogue will be here to help,” says Dr. Cooray.