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Florida’s largest medical marijuana operator gets more dispensaries after reaching deal with state

State health officials have dropped an appeal of a Tallahassee judge’s ruling and agreed to allow Florida’s largest medical marijuana operator to open more dispensaries than a state law allowed.

Quincy-based Trulieve challenged a limit on the number of storefronts that was included in a 2017 law aimed at carrying out a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

The cap, initially set at 25 dispensaries for each operator, gradually increases as the number of eligible patients in a statewide database increases. The cap, now at 35, is slated to end in April 2020.

To read more….

News

New Legal Marijuana Bill Introduced In New York State Legislature

New Legal Marijuana Bill Introduced In New York State Legislature

For an industry like medical marijuana, New York remains one of the most coveted markets. This is not really a surprise considering the fact that it is one of the most affluent states in the country. However, over the years bills that were meant for legalizing the sale of marijuana were consistently voted down. Entities that sponsor such bills have been trying to find new strategies to counter this. That being said, they have not given up and it seems that they are now in the process of introducing another bill that they believe could become law. It would eventually pave the way for the legalization of marijuana in New York.

The Bill

The bill in question was explained by Democratic lawmaker Liz Krueger. She said that it addresses the concerns that were raised about the previous bill. Krueger has been the advocate of legalizing marijuana in the state for quite some time. She has stated that the points that were raised at the time of budget negotiations are going to be incorporated into the new bill. This fact gives it a much greater chance of being signed into law.

One reason the bill could pass is thanks to certain proposals within the bill. Marijuana and cannabis-infused products are currently sold in the state but remain unregulated. If this bill is passed, one single regulatory authority will oversee the whole marijuana market.

Social Angle

However, a huge motivation for lawmakers to allow the sale of a largely harmless product is the revenues collected via taxes. The revenues can benefit the community as a whole. One of the lawmakers has also proposed that part of the taxes collected from the legal sale of marijuana should be used to help distressed communities in the state.

In addition to that, it has also been proposed that a part of the proceeds should go towards the police force in the city. Krueger said that at this point of time, the numbers are not quite there for the bill to pass. But, it is worthwhile to remember that Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic Governor, is a supporter of marijuana legalization and could prove to be a strong ally when it comes to driving the numbers.

Published at Mon, 20 May 2019 19:03:27 +0000

News

48North Cannabis Corp. Announces Third Consecutive EBITDA-positive Quarterly Results, Receives License from Health Canada to Operate One of the World’s Largest Cannabis Farms

48North Cannabis Corp. Announces Third Consecutive EBITDA-positive Quarterly Results, Receives License from Health Canada to Operate One of the World’s Largest Cannabis Farms

48North Cannabis Corp. (TSXV:NRTH), a leading licensed cannabis producer focused on next-generation cannabis products, has released its financial and operating results for the three and nine months ended March 31, 2019. The Company’s financial statements and related management discussion and analysis for the period are available on the Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com and on the Company’s website at www.48nrth.com/investors.

48North Cannabis Co. (CNW Group/48North Cannabis Co.)

Financial and Operating Highlights for Fiscal Q3 2019

  • 48North remained EBITDA positive for its third consecutive quarter with the Company’s three-month EBITDA totalling $78,000, representing an 570% increase from Q2 to Q3. EBITDA for the nine months ended March 31, 2019 was $696,000 compared to ($4,429,000)for the comparative period in 2018. Third quarter revenues totaled $689,000, with nine month revenues totalling $4.3 million.
  • Inventory increased from $928,000 at December 31, 2018 to $2,481,000 at March 31, 2019 as the Company positions for next-generation products expected to occur in Fall 2019.
  • 48North announced that it signed Canada’s first-ever letter of intent for outdoor-grown cannabis with the Société Québécoise du cannabis (SQDC). Under the agreement, 48North will supply 1,200 kilograms of cannabis to the SQDC from its outdoor farm in Brant County, Ont., and 120 kilograms of indoor-grown cannabis from its facilities in Brantford, Ont., and Kirkland Lake, Ont.
  • 48North announced that it signed an exclusive licensing agreement with U.S.-based Arbor Pacific Inc. to bring its premium Avitas cannabis brand to Canadian consumers.
  • 48North received its Standard Processing Licence from Health Canada for its Good & Green facility in Brantford, Ont. This additional licence solidifies the Company’s ability to launch next-generation cannabis products for retail sale in fall 2019.

Events Subsequent to Q3 Fiscal 2019

  • 48North received its outdoor cultivation licence from Health Canada for its 100-acre (3.7-million-sq.-ft.) organic farm (“Good Farm”), located in Brant County, Ont. Good Farm is one of the largest-ever licensed cannabis facilities in the world. With Health Canada’s licensing of Good Farm, 48North is expecting to harvest 40,000 kg of dried cannabis in 2019 from Good Farm.
  • 48North closed a bought deal for gross proceeds of $28.75 million. The use of the proceeds is earmarked for the successful operation of Good Farm and the development and distribution of next-generation cannabis products to consumers for retail sale in Canada in October 2019.
  • 48North announced that it accelerated the expiry of certain common share purchase warrants, with gross proceeds to the company totalled $13.6 million.
  • 48North entered into a formal partnership with humble+fume to build a state-of-the-art cannabis extraction facility and packaging line at Good House. Upon completion of the extraction facility, 48North is expected to be able to process more than 30,000 kg of cannabis annually. The build-out of the extraction facility and packaging line is expected to be completed in summer 2019 and is being paid by humble+fume.
  • Finally, 48North was recognized as “Brand of the Year,” at the annual O’Cannabiz Industry Awards Gala.

