From tight application windows to ever-shifting regulations, the cannabis industry is in constant limbo. With so many changes happening every day, staying up-to-date with all of the state-by-state, federal, and international cannabis news is virtually impossible. Luckily, we’ve done all of the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.
At Higher Yields Consulting, we want to help operators stay informed of relevant industry-related news, so we keep track of the latest cannabis news across the country and even around the globe.
Here are some of the hottest topics in the cannabis industry!
What’s Happening in Ohio
At the forefront of cannabis news sits the great state of Ohio. The state has recently announced that it will be opening up another round of strictly medical dispensary applications. Ohio will award 73 additional licenses to meet its goal of 130 total awards.
Some patients have to drive more than an hour to get their medically prescribed cannabis. As a result, this round focuses on need: Awarding licenses to communities with few or no dispensaries is a top priority.
In particular, Cleveland and Columbus are looking to increase their numbers. Additionally, the state wants to maintain a ratio of about one dispensary per 1,200 customers. Thus, any area with fewer than 1,200 customers per dispensary will not be awarded any new licenses.
We’ll update you as this cannabis news progresses, but we expect the request for applications to open up sometime this summer. For now, you can get started on the prep work. Strategically choosing your location will dictate your ability to win a license, so be sure to keep customer ratios and patient need in mind when doing so.
Once the application period has opened, talk to an experienced professional like one of our HYC consultants to get everything in order.
Cannabis News out of Connecticut
On June 17 during a special session, the Connecticut state legislature passed a bill that would make recreational cannabis legal for everyone over the age of 21 beginning on July 1.
The bill is expected to generate millions in tax revenue — as much as $10 million in the first year and around $75 million in five years. Although revenue plays a role, this cannabis news places more emphasis on social equity, and a significant number of the awards will go to individuals in negatively affected communities.
Because of the emphasis on social equity, applications will be competitive. To make room for the social equity candidates, the state is working to curb current medical license holders. So if you plan to apply for a license in Connecticut, be sure to keep social equity in mind while building your team.
Federal Cannabis News
Given that cannabis is still a Schedule I drug at the federal level, interstate commerce and banking is pretty much impossible. However, things are starting to look up. Although cannabis lobbying was down in 2020 — likely due to the pandemic outweighing cannabis news — lobbying is up in 2021.
During the pandemic, cannabis operations were considered essential, thus allowing them to stay open throughout 2020 and reinforcing the cannabis industry’s legitimacy. To build on that legitimacy, federal descheduling and decriminalization must happen — which might be closer than we think.
Introduced by Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter, the Safe Banking Act enables banks to work with cannabis operations without consequences. If the bill were to become law, operators would be eligible for federally backed loans and banking services.
This kind of cannabis news shows a lot of promise for the future of the industry. The Safe Banking Act has the potential to be the catalyst for full legalization and decriminalization.
Your Premier Source of Industry Insights
Around the country, the future of cannabis looks promising. But Ohio, Connecticut, and even the federal government are far from the entirety of cannabis news. Staying current with relevant industry news can give you valuable insights and an edge over the competition.
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