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Florida Readies Its Push for 2024 RMJ Vote                              Open in your own browser for images
Vol. 8, No. 32 - Sept. 9,  2022 -- Edited by Dr. Lloyd Covens

NEW HOPE FOR UK CANNABIS PROGRESS? -  Incoming British prime minister Liz Truss will have a conservative bent in leading her government-- but last decade Truss (then a liberal) offered her support for cannabis decriminalization.  With a recent poll showing 50% of Londoners supporting MJ legalization,  London mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a commission to study drug laws, especially studying cannabis.  CBD sellers were primed last year for new rules allowing consumer sales, but the UK's FSA has again put on the brakes, reviewing CBD safety and efficacy-- and digging through its extensive list of 6000 possible providers.  The agency has struggled with CBD under rules for new or “novel foods,” signaling a lengthy process is most likely ahead as products on its current list move to more complicated phases of the agency’s review.  Elsewhere in Germany, early 2022 hopes for favorable adult-use legislation has given way to a slowed-government process that likely puts any RMJ retail potential not starting till late 2023 or early 2024.
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A Colorado $39/oz Retail Before Croptober's Big Supply
             The lowest wholesale prices in Colorado's legal MJ history is pushing Metro Denver MJ retailers into an accelerating price war-- with $39/ounce price giving some consumers a relief from inflation.   For major growers in Michigan, Oregon and California-- a two year slide in wholesale prices is putting many growers on edge-- but a 2022 summer of record growing may put even more price pressure on wholesale over the fall as "CropTober" ( the October harvest)  promises a massive flower oversupply in the market.   For Colorado consumers,  these lowball ounces are clearly not "top-shelf"-- many made up of small buds or shake, often left to dry after initial weighing and almost all grown outdoors.     

            Colorado department of revenue figures released this summer's July 1st wholesale report found MJ pounds down to $709--down 46% from $1,309 from a year ago and nearly 60% from $1,721 in January 2021.  Besides those growers expecting the Covid-19 "essential" growth of 36% to go on into 2022-- saturated retail markets, newly-opened state competition, relentless taxation and supply-side increases-- all have pushed supply way up, even in the face of slackening consume demand.   From all indications, however, no significant price reduction has been reported for vapes, edibles, concentrates or other processed final MJ products.

         CuraLeaf reported plans to severely cut back on West Coast grows-- even as other California growers report an inability to remain viable when its costs $700/pound to grow and pay taxes-- but demand pricing has fallen to $300--$400 a pound.  Likewise, Michigan growers have reported mid-grade wholesale flower selling at $600-- down from the $2000/pound range in 2020.  Demand and positive consumer sales growth continues to be reported in Illinois, Arizona and Massachusetts-- however, prospects for smaller states remains murky.  New Mexico sold a respectable $40Mil. in July-- and initial sales in New Jersey are brisk-- but wide open growing in Oklahoma and Oregon are nearing record levels of output-- pushing major diversions out of the legal market.   For August,  Illinois MJ sales dropped by $6.3Mil to $129.4Mil., after posting a near-record July sales of $135.7Mil.

      Despite so much fear over sagging cannabis sales, several analysts are still cautiously optimistic about long-term prospects for MJ public stocks which have lost up to 72% of their early 2021 value.  " The industry's progress toward higher profitability remains quite fragile, and many businesses are actually experiencing falling margins when looking back at the medium term -- which is to say, starting from well before the bear market and the attendant economic issues," writes a summer Motley Fool analysis. 

       
  Throughout October--and even spanning into the early weeks of November-- cannabis crops across the Northern Hemisphere are ready for harvesting. While there are certain strains that tend to flower earlier in September or later in November, grow experts say about 80% to 85% of cannabis varietals are ready to harvest during the traditional October cycle.     States such as Nevada have almost all indoor cultivation, and those expensive grow facilities allow cultivators to produce 2 to 4 total harvests annually.


