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SAFER/Stablecoin on again/off again/on again?

Plus, New Mexico’s Governor standing up for cannabis

Good morning.

We say it a lot, but there’s never a dull moment in cannabis.

First we have the SAFER/Stablecoin idea back in play, maybe… Plus, we have a western governor standing up for her state’s cannabis sector. 

Let’s get to it.

-JB & JR

This newsletter is 852 words or about a 6.5-minute read.

💡What’s the big deal?

SAFER Banking & Stablecoin

Driving the news: Remember a few weeks back when all the talk in federal cannabis circles was about packaging up SAFER Banking with Stablecoin legislation and throwing those two into the must-pass FAA reauthorization bill? Well, that didn’t happen. But the SAFER + Stablecoin idea just might still be a thing.

What happened: It seems that a leading House Republican who will be instrumental in getting SAFER through the House – Vice Chair of the House Financial Services Committee Rep. French Hill (R-AR) – is ok with the two pieces of legislation being paired together.

Still, Sen. Mitch McConnell reaffirmed his opposition to cannabis banking reform.

What they’re saying: “I would vote for if it were coupled. I have supported the SAFE Banking Act for nine years in Congress now, which would allow cannabis dealers in states where it’s legal to have access to the banking system…I think it’s a lot easier to catch bad actors and illegal activity if those companies are participating in the banking system,” Hill told Bloomberg.

What’s next: Providing any prognostication about what might come next on SAFER Banking has been a fool's errand for years. So, we are loath to lend our voice to the prediction game. 

So much so, that late in the day on Monday, it appeared that the SAFER + Stablecoin + FAA bill might be back on the table… we wouldn’t count on it, however. 


🗨️ Quote of the day

Followers of Cultivated know that New Hampshire is knee-deep in a cannabis legalization debate in the state. But the state is also in the midst of a Governor’s race to replace Republican Governor Chris Sununu.

And it turns out that legalization might not have a better shot if former Republican US Senator Kelly Ayotte is elected Governor. Specifically, Ayotte told WMUR:  

"I don't think legalizing marijuana is the right direction for our state. As we think about our fentanyl crisis, I'm concerned about the impact of that."


Want to learn more about what’s happening in New Hampshire. We had the bipartisan legalization leaders in the New Hampshire House on Cultivated Live earlier this month. 

Recording of New Mexico’s governor talking cannabis seizures

What’s happening: Last week, we learned that federal border officials were seizing legal cannabis within the borders of New Mexico. This week, we learned through an unauthorized recording of a phone call that New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is pretty pissed about it.

Wait, what? Here’s what we know. It appears that Grisham was on a flight recently talking on the phone and someone recorded it. The Governor appears to be on a call with someone in the Biden Administration and she’s voicing her concern and anger over the seizures.

Why it matters: First, this is yet another example of the federal illegality of cannabis running right into the legality of cannabis on the state level. But maybe more than that, we have a governor standing up for the cannabis industry. So, kudos to Governor Grisham.

What’s next: It’s unclear what’s next. While the governor may be voicing her concern to the Biden Administration, we will need to wait and see if the seizures stop. 


Quick hits

California Governor Gavin Newsom is calling on two key state departments – California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) – to crack down on hemp-derived THC products in the state that are selling outside the legal cannabis market..

In a sign of the times, KPMG in Canada will no longer provide financial statement audit services to the cannabis industry. Why is this? In their own words to MJBiz, KPMG said, “KPMG in Canada is committed to delivering high quality audits and upholding the integrity of our capital markets. Given the continued challenges facing cannabis growers, we have made the decision that this elevated risk no longer meets the risk tolerance of our audit practice.” Ouch.

🚀 Deals, launches, partnerships

As part of their Florida expansion strategy, Planet 13 completed their sale of their own cannabis license in that state, which was a prerequisite to closing the acquisition of 26 medical cannabis dispensaries in Florida via VidaCann.

📰 What we’re reading

📊 Earnings round-up

Cansortium issued their fourth quarter financial results and the full year 2023: revenue in Q4 increased 9% with Q4 revenue in Florida increasing 11%. As for profit – adjusted gross profit was $12.6 million or 49.4% of revenue, compared to $0.7 million or 3.1% of revenue in the previous quarter.

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