PA gets hundreds of applications for medical cannabis licenses

Pennsylvania has received hundreds of applications from entrepreneurs interested in obtaining cultivation and dispensary licenses under the state’s new medical marijuana program.

In a live-streamed press conference, state regulators said Wednesday they had received more than 500 packages containing one or more grower or dispensary applications. The winners are expected to be announced by the end of June.

State regulators said 258 applications have been processed. They included 132…

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Canada legalization chief: Let black-market MJ growers join

The chair of the Canadian government’s marijuana legalization task force believes black-market growers should be allowed to participate in the country’s new recreational cannabis industry.

Such as move could affect business opportunities. The federal government’s proposal stipulated that newer, smaller cultivators would be given an opportunity to participate in the nation’s new rec industry, although existing licensed medical marijuana producers would get first dibs on the new…

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Colorado lawmakers pass bill adding PTSD to MMJ conditions list

The Colorado Legislature has approved a bill that would add post-traumatic stress disorder to its list of medical ailments that qualify patients for medical marijuana, a move that could provide a shot in the arm to the state’s MMJ industry.

The state Senate signed off on the measure Tuesday, and the bill now heads to Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has not yet indicated if he will sign it into law.


MJBizCon
If Hickenlooper does sign it, the move could result in a boost in the state’s MMJ patient…

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Oregon marijuana company fined $5,300 over butane explosion

Oregon regulators fined Higher Level Concentrates $5,300 for workplace safety violations following a butane-extraction explosion last year that landed one man in a Portland burn ward.

The Oregonian reported that Oregon OSHA fined the extraction company, which is based in in Astoria, for failure to:

  • Ventilate the building
  • Have an adequate electrical system
  • Obtain city permits


MJBizCon
The accident occurred last October, when, according to a lawsuit, William “Chris” West was handling butane…

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Montana close to enacting medical cannabis rules

A bill that would create a seed-to-sale tracking system, licenses, fees and regulations for Montana’s medical marijuana industry is one vote away from moving to the governor.

The Montana House gave preliminary approval to a bill to regulate the medical marijuana industry after voters last November approved lifting restrictions that severely restricted sales of MMJ by dispensaries. The Senate already approved SB 333, which now must pass a final House vote before it goes to the governor.


MJBizCon
A…

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Ohio issues applications for medical cannabis growers

Prospective medical marijuana growers can start applying for a license in Ohio now that the state has begun issuing applications for one of 24 available MMJ cultivation permits.

The Ohio Department of Commerce plans to issue up to 12 licenses for large grows totaling as much as 25,000 square feet of growing space and another dozen for small grows ranging up to 3,000 square feet.


MJBizCon
A
pplicants will be required to meet capital requirements and secure local zoning approval for the proposed…

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Oregon signals more inspections of marijuana cultivation sites

An adviser to Oregon’s Gov. Kate Brown said state inspections of cannabis cultivation sites will become more frequent now that additional facilities have been licensed.


MJBizCon
Speaking with local officials in southwestern Oregon, Jeff Rhoades didn’t offer any details about how inspections would be increased, the Grants Pass Daily Courier reported.

According to the newspaper, only 13 cultivation sites were inspected last year in Josephine County – where Grants Pass is the county seat – out…

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Second New York medical cannabis firm launches home delivery

Vireo Health, one of the five licensed medical marijuana companies in New York, rolled out home delivery for its patients late last week, reportedly the second in the state to do so.


MJBizCon
Vireo, which first obtained permission from the state in January to deliver medical cannabis instead of requiring patients to pick up purchases at storefront dispensaries, has launched its service by offering deliveries in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, as well as in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long…

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Alaska orders Anchorage marijuana club to shut down

Marijuana businesses in Anchorage, Alaska, have for years now been pushing the envelope of what’s acceptable by state regulators, and recently they got another answer on one thing that’s not: cannabis social clubs.

The only club in Anchorage, Pot Luck Events, which has been operational since 2015, was ordered to close by the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO), which said the business was illegal and was risking the wrath of the U.S. Department of Justice, TV station KTUU…

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Marijuana tech company MJ Freeway nets $3M in financing

A day after winning Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana seed-to-sale tracking contract, MJ Freeway said Friday it has received $3 million in Series B extension financing.

The financing – which comes from existing investors Tao Capital Partners, based in San Francisco, and venture capitalist Roger McNamee – brings to $11 million the amount of money Denver-based MJ Freeway has raised in its Series B round, according to a news release.


MJBizCon
The money will fund market expansion, the company…

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Oregon vineyard owners sue to halt nearby cannabis cultivation

Oregon vineyard owners in the heart of the state’s wine region filed a lawsuit asking a judge to ban a neighbor from cultivating marijuana, complaining that the smell of cannabis could drift over and taint their grapes.

The suit could foreshadow a larger issue: Will expanding cannabis cultivation, particularly in states such as California and Oregon, cause conflicts with the already-established wine industry?


MJBizCon
The Oregonian reported that Momtazi Vineyard – in Yamhill County, southeast…

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Canadian medical marijuana grower Aphria lands CA$100M

Aphria, one of Canada’s largest licensed medical marijuana producers, announced it has secured 100 million Canadian dollars ($74 million) in financing.

The financing will be used mostly to expand Aphria’s production capacity, which “is expected to supply more than 75,000 (kilograms) of high-quality cannabis at one of the lowest costs in the industry,” CEO Vic Neufield said in the release.

According to the release, CA$75 million of the total funding comes from equity financing, while the remaining CA$25…

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3 cannabis biz events named among top growing trade shows

Three marijuana business events have been named among the 50 fastest-growing trade shows in the United States, reflecting the cannabis industry’s rapid expansion and future potential.

The Fall Marijuana Business Conference & Expo ranked second nationally for growth in attendance and net square feet of paid exhibit space from 2015 to 2016, according to Trade Show Executive’s newly released “Fastest 50” list.


MJBizCon
The event – hosted by Marijuana Business Daily each November in Las Vegas…

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Florida medical marijuana deal unlikely to allow smokable flower

Florida lawmakers are working out a compromise to implement a voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana, and any deal is unlikely to allow smokable MMJ as a form of treatment.

Smokable medical cannabis would help attract patients to the program and in turn bolster revenue for the state’s MMJ industry.

But Sen. Rob Bradley, an MMJ proponent and bill sponsor, told The News Service of Florida smokable flower is off the table.

“There is agreement between the…

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MJ Freeway wins $10M PA medical cannabis tracking deal

(Note: This story has been updated from an earlier version.)

Embattled MJ Freeway received a key vote of confidence Thursday after Pennsylvania awarded the Denver company a $10 million contract to provide a seed-to-sale tracking system to keep tabs on the state’s new medical marijuana program.


MJBizCon
The five-year contract is a shot in the arm for MJ Freeway, given that Pennsylvania’s MMJ market is forecast to generate more than $100 million in annual sales a few years after it’s up and…

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Oregon OKs bill to protect rec marijuana industry from feds

To protect the state’s recreational marijuana industry from a federal crackdown, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill that prevents rec retail businesses from storing private data about customers’ identities or purchases.

The new law is designed to shield adult-use marijuana consumers by barring retailers from sharing or keeping their personal data. Oregon marijuana retailers have 30 days to destroy the data, according to The Oregonian.


MJBizCon
Senate Bill 863 sped through the state Legislature…

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West Virginia governor signs bill legalizing medical cannabis

It’s official: West Virginia has become the 30th state in the nation to legalize medical cannabis, and the first to do so in 2017.

Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday signed Senate Bill 386, the Medical Cannabis Act, and said it was “a monumental day,” MetroNews reported.


Mirth Provisions
The legislature approved the bill the first week of April, and even though the program has its critics – in large part because it bans smokable MMJ, as do Minnesota and New York – the new law is another victory for…

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U.S. Rep Polis predicts medical cannabis safeguard will get OK

Colorado Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, one of the four founding members of the Cannabis Caucus, said during a panel discussion Tuesday in Denver he believes the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment – which protects medical marijuana businesses from the Department of Justice – will be renewed and remain in federal law.

Polis was one of 44 representatives who recently urged that language from the amendment be included in the base bill for the appropriations process to fund the entire federal government. The base bill…

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Las Vegas may loosen MMJ dispensary rules, allow later hours

Concerned they’re losing business to medical marijuana retailers in unincorporated parts of Clark County, city officials in Las Vegas are now eyeballing possible rollbacks to city MMJ rules that may let Sin City dispensaries stay open later and serve more customers.

Proposed changes could also give dispensaries more flexibility on what products they can carry, shrink business fees and revamp disposal requirements for expired MMJ, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.


Mirth Provisions
“I believe we’re…

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Firm funds $1.85M marijuana research at Ohio University

Ohio-based Black Elk Biotech has awarded Ohio University (OU) a $1.85 million contract to examine therapeutic benefits generated from cannabis and other natural products.

Black Elk Biotech is a subsidiary of Black Elk, an Ohio company focused on products and medicines derived from fruits, trees, plants and other vegetation.

