Seattle legislation targets greater cannabis equity

Seattle city officials introduced three bills they said seek to enhance cannabis equity efforts. © Shutterstock Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell recently joined Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8 – Citywide) in proposing a suite of bills that advocate for a more diverse industry while supporting cannabis store workers. “For a thriving Seattle economy, every worker and […]

The post Seattle legislation targets greater cannabis equity appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

Seattle city officials introduced three bills they said seek to enhance cannabis equity efforts.

© Shutterstock

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell recently joined Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8 – Citywide) in proposing a suite of bills that advocate for a more diverse industry while supporting cannabis store workers.

“For a thriving Seattle economy, every worker and business deserve safety and the opportunity to learn, grow, and prosper,” Harrell said. “As the cannabis industry continues to develop, we must course correct and support the communities who too often have been left behind. Equity in this industry means safe working conditions and fair treatment for workers, store ownership that includes the communities most impacted by the war on drugs, and a commitment to fairness, innovation and opportunity.”

Bill provisions, per authorities, include establishing a city-level social equity license to reduce barriers toward opening cannabis stores for underrepresented communities and those impacted by the war on drugs; setting a foundation for future cannabis-related businesses, in collaboration with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board as a means of issuing licenses via a social equity framework; requiring a 90-day retention of store workforce when ownership changes; and creating a short-term cannabis advisory committee selected in conjunction with the Seattle City Council as part of an effort to collect cannabis equity feedback from workers, community members and industry leaders.

“After years of community asking for greater equity in the cannabis industry, this legislation represents an initial step in the right direction towards creating local equity applications, improving workforce standards, and focusing on safety for workers in the cannabis industry,” Mosqueda said.

The post Seattle legislation targets greater cannabis equity appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/seattle-legislation-targets-greater-cannabis-equity/

Cresco Labs grants cannabis dispensary licenses in Illinois

Branded cannabis products wholesaler Cresco Labs granted two adult-use dispensary licenses in Illinois as part of its SEED initiative, which supports social equity groups.© Shutterstock The license awards went to Parkway Dispensary and Navāda Labs. They are part of the 185 new licenses recently issued by the state. “We’re thrilled for all new Illinois cannabis […]

The post Cresco Labs grants cannabis dispensary licenses in Illinois appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

Branded cannabis products wholesaler Cresco Labs granted two adult-use dispensary licenses in Illinois as part of its SEED initiative, which supports social equity groups.

© Shutterstock

The license awards went to Parkway Dispensary and Navāda Labs. They are part of the 185 new licenses recently issued by the state.

“We’re thrilled for all new Illinois cannabis business owners who finally have the opportunity to get their businesses up and running. We’re also incredibly proud of our Cresco Labs team members who—through our SEED Community Business Incubator—assisted social equity groups with their license applications,” Cresco Labs CEO and Co-Founder Charlie Bachtell said. “The issuance of an additional 185 retail licenses is the result of years of hard work and patience and marks a game-changing moment for inclusiveness and social justice in cannabis.”

Bachtell said this historic initiative will help to further diversify the cannabis industry, provide more customers with access to top quality cannabis products, and serve as a catalyst for the continued industry growth.

SEED’s Community Business Incubator will continue to provide essential services and support to Parkway Dispensary, Navāda Labs and other social equity groups issued licenses through Cresco’s Illinois Cannabis Education Center.

Seminars, workshops and networking events featuring subject matter experts will aid social equity groups with business plan refinement as well as enactment of business plans, site construction and launch operations.

The post Cresco Labs grants cannabis dispensary licenses in Illinois appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/cresco-labs-grants-cannabis-dispensary-licenses-in-illinois/

New Mexico posts record cannabis sales in July

July was a record month for cannabis sales in New Mexico, as the state had its highest monthly sales total since the state legalized recreational adult-use cannabis in April. © Shutterstock Licensed retailers statewide reported cannabis sales of more than $40 million in July, with the month’s adult-use cannabis sales alone topping $23 million. Cannabis […]

The post New Mexico posts record cannabis sales in July appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

July was a record month for cannabis sales in New Mexico, as the state had its highest monthly sales total since the state legalized recreational adult-use cannabis in April.

