2021 was another year of growth—and challenges—for the cannabis industry.
Connecticut, New Mexico, New York and Virginia legalized adult-use this year, while states that legalized in the 2020 election—including Arizona, Montana and New Jersey—established regulatory frameworks for their adult-use programs.
Delta-8 THC caught the industry’s attention as several states moved to regulate or ban the compound, and Texas drew particular scrutiny after the Department of State Health Services moved to ban the production and sale of delta-8 in October.
Access to banking remained one of the biggest obstacles for cannabis businesses, with federal legislators removing the latest iteration of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act from a national defense spending bill in early December.
As we look toward 2022 and the continued evolution of these and other industry issues, we reflect on Cannabis Business Times’ top 10 most popular articles of 2021.
10. Flying With Cannabis in New York? Rest Easy.
While transporting cannabis across state lines is illegal, even between two states that have legal markets and share a border, it is not a concern for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents in New York. In July, reports surfaced of a federal security director of 15 upstate airports saying that travelers who possess cannabis are not TSA’s focus during screenings. Read more
9. Cresco Labs’ Acquisition of Bluma Wellness Combines Two Like-Minded Companies, According to Executives
Multistate cannabis operator Cresco Labs announced in January that it would acquire Bluma Wellness, a vertically integrated company with operations in Florida. Company executives told Cannabis Business Times that the transaction would combine two like-minded companies with similar business models. Read more
8. Oklahoma House Passes Bill to Limit Medical Cannabis Licenses
In early March, the Oklahoma House passed House Bill 2272 to place a temporary license cap on medical cannabis businesses. The measure, which directed the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to cap the number of dispensary, processor and grower licensing beginning Sept. 1, was signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt in May. Read more
7. Bay Area Cannabis Mayhem: 175 Shots Fired, Products Worth Millions Stolen
In mid-November, armed robbers in the Bay Area forced their way into more than 25 licensed cannabis businesses. The robbers traveled Oakland in “hundreds” of roving caravans and shot off more than 175 rounds, according to Oakland Police Department Chief LeRonne Armstrong, and the incident left many company owners asking for tax amnesty. Read more
6. How to Grow Raspberry Boogie
In January’s Breeder’s Brief, Mosca Seeds’ Mosca Rick provided insights on how to grow Raspberry Boogie, the company’s best-selling strain. Read more
5. What is Delta-8-THC?
With all the buzz surrounding Delta-8 THC in the cannabis industry, many questions circulate around what the up-and-coming cannabinoid is, where it comes from, and its legal status. In March, Cannabis Business Times’ Andriana Ruscitto and Patrick Williams compiled expert perspectives on the compound to help businesses decide whether to make and market delta-8. Read more
4. The New Jersey Cannabis Microbusiness License: An Entrepreneur’s Guide
New Jersey set aside a solid portion of cannabis licenses for smaller operators in its Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, which established the framework for the state’s legal adult-use cannabis industry. In March, Robert W. Anderson, Esq., a partner with the Westfield, N.J.-based law firm Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C., provided insight on what entrepreneurs need to know about the state’s cannabis microbusiness licenses. Read more
3. Federal Cannabis Legislation Roundup: Summer 2021
It’s been a busy year for cannabis legislation, which begs the question: will all the activity lead to legalization, or even incremental progress on changing federal law? As we headed into the second half of the year, Cannabis Business Times contributor Raj Chandler examined the most prominent federal cannabis bills, assessed their current status and made some predictions about the future with the help of industry experts. Read more
2. 15 States That Could Legalize Cannabis in 2022
As cannabis policy reform continues to gain momentum, Cannabis Business Times rounded up the states that could legalize medical or adult-use next year, from the most likely candidates like Oklahoma and Mississippi to those that could be worth watching, such as Arkansas and Missouri. Read more
1. 16 States That Are Considering Cannabis Legalization Bills in 2021
More than a dozen state legislatures were considering medical or adult-use cannabis legalization bill at the start of the year. Cannabis Business Times summarized the adult-use legalization efforts in Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia; the push to legalize medical in Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska and Tennessee; and legislation in Indiana and South Carolina that would have legalized both medical and adult-use cannabis. Read more