“48North successfully achieved all of the milestones it targeted in Q3  and is therefore well on its way accomplishing its goal of delivering next-generation products for fall 2019. This included receiving its outdoor cultivation licence from Health Canada for its Good Farm,” said Alison Gordon, co-CEO of 48North.

“To successfully deliver on the Company’s commitment to have next-generation products ready for retail sale by fall 2019, and with previous uncertainty with respect to the licensing of the outdoor farm, on a precautionary basis, 48North strategically withheld a significant percentage of its indoor-grown cannabis for next-generation cannabis products. This reserve product will now be sold as dried flower,” Ms. Gordon said.

Selected Financial Information for Three Months Ended March 31, 2019

   All amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars

3-months ended
March 31, 2019

9-months ended
March 31, 2019

Revenue

689,203

4,347,652

Gross profit

2,598,586

6,461,030

EBITDA*

77,630

695,783

Net and comprehensive loss

(1,471,587)

(3,355,370)

Total assets

53,997,211

53,997,211

Total liabilities

4,723,223

4,723,223

Cash on hand

17,990,481

17,990,481

Proforma cash on hand post financing and
warrants **

58,361,677

58,361,677

*EBITDA is a non-IFRS measure and defined as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, and stock-based compensation expense, and is not a recognized measure for financial statement presentation under IFRS. EBITDA is not intended to be considered as an alternative to net earnings, cash flow from operations, or any other measure of performance prescribed by IFRS. The Company’s EBITDA may also not be comparable to EBITDA used by other companies, which may be calculated differently. The Company considers EBITDA to be a meaningful measure to assess its operating performance in addition to standardized IFRS measures. It is included because the Company believes it can be useful in measuring its ability to fund capital expenditures and expand its business.

**On April 2, 2019 the Company completed a financing for gross proceeds of $28.75 million.  On May 2, 2019, the Company completed the acceleration of 18 million warrants with gross proceeds of $13.6 million.

Third-Quarter 2019 Results Conference Call
When: Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Dial-in number: 8:30 AM ET
Toll-free North American number: 1-888-231-8191 | 647-427-7450
The conference ID is 5033849 and you will be prompted to provide your name and company.

About 48North

48North Cannabis Corp. (TSXV: NRTH) is a vertically integrated cannabis company focused on the health and wellness market through cultivation and extraction, as well as the creation of innovative, authentic brands for next-generation cannabis products. 48North is developing formulations and manufacturing capabilities for its own proprietary products, as well as positioning itself to contract manufacture similar products for third parties. 48North operates Good Farm, a 100-acre organic cannabis farm, expected to produce over 40,000 kg of organic, sun-grown cannabis securing a significant first-mover advantage in the production of low-cost, next-generation, extract-based cannabis products. In addition, 48North operates two indoor-licensed cannabis production sites in Ontario with more than 86,000 square feet of production capacity. 48North cultivates unique genetics at its wholly owned subsidiaries, DelShen Therapeutics Corp. (“DelShen”) and 2599760 Ontario Corp. dba Good & Green (“Good & Green”), both Licensed Producers under the Cannabis Act. 48North has a growing portfolio of brands that include Latitude, a women’s cannabis platform (explorelatitude.com), Mother & Clone, a rapid-acting sublingual cannabis nanospray (momandclone.com) and Avitas, a single strain vaporizer cartridge (avitasgrown.com).

DISCLAIMER & READER ADVISORY
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Certain statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking information. These statements relate to future events or future performance. The use of any of the words “could,” “intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “will,” “projected,” “estimated” and similar expressions and statements relating to matters that are not historical facts are intended to identify forward-looking information and are based on the parties’ current belief or assumptions as to the outcome and timing of such future events. Actual future results may differ materially. Forward-looking statements in this news release include statements relating to the business plan and future operations of the Company. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or developments to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including the possibility that the business plan described herein will not be completed, that 48North may not derive the expected benefits from such business plans, or that applicable regulatory approvals will be obtained to carry out the activities contemplated herein. The business of the Company is subject to a number of material risks and uncertainties. Please refer to the Company’s SEDAR filings for further details. Various assumptions or factors are typically applied in drawing conclusions or making the forecasts or projections set out in forward-looking information. Those assumptions and factors are based on information currently available to the parties. The material factors and assumptions include the Company being able to obtain the necessary corporate, regulatory and other third-party approvals, and licensing and other risks associated with the Cannabis Act. The forward-looking information contained in this release is made as of the date hereof and the parties are not obligated to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws. Because of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions contained herein, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The foregoing statements expressly qualify any forward-looking information contained herein.

SOURCE 48North Cannabis Co.

View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2019/20/c4620.html

David Hackett, Chief Financial Officer, (416) 639 5891 ext. 304, investor@48nrth.com; Connor Whitworth, Director of Corporate Affairs, (416) 639 5891 ext. 316, investor@48nrth.comCopyright CNW Group 2019

Published at Mon, 20 May 2019 21:12:41 +0000

News

Illinois Lawmaker Wants Stronger Reforms in Cannabis Bill

Illinois Lawmaker Wants Stronger Reforms in Cannabis Bill

As cannabis policy reform continues to evolve at the state and federal level, social equity and social justice are two concepts that lawmakers and industry stakeholders must realize. For Roz McCarthy, founder and CEO of Minorites for Medical Marijuana (M4MM), these issues must be built in to the framework of legislation, but also addressed through educational programs that help equip minority-owned businesses with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed.

Founded in Florida in 2016, M4MM has 24 chapters throughout the U.S., as well as in Toronto and Jamaica. Here, McCarthy discusses the organization’s goals, its approach to social equity and social justice, and the group’s recent meeting with congressional representatives.

Cannabis Business Times: What are some of the organization’s overall goals?

