March 14th, 2022
Social Equity Applicants Will Get New York's First Adult-Use Cannabis Licenses

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Thursday announced that the first adult-use retail licenses in the state will be made available to individuals with prior cannabis-related offenses. The program, called the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, will give the first licenses to those social-equity applicants that also have a background in owning and operating a small business.

In a press release, the governor’s office said that the initiative, paired with a recently approved bill allowing the state’s hemp farmers to grow cannabis for the adult-use market, could make sales possible in the state before the end of the year. According to the release, the state Cannabis Control Board on Thursday approved a license application for a hemp farmer to begin cultivating THC-rich cannabis in the spring. Read more.

Majority of Americans Want Congress to Act on Cannabis Banking

According to data collected in a national survey, released March 8, conducted by Morning Consult, and on behalf of the American Bankers Association, the majority of Americans want Congress to get the ball rolling with cannabis banking reform. Lack of banking access forces cannabis businesses to deal in cash—which has proven to be exceedingly reckless. A dangerous pattern of robberies formed in certain states related to cannabis, money, and how the two intersect. 

The survey data suggests that the majority of Americans are satisfied with their bank account, but the survey also questioned participants about their views on allowing cannabis businesses to have access to banking institutions and whether that should be allowed. The survey examined consumer views on cannabis banking. A strong majority of American adults—65 percent—support allowing cannabis businesses to access banking services such as checking accounts and business loans in states where cannabis is legal, while only 15 percent oppose. Read more.

Colorado Bill Would Require Public Cannabis Industry Reporting

Colorado legislators have introduced a bill to require more reporting from cannabis businesses and lessen their influence on the rulemaking process, according to a Westword report. The measure requires the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) to track and publish online all underage sales violations, contaminated product recalls, and reported illicit market activity.

Supporters say the bill will help protect Colorado children but cannabis advocates fear the bill is an attempt to further restrict the nation’s first adult-use market, the report says. “It doesn’t change regulation. It’s about making sure the MED has the resources they need to do these (underage) checks,” bill sponsor Sen. Chris Hansen (D) said. “It’s the availability and accessibility [of violation information] and putting it on par with what we’re doing in tobacco and alcohol.” Read more.

Federal Transportation Agency Proposes New Marijuana Testing Policies to Reduce False Positives

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing a new drug testing policy that could have significant implications for workers who use marijuana off the job. Current DOT policy mandates urine testing, which advocates and experts view as problematic because, for one, THC metabolites can show up in a person’s urine for weeks or months after consumption—resulting in false positive results for people who are not actually impaired on the job.

The practice of forcing workers to urinate in a collection jar is also viewed as a particularly invasive procedure. Now, in a notice published in the Federal Register late last month, the department is recommending that testing of oral saliva be added as an alternate option. “This will give employers a choice that will help combat employee cheating on urine drug tests and provide a more economical, less intrusive means of achieving the safety goals of the program,” DOT said. Read more.


Elevate Your Grind is Back!

We sat down with CEO of Kush Rewards, Angelo Anzalone. Angelo is a seasoned professional in the cannabis, debt, and referral industries and is building the first centralized loyalty and rewards program for the cannabis industry. Listen or watch now!

The 6th Annual Cannabis Law, Accounting and Business (CLAB) Conference & Expo will be focused on the critical issues and challenges impacting the entire industry. More than just your typical conference, this will be an immersive educational experience with all the best that Miami has to offer. We invite you to join us if you are interested in what the industry has to offer, you are seasoned industry veteran or just looking to grow.

This year’s theme is United WeGrow and will embody exactly why gender and race issues will shape how we advance. It is time for all of us to get back out, learn, connect and grow. This June, at Mana Wynwood, in Miami, we will have more educators, thought leaders, exhibitors and attendees than ever before. We have a created a hybrid B2Band B2C environment so whether you are a CEO, start up, ancillary business professional, legacy market, canna curious there will be something worthwhile. Before the day even starts and after it ends we will have a number of extracurricular activities as well including health and wellness that have you covered mind and body. To register and learn more go to

Conference Speaker Spotlights

Rosie is founder of MATTIO Communications, the preeminent cannabis marketing agency in the U. S. She helped usher in the New Cannabis Age, garnering global media coverage in mainstream publications for clients, including the first cannabis article ever published in Oprah Magazine. Over the past year, her New York firm has grown alongside the industry, adding marketing and communications services for clients, including content, SEO, investor relations, event planning and influencer marketing. Today, Rosie is considered a market maker in the world of cannabis. Ranked the #1 cannabis PR firm by Green Market Report, Rosie is a strategic powerhouse, industry connector and influencer. Rosie has been named a High Times Female 50 and Forbes Fifteen Powerful And Innovative Women In Cannabis.

As the Founder/CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on advocacy, education, and outreach as it relates to the social, medical, business, and public policy aspects of the cannabis industry. Roz McCarthy was named High Times 100 Most Influential People in the Cannabis Industry 2018. She is responsible for the day to day operation and is the chief strategist involved in developing advocacy, education, and marketing campaigns to promote awareness, information, and education about the efficacy of medical marijuana. It is a varied role that includes planning, marketing, advertising, public relations, event organization, fund development, sponsorship, and research. 

Columbia Care Celebrates Third Dispensary Opening in West Virginia

Columbia Care Inc., one of the largest and most experienced cultivators, manufacturers and providers of cannabis products in the U.S., announced today that its newest dispensary in West Virginia, located at 603 3rd Avenue in St. Albans, is now open. Cannabist St. Albans is the third of five dispensaries in West Virginia that Columbia Care will open this year, following the recent openings in Williamstown and Beckley. In anticipation of the grand opening celebration, the local team partnered with registered physicians of Releaf Specialists to help new patients apply for medical cards. For those who were unable to attend, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources website offers a list of registered telehealth providers.

Cannabist St. Albans began sales with a variety of flower options, and all three dispensaries will introduce vape products in the coming weeks. Patients will also be able to use Columbia Care’s proprietary cannabis discovery tool, Forage, both in-store and online to help find strains and products to fit their needs. Learn more at

DC's Recreational Ambitions Blocked in Federal Bill

Washington DC would continue to be barred from launching a recreational marijuana market under the U.S. congressional budget released Wednesday. The omnibus spending package retains a provision that prevents the city from legalizing commercial recreational marijuana sales, according to media reports. That’s a huge setback for a city that was poised to launch an adult-use market.

U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican, put in place the budget rider after District of Columbia voters legalized adult-use marijuana in 2014. The U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC), which has become one of the marijuana industry’s leading lobbying groups, issued a statement saying it was “deeply disappointed” in the DC development and the failure to advance federal cannabis reform. Preventing DC from being able to implement a regulated marijuana market has “created a harmful underground market that operates without any standards or safeguards and is at odds with the will of local voters,” Steven Hawkins, CEO of the USCC, said in the statement. Read more.

Connecticut Bill Proposal Draws Criticism for Attempting to Ban Cannabis Gifting

The Connecticut General Assembly proposed Raised Bill No. 5329 last month, which seeks to address the loophole of “gifting” cannabis. If passed, the new bill would charge $10,000 for violations for public gifting parties. A General Law Committee held a public meeting on March 8 to discuss the bill, which brought advocates to share their concerns on the matter.

Recreational cannabis was passed in June 2021 with the signature of Governor Ned Lamont, with plans to begin statewide sales by the end of 2022. However, some advocates in Connecticut are claiming that the new bill is an attempt to re-criminalize cannabis before the program has even had a chance to fully launch. The bill’s text states that “no person shall gift, sell or transfer cannabis to another person,” and that cannabis cannot be exchanged as a donation, entry to an event, through a giveaway, and not at any location that isn’t a licensed cannabis dispensary. Read more.

Health Canada Seized More Than 35M Grams of Marijuana, 7,800 Plants After Inspections

Health Canada seized more than 35 million grams (77,162 pounds) of cannabis products and thousands of plants from federal license holders for regulatory shortfalls in the 2019-20 fiscal year, the federal regulator disclosed to MJBizDaily. Most of the products – 26 million grams and all of the approximately 7,800 plants – were destroyed, while the remaining 9.5 million grams were held by the regulator to be returned to licensees who had regained compliance. 

After Health Canada released its inspection report for federal cannabis license holders earlier this month for the period from April 2019 through March 31, 2020, MJBizDaily asked the federal regulator about the seized cannabis. The inspection data showed that the largest licensed producers, such as Aurora Cannabis and Tilray (along with Aphria, which merged with Tilray last year), were largely compliant with the cannabis production regulations. Read more.

Jobs to Watch Courtesy of FlowerHire
Product Development Specialist – CA
Retail Store Manager – MI
Cultivation Director – MA
Manager of Financial Planning – FL
Cultivation Manager – CA
CFO – Remote
Events Coming to South Florida

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is taking over Miami, FL April 20-21st to bring you the premier gathering for cannabis investors and entrepreneurs alike. This is THE place to meet & share ideas with cannabis industry professionals & market leaders! To purchase tickets head over to

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