Even more news from New York

Plus, Holistic fined $200k & an “arrabbiato” Italian hemp industry

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Good morning.

The New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB) convened on Tuesday at their first board meeting since New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s staffing appointments and the release of groundbreaking THE CITY story.

We’ve got what you need to know and more.  

Let’s get to it.

-CB & JR

This newsletter is 1146 words or about an 8-minute read. 

💡What’s the big deal?

Key takeaways from the NY Cannabis Control Board (CCB) & more

Felicia A. B. Reid (!): Chair Tremaine Wright introduced Felicia A. B. Reid, who took over as the Office of Cannabis Management’s (OCM) acting executive director following the resignation of Chris Alexander, the agency’s inaugural executive director. 

Reid briefly talked about “meeting folks where they’re at” to foster strong pathways of communication, which was a key criticism of the agency in the Office of General Services report that spurred the personnel changes at the OCM.

(See yesterday or June 11’s newsletter for more background.) 

105 new licenses (!!): The CCB approved 17 retailers, 22 microbusinesses, 25 cultivators, 22 distributors and 19 processors, OCM Chief Operating Officer Patrick McKeage said. 55% of which were issued under the Social and Economic Equity (SEE) program. The CCB has now approved 654 adult-use cannabis licenses in New York, and there are 132 active dispensaries. 

There are currently 1091 applications in the queue—the OCM has touched the application but has not yet reached out to applicants.

In this round of application approvals, New York regulators aim to give as many licenses to as many different people as they can. So, they will only issue one license per entity or majority owner. As a result, many applications under denial are those associated with entities or majority owners that have already received licenses. 

Home grow (!!!): The State also approved the legalization of adult-use home cultivation for adults 21 years and older, limiting individuals to six plants and households to 12. 

Home grow regulations were approved for public comment at a February board meeting and then went through public comment with no substantial changes to arrive at Tuesday’s board meeting. 

Chief Operating Officer Patrick McKeage called the “exciting” approval the “last pillar of cannabis legalization.” he added that the OCM will release home-cultivation guidelines in the near future so people “don’t blow themselves up [in their garage]...”

Market Report takeaways: 

  • Month-to-month sales are increasing by $4-6 million

  • May 2024 closed by breaking weekly sales record of $12.5 million 

  • Cannabis sales will reach $200 million in June, well-exceeding 2023’s totals

But wait, there’s more from New York: As a follow-up to yesterday’s bombshell reporting from THE CITY on the State’s cannabis social equity funding deal with Chicago Atlantic, State Senators Liz Krueger and Gustavor Rivera are calling for immediate action, including ceasing the issuance of loans, a full investigation, and relief for licensees “trapped in predatory loan deals”. 


💬 Quote of the day

Speaking to an audience about the Florida budget, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about Amendment 3 on November’s ballot which would legalize cannabis.

If you need a reminder, DeSantis is actively campaigning against legalization.

Here are some choice, Reefer Madness-inspired quotes:

“I think you’re going to see people—you will be able to bring 20 joints to an elementary school…Is that really going to be good for the state of Florida? I don’t think so.”

“It’s [cannabis] going to be a part of your life. You’re going to smell it. It’s going to be used in places that it shouldn’t be used. And that’s just the reality. It is so unbelievably broad, the way it’s written.”

See for yourself:

Quick hits

Last year, Missouri legislators approved $7 million to aid courts in expunging cannabis  charges. However, as of mid-May 2024, less than 10% of the money was spent. Missouri court clerks say that more money will not speed up the expungement process. Read more here.

Holistic Industries was fined $200,000 by Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) for consciously selling products contaminated with mold. Holistic violated four state regulations, including jeopardizing “the welfare of the public,” according to the settlement. Read more here

A Texas district court judge dismissed a lawsuit from Attorney General Ken Paxton seeking to overturn Austin's voter-approved decriminalization initiative, allowing the measure to remain effective. You can find the ruling here

A recent study by Western Michigan University and Oregon State University economics professors W. Jason Beasley and Steven Dundas found that access to recreational cannabis in Oregon is associated with lower prescription opioid rates, suggesting that cannabis is used instead of opioids. However, reduced prescription rates did not lead to a decrease in opioid-related mortality, indicating that while cannabis access may reduce opioid prescriptions, it does not necessarily impact opioid-related death rates. Read the whole study here

The Italian hemp industry looks to the European Commission to cancel a recent amendment by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni that would effectively wipe out the entire Italian hemp industry. This amendment reflects PM Meloni’s moves to crack down on “cannabis light,” but could also lead to the closure of 3000 businesses and the loss of 15,000 jobs. Read more here

A Republican-majority House committee is pushing to further examine state cannabis regulations and wants federal agencies to revise federal hiring guidelines as they relate to those who use cannabis in states where it is legalized. Read more here

📊 Chart of the day

New York’s cannabis market is booming, with consumers outspending the national average by over 50%, primarily favoring in-store shopping. Weedmaps’ Q1 2024 data shows New Yorkers prefer cannabis flower (53% of orders) and edibles (27% of orders) over vape pens, with older consumers leaning towards edibles and younger ones towards vape pens. The platform reports a higher average order value and basket size for New York compared to national figures. 

🤝🏻 Deals, partnerships, launches

Illadelph Glass, a Philadelphia glass company known for its high-end pipes and bongs, announced the start of its own liquor brand, Illadelph Spirits, and launched a triple distilled vodka in a bong-esque bottle.

Innovative Industrial Properties (IIP) acquired a $13 million industrial space in Florida, to be leased to Ayr Wellness, and plans to reimburse Ayr up to $30 million for converting the property into a marijuana cultivation facility. This partnership enhances Ayr’s presence in Florida, where it operates 64 dispensaries, and adds to IIP's portfolio of cannabis-related properties across multiple states.

📰 What we’re reading

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