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MariMed completes acquisition of kind therapeutics USA, a Maryland vertically integrated cannabis business

MariMed Inc. (OTCQX: MRMD) (“MariMed” or the “Company”), a leading multi-state cannabis operator focused on improving lives every day, today announced it completed the acquisition of Kind Therapeutics U.S.A., LLC (“Kind”), a leading vertically integrated cannabis business in Maryland.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission approved the transfer to MariMed at their April 13th meeting and the closing took place April 27, 2022. MariMed was instrumental in the development of the Kind operations from its inception in 2017. The Company owns, and had developed, a 180,000 square foot cannabis cultivation and production facility in Hagerstown and is developing a 6,000 square foot dispensary in Anne Arundel County, both of which were leased to Kind.

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Virginia: senate kills governor’s recriminalization amendment, bill addressing synthetically derived marijuana products

Republican Gov. Glen Youngkin’s recent attempt to recriminalize activities involving the possession of two ounces of marijuana by adults via the enactment of an amendment to SB 591 has been defeated for the session. That effort failed on Wednesday with lawmakers’ refusal to advance the bill it was added to, SB 591.

Legislators voted to re-refer SB 591 to the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services committee. With the 2022 legislative session having already ended, this vote effectively ends any further discussion on the legislation this year. 

JM Pedini, NORML’s Development Director and the Executive Director of Virginia NORML, said, “The good news is, Governor Youngkin’s effort to recriminalize personal possession failed. The bad news is lawmakers’ inaction today allows for products containing unregulated and potentially unsafe synthetically-derived THC products to continue to proliferate in Virginia.”

Pedini added, “With his attempt to create new ways to criminalize Virginians for personal possession of cannabis having failed, Governor Youngkin’s administration should actually serve his constituents by establishing a legal adult-use marijuana market and ensuring that all cannabis products sold in the Commonwealth are accurately labeled and regulated for consumer safety.”

Commenting on the failure to approve the base text that would have regulated currently unregulated synthetically derived THC and novel THC products, JM Pedini added: “Sending SB 591 back to the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services committee is not in the interest of public health or safety. By failing to take legislative action, unregulated products containing synthetically-derived THC will continue to be sold at retail and wholesale outside of the strict regulatory oversight currently required for legally produced cannabis products. Consumers deserve to know what they’re purchasing, and far too often what’s on the label is not what’s in the package when it comes to unregulated products.”

Personal possession and the cultivation of small quantities of cannabis by adults 21 and older is already permitted in Virginia under the 2021 legalization law approved by former Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. Senate lawmakers approved separate legislation earlier this year to establish retail cannabis sales, but the bill died in the House after Republican members of the House General Laws Subcommittee rejected the measure.

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Hemp eggs: Kreider Farms introduces An egg-centric idea

 

 

The concept made its first trip through a Kreider Farms brainstorming session about six years ago. Hemp products were only an exciting idea then. Not yet a legal possibility.

Eggs were a natural starting point for Kreider, which was already producing a wide range of organic and brown options. That led to a question.

“Why not throw some hemp in there, see if we can get some elevated omegas and some elevated nutrients?” said Khalee Kreider, the company’s marketing manager. “It seemed like it would fit into what we already had going on.”

A seismic shift came two years later. The 2018 Farm Bill authorized the production of hemp and removed hemp and hemp seeds from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of controlled substances.

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Nearly $1.9 million in cannabis, related products sold in NJ on 1st day of legal sales

The Garden State raked in the green during the state’s first day of recreational marijuana sales.

More than 12,000 people headed to dispensaries and bought nearly $1.9 million worth of cannabis and cannabis products, according to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. In the days since sales started on Thursday, lines have been steady at dispensaries.

“We expected sales to be substantial and the data shows that the market is effectively serving both adult-use consumers and patients,” Jeff Brown, executive director of the NJ-CRC, said. “We continue to monitor inventory and access for patients and are prepared to take enforcement action against any ATC that does not meet the requirements for patient access and supply.”

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Lawsuit claims Georgia medical marijuana licenses clouded by back room deals

A medical marijuana company has filed a lawsuit against the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission alleging the evaluations and scoring of medical cannabis bid applications was clouded by "conflicts of interest" and licenses were "bought and sold through closed door politics and back room deals."

"If there is no wrong doing or corruption, then why not turn these applications, evaluation sheets, etc. over to the public," said Cumberland Curative President Charlie Arnold.

Arnold believes his company was cheated out of an honest chance to win one of the first ever licenses to legally grow and produce medical marijuana in Georgia.

Cumberland Curative filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court against the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission claiming essentially – where there is smoke there is fire.

The lawsuit claims the scoring of bids was "clouded by substantial conflict of interest" and that licenses were "bought and sold through closed – door politics and back-room deals."

And the Cumberland Curative president said he can back it up.

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Can cannabis treat autism?

Studies continually show great potential for cannabis as an effective treatment for autism. Determining the right dose, however, is proving difficult.

Fewer and fewer places in the US remain where it’s still a criminal act for adults 21 and older to use cannabis. Even fewer places deny sick Americans (with the right sickness to qualify them as medical marijuana patients) some accommodation to use cannabis lawfully. But even these 14 cannabis legalization holdouts agree that it’s OK to give marijuana extracts to kids, as long as those kids have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. And with good reason. Miraculous stories are all over the internet, such as children speaking their first words after using cannabis oil, or autistic adults with severe anxiety and near-total social isolation rejoining society after smoking cannabis. So, this begs the question, “Can cannabis ‘treat’ autism?”

A definitive final answer is elusive. However, as a review authored by researchers led by Mariana Babayeva, a professor at the Touro College of Pharmacy in New York and recently published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Bioscience found, a growing number of “clinical studies have shown promising results of cannabis treatment in” autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

How Cannabis Helps Autism

This makes practical and scientific sense. CBD and THC activate the network of receptors called the endocannabinoid system. “Due to its vital role in regulating emotion and social behaviors, the endocannabinoid system represents a potential target for the development of a novel autism therapy,” the study states.

Cannabis does help autism, as this latest review, prior studies and loads of compelling, convincing anecdotal stories say. But what cannabis treatment would work best for each individual case of autism, and how much cannabis should be given in those instances?

“It’s too early for anyone to recommend cannabis as a validated, well-studied type of a substance,” said Dr. Nathan Call, director of clinical operations at the Marcus Autism Center in North Druid Hills, Georgia, in a recent interview.

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Newly licensed Western New York marijuana growers anxious to be on forefront of state's cannabis market

 

 

Kerry Trammel and Michael Yager are excited to be at the forefront of New York's recreational cannabis industry.

But they're also nervous, since the market hasn't been established yet and they're not sure exactly what to expect. 

Trammel, owner of The Releaf Market in Jamestown, and Yager, one of the owners of Yager Farms in Eden, are among the 52 growers granted the first licenses to cultivate adult-use recreational marijuana in the state.

Wheatfield Gardens in Wheatfield is the other local business that was awarded a license from the state Office of Cannabis Management.

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Report: IL marijuana sales fall short of projections

Illinois could have realized an additional $600 million in revenue from recreational marijuana sales, according to an analysis by the Illinois Policy Institute.

The group said it found a complicated tax system and restrictive licensing has cut into the state's revenue stream. In 2021, Illinois took in $317 million from cannabis taxes despite the demand for the product due to the pandemic.

Illinois lawmakers had projected in 2019 that revenue could produce $440 million to $676 million in annual tax revenue. The number of dispensary licenses has also been a problem.

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House bill adds quadriplegia for medical cannabis use in Tennessee

 

Lawmakers are trying to expand the use of medical cannabis in Tennessee with one saying he can personally benefit from its use.

House Bill1747 adds quadriplegia as a qualifying medical condition for the lawful possession of cannabis oil.

“Members, I live with this diagnosis every day,” said the bill’s sponsor Representative Darren Jernigan (D-District 60) whose district includes the Old Hickory community of Davidson County.