According to The Post – an independent student-run newspaper on the OU campus – the funding will bankroll research into natural treatments for various medical…

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CA marijuana distributor to launch ‘institute’ serving small growers

Flow Kana, a San Francisco distributor that specializes in craft-grown marijuana, shared more details Tuesday about plans to transform a former Northern California wine estate, saying it will build a “cannabis institute” catering to small-batch  MJ growers.

The 80-acre property – the former home of Fetzer Wines – will include testing, processing, manufacturing and retail operations for Flow Kana’s stable of farmers, as well as classes and a bed and breakfast for tourists and…

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Regulations finalized for Ohio medical cannabis growers

A panel of Ohio lawmakers signed off on final rules governing the state’s new medical marijuana cultivators, approving 24 licensed sites that will carry hefty fees.

The cultivator rules, which also spell out application and license fees for MMJ dispensaries, product processors and testing labs, passed the Ohio legislature’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review without objection on Monday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

They will be officially filed by the end of April and are set…

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Rhode Island governor calls for delay in legalizing rec marijuana

A state that industry watchers have predicted would be among the next to legalize recreational marijuana – Rhode Island – appears to have hit a speed bump when it comes to legalization.

Rhode Island’s governor is calling on lawmakers to delay passing legislation that would legalize adult-use cannabis.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s administration sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee saying they should instead support legislation to create a 15-member study commission to…

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U.S. medical cannabis tech company plans to open China office

Net Savings Link Inc. said its cannabis division will open an office in Shanghai, China, next month to expand its medical marijuana technology business into the world’s most populous country.

The company, based in Cresco, Pennsylvania, said in a news release it is moving into China because it sees a sizable opportunity there.

China is the world’s largest producer of cannabis sativa seeds, producing nearly 40% of the world’s supply, according to Net Savings Link, which trades on the…

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Pushback on California proposal to merge rec, medical MJ systems

A series of proposals from California Gov. Jerry Brown to merge regulations for medical and recreational marijuana have come under fire from some state lawmakers and political stakeholders, throwing the future of the regulatory changes into uncertainty.

Some in Sacramento are now saying Brown’s proposals – which are attached to a budget trailer bill – may not pass muster with the state legislature, according to the Los Angeles Times. Critics, including police chiefs, say the proposed…

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Franwell wins Michigan cannabis tracking deal worth nearly $450K

Florida-based Franwell, which built Colorado’s cannabis tracking system, has been awarded a state contract from Michigan worth nearly $450,000 to implement a similar inventory tracking program for the state’s medical marijuana program.

The Michigan deal is in keeping with new regulations that will oversee a web of state-licensed MMJ businesses.

The contract, according to Crain’s Detroit Business, is worth $447,625.

Franwell beat out 10 competitors to win the contract, including BioTrackTHC, MJ Freeway, Kind…

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Canada provincial leaders concerned over rec MJ timeline

Canadian provincial leaders are raising questions over whether they will be ready when Canada’s recreational marijuana market is set to go online in July 2018.

That could slow the adult-use industry’s rollout across Canada, making it more difficult for entrepreneurs hoping to cash in on the federal government’s legalization program.

Under legalization legislation introduced Thursday, the federal government would be responsible for regulating rec cultivation while the provinces would…

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North Dakota lawmakers OK medical marijuana industry rules

North Dakota’s legislature has passed a bill establishing a regulatory structure for the state’s upcoming medical cannabis industry.

The measure – which now goes to the governor, who said he would sign the bill – includes several business-friendly provisions.

Dispensaries, for instance, will be able to sell smokable MMJ, which will help attract patients to the program and in turn bolster revenues for the state’s medical cannabis industry.

There’s one caveat, however: A doctor…

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Colorado lawmakers abandon plans to regulate cannabis clubs

Colorado lawmakers backed off plans to regulate marijuana clubs, saying the state would invite a federal crackdown by approving Amsterdam-style cannabis clubs.

The state House voted Thursday to amend a bill that would have set rules for how private marijuana clubs could work.

It was a dramatic reversal. Bring-your-own-MJ clubs had bipartisan support in the Colorado Legislature, and the measure had cleared the GOP Senate.

But lawmakers bowed to Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who warned…

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MD’s failed marijuana diversity bill spurs call for special session

Black lawmakers in Maryland are calling for a special session of the legislature after the failure of a bill designed to mandate racial diversity in the ownership of the businesses that will participate in the state’s new medical marijuana industry.

