Canada’s stock market has been ablaze with reefer madness, but the country’s largest exchange is grappling with how to deal with pot companies that have investments in the U.S., where marijuana is still banned by federal law.
There could be more certainty soon, according to Vic Neufeld, the chief executive officer of licensed producer Aphria Inc. TMX Group Ltd., the parent company for sister bourses Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange, has held several conversations with Aphria and is probably “very close” to making a policy announcement, Neufeld said.
Hollywood is on its way to becoming Hollyweed: The city of Lynwood is the first in Los Angeles County to start negotiating with licensees who would grow, manufacture and deliver pot.
As the most populous county in the most populous state, Los Angeles is a major play as the cannabis industry gains a wider ability to sell the drug for recreational use. Voters in California — along with those in Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts — legalized it in November. The $6 billion U.S. industry is expected to reach $50 billion by 2026, according to investment bank Cowen & Co.
With California’s recent passage of its Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA” a/k/a the Governor’s Trailer Bill, a/k/a SB 94), California has combined government oversight of its medical and adult use cannabis industries into one master regulatory regime. MAUCRSA is almost guaranteed to make California’s cannabis industry more business friendly and less bureaucratic and protectionist, but questions remain about how the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (and its sister agencies) will fill in the gaps posed by the MAUCRSA legislation. Though we have 200 plus pages of proposed regulation under the now repealed MCRSA, those rules will need to go back to the drawing board to accommodate MAUCRSA’s changes stemming from Proposition 64 (one of San Francisco attorneys attended a state stakeholder meeting this past Monday, and that was pretty much confirmed). The big question is whether California will significantly revise the rules already proposed under MCRSA.
The short answer is nobody really knows, but there’s a good chance that many of the operational standards from MCRSA will remain.
Ohio has some of the country’s highest licensing fees. Small growers pay $2,000 to apply and $18,000 in licensing fees, while large growers pay $20,000 to apply and $180,000 in licensing. The applications will be scored out of 100 points based on their business plans, cultivation methods and past industry experience.
The estimated cost of opening a facility runs from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of millions. Yet that hasn’t deterred local business owners, minorities or investors from California to Pennsylvania from applying.
They find Ohio attractive because they believe it’s learned from the lessons of other states, from federal raids on Montana cultivators to harsh restrictions in Illinois that hampered patient access and curbed demand.
“We wanted to be there as a resource,” said Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner to the Baltimore Sun. As a pharmacy professor and the executive director of the school’s Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions, Magalay is serious about educating cannabis professionals. Her department got the ball rolling and began signing up potential workers for training June 29.
According to a 2014 court ruling, Native Americans are allowed to run cannabis businesses without paying federal taxes. Now, new tribal business ventures are looking to cash in on the green rush.