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Illinois cannabis sales smash a record.
State regulators released new sales numbers, and Illinois cannabis consumers made $44 million in transactions in May.
In-state residents spent just over $34 million, while out of state residents bought just over $10 million in adult use cannabis products.
Arkansans support expanding medical cannabis.
A new poll released by Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College showed that 67.5% of the 869 respondents said they support medical cannabis, which passed at the ballot box in 2016 with 53% approval.
Of those 67.5%, there is high support for expanding medical cannabis and legalizing cannabis for adult use.
23.5% said they support “Increasing the number of licensed medical marijuana cultivation and dispensaries.”
19% said they support adult use legalization in the state.
And 46.5% said they support both.
Canopy-backed research is published in the British Medical Journal.
In 2017, Canopy Growth (and, later, its medical cannabis-focused arm Spectrum Therapeutics) funded a project to be led by the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS).
Now, that project has begun to come to fruition. The Society’s protocol for “Canadian clinical practice guidelines for the use of plant-based cannabis and cannabinoid-based products in the management of chronic non-cancer pain and co-occurring conditions” was published in BMJ.
The task force working to complete the guidelines includes:
• From CAS: Patrick Wright, Gary Lacasse, and Lynne Belle-Isle
• From University of British Columbia: Zach Walsh, Tatiana Sanchez, Michelle St. Pierre, and Caroline MacCallum
• From University of Victoria: Marilou Gagnon and Stephanie Arlt
• From University of Toronto: Alan Bell
• From University of Manitoba: Paul Daeninck
• From McGill University: Cecilia Costiniuk
• From the Canadian HIV Trials Network’s Community Advisory Board: Shari Margolese and Enrico Mandarino
• From Arthritis Society: Janet Yale
• From Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana: James O’Hara
Alaska’s cannabis tax revenue is on track to beat last year’s total.
In the state’s last fiscal year, which ended by July 2019, cannabis tax revenue hit $19.2, up from just over $11 million in the previous fiscal year. As of April 2020, with two months to go in this fiscal year, the state has already collected $19.4 million, according to a presentation given last week by the Department of Revenue to the Marijuana Control Board.
Alaska’s tax revenue comes from cultivators, of which there are 217 licensed in the state. Also noteworthy from the presentation is that 29 cultivators still owe taxes totaling $1.34 million, and another 20 cultivators are on payment plans for a total of just over $1 million. Another 8 cultivators on plans owe $354,000, and 5 cultivators went out of business and left behind $313,000 unpaid.
Nevada governor wants to pardon cannabis convictions.
Governor Steve Sisolak announced a resolution that, if approved, “will clear the slate for thousands of people who bear the stigma of a conviction for actions that have now been decriminalized.”
Linton out at Vireo.
That was fast. In November, Vireo Health announced that Canopy Growth founder and former CEO Bruce Linton would become its executive chairman. Now, Vireo has announced that Linton’s employment has been terminated “on an entirely without-cause basis, effective immediately.”
Linton’s time on the board of directors ends on July 15, and the “incentive warrants previously issued to Mr. Linton with a November 7, 2024 expiration date will now vest with a modified expiration date of June 8, 2021.”
Vireo founder and CEO Kyle Kingsley said only, “We wish Bruce well in his future endeavors.”
ICYMI, Cannabis Wire had an interview with Linton and Kingsley last year, and the two were excitedly talking about potentially even taking Vireo global.
Canadian research team gets C$1.65 million grant for cannabis quality control program.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience program has awarded a team of nine, which will be led by bioresource engineering professor Mark Lefsrud, a grant of C$1.65 million.
What for? A program called Quality Assurance and Quality Control for Cannabis Production, Products and Training.
Lefsrud is at McGill University, which has a dedicated Research Centre for Cannabis, and the team also includes faculty from the University of Ottawa and the University of Saskatchewan.
The program will include partnerships with Health Canada’s Office of Cannabis Science and Surveillance, as well as with ten Canadian cannabis companies.
Read more about the program in its announcement here.
Columbia Care faces a new license-related lawsuit.
An aspiring medical cannabis licensee in Florida, Florida MCBD, LLC, has alleged in a newly filed lawsuit that Columbia Care “fraudulently” intervened in its joint venture with Sun Bulb, which was awarded a license by the Florida Department of Health in 2017.
In short: that license was awarded, MCBD says, to itself and Sun Bulb, based upon an application the two entities submitted together in 2015. But after Columbia Care failed to obtain its own license, MCBD continued, founders Michael Abbott and Nicholas Vita convinced Sun Bulb to break its agreement with MCBD and to instead transfer the license to an entity affiliated with Columbia Care.
There’s a lot more in the complaint, which you can read here, about trade secrets being revealed and wrongfully withholding information from investors and regulators alike. But all of that will be scrutinized and hammered out in the courts. (MCBD and Sun Bulb have their own dispute going, as well.)
Tilray scales back cultivation.
The Canadian cannabis company (owned by Seattle-based Privateer Holdings) will shut down its High Park Gardens cultivation facility, which it expects will save ~C$7.5 million “and avoid significant ongoing capital expenditures.”
The facility, which was acquired last year, known then as Natura Naturals Inc, includes more than 400,000 square feet, licensed for both cultivation and product manufacture.
“We are continuously evaluating the evolving needs of our business, against a challenging industry backdrop, to ensure we’re in the best position to produce world-class products and deliver positive results for our stakeholders,” Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy said in the announcement.