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Bailing out New York cannabis farmers

Reforming the New York market has begun

Good morning.

Will we look back at this week in New York cannabis as the week things start to turn around? Time will tell, but Governor Hochul seems committed to charting a new course. More on that below.

And for a good rundown of the rocky path so far in New York, check out yesterday’s Cultivated Live with Liz Kase, a cannabis attorney in New York. 

- Jeremy Berke & Jay Rosenthal

💡What’s the big deal?

Cannabis farms in line for relief from state for roll-out disaster

What’s happening: As a way to alleviate the distress New York cannabis farmers are dealing with, next year’s state budget has a combined $128 million in financial relief.

Why it’s happening: When New York decided to legalize cannabis, the state wanted to avoid what many new markets have experienced: cannabis shortages. So, cultivation licenses were issued to farmers early on in the process to ensure abundant supply. 

The only problem? 

Dispensary licenses have still not caught up with cannabis supply. And with this supply/distribution imbalance, cannabis cultivators in New York are struggling and sitting on mass quantities of unsellable cannabis. This financial relief bill could go a long way to keep cannabis farmers afloat.

What’s next: In an ideal world, New York dispensaries shelves would be filled with the abundant cannabis cultivators have been putting out. But, there are still less than 100 licensed dispensaries in a state of almost 20 million people. 

To try to correct the cannabis industry roll-out in New York,  Governor Kathy Hochul this week announced a ‘top down’ review of the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) operations. Commissioner for the Office of General Services Jeanette Moy will head up the review.

Bottom line: From calling the roll-out a ‘disaster’ to commencing a thorough review, Governor Hochul took about six weeks. 

Perhaps, six weeks from now, the review of OCM will be completed and New York can reset their cannabis approach. Getting the industry from disaster to booming would help cannabis cultivators far more than $128 million in financial considerations. 


🗯️ Quotable

The White House continued the drum-beat on cannabis reform yesterday. 

First, we had the 12-second mention from the State of the Union. Then, cannabis on the campaign trail. We ended last week with the Vice President’s White House cannabis round-table

And now, we have a Tweet (or is it Xeet?) from @whitehouse on X. 

👊 Quick hits

During a presentation at the American Chemical Society meeting this week, researchers reported some troubling news about cannabis vapes: liquid in cannabis vapes contains toxic heavy metals that do not come from the device itself. The problem is worse in unregulated products, the researchers said — some illicit vapes contained 100 times more lead (!) than legal vapes. 

The IRS issued a guidance memo for cannabis businesses on how to report large, cash payments over $10,000. The memo noted that the cash payments may not necessarily be deemed ‘suspicious,’ reports Marijuana Moment

Legalizing cannabis doesn’t lead to an uptick in adolescent use, despite the anti-legalization crowd’s talking points, according to a federal funded study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

🤝 Deals, launches, partnerships

Cannabis giant Curaleaf said that it will acquire Northern Green Canada as a way to build out their international portfolio, especially into European, Australian, and New Zealand markets. The companies didn’t disclose financial terms of the transaction. 

Cannabis software marketing firm Springbig is integrating with Lightspeed Commerce, an e-commerce platform, in an effort the companies say will better serve their customers across the cannabis and retail industries. 

Ramm Pharma, a Toronto manufacturer of cannabis and hemp-based pharmaceuticals, said its raising up to $1 million CAD in a non-brokered private placement of 20 million shares. 

California cannabis company Autumn Brands is launching a line of infused intimacy products called ‘now melt’, including gummies, bath crystals, and oils. 

📰 What we’re reading

😜 One fun thing

New Orleans’ police chief claimed that rats had gotten into the station’s confiscated cannabis stash, and that the rats were getting high, reports The Associated Press.

We’re going to unfortunately use this otherwise fun story as an opportunity for a little Cannabis 101 education. The THC found in raw cannabis is THCa. You have to heat it to turn into regular old THC, which is the bioavailable form that is responsible for the most well-known psychoactive effects of cannabis. Eating raw cannabis physically can’t get you high. 

So it’s probably not the rats that were eating the cannabis. We’d say it’s the “my dog ate my homework” excuse. 

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