This week, the Vermont Legislature sent a proposal to tax and regulate cannabis sales to Gov. Phil Scott for his consideration. Elsewhere, in Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that cannabis dispensary applicants will have a second chance to qualify for a licensing lottery for the 75 available licenses.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: A new bill in Congress would allow cannabis businesses to access federal disaster relief programs. Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced the Small Business Disaster Relief Equity Act Sept. 24 to bar federal agencies from denying disaster relief to state-legal cannabis businesses solely because of their cannabis related activities. Read more
- Vermont: The Vermont House approved a deal on a bill to tax and regulate cannabis sales in the state, sending it to the Senate for a final vote. The House and Senate agreed on the compromise proposal Sept. 15 to create a legal cannabis market in the state. Read more
- The Vermont Senate then voted Sept. 22 to approve the compromise proposal to legalize cannabis sales, sending the final bill to Gov. Phil Scott for consideration. Scott said at a Sept. 18 press conference that lawmakers have addressed many of his concerns about a legal cannabis marketplace and have “come a long ways” in creating legislation to allow legal sales. Read more
- Oklahoma: The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) has signed a contract with Metrc to implement a statewide seed-to-sale system to track cannabis plants and products in the state’s medical cannabis market. The system will track medical cannabis plants and products from a plant’s growth stage through the sale to patients, and is part of OMMA’s broader efforts to ensure accountability and safety in the state’s medical cannabis market. Read more
- Illinois: Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced that cannabis dispensary applicants will get a second chance to qualify for the state’s licensing lottery following backlash over the licensing process. Applicants who did not receive the maximum score of 252 points will be able to amend their applications or challenge their scores, and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issue final scores for each application before moving forward with the licensing lottery. Read more
- Cresco Labs has announced the approval and the location of its tenth Illinois dispensary in Naperville. The adult-use dispensary is located in one of the busiest shopping areas in Naperville, the third largest city in Illinois with approximately 150,000 residents. Read more
- Maryland: Ethos Cannabis, a multi-state operator with operations and investment interests in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Florida and Arizona, has officially acquired the right to manage and ultimately purchase Maryland medical cannabis dispensaries of 4Front Ventures Corp., which are currently operated under the Mission brand. Ethos is acquiring the rights to manage and ultimately own three operational dispensary licenses in Rockville, Catonsville and Hampden, Md., which are all in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas. Read more
- Michigan: The Michigan Legislature gave final approval this week on legislation that would automatically expunge cannabis-related convictions, sending the bills to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Included in the bipartisan package of six “clean-slate” bills are provisions that would launch an automated expungement process in roughly two and a half years. Read more
- Puerto Rico: Tropizen announced earlier this month the completion of its first commercial cannabis harvest grown in its recently added 10,000-square-foot outdoor cultivation facilities. The new harvest, destined for both flower sales and the manufacture of infused medicinal products, arrives as patient demand for cannabis flower in Puerto Rico continues to surpass available market supply. Read more
- International: Marlborough-based Puro has received a license to grow New Zealand’s largest medical cannabis crop to date. The license, granted by the Ministry of Health, allows Puro to grow up to 90,000 low-THC cannabis plants, which will be exported internationally. Read more