Good morning. We hope your Thanksgiving holiday was a meaningful one. We’re also sure that, like us, you’re getting your stuff together for this week’s travel to Las Vegas. Remember to follow Cultivated on LinkedIn to be sure to catch the Cultivated Live stream each morning Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Remember the number one rule for trade shows in Las Vegas: pack your comfy shoes! Here are some of the best comfy shoes - according to Runner’s World.
SOCIAL EQUITY & SOCIAL JUSTICE
New Approach for New York
What’s happening: New York has tried, and tried, and tried to put social equity and social justice at the forefront of their approach to cannabis legalization. But it hasn’t been easy, smooth, or fast.
Now that another round of licensing is mid-process in New York, the New York Times is looking at the approach of New York regulators and policymakers.
What's new: New York State cannabis regulators have developed an interactive map pinpointing areas like Harlem, heavily impacted by cannabis arrests, to guide the allocation of at least 1,000 new cannabis licenses. The map will help determine if applicants are from disproportionately affected communities.
Why it matters: The map, representing 1.2 million cannabis arrests, underscores the concentration of these arrests in low-income, Black, and Latino communities. Perhaps moving forward, New York licensing for those most impacted by the War on Drugs will be easier, smoother, and faster.
Arkan-saw big sales
Source: Clinton Foundation
Driving the news: Arkansas's medical market has seen substantial growth in 2023, with patients spending of approximately $234 million on 50,406 pounds of products at 38 dispensaries in the first 10 months, per the state Department of Finance and Administration.
Why it matters: The economic impact of Arkansas's medical cannabis sector is substantial, with the state collecting $25.9 million in tax revenue this year alone. Since the program's inception in 2019, the total tax revenue has reached $115.4 million. That’s not chump change, perhaps adding fuel to the fire of other slow-to-legalize markets.
What's next in AR?: The state's medical industry is likely to continue its growth trajectory, especially as the number of active patient cards has risen to 97,646, up from 89,855 a year ago. This increase in registered patients suggests a growing acceptance and reliance on medical needs in Arkansas.
TROUBLE IN PARADISE?
Not all sunshine and rainbows in Hawaii
Driving the news: Last week we shared that Hawaii's Attorney General Anne Lopez proposed a comprehensive plan to legalize adult-use, sparking significant opposition from the state's law enforcement community.
While the plan was well-received by key lawmakers, law enforcement officials, including Hawaii Prosecutor Steve Alm, expressed his disapproval, citing concerns over public safety and the impact on various sectors, including health and education.
What's next?: AG Lopez's 294-page proposal, aimed to take effect by January 1, 2026, seeks to create a regulatory framework for adult-use cannabis sales and possession for those aged 21 and over. With the next legislative session starting in January, the proposal is up for further debate and consideration.
Our take: Opposition to legalization from law enforcement is nothing new.
In fact, it follows a pattern of almost every other legal state — especially states that are just now coming to the legalization conversation. We would encourage law enforcement officials to visit some of the two dozen other states that have not seen jumps in crime.
Alternatively, those law enforcement officials can subscribe to Cultivated Daily to get the latest and greatest from legal states…
Driving the news: In a unique regulatory twist, Connecticut's Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) declared that while alcohol sales were prohibited on Thanksgiving Day, cannabis sales were permitted.
Chalk one up for cannabis!
How it played out: The directive from DCP provided a clear contrast to alcohol sales, which require purchases to be made prior to Thanksgiving Day if intended for home use. (On-premise alcohol consumption at open bars and restaurants was still permissible.)
Why it mattered: The Connecticut situation highlighted the evolving and often contrasting approaches states are taking towards regulating cannabis and alcohol. It's an interesting case where cannabis, typically more strictly regulated, is given more leeway than alcohol on a major holiday.
And frankly, isn’t it better bonding to go for a “walk” with your cousins than to down 6 beers together?
WHAT WE’RE READING
🥊 Quick hits