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NH and Ohio take cannabis center stage

Plus, Canada losing its cannabis advantage?

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Good morning.

We’re giving New York a break today by focusing on New Hampshire and Ohio instead. 

New Hampshire is in a bit of a legislative stalemate between the House and the Senate, which may slow down legalization. But fear not, Ohio appears to be in a position to speed things up toward adult-use.

Let’s get to it.

-JB & JR

This newsletter is 866 words or about a 5-minute read. 

💡What’s the big deal?

New Hampshire’s tortured path to legalization

Driving the news: A Senate committee in New Hampshire altered a cannabis legalization bill that was recently passed in the House

The bill, amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee, replaced the House bill with a state-run ‘franchise’ model. 

Back-up a sec: As the only New England state yet to legalize cannabis, New Hampshire is being squeezed on all sides to legalize. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. 

The legislative back-and-forth: A bipartisan bill, HB1633, passed the House in April. (We had the bill’s author State Representative Erica Layon (R) and co-sponsor State Representative Anita Burroughs (D) on Cultivated Live.) This bill allowed for legalization and a free-market approach for cannabis in New Hampshire. 

Then, lame-duck Republican Governor Chris Sununu suggested that unless his approach was folded into the bill in the Senate, he wouldn’t sign it

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee amended the bill to be more state-run than free-market.

Prohibitionist Republican governors: There is a theme emerging in yet-to-legalize-markets: Republican governors standing in the way and generally being a fly in the ointment. 

In the past several months alone, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has vetoed a legalization bill, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has rallied the opposition to Florida’s legalization measure heading to November’s ballot, and New Hampshire’s Republican Governor Chris Sununu has tried to poison-pill legalization in New Hampshire. (And that doesn’t even account for what Republican Governor Kristi Noem might do in South Dakota with a measure likely to hit that state’s ballot in November.)

What’s next? Tomorrow or Thursday, we’ll know if the Senate will pass the amended bill and send it back to the House, or if the Senate will just kill the bill altogether. BUT, retiring Republican Senate President Republican Jeb Bradley told WMUR that “I don’t want to see it get out of the Senate, period…” 

We will have the team from the New Hampshire Cannabis Association on Cultivated Live later this week, so stay tuned for more from the Granite State.


🗨️ Quote of the day

Canadian cannabis industry advocates Ivan Ross Vrana and Nathan Mison wrote: Canada’s cannabis industry at risk of losing first-mover advantage to US

“The Canadian government needs to move rapidly to influence Washington to adopt as much from the Canadian medical regime as possible to support the flow of capital, trade, and research across the border. US investors, previously prohibited from wading into Canada’s cannabis market thanks to its federal illegality south of the border, should now be welcomed with open arms into Canada. Upon crossing the border, their dollars will find an industry that knows how to produce high-quality products with low-cost manufacturing.” - StratCann

Ivan Ross Vrana of Diplomat Consulting will join Cultivated Live to talk about Canada’s first-mover cannabis advantage. (Note: Today’s Cultivated Live will start at 11 am Eastern.)

Quick hits

A regulatory framework in Ohio has been approved by a legislative panel to allow for current medical operators to start selling recreational cannabis as soon as June, while the state continues to build out their process for issuing adult-use only dispensary licenses later this year. 

Minnesota continues its completely unique approach to legalization, this time by automatically expunging misdemeanor cannabis records required by the legalization legislation. According to the Star Tribune, the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has already begun the expungement process and is expected to complete the automatic expungements by August.

Right next to Minnesota, voters in South Dakota will vote to legalize cannabis — for the third time. Advocates submitted signatures for a November legalization ballot measure. Recall that Republican Governor Kristi Noem has opposed legalization previously. 

Alaska voted for legal cannabis nearly a decade ago, but little has changed with the legalization regime since then. But, the Alaska House of Representatives voted to change the state’s $50 per ounce tax to a flat 7% sales tax, according to the Alaska Beacon.

📊 Earnings round-up

Safe Harbor Financial reported a $2 million dollar profit, a 245% increase year-over-year on $4.1 million revenue.

🚀 Deals, launches, partnerships

FundCanna, a cannabis financial company, announced a partnership with Dama, which designated FundCanna as a preferred lending partner, according to a release.

📈 Chart of the day

The good folks at Visual Capitalist mapped out where in the world cannabis is legal. (Of course, we hope Thailand wasn’t written in ink by Visual Capitalist, as we reported on this week.)

📰 What we’re reading

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