Cannabis news briefs: Canopy Growth enters US hemp market, NORML grades gov’s, MMJ Superbowl ad rejected by CBS
Following up on its plan to enter the U.S. hemp market, Canada's top grower, Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE:CGC) has been granted a hemp license to build a massive hemp processing center in New York. CGC will spend between $100 and $150 million creating a "Hemp Industrial Park" in upstate New York.
A major hemp-growing industry has been supported by the New York state government, which is making $2.5 million grants to build high-tech processing centers.
"Canopy Growth was founded to drive innovation within the cannabis and hemp industries. In New York we see an opportunity to create products that improve people's lives," said Bruce Linton, Chairman and Co-CEO, Canopy Growth in a statement. "In the process, we will create jobs in an exciting, highly profitable new industry. I applaud the political leadership at the federal and state level that has allowed today's announcement to become reality."
NORML grades governors on cannabis support
NORML released its report on new and returning U.S. governors ranking them regarding their level of support for cannabis progress. Eight were cited for excellence while four received a failing grade.
Twenty-seven U.S. governors received a passing grade of "C" or higher (22 Democrats, 5 Republicans).https://t.co/e8dFnQoZzz
— NORML (@NORML) January 17, 2019
Given an "F" were governors in Mike DeWine of Ohio, Brad Little of Idaho, South Dakota’s Kristi Noem, and Nebraska’s Pete Ricketts — all Republicans. Governors earning an "A" grade were all Democrats, including those from Oregon, Colorado, California, Michigan, and Washington.
Also receiving an "A" rating was Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Tim Walz of Minnesota, and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois. Last year, NORML only awarded three "A" grades, which reflects an increase in support in the past years' election.
MJBiz donates $220,000 to marijuana non-profits
MJ Business Daily, host to the largest cannabis trade shows in the industry recently donated another $220,000 to 14 industry non-profits. In addition to familiar MJ advocates like the Marijuana Policy Project, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, NORML, and Cannabis Bar Association, MJBiz provided funding to 10 additional non-profits including hemp and cannabis minority involvement groups.
Since 2012, the company’s "GiveBack Program" has awarded over one million dollars according to officials.
CBS rejects Superbowl ad promoting medical marijuana
CBS rejected a Super Bowl ad that makes a case for medical marijuana. According to a report in USA TODAY, the 60-second ad, produced for Acreage Holdings, featured three patients suffering from health issues explaining how their lives were made better by use of medical marijuana.
We're disappointed that we weren't able to get our #SuperBowl PSA approved by @CBS and share our message on the largest national stage. Acreage stands with the 93% of Americans who support medical cannabis. #TheTimeIsNow for change. Read more on @USATODAY: https://t.co/5YhLLrux1t
— AcreageHoldings (@AcreageCannabis) January 22, 2019
Acreage’s ad agency sent storyboards to the network and received a return email that said: “CBS will not be accepting any ads for medical marijuana at this time.”
Acreage president George Allen expressed that he is not surprised that CBS rejected the content, stating that the move is “less a statement about them and more we think a statement about where we stand right now in this country.”
California’s Office of Administrative Law announced on Wednesday it had officially approved proposed rules submitted by the state’s three regulatory agencies. The new, “permanent” regulations take effect immediately but are subject to future revision. The rules were developed under California’s Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act which created one regulatory system for both medicinal and recreational cannabis. The rules govern the growing, packaging, testing, sale, delivery, and marketing of cannabis within the state. The 160 pages of permanent regulations replace those originally issued through the emergency rulemaking process put in place to meet a legislative mandate to launch California’s regulated cannabis market on Jan. 1, 2018. Read more here.
In a show of medical industry support, Florida's new GOP governor Ron DeSantis admonished state lawmakers to rescind a smokables ban. DeSantis said he would instruct state attorneys to withdraw their appeal of a court ruling calling the state’s smokeable ban unconstitutional if the ban is not lifted by March.
In 2016, the voters of Florida spoke loud and clear on the issue of medical marijuana. Here in Florida, we must have a pathway for those who have a medical need to smoke marijuana to do so!
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 17, 2019
Boston, Massachusetts, will soon have its first recreational marijuana retail store. The first conditional use permit for a cannabis retail store in the state’s capital has been granted to Ascend Massachusetts. The store will be located in a five-story building in a prime Downtown Boston location, close to the iconic Faneuil Hall. The shop is not expected to open until late 2019.
If no shops open up in New Jersey or New York ahead of Ascend, it will be the first recreational marijuana retail outlet in a major east coast city. The shop is designed by an architecture firm known for designing Apple Stores. The conditional use permit from the Boston Zoning Board of appeals allows Ascend to begin construction. However, the company still has to get approval from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission. More details here.
While the Arizona base of medical cardholders increased by 20 percent in 2018, the estimated total MMJ consumption increased more than twice that amount — 40 percent over 2017. Arizona' Department of Health Services reports MMJ patients grew to 186,000 last year, consuming nearly 60 tons of legal MMJ. A vote considering recreational legalization is being organized for 2020, and cannabis advocates are fighting for state decriminalization legislation this Spring. Under the 2010 MMJ initiative, patients may possess a whopping five ounces per month for a wide variety of qualifying medical conditions.
The U.S. Virgin Islands enacted a medical marijuana program last week when newly elected Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed the Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act into law. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Terrence “Positive” Nelson, passed out of the legislature on December 28.
Gov. Bryan Signs Medical Cannabis Bill, Other Legislation into Law. "I have approved the Virgin Islands Medicinal Cannabis Care Act because it is a step in the right direction." said Governor @albertbjr. https://t.co/4ACfFYyI5H pic.twitter.com/rK5hXaoATe
— GovernmentHouse USVI (@govhouseusvi) January 21, 2019
Nelson had sponsored several medical marijuana bills in previous legislative sessions, but the bills ultimately failed. Residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands suffering from specific medical conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS, and chronic pain, may receive a recommendation for medical marijuana from a licensed medical professional and are allowed to possess up to four ounces of cannabis at a time. Possession for non-residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands is up to three ounces. PotNetwork’s Meg Ellis has more on the story.