Colombia: A legalization push resumes
Now, however, there’s a new president: Gustavo Petro. As Cannabis Wire reported when he took office in August, he supports legal cannabis (and, broadly ending the drug war).
So, lawmakers are back at it, with two legalization bills in the very preliminary stages of advancing. One bill advanced out of committee in the Chamber of Representatives two weeks ago (and the bill sponsor hosted a conversation about the effort Tuesday night), while the other bill advanced this week.
These are early days, so we’ll be watching to see how the debates and proposals evolve in the coming months.
DEA licensee to grow cannabis for research raises $20M.
One of the first companies to receive a license from the DEA to grow cannabis for research has just completed a $20 million Series A round led by Intrinsic Capital Partners, an investment firm explicitly focused on the “legal cannabinoid market.”
(It’s worth checking out Intrinsic’s advisory board, which includes the former CEOs of Liz Claiborne and Kraft Foods.)
Other investors include: Argonautic Ventures, Achari Ventures, AFI Capital Partners, Delta Emerald Ventures, and Self Health America (SHAC).
Only seven entities hold one of these new DEA licenses, the first to be awarded in decades, as there has long been only one entity (Ole Miss) allowed to cultivate cannabis for researchers with federal permission.
BRC is also building out its board and staffing up.
Newly announced for its board are: Osagie Imasogie, founder at PIPV Capital, and founding VP of GlaxoSmithKlineVentures; Steven Hoffman, former Chair of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission; and Bob Sheroff, a former Global Head of Supply Chain at Johnson & Johnson (he also advises Intrinsic).
And, BRC has hired Hunter Land as VP of Translational Research, who recently held a similar position at Alterola Biotech.
Cannabis Wire interviewed BRC founder George Hodgin back in 2020, when he was eagerly awaiting word from the DEA. He spoke candidly about the years-long process of applying, and it’s worth a read. (And, we caught up with him again when he got the license in 2021.)
New York: Regulators cheer for “Croptober.”
There’s going to a lot of pomp/circumstance this week from New York regulators and lawmakers who are cheering for the hemp farmers with conditional cultivator licenses.
Many of these farmers — “distressed,” after a collapse of the CBD market in the state — got a head start to grow cannabis before other cultivators and are now harvesting their first crop of cannabis.
It’s also the state’s first legal adult use crop, and is meant to line the shelves of the state’s first legal dispensaries.
I checked with the Dormitory Authority last week about when the announcement about the specific locations of the first shops, meant to be run by equity applicants, will come.
Their answer was, essentially: