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  • ☀️ Florida legalization campaign gets another $15 million💰

☀️ Florida legalization campaign gets another $15 million💰

Plus, DC warns cannabis gifter

Good morning.

Today, we take another look at Florida and how big MSOs are hopping aboard the Smart & Safe train.

Jeremy’s off for the next two newsletters, but you’ll be in great hands with Jay.

Let’s get to it. 

- Jeremy Berke & Jay Rosenthal

💡What’s the big deal?

Smart & Safe Florida gets another $15 million

Driving the news: Floridians will vote on legal cannabis this November. The initiative, Smart & Safe Florida, has so far been led — and mostly funded — by cannabis firm Trulieve.

What happened: The initiative raised another $15 million from a few friends in high places.

Big cannabis companies, known as multistate operators or MSOs, are joining the party. The new list of backers includes Green Thumb Industries, Verano Holdings, Curaleaf, Ayr Wellness, Cresco Labs, and INSA

It’s a mix of the largest US cannabis companies by revenue and market cap. 

Zoom in: Smart & Safe Florida has come under fire from cannabis and social justice advocates, who say it would only serve to expand Trulieve and other corporate cannabis firms’ already-existing monopolies in the state. 

The initiative doesn’t include any social equity language, like reinvestment funds or record expungements, and would immediately allow corporate cannabis firms like Trulieve to sell recreational cannabis, unlike in New York which prioritized small, social-equity aligned businesses first.

That’s also a likely reason why other cannabis firms are throwing their support behind the initiative, to the tune of millions of dollars — it’d be a big benefit to their bottom-line. 

Still, a state as populous and politically important as Florida legalizing cannabis would be a big win for consumers and the industry. With less regulation, it could be a very lucrative market for MSOs. 

News of Florida’s vote also lifted cannabis stocks higher, which means investors could get handsomely rewarded by playing their cards right. 

Will it pass? We like to shy away from political prognostications in this newsletter. But there are a few pieces of evidence working in the pro-cannabis Floridian’s favor, as I explained on yesterday’s Cultivated Live

Support for legal cannabis in the state polls in the high 60s-to-low-70s, depending on the pollster. And cannabis could benefit from being on the ballot with abortion rights, as was the case in Ohio — the two issues track pretty closely.

Support for medical cannabis in Florida is also a good proxy, as recreational cannabis tends to track slightly around the same or slightly below. 

But the initiative has to receive 60% of the vote to pass — which could make it a close fight. 

What they’re saying: “As we move into the next phase of campaigning, we are grateful to have the support of our donors. We have come a long way, but our work has only just begun,” the press release said.  


💬 Quotable

“Morgan Stanley has banned clients from sending money to my cannabis fund. Somehow one investor's capital got through & now MS is now requesting a recall. MS's financial crime division is on the case! This is the state of Federal banking and cannabis,” Aaron Edelheit, the CEO of Mindset Capital, a cannabis investment fund, said on X

⚡Quick hits

More than 500 workers at cannabis delivery firm Eaze voted to authorize a strike ahead of the busy 4/20 holiday — the most lucrative shopping day for cannabis companies of the year, WeedWeek reports.  

DC has started issuing warnings for illicit cannabis dispensaries within city limits. While cannabis is legal in DC, shops aren’t allowed to sell the product. Instead, they take advantage of a “gifting loophole,” where the cannabis is “gifted” alongside the purchase of other items. Because DC isn’t a state, it relies on Congress to set rules governing the industry. 

Maine will relax its rules for edibles packaging, MJ Biz Daily reports

💬 Deals, launches, partnerships

Canadian cannabis company Heritage Cannabis filed for bankruptcy protection this week and is also pursuing a possible sale.

😎 One cool thing

Smoakland, a California cannabis company, is looking to hire a “Content Creator/Cannabis Tester/Blunt Roller” for up to $85,000 a year, reports SF Gate. Talk about a dream job.

📰 What we’re reading

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