This week, Illinois issued its first five adult-use cannabis retail licenses to businesses that will be able to sell to the market when it opens Jan. 1. Elsewhere, Missouri officials received 2,163 medical cannabis business license applications from prospective operators vying for the state’s 348 licenses.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Illinois: Illinois awarded its first five adult-use cannabis retail licenses Aug. 29, with dozens more licenses expected to be issued in the coming weeks. 3C Compassionate Care Centers’ locations in Joliet and Naperville, The Clinic Mundelein, The Clinic Effingham and Saveo Health and Wellness in Canton received the first licenses to sell to the adult-use market beginning Jan. 1. Read more
- In addition, the state has unveiled a suite of new energy standards after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an energy bill (H.B. 1438) into law earlier this summer. The goal is to place and enforce limits on electricity and water use in this rapidly growing industry; Illinois currently allows only indoor cannabis cultivation for its 20 license-holders. Read more
- Colorado: MedPharm, a Colorado-based cannabis research and formulation development company, announced Aug. 27 that it received word from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) indicating that the company has been selected to move forward in the application process to grow cannabis for research. This comes after the DEA’s Aug. 26 announcement that it will take steps to expand the scientific and medical research of cannabis with a promise to approve additional federal cultivation licenses from a pool of 33 applications, most of which have been pending since 2016. Read more
- Medicine Man Technologies, Inc. has announced plans to acquire Colorado Harvest Company, an operator of two cannabis dispensaries in Denver and one in nearby Aurora. Under the terms of the transaction, Medicine Man Technologies will purchase Colorado Harvest for $12.5 million, or 1.25 times its anticipated 2019 revenue of $10 million. Read more
- Minnesota: State lawmakers are weighing their options to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis in the state as House Majority Leader Rep. Ryan Winkler kicks off a tour of 15 communities to discuss the issue. Winkler announced his “Be Heard on Cannabis” tour Aug. 29 in front of the Farmers Union building at the State Fair, and the first three town-hall style discussions will be held in Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Cloud in September and October. Read more
- Missouri: The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced this week that it has received 2,163 medical cannabis business license applications from prospective operators vying for the state’s 348 licenses. The application period ran from Aug. 3 through Aug. 19, and the state received 554 applications for 60 cultivation licenses, 1,163 applications for 192 dispensary licenses, 415 applications for 86 manufacturing licenses, 17 applications for 10 testing lab licenses, and 14 applications for transport licenses. Read more
- California: Earlier this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office amended its 2019 and 2020 cannabis revenue tax projections: from $355 million to $288 million (in 2019) and from $514 million to $359 million (in 2020). Something similar has now happened in Sonoma County, where supervisors saw a shortfall in tax revenue in the 2017-2018 fiscal year and adjusted the 2018-2019 fiscal year projections. The 2018-2019 fiscal year ended in Sonoma County on June 30, and the county had surpassed its conservative projection by nearly $1 million. Read more
- Mississippi: Mississippians for Compassionate Care submitted more than enough signatures Sept. 4 to place a medical marijuana initiative on the state’s ballot next year. The group submitted 105,686 signatures from registered voters to the secretary of state ahead of a Sept. 6 deadline to turn in at least 86,000 signatures, and the signatures are now pending state certification. Read more
- Canada: Quebec Superior Court Justice Manon Lavoie ruled this week that a ban on at-home cannabis cultivation is unconstitutional. However, the province could appeal this decision and keep the matter in litigation limbo. Read more
- International: Thailand has formally removed low-THC cannabis and hemp extracts from its list of scheduled narcotics. The country legalized medical cannabis in 2018, and although no licenses are available to private entrepreneurs just yet, Thailand is beginning to take down some of the regulatory obstacles that are standing in the way of business development. Read more