2020 was full of surprises, to say the least, from a global pandemic that saw cannabis businesses designated as essential during coronavirus-related shutdowns, to the industry’s big win on Election Day, when five states—Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota—passed legalization measures.
As we head into 2021, we reflect on Cannabis Business Times’ top 10 most popular articles of 2020, which cover everything from state and federal policy reform efforts to the international landscape.
10. Platinum Confronts Counterfeit Products in Michigan, California
When George Sadler, president of Platinum, a California-based cannabis product manufacturer that distributes products in both California and Michigan, started receiving messages on social media from its Michigan customers about vape cartridges not meeting their expectations, he suspected that counterfeits of the company’s products were being sold at unauthorized retailers. He immediately started looking for ways to stay one step ahead of the illicit producers. At the beginning of the year, Platinum set to work alongside law enforcement to get illicit products removed from store shelves and launched a QR code solution to help customers verify the authenticity of its products. Read more
9. 5 Cannabis Trends to Watch in 2020
In January, Amy Steinfeld and Jack Ucciferri of law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck outlined what cannabis cultivators could look forward to in 2020. From expanded legalization to the concept of big cannabis and craft cannabis, here are the trends they said the industry should pay attention to during this tumultuous year—before everything changed. Read more
8. New CBD Regulations Take Effect in Florida
On Jan. 1, 2020, new CBD regulations issued by Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried took effect in Florida to address pesticide use, product labeling and the inspection of products produced or sold in the state. The Florida Legislature approved legislation that paved the way for a regulated hemp industry in the state in 2019, and lawmakers charged Fried’s office with establishing a regulatory framework for hemp and CBD products. Read more
7. Medical Cannabis Exports in Colombia Promise Massive Market Potential
International cannabis companies were rushing to Colombia at the start of 2020, attracted by what industry stakeholders say are the country’s relatively advanced regulation, beefed-up security, cheap production costs and perfect weather conditions, with many companies anticipating growing exports of medical cannabis at the beginning of the year. “Colombia will be a world leader in cannabis in a few years. Investors have poured about US$600 million in medical cannabis, including farms and laboratories of by-products in about three years,” Rodrigo Arcila, president of the Colombian Cannabis Association (Asocolcanna), told Cannabis Business Times. Read more
6. Cresco Labs Launches New Value Brand, High Supply, for Cannabis Consumers on a Budget
Multistate cannabis operator Cresco Labs launched a new value brand, High Supply, this past spring with the goal of offering quality, affordable products to consumers. The product portfolio includes vape pens, popcorn, shake and pre-rolls sold in bulk, single-serve packages, and all products are produced from Cresco Labs-grown cannabis. Read more
5. Joe Caltabiano Explains Decision to Resign from Cresco Labs
In March, Cresco Labs co-founder Joe Caltabiano announced that he had resigned from his role as president effective immediately. Caltabiano co-founded the Chicago-based multi-state operator in 2013, and told Cannabis Business Times that it was time for him to “step back and look at some opportunities that I’ve always wanted to pursue,” as his skillsets no longer aligned with Cresco’s future needs. Read more
4. What Would a Joe Biden Presidency Mean for the Cannabis Industry?
Ahead of the 2020 election, Cannabis Business Times spoke with industry stakeholders about the fate of cannabis policy reform efforts under a Biden administration, as well as which other factors on Election Day could create meaningful change. While the former vice president—and now president-elect—was largely a prohibitionist during his time as a senator, some industry stakeholders said that he, like much of the American public, has evolved quite a bit on the issue since then. Read more
3. U.S. House Passes SAFE Banking Act as Part of New Coronavirus Relief Bill: UPDATE
In May, the U.S. House passed The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, a $3-trillion relief bill aimed at the economic pressures of the coronavirus pandemic. Included in the bill was the legislative language of the SAFE Banking Act, which would allow cannabis businesses to work freely with banks. Read more
2. 6 Tips for Managing Humidity in Indoor Cannabis Cultivation Facilities
Managing the humidity levels in a cultivation operation is absolutely critical to maintaining a growth schedule and getting optimal production out of plants. In our February issue, Geoff Korff, founder and CEO of Galenas, a Level II cultivator in Ohio’s medical cannabis program, and Christine DeJesus, Galenas’ director of cultivation, offered six tips to help growers better manage cultivation facility humidity. Read more
1. The Problem with Drying Cannabis
Commercial cannabis cultivators are finding themselves at an impasse with drying and curing cannabis. In a May column, Trichome Technologies’ Kenneth Morrow tackled the issue and explored whether craft quality can be produced at scale. Read more