April 4th, 2022
With Historic Overtown as the setting, we have curated a panel of the industry’s best and brightest to tackle and discuss corporate cannabis capitalism and legacy amnesty. Both sides of the coin are experiencing significant learning curves and limitations. These lead to bad business models, limited access to resources and what we feel is the most debilitating blow to the industry, an outright “culture clash” that doesn’t benefit either side. We come together to not only break bread but ask and work through the tough questions. Let’s create a blueprint that generates the revenue and inclusion that the plant has always stood for, let’s grow together. Click here to RSVP.
US House Passes Landmark Federal Marijuana Legalization Bill - Again

The U.S. House of Representatives, for the second time in its history, passed a sweeping bill Friday that would end the federal government’s prohibition on marijuana, but the Senate looms as a big hurdle to passage of the legalization measure. The lower chamber voted 220-204 to pass the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which would remove the plant from the federal Controlled Substances Act and open the industry to additional multibillion-dollar business opportunities and access to traditional banking services.

The MORE Act would not only decriminalize marijuana but also reinvest in communities harmed by the war on drugs and provide for expungement of certain cannabis convictions. The vote was along party lines, with only three Republicans supporting the measure. “With voter support for legal cannabis at an all-time high and more and more states moving away from prohibition, we commend the House for once again taking this step to modernize our federal marijuana policies,” Aaron Smith, CEO of the Washington DC-based National Cannabis Industry Association, said in a statement. Read more.

FDA, FTC, Slap CBD Industry With Seven Warning Letters Related to COVID Claims

U.S. health and trade authorities this week issued a record seven warning letters in a single day to companies making CBD, the biggest federal action against the industry in over a year. Warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission targeted companies making COVID-related claims. It was the first time so many CBD companies had been targeted in a single day.

They were the first warnings issued since this year’s release of multiple scientific studies showing that CBD, cannabinoid acids and even synthetic cannabis compounds may prevent or treat COVID-19 infections. The agencies said in a Tuesday announcement that they were alarmed to see cannabinoid companies “using research studies to claim or imply misleadingly that their CBD products will cure, mitigate, treat or prevent COVID-19.” The companies were given 48 hours to scrub their websites and social media posts of product listings that “misleadingly represent them as safe and/or effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.” Read more.

Pabst Labs Opens Production Facility for THC-Infused Beverages

Pabst Labs is opening a “cutting edge manufacturing facility and distribution center” for its Cannabis-Infused Seltzer in Desert Hot Springs, California, Food & Wine reports. The company describes the facility as “one of the few dedicated cannabis beverage facilities in America,” which would give the company more than triple its current product production capabilities. Chuck Barlick, Pabst Labs’ director of production said that the new factory “will operate under customary world-class manufacturing practices,” such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), Safe Quality Foods (SQF), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), Lean Manufacturing, and Visual Work Instructions. 

The company will produce its 10 milligram THC, non-alcohol High Seltzer, Not Your Father’s Cannabis-Infused Root Beer, and the St. Ides Cannabis product line – which includes their 100mg cannabis-infused four-ounce shots – at the facility. Pabst will also allow other brands to access the facility through co-packaging relationships, which the company said should “raise beverage quality and opportunity across the industry.” Read more. Read more.

Weed-Friendly Hotel Coming to Las Vegas

Last week, Las Vegas-based commercial real estate and development company the Siegel Group announced that it had completed the sale of the Artisan Hotel Boutique to Pro Hospitality Group for $11.9 million. Alex Rizk, the owner of Phoenix-based Pro Hospitality Group, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he is planning a $3 million renovation of the 64-room hotel on Sahara Boulevard at Interstate 15 near the Las Vegas Strip. He said that when the regulations are in place at the state and local level, he will make the Artisan a “cannabis-friendly” destination for tourists to the city. “This is a lifestyle, boutique hotel,” Rizk said.

Pro Hospitality Group already operates a cannabis-friendly hotel, the Clarendon Hotel and Spa, in its home city of Phoenix, Arizona. The hotel’s website informs potential guests that the property features “cannabis-friendly rooms and amenities” that allow “vaping, dabbing, flower, etc.” The Clarendon also boasts a cannabis consumption lounge that is open to both hotel guests and the general public. Read more.

 

Elevate Your Grind

In a rare in-studio conversation, Todd sits down with Doug Kulig, Senior Sales Executive at Boveda Inc. Doug has bee working in the cannabis industry since 2018 and now works throughout the Southeast with the industry leader in two way humidity control. Listen 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 www.clabconference.com.

Conference Speaker Spotlights

As the Founder/CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc., 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. The work is often challenging and fast-paced.

Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc. (M4MM) is 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. M4MM is a membership based organization working hard to make sure people of color have a true quantifiable opportunity to participate in this marketplace and are afforded adequate access to care despite their economic situation. M4MM currently has presence in 15 states throughout the country.

Eric currently serves as the Executive Director for Florida for Care, a non-profit membership organization of individuals focused on implementing Amendment 2 and Florida’s medical marijuana system. Previously, he worked for the Florida Medical Marijuana campaign United for Care as the Campaign’s Finance Director from 2013-2016. He worked on both the 2014 campaign and the 2016 campaign that passed with the highest margin of any medical marijuana question ever at 71%.

Eric resides in Miami Beach worked with city officials to place the first question related to medical marijuana on any Florida election ballot in November of 2013. He also worked with the City of Miami Beach to push them to become the first city to decriminalize possession of marijuana in Florida. The same month Miami-Dade the first county to pass a similar ordinance and now many cities across the state have followed suit. In addition to his work at the state level for Medical Marijuana with Florida for Care at the state level, Eric will be assisting people at the local level as they position themselves to get involved within the future market here in Florida.

 
US Senate Passes Cannabis Research Bill, but House Must Weigh In

The U.S. Senate gave unanimous approval to a bipartisan bill to “cut the red tape” that stalls scientific research into the medical properties of cannabis and cannabidiols. According to a news release issued Thursday by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, the Senate approved S. 253 on a voice vote. The measure – which would authorize the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to study cannabis products – now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.

The bill was co-sponsored by Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Hawaii Democrat Brian Schatz, who both lauded the bill’s success. “This bipartisan bill … will empower the FDA to analyze CBD and medical marijuana products in a safe and responsible way so that the American public can decide whether to utilize them in the future based on sound scientific data.” Read more.

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Advance Their Own Cannabis Banking Bill

With an effort to give cannabis businesses access to financial institutions stalling in Congress, some lawmakers in Pennsylvania are taking matters into their own hands. A committee in the state Senate on Wednesday approved bipartisan legislation to “afford state-legal cannabis better access to banking and insurance services,” according to local television station WHTM. This would help with the overwhelming problem in legal cannabis of the lack of access to safe banking resources. 

Per the station, the bill “authorizes but does not require financial institutions to provide services to state-legal cannabis businesses,” while also permitting “Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis industry the ability to take out ordinary business expenses when filing state taxes.” According to Local 21 News, the “bill puts safeguards in place so banks and insurers can do business with the medical cannabis industry without fear of penalty.” Read more.

The Real Problem with U.S. Marijuana Regulation 'Not From Federal Illegality,' Weedmaps CEO Says

The House voted to decriminalize marijuana and remove it from the list of banned controlled substances at the federal level on Friday. Now the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act will move to the Senate, where it is unlikely to attain the 60 votes needed to pass. And while the passage of the MORE Act would certainly expand cannabis markets in the U.S., Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals thinks that a bigger obstacle lies in the 37 states where the substance is already legal for adult use.

"The single biggest issue facing legalized cannabis markets... is that there's just not enough licenses," Beals told Yahoo Finance Live (video above), adding that consumers are still choosing the illicit market over the legal one "by a four-to-one ratio." As a result, “a lot of the harm that's being inflicted is not from the federal illegality," Beals said, "It's from states not issuing enough licenses because the biggest correlating factor to these high illicit market rates is you have to drive too far or there's not enough robust competition on pricing or product selection." Read more.

New Hampshire House Approves State-Run Marijuana Legalization Bill

The New Hampshire House on Thursday approved a bill to legalize marijuana through a state-run model—but the chamber tabled a separate bill that would have decriminalized possession of psilocybin mushrooms. This is the second time that the House has taken up the state-run cannabis legalization bill, HB 1598, sponsored by Rep. Darryl Abbas (R).

It passed on the floor last month, but needed to go back to the Ways & Means Committee because it involved economic components. That panel met several times and made amendments, sending it back to the floor, where the full body passed it again in a 169-156 vote. It now heads to the Senate. “The primary objective of this bill is the policy of legalization of cannabis for both possession and personal use and was passed by the House earlier this session,” Rep. Timothy Lang (R) said in a statement included in the House calendar. Read more.

 
Jobs to Watch
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 www.bzcannabis.com.

Chance to Invest in Bloomstack Corp - an All-In-One Cloud Enterprise Platform Serving the Cannabis Industry

Bloomstack's Wefunder campaign is LIVE - this round is an opportunity for you to be a part of the next phase of our journey to disrupt enterprise software.  We need your support to take it to the next level. SME Entrepreneurs face challenges to manage processes besides growing their business! Albeit an apt solution, access to Enterprise software is their major struggle. Its exorbitant cost and misleading per-user pricing model allow access only to highly-funded firms or large corporations. Click here to learn more.

 
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