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Who backed Michigan’s adult use campaign?
Adult-use cannabis sales went live in Michigan this week—a year after the state’s residents voted to legalize. Cannabis Wire has found two particularly prominent names in the cannabis industry that backed the ballot initiative to legalize in 2018.
Privateer Holdings, the private equity firm behind Canadian cannabis company Tilray, donated $95,241.93 to New Approach PAC MI, which in turn donated to the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol—the organization behind the ballot initiative.
Similarly, the ScottsCompany, a subsidiary of ScottsMiracle–Gro, the gardening supplies companies that caters to cannabis growers through another subsidiary Hawthorne Gardening Company, donated $25,000 to New Approach PAC.
Missouri announces dates for license allocation.
The state’s Department of Health and Senior Services will start rolling out licenses this month and through January for its highly anticipated medical cannabis program. The program was overwhelmed with applications, and, as Cannabis Wire reported last month, some of the big multistate operators that submitted the highest number of applications were also lobbying in the state, including Curaleaf, Harvest Health & Recreation, and Columbia Care. The state received more than 2,000 applications for 338 licenses.
DHSS director Randall Williams said in a statement, “The high level of interest from patients and facility applicants has presented unique challenges for our team as they have implemented the constitutional amendment which will make medical marijuana available to qualified patients in Missouri,” adding, “I am pleased to report that we have been true to our goal of keeping patients first by moving the program forward as efficiently as possible.”
CannTrust lawsuits abound.
If you aren’t already following the fallout from CannTrust’s decision to cultivate cannabis in unlicensed rooms, you can catch up here. But, moving along, the company said yesterday that they have been “served or became aware of putative class action lawsuits in Canada and the United States against the Company and certain of its current and former Directors, officers, and employees relating to the drop in its share price after July 8, 2019.”
One of those suits is from Zola Finance Holdings Ltd. and Igor Gimelshtein, who is a partner there and is on the board of US multistate operator Columbia Care.
A first: Newfoundland and Labrador bans cannabis vapes.
Canada waited a full year after the launch of adult use sales to allow for vape and edible products, which are expected to hit shelves this month. But, as vaping-related illnesses sweep the US and Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador’s government announced that the province “will not allow the introduction of cannabis vape products … at this time with a commitment to review this decision in light of any relevant clinical evidence.”
There have been eleven vape-related severe lung illnesses in Canada, but none yet in the province. (Catch up Cannabis Wire’s latest vape coverage here.)
The announcement, which you can read in full here, continued, “There have been reports of severe lung diseases associated with vaping in both Canada and the United States. An analysis by experts in both countries has not been able to pinpoint the specific cause of this lung disease, however the majority of cases involve vaping cannabis.”
Cannabis loses a supporter in Congress.
Yesterday, Washington Rep. Denny Heck announced that he will retire. Heck co-authored the SAFE Banking Act, for which he got a shout out from the bill’s other author, Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who tweeted, “I’m so grateful for your partnership and friendship as we’ve pushed forward on the issue of #SAFEBanking and I appreciate the integrity and dedication in which you have served your constituents and our country. Best of luck in your next chapter, you will be missed.”
Want bees? Plant hemp.
Due to a combination of pesticide use that is harming bees, and Colony Collapse Disorder, bees have been dying at a higher rate. And because bees are major pollinators, their deaths threaten to disrupt many ecosystems.
Hemp, it turns out, could be an important plant in the effort to keep bees healthy. For a study published in Environmental Entomology, researchers studied bees visiting hemp flowers at various New York hemp farms. What they found was that hemp plants supported 16 different species of bees, and that taller hemp plants attracted a “broader diversity of bee species.”
“Because of its temporally unique flowering phenology, hemp has the potential to provide a critical nutritional resource to a diverse community of bees during a period of floral scarcity and thereby may help to sustain agroecosystem-wide pollination services for other crops in the landscape,” the research concluded.
“As cultivation of hemp increases, growers, land managers, and policy makers should consider its value in supporting bee communities and take its attractiveness to bees into account when developing pest management strategies.”