Roz McCarthy: I lost my mom to breast cancer in 2005, and I also have a son who has sickle cell anemia. I just felt compelled from a medical standpoint to make sure that people from minority communities [have] a really good understanding about this plant and [break] through some of the stigmas. We were always taught [that] this is bad, it’s not good for you, it’s addictive. So, this whole paradigm shift of how this plant could support a better quality of life for medical patients, that’s a story and that’s an education that is massive.

That was my first focus, and then after I started creating the mission and the goals of the organization and the vision, I added in social justice. I added in public policy. I really, truly believe that if you don’t create good public policy at the state and federal level, participation, diversity and inclusion sometimes can be really hard to facilitate if you don’t make sure that you put it in the framework of a bill. Then, we also focus on business development and workforce development. We really want to make sure that people of color are involved in the ecosystem of cannabis from a business perspective. It’s not just touching the plant, but it’s also the ancillary opportunities that have presented themselves.

CBT: What is the organization’s overall vision for social equity in the cannabis industry, and how can this be achieved?

RM: I look at social equity as a very holistic entity that needs to be addressed in a holistic way. It is not a Band-Aid where you say, “Hey, we’ve got a social equity program. Now you get a license, and you’re off and running.” I truly believe the intention is good, but when you look at social equity, it’s a multi-pronged and multi-tiered approach. Equity means, how do you balance the scale?

Of course [there’s] the business side, and then we talk about social justice in regard to expungement, [the] clearing of records. Not only the clearing of records, but how can we also provide wraparound services that support individuals who have been ostracized, who have still not received their new lease on life after having their records cleared? They need some help. They need some connectivity. And I think there’s an opportunity [there]. Yes, we can clear records, but how wonderful would it be if we could get them the ancillary social service pieces, as well, that will help them not only have a clear record, but have a better quality of life?

I truly believe another piece of social equity is that we look back at our communities that have been ravaged by the war on drugs and have been torn apart and are not where they should be. We still have youth that remain in those communities. We still have youth that have a misconception on medical marijuana and what that means. We have a responsibility from a social equity standpoint to educate our youth. We want to explain how this affects you as your brain is still growing, and how this can affect you as you’re excelling in school and as you prepare to go off to college, and how the use of cannabis can disrupt your whole life. That’s a responsibility we have, as well.

That’s why I say a holistic approach to social equity because it’s not just one silo, but several different opportunities that we have to rebalance the scale in our communities.

CBT: M4MM recently met with congressional representatives to offer insight on the importance of including social equity provisions in cannabis legalization measures. How did that event go, and what were some of the key takeaways?

RM: We had some really positive meetings. One of the best ones was with Rep. Earl Blumenauer. First and foremost, he took time out of his schedule to meet with us. He explained the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and the goals of that caucus. One of the things that we focus on as a goal is descheduling across the board in regard to the plant. Having a conversation about equity [was important], but also being able to explain why descheduling is important—it was a total comprehensive conversation that we had with Blumenauer.

He gave us recommendations on other colleagues that he felt were committed to not only descheduling, but also committed to wanting to understand, what does social equity look like? How can you frame it up within the framework of bills and amendments and the Constitution? Is it reparations? We call it “release and repair.” Release and repair is all about individuals who may be incarcerated or who were incarcerated. [It’s] expunging records if they are not incarcerated any longer, and, if they are incarcerated, based upon the level of the incarceration or the level of the marijuana offense, [it’s] being able to release them. And then how do we have funds? What about, for example, the DOJ having a fund of $100 million that would be able to support organizations [that are] repairing and allowing people to get a new lease on life? Those were some of the conversations that we had with him.

Photo courtesy of Roz McCarthy

M4MM members met with congressional representatives to discuss cannabis policy reform and the importance of including social equity and social justice components in cannabis legislation.

We spoke with David Joyce, who is a Republican who’s also on the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. His focus is the STATES Act. There are some minority organizations who don’t believe the STATES Act goes far enough, and I agree. But one thing I believe about this industry is we almost have an 80-year history of prohibition with this plant, and all of our goals and all of the things we want to change at a federal level and state level are not going to happen overnight. I look at the STATES Act as a pathway to help us get to where we need to be. The STATES Act would definitely help multi-state operators, these large companies. However, the STATES Act would also support minority-owned businesses who are right now preparing their applications to get into the industry. They have the same challenges. They need banking. They need [cannabis] to be descheduled at the state levels so they have more room to maneuver. So, Congressman Joyce, that’s his focus. I realize it’s not going to meet all of our needs, but the first bill that comes in that gives us a little relief is not going to give us all the social equity that we should have and that we deserve. We have to focus on who’s going to direct the policy. We have to vote people in who are going to be sympathetic to the policy because it just doesn’t happen overnight.

I believe we have to work smarter and not harder. We have to be strategic. We have to be in front of these legislators, and we have to go to the ones who are not friendly to our position. We met with Sen. Marco Rubio’s office, who is not a supporter of adult use. He’s a supporter of a medical program. He’s a STATES Act supporter. But if we don’t have conversations with them to at least be able to say, “This is our point. This is why we believe this is important,” if we only go to the people who are sympathetic to what we’re talking about—that’s not how our government is built. It’s built on differing sides on a common ground and coming together to make that common ground work.

CBT: Are there any states that you think have included particularly robust social equity provisions in their cannabis legalization efforts?

RM: [Missouri’s Medical marijuana program] passed in November 2018. They’re currently promulgating rules and they’re getting the applications ready for individuals or entities to apply for business licenses. One thing about Missouri that I appreciate is they don’t have a social equity carveout. They wrote their bill so that it would service all of Missouri.