The proposed legislation allows the Medical Cannabis Commission to study the effects and give lawful possession of cannabis oil to Tennesseeans who are quadriplegic. The current diagnoses on the list include Alzheimer’s, ALS, cancer, epilepsy, HIV, and sickle cell.

Representative Jernigan said adding quadriplegia to the list can help with the most common side effects like severe muscle spasms, chronic pain, overactive bladders, and insomnia.

“I’m in a chair sometimes 12 to 14 hours a day. At that point in time I can receive severe muscle spasms that are really stressful on my body that leads to insomnia,” Jernigan said. “I’ve exhausted all conventional treatments that are out there. I don’t smoke marijuana. I don’t get high. That’s not the intention of this. Law enforcement is deferred on this bill and with that explanation Mr. Speaker I renew my motion.”

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Rider professors give thoughts on marijuana legalization in college community

Micah Rasmussen, the director of Rider’s Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics,  has been involved in the New Jersey political landscape since he graduated from Rider in 1992.

The political science professor organizes his classes to be a hub for political conversation with the party lines that often split local politics represented in his classroom. 

Yet in recent years, students in his classroom bipartisanly agreed to the recreational legalization of marijuana, something that went into effect in New Jersey for those 21 and older on April 21. 

“I would say it’s pretty rare to see a student who is opposed to legalization at this point and that’s probably been the case for a long time,” Rasmussen said poignantly. “Students always saw the benefit of legalization and always saw the futility of having [marijuana] criminalized and wanted to have that change.” 

Rasmussen helped grow an annual event called Model Congress more than 30 years ago where high school students come to Rider, pitch different bills and simulate the process of making it a law. 

“When I started running Model Congress, [legalization] was very much a fringe idea, it was very much a student idea, it was very much a pipe dream,” Rasmussen said before clarifying there was no intention of a pun in the quote. “… Year after year, decade after decade, advocates kept chipping away and they won over public opinion.” 

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Biden grants clemency to some with federal cannabis & drug convictions, issues first pardons

President Joe Biden has finally granted clemency to dozens of individuals with non-violent federal drug convictions and commuted the sentences of 75 people who were serving time at home because of the pandemic. He also issued three pardons. (Article Originally Appeared on: Benzinga)

The president's move marks his first clemency action after over a year in the Oval Office.

However, according to an official White House press release, only nine of the clemencies mentioned cannabis. A mass pardon for people serving time over the plant has yet to happen, much to the disappointment of advocates and families of those incarcerated.

"America is a nation of laws and second chances, redemption, and rehabilitation," Biden said in a statement. "Elected officials on both sides of the aisle, faith leaders, civil rights advocates, and law enforcement leaders agree that our criminal justice system can and should reflect these core values that enable safer and stronger communities."

Biden's move builds on Trump's decision to sign the bipartisan First Step Act into law. Many of the people who were granted relief "would have received a lower sentence if they were charged with the same offense today," Biden acknowledged.

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Most senators still oppose doing a hugely popular thing: legalizing marijuana

The federal government is strikingly out of step with public opinion on cannabis.

Even though a supermajority of Americans say marijuana should be legal for adults and the House has passed a bill to legalize it, major cannabis reform remains unlikely this year.

Why? Because Republicans and a few Democratic senators don’t want to do it.

“Marijuana? I haven’t even thought about marijuana. Jesus Christ, you smoking?” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) asked HuffPost on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the House passed a bill that would legalize weed at the federal level, expunge cannabis-related criminal records and set the stage for a nationwide legal marijuana industry. But that bill is almost certainly dead on arrival in the Senate.

Instead, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have been trying to build consensus for a Senate version of cannabis reform.

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New York's cannabis regulator defends licenses for those with convictions

 

The initial licenses for cannabis retailers in New York under the coming market will include some applicants who have had connections to cannabis-related convictions and a small business background. 

The provision is meant to offset the historic enforcement of prior drug laws in the state and aid communities affected by the war on drugs. Law enforcement officials, including Albany County District Attorney David Soares, have concerns with how these applicants are vetted, however. 