 

ADWEEK reported on a running branding feud between 2 of the largest MSOs in cannabis."There's been plenty of trolling back and forth between DogWalkers' parent company, Green Thumb Industries(GTI) and Trekkers' parent, Trulieve," noted ADWEEK, adding that thanks to federal illegality,  the two pre-roll brands may not be trademarked.   GTI sr. v.p. for marketing, Ryan Marek told ADWEEK, "It looks like the strategy here is to draft off the market leaders, and we would rather our competitor create something new."  GTI claims it introduced the Dogwalker in 2016, and the Trulieve Trekker was debuted in Florida this past spring. GTI posted the graphic above to claim that Trulieve has copied its colors, fonts, and even the tagline, "Enjoy the Journey."    See the full report here at:    https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/copycat-causes-dogfight-cannabis-titans-troll-each-other-over-knock-off-brand/

Cannabis News Briefs...
              Hundreds of cannabis leaders are set to converge on Washington next week for the 10th Lobby Days from the National Cannabis Industries Association.   While the larger CAOA comprehensive bill from leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is unlikely to gain additional 2022 action, cannabis professionals in DC, Sept. 13 & 14-- will fan out to Senate and House offices to bring citizen lobbying to DC. In West420's conversation with SAFE banking act lead sponsor Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) last month, the chance of a "SAFE-Plus" bill being ready for a lame-duck session vote before the end of 2022.  Beyond the banking and safe harbor provisions, Perlmutter said to expect additional social equity provisions, special grants and lending programs for small MJ concerns, veteran's MJ access clarification, support for new U.S. research authority, and a potential section of MJ impaired driving standards. 

 

Bringing Florida into the legal MJ world won't be easy -- or cheap, and major MSO(and Florida market leader) Trulieve has committed $5Mil. for the petition-gathering effort which will need 1.1 million signatures to bring a RMJ measure to a Nov., 2024 citizen vote.  Florida has a booming 700,000 patient medical system, but efforts to get the Florida Supreme Court to green-light its version of allowable "single-subject" ballot measure for adult-use stalled in 2021, cutting off any hope of a Nov., 2022 vote.  Advocates say the simplified language for its 2024 proposed Constitutional amendment will allow the current 22-fully vertical Florida licensees to move also into RMJ--  but they argue that the real implementation will come from final RMJ rules created after the citizen vote.  A 60% affirmative vote is needed, and Trulieve says it hopes others will provide more financial backing. for the petition effort, which could cost $30Mil. or more.  “While we’re happy to provide investment, we also do believe that there are a lot of folks who are very passionate about this and I expect to have a great engagement across the community,” said Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers.


Link-of-the-Week:  Using two Southern California medical centers, researchers have again underscored the potential impact of cannabinoids on Covid-19 recovery.  In fighting off COVID-19's extreme conditions, researchers Stover and Yan wrote:  "This retrospective cohort study suggests that active cannabis users hospitalized with COVID-19 had better clinical outcomes compared with non-users, including decreased need for ICU admission or mechanical ventilation. However, our results need to be interpreted with caution given the limitations of a retrospective analysis."  See the full study at:   https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-022-00152-x

       Colorado's 20-member Intoxicating Cannabinoids workgroup met again Sept. 7th, with definitions(synthetic vs. semi-synthetic vs. natural) still holding up consensus on complex policy issues, on the committee's way to a mid-December deadline for its report to the State Legislature.  Hemp interests are resisting calls for hemp-derived delta-8(and other non-d9 THC products) to be placed under authority of the Colorado Health & Environment dept.  All stakeholders that any intoxicating products must stop being 18-year olds.  Other workgroup members say that licensed cannabis operators(who have spent millions to be compliant to state rules)  feel that delta-8 makers are "skirting the rules" to keep selling un-tested, un-rgulated intoxicating substances.  “The REC industry seems concerned  with making 90% THC concentrates, and 30%-plus THC flower,” noted long-time industry lobbyist Samantha Walsh.  “Some consumers are only looking for the slight high and moderate effects of low-dose products like delta 8,” adding the MJ  retailers shouldn’t be forcing them to only choose the  most intoxicating products.

Another month of injustice!  --  Speaking on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan had previously called WNBA star Brittney Griner’s imprisonment “horrific,” adding that "no one should be in jail for weed." Podcast chatting with guest Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers, Rogan condemned Vice President Kamala Harris for calling for the release of Griner while also allowing the War on Drugs to carry on in the U.S.   “They said that they were going to make marijuana federally legal. They said they were going to exonerate prisoners who were in jail for non-violent drug offences. None of that has happened,” Rogan told the Daily Mail.
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