Missouri has eight congressional districts. They have 24 dispensary licenses that will be given out per congressional district in the state of Missouri. That means that there will be 192 [dispensary] licenses that go out in the first round. They also have noted that they’re going to give out 86 manufacturing and processing licenses. They’re also going to give out 61 cultivation licenses.

So, let’s take a city like St. Louis. St. Louis has a 56-percent African American population, and it sits in its own congressional district. So, even without saying, “Hey, let’s create a social equity program,” if you can prepare business owners who sit in that district who want to compete—we put on a boot camp. It started April 13 and it went for four weeks, where we had minority-owned businesses who attended our boot camp. It was six hours for four Saturdays in a row, and we went over everything from mitigating risks to understanding cultivation, extraction [and] dispensaries, a day in the life of these businesses: how to do your business plan, how to create your business partnerships, business formation 101, how to identify your real estate. What’s the role of the accountant and 280E? What are your ancillary business opportunities? We did this in a four-week time period so these individuals now can really compete.

And there are going to be provisions in [Missouri’s licensing] application that say, “What’s your diversity plan? How are you going to serve diverse communities?” On top of that, with 192 licenses the first round, you really create an opportunity where you don’t need to give me one [or] two [licenses]—you just need to know how to compete and put together a strong application and get your funding. We actually brought in investors the last class who pitched themselves to the attendees. These investors came in and said, “Hey, I’m looking to find a partner who wants to do x, y, and z.” They can say, “I’m an investor and I’m looking to invest in a dispensary operation,” and now we’re starting to matchmake these investors to these participants. It was a beautiful program.

Oaksterdam University is our educational partner. We also [partner with] Green Rush Consulting, which is a consulting firm out of Oakland that has over 10 years of experience writing applications for winning teams to get their license throughout the country. It was extremely well-received.

We have to, of course, ring the bell for social justice, but we also have to deliver solutions, and it has to be quantifiable solutions. In Missouri, when we created this boot camp, it’s a quantifiable solution that is measured—we have outcome data that we can track, and we can actually see how we are trying to make a difference and how impactful we are with the program we tried to put together. We have to find those solutions and that common ground.

CBT: What aspects of social equity or social justice should states looking to legalize be sure to include in cannabis legalization measures?

RM: I think a percentage of [cannabis tax revenue] should go toward release and repair, and that’s a social justice issue. How can we review individuals who have convictions that are cannabis-related? How can there be a provision for release in the policy for a cannabis-related crime? How about having a percentage of the tax revenue that’s generated that goes back to also the repair? [Look] at job creation, job opportunity, putting some money [aside] and [establishing] some programming that’s very specific to individuals who were incarcerated for cannabis.

States that put in these provisions that say that you can’t have ownership [in a company] or you can’t even work in the cannabis industry if you have a cannabis-related felony—I think that should be dialed back extremely.

On [the] social equity [side], from a business standpoint, I think [we need] diversity [and] inclusivity overall. So, when you write a policy that says how people are going to be awarded a license, the policy should also focus on everyone having to show their capacity to create a diversity plan that’s going to support workforce development, diversity in suppliers and contracting, as well as ownership. No matter if you’re white or black, that should be something that’s in the law that says this has to be integrated into your plan to do business, [and] there will be a check and balance to make sure that what you put on paper, you’re actually doing.

I think policy is just really, really key. Larger, well-capitalized, well-funded lobbying groups [should] self-police and [say], “We’re going to make sure that you’re doing the right thing.” [Social equity] would happen so much quicker, to be honest with you. Anyone who’s touching the cannabis space, I think we have a responsibility to say, “OK, what can we do to structure good policy that’s not going to be challenged in court?” That’s another issue. Sometimes social equity that you put in [policy] is used as a carveout, and if that carveout is directly in conflict with the state’s constitution, then you end up having litigation that ends up basically preventing anyone from going after a license that would be considered an equity applicant. So, we have to try to figure out that sweet spot where you write policy that’s going to support an equity applicant and that’s also going to stand the test of time with litigation.

Then, the other thing is, how do we define a social equity applicant? Is it someone who’s been incarcerated? I have family that’s been incarcerated, so does that make me a social equity applicant? I’ve never been incarcerated. We really need to look at, what does that mean? When it comes to contracting, establishing a business [and] having a profitable business, African American businesses have always had challenges and struggles. So, again, how do you define social equity? Is it something that is specific to African American businesses? Is it specific to just a specific group of people? And I think that’s something we need to think about.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for style, length and clarity.

Published at Mon, 20 May 2019 14:02:00 +0000

News

Caliva Acquires Beverage Maker Zola to Accelerate CBD-Infused Beverage Rollout

Caliva Acquires Beverage Maker Zola to Accelerate CBD-Infused Beverage Rollout

As cannabis policy reform continues to evolve at the state and federal level, social equity and social justice are two concepts that lawmakers and industry stakeholders must realize. For Roz McCarthy, founder and CEO of Minorites for Medical Marijuana (M4MM), these issues must be built in to the framework of legislation, but also addressed through educational programs that help equip minority-owned businesses with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed.

Founded in Florida in 2016, M4MM has 24 chapters throughout the U.S., as well as in Toronto and Jamaica. Here, McCarthy discusses the organization’s goals, its approach to social equity and social justice, and the group’s recent meeting with congressional representatives.

Cannabis Business Times: What are some of the organization’s overall goals?

Roz McCarthy: I lost my mom to breast cancer in 2005, and I also have a son who has sickle cell anemia. I just felt compelled from a medical standpoint to make sure that people from minority communities [have] a really good understanding about this plant and [break] through some of the stigmas. We were always taught [that] this is bad, it’s not good for you, it’s addictive. So, this whole paradigm shift of how this plant could support a better quality of life for medical patients, that’s a story and that’s an education that is massive.

