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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.

Study Finds Cannabis Compounds Prevent Infection By Covid-19 Virus

Study Finds Cannabis Compounds Prevent Infection By Covid-19 Virus

cannabis can help with covid-19

Compounds in cannabis can prevent infection from the virus that causes Covid-19 by blocking its entry into cells, according to a study published this week by researchers affiliated with Oregon State University.

A report on the research, “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants,” was published online on Monday by the Journal of Natural Products.

The researchers found that two cannabinoid acids commonly found in hemp varietals of cannabis, cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, also known as CBDA, can bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. By binding to the spike protein, the compounds can prevent the virus from entering cells and causing infection, potentially offering new avenues to prevent and treat the disease.

“Orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids, isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2,” the researchers wrote in an abstract of the study.

The study was led by Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center in the College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute, in collaboration with scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University. Van Breeman said that the cannabinoids studied are common and readily available.

“These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” van Breemen said, as quoted by local media. “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans.”

Cannabinoids Effective Against New Variants

Van Breemen added that CBDA and CBGA blocked the action of emerging variants of the virus that causes Covid-19, saying that “our research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2, including variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351, first detected in South Africa.”

Cannabis tax revenue surpasses $10 billion in legal states

Cannabis tax revenue surpasses $10 billion in legal states

cannabis tax revenue surpassed $10 billion

Sales taxes collected by states with legal cannabis programs totaled $10.4 billion as of December since the adult use market launched in 2014 in Colorado and Washington State, according to a study by The Marijuana Policy Project.

A report released Thursday by the pro-industry group said the $10.4 billion figure includes more than $3 billion in sales tax reported in 2021, thus far.

“States that have legalized cannabis for adults are reaping significant economic benefits,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project.

The tax revenue helps fund education, school construction, early literacy, public libraries, behavioral health, alcohol and drug treatment, veterans’ services, conservation, job training, conviction expungement expenses, and community reinvestment.

“In many instances that revenue is being distributed to much needed public services and programs, including reinvesting in communities that were devastated by the war on drugs,” O’Keefe said. “This is in stark contrast to [cannabis] prohibition, which costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year to enforce.”

Some examples include $471.9 million toward improving the public education system in Colorado and more than $100 million in California for community and non profit groups that help people impacted by drug laws.

In Illinois, cannabis tax revenue has outpaced revenue from liquor taxes. According to data from the state, adult use cannabis generated about $193 million in tax revenue from July through the end of November, compared to about $141.3 million over the same period for liquor sales taxes, which include levies on beer, wine and spirits.

Everything to know about Connecticut cannabis license options

Everything to know about Connecticut cannabis license options

Connecticut cannabis license types

After a meeting of the Connecticut Social Equity Council (SEC) in the first week of January, regulators have announced that the Connecticut cannabis license process will begin in February.

The legislation which legalized cannabis in the state has a condition in its copy that the Connecticut cannabis license process could not start until the SEC approved a technical assistance plan for the cannabis industry. The approved plan will include outreach and providing resources to people interested in participating in the legal cannabis market.

Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) announced on Twitter that they will begin accepting applications for certain adult-use cannabis establishment licenses in 30 days. The DCP also will announce the specific number of Connecticut cannabis licenses will be available for each establishment type.

Each cannabis license type will be released for applicants at different times. This time frame is planned for February to the final week of March, and will operate under two lottery systems.

The first lottery will be specifically for social equity applicants, who will have first access to applications on February 3rd. To be a social equity applicant there must be at least 65% ownership or control of the business by individuals who “meet the income and residency requirements for a social equity applicant outlined in the law,” DCP said in a press release.

Individuals who fall under the “Disproportionately Impacted Areas” category have the option to pay $3 million and skip the lottery system altogether.

The other Connecticut cannabis license lottery is for general applicants. These license types include retailers, micro-cultivators, delivery services, transporters and more. From February 3 to March 24 there will be a 90-day application period with each license being released at a different period throughout the process.

Connecticut cannabis license types and application dates

The DCP released every Connecticut cannabis license type and how many applications will be available for the general and social equity lotteries. Here are the various types and how many licenses will be released.

Disproportionately Impacted Area Cultivator: February 3, 2022 (non-lottery)

 

Retailer: February 3

6 general licenses, 6 social equity licenses

Micro-cultivator: February 10

2 general licenses, 5 social equity licenses

Delivery Service: February 17

5 general licenses, 5 social equity licenses

Hybrid Retailer: February 24

2 general licenses, 2 social equity licenses

Food and Beverage: March 3

5 general licenses, 5 social equity licenses

Product Manufacturer: March 10

3 general licenses, 3 social equity licenses

Product Packager: March 17

3 general licenses, 3 social equity licenses

Transporter: March 24

2 general licenses, 2 social equity licenses

In a DCP press release, Commissioner Michelle Seagull said, “This work by the Social Equity Council is a critical step in the licensure process for the emerging Adult-Use cannabis market in Connecticut and will be instrumental in ensuring the equity goals established in the law are met.”

Seagull explained that the initial number of available Connecticut cannabis licenses is not meant to be a cap, but,”a starting point for opening the adult-use cannabis market in an effective, measured and thoughtful way,” she said.

Despite legalization, California black market still thriving

Despite legalization, California black market still thriving

Californa black market cannabis

Lake County has some of the largest acreages in permitted cannabis grows in California. Yet, despite a legal market, illegal grows are unfairly undermining the profitability of lawful cultivators.