Soares told Captial Tonight last month he did not want people who were convicted of "so much harm to our fellow citizens." 

But Chris Alexander, the executive director of the state Office of Cannabis Management, said the concern was misguided. 

"There's a miscalculation being made by the DA," he said in an interview on Wednesday. "These are not criminals; these are folks who otherwise would have been law-abiding citizens but for this conviction. And what really have gone on to own, operate, and run successful small businesses around the state. And so really if we want to characterize them, we should characterize them as small business owners, which is what they are."

Alexander is in charge of developing the regulatory structure for cannabis sales and licensing in New York, and has been holding information sessions around the state to answer questions about how the coming cannabis market will impact communities. 

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Woodland Park to all municipal employees: Use of marijuana may lead to termination

The municipality's 120 employees have been notified that if they use marijuana it could lead to their termination, Mayor Keith Kazmark said. 

"Regardless of this change in law, the Borough Council and I want to emphasize that all policies and procedures and rules and regulations applicable to the employees of the Borough of Woodland Park will remain the same," Kazmark said.

Although it does apply to all municipal employees, it is most likely to affect those who work for the police and public works departments, as they are subject to random drug tests, borough officials said.   

"Our police officers are responsible for ensuring our public safety, enforcing laws and serving as our protectors," Kazmark said. 

"Our DPW workers utilize heavy equipment and hold CDL licenses to carry out their duties in maintaining the infrastructure, keeping our town looking beautiful."

Other workers are also entrusted with serving the community, such as those in the building and recreation departments. They, however, are likely to be tested only if there's a suspicion of impairment on the job. 

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Sustainable solutions: How hemp is being used to make prosthetic limbs

Kyle Trivisonno is one of the brains at Human Plant Solutions. He's currently working on a project that uses hemp to make prosthetic limbs.

“Having something that moves and kind of transitions with their gate cycle is kind of an ideal property," Trivisonno said.

There are more than 2 million Americans who have lost an arm or a leg or were born without one of their limbs. Millions more have health issues, such as diabetes, that could lead to amputation in the future.

Trivisonno and Sam Spallita have devoted their new business to providing an alternative to high-cost options.

“In general, I think that there are a lot of ways for a company like mine that really wants to provide solutions, especially customized solutions with innovative materials. I mean the door is wide open for us to make water foots, swimming adapting thing and we really want to do that and make it cost-effective," Spallita said.

“Everybody hates carbon fiber. You’ve got to wear a suit and full respiration and still with all that PPE on. I don’t care what ventilation you have you’re still going to be covered in that carbon dust which is extremely dangerous to work with and really just not comfortable," Trivisonno said.

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Arizona collects more cannabis than liquor taxes, poll finds one-third Americans prefer weed over booze

In March, Arizona generated more tax revenue from legal marijuana than from tobacco and alcohol, reported Marijuana Moment. (Article Originally Appeared on: Benzinga)

The state receives Marijuana Tax revenues from three different sources: 1) the 16% Recreational Marijuana Excise Tax; 2) Sales Tax applied to Recreational Marijuana purchases; and 3) Sales Tax applied to Medical Marijuana purchases.

The state collected $11.9 million in dedicated marijuana excise taxes in March and $94.3 million in fiscal years to date.

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Billings lowers minimum age to own or work for marijuana businesses to 18

 

On Monday night, the Billings City Council brought its marijuana laws in line with state marijuana laws and lowered the age a person can work for or own a marijuana business from 21 to 18.

The city has the right to establish an age requirement for marijuana business license holders and their employees, but voted 8-3 to lower the minimum age to 18.

The 21-year-old age requirement prompted the Billings dispensary, Montana Advanced Caregivers, to file a lawsuit against the city earlier this month. The dispensary employs three people who are older than 18, but not yet 21.

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Lucid Green raises $10M to power the first intelligent cannabis UPC platform

Lucid Green is transforming the cannabis supply chain with its LucidIDs, the industry's first intelligent QR code to improve the supply chain for brands, distributors, retailers and consumers.

The intelligent UPC platform transforming the entire cannabis supply chain — today announced its $10 million Series B funding round led by Gron Ventures, with participation by Gotham Green Partners. Lucid Green also announced three new pricing levels for brands, with varying levels of support to accommodate businesses of all sizes. With Lucid Green, brands, retailers, distributors and consumers realize the benefits of a streamlined cannabis supply chain — one that allows for dynamic information sharing, reduces costs, and increases transparency and trust for all stakeholders.

The cannabis industry's status quo in the supply chain is failing every stakeholder involved:

Retailers face challenges with inaccurate product information, inefficient cycle counting, sporadic Certificate of Analysis (COA) compliance and secondary stickering. Manual inventory management is also time consuming, expensive and prone to errors.Brands experience increased costs and lower profit margins as a result of compliance and supply chain inefficiencies, and lack the mechanisms to communicate directly with consumers and budtenders.Distributors face reducing retailer order fulfillment time and turnaround - resulting in higher working capital requirements for their customers.

"It's clear that the cannabis supply chain's status quo is holding the industry back, and Lucid Green is proud to have pioneered the first solutions to benefit all stakeholders," said Larry Levy, co-founder and CEO of Lucid Green.

"We are laser-focused on developing the leading solutions to strengthen our industry. Lucid Green benefits brands, distributors and retailers while delivering a much needed educational experience for consumers that helps to further normalize the industry."

Lucid Green's signature LucidIDs utilize QR codes to make the cannabis supply chain more efficient by allowing for true truck-to-shelf inventory intake, reducing manual labor and human errors, and virtually eliminating data cleanliness issues. The intelligent QR codes permit dynamic information flow which empowers stakeholders to continue adding information about a product through its lifecycle, unlike the status quo of secondary stickering.

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State suggests cashless apps for cannabis stores to avoid robbery

 

Last week, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board and Washington State Department of Financial Institutions published a list of cashless phone apps and transfer services that cannabis retailers can use for customer payments, in lieu of cash.

The list also included banks and credit unions that would provide services to pot shops.

Because pot is federally illegal, cannabis retailers usually cannot take credit or debit cards. This reliance on cash alone has made them a target for armed robberies, which have spiked this year — including a robbery in Tacoma that saw an employee murdered.

However, not all cannabis retailers were optimistic about the cashless apps.

‘High’ frequency in armed robberies at pot shops in Puget Sound region

Kevin Heiderich, co-owner of House of Cannabis in Tacoma, Twisp, and Tonasket, appreciates the state’s effort to try to help curb robberies, but he does not believe this list of money transfer services will make much of a difference.

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Poll: 69 percent of adults support legalizing marijuana, most say it’s less harmful than alcohol

 

A super-majority of Americans say that the use of marijuana should be made legal for adults, and most respondents agree that it is less harmful to health than drinking alcohol, according to national survey data compiled by the market research firm SSRS.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents – including 78 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Independents, and 54 percent of Republicans – support legalization. When asked whether cannabis ought to be permitted for therapeutic purposes, support rises to 92 percent.

Commenting on the polling data, NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Voters support legalizing marijuana regardless of political party affiliation. At a time when national politics remain acutely polarized, elected officials ought to come together in a bipartisan manner to repeal the failed policy of cannabis prohibition. It is one of the few policy reforms that voters on the right and on the left can all agree upon.”

Fifty-eight percent of respondents, including 71 percent of millennials, said that “alcohol is more harmful to a person’s health than marijuana.” Only four percent of respondents perceive marijuana to be more harmful. Prior surveys have similarly reported that most Americans say that cannabis is far less harmful than either alcohol or tobacco.

Sixty-five percent of respondents, including 72 percent of ‘Baby Boomers,’ acknowledge having tried cannabis at least once during their lifetime. That percentage is significantly higher than has been reported in other national surveys. Members of ‘Gen Z’ and the ‘Silent Generation’ are least likely to report having ever used cannabis.

The poll possesses a margin of error of +/– 3.5 percentage points.

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