© Shutterstock

Licensed retailers statewide reported cannabis sales of more than $40 million in July, with the month’s adult-use cannabis sales alone topping $23 million.

Cannabis sales totaled more than $39 million in April and served as the previous record high, per state officials, with adult-use sales totaling just over $22 million in that month.

“These numbers show that the impressive sales generated in the first month of legalized recreational cannabis sales were no fluke — and this is only the beginning,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “We’ve established a new industry that is already generating millions of dollars in local and state revenue and will continue to generate millions more in economic activity across the state, creating thousands of jobs for New Mexicans in communities both small and large.”

New Mexico population centers that include Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Hobbs and Rio Rancho recorded the highest July sales numbers, according to Cannabis Control Division of the Regulation and Licensing Department statistics.

The Cannabis Control Division releases sales numbers on a monthly basis, with data available at the beginning of each month for the month prior.

The post New Mexico posts record cannabis sales in July appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/new-mexico-posts-record-cannabis-sales-in-july/

Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency promotes DEI efforts of cannabis industry licensees

The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) announced the first approved gold qualifier, Pharmhouse Wellness, through the Social Equity All-Star Program, a new initiative encouraging cannabis industry licensees to include proactive diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) campaigns.© Shutterstock The CRA has also revealed the first 20 bronze qualifiers through the program, outlining the development, publishing, and […]

The post Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency promotes DEI efforts of cannabis industry licensees appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) announced the first approved gold qualifier, Pharmhouse Wellness, through the Social Equity All-Star Program, a new initiative encouraging cannabis industry licensees to include proactive diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) campaigns.

© Shutterstock

The CRA has also revealed the first 20 bronze qualifiers through the program, outlining the development, publishing, and implementation of social equity plans, corporate spend plans, and community reinvestment plans.

“Pharmhouse Wellness has done a tremendous job with their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, as well as their strong community reinvestment,” CRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo said. “Our 20 new bronze qualifiers also have shown a commitment to invest time and money in initiatives to help those who were disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition. This new recognition program acknowledges the important work our licensees are doing in the social equity space, and I’m excited to see it continue to grow.”

Social Equity All-Star Program participation is incentivized through state-issued bronze, silver, and gold social equity seals that are slated to be used as identifiers in a tiered recognition system to recognize licensees’ social equity involvement, per authorities.

The post Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency promotes DEI efforts of cannabis industry licensees appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/michigan-cannabis-regulatory-agency-promotes-dei-efforts-of-cannabis-industry-licensees/

Bill seeks expungement of federal marijuana misdemeanors

U.S. Reps. Troy A. Carter, Sr. (D-LA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) recently introduced legislation that seeks an expungement method regarding low-level federal marijuana violations.© Shutterstock The Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act would also expeditiously address clearing non-felony marijuana offenses lingering in the federal system. “I’m proud to introduce The Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act, bipartisan legislation that […]

The post Bill seeks expungement of federal marijuana misdemeanors appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

U.S. Reps. Troy A. Carter, Sr. (D-LA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) recently introduced legislation that seeks an expungement method regarding low-level federal marijuana violations.

© Shutterstock

The Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act would also expeditiously address clearing non-felony marijuana offenses lingering in the federal system.

“I’m proud to introduce The Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act, bipartisan legislation that will restore justice to millions of Americans who have suffered inordinate collateral consequences associated with marijuana-related misdemeanors,” Carter said. “These misdemeanors – even without a conviction – can result in restrictions to peoples’ ability to access educational aid, housing assistance, occupational licensing and even foster parenting.”

Carter said delivering justice for citizens impacted by marijuana-related misdemeanors represents an essential component of comprehensive cannabis reform.

“Given the number of states, like Illinois, where marijuana has long been legalized for adult use, we must ensure that our criminal justice system keeps pace so that individuals with low-level misdemeanor violations related to its use does not preclude them from getting jobs and participating in society,” Davis said.

Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana
Founder and CEO Roz McCarthy said the measure enables Americans to remove an impediment to economic progress while restoring the ability to maximize their full potential.

“Addressing the negative societal and economic effects permeated by marijuana prohibition at both the federal and state level will be critical as we seek to deliver comprehensive cannabis reform in this country,” McCarthy said. “I want to thank Rep. Carter for introducing The Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act, and I look forward to working with them to move this bill forward in the weeks to come.”

The post Bill seeks expungement of federal marijuana misdemeanors appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/bill-seeks-expungement-of-federal-marijuana-misdemeanors/

House advances bill to foster cannabis research

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation designed to streamline the application process for marijuana researchers and remove FDA barriers to encourage research on marijuana. © Shutterstock The bill — the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act – passed in the house with 325 votes. “Research is a foundational element for cannabis policy,” Rep. […]

The post House advances bill to foster cannabis research appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation designed to streamline the application process for marijuana researchers and remove FDA barriers to encourage research on marijuana.

© Shutterstock

The bill — the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act – passed in the house with 325 votes.

“Research is a foundational element for cannabis policy,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), one of the billʻs sponsors and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said. “At a time when there are four million registered medical marijuana patients and many more likely to self-medicate, it is crucial that researchers are able to fully study the health benefits of cannabis. For too long, the federal government has stood in the way of science and progress, creating barriers for researchers obtaining resources and approval to study cannabis. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation is an important first step to changing that.”

It was also sponsored by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD).

“As a physician who has conducted NIH-sponsored research, I am pleased that this bill has finally passed and that scientists will be able to research what medical marijuana can and cannot do. While there is evidence to suggest that medical marijuana may be beneficial in the treatment of some diseases like glaucoma and epilepsy, only scientific research will prove the veracity of the many claims regarding efficacy for other diseases. Despite lacking much scientific research, over three dozen states have already legalized medical marijuana, and the American public deserves to know the effect modern marijuana has on the human body. While I support additional research for the use of medical marijuana, my position on recreational marijuana remains the same – I categorically oppose it,” Harris said.

The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote. U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) are among those who are in favor of its passage.

“The medical community agrees that we need more research to learn about marijuana’s potential health benefits, but our federal laws today are standing in the way of us finding those answers,” Schatz said. “We are now one step closer to removing excessive barriers that make it difficult for researchers to study the effectiveness and safety of marijuana, and hopefully, give patients more treatment options.”

The post House advances bill to foster cannabis research appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/house-advances-bill-to-foster-cannabis-research/

Illinois sees spike in tax revenue from sales of adult-use cannabis in fiscal 2022

The State of Illinois saw a massive 50 percent increase in total tax reported from adult-use cannabis over the past year.© Shutterstock Specifically, tax revenue went from $297.7 million in fiscal year 2021 to $445.3 million in fiscal year 2022. Overall, total adult-use cannabis sales also rose 50 percent, increasing from $1 billion in 2021 […]

The post Illinois sees spike in tax revenue from sales of adult-use cannabis in fiscal 2022 appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

The State of Illinois saw a massive 50 percent increase in total tax reported from adult-use cannabis over the past year.

© Shutterstock

Specifically, tax revenue went from $297.7 million in fiscal year 2021 to $445.3 million in fiscal year 2022. Overall, total adult-use cannabis sales also rose 50 percent, increasing from $1 billion in 2021 to $1.5 billion in 2022. In addition, cannabis tax disbursements to local governments jumped 77 percent, from $82.8 million in fiscal year 2021 to $146.2 million in fiscal year 2022.

“Illinois has done more to put justice and equity at the forefront of this industry than any other state in the nation and has worked to ensure that communities hurt by the war on drugs have had the opportunity to participate,” Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said. “The $1.5 billion in sales of adult-use cannabis in Illinois translates into significant tax revenue with a portion of every dollar spent being reinvested in communities that have suffered for decades.”

Illinois law mandates that 25 percent of tax revenue generated by adult-use cannabis sales must support communities that are economically distressed, experience high rates of violence, and have been disproportionately impacted by drug criminalization.

“Legalizing cannabis for adults has been a wise investment for the Illinois economy, and sales have continued to rise, leading to additional revenue for the state,” State Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford said. “Consistent cash flow from the cannabis industry assists the state with funding essential services such as violence prevention, mental health, and local government.”

The state has awarded $113.5 million in grants to date from funds generated from taxes on adult-use cannabis sales. The money is used to invest in underserved communities through Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority’s Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) Program.

“These much-needed resources for communities impacted by the drug war are the exact reason why policymakers who understand the pain and trauma being experienced by community is vital,” State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Chicago) said. “This isn’t just happening. These directed resources were the result of intentional policy decisions to begin repairing harm. But this is just the beginning. I am eager to see newly licensed Black businesses get a slice of the pie.”

Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) Director David Harris said the cannabis industry continues to have a positive impact on the state’s economy.

“It has created hundreds of jobs at cultivation centers and dispensaries throughout the state, and tax revenue generated continues to flow to local governments, help with drug programs and treatments, and is also being reinvested back into the communities that need it the most,” Harris said.

The post Illinois sees spike in tax revenue from sales of adult-use cannabis in fiscal 2022 appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/illinois-sees-spike-in-tax-revenue-from-sales-of-adult-use-cannabis-in-fiscal-2022/

Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency details veteran marijuana research grant award effort

The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) has released details regarding Wayne State University and the University of Michigan receiving 2022 Veteran Marijuana Research (VMR) Grant Program Award recommendations.© Shutterstock On April 1, 2022, the CRA issued an RFP (Request For Proposals) for the VMR grants. The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act was passed […]

The post Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency details veteran marijuana research grant award effort appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) has released details regarding Wayne State University and the University of Michigan receiving 2022 Veteran Marijuana Research (VMR) Grant Program Award recommendations.

© Shutterstock

On April 1, 2022, the CRA issued an RFP (Request For Proposals) for the VMR grants. The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act was passed by Michigan voters in November 2018, creating the Marijuana Regulation Fund in the state treasury.

The legislation requires the CRA to expend money in the fund until 2022 or for at least two years as a means of providing $20 million each year to one or more clinical trials approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and sponsored by a non-profit organization or researcher within an academic institution researching the efficacy of marijuana in treating domestic armed services veterans medical conditions of domestic armed and preventing veteran suicide.

A review team recommended Wayne State University be awarded the full amount requested for both proposals, $9,028,541 and $3,536,524, while the University of Michigan was awarded $7,434,935 of the requested $11,987,667.

Solicitation responses were reviewed by a Joint Evaluation Committee (JEC), consisting of CRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Deputy Director Robert Near, and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Medical Adviser for the State Hospital Administration Dr. Catherine Reid.

The post Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency details veteran marijuana research grant award effort appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/michigan-cannabis-regulatory-agency-details-veteran-marijuana-research-grant-award-effort/

Senators unveil marijuana decriminalization bill; Schumer hopes to pass legislation this year

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Thursday joined U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) in introducing legislation to federally decriminalize marijuana. © Shutterstock The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act also would permit states to set their own marijuana laws without fear of punishment from the […]

The post Senators unveil marijuana decriminalization bill; Schumer hopes to pass legislation this year appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Thursday joined U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) in introducing legislation to federally decriminalize marijuana.

© Shutterstock

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act also would permit states to set their own marijuana laws without fear of punishment from the federal government.

During a speech on the U.S. Senate floor today, Schumer said he’s committed to working in a bipartisan way to get cannabis reform passed by Congress this year.

“It is time that Congress catches up with the rest of the country,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “This bill provides the best framework for updating our cannabis laws and reversing decades of harm inflicted by the war on drugs.”

If enacted, the measure — which includes priorities from both Democrats and Republicans — also would deschedule cannabis, “provide for reinvestment in certain persons adversely impacted by the War on Drugs,” and expunge certain cannabis offenses, according to the text of the almost 300-page bill.

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act also would create grant programs for small business owners in communities disproportionately harmed by previous federal drug laws who want to get into the growing industry, the text says, noting that legal cannabis sales in 2021 totaled $25 billion and are projected to reach $45 billion by 2025.

“The communities that have been most harmed by cannabis prohibition are benefitting the least from the legal marijuana marketplace,” states the bill, which adds that enforcing cannabis prohibition laws costs U.S. taxpayers roughly $3.6 billion a year, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

“A legacy of racial and ethnic injustices, compounded by the disproportionate collateral consequences of 80 years of cannabis prohibition enforcement, now limits participation in the industry,” the bill says. “Federal law severely limits access to loans and capital for cannabis businesses, disproportionately impacting minority and tribal small business owners.”

Additionally, the proposal also would restrict the marketing of cannabis to minors, and would make awards to prevent underage cannabis use and set up national media campaigns on cannabis use.

At the same time, the bill also would authorize and establish federal funding for law enforcement departments to fight the illegal cultivation of weed.

Among numerous other provisions, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) would be tasked with conducting R&D for a nationwide marijuana-impaired driving standard, and developing DOT cannabis-impaired driving prevention programs.

There are also provisions related to workplace health and safety; banking, housing and community development; public health; taxation; and trade, among others.

Booker, who is chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Counterterrorism, has scheduled a July 26 hearing entitled, “Decriminalizing Cannabis at the Federal Level: Necessary Steps to Address Past Harms.” He suggested earlier this week that the newly proposed bill will be included on the agenda.

Schumer, Booker, and Wyden in July 2021 released a draft version of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which retains the draft’s main provisions but was expanded with feedback from stakeholders, advocates and other lawmakers, according to the senators.

“Underlying it all, this bill is about individual freedom and basic fairness,” said Schumer earlier today in his speech. “The fact that cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance — in the same bad company of other drugs like heroin — it’s not just senseless, it’s deeply harmful for countless Americans. It impinges on the freedom of all of us. If this is working in all the states, why not let people use it?”

Andrew Freedman, executive director of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR), said, “This bill represents a pivotal moment for the cannabis industry and is an opportunity to create a responsible federal cannabis regulatory framework rooted in science, evidence, and data.”

“It is essential that federal legislation provides strong guardrails to prevent youth access and drugged driving through the inclusion of strong public health and safety standards,” Freedman added.

Earlier this year, CPEAR released polling showing 70 percent of voters support federal cannabis reform to end the federal prohibition on cannabis for adult-use. Additionally, 67 percent of voters nationwide support ending prohibition at the federal level and allowing individual states to decide whether cannabis will be legal in their state.

The post Senators unveil marijuana decriminalization bill; Schumer hopes to pass legislation this year appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/senators-unveil-marijuana-decriminalization-bill-schumer-hopes-to-pass-legislation-this-year/

Connecticut Consumer Protection Department issues update on cannabis cultivation licensure process

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is encouraging qualifying Social Equity Applicants to proceed in the application review process for Cultivators in a Disproportionately Impacted Area (DIA).© Shutterstock “Thank you to the Social Equity Council for their work in taking this important step in the licensure process for cannabis businesses,” DCP Commissioner Michelle H. […]

The post Connecticut Consumer Protection Department issues update on cannabis cultivation licensure process appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is encouraging qualifying Social Equity Applicants to proceed in the application review process for Cultivators in a Disproportionately Impacted Area (DIA).

© Shutterstock

“Thank you to the Social Equity Council for their work in taking this important step in the licensure process for cannabis businesses,” DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said. “DCP will review background checks for those applicants who received a vote of approval from the Council. Provisional licenses will be granted once the background checks are complete and selected applicants have submitted the required information and related fees. Licensees will then be able to move forward with setting up their business and applying for a final license.”

DCP Department was notified that 16 applications were approved by the Social Equity Council for satisfactorily meeting the requirements approved by the General Assembly to qualify for the DIA Cultivator license type solely available to Social Equity applicants.

“These important steps mean Connecticut cannabis cultivation will be primarily operated by people from those communities identified as disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs, who qualified as Social Equity Applicants,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “While there is still a lot of work to be done, we are establishing Connecticut as a leader in addressing the inequities and injustices caused by cannabis prohibition. We are ensuring those communities most harmed have an opportunity to be leaders in this newly regulated industry.”

Cannabis was approved for adult use in June 2021, officials noted, adding adult-use cannabis retail sales are anticipated to begin in the state near the end of this year.

The post Connecticut Consumer Protection Department issues update on cannabis cultivation licensure process appeared first on Financial Regulation News.

Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/connecticut-consumer-protection-department-issues-update-on-cannabis-cultivation-licensure-process/