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A divided Virginia takes a step on cannabis

But not a big enough step to override a veto

Good morning.

Cannabis news has a bit of something for everyone today: old (Colorado). new (Virginia). mostly exciting (Missouri), and mostly tough (cannabis stocks). 

But if that’s not what gets you out of bed in the morning, you may want to switch industries. 

Us? We’re here for the long haul.

A 5-minute read from JB and JR

💡What’s the big deal?

Virginia House of Delegates taking some steps

Driving the news: On Monday, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill to put the framework in place to finally legalize cannabis in the Commonwealth. The bill passed narrowly, 52-48, and follows a years-long effort to legalize in the state.

Rewind: In 2021, Virginians voted to legalize cannabis with a launch date of January 1, 2024. Obviously, that deadline was not met. But, two years later, things are starting to move again as Virginia voted in a Democratic House and Senate in 2023.

But also: Virginia has a high-profile Republican Governor in Glenn Youngkin. He is much less keen to legalize cannabis, putting the legislature on the side of voters and the governor on the side of prohibitionists.

And, the slim majority that passed this measure is not enough to override a gubernatorial veto.

What they’re saying:I just don’t have a lot of interest in pressing forward with marijuana legislation,” Gov. Youngkin said in January. So there’s that. 

But Delegate Paul Krizek, D-Fairfax noted today that, “We already have an $4 billion illegal, illicit market. Let’s deal with it.

🏏 Quick hit

Because it’s the anniversary of cannabis legalization in Missouri, Missourians are looking at the year to see where the state stacks up. Turns out, Missourians love their Kansas City Chiefs almost as much as they love cannabis. Almost $4 million in sales per day for about $1.3 billion for the legal year from February 2023 through January 2024.

CO sales dip continues from pandemic highs

Source: Colorado Department of Revenue

What’s happening: The Colorado Department of Revenue released their annual Marijuana Sales Report highlighting the 10-year sales figures in that state. There’s good news and bad news for the country’s most mature legal market. 

The good: On the plus side, sales over the 10-year period have totaled well over $15 billion dollars and annual sales have been over $1.5 billion annually since 2017. 

The bad: The bad news – for the cannabis industry in Colorado at least – is that sales figures for 2023 are down more than $200 million from 2022, and down more than $500 million from the pandemic highs of 2020 and 2021. 

The ugly: Sales figures in Colorado are about where they were in 2017, and that’s not adjusted for inflation. 

What it means: Colorado is the leader of the pack. They had their ramp up to full-scale legalization, they had their pandemic blip, and now they have their inevitable “back-down-to-earth” downturn. 

We have to wonder if this is what every 10-year cannabis sales chart will look like in new markets.

🎒 What we’re reading

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