The legislation would have added seven more licenses to cultivate cannabis, on top of the 15 already allowed. Five would have created diversity ownership, and two would have gone to companies that are suing the state for being removed from the…

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Hawaii medical cannabis program lagging despite patient surge

Hawaii’s medical marijuana patient counts are increasing rapidly, but the sheer numbers, problems with seed-to-sale tracking software and a dearth of licensed testing labs are undermining the program’s rollout and costing at least one MMJ business money.

Though regulators say they are receiving about 100 applications per day, the state’s MMJ businesses aren’t reaping any benefits, according to Hawaii News Now.

“We are losing a lot of money every month as we wait for things to happen, in areas that are…

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Canadian government introduces bill legalizing rec marijuana

Canada’s government on Thursday introduced highly anticipated legislation in the House of Commons to legalize recreational marijuana, proposing that existing licensed medical cannabis producers get the first crack at business licenses.

The legislation sets July 1, 2018, as the target date for legalization, The Globe and Mail reported.

At that time, adults 18 or older would be able to possess up to 30 grams – a little more than an ounce – of cannabis in public and grow a maximum of…

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Three cannabis companies raise over $7 million

It’s money week in the cannabis industry: Three Colorado-based ancillary marijuana companies announced multimillion-dollar capital raises totaling $7.35 million.

BDS Analytics on Monday revealed it had successfully completed a $2.1 million round of fundraising from investors, BizWest reported. The capital influx will be spent on expanding the data analytics firm’s sales and marketing departments.


Mirth Provisions
On Tuesday, Wurk – a tech company offering a platform that helps cannabis companies…

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Medical cannabis delivery launches in San Jose, CA, after ban lifted

Seeking to capitalize on a change in local law, a cannabis delivery company launched an on-demand service to legally bring medical marijuana to patients’ homes in San Jose, California.

San Francisco-based Eaze said that MMJ patients with valid physicians recommendations can use the company’s EazeMD smartphone app to order medical cannabis, The Mercury News reported. The move came after California’s third largest city lifted its ban on home deliveries of MMJ.


Mirth Provisions
Eaze customers in San…

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Arkansas medical cannabis officials send rules to lawmakers for OK

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission (AMMC) finalized rules about who can cultivate and sell medical cannabis for a market where sales could begin before the end of the year.

The rules now head to state lawmakers who must sign off before they can take effect, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

An attorney for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said the application period for dispensaries and cultivation facilities is expected to open July 1 and that the first…

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New Mexico dispensary stays open despite State Fair violation

A New Mexico judge has issued a ruling that prohibits the state health department from imposing a penalty against a medical marijuana dispensary for displaying a cannabis plant at last summer’s State Fair.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Judge David Thomson ruled that requiring New Mexico Top Organics-Ultra Health to close for five days was an excessive punishment not supported by law. He did uphold a $100 fine for the dispensary.


Mirth Provisions
The nonprofit marijuana producer had filed a…

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Marijuana Business Daily joins Associated Press

Marijuana Business Daily has become a member of the Associated Press, giving the cannabis-focused news publication access to MJ-related stories from around the world.

MJBizDaily will incorporate cannabis business coverage from the AP’s staff as well as more than 6,000 newspapers and TV and radio stations worldwide. The AP, founded in 1846, has correspondents and photojournalists in more than 100 nations.


Mirth Provisions
The arrangement also permits the AP to distribute MJBizDaily’s articles to news…

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Colorado cannabis cultivation curbs may benefit legal MJ firms

Colorado lawmakers have passed two measures they believe will curb illicit marijuana cultivation and potentially send more consumers to legal cannabis retailers.

The state Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday prohibiting people in co-ops from growing recreational cannabis for others, the Associated Press reported. The House already had passed the legislation.

The bill now goes to Gov. John Hickenlooper. The governor supports the measure, according to the news service, but it’s unclear…

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Ohio to accept medical cannabis grower applications in June

Ohio regulators will begin taking applications for its 24 available cultivation licenses in June and review them in July.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, winning applicants will have nine months to meet the program’s requirements. It’s not clear when regulators will choose the winning applicants.


Mirth Provisions
The Ohio Department of Commerce is expected to release application forms and instructions in the next couple of weeks, the Plain Dealer reported. Officials will then host a webinar to…

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Report: Canadian government to offer rec marijuana bill Thursday

Canada’s federal government is expected Thursday to introduce widely anticipated legislation to legalize recreational cannabis.

According to The Globe and Mail, the legislation is expected to require adult-use cannabis to be offered in plain packaging, more like tobacco products versus alcohol.

