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New Jersey to become only legal cannabis state to not permit home cultivation

New Jersey to become only legal cannabis state to not permit home cultivation

New jersey home growing will not be permitted with legalization

New Jersey state Senator Nick Scutari (D), the Senate President and a major proponent of cannabis legalization, said he doesn’t see the home cultivation of cannabis coming anytime soon.

New Jersians will not immediately be able to grow their own cannabis, neither for medical nor personal use purposes, the Asbury Park Press reports. During a webinar with cannabis industry professionals, state Sen. Nick Scutari (D), the main proponent of cannabis legalization in the state Senate and the new chamber president, said he does “not see” home cultivation “happening right now.”

“I’m not against marijuana being grown at home for medical purposes and maybe even just recreational purposes. But we’ve got to let this industry … it’s not even off the ground yet.” Scutari said during a press conference.

Currently, the price of medical cannabis in New Jersey runs about $412 to $420 per ounce, according to Curaleaf prices outlined by the Press.

Jo Anne Zito, a board member for the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey, said allowing patients to grow their own medicine would be “a tremendous help.”

“It doesn’t seem like the sky has fallen in these other places,” she told the Press. “Yeah, some of it may get to the illicit market but I don’t think it’s anything that’s hurting revenue or setting back legal sales.”

Of the 19 states that have legalized cannabis, New Jersey is the only one that does not allow medical patients to grow their own, the report says. Cultivating even one cannabis plant in the state is still punishable by up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine, despite the state’s legalization law.

Michigan Cannabis Recall May Affect $200M In Cannabis Products

Michigan Cannabis Recall May Affect $200M In Cannabis Products

Michigan cannabis regulatory agency has recalled products impacting 400 retail locations across the state

In the largest product recall since the state legalized cannabis in 2019, the Michigan cannabis regulatory agency (Marijuana Regulatory Agency) has recalled enough products to impact over 400 retail locations around the state.

While the exact amount of products that are being recalled hasn’t been specified, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) recalled all marijuana flower product that passed safety testing at Viridis Laboratories between Aug. 10 and Nov. 16. The agency released a full list of all locations impacted by the recall after calling lab test results “inaccurate and/or unreliable” in a notice issued just before 5 p.m. on Wednesday November 17, but provided no further explanation.

The recall Michigan cannabis recall only impacts flower products

“While we strongly disagree with this decision and firmly stand by our test results, we are fully cooperating with the MRA and working closely with our customers to minimize interruptions and retest affected products at no cost,” Viridis said in a prepared statement. “We have been cleared to continue testing at both of our state-of-the-art facilities. We look forward to continuing to serve our amazing customers using the best, most cutting-edge scientific methods available so we can fulfill our mission of promoting the health and safety of patients and adult-use consumers.”

According to a notice sent out by the MRA, customers who have the recalled product should return it to the retailer they purchased it from “for proper disposal.” “Consumers with weakened immune systems or lung disease are at the highest risk for health-related incidents such as aspergillosis, which can impact lung function, if these potentially harmful products are consumed,” the agency said Wednesday evening.

All Michigan cannabis products are required to have safety labels that contain the date product passed testing and the lab where it was tested. Viridis Laboratories, founded by former Michigan state police forensic scientists, operates labs in Bay City and Lansing. The license identification numbers for Viridis labs that should appear on labels are: “SC-000009, AU-SC-000113″ and “SC-000014, AU-SC-000103.”

The MRA is giving retailers holding the defective product three options: destroy the product and send the agency proof, resubmit the products for testing, or send the products back to the original source to be retested as part of a larger batch.

Cannabis Is America’s New Cash Crop, More Profitable Than Cotton Or Rice

Cannabis Is America’s New Cash Crop, More Profitable Than Cotton Or Rice

cannabis is now the 5th most profitable cash crop in America

Cannabis marketplace Leafly Holdings, Inc. released its inaugural Cannabis Harvest Report on Wednesday revealing that cannabis is America’s 5th most valuable crop. The report takes the first look at cannabis data, insights and projections across the 11 states where Americans can currently purchase both adult-use and medical cannabis.

