DEA Announces Cannabis Research Expansion Plans, Washington Eyes Bill Allowing Growers to Deliver: Week in Review
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DEA Announces Cannabis Research Expansion Plans, Washington Eyes Bill Allowing Growers to Deliver: Week in Review

The DEA has pledged to take steps to approve additional federal cultivation licenses from a pool of applications that have been pending for nearly three years.

August 31, 2019

This week, the DEA announced that it will create the regulatory framework necessary to evaluate dozens of cultivation license applications from private entities wishing to grow cannabis for federally approved research. Elsewhere, in Washington, regulators are pondering an overhaul of the state’s cannabis industry, including regulations that would allow certain growers to provide home delivery services.

Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.

  • Federal: The DEA announced Aug. 26 that it will take steps to expand the scientific and medical research of cannabis, pledging to approve additional federal cultivation licenses from a pool of applications that have been pending since 2016. The agency submitted a filing in the Federal Register Monday indicating that it “intends to promulgate regulations” to evaluate the dozens of cultivation license applications that have been submitted by private entities wishing to grow cannabis for FDA-approved research. Read more
  • The EPA recently took a step toward approving pesticide applications for hemp, announcing that it is seeking public comment on 10 applications from pesticide manufacturers to use existing pesticides on hemp. The move would provide clarity to growers on which treatments they can use on their crops. Read more
  • Nevada: District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued a ruling Aug. 23 that could freeze the licensing process for some of the cannabis companies that were awarded retail licenses in Nevada last year. An injunction issued by the Clark County judge bars the state from performing a final inspection for any licensees who did not identify all prospective owners, officers and board members as required under Question 2, the 2016 voter-approved initiative that legalized adult-use cannabis. Read more
  • Green Growth Brands, a multi-state cannabis and CBD company, has completed its acquisition of its second The+Source retail location in Nevada. In addition to the two The+Source locations, the closing of this acquisition brings GGB’s Nevada assets to a total of one production facility, two cultivation facilities and seven dispensary licenses. Read more
  • New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed a bill Aug. 23 that would have overhauled the state’s expungement system and allowed some individuals with cannabis convictions to have their records immediately cleared. Murphy has instead offered his own recommendations on how to improve the state’s current expungement process, which includes the creation of a task force that would recommend how the state could implement a more technologically advanced, automatic expungement process for individuals who have not been convicted of any crimes for 10 years. Read more
  • Ohio: The state of Ohio will appeal a county judge’s order to allow Greenleaf Apothecaries to open its Cleveland location. Greenleaf Apothecaries, a cannabis retail business based in Ohio and operating under Acreage Holdings’ Botanist dispensary brand, is in the middle of a licensing dispute due to ownership issues and questions regarding the extent of Acreage’s involvement in the business. Read more
  • New York: Green Thumb Industries has acquired Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, one of 10 vertically integrated license holders in New York with a cultivation operation and four dispensary locations. Chicago-based GTI’s $60-million deal follows blockbuster transactions closed by MedMen, Pharmacann and Cresco Labs in New York. Read more
  • Washington: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board is pushing a bill that would allow cannabis home delivery for licensed growers operating less than 2,000 square feet of cultivation space. The long-in-the-works proposal is seen as a shot in the arm for small business owners struggling to compete with larger companies in the crowded Washington marketplace. Read more
  • Illinois: Under Illinois’ adult-use cannabis law, the state’s 55 licensed medical cannabis dispensaries can become licensed to sell in the recreational market, as well as seek licenses for additional retail locations—but some licensees have expressed concerns with the regulations, particularly when it comes to where they can set up shop. Regulators have interpreted the law to mean that initial retail licenses would be available for existing medical dispensaries only at their current locations, and municipalities can ban adult-use cannabis businesses within their jurisdictions, limiting where operators can locate. Read more
  • International: Jamaica is planning a medical cannabis research center, looking to Dr. Wilfred Ngwa’s work at the Harvard Medical School for inspiration and vision to set the country up as a hub for international markets’ scientific innovation and health care policy. Jamaica legalized medical cannabis in 2017, and while the industry has been slow to develop, the idea of a medical cannabis research institution strikes at the heart of the plant’s significance in Jamaican history and culture. Read more