A government official told the newspaper a “big gap” exists between the government’s view on packaging and a proposal offered by the nation’s federally licensed cannabis producers as they…

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Arkansas moves from lottery to merit-based MMJ licensing system

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has had a change of heart.

Instead of picking MMJ business winners and losers by random through a lottery, the commission will instead use a merit-based scoring system to award dispensary and cultivation permits.

The change was made to a draft regulation after pushback from stakeholders at a public hearing, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. In other states, lottery permitting systems have commonly resulted in lawsuits.


Mirth Provisions
The commission has yet…

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Pharmacies to begin selling adult-use cannabis in Uruguay

Uruguay has finally authorized pharmacies to begin selling recreational marijuana in July, more than three years after the Latin American nation became the first in the world to legalize the cultivation, distribution and consumption of rec MJ.

The market’s launch has been delayed multiple times. Sales initially were expected to begin in late 2014, Reuters reported.

According to the news agency, 16 pharmacies have registered with the government to sell adult-use marijuana, with the number…

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Report: Marijuana warehouse sales booming, pushing up prices

Indoor cannabis cultivation may well have a limited future, many marijuana professionals say, but it’s booming right now based on demand by commercial growers for warehouse space.

That has pushed up prices for such properties, meaning that MJ entrepreneurs seeking to build indoor cultivation centers will have to pony up more to pay for real estate.

This is particularly true in states that passed recreational marijuana measures last year, namely California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada,…

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Israeli university launches medical cannabis research center

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a leading Israeli academic institution, is launching a Multidisciplinary Center on Cannabinoid Research.

Additional research providing evidence of marijuana’s medicinal benefits could persuade more doctors to recommend medical cannabis. Israel already has a reputation as a cannabis research powerhouse.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the new center’s studies will highlight cancer, pain, stress management and inflammation as key areas, as well as a…

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Seven firms apply to run LSU’s medical marijuana operation

Seven Louisiana companies have applied to run a new medical marijuana operation overseen by the Louisiana State University’s AgCenter, moving the state another step closer to a functional MMJ system.

According to The Advocate of Baton Rouge, the applicants include Columbia Care Louisiana LLC of New Roads; CB Medical LLC of Alexandria; GB Sciences Louisiana of New Orleans; Citiva LA LLC of Mandeville; Southern Roots Therapeutics LLC of Baton Rouge; Terah Holdings LLC of Shreveport; and…

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West Virginia legislature approves medical cannabis legalization

(This story has been updated from an earlier version.)

West Virginia appears poised to become the 30th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana after the Republican-controlled legislature signed off on a bill Thursday night establishing an MMJ program.

The measure now goes to the desk of Democratic Gov. Jim Justice, West Virginia Public Broadcasting reported. He is expected to sign it.

According to West Virginia Public Broadcasting, the measure levies a 6% excise tax on MMJ and…

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Sessions: DOJ task force will analyze marijuana enforcement

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the formation of a new task force subcommittee that will focus, at least in part, on marijuana enforcement policies.

The subcommittee – part of the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety – will tackle “a review of existing policies in the areas of charging, sentencing, and marijuana to ensure consistency with the (Department of Justice’s) overall strategy on reducing violent crime and with Administration goals and policies,”

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Cannabis-centric ETF begins trading on Toronto Stock Exchange

A marijuana exchange-traded fund – billed as the world’s first – began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday, the latest sign the cannabis industry is becoming more of a mainstream sector.

The newly launched Horizons Medical Marijuana Life Sciences ETF packages the stocks of 14 marijuana-related businesses into one security, CBC News reported. The Canadian unit of Horizons ETFs Management oversees the ETF.


Mirth Provisions
An exchange-traded fund owns and tracks certain assets and,…

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California gov suggests big changes to new marijuana system

California Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a series of proposed changes to his state’s upcoming marijuana regulatory system in an effort to reconcile differences between a 2015 medical marijuana oversight law and the new recreational cannabis ballot initiative voters approved last year.

Among the numerous changes Brown put forth were several significant ones that were immediately hailed by the industry as a step in the right direction:

  • Repealing a mandate that would require a local permit for…

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Canadian marijuana grower strikes deal to enter U.S. market

Aphria – one of Canada’s largest medical marijuana producers – kicked off a U.S. expansion plan with an investment of 25 million Canadian dollars ($18.63 million) that will lead to the purchase of a licensed CBD business in Florida.

When the complex deal is done, Aphria will have established a foothold in Florida with the goal of eventually extending its reach to other medical marijuana markets in the United States, according to a news release.

Aphria plans to put the CA$25 million into private holding company…

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