The unofficial end of summer saw a crackdown on illegal cannabis operations in Oregon and California this past week.
Over Labor Day weekend, law enforcement seized $50 million worth of cannabis at a large-scale facility in Oregon that was disguised as a legal hemp operation and confiscated 1,335 pounds of cannabis from an illegal grow in San Bernardino County, Calif.
California’s legal cannabis market, on the other hand, has provided $2.8 billion in tax revenue since adult-use sales launched in 2018. Read more
Maine’s adult-use market is also booming, with August sales surpassing $10 million—a nearly 50% increase from June. Read more
Elsewhere, Illinois regulators admitted a “clerical oversight” error on data entry that wrongfully excluded applicants from the state’s three-part lottery process that awarded 185 cannabis retail licenses in July and August. The state will now conduct a corrective lottery to award additional adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses. Read more
In New Mexico, two of the state’s licensed medical cannabis producers speculate that there could be a cannabis shortage crisis when adult-use sales begin next year. Read more
Montana’s medical cannabis businesses may get a reprieve after the Department of Revenue revised its proposed advertising regulations for the industry based on public comment it received on its draft rules, which were released in July. Read more
Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana is back on track after the state’s Supreme Court struck down the group’s medical cannabis legalization measure before the 2020 election. The organization filed two new medical cannabis initiatives with the Secretary of State this week. Read more
At the federal level, the cannabis industry submitted its feedback on the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) ahead of a Sept. 1 deadline for public comment on the draft bill, which would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, federally tax and regulate cannabis, and allow states to keep of administer their own oversight programs. “You’re seeing a lot of comments, which is good, trying to protect people on both sides of interests,” Adam Fayne, partner and co-chair of the cannabis practice at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “I think everyone is behind social reformation and all the causes around expungement and decriminalization and so forth. I don’t think there’s any issue with that. I think people just have different ideas on the best path to get there.” Read more
And looking abroad, Zimbabwe issued 57 medical cannabis cultivation licenses this week to local players, as well as investors from Germany, Switzerland and Canada. The country legalized medical cannabis in 2018, and the Treasury predicts that cannabis sales will reach $1.25 billion this year. Read more