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New Mexico wants to protect their cannabis

Plus, Verano rejects Goodness Growth’s claim

Friday, June 21, 2024


Start your weekend (and summer!) right with all you need to know about the world of cannabis. 

Let’s get to it.

-CB & JR

This newsletter is 943 words or about a 5-minute read.

💡What’s the big deal?

NM wants feds to stop seizing legal cannabis 

What happened: Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-NM) introduced an amendment to prevent US border patrol agents from using federal funds to seize cannabis from state-licensed businesses. 

This amendment, part of the 2025 Fiscal Year appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responds to recent reports of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents confiscating cannabis from legal businesses in New Mexico. 

Back up: CBP's recent seizures of cannabis in New Mexico have intensified since early 2023. Despite legalization in New Mexico in 2022, the federal prohibition under the Controlled Substances Act allows CBP to operate within 100 miles of the US border, causing overlap and leading to these confiscations.

What they’re saying: “The Biden-Harris Administration is not doing enough to protect states who are not waiting for the federal government to catch up,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said.

“Although medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in some U.S. States and Canada, the sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana or the facilitation of the aforementioned remain illegal under U.S. federal law, given the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance,” a CBP spokesperson said to Marijuana Moment.

Why it matters: The amendment aims to protect state-licensed cannabis operations from federal intervention.

New Mexico’s predicament underscores the tension between federal laws and state-legal operations, highlighting the need for comprehensive reform to address these disparities.

Along with Rep. Blumenauer, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has also expressed frustration with CBP’s actions, highlighting the discrepancy between state legalization and federal enforcement. 

The two criticized the Biden administration for not providing adequate protection to states with legal cannabis operations, emphasizing the need for federal guidance to prevent such seizures and to resolve the damage being done as a result of the widening gap between the federal government and states.  

What’s next: This proposal needs approval from the House Rules Committee to be considered for a floor vote.


💬 Quotable

“If you’re scared of the boogeyman, so what? Sleep with the lights on,” Sen. Bill Rabon (R-NC), a staunch supporter of medical cannabis, said

The North Carolina Senate gave initial approval to a bill legalizing medical marijuana, approving it in a 33-9 vote. A final Senate vote is expected soon, but the bill faces uncertain prospects in the House.

Quick hits

Iowa lawsuit
Iowa companies Climbing Kites and Field Day Brewing Co. are suing the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services over a new law restricting THC levels in adult beverages. The companies argue that limiting THC to 4 milligrams per 12-ounce can contradicts the statute allowing up to 10 milligrams per container and will render most of their products illegal. Read more

Verano v. Goodness Growth
Verano wants a full trial to resolve its dispute with Goodness Growth over a canceled merger deal, rejecting Goodness Growth's $860.9 million damages claim. Verano argues that Goodness Growth misled shareholders, while Goodness Growth says Verano acted in bad faith — both argue the other breached the contract. The court will review Verano's request on August 27-28, 2024. Read more.

Pennsylvania cannabis → 💰
Legalization in Pennsylvania could generate $2.8 billion in legal sales within a year and create up to 44,500 jobs, according to projections by Responsible PA. However, legalization faces a partisan deadlock in the state legislature, with Republican leaders insisting on federal action first. 

Older patients ❤️ cannabis
A new study published in Drugs and Aging finds that cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) can offer multiple therapeutic benefits for older adults, including improvements in general health, well-being, sleep, and mood, with significant reductions in pain severity.

🚀 Deals, launches, partnerships

MediPharm Labs Corp. entered into a licensing agreement with Remidose Aerosols to exclusively sell advanced cannabis products like inhalers and sublingual sprays. This deal will generate immediate revenue and help MediPharm expand its market globally, according to the company.

Numinus Wellness Inc. will change its name to Numinus Intelligence after signing a letter of intent to acquire MedBright AI Investments Inc. in an all-stock deal to leverage MedBright's AI technology to enhance its mental health care services.

Avextra AG and SynQube GmbH partnered to accelerate development of cannabis-based medicines, leveraging SynQube's extensive expertise in cannabinoid therapy, to address unmet patient needs with innovative, high-quality, and regulatory-approved medicines.

📊 Chart of the day

Michigan's recreational marijuana market thrives. Michigan is outspending California in several key ways:

  • Per Capita Spending: Michigan marijuana buyers spend more than three times per capita compared to California consumers.

  • Unit Sales: Michigan sells more units of marijuana per month than California. In June 2023, Michigan sold 18 million units, surpassing California’s 17 million units. By May 2024, Michigan reached 25 million units sold per month.

  • Basket Size: Michigan consumers put almost double the number of items in their carts per visit (4.1 items) compared to Californians (2.2 items).

  • Total Spend per Visit: Michigan consumers spend nearly $10 more per visit on average than those in California.

Michigan is closing the sales gap with California and even surpassing it in these consumer sales metrics. Read more.

📰 What we’re reading

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