Hey there everyone, Todd Denkin here coming to you on July 13th, 2018. I hope everyone’s summer is going super fantastic so far. Let’s get you updated on what has been happening this week in marijuana news.
Marijuana Compost and Disposal Companies in California
Have you heard of the cannabis disposal companies in California? Thanks to the passage of the Compassionate Use Act in 1996, non-profit collectives have been providing marijuana to Californians for decades. But, that all came to an end when Prop. 64 passed. All non-licensed collectives were forced to close by July 1st of this year and any non-tested, improperly packaged or cannabis containing too high of a THC concentration was supposed to be destroyed. Hence the creation of companies like CWR, SoCal Inc. and Cannabis Waste Solutions, which collects non-compliant weed and destroys it. Under the new commercial sale regulations, it is expected that there will be a continued need for these companies that either turn the cannabis into compost or burn it to generate electricity. This may seem wasteful, but it is now a regulated market and any cannabis not meeting state standards is doomed to the compost pile. Read more about these cannabis waste disposal companies in our article, The Marijuana Disposal Companies of California at TNMNews.com.
Canadian marijuana companies like Canopy Growth Corporation are expanding quickly
Now that Canada has legalized adult-use marijuana nationwide, many of the medical marijuana companies are looking to enter into the adult-use industry as well. Canopy Growth is by far the largest of these companies with a market capitalization of roughly $6 billion dollars. They have increased their indoor grow facility space from 750,000 square feet last year, to now over 2.4 million square feet, with plans to expand to more than 5 million square feet by the end of 2019. This expansion is estimated to give them the ability to produce more than 1.6 million pounds of marijuana each year. That will not be nearly enough to meet all of the demand expected in Canada, not to mention the fact that Canopy has export contracts setup iwith Europe. But other massive cannabis companies in Canada like Aurora and Aphria are also in the process of expanding their cultivating abilities as well. It will be interesting to see how the Canadian cannabis market unfolds.
The politically harsh marijuana battle in Maine
So, if you are unfamiliar with the status of cannabis in Maine, which is supposed to be one of the nine adult-use states in the country, here is a quick history. Voters approved an adult-use market in 2016, ever since then lawmakers have put multiple bills on the desk of Maine’s Governor Paul LePage and he has vetoed all of them. He does not like weed and sides with Jeff Sessions on most issues. He most recently vetoed L.D. 1539, a bill that would expand the state’s medical marijuana program allowing doctors to decide if patients qualify for medical marijuana rather than following a list of qualifying conditions provided by the state. Lawmakers have had enough of LePage’s vetoes though and both Maine’s Senate and House of Representatives voted this week to overturn his decision by a significant margin. The only state that now has as permissive of a medical marijuana program is Oklahoma. For now, Maine voters will have to be happy with this instead having access to a full adult-use market.
Is marijuana a tipping point for voters?
Kevin Sabet, the founder of an anti-marijuana group called, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, told a reporter recently that, “I highly doubt marijuana is going to be a determinative factor for enough voters to change an election. And really, it’s a minority of people, like a big minority of people. … I’ve never seen marijuana swing any kind of election. It’s such a low priority vote.” While marijuana is not considered a top concern in the U.S. for voters according to Gallup’s list of Most Important Problems for 2018, many issues tied into the prohibition of marijuana are, such as racism, jobs and the overall economy. People like Conor Lamb narrowly won a House seat in Pennsylvania with marijuana legalization being a major part of his agenda. There was also the major primary win for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York who also supports cannabis legalization. And, tell Senator Bill Nelson out of Florida, a former astronaut, that the cannabis issue is not a major tipping point after he backed marijuana legalization in response to Governor Rick Scott’s appeal of a decision by a judge that said the ban on smoking medical marijuana is unconstitutional. Governor Scott is running for Nelson’s senate seat and more than two thirds of Florida voters support cannabis legalization, so do you think that influenced Senator Nelson’s decision? Tell us if you think marijuana is a tipping point for voters. We want to hear from you, let us know how you feel by leaving comments.
North Dakota may become the next recreational marijuana state
And finally, North Dakota may be the next recreational marijuana state. In order to have an adult-use question added to the November ballot in North Dakota, advocates had to collect 13,452 signatures. They submitted 18,000 signatures instead to the secretary of state which will allow voters to decide later this year. North Dakota votes very conservatively and so it is certainly not a given that the bill will be approved, but the plan is to push the justice aspect of the bill which will also expunge marijuana possession misdemeanors from people’s records. North Dakota has the highest rate of marijuana possession arrests and the harshest penalties. If approved the bill would create an adult-use market that includes the commercial sale of cannabis, possession and use for anyone over the age of 21.
A lot is happening on the political front for cannabis here in the U.S.. It will be exciting to see what happens later this year with all of the elections and referendum questions concerning cannabis on the November ballots. Read all about the issues at TNMNews.com. Have a great weekend everyone. This is Todd Denkin with TNMNews.