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Heartland Cannabis Business Update – November 8, 2019

Erika Gee
Erika Gee

Partner

Little Rock

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

Tickets
Free

Can you believe that it's been one year since Missourians passed Question 2, and six months since Arkansas's first dispensary began serving MMJ patients? This industry can seem so fast and so slow at the same time. As your medical marijuana lawyers for the Heartland, we've read all of the week's cannabis business news for Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas & selected these stories that we think are worth your time.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana and Recreational Cannabis Business Roundup

Business News

Tight funding environment weighs on marijuana companies still seeking profit - Marijuana Business Daily

Which came first? Poor paths to profitability for North American cannabis companies or limited funding for them to build their businesses? The reality: It's a bit of both. Funding opportunities for marijuana firms do exist, but investors are increasingly unlikely to lend if cannabis companies cannot meet their revenue and profitability targets.

Investors are placing huge bets on marijuana as more states legalize THC. Here are the top 25 cannabis startups that have raised the most VC cash. - Business Insider

Most institutional VCs still draw a hard line between cannabis-tech companies, like software platforms for dispensaries, and branded products that "touch the plant" — or sell and distribute THC — a number of venture investors previously told Business Insider.

Walk-in clinics at Walmart are getting schooled in cannabis - Leafly

"The need for patient and provider cannabis education has grown substantially since legalization one year ago," says Tree of Knowledge chairman Michael Caridi. "This partnership will launch targeted educational campaigns for patients in addition to providing training and support to their healthcare providers."

'Marijuana' vs. 'cannabis': Study finds different terms make no difference - Greencamp

The study partnered with YouGov and surveyed 1,600 adults in the U.S., to find their opinion on four terms: "marijuana," "cannabis," "medical marijuana," and "medical cannabis.".

Offering consumers a face-to-face experience helps them remember a marijuana brand, experts advise - Marijuana Business Daily

More established industries such as craft beer and herbal tea are what spurred Seed & Smith CEO Brooks Lustig to open up his off-the-beaten path vertically integrated cannabis business to tours.

How indie cannabis is teaming up to take on big bud business - Leafly

The Weed Pool is just one example of small cannabis operations across the country finding strength in numbers through a co-op model. The BC Craft Farmers Co-op, organized through micro-processor consultancy Grow Tech Labs, has met with hundreds of producers in advance of opening up its membership in the coming months. It will officially launch in 2020. Enrollment requires a $420 annual membership fee and at least one $25 membership share in the co-op.

Health News

Marijuana Use Tied To Lower Rates Of Depression And Suicidal Ideation Among PTSD Patients - Marijuana Moment

Those suffering from PTSD who didn't report past-year cannabis use were about seven times as likely to have experienced a recent major depressive episode, the study found. They were also 4.3 times as likely to have contemplated suicide.

More than 2,000 people report mysterious vaping illness - Axios

There are 2,051 confirmed and probable cases of lung injury in 49 states, and 39 deaths associated with e-cigarette use as of Nov. 5, the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

Vaping and lung disease in the US: PHE's advice - Public Health Matters

PHE has not changed its advice on nicotine containing e-cigarettes: Smokers should consider switching completely and vapers should stop smoking.

Florida company faces liability lawsuit over possible CBD vape illness - Hemp Industry Daily

South Florida manufacturer JustCBD is being sued by a woman in the U.S. Virgin Islands who says she was sickened by one of its vape products.

Strainprint Helps Consumers Figure Out if Their Cannabis Actually Works for Them - Civilized

After a patient has tracked multiple sessions, they can also get a personalized snapshot of what's working for them in particular. That way, the next time they go to the clinic or dispensary, they'll know the chemical profile they're seeking in whatever cannabis products they're perusing.

National News

Washington's Cannabis Industry Reacts to Emergency Vape Regulations - Cannabis Business Times

Stakeholders view the vape crisis as an opportunity for businesses to reevaluate their processes and products—and for regulators to roll out more comprehensive regulations.

More Jane For Your Buck, But At What Cost? - Green Entrepreneur

Along with educating consumers about the differences between the legal and black markets, packaging manufacturers look to align with legislative and regulatory stakeholders to ensure consumer protections, drawing up new regulatory guidelines.

State Judge Rules Massachusetts Must Lift Ban on Vape Products in Medical Cannabis Market - Cannabis Business Times

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas H. Wilkins, who's been pushing back on the ban for a few weeks now, cited the "irreparable harm" that a ban might cause patients in the medical cannabis market, according to the Boston Globe's reporting. The state's Cannabis Control Commission will have its say on this latest order Nov. 28.

