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Heartland Cannabis Business Update – December 4, 2019

Erika Gee
Erika Gee


Little Rock

Hemp in Arkansas: Grow Your Know 3-6 p.m., January 23
Wright Lindsey Jennings, Little Rock


What a month, the November news landscape was really overwhelming! There was just so much of it dominating our screens and earbuds right up to Thanksgiving. We're here to help. As your medical marijuana lawyers for the Heartland, we've read all of the latest cannabis business news for Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri & selected the stories worth reading.

Arkansas Medical Cannabis Business Roundup

Business News

Employees and bosses equally uninformed on medical cannabis rights - Leafly

One in four managers believed they had zero duty to accommodate medical cannabis use by staff, and 73% of managers believed a company can impose drug-testing on employees so long as the CEO says it's ok. All of them are wrong.

Legal Hemp, CBD Stir More Farmers to Grow Unfamiliar Crop - Arkansas Business

The early stages are proving tricky, but up for grabs is a lucrative market, one that could grow more than five-fold globally by 2025 — driven by demand for CBD. The compound, which doesn't cause a high like that of marijuana, is hyped as a health product to reduce anxiety, treat pain and promote sleep.

Tips For Opening A Dispensary Where Nobody Wants You - Green Entrepreneur

The Pew Research Center found that while around three quarters of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana, nearly half said they'd be concerned about a dispensary opening in their area.

Cannabis Boot Camps Target Equity For Illinois, Michigan And Beyond - Forbes

After launching the series in Missouri earlier this year, M4MM has since offered pre-license training to minority entrepreneurs in New Jersey, and scheduled further events this weekend in Chicago and in Michigan on January 25 – in short, bringing support for equity applicants into those states on the verge of a cannabis boom.

Farmers can now apply for hemp production licenses through USDA - Hemp Industry Daily

Producers who want to grow hemp in 2020 but live in a state that does not currently have a program can now apply for federal licenses.

Green Wednesday Is A Big Green Deal - Green Market Report

According to new data by BDS Analytics, "In 2018, November 23rd had the highest cannabis sales of any other day during the entire month of November with over $6.2 million in sales on that day alone, which is 60% higher than the average daily sale day in November 2018 and accounted for over 5% of that month's revenue."

Why some marijuana firms are rebranding in response to cannabis industry's changing business climate - Marijuana Business Daily

"When you want to change the name of a dispensary, it's not as easy as other businesses," said Jason Erkes, chief communications officer for Cresco Labs. "You're dealing with the government and regulators and a lot of firsts. It's very burdensome."

U.S. Cannabis Spot Index — November 29, 2019 - Cannabis Benchmarks

The national price for medical flower also sank this week on declines in that section of the market in California and Colorado, in addition to decreasing prices in the medical-only systems of Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Rhode Island..

Health News

Everyday Marijuana Use Reduces Opioid Consumption By Chronic Pain Patients, Study Finds - Marijuana Moment

"We found that people who used cannabis every day had about 50% lower odds of using illicit opioids every day compared to cannabis non-users."

Vape pen lung injury: Here's what you need to know - Leafly

As of Thursday, Nov. 21, the CDC has reported 2,290 confirmed and probable cases in 49 states of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome possibly associated with a recently inhaled drug aerosol (commonly known as vaping). As many as 47 patients in 25 states may have died from the condition. Here's what you need to know.

Federal addiction treatment dollars off-limits for marijuana - Muskogee Phoenix

The move is aimed at states that allow marijuana for medical uses, particularly those letting patients with opioid addiction use pot as a treatment, said Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, whose federal agency doles out money to states for treatment programs.

Will Vaping Illnesses Push Federal Marijuana Law Reform? - The Marijuana Times

With the federal government having their hands tied due to prohibition and the CDC seemingly woefully behind on identifying possible causes, many in the cannabis community have pointed out that this is the very thing legalization could majorly impact.

FDA is trying to fear monger about CBD - Patients for Medical Cannabis

"We live in a society where sensationalism overrides medical science and affects health policy. That should scare every single American out there. Journalists who don't know anything other than getting clicks, views and fear mongering are now dictating your health with hit pieces."

National News

Michigan Began Selling Legal Recreational Cannabis On Sunday - High Times

It was a milestone Sunday in the Wolverine State, as legal recreational marijuana was sold in Michigan for the first time.

The MORE Act: Taking a Closer Look - Ganjapreneur

As the first piece of federal legislation that would end cannabis prohibition to make it through committee, the MORE Act deserves a closer look; unfortunately, the bill is expected to be dead on arrival if it ever reaches the Senate.

A Sweeping Cannabis Bill Just Passed A Key, Historic Vote In Congress - Buzzfeed News

The House Judiciary Committee took a landslide 24-10 vote to approve legislation that would eliminate federal penalties for cannabis, remove conviction records, and invest in communities — particularly communities of color who have been disproportionately hurt by drug enforcement — to ensure they reap a share of legalization's profits.

Lawmakers and Advocates React to Passage of Bill to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition - Weedmaps

Drug policy reform advocates and lawmakers celebrated on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, after a key congressional committee approved a bill to end federal marijuana prohibition for the first time in history.

FDA says more scientific data needed to move forward with CBD regulation - Hemp Industry Daily

Federal health regulators say the lack of scientific data about cannabidiol explains their delay issuing new guidance on over-the-counter CBD products.

Florida lawmakers want to give veterans medical marijuana cards for free - Task & Purpose

"Senate Bill 98 is for service-disabled veterans, those who certainly need chronic pain treatment and access to alternative treatment options."

California Raises Wholesale Taxes on Cannabis Flower, Leaf, and Plants - Ganjapreneur

"The 15 percent cannabis excise tax is based on the average market price of the cannabis or cannabis products sold in a retail sale. The mark-up rate is used when calculating the average market price to determine the cannabis excise tax due in an arm's length transaction. In an arm's length transaction, the average market price is the retailer's wholesale cost of the cannabis or cannabis products, plus the mark-up rate determined by the CDTFA. In a nonarm's length transaction, the average market price is the cannabis retailer's gross receipts from the retail sale of the cannabis or cannabis products." — CDTFA, Cannabis Special Notice

Arkansas Cannabis Business

Medical Marijuana Commission approves four changes in dispensary ownership - Arkansas Times

The Commission will meet next at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at which time Chandler said she will present commissioners with a draft of ABC's rules for transporters and processors of medical marijuana.

Growbrite Finds a Green Niche, Insuring Mounds of Marijuana - Arkansas Business

Adam Grimmett's reason for insuring Arkansas' new medicinal marijuana industry is personal. An Afghan war veteran, he wants to help ex-service members.

Second marijuana dispensary opens in Fayetteville - Arkansas Democrat Gazette

No other dispensaries are planned for Northwest Arkansas, said Scott Hardin, spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. The state is authorized to have 32 dispensaries. The state is divided geographically into eight zones, and the intent is for four dispensaries to be in each zone. Zone 1 includes Benton, Washington, Madison and Carroll counties, which means Purspirit is the fourth and last dispensary the region can expect to see. Zone 1 is the first zone to have all of its dispensaries in operation, Hardin said.

Ode to OG Kush - Arkansas Times

As of Nov. 18, Arkansas's 10 medical marijuana dispensaries have sold over 2,900 pounds of product, totaling over $20 million in sales. So far, dispensary workers say, their best sellers are potent indica strains: bud that's high in THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, with sleepy, relaxing effects that help with pain relief. Gummy edibles have also been flying off the shelves.

Push on to get marijuana proposals on Arkansas ballot; foes in state also gearing up for '20 - Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

With Election Day still nearly a year away, battle lines are beginning to form in the conflict over whether Arkansas should further legalize marijuana, this time for recreational use.

Oklahoma Cannabis Business

Tulsa World editorial: Americans agree on one thing -- marijuana shouldn't be illegal - Tulles World

We support the SAFE Banking Act, although the better move would be to get federal law in line with the thinking of most of the states and the vast majority of Americans: Stop classifying cannabis as a drug comparable to heroin. Failing that, the least Congress can do is to stop making crime targets of legal cannabis dispensaries and their law-abiding customers.

Chart: Oklahoma medical marijuana sales far exceed expectations - Marijuana Business Daily

In less than a year, Oklahoma's medical marijuana industry went from nonexistent to one of the largest and most valuable cannabis markets in the nation.

Oklahoma court says cities may regulate medical marijuana - KFOR

The court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal by the city of Broken Arrow in a case filed by marijuana grower Austin Miller. Miller said the city exceeded its authority in 2018 by adopting regulations including a $2,500 annual permit fee on dispensaries and allowing marijuana to only be grown indoors in industrial areas.

Cover: Laboratory, tested - Oklahoma Gazette

Oklahoma Gazette spoke with three Oklahoma City metro cannabis laboratories about their processes and submitted a flower sample for review.

The US Cities Most Interested In Cannabis - Yahoo Finance

Tulsa, Oklahoma: Since voters legalized medical marijuana in Oklahoma a year ago, more than 170 dispensaries have become licensed in Tulsa.

Dispensaries say patient confidentiality assured - Enid News & Eagle

According to the Unity Bill, the OMMA's registry of patients and caregivers - the handling of any records maintained - "shall complete with all relevant state and federal laws including, but not limited to, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act." It also states any records maintained by OMMA "shall be marked confidential, shall not be made available to the public and shall only be made available to the licensee, designee of the license, any physician of the licensee or the caregiver of the licensee."

Our 2019 Favorite Cannabis Products In Oklahoma - Ounce Magazine

With the bustle of gift-giving, parades, and holiday meals it's easy to forget to take a little time for yourself. Let our guide help you find our favorite Oklahoma cannabis products to make the most of your holiday "me" time.

Missouri Cannabis Business

Missouri medical marijuana enrollment grows like a weed - Missourian

More than 21,000 people in Missouri have been approved to use medical marijuana since enrollment began at the end of June, and the number is growing by about 1,000 people per week. That means the number of approved patients is on pace to exceed an estimate by the MU Department of Economics, which predicted 22,534 people would be approved by the end of 2021.

How Much Do We Really Know About Cannabis? We Ask Someone Who's Researching It - St. Louis Public Radio

"The hype totally outstripes knowledge," he said. "The lack of hard data has permitted opinion to run wild and rampant. There are so many things attributed to the cannabis plant that are far beyond what might be considered reasonable."

Lake Area Woman Starting First Church of Cannabis-Missouri - KRMS

Some people in the lake area could soon be praying to a "higher" power. The founder of a new church hopes that her endeavors will cause the general public to look differently upon people who use marijuana. Marilyn Berry is starting the First Church of Cannabis – Missouri.

Top questions Missourians asked News 4 about medical marijuana - KMOV4

In other states, officials have granted growers an interim period long enough to cultivate the first marijuana harvest, after which they more strictly require businesses to keep track of marijuana from seed to sale. Missouri regulators are expected to do the same here — for patients, as well, said Jared Moffat with the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project.

West Bottoms expo helps Missouri patients get medical marijuana cards - Fox4KC

Industry proponents hope by hosting a streamlined patient drive at this expo, those interested in the benefits of medical marijuana can pay $100 to complete a doctor's exam and state application in less than an hour.

19-year-old says medical marijuana saved his life - KMBC

Coltyn Turner says his Crohn's disease has been in remission for almost six years.

Bonus Section

What Millennials Want In Weed - Green Entrepreneur

The likes and dislikes of this young(ish) generation have confounded business owners and marketers, but Cy Scott of Headset uses his data to shed some light on the mystery.

People pay $500 for these custom cannabis-infused meals - Insider

Beyond just infusion, Chris has mastered proper cannabis-dosing of his dishes, allowing diners to enjoy their experience without getting too intoxicated.

Cannabis Conversations with Executives: Where Does the Best Weed Come From? - Civilized

Most executives would say the best weed in the world comes from California, but each cannabis destination is known for different things. California may be known for sun-grown cannabis, while the middle East may be known for hashish. And on the investment and research fronts, Canada and Israel are leading the way.

Cannabis Media Company Offers $36K Annual Salary for Cannabis Reviewer - Ganjapreneur

"The applicant will then test the products in person and write about their experience with the product from unboxing to everything they'll be doing with the product. It has to also be noted that the applicant will be required to record their experience in film." – American Marijuana, Nov. 19, 2019, "Cannabis Product Reviewer Wanted: Smoke Weed and Get Paid Up to $36,000 a Year".

California Cannabis Awards Hand Out Top Honors To Industry Leaders And Brands For 2019 - Green Entrepreneur

From top dispensary to top brand, and more, the annual awards identify the innovators in the cannabis industry..

10 Weirdest CBD Products - Greencamp

Today we have a long line of mainstream CBD products with alleged health benefits. That's because the contemporary CBD hype has rapidly shaken off the traditional stoner connotations and gowned itself in wellness outfit. Some of these products, however, just sound eccentric..

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