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Pennsylvania Governor on cannabis: ‘It’s time to catch up’

Governor Shapiro already cashing cannabis tax checks

Good morning. 

Feel like Charlie Brown yet? 

The DC rumor mill is in full-swing as well-connected lawyers and journalists have posted in recent days that their sources are telling them the DEA’s decision on rescheduling is imminent.

Or, it isn’t.

Or, no one really knows. 

Our take: We’ll know when we know, which we’re sure you love hearing.

A 5-minute read from JB and JR

💡What’s the big deal?

Pennsylvania’s Governor already counting the cannabis cash

What’s happening: Governor Josh Shapiro  released his latest budget proposal yesterday and he appears fed up with cannabis tax dollars going out of state.

He included tax dollars associated with legal cannabis as a key component of bringing new revenue into the state to fund public education, among other priorities. 

Why it’s happening: There are several intersecting reasons that Shapiro is hopping on the cannabis train now. 

The first, perhaps most obvious one, is that the state needs the money. That’s usually the key factor that moves policy mountains.

The other obvious reason is that surrounding states are already on board with cannabis legalization — and PA is feeling the cannabis squeeze, which we’ve written on.

What they’re saying: Shapiro didn’t mince words in his budget speech. 

 “ …Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland — practically all of our neighbors — have legalized marijuana. We’re losing out on an industry that, once fully implemented, would bring in more than 250 million dollars in annual revenue,” Shapiro said. 

“And our failure to legalize and regulate this only fuels the black market and drains much needed resources for law enforcement. It’s time to catch up…”

What’s next? Nothing is a sure thing in politics. And Pennsylvania, you all know, is a purple state politically. 

Shapiro is a Democrat, the House has a Democratic majority, and the Senate has a Republican majority. That’s challenging calculus to get anything passed.

Already, the Republican State Senate President  said, “[Gov. Shapiro] wants to spend Pennsylvanians' money like high-taxed states such as California, New York, and Massachusetts. For now, Shapiro’s budget is just talk.” 

Of course, California, New York, and Massachusetts are all states with legal cannabis.

Hall of Flowers Brings California’s Premier Cannabis Trade Show to Ventura: March 13-14

In its sixth year, Hall of Flowers will gather California's most influential brands, retailers, celebrities and influencers for two days at the beach with the state’s best flower, edibles, concentrates and topicals.

Over 1,000 retail buyers will attend in search of the hottest products on the market, while c-suite industry leaders make deals and forge alliances.

Hall of Flowers will also feature a top-shelf slate of industry mixers, private dinners, live entertainment, high-impact speakers and high-end afterparties.

This is a B2B event, open only to members of the cannabis industry. An extremely limited number of two-day passes have just been released. If you’re interested, please fill out this application form. Day 2 only passes are immediately available, again only to the industry.

For more information, visit Hall of Flowers.


Neighboring states facing opposite fates

IYKYK: We like to think that Cultivated readers know the industry well. 

As such, you know that the US’s state-by-state legalization approach is flawed, to say that least. Cannabis can’t legally cross state lines, causing market inefficiencies, and necessitating entirely new supply chains in each new market. 

Silly time: The Associated Press wrote a comprehensive piece shining light on the wacky world of legal cannabis this week. The piece specifically addresses the cannabis scenario in New York and Connecticut. 

New York has a massive oversupply of cannabis — 250,000 pounds of cannabis that may need to be destroyed, due in large part to the state’s snail-like pace in doling out retail licenses so far. 

Connecticut, for its part, can’t get enough cannabis into consumers’ hands — partly because of the lack of growers in the state and partly because New Yorkers are crossing the border to buy legal weed. 

You can see how this spiral goes.

What’s next? Maybe federal action may lead to interstate trade and a normalization of the cannabis industry. It would go a long way toward making the market more efficient. 

It can’t happen fast enough for New York growers and Connecticut cannabis buyers. 

🚀 Quick hits

Canada’s long-awaited review of its legal cannabis framework will (finally) be released this Spring, according to MJ Biz Daily

Miami is upping its penalty for smoking weed in public ahead of Spring Break.

🎒 What we’re reading

🤝 Deals, launches, openings

Cannabis giant Curaleaf is buying Polish company Can4Med. The company didn’t disclose financial terms of the transaction. 

SOMAI Pharmaceuticals is introducing the Airo brand to European and Australian markets, the company said. The partnership allows SOMAI to distribute Airo’s products to medical cannabis markets in Germany, Poland, Switzerland, and, of course, Australia. 

Illinois cannabis retailer nuEra Cannabis said it closed its acquisition of leso, which holds one of only 20 cultivation licenses in the state. 

🤣 One fun thing

Some guy went on X.com to complain, oddly, that he got the best sleep of his life and missed church after consuming two CBD-infused Recess beverages. 

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