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Michigan cannabis sales go live.
A handful of cannabis shops opened their doors to legal adult use sales yesterday after regulators announced last week that those who held an adult-use retail license who also had a medical cannabis license could transfer up to 50% of their medical products to their adult-use inventory.
There will almost certainly be continued bottle-necking, the kind that we saw in Massachusetts, which has become typical of early rollouts. There were the usual winding lines:
And there are early product shortages, which has also become expected on day one of legal sales in just about any jurisdiction.
As Cannabis Wire has previously covered, Michigan’s licensed cannabis industry will have a bit of a California problem on their hands when it comes to the existing illicit market.
Still, Michigan is poised to be a top market in the US. (This is in part why former Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton announced in September his role as executive chairman of Michigan cannabis company Gage Growth Corp.)
Minnesota expands its conditions list.
The Minnesota Department of Health has added chronic pain and macular degeneration as approved conditions for medical cannabis use starting next July.
Next August, additional product types will also be allowed: “water-soluble cannabinoid multi-particulates (for example, granules, powders and sprinkles)” and “orally dissolvable products such as lozenges, gums, mints, buccal tablets and sublingual tablets.” Right now, only oils, pills, topicals, and vapes (not flower) are allowed. Edibles are not allowed.
TSX to CannTrust: shape up or ship out.
Last week, Canadian cannabis company CannTrust announced that the Toronto Stock Exchange warned it that if certain disclosures aren’t filed by March 25, 2020, the company’s stock will be delisted. CannTrust says it will meet that deadline.
The company has yet to file these disclosures, which are primarily restated and audited financial statements, as a result of its ongoing turmoil with Canadian regulators, who discovered that cannabis was cultivated in unlicensed rooms. (Some recent Cannabis Wire coverage of that fallout here.)
Investor-side additions at Canopy Growth and Canopy Rivers.
The former has added as VP of investor relations Judy Hong, formerly a managing director at Goldman Sachs’ global investment research division focused on the beverage and tobacco industries in the US.
The latter has added to its strategic advisory board Thirty Five Ventures, which is owned by Kevin Durant of the NBA (Brooklyn Nets) and his manager and sports agent Rich Kleiman. The partnership will look at cannabis investments while “leveraging the group’s experience in brand development, marketing, and the sports and entertainment industry.”
Aurora gets the greenlight from Ireland.
The company’s High CBD Oil Drops were approved for Ireland’s Medical Cannabis Access Programme, signed into law this summer, which means the Canadian cannabis company can now import and distribute the product to patients. This will be one of the first medical cannabis products available by prescription; approved conditions for the program are epilepsy, MS-related spasticity, and chemo-related nausea.
Harborside has a new CFO, and Trulieve has a new CMO.
The former has named Tom DiGiovanni, formerly in the same role at Canndescent, another top operator in California. The latter has named Valda Coryat, who led marketing for the National Mango Board.
JAMA: parental cannabis use is associated with “increased” youth use. (And mothers play a significant role.)
For a study published by JAMA Open Network, Harvard researchers conducted a cross-sectional study that examined data from nearly 25,000 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health from 2015 through 2018 to determine if parental cannabis (and tobacco and opioid) use was associated with misuse of these substances by teens and young adult offspring living under the same roof.
This survey gathers data on lifetime and past-year use of legal substances like tobacco and alcohol, and “illicit drugs” that include cannabis, cocaine, and methamphetamine, for example, as well as misuse of prescription medications like opioids, stimulants, or sedatives.
The study found that “parental past-year marijuana use was consistently associated with increased unadjusted risk of past-year marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol use and opioid misuse among both adolescent and young adult offspring.”
The study discussion continued, “even if a parent had lifetime (without past-year) marijuana use or relatively less frequent use, unadjusted prevalence of past-year substance use among offspring was generally higher than those whose parents never used marijuana.”
The researcher highlighted the important role that mothers might play in the risk of youth use, because “adolescent offspring’s substance use appeared to be particularly associated with mother’s marijuana use status.” After researchers adjusted for various factors, the “results indicate that the mother’s marijuana use status was more than a substance use risk factor and suggest the differential and pivotal roles that a mother plays in the development of her adolescent offspring.”
There were limitations to this research. Researchers, for example, did not have access to data that revealed potency, how cannabis was consumed, whether that consumption happened at home in front of kids, or whether the adolescents somehow had open access at home.
“Regardless of mechanisms, clinicians and parents should be aware of the significant influence of parenting, parental marijuana use, and the poor prognosis associated with early marijuana initiation,” the study noted.
The researcher suggested targeted youth use prevention campaigns like mass media efforts that pull from tobacco cessation campaigns, “including school- and community-based programs and changing statewide or community-wide policies and norms.”