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Heartland Cannabis Business Update – September 6, 2019

Erika Gee
Erika Gee

Partner

Little Rock

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We've packed two weeks worth of news into this update, featuring news from The New York Times, Ganjapreneur and The Norman Transcript, we search high and low, y'all!  We've swept through the weeds to uncover the good stuff. Here's our roundup of the week's stories impacting Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas that we think are worth your time.

Medical Marijuana and Recreational Cannabis Business Roundup

Business News

Crime Rates Drop After Marijuana Dispensaries Open Nearby, Study Finds - Marijuana Moment

"These findings are consistent with previous research that has found no link between marijuana use and criminal behavior."

Cannabis Professionals Share Their Top Advice for Entering the Industry - weedmaps

"Cannabis legalization is as game-changing as the invention of the internet, and the trajectory will be much the same," said Lisa Weser, who founded the cannabis communications firm Trailblaze after working as head of U.S. Marketing Communications for Anheuser-Busch.

SharksBreath, Bio Jesus and Kiwi Skunk: Marijuana companies need to protect their brands. But trademarks are a tricky situation. - Chicago Tribune

Since selling weed is still illegal on a national level, cannabis companies can get federal trademarks on some — but not all — parts of their business. They can't trademark the marijuana itself, including the wacky and easy-to-remember names that companies have given to various strains, like Alien Bubba, Candyland and Granola Funk.

CBD Companies Positioning Themselves For Cannabis Legalization - Forbes

Companies selling CBD products are establishing their brands among consumers, and acquiring shelf space and retail relationships. If recreational cannabis is legalized, those companies can enter that market more quickly than a business starting from scratch.

Inside Facebook's Campaign Against Hemp Advertising - Civilized

"Hemp does fall under our policy for related drug items."

Hemp Farming Quadrupled In The U.S. This Year, New Report Shows - Forbes

U.S. farmers have been licensed to grow 511,442 acres of marijuana's non-intoxicating cannabis cousin this year—a 455 percent increase over 2018 levels—according to Vote Hemp's annual survey of state agriculture departments.

So, you've got legal cannabis? Here's how to market it - The Drum

"Consumers are actively seeking forms of respite and self-care. Marketers should position products to align with the consumer needs of relaxation, anxiety reduction, mindfulness and wellbeing."

The 10 Most Popular Cannabis Products in 2019 - Cannabis Training University

If you're curious about 2019's consumer spending habits, consider this year's most popular cannabis products.

Health News

Don't Use Bootleg or Street Vaping Products, C.D.C. Warns - The New York Times

With more than 200 cases of respiratory illnesses possibly related to vaping, and no single culprit, public health experts are advising young people not to buy cannabis and other e-cigarette products off the street.

Vape Pen Lung Disease Has Insiders Eyeing Misuse of New Additives - Leafly

People were vaping illicit cannabis carts last year without ending up in the hospital. So it makes sense to ask: What has changed?

Before Mixing Anti-Depressants and Cannabis, Read This - Green Entrepreneur

New research from the Depression and Anxiety journal outline some of the risks of mixing marijuana with other mood-altering drugs.

Exploring the Cannabis Entourage Effect - Maximum Yield

When it comes to how cannabis impacts consumers, more is being discovered about the entourage effect. Kent Greutzmacher explores the synergy of the whole flower magnifying marijuana's therapeutic benefits.

How Cannabis Fits into Holistic Medicine - Civilized

While holistic medicine takes a comprehensive approach to a person's health, aiming to balance all aspects of the mind, body, and spirit, cannabis can be used to enhance the practice. In other words, holistic cannabis medicine allows health practitioners and patients to consider how the whole plant can help the whole person.

National News

DEA Announces Move to Improve Access to Marijuana Research - Green Rush Daily

In its announcement, DEA said that the approval of new cultivators will approve the quality and variety of cannabis available for research projects.

Marijuana decriminalization bill takes effect in Empire State - Greencamp

About a month after the state decriminalized cannabis, New Yorkers with low-level marijuana convictions will have their records expunged.

Advocates Push Workers' Right to Cannabis Use - Cannabis Now

Advocates increasingly assert that cannabis legalization is not fully realized unless workers are guaranteed their right employment even if they partake of the herb off-hours.

Curaleaf, Surterra among big spenders on federal marijuana lobbying - Marijuana Business Daily

The marijuana industry has spent about $2 million so far this year lobbying for federal cannabis reform in Washington DC, and more than half that money has come from individual MJ-related companies.

Mississippi medical marijuana: Group turns in signatures to get it on 2020 ballot - Clarion Ledger

"The polling is extremely positive. It polls above 77 percent, with every age group, religious affiliation, political affiliation and other groups. Also, to that point, we saw the overwhelming support from the number of signatures we received."

