Week in Review 4.22 to 4.26

Cannabis firing up the U.S. supply chain; Trump Cabinet Officials agree to review bipartisan marijuana bill; Update on hemp industry access to banking; Texas lawmakers vote on cannabis decriminalization

This Week in Review

How Cannabis Is Firing Up The U.S. Supply Chain

U.S. companies cannot stop talking about marijuana, hoping in part they can catch investor interest as the booming economy around the drug lifts revenues throughout the supply chain. With the recreational use of cannabis now legal in 10 states and the District of Columbia and medical marijuana legal in 23 states, marijuana is on its way to becoming an $80 billion industry in the United States by 2030, according to estimates by Cowen Inc. Read more

Big Marijuana: Arizona Company Set To Become Pennsylvania’s Largest Cannabis Chain After New Deal

An Arizona-based cannabis company on Tuesday announced it was acquiring two major medical marijuana licensees in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Harvest Health & Recreation, which has an extensive footprint on the West Coast, announced early Tuesday that it was rolling up CannaPharmacy in a stock and cash deal. CannaPharmacy operates in Pennsylvania as Franklin Labs LLC and in New Jersey as Garden State Dispensary. Read more

Sens. McConnell, Wyden To Financial Leaders: Give hemp Farms Access To Banking

Hemp farmers and businesses may soon have access to banking, credit and financial services if two of the industry’s biggest champions on Capitol Hill have anything to say about it. And they do. Read more

Two Trump Cabinet Officials Pledge To Review Bipartisan Marijuana Bills

Two top Trump administration officials said this week that they will review pieces of bipartisan marijuana legislation that are relevant to their respective departments. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pledged on Tuesday to take a look at a banking bill that would enable financial institutions to service cannabis businesses. While the official said he’s not familiar with the legislation, he acknowledged that the existing system—which leaves many marijuana companies operating on a largely cash-only basis—is a “significant issue.” Read more

Legal Marijuana's Pivot From Canada To US, Beyond Is Accelerating

After the global industry jolt in 2018 when Canada legalized the recreational and medical use of cannabis, licensed producers and investors are well into a pivot to the U.S. market and beyond for future growth. That's the consensus of a panel Wednesday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference that underlined how the industry is shifting geographically, including penetration into Latin America and Europe. Read more

Border Wall? Cannabis Legalization Could Actually be the Best way to Reduce Flow of Illegal Drugs

Newly released data suggests that cannabis legalization could actually have a much greater impact than any pricey physical barrier that can be erected. According to CATO, a public policy research organization, Border Patrol agents are confiscating 78 percent less cannabis in 2018 than they were in 2013, just before Washington and Colorado’s recreational markets came online. Cannabis is in high demand and since it is being transported far less from Mexico into the U.S., the average value of drugs seized by agents has fallen by approximately 70 percent. Read more

Michigan Looking For People To Try Growing, Processing Hemp

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will begin accepting applications April 23 from people interested in participating in an industrial hemp pilot project. “As of this morning, we had 845 people who signed up for our e-mail list to get more information,” said Jennifer Holton, spokeswoman for the department. “There is definitely a lot of interest and enthusiasm and I expect we’ll see a pretty hefty response.” Read more

Minnesota Hemp Industry Is Growing Like A Weed

In the trendy Minneapolis North Loop, Josh Maslowski has opened Stigma Hemp, which sells hemp flowers, CBD oils, rubs and creams. Also a manufacturer’s representative, Maslowski, 38, grew interested in cannabis-based treatments due to the cancer illnesses of two close acquaintances who benefited from medical marijuana. Read more

McConnell Would Offer Hemp Bill To Resolve ‘Glitches’

As hemp enters a new era as a legal agricultural commodity, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday he’s willing to offer follow-up legislation to resolve any “glitches” stemming from mistaken identity between the crop and its lookalike, illicit cousin. That includes safeguarding hemp shipments stopped by police who can’t tell whether they intercepted a legal crop or marijuana. Read more

Texas Lawmakers Will Vote On Marijuana Decriminalization This Week

The Texas House is scheduled to vote on a bill on Thursday that would make low-level marijuana possession punishable by a fine with no jail time. The development comes one month after the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved the decriminalization legislation in a 5-2 vote. Read more

Hemp In, Spinach Out as Investors Throw Money at Newly Legal CBD

When Patrick Horsman’s small private equity firm purchased 10,000 acres in Yuma County, Arizona, in 2016, organic spinach and lettuce were on the menu. Then the anti-cannabis tide in Washington, D.C. shifted, with the 2018 Farm Bill decriminalizing both hemp and its trendy ingredient known as CBD. Now, he’s growing hemp instead. Read more