To conduct the analysis, Leafly’s investigative team teamed up with Whitney Economics and ended up discovering that cannabis has become a major agricultural commodity that supports thousands of American farmers and farm communities.

Based on the report, cannabis crops in adult-use states now support 13,042 licensed farms in the aggregate. On an annual basis, those growers harvest 2,278 metric tons (5,022,990 pounds) of cannabis. To give you a better idea: that’s enough weed to roll more than two billion joints or fill 57 Olympic-size swimming pools

Cannabis Is More Valuable Than Cotton, Rice And Peanuts

That amount makes cannabis the fifth most valuable crop in the United States. With a wholesale harvest value of $6.2 billion, America’s cannabis harvest ranks above cotton and below wheat, based on US Department of Agriculture data for 2020. Only corn, soybeans, hay and wheat bring in more money to American farmers.

Based on wholesale harvest value, this is how U.S. crops rate:

  • Corn $61 billion
  • Soybeans $46 billion
  • Hay $17.3 billion
  • Wheat $9.3 billion
  • Cannabis $6.2 billion
  • Cotton $4.7 billion
  • Rice $3.1 billion
  • Peanuts $1.3 billion

“America’s adult-use wholesale cannabis crop returned a mind-boggling $6.175 billion to farmers last year, ranking it as the 5th most valuable crop in the United States,” David Downs, the report’s lead author and Leafly’s California bureau chief stated. “ Yet, due to federal prohibition, America does not treat cannabis farmers like farmers. They are subject to more state and federal taxes, regulations, and stigma than any other type of farmer. These barriers hurt small legacy farmers the most. This plant is helping generate wealth, employment, and community investment around the country, and our legislators need to recognize the opportunity cannabis presents for Americans—today.”

The report also revealed that legal cannabis is the single most valuable agricultural crop in Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada and Oregon, but remains completely uncounted and ignored by state agriculture officials. In Alaska alone, the state’s cannabis crop is worth more than twice as much as all other agricultural products combined.

Colombia medical cannabis industry to see new opportunities

Colombia medical cannabis industry to see new opportunities

Colombia medical cannabis production has begun thanks to new laws passed in July

Although marijuana cultivation has been legal since late 2016, for the past five years Colombian companies could only export active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and therefore were banned from the most lucrative parts of the business.

In July, Colombian president Ivan Duque loosened regulations to allow the export of dry cannabis flowers, which accounts for more than 50% of the demand in markets like the US.

Thanks to that policy change, Colombian companies are now confident they can compete in the pharmaceutical markets in Europe and North America.

Favorable conditions

The Andean nation enjoys perfect conditions for the cultivation of marijuana: 12 hours of sunlight give way to 12 hours of darkness virtually every day of the year, with minimal seasonal change.

High altitude — Clever Leaves’ farm, in Boyacá, sits at 9,377 feet above sea level — means fewer pesticides are required to stem bacteria and disease than at lower altitudes, making it easier to grow organic products.

“If you think about it, greenhouses in other countries are trying to emulate the natural conditions we get here for free,” Clever Leaves’ president Andres Fajardo told CNN. “Your factor costs in terms of labor are significantly cheaper.”

Investment in Colombian medical marijuana has picked up, with the government reporting more than $250 million in foreign funding in the sector. The majority of those dollars come from international cannabis companies, mostly Canadian, that are partnering with Colombian producers to farm there.

Flora Growth, a Toronto-based firm listed on NASDAQ, has purchased 100 hectares of land — about 247 acres — in central Colombia. “I hope that over the next three-to-five years we are going to run out of land,” said Luis Merchán, a Colombian businessman who quit his job as a VP at Macy’s to become Flora’s CEO last year.

Flora estimates its production costs to be around $.06 per gram of dry cannabis flower, a fraction of the go-to price that ranges from $.50 cents and $2 in the US.

