This week, Canopy Growth and Acreage Holdings announced amended terms for their merger deal, which has fallen in value from $3.4 billion to roughly $843 million. Elsewhere, in California, regulators extended cannabis license fee deferrals to businesses with licenses expiring in July and August to provide assistance to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: Canopy Growth and Acreage Holdings have amended the terms of their merger deal, which, when originally announced in April 2019, was worth $3.4 billion. Under the new arrangement, Canopy will provide an up-front payment of $37.5 million to Acreage, and the total value of the deal has fallen to roughly $843 million. Read more
- California: The three state cannabis licensing authorities announced this week that businesses with state commercial cannabis licenses expiring between July 1, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2020 may request 60-day deferrals of their license fee payments. The license fee deferrals are intended to provide immediate financial assistance to state cannabis licensees impacted by COVID-19. Read more
- The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved new rules for cannabis licensing under the city’s social equity program July 1 amid backlash surrounding the rollout of the program. The program aims to ensure that those disproportionately impacted by prohibition benefit from legalization, and has largely targeted applicants who have cannabis-related convictions or have resided in areas with disproportionate arrests for cannabis crimes, but it has been criticized for not adequately representing Black entrepreneurs. Read more
- West Virginia: The Office of Medical Cannabis will reopen the application process for medical testing labs with plans to accept applications indefinitely and issue an unlimited number of licenses. The application process originally spanned two months and closed on Feb. 18, but only one lab applied for a license during that period. Read more
- Colorado: Gov. Jared Polis signed legislation June 29 that allows him to pardon past cannabis-related convictions that involve the possession of two ounces or less of cannabis. The new law takes effect Sept. 14, 90 days after the final adjournment of the legislature. Read more
- Iowa: Gov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation this week that changes the THC cap in the state’s medical cannabis program. The new law, which cleared the House in March and the Senate earlier this month, replaces the current 3% THC limit for medical cannabis products with a limit of 4.5 grams of THC in a 90-day period. Read more
- Illinois: In the latest in a series of cannabis licensing delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois has delayed issuing craft grow, infuser and transporter licenses. The Department of Agriculture planned to issue 40 craft grow licenses, 40 infuser licenses and an undetermined number of transporter licenses July 1, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker instead issued an executive order to delay the permits, without specifying when they would be issued. Read more
- Arkansas: After some debate, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission voted this week to expand the number of licensed cultivators and dispensaries in the state. Regulators released two remaining cultivation licenses, expanding the number of cultivators in the state from six to eight, and also approved the release of four additional dispensary licenses. Read more
- Tennessee: Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk announced July 1 that, effective immediately, his office will no longer prosecute minor cannabis possession offenses that involve less than half an ounce of cannabis. “Marijuana charges do little to promote public health, and even less to promote public safety,” Funk’s office told the Tennessean, adding that low-level cannabis charges disproportionately impact minorities. Read more
- Arizona: Smart and Safe Arizona submitted roughly 420,000 signatures July 1 to place its adult-use cannabis legalization measure on the state’s 2020 ballot. If approved by voters this fall, the statutory measure would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis, as well as grow up to six plants at home for personal use. Read more