State News - Oklahoma

Marijuana laws to take effect despite questions - The Norman Transcript

Adrienne Rollins, director of the Medical Marijuana Authority, said the new laws strengthen labeling and testing requirements. They also provide additional licensing categories, including expanded transportation license requirements. There are new rules for marijuana businesses and new pieces to the residency requirement.

Cannabisville, Oklahoma: The ZIP code with most business licenses - The Oklahoman

Bounded by Meridian and Pennsylvania avenues from west to east, and NW 30 to Reno Avenue from north to south, ZIP code 73107 is home to 94 approved business licenses for cannabis growers, processors and dispensaries — the most in any ZIP code across the state.

The Winners of the 2019 Oklahoma Cannabis Cup - High Times

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 2019 Oklahoma Cannabis Cup!

Among marijuana law changes: Firearm ownership, access to patient info, more business requirements - KPVI

Business applicants are now required to include a certificate of compliance from their respective jurisdictions that discusses zoning along with fire, waste and building codes. The OMMA now has up to 90 business days to review business license applications and renewal requests; the deadline for approving or rejecting patient applications changed slightly to 14 business days.

Marijuana tax collections hit new high - The Oklahoman

Oklahoma collected nearly $2.8 million in August in Medical Marijuana Tax, as well as nearly $3.6 million in sales tax at medical marijuana dispensaries. The tax revenues combined for more than $6.3 million.

State News - Missouri

How to apply for a medical marijuana card in Missouri - KMOV4

According to the state's medical marijuana regulation director, 8,880 people have applied in Missouri and, of those, 7,800 have been approved.

Medical marijuana facilities lighting up the real estate market - KCTV5

"There was a lot of investment that was nonrefundable for these potential licensees. There are places in Kansas City that haven't been used in years so it's a good price for something."

Missouri marijuana industry group announces doctor training program - Springfield News-Leader

The new training is free, takes one hour and is a formally accredited continuing medical education course according to the American Medical Association's standards.

Missouri Receives 2,100 Medical Cannabis Applications - Ganjapreneur

Regulators have until Jan. 1, 2020 to approve or deny dispensary applications. Officials began accepting patient applications in July but sales are not expected until April or March of next year.

Medical pot: 'Exceptionally large number' of applicants want a Missouri dispensary license - Springfield News-Leader

For the first time, state government is breaking down how many applications it received for each type of medical marijuana business facility.

City of Branson passes local ordinance to regulate medical marijuana - KY3

According to the new ordinance, marijuana won't be sold in the city's main tourism-based areas.

State News - Arkansas

Arkansas Medical Cannabis Sales Top $6M In 3 Months - Ganjapreneur

The eight operating medical cannabis dispensaries in Arkansas have surpassed $6 million in sales in just three months; another 24 dispensaries are expected to open soon.

Police ‘drug recognition experts' must decide how high is too high - Arkansas Times

As the industry grows, law enforcement agencies in Arkansas are faced with an unprecedented problem: identifying how much cannabis in a cardholder's system renders them too impaired to drive.

Arkansas CBD Laws: Legal Hemp Cannabidiol Oil Regulations in AR, US - Times of CBD

Though the state does not have an all-out ban on the substance, a series of conflicting concepts and legal rulings have created a legal framework that can be tough to navigate.

SPECIAL REPORT: Inside look at a career in cannabis - KNWA

Arkansans are joining a budding industry.

Hot Springs dispensary 1st to harvest marijuana - The Sentinel-Record

The first dispensary to open in Arkansas has achieved another first. It has grown and harvested its first crop of small-batch medical cannabis, the company announced Tuesday.

ABC willing to take action against Arkansas dispensaries not open by next year - KATV

"Obviously it could mean probation and a fine, but I think it's safe to say license revocation could also be on the table. You know, they were licensed for a reason, and that was to serve patients."

Bonus Section

Higher Education: The Top Universities Offering Cannabis Degrees - Leafly

Federally funded state universities are now offering courses in cannabis across majors as diverse as agriculture, chemistry, economics, and journalism, which is a significant step in legitimizing the plant.

Only 3 U.S. States Have No Medical Marijuana - Cannabis Now

What's up with Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota?

The Fashion Designer Inspired By Women In Cannabis - Forbes

Momolu, who has shown her cutting edge work featuring vibrant African prints and body positive models at Fashion Week since 2009, will send clothing down the catwalk that she says reflects the "mood" of the women pushing a new conversation about cannabis. It's not about getting high. It's about good health, wellness and style.

Can You Afford the Most Expensive Weed in the World? - Greencamp

Cannabis Caviar takes top spot. The price of $1,400 per ounce is exorbitant, to say the least.

Holy smokes: Senior accused of getting the whole church high with secretly-spiked cannabis cookies - The Growth Op

The 74-year-old is now facing charges of possession of hash oil and criminal recklessness. As for the church, they seem to have turned the other cheek, so to speak.

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

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