This week, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser reiterated calls for adult-use cannabis legalization, promoting a petition for the Safe Cannabis Sales Act 2019 and launching a campaign called Safe Cannabis DC. Elsewhere, in Arkansas, the state’s eight medical cannabis dispensaries reached $6 million in sales.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: The National Institute for Drug Abuse has issued a notice of special interest encouraging grant applications on the “effects of changing cannabis laws and policies in the U.S. and globally on public health.” The federal institute is a science-centered research organization responsible for providing the government with actionable information related to drugs and drug abuse. The organization also provides funding for research opportunities. Read more
- California: The state’s legal cannabis market is on track to grow 23 percent in 2019 to $3.1 billion, but customer spending is still slower than expected due to the current regulatory and tax climate in the state, according to research from Arcview Group and BDS Analytics. Arcview forecasts consumer spending to reach $7.2 billion in 2024, a 19-percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years, although high taxes and burdensome regulations impact further potential gains, according to a new report. Read more
- Washington, D.C.: Mayor Muriel Bowser reiterated calls for adult-use cannabis legalization, promoting a petition for the Safe Cannabis Sales Act 2019 and launching a campaign called Safe Cannabis DC. “For years, marijuana possession has been a pipeline to prison for people of color,” Bowser said. “We must replace that pipeline with jobs, equity and pathways to prosperity.” Read more
- Nevada: During an ongoing trial over the state’s cannabis licensing process, attorneys for the state and some of the companies that won retail marijuana dispensaries last year told a judge that tax officials are fairly enforcing a voter-approved initiative that legalized adult-use cannabis. Steve Shevorski, a top deputy state attorney general, said Department of Taxation officials didn’t abuse or exceed their authority in shaping rules and regulations for applicants, so there would be no reason to stop the licensing process and order a do-over. Read more
- Nebraska: Prosecutors across Nebraska are weighing a new hemp law, which has made it difficult for law enforcement to differentiate between legal hemp and marijuana. On Monday, Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon confirmed his office will not move forward with cannabis possession charges for four University of Nebraska football players due to questions left answered by the recently enacted Nebraska Hemp Farming Act. Read more
- Colorado: Herbal Wellness, a cannabis producer in Lafayette, has recalled several dozen batches of marijuana over possible contamination, according to a joint announcement from the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division and Department of Public Health and Environment. State investigators discovered “potentially unsafe levels of microbial contamination,” according to the recall notice, as well as several varieties of cannabis that did not receive proper contaminant testing. Read more
- Michigan: State officials will host five sessions in September to explain the online cannabis business license application process for adult-use business owners. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency plans to begin accepting business license applications Nov. 1, the first step to launching a regulated commercial cannabis market in the state. Read more
- Arkansas: Medical cannabis sales have reached $6 million. Dispensaries began opening in May, and eight retail locations are now operating throughout the state. Read more
- Canada: The Ontario Cannabis Store has returned $2.9 million worth of CannTrust products that do not conform with the terms of the province’s supply deal with the beleaguered cannabis company. “Any product that does not comply with applicable law is considered to be non-conforming product and the OCS may elect to exercise its right, among others, to return such product to the company at the company’s expense,” CannTrust said in a statement. Read more
- Health Canada is overwhelmed with cannabis research applications. As of last month, there were 251 applicants waiting in the queue for approval, and scientists are becoming increasingly irritated with the stagnancy of the process. Read more