This week, Aurora Cannabis Founder and CEO Terry Booth announced his retirement, effective immediately, as Executive Chairman Michael Singer stepped in as interim CEO. Elsewhere, Subcool, a legendary cannabis breeder, passed away after a long battle with illness.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: Dave Bowman, known to the cannabis world as Subcool, died on Feb. 1. He had been ill for quite some time, battling Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and emphysema, as well as the fallout from a divorce and a California wildfire that took nearly everything he’d worked to create in cannabis. Read more
- New Mexico: A New Mexico court has ruled that the state’s licensed medical cannabis producers can claim a tax deduction for prescription medication, which could affect both patients’ costs and the state budget. The recent ruling, handed down by a three-judge panel in a unanimous decision, overturned a hearing officer’s previous decision. Read more
- Colorado: Lawmakers and other state officials have launched several campaigns aimed at providing more guidance and protection for financial institutions that serve the state’s legal cannabis industry. While federal prohibition continues to deter financial institutions from working with state-legal cannabis businesses, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and the Department of Regulatory Agencies have released a new report titled “Roadmap to Cannabis Banking and Financial Services,” which outlines their goals of providing regulatory guidance and reducing barriers to loans, lines of credit and account access for cannabis businesses. Read more
- Minnesota: House Democratic Majority Leader Ryan Winkler has outlined guiding principles for an adult-use cannabis legalization bill in the state. Previously, Winkler announced plans to introduce legislation based on the “Be Heard on Cannabis” discussions he hosted around the state last year to gather public input on legalization. Read more
- Rhode Island: Lawmakers voted Feb. 4 to abandon legislative veto powers over the state’s medical cannabis and hemp regulations, which they awarded themselves in a state budget proposal last summer. This provision resulted in a legal battle with Gov. Gina Raimondo late last year when Raimondo filed a lawsuit in October against the General Assembly to take exclusive control of medical cannabis and hemp regulation. Read more
- Missouri: The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has awarded six seed-to-sale tracking companies licenses to operate in the state’s forthcoming medical cannabis market. The licensees are MJ Freeway, Bio-Tech Medical Software, Swin, Artemis Agtech, Validated Housing and Retail Innovation. Read more
- New Hampshire: The New Hampshire Senate passed a bill Feb. 6 in a voice vote that would allow patients and caregivers to grow a limited supply of cannabis. S.B. 420 will now proceed to the House of Representatives, which has passed similar legislation in the past with strong majority support. Read more
- Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont is renewing his push to legalize adult-use cannabis, and has introduced a legalization bill for lawmakers to consider during the 2020 legislative session. Lamont announced during his Feb. 5 State of the State address that legalization is necessary to keep Connecticuters safe, and has introduced a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis for adults 21 and older, test for impaired drivers, and support racial and ethnic minorities in their participation in a forthcoming adult-use market in the state. Read more
- Massachusetts: The Massachusetts House passed a bill Feb. 5 that would increase the Cannabis Control Commission’s (CCC) ability to regulate community host agreements, or the contracts between municipalities and the cannabis businesses they host. Lawmakers voted 121-33 to approve the legislation, which would allow the CCC to review and enforce the agreements. Read more
- Canada: Aurora Cannabis Founder and CEO Terry Booth has announced retirement, and Executive Chairman Michael Singer has been appointed as interim CEO, effective immediately. The company has also announced a business transformation plan that better aligns with selling, general and administrative expenses, and capital expenditures with current market conditions. Read more