Every day seems to bring a deluge of fresh cannabis news, making it easy for smaller but nonetheless important updates to slip through the cracks. Below, Cannabis Professional breaks down some of the most interesting cannabis information from the past week that you might have missed.
MICHIGAN LEGALIZATION TAKES EFFECT
Anyone 21 or older in the Wolverine state was entitled to start consuming cannabis as of midnight Thursday without fear of finding themselves in jail. Adults can possess up to 2.5 ounces in public and as much as 10 ounces in their homes and up to 12 plants for personal use. Sales, however, remain illegal as the state has given itself exactly one year, until Dec. 6, 2019, to establish rules for retail sales of recreational cannabis, although registered medical users can still make purchases. Public consumption is also banned under the Michigan regime, meaning consumers will need to find a private place to imbibe their cannabis, in addition to lacking any legal means of acquiring it in the first place.
SHOPPERS DRUG MART NEARS MEDICAL SALES
Canada’s largest pharmacy chain is just one step away from adding cannabis to the list of medications it provides. Shoppers subsidiary 9408843 Canada Inc. won a Health Canada license on Sept. 21, allowing the company to purchase marijuana from licensed producers and store it at the company’s own facility. More recently, the company also acquired its initial medical sales license, though a Health Canada spokesperson explained to Cannabis Professional that a license amendment is required before they can actually register patients and commence sales. “This requires the submission of evidence that the license holder can meet additional regulatory requirements such as patient registration and shipping,” the spokesperson said. “Health Canada conducts a rigorous assessment of this information before granting an amended license.”
MISSOURI QUIETLY MOVES TOWARD LEGAL POT
Medical cannabis just became legal on Wednesday, but already at least one state lawmaker is moving to further expand marijuana access. Brandon Ellington, a democratic member of Missouri’s house of representatives, pre-filed a bill earlier this week for the 2019 legislative session that seeks to allow anyone aged 21 or older to purchase and consume cannabis without a doctor’s permission. The bill would not actually allow any retail sales, meaning if Mr. Ellington’s bill were to pass the state would have a cannabis regime more similar to decriminalization than full-blown legalization; not unlike what Vermont lawmakers approved last year. The proposed law would allow Missouri residents to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use, up to a maximum of 12 plants per household, and for individuals to possess up to two ounces of dried cannabis.
QUADRON OFFERS UP PORTABLE PROCESSING
Vancouver-based Quadron Cannatech struck a deal on Nov. 29 with CBD Science and Processing Corp. to provide a portable extraction and processing facility. Capable of processing up to 2,000 kg of dried marijuana into cannabis extracts per month, Quadron’s BOSS system is expected to be delivered before the end of March, 2019. The deal represents the fifth “BOSS” extraction unit made by Quadron to find a home with a cannabis cultivator. According to a Mackie Research report from December, 2017, cannabis oil consumption in Canada is expected to grow from 284 litres in 2015 to 562,613 litres by 2020, dramatically outpacing the expected growth in demand for dried cannabis flower.
FINANCE EXECUTIVES JOIN THE CANNABIS SECTOR
Several companies have announced the appointment of new chief financial officers in recent days. Michael Kramer, who previously served as CFO for retail heavyweights such as Apple and Forever 21, took the top finance job at MedMen, according to an announcement on Thursday. The California-based multi-state U.S. retailer lost its previous CFO, James Parker, just two days before cutting its latest fundraising round nearly in half, from US$120-million to US$75-million. Phoenix-based Harvest Health and Recreation, meanwhile, announced Dec. 4 that Leo Jaschke will become the company’s CFO, having previously worked in private equity and consumer electronics. Finally, Chilliwack, B.C.-based 1933 Industries said on Dec. 4 it had selected Ryan Maarschalk to replace outgoing CFO Michael Hopkinson on the management team. Originally from Zimbabwe, Mr. Maarschalk was a professional tennis player and coach before entering finance.