The Constant Challenges of the Cannabis Industry: Week in Review
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The Constant Challenges of the Cannabis Industry: Week in Review

Dr. Sue Sisley's banking woes are the latest and most visible example of a major problem facing cannabis business operators.

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October 23, 2021

You never know what’s waiting around the corner for your in the cannabis business. Just a few weeks ago, at Cannabis Conference 2021, Dr. Sue Sisley provided a riveting keynote speech about her success in suing the DEA and the DOJ—eliminating the 52-year-old government-enforced research monopoly and eventually acquiring a Schedule I research license to cultivate cannabis flower for FDA-approved clinical trials. She was off to the races. 

“Then I had this revelation, I said, ‘Oh my goodness, I'm selling weed to the DEA!’” she said at the show. “This is so historic!” 

Then, earlier this week, Bank of America closed the Scottsdale Research Institute’s accounts—essentially shutting down her work. 

Now, it remains to be seen how this fallout transforms Sisley’s goals. We’ll be following along. But it just goes to show that banking challenges abound, and potentially upending disasters lurk around this industry.

Let us know: What’s the biggest challenge your team is facing right now? 

We’ve rounded up some of the key cannabis headlines from the week right here.

  • Dr. Sue Sisley, who has fought against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, has a new battle to fight after Bank of America closed her institute’s account. Read more 
  • …And, again, check out her keynote speech at Cannabis Conference 2021
  • HEXO Corp. has announced Scott Cooper as HEXO's new president and CEO, effective immediately. Read more 
  • South Dakota lawmakers advanced an adult-use cannabis legalization proposal Oct. 19 as the state’s Supreme Court continues to consider whether Constitutional Amendment A, which voters approved in the 2020 election, is valid. Read more 
  • The Texas Department of State Health Services has added a statement to its website declaring that delta-8 THC is illegal under state law. Read more 
  • The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is scrapping a plan that could have allowed medical cannabis business licensing—and sales—to begin as early as next year. Read more 

And elsewhere on the web, here are the stories we’ve been reading this week:

  • Politico: In this opinion piece, Justin Singer, co-founder and CEO of Caliper Holdings, argues that the FDA’s failure to regulate a multibillion-dollar market is a detriment to consumers and businesses alike. Read more 
  • WPRI: “Rhode Island leaders are inching closer to a agreement on legalizing recreational marijuana, but have still not settled on what sort of governing body will oversee, regulate and issue retail licenses in the potentially lucrative market for legal cannabis.” Read more 
  • Dayton Daily News: “It’s been nearly three years since the first medical marijuana dispensary opened in Ohio and a little more than half of the state’s marijuana card holders are either ‘extremely dissatisfied’ or ‘somewhat dissatisfied’ with the program.” Read more 
  • San Diego Union-Tribune: “The county board of supervisors approved a plan that lets marijuana dispensaries expand to 10,000 square feet and add edible and drinkable products.” Read more 
  • Burlington Free Press: “CeresMED, a major medical marijuana and CBD seller in Vermont, has applied for an Act 250 permit to build a $6.6 million facility in Milton to grow, harvest and process cannabis, expanding its current operations.” Read more