Licenses here are also much cheaper than abroad, we are talking of $15,000 to $20,000 per license,” said Juliana Salazar, a private consultant involved in the Bogota cannabis industry. “And an initial investment of roughly $100,000 to start producing here, which is a lot of money in Colombia, but a smaller investment than if you look at Germany, Spain or the United States.”

New York medical cannabis home-grows left in the dust by regulators

New York medical cannabis home-grows left in the dust by regulators

New York medical cannabis home-growers won't be able to grow their own any time soon.
Six months after New York passed its landmark bill legalizing marijuana for adult use and creating a regulatory framework for the cannabis industry overall, the state is violating the law’s deadline for home cannabis cultivation rules.

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act allows limited home cultivation of medical cannabis. But it also specifies that patients will not enjoy that right until after the Office of Cannabis Management issues regulations governing it, which it was obligated to do “no later than six months after the effective date” of the law. But after a series of delays, staffing of that office is still underway.

That means lawmakers’ intention for the law to allow medical marijuana card holders to begin growing plants this week is on hold indefinitely.

The delay is the latest in a series of stumbles in the medical cannabis program, and they are occurring in spite of the explicit intent of legislators who drafted and championed the new law.

In the months following the law’s passage, patients and doctors also complained that key updates to the program which legislators insisted were meant to apply right away had yet to take effect, including increasing patients’ supply limits to 60 days, permitting physicians to have discretion on the reasons they certify for patients’ cannabis use, and allowing the sale of whole flower.

Dr. Mark Oldendorf, who runs a general practice in Albany and has developed significant expertise on the medical applications of cannabis, is frustrated that he has patients who should have been eligible months ago for medical cannabis certification but have yet to receive the treatment in New York.

“I’ve had quite a few people who I’ve turned away because they wanted it specifically for insomnia, that’s the big need, and it’s not a qualifying condition” at the moment, he said. “So all of those people are headed off to Massachusetts to buy something.”

Oldendorf said this delay has pushed some doctors to search for additional relevant ailments that might tick a box on the state’s outdated online form, in order to get around the restrictive list of conditions a provider must select from.

Humboldt County announces more than $2 million in grant funding for cannabis farmers

Humboldt County announces more than $2 million in grant funding for cannabis farmers

humboldt county gives out cannabis grant to farmers
Many Humboldt County growers are struggling this season as the price of cannabis falls in California.

Humboldt County announced more than $2 million in grant funding available through Project Trellis, the county’s cannabis micro-grant, marketing and local equity program, to help the local cannabis community enter into the commercial cannabis marketplace. Those eligible can apply for up to $10,000 “per service” in accordance with Humboldt County’s eligibility requirements for Project Trellis.

“All applications and supporting documents will be reviewed by Economic Development staff to ensure the applicant meets eligibility criteria. Some projects may receive a lower amount than what was requested, based on the availability of funds or needs of service,” a news release from the county stated.

“A typical approval process can take 60 or more days from when the application is received. Upon approval, the applicant will receive a notice of award, contract, fund request form and a W9 form.”

Project Trellis was built as a three-tier program to redirect cannabis tax revenue back into the local economy. In September 2019, the county sought proposals for cannabis branding and marketing.

The goal of the program is to “implement the recommendations set forth in the Humboldt County Cannabis Equity Assessment” and “to further equity among those impacted by the criminalization of cannabis, by providing services to individuals in Humboldt County’s cannabis community, particularly small growers who were adversely affected by the criminalization of cannabis.”

While $2 million may seem like a big chunk of change, Humboldt County Growers Alliance executive director Natalynne DeLapp said the county’s “independent cannabis farmers are in crisis.”

“It is great that the county developed Project Trellis…and (has) secured nearly $5 million in funding from the state to support communities most impacted by the War on Drugs in entering the regulated cannabis market, but now it is time to get serious,” she said. “…Perhaps 200 of Humboldt County’s 900-plus cultivation operators, who can prove the War on Drugs has negatively impacted them, could receive up to $10,000 in fee waivers for professional services like fee waivers, technical assistance or installing solar or water storage systems.”

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