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Montana’s adult use legalization campaign submits signatures.
The deadline for New Approach Montana to submit thousands of signatures for its adult use legalization push was on June 19. The campaign announced that it submitted 52,000 signatures (25,468 required) for I-190, which would legalize cannabis, and 80,000 signatures (50,936 required) for CI-118, which would set the legal age at 21.
“We’ve overcome a global pandemic, wildfires, floods, hail, snow, and hurricane force winds,” New Approach spokesperson Pepper Petersen said in the announcement. “Our campaign implemented strict health protocols and worked around the clock so that Montana voters could sign our petitions safely and qualify these popular initiatives for the November ballot.”
Read Cannabis Wire’s analysis of how other efforts to legalize for adult and medical use have fared as the COVID-19 pandemic took legislative priority.
Australia’s government further clears the path for cannabis exports.
The Export Control Amendment (Certificate of Narcotics Exports) Bill 2020 will, according to an announcement made by Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, allow for “improved access to global markets for agricultural narcotic exports for medicinal cannabis and hemp industries.”
“In the past year we have seen producers wanting to export to markets that need Australian Government certification – this Bill means exporters can now access those markets and have the confidence to invest in this industry,” Littleproud said. “The industry will be able to export markets in South-East Asia, China, Canada and the lucrative US market.”
New Jersey lawmakers advance cannabis decrim measure.
The Assembly voted 63-10 in favor of A1897, with five members abstaining. This bill would replace cannabis possession arrests related to two ounces of cannabis or less with a $50 civil fine. This is one of two decriminalization measures before lawmakers. The other, introduced in the Senate two weeks ago, would decriminalize the possession of up to one pound of cannabis.
Separately, as Cannabis Wire has reported, voters will decide on adult use legalization at the ballot box this fall.
New Jersey’s medical cannabis tax rate will drop next month.
As part of the state’s medical cannabis legislation, the sales tax rate will drop from the current 6.625% to 4%, beginning July 1. The timeline for the phase out of medical cannabis sales tax is:
• 4% on transactions made between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021
• 2% on transactions made between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022
• 0% on transactions made on and after July 1, 2022
Potential changes coming to Massachusetts cannabis industry,
The Cannabis Control Commission met on June 19 to kick off conversations about changes to cannabis regulations in the state. The proposed changes, which could be open for public comment as early as July, include, for example: requiring “a code of ethics and whistleblower policy” among licensees; allowing for retesting of “products that fail initial contaminant screens;” more robust labeling of vape products; the creation of cannabis research licenses; expanding social equity eligibility; and more, which you can read here.
Missouri regulators are investigating “fraudulent” medical cannabis certifications.
Missouri regulators have launched an investigation into what they’ve identified as roughly 600 medical cannabis patient certifications with an “unauthorized physician signature.”
A public notice indicates that investigators don’t believe that patients knew of the unauthorized signatures, but the signatures are nevertheless “invalid.” The case has been referred to the Attorney General’s Office and to the Missouri Board of Healing Arts “for further action.”
“Through our many types of regulatory efforts, we remain watchful for any wrongdoing in order to protect Missourians,” Randall Williams, director of DHSS, said in a statement. “Our main concern is how this fraudulent activity negatively affects patients, and we are working to minimize the impact on them while also holding accountable those who are responsible.”
Colorado released its latest cannabis prices, used for assessing taxes.
Every quarter, Colorado’s Department of Revenue releases “Average Market Rates” for cannabis, which is, in their words, “the median market price of each category of unprocessed retail marijuana that is sold or transferred from retail marijuana cultivation facilities to retail marijuana product manufacturing facilities or retail marijuana stores.” Those rates are then used to determine the excise tax; in this case, effective from July through September.
Here is what they found:
Bud: $1,000 per pound (decrease from $1,164)
Trim: $300 per pound (decrease from $319)
Bud allocated for extraction: $599 per pound (decrease from $744)
Trim allocated for extraction: $202 per pound (decrease from $250)
Seed: $4 each (decrease from $5)
Immature plant: $9 each (same)
Whole, wet plant: $176 per pound (same)
Minnesota’s cannabis prices have dropped.
According to a new report commissioned by the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Medical Cannabis, medical cannabis prices are down since the program went live in 2015. There are only two licensed companies in the state: LeafLine Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions.
One finding: the average cost to a patient for a month’s supply of medical cannabis dipped slightly from $362 in 2016 to $316 in 2019.
Read the full report, which includes a price breakdown of products sold in the state, here.