This illegal market that voters sought to eradicate with cannabis legalization is quickly eroding the permitted industry and threatening public safety. Amounting to an estimated 80% of all cannabis sales in California, the market is saturated with low-cost illicit product. Cannabis cultivators are unable to compete.

As the underground economy thrives, so does criminal activity and environmental harm.

Rural counties with land and industry prime for cannabis cultivation are at the front lines of this battle, including those in the Sacramento region. During a time of limited staffing and competing priorities, local governments require increased state funding for enforcement.

The path for the legal industry is already challenging. Growers face a long permit process, including extensive state-mandated environmental review and higher taxes intended to help monitor and ensure public health and safety.

Distribution is also affected by the struggles of the state’s licensed retail outlets, which must compete with illegal retailers that similarly flourish due to limited enforcement resources.

Unencumbered by these obstacles, illicit growers and suppliers can sell product at half the cost and distribute them nationally. The negative impact to residents and the environment from this activity is significant.

A 2020 raid on illegal cannabis grows in Lake County resulted in the seizure of over 51,000 plants and the discovery of 40 state Fish and Wildlife violations. This included storage of chemical pollutants near waterways and usage of underage labor. Stories like these are echoed across the state, with illegal grows linked to violent crime, environmental damage and wildfire.

All New York Cannabis Business License Types

All New York Cannabis Business License Types

New York cannabis business license types

Cannabis legalization in New York has many entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on what will likely become the largest cannabis industry in the country. However, the state’s Cannabis Control Board [CCB] has already announced delays to the cannabis business license process.

Little has been revealed in terms of the application process and regulations, which won’t be released until 2022. However the Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act, which legalized cannabis in New York, outline what cannabis business licenses will be available.

In total, there are nine separate cannabis business licenses for New York. These licenses are:

  • Cultivator
  • Processor
  • Cooperative
  • Distributor
  • Retail Dispensary
  • Microbusiness
  • Delivery
  • Nursery
  • On-site Consumption

New York Cultivator License

A Cultivator license allows everything involved with growing and harvesting cannabis plants for the purpose of sale to licensed processors. However a business with a Cultivator license can also perform minimal processing themself without a processing license.

Additionally a Cultivator licensee can have one Processor license and one Distributor license. Anyone with a Cultivator license cannot have any ownership connection to a cannabis retail dispensary.

New York Cannabis Processor License

A cannabis processing business purchases cannabis from cultivators and finishes production. This includes extraction, infusing, packaging, labeling and branding. A processor can only sell their finished product to a distributor.

However a process can also have a distributor license as long as they company is selling their own products. Just like the Cultivator license, a Processor Licensee cannot have any connection to a cannabis retail dispensary.

New York Cannabis Cooperative License

A cannabis cooperative in New York can cultivate, process and distribute their own cannabis products. Additionally a cooperative can sell to other distributors, on-site consumption businesses, registered organizations and retail dispensaries.

A Cooperative Licensee cannot sell directly to consumers, must have democratically elected leadership consisting of New York state residents and must be registered as an LLC or LLP. As with other New York cannabis business licenses, cooperatives can’t have an ownership connection to a retail dispensary, microbusiness or on-site consumption site.

Anyone who is a member of the co-op is prohibited from having any ownership connection to any recreational cannabis license.

New York Cannabis Distributor License

A Distributor licensee can purchase cannabis products from cultivators, processors, cooperatives, micro-businesses or registered organizations. They can then sell the products to retail dispensaries or consumption sites.

A distributor can’t be tied to any microbusiness, dispensary, consumption site or registered organization.

New York Cannabis Retail Dispensary License

A Retail Dispensary License allows someone to open a retail location which can purchase cannabis products from distributors and sell them to consumers. No one person is allowed more than three retail licenses.

This license includes strict zoning requirements. A retail store must be on ground level in a business district, and cannot be within 500 feet of a school or 200 feet of a religious organization. Any municipalities that want to opt out of allowing retail locations must do so before 2022, and hundreds of counties in the state have opted out already.

New York Cannabis Microbusiness License

A micro-business licensee will be allowed to cultivate, process, distribute, deliver and sell a limited amount of its own cannabis products. The CCB has yet to determine the size, scope, and eligibility criteria for micro-businesses, but they are prioritizing social and economic equity applicants.

Micro-business owners can’t have connections to more than one micro-business or any other type of cannabis business.

New York Cannabis Delivery License

A Cannabis Delivery licensee can deliver cannabis products from a retail store, micro-business or delivery business directly to the consumer. Each delivery business can have up to the equivalent of 25 full-time workers per week.

The CBB will provide more information about the application process, criteria, and scope of licensed activities in 2022. Licensees may not have any ownership connection to more than one delivery business.

New York Cannabis Nursery License

A cannabis nursery owner is permitted to produce clones, immature plants, seeds and other agricultural products used specifically for the cultivation process.  The nursery can sell these products to cultivators, co-ops, micro-businesses or registered organizations.

Cultivators may have a nursery license in order to sell products to other cultivators, co-ops or microbusinesses.

New York On-site Consumption License

On-site consumption licensees can purchase cannabis products and sell them to consumers for use in a designated area. Commonly called cannabis lounges or cannabis clubs, these sits will be similar to a hookah bar, but for cannabis.

The legislation outlines several strict regulations about the license application process, the physical site, and how business should be conducted at the site, similarly to retail dispensary locations. Licensees may not have any ownership connection to more than one site or any other type of cannabis business.

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