New York's hemp boom: New rules to allow medical marijuana companies to use farmers' CBD - Democrat & Chronicle

The rules would allow the 10 licensed medical marijuana companies to buy the less expensive hemp and related extracts grown under the state's Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program, which launched in 2015.

No pot use allowed in public housing even though it's legal in Illinois, CHA says - Chicago Sun Times

The Chicago Housing Authority is reminding all 63,000 households under its watch that marijuana use is still illegal under federal law — making Illinois' medical and recreational cannabis laws useless within its confines.

Oklahoma Cannabis Business

'We're going home!': more than 500 Oklahoma inmates freed in historic release - The Guardian

Oklahoma voters approved a state initiative in 2016 that reclassified certain drug and property crimes as misdemeanors instead of felonies. This year, lawmakers passed a bill making those changes apply to people who were already serving felony sentences for those crimes.

Marijuana takes hold in Oklahoma's rural communities - The Oklahoman

"It's brought a lot of pride to me being able to service my community. I think if an outsider tried to do this, the trust factor wouldn't be there."

Here's How To Get A Cannabis Transport Agent Card In Oklahoma - Ounce Magazine

The process of obtaining the agent card is simple and quick. In fact, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is approving transport agents in as little as 30 minutes. The transporter agent license fee is $100 for one year.

City of Tulsa: Some medical marijuana businesses not in full compliance - KJRH

"We've been reaching out to OMMA trying to figure out, make sure we are doing all the steps in order," Caldwell [Bonnie Caldwell, finance director of Seed Cannabis Co.] said. "And they said that they would not be able to approve us for any license until we have the city's sign off. And the city will not sign off until you're completely done with your construction and ready to open."

Missouri Cannabis Business

Missouri may not let legal weed companies pay taxes in cash. That could be a problem. - Springfield News-Leader

Late Monday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services issued a proposed rule governing the way licensed medical marijuana facilities should pay taxes and other money owed to state government.

Legal Marijuana Is Coming To Illinois, But What Will Happen If You Bring It To Missouri? - St. Louis Public Radio

"The police department will continue enforcing applicable local, state and federal laws which regulate controlled substances, including marijuana," the department said. "At what point an individual becomes eligible to legally purchase, use and possess marijuana in Missouri depends on when the program is implemented by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The police department is monitoring these changes and is prepared to adapt enforcement procedures accordingly."

Homegrown? Marijuana business hopefuls in Missouri competing with country's largest pot retailers - St. Louis Today

Out-of-state companies, including some of the nation's largest retail marijuana chains, submitted the highest numbers of applications for licenses to grow, process or sell marijuana for medical purposes in Missouri.

Arkansas Cannabis Business

Medical marijuana sales reach $17.5 million in Arkansas - KARK

The DFA says upcoming dispensary inspections include 420 Dispensary (Russellville), Bloom Medicinals (Texarkana), Purspirit Cannabis (Fayetteville) and Herbology (Little Rock).

The medical marijuana report - Arkansas Times

Ten dispensaries have begun operating since the first May 10. Together, they've sold 2,491 pounds of medical marijuana worth $17,.5 million. The biggest dispensary continues to be Green Springs Medical of Hot Springs with almost 700 pounds of sales.

Court gives associate equal stake in Hot Springs Rx pot dispensary - The Sentinel-Record

Special Judge Ted Capeheart granted Bruce Simpson's request for a preliminary injunction, ruling that Simpson's business interest would be jeopardized absent the court intervening prior to its final ruling on Simpson's claims. The dispensary application filed with the state Medical Marijuana Commission listed Simpson as security manager/vice chairman of Green Springs Medical LLC dispensary. The defendant, Dragan Vicentic, is listed as the CEO/chairman of the board and majority owner.

Provision in 2018 law snags state hemp sales - Arkansas Democrat Gazette

As it stands, Arkansas hemp farmers have been cut out of their own market in their home state as it booms.

Bonus Section

5 Facts Veterans Need to Know About the VA and Cannabis - Weedmaps

"Veteran participation in state marijuana programs does not affect eligibility for VA care and services," reads the department website. The VA encourages veterans to disclose marijuana use to their providers. The staff will note a patient's self-disclosed marijuana use, the VA states.

7 Most Popular Cannabis Strains in Dispensaries - Medical Marijuana Inc.

Even with immense choices in marijuana strains, consumers regularly turn to these seven popular strains when shopping their local marijuana dispensary.

Why Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Classifications Mean Close to Nothing - Civilized

Dr. Patricia Frye, chief medical officer at HelloMD, told Civilized that decades of crossbreeding have left us with few, if any, pure indicas or sativas. The 18th century plant classifications, she said, "were totally based on morphology — or what the plant looked like — and not on genetics or the effect the plant has on the person using it."

Thanks for reading the Heartland Cannabis Business Update. See you next week!

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