Lawmakers in New Jersey and Massachusetts address dangers of vaping

The worsening outbreak of vape-linked illnesses and deaths has spurred lawmakers across the U.S. to take action, with officials in New Jersey and Massachusetts the latest to propose bans and other measures to curb vaping. In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders are looking at a phased-in ban on selling vape products and directing health department officials to form a task force dedicated to studying risks associated with vaping and making policy recommendations.


'Wild West': Marketing of cannabis in places where it's outlawed is an emerging 'gray area'

The ad proclaims “Life is Better With Legal Cannabis.” But for most of the readers who saw it in their morning paper, marijuana is not legal.

The ad from Canna Provisions gives the address, website and phone number of its store in Lee, Massachusetts. It ran on the bottom of the front page of the Aug. 30 Times-Union of Albany, New York. The paper is available on Berkshire County newsstand but decidedly not a Massachusetts publication.

The ad includes tiny, baseball box score-size type listing state-mandated disclaimers, concluding with, “This product may be illegal outside of MA.”

New York recently downgraded marijuana possession in small amounts from a misdemeanor to a violation, but it is still an arrestable offense punishable by fines.


Philadelphia University announces new cannabis industry MBA Program

The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia announced last week that it would begin offering a Master of Business Administration degree program focusing on the cannabis industry. The university is currently enrolling students in the Cannabis Industry Option MBA in Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business program and will begin conducting classes online in September.


MA State Officials release rules for cannabis cafe’s & delivery

State officials overseeing the medical and recreational marijuana industries have released rewritten rules regarding marijuana vaping lounges and home delivery.

The State News House Service says after unanimously agreeing to them last week, cannabis regulators on Tuesday released rewritten rules that would govern both sides of the legal marijuana world, proposing regulations to eliminate an annual fee for medical patients, set the stage for home delivery, of and marijuana vaping lounges.


Adult-use marijuana sales in Massachusetts approach $140M

Sales of adult-use marijuana in Massachusetts have reached nearly $140 million through the end of May.

Marijuana Business Daily reports that sales continue to rise through six months of operations following a November 2018 launch.

Massachusetts was the first Eastern seaboard state to legalize recreational use and retailers were expected to benefit from out-of-state traffic in addition to local sales.

The Lakewood, Colorado, publication reports that Massachusetts retailers have seen average month-over-month sales increases of 21% between the first full month in December 2018 and May 2019, when sales were $34 million.

Average monthly sales in the state are just under $23 million.


The East Coast will soon get its first outdoor commercial cannabis crop

This week, a Massachusetts company announced it had gotten the OK from regulators to plant the East Coast’s first outdoor commercial marijuana crop.

Nova Farms, formerly named Bristol County Wellness Center or BCWC, announced the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has given it the final approval to plant a crop in Sheffield, a community in the agriculture-friendly western edge of the state.

Metro West Daily News reports that customers should get their hands on the product early next year when a dispensary attached to the farm opens on Route 9.


VA rejects Veteran’s loan application over job at licensed cannabis business

If only this story was an outlier and federal prohibition didn’t continue to make life difficult for veterans, even in states with recreational cannabis. But the Boston Globe published an article today about how a 35-year-old disabled Massachusetts vet, his wife, and their two kids, have been thwarted in their housing search because the guy has a management level job in the cannabis industry — and it’s indicative of issues facing our vets across the country.


Massachusetts Regulators grant initial approval to social use spaces

Members of the state’s Cannabis Control Commission decided late last week to advance plans to regulate social marijuana use facilities.

Regulators voted 3 to 2 in favor of the proposal, which seeks to establish a pilot program in up to a dozen self-selected cities throughout the state. However, implementing the plan will require additional legislative action from lawmakers.


Mass. still has no clue how many people’s marijuana records should be cleared

With marijuana now legal in Massachusetts, thousands of people convicted of pot possession can have their records cleared, removing roadblocks to jobs, housing, adoption, and loans.

To that end, lawmakers last year created an option, as part of a broad criminal justice overhaul, for people to have their cannabis records expunged as if they never existed.

So how many people have had their records wiped clean? The state can’t exactly say, but the number is clearly very low.

Since the new system started six months ago, only 12 convictions — out of 219 requests — were expunged for all types of crimes.


Curaleaf bets $1.27 billion on cannabis oil in largest U.S. deal

Curaleaf Holdings Inc., the most valuable U.S. marijuana company, is making a big bet on cannabis oil.

The Massachusetts-based company is buying the regulated cannabis business of Cura Partners Inc., a maker of oil for vape pens, in a stock deal valued at about $1.27 billion (US$950 million). That makes it the largest acquisition so far between U.S. cannabis companies. Cura, based in Portland, Oregon, sells its Select brand marijuana products in more than 900 dispensaries, including in California, which is home to the world’s largest legal weed market. It had revenue of about US$117 million last year.

Acquiring Select gives Curaleaf a popular West Coast brand it can sell at its dispensaries around the U.S., according Boris Jordan, the company’s chairman.


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