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🧀 Wisconsin can’t get its act together

Plus, New York’s top regulator reflects on a choppy year

Good morning. 

At Cultivated, we always aim to be reader-first. That means providing the most important, insightful, and useful information to our daily readers every day through this newsletter. 

Since launching, we have seen that details about the people that drive the sector forward are among the most clicked, most read, and most engaging content we produce. 

That’s why we could not be more excited to announce People Moves powered by White Ash Group — a new newsletter and new partnership to support that newsletter. The newsletter will be delivered to your inbox on Sundays and focus on all things human capital in the cannabis space. 

Our partners in this endeavor are White Ash Group, a leading North American recruitment firm, specializing in jobs within the cannabis industry. 

People Moves powered by White Ash Group will provide insights into the people leading the sector, list key openings across the sector, and delve into the human capital trends you need to know. 

So, look for People Moves powered by White Ash Group in your inboxes this Sunday morning and happy reading.

A 5-minute read from JB and JR

💡What’s the big deal?

Maybe next year Wisconsinites

Driving the news: Wisconsin lawmakers aren’t going to be voting on their super conservative medical cannabis bill this legislative session after all. 

The recap: Wisconsin voters want legal cannabis. Wisconsin’s Democratic Governor wants legal cannabis. Wisconsin Republicans in the State Assembly put together a plan for medical cannabis last month. 

The proposed plan: The Republican plan was very conservative. It wasn’t going to serve a ton of patients, medical cannabis was only going to be accessed through five, state-run dispensaries, and the plan didn’t include flower.

But at least it was a path forward. 

Also: Legal cannabis is squeezing Wisconsin. Michigan and Illinois already have fully operational legal cannabis markets and Minnesota is well on its way. Wisconsin is not only serving patients, residents, and voters poorly, but surrounding states are having a field day serving Wisconsin cannabis consumers. 

The opposition: Opposition to the bill came from all sides. Folks on the right didn’t like the state-run dispensaries. Folks on the left wanted full legalization.

So, the only possible path forward for Republicans running the legislative show in Wisconsin was to run out the clock on this legislative session and do nothing. 

What’s next: While nothing will happen on legalization in Wisconsin this session, we fully expect surrounding states will continue to cash in on Wisconsinites until the legislature can get its act together.

📣 Quotable

“When you have a legalization regime, like we have—if you make the legalization process too difficult, too expensive, and too restrictive, you risk defeating the purpose, which is to reduce the power of the black market,” Alex Vitale, the author of the ‘End of Policing’ and a sociology professor at Brooklyn College told Amsterdam News about New York’s cannabis program. 

“The solution for New York is to get more licenses in the hands of people.”

Top cannabis regulator reflects on choppy year

Driving the news: Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright was interviewed by Cannabis Wire, an industry publication.

In the interview, she discussed criticism from the governor’s office, speeding up the licensing process, the social equity fund, and much more. It’s worth a read. 

What they’re saying: “One of the largest challenges continues to be managing our public concerns and misconceptions about cannabis,” Wright said. 

“It is educating the average New Yorker about the challenges that we face as we roll this new industry out, as well as educating them on safety and societal impact as well as misinformation.”

What else? Wright candidly discussed some of the challenges around establishing the social equity fund, and she said she’s most excited about upcoming social consumption licenses.

“I think that’s where New York shines,” she said.

🚀 Quick hits

Arizona lawmakers passed a bill that would allow cannabis to be transported across state lines — if the federal government allows. California, Oregon, and Washington also have similar laws on the books. 

Negotiations over the SAFER Act, a cannabis banking bill are “down to the last few words,” Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer told Politico. The negotiations are over Section 10 of the bill, which would bar the federal government from prohibiting certain sectors, like guns, gambling, pornography, and yes, cannabis, from accessing the banking system. 

South Carolina’s Senate advanced a medical cannabis legalization bill, that some experts are calling the “most conservative” in the nation. 

Sin City, here we come: Nevada’s first cannabis consumption lounge, called ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ is set to open this month. 

Ukraine President Volodmyr Zelenskysigned a bill legalizing medical cannabis in Ukraine, in a move he says will help heal the nation during the ongoing Russian invasion.

🖥️ What we’re reading (and watching)

New York’s Cannabis Control Board will be holding a long-awaited meeting at 11 A.M. today. You can watch the meeting here, and read the agenda here. They’ll be discussing proposed home cultivation regulations, awarding new licenses — including microbusiness licenses — and there will be a public comment period, which is sure to be interesting.

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