That was my first focus, and then after I started creating the mission and the goals of the organization and the vision, I added in social justice. I added in public policy. I really, truly believe that if you don’t create good public policy at the state and federal level, participation, diversity and inclusion sometimes can be really hard to facilitate if you don’t make sure that you put it in the framework of a bill. Then, we also focus on business development and workforce development. We really want to make sure that people of color are involved in the ecosystem of cannabis from a business perspective. It’s not just touching the plant, but it’s also the ancillary opportunities that have presented themselves.

CBT: What is the organization’s overall vision for social equity in the cannabis industry, and how can this be achieved?

RM: I look at social equity as a very holistic entity that needs to be addressed in a holistic way. It is not a Band-Aid where you say, “Hey, we’ve got a social equity program. Now you get a license, and you’re off and running.” I truly believe the intention is good, but when you look at social equity, it’s a multi-pronged and multi-tiered approach. Equity means, how do you balance the scale?

Of course [there’s] the business side, and then we talk about social justice in regard to expungement, [the] clearing of records. Not only the clearing of records, but how can we also provide wraparound services that support individuals who have been ostracized, who have still not received their new lease on life after having their records cleared? They need some help. They need some connectivity. And I think there’s an opportunity [there]. Yes, we can clear records, but how wonderful would it be if we could get them the ancillary social service pieces, as well, that will help them not only have a clear record, but have a better quality of life?

I truly believe another piece of social equity is that we look back at our communities that have been ravaged by the war on drugs and have been torn apart and are not where they should be. We still have youth that remain in those communities. We still have youth that have a misconception on medical marijuana and what that means. We have a responsibility from a social equity standpoint to educate our youth. We want to explain how this affects you as your brain is still growing, and how this can affect you as you’re excelling in school and as you prepare to go off to college, and how the use of cannabis can disrupt your whole life. That’s a responsibility we have, as well.

That’s why I say a holistic approach to social equity because it’s not just one silo, but several different opportunities that we have to rebalance the scale in our communities.

CBT: M4MM recently met with congressional representatives to offer insight on the importance of including social equity provisions in cannabis legalization measures. How did that event go, and what were some of the key takeaways?

RM: We had some really positive meetings. One of the best ones was with Rep. Earl Blumenauer. First and foremost, he took time out of his schedule to meet with us. He explained the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and the goals of that caucus. One of the things that we focus on as a goal is descheduling across the board in regard to the plant. Having a conversation about equity [was important], but also being able to explain why descheduling is important—it was a total comprehensive conversation that we had with Blumenauer.

He gave us recommendations on other colleagues that he felt were committed to not only descheduling, but also committed to wanting to understand, what does social equity look like? How can you frame it up within the framework of bills and amendments and the Constitution? Is it reparations? We call it “release and repair.” Release and repair is all about individuals who may be incarcerated or who were incarcerated. [It’s] expunging records if they are not incarcerated any longer, and, if they are incarcerated, based upon the level of the incarceration or the level of the marijuana offense, [it’s] being able to release them. And then how do we have funds? What about, for example, the DOJ having a fund of $100 million that would be able to support organizations [that are] repairing and allowing people to get a new lease on life? Those were some of the conversations that we had with him.

Photo courtesy of Roz McCarthy

M4MM members met with congressional representatives to discuss cannabis policy reform and the importance of including social equity and social justice components in cannabis legislation.

We spoke with David Joyce, who is a Republican who’s also on the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. His focus is the STATES Act. There are some minority organizations who don’t believe the STATES Act goes far enough, and I agree. But one thing I believe about this industry is we almost have an 80-year history of prohibition with this plant, and all of our goals and all of the things we want to change at a federal level and state level are not going to happen overnight. I look at the STATES Act as a pathway to help us get to where we need to be. The STATES Act would definitely help multi-state operators, these large companies. However, the STATES Act would also support minority-owned businesses who are right now preparing their applications to get into the industry. They have the same challenges. They need banking. They need [cannabis] to be descheduled at the state levels so they have more room to maneuver. So, Congressman Joyce, that’s his focus. I realize it’s not going to meet all of our needs, but the first bill that comes in that gives us a little relief is not going to give us all the social equity that we should have and that we deserve. We have to focus on who’s going to direct the policy. We have to vote people in who are going to be sympathetic to the policy because it just doesn’t happen overnight.

I believe we have to work smarter and not harder. We have to be strategic. We have to be in front of these legislators, and we have to go to the ones who are not friendly to our position. We met with Sen. Marco Rubio’s office, who is not a supporter of adult use. He’s a supporter of a medical program. He’s a STATES Act supporter. But if we don’t have conversations with them to at least be able to say, “This is our point. This is why we believe this is important,” if we only go to the people who are sympathetic to what we’re talking about—that’s not how our government is built. It’s built on differing sides on a common ground and coming together to make that common ground work.

CBT: Are there any states that you think have included particularly robust social equity provisions in their cannabis legalization efforts?

RM: [Missouri’s Medical marijuana program] passed in November 2018. They’re currently promulgating rules and they’re getting the applications ready for individuals or entities to apply for business licenses. One thing about Missouri that I appreciate is they don’t have a social equity carveout. They wrote their bill so that it would service all of Missouri.

Missouri has eight congressional districts. They have 24 dispensary licenses that will be given out per congressional district in the state of Missouri. That means that there will be 192 [dispensary] licenses that go out in the first round. They also have noted that they’re going to give out 86 manufacturing and processing licenses. They’re also going to give out 61 cultivation licenses.

