The past year saw continued growth for the cannabis industry, with Illinois legalizing adult-use and new opportunities in hemp after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill last December. 2019 wasn’t without its challenges, however, as an outbreak of vape-related lung injuries swept the nation at the end of the summer and states wrestled with cannabis policy reform and regulation.
With 2020 rapidly approaching, we rounded up Cannabis Business Times’ top 10 most popular articles of 2019.
10. Patient Access Dwindles in Michigan After Closure of More Than 70 Unlicensed Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
In early 2019, Michigan forced more than 70 unlicensed medical cannabis dispensaries to close after a state-issued Dec. 31 licensing deadline, severing many patients’ access to their medication. The story didn’t end there, however, as the state’s licensing board then extended the licensing deadline to March 31 and allowed the retailers to reopen, at the recommendation of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Read more
9. Illinois Lawmakers Consider Two Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Proposals
At the beginning of the year, Illinois lawmakers were presented with two proposals to legalize adult-use cannabis—one introduced by Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) and one introduced by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago). The legislation drafted by Steans and Cassidy ultimately became the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA), which passed the legislature in May and was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in June. Read more
8. 2018 Farm Bill: Opportunities in Hemp
The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized industrial hemp and its derived products, and states were charged with developing new regulatory plans. In our January 2019 issue, Husch Blackwell’s Steve Levine and Benjamin Jones outlined next steps for businesses looking to cash in on opportunities in the newly legal industry. Read more
7. CVS and Walgreens Plan to Carry CBD Products: What’s Next for the Rapidly Growing Market?
CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens announced plans in March to carry CBD-infused products in select stores, bringing to life Brightfield Group’s 2018 prediction that chain retailers would support the rapid growth of the hemp-derived CBD market in 2019. We spoke with Brian Baum, CEO of CBD product manufacturer Cannovia, and Celeste Miranda, CEO of the CBD Expo Tour, about how small businesses could find their niche and continue educating customers as big box stores entered the space. Read more
6. What Is the Science Behind White Ash and Black Ash?
In our June 2019 issue, we explored whether the longstanding popular belief that white ash is “good” was nothing more than a myth. Dr. Allison Justice, co-founder of SC Botanicals and founder of The Hemp Mine, and Dr. Markus Roggen, founder of Complex Biotech Discovery Ventures, concluded that the manipulation of temperature and light with the goal of chlorophyll degradation and sugar transformation are major contributors to a pleasant smoke and “white” ash, not a good pre-harvest “flush.” Read more
5. Yellowing Leaves?
In our May 2019 issