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Heartland Cannabis Business Update – June 7, 2019

Erika Gee
Erika Gee


Little Rock

This week featured a lot of activity in Congress, but the biggest news came out of Illinois where the Legislature took the lead on commercial recreational legalization, and Missouri, which published applications for medical marijuana patients and cannabis-related businesses. We've read all of the cannabis business news and selected the best articles impacting Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas. Here's our roundup of the stories we think are worth your time this week.

Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri Medical Marijuana and Recreational Cannabis Business Roundup

Domino effect? Illinois marijuana legalization could spur other states to do same - Marijuana Business Daily

Illinois, the nation's first state to legalize commercial recreational marijuana through its Legislature, may spark similar legalization efforts elsewhere in the country – and could serve as a blueprint for others, according to industry executives.

Illinois Recreational Marijuana Bill to Clear 770,000 Convictions - Green Rush Daily

"Decades of prohibition hasn't stopped use, prohibition hasn't made us safer," Illinois Representative Kelly Cassidy said. "Prohibition hasn't built communities—in fact, it has destroyed them. Prohibition hasn't created jobs, in fact, it has prevented people from finding work."

Americans Spent as Much on Cannabis as Taco Bell Last Year - Leafly

It's official: The Crunchwrap is losing ground to the blunt wrap.

Canada's Edibles Market Will Be Worth More than Most Major League Baseball Teams: Report - Civilized

The report—issued by Deloitte, one of the world's preeminent accounting firms—shows that the biggest income generator will be marijuana-infused foods. That segment is projected to net C$1.6 billion annually (US$1.2 billion). Infused drinks could pull in as much as C$529 million (US$394 million), with the rest of the cash being divided between other cannabis-infused products.

How Tough Can It Be To Start A Cannabis Franchise? - Forbes

Launching a cannabis franchise is not as straightforward as starting a hot dog franchise, because the nature of the product, which is controlled under federal law, creates some barriers to entry.

John Boehner: From Speaker of the House to Cannabis Pitchman - The New York Times

When he was House speaker, Mr. Boehner earned the equivalent of an "F" rating from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which in 2011 excoriated him for his opposition to the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act. The proposed bill, which died in committee, would have legalized marijuana for adult use and removed it from the Food and Drug Administration's list of Schedule I controlled substances.

GOP Senator Sheds Light On Behind-The-Scenes Marijuana Reform Discussions - Marijuana Moment

"I actually have some pretty good confidence that we can move forward on a solution this year," Gardner told Yahoo Finance. "I think the consistent drumbeat of businesses and organizations and individuals going in to share their story with Chairman Graham and others has really made a key difference in terms of how we're going to pass legislation to actually fix this conflict."

The USDA Legalized THC – But No One Noticed - Patients for Medical Cannabis

The USDA issued a bulletin on May 28 as a legal opinion for hemp production. It basically authorizes interstate delivery of hemp and legalized THC derived from hemp.

Study: Cannabis Consumers Seeking Relief, Not Just High - Ganjapreneur

A recent U.S. survey found that if cannabis were made federally legal, the vast majority of consumers (85 percent) would use it as a treatment option for specific ailments, not necessarily just for recreation.

Oklahoma News

Health department to begin food inspections for CBD, medical marijuana businesses - Oklahoma's News4

Health officials say field inspectors will still help businesses in finishing the licensing process, but will also begin compliance checks for dispensaries and processors, as well as routine inspections of processors.

Missouri News

Missouri posts medical marijuana applications for patients, businesses - Springfield News-Leader

The department posted sample applications for patients and caregivers seeking medical marijuana ID cards. The department also posted sample applications to license marijuana facilities such as dispensaries and cultivation operations.

Most doctors won't OK Missouri medical marijuana requests. But these KC clinics will - The Kansas City Star

Any licensed doctor can sign off on the certifications, but in other states, like Michigan, many patients have ended up getting them signed at specialty clinics because their regular doctors didn't feel comfortable doing so, or worked for large health systems that didn't allow them to.

How to Start a Medical Marijuana Business in Missouri - Leafly

One thing's for sure: Cannabis licensing in Missouri is shaping up to be quite competitive. The state is required by law to grant licenses to at least 60 commercial growers, 86 facilities that manufacture cannabis-infused products, and 192 dispensaries—that's 24 dispensaries for each of Missouri's eight congressional districts.

Arkansas News

WATCH: Erika Gee and Stuart Jackson 5.28.19 - Talk Business & Politics

Wright Lindsey Jennings' Erika Gee and Stuart Jackson discuss rules, regulations and best practices for the state’s new medical marijuana industry.

Garland County Medical Marijuana Sales Top 100 Pounds In May - 5News KFSM

The two dispensaries operating in Garland County say they charge $15 per gram. The state has no oversight on pricing. The cost is not covered under some health insurance plans because marijuana is illegal under federal law.

Fayetteville medical marijuana dispensaries could open in late summer - Fayetteville Flyer

"We feel that we can make the most significant difference to the patient population in Fayetteville. In a 5 miles radius, there are over 100,000 people this equates to 2,000 patients. Our location is effortless to access off of I-49, 81,000 vehicles pass the site in a day."

First medical marijuana dispensary in NE Arkansas could open by end of year - Local Memphis

A spokesperson with another planned dispensary in West Memphis said building applications should be submitted next week, in the hope construction can begin next month.

Hemp harvest in Arkansas gives CBD a lift - Arkansas Democrat Gazette

The Arkansas Agriculture Department started its Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program after the General Assembly passed legislation authorizing it in 2017. The department has licensed 80 hemp farmers to grow on more than 1,898 acres in 42 counties. It has issued 18 processor licenses to extract CBD from the plants.

Bonus Section

Engaging The Over 55 Crowd In Your Retail Cannabis Business - Marijuana Retail Report

According to Scientific American, cannabis use has increased in adults between ages 50 to 64 by over 60% since 2006. More surprisingly, adults over the age of 65, cannabis use has increased by 250%.

Marijuana in the Bible: Were the Hebrew Texts Incorrectly Translated? - Greencamp

There are some indications that cannabis was used in the Bible, and this especially applies to the Old Testament.

Thanks for taking time to read the Heartland Cannabis Business Update. See you next week!