So, let’s take a city like St. Louis. St. Louis has a 56-percent African American population, and it sits in its own congressional district. So, even without saying, “Hey, let’s create a social equity program,” if you can prepare business owners who sit in that district who want to compete—we put on a boot camp. It started April 13 and it went for four weeks, where we had minority-owned businesses who attended our boot camp. It was six hours for four Saturdays in a row, and we went over everything from mitigating risks to understanding cultivation, extraction [and] dispensaries, a day in the life of these businesses: how to do your business plan, how to create your business partnerships, business formation 101, how to identify your real estate. What’s the role of the accountant and 280E? What are your ancillary business opportunities? We did this in a four-week time period so these individuals now can really compete.

And there are going to be provisions in [Missouri’s licensing] application that say, “What’s your diversity plan? How are you going to serve diverse communities?” On top of that, with 192 licenses the first round, you really create an opportunity where you don’t need to give me one [or] two [licenses]—you just need to know how to compete and put together a strong application and get your funding. We actually brought in investors the last class who pitched themselves to the attendees. These investors came in and said, “Hey, I’m looking to find a partner who wants to do x, y, and z.” They can say, “I’m an investor and I’m looking to invest in a dispensary operation,” and now we’re starting to matchmake these investors to these participants. It was a beautiful program.

Oaksterdam University is our educational partner. We also [partner with] Green Rush Consulting, which is a consulting firm out of Oakland that has over 10 years of experience writing applications for winning teams to get their license throughout the country. It was extremely well-received.

We have to, of course, ring the bell for social justice, but we also have to deliver solutions, and it has to be quantifiable solutions. In Missouri, when we created this boot camp, it’s a quantifiable solution that is measured—we have outcome data that we can track, and we can actually see how we are trying to make a difference and how impactful we are with the program we tried to put together. We have to find those solutions and that common ground.

CBT: What aspects of social equity or social justice should states looking to legalize be sure to include in cannabis legalization measures?

RM: I think a percentage of [cannabis tax revenue] should go toward release and repair, and that’s a social justice issue. How can we review individuals who have convictions that are cannabis-related? How can there be a provision for release in the policy for a cannabis-related crime? How about having a percentage of the tax revenue that’s generated that goes back to also the repair? [Look] at job creation, job opportunity, putting some money [aside] and [establishing] some programming that’s very specific to individuals who were incarcerated for cannabis.

States that put in these provisions that say that you can’t have ownership [in a company] or you can’t even work in the cannabis industry if you have a cannabis-related felony—I think that should be dialed back extremely.

On [the] social equity [side], from a business standpoint, I think [we need] diversity [and] inclusivity overall. So, when you write a policy that says how people are going to be awarded a license, the policy should also focus on everyone having to show their capacity to create a diversity plan that’s going to support workforce development, diversity in suppliers and contracting, as well as ownership. No matter if you’re white or black, that should be something that’s in the law that says this has to be integrated into your plan to do business, [and] there will be a check and balance to make sure that what you put on paper, you’re actually doing.

I think policy is just really, really key. Larger, well-capitalized, well-funded lobbying groups [should] self-police and [say], “We’re going to make sure that you’re doing the right thing.” [Social equity] would happen so much quicker, to be honest with you. Anyone who’s touching the cannabis space, I think we have a responsibility to say, “OK, what can we do to structure good policy that’s not going to be challenged in court?” That’s another issue. Sometimes social equity that you put in [policy] is used as a carveout, and if that carveout is directly in conflict with the state’s constitution, then you end up having litigation that ends up basically preventing anyone from going after a license that would be considered an equity applicant. So, we have to try to figure out that sweet spot where you write policy that’s going to support an equity applicant and that’s also going to stand the test of time with litigation.

Then, the other thing is, how do we define a social equity applicant? Is it someone who’s been incarcerated? I have family that’s been incarcerated, so does that make me a social equity applicant? I’ve never been incarcerated. We really need to look at, what does that mean? When it comes to contracting, establishing a business [and] having a profitable business, African American businesses have always had challenges and struggles. So, again, how do you define social equity? Is it something that is specific to African American businesses? Is it specific to just a specific group of people? And I think that’s something we need to think about.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for style, length and clarity.

Published at Mon, 20 May 2019 15:00:00 +0000

Video

Medical Marijuana patients no longer have to wait in lines for medications

If you can’t see the video click here.

PORTAGE, Mich. — Medical marijuana patients in Portage have the option of getting medications delivered to their doorstep after a provision center was awarded a license for home delivery.

Lake Effect in Portage will deliver patients that have medical marijuana card, up to 2.5 ounces of flower buds or edibles a day.

“Delivery is all about the patients, comfort level and being attentive to there needs,” Steve Bliss, store manager, said

Bliss said being able to make home deliveries puts them ahead of the competition and their main priority is making sure patients get the medication they need.

Many of the Lake Effect patients said the delivery service was highly needed in the Kalamazoo area.

Ben Garvey, who has been a medical marijuana patient for almost 10 years, suffers from epilepsy and said he needs medication everyday, but sometimes its a struggle getting to and from the facility.

To see more…

News

Organigram Announces May 21st as Inaugural Date of Trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market

Organigram Announces May 21st as Inaugural Date of Trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market

Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX VENTURE: OGI) (OTCQX: OGRMF), the parent company of Organigram Inc., a leading licensed producer of cannabis, is pleased to announce that its common shares will commence trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “OGI” on Tuesday May 21, 2019. Organigram’s common shares will continue to be listed and trade on the Toronto Venture Exchange (TSXV), also under the symbol “OGI”. The Company’s common shares will continue to trade on the OTCQX under the symbol “OGRMF” until market close on May 20, 2019. 

In conjunction with this Nasdaq listing, Organigram’s common shares will become DWAC/FAST eligible for U.S. shareholders.

“We are pleased to celebrate this significant company milestone,” says Greg Engel, CEO, Organigram. “We are proud to have assembled a world-class team and facility that continues to deliver value to our shareholders. This listing will help us continue to demonstrate our commitment to dynamic growth.”

About Organigram Holdings Inc. 

Organigram Holdings Inc. is a TSX Venture Exchange listed company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Organigram Inc., is a licensed producer of cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Canada. 

Organigram is focused on producing the highest-quality, indoor-grown cannabis for patients and adult recreational consumers in Canada, as well as developing international business partnerships to extend the Company’s global footprint. Organigram has also developed a portfolio of legal adult use recreational cannabis brands including The Edison Cannabis Company, Ankr Organics, Trailer Park Buds and Trailblazer. Organigram’s primary facility is located in Moncton, New Brunswick and the Company is regulated by the Cannabis Act and the Cannabis Regulations (Canada).

ORIGINAL RELEASE

Published at Fri, 17 May 2019 14:37:10 +0000

Business

MJIC Announces New Northern California Distribution, Manufacturing and Delivery Facility

MJIC Announces New Northern California Distribution, Manufacturing and Delivery Facility

LOS ANGELES & SAN FRANCISCO–()–MJIC,
Inc
. (“MJIC” or the “Company”), California’s leading provider of
fully-licensed cannabis wholesale distribution, retail, compliance and
supply chain solutions, today announced its new fully-licensed,
multi-purpose facility in Brisbane, California, a strategic milestone in
the Company’s service expansion throughout the state and the San
Francisco Bay Area.

The 16,000-square-foot facility sits on the doorstep of both San
Francisco and Silicon Valley, and will allow MJIC to consolidate
licensed cannabis distribution, manufacturing, and delivery operations
in the heart of one of the state’s largest metropolitan areas.

It will also be a significant source of job creation, with MJIC
expecting to draw from the local talent pool in Brisbane and the broader
San Francisco Peninsula area to fill more than 50 full-time positions.

“MJIC’s Brisbane facility will have enormous benefits for the local
economy by creating permanent, well-paying jobs that will have a ripple
effect throughout the Bay Area,” said Dmitry Gordeychev, MJIC’s Chief
Operating Officer. “We are thrilled to join this business community and
would like to thank the City of Brisbane for its thought leadership in
welcoming responsible cannabis operators like MJIC.”

The facility will accommodate such manufacturing activities as
packaging, labeling, co-packing, infusion, bottling, and white-labeling
to augment the existing suite of services the Company offers to its
distribution clients throughout California. It will also allow MJIC to
be one of the first licensed operators to offer local on-demand delivery
to consumers in the Peninsula, while expanding the Company’s rapidly
growing distribution presence in Northern California.

“Our new Brisbane facility unlocks an expanded set of
business-to-business capabilities that MJIC can provide at the statewide
level, as well as on a localized basis in the Bay Area,” said
Gordeychev. We look forward to delivering the safest, highest-quality
cannabis products to the underserved Peninsula consumer.”

In connection with the facility, the Company has received a Conditional
Use Permit from the City of Brisbane, as well as temporary licenses for
distribution and non-storefront retail (delivery) from the State of
California Bureau of Cannabis Control and for manufacturing from the
State of California Department of Public Health.

Brisbane complements MJIC’s licensed facility in Oakland, which will
serve distribution clients and delivery customers throughout the East
Bay and North Bay regions. In addition, MJIC operates a licensed
distribution facility in Coachella, California and expects to commence
licensed distribution operations at its facility in Long Beach later
this year.

About MJIC, Inc.

MJIC, based Commerce, California, is the first fully-licensed and
integrated infrastructural and services platform for compliant cannabis.
The Company services the needs of lawful operators across the supply
chain, from the cultivator to the consumer, and from long-haul statewide
commerce to the local last mile. MJIC augments this business-to-business
value proposition with a growing portfolio of owned and operated retail
operations located in major metropolitan markets throughout California
and beyond, including brick-and-mortar dispensaries and local on-demand
delivery services, as well as e-commerce and subscription offerings. To
learn more, please visit: www.mjic.com.

Published at Tue, 08 Jan 2019 23:54:04 +0000

Business

MJIC Announces New Northern California Distribution, Manufacturing and Delivery Facility

MJIC Announces New Northern California Distribution, Manufacturing and Delivery Facility

LOS ANGELES & SAN FRANCISCO–()–MJIC,
Inc
. (“MJIC” or the “Company”), California’s leading provider of
fully-licensed cannabis wholesale distribution, retail, compliance and
supply chain solutions, today announced its new fully-licensed,
multi-purpose facility in Brisbane, California, a strategic milestone in
the Company’s service expansion throughout the state and the San
Francisco Bay Area.

The 16,000-square-foot facility sits on the doorstep of both San
Francisco and Silicon Valley, and will allow MJIC to consolidate
licensed cannabis distribution, manufacturing, and delivery operations
in the heart of one of the state’s largest metropolitan areas.

It will also be a significant source of job creation, with MJIC
expecting to draw from the local talent pool in Brisbane and the broader
San Francisco Peninsula area to fill more than 50 full-time positions.

“MJIC’s Brisbane facility will have enormous benefits for the local
economy by creating permanent, well-paying jobs that will have a ripple
effect throughout the Bay Area,” said Dmitry Gordeychev, MJIC’s Chief
Operating Officer. “We are thrilled to join this business community and
would like to thank the City of Brisbane for its thought leadership in
welcoming responsible cannabis operators like MJIC.”

The facility will accommodate such manufacturing activities as
packaging, labeling, co-packing, infusion, bottling, and white-labeling
to augment the existing suite of services the Company offers to its
distribution clients throughout California. It will also allow MJIC to
be one of the first licensed operators to offer local on-demand delivery
to consumers in the Peninsula, while expanding the Company’s rapidly
growing distribution presence in Northern California.

“Our new Brisbane facility unlocks an expanded set of
business-to-business capabilities that MJIC can provide at the statewide
level, as well as on a localized basis in the Bay Area,” said
Gordeychev. We look forward to delivering the safest, highest-quality
cannabis products to the underserved Peninsula consumer.”

In connection with the facility, the Company has received a Conditional
Use Permit from the City of Brisbane, as well as temporary licenses for
distribution and non-storefront retail (delivery) from the State of
California Bureau of Cannabis Control and for manufacturing from the
State of California Department of Public Health.

Brisbane complements MJIC’s licensed facility in Oakland, which will
serve distribution clients and delivery customers throughout the East
Bay and North Bay regions. In addition, MJIC operates a licensed
distribution facility in Coachella, California and expects to commence
licensed distribution operations at its facility in Long Beach later
this year.

About MJIC, Inc.

MJIC, based Commerce, California, is the first fully-licensed and
integrated infrastructural and services platform for compliant cannabis.
The Company services the needs of lawful operators across the supply
chain, from the cultivator to the consumer, and from long-haul statewide
commerce to the local last mile. MJIC augments this business-to-business
value proposition with a growing portfolio of owned and operated retail
operations located in major metropolitan markets throughout California
and beyond, including brick-and-mortar dispensaries and local on-demand
delivery services, as well as e-commerce and subscription offerings. To
learn more, please visit: www.mjic.com.

Published at Tue, 08 Jan 2019 23:54:04 +0000

Business

MJIC Announces New Northern California Distribution, Manufacturing and Delivery Facility

MJIC Announces New Northern California Distribution, Manufacturing and Delivery Facility

LOS ANGELES & SAN FRANCISCO–()–MJIC,
Inc
. (“MJIC” or the “Company”), California’s leading provider of
fully-licensed cannabis wholesale distribution, retail, compliance and
supply chain solutions, today announced its new fully-licensed,
multi-purpose facility in Brisbane, California, a strategic milestone in
the Company’s service expansion throughout the state and the San
Francisco Bay Area.

The 16,000-square-foot facility sits on the doorstep of both San
Francisco and Silicon Valley, and will allow MJIC to consolidate
licensed cannabis distribution, manufacturing, and delivery operations
in the heart of one of the state’s largest metropolitan areas.

It will also be a significant source of job creation, with MJIC
expecting to draw from the local talent pool in Brisbane and the broader
San Francisco Peninsula area to fill more than 50 full-time positions.

“MJIC’s Brisbane facility will have enormous benefits for the local
economy by creating permanent, well-paying jobs that will have a ripple
effect throughout the Bay Area,” said Dmitry Gordeychev, MJIC’s Chief
Operating Officer. “We are thrilled to join this business community and
would like to thank the City of Brisbane for its thought leadership in
welcoming responsible cannabis operators like MJIC.”

The facility will accommodate such manufacturing activities as
packaging, labeling, co-packing, infusion, bottling, and white-labeling
to augment the existing suite of services the Company offers to its
distribution clients throughout California. It will also allow MJIC to
be one of the first licensed operators to offer local on-demand delivery
to consumers in the Peninsula, while expanding the Company’s rapidly
growing distribution presence in Northern California.

“Our new Brisbane facility unlocks an expanded set of
business-to-business capabilities that MJIC can provide at the statewide
level, as well as on a localized basis in the Bay Area,” said
Gordeychev. We look forward to delivering the safest, highest-quality
cannabis products to the underserved Peninsula consumer.”

In connection with the facility, the Company has received a Conditional
Use Permit from the City of Brisbane, as well as temporary licenses for
distribution and non-storefront retail (delivery) from the State of
California Bureau of Cannabis Control and for manufacturing from the
State of California Department of Public Health.

Brisbane complements MJIC’s licensed facility in Oakland, which will
serve distribution clients and delivery customers throughout the East
Bay and North Bay regions. In addition, MJIC operates a licensed
distribution facility in Coachella, California and expects to commence
licensed distribution operations at its facility in Long Beach later
this year.

About MJIC, Inc.

MJIC, based Commerce, California, is the first fully-licensed and
integrated infrastructural and services platform for compliant cannabis.
The Company services the needs of lawful operators across the supply
chain, from the cultivator to the consumer, and from long-haul statewide
commerce to the local last mile. MJIC augments this business-to-business
value proposition with a growing portfolio of owned and operated retail
operations located in major metropolitan markets throughout California
and beyond, including brick-and-mortar dispensaries and local on-demand
delivery services, as well as e-commerce and subscription offerings. To
learn more, please visit: www.mjic.com.

Published at Tue, 08 Jan 2019 23:54:04 +0000

News

First Medical Marijuana Edibles for Sale in Ohio

First Medical Marijuana Edibles for Sale in Ohio

Limited quantities of marijuana-infused gummy candy hit Ohio medical marijuana dispensary shelves late last week.

The initial price for Ohio’s first legal edible is steep: $80 for 11 gummies. Each candy contains 10 mg of THC.

Similar strength gummies sell for about $25 for a pack of 10 in Illinois, which has a highly-regulated medical marijuana program similar to Ohio’s.

Prices are expected to remain high as the program ramps up. Fewer than half of the state-licensed 29 growers have marijuana flower or other products on retail dispensary store shelves. 

Read more

Published at Fri, 17 May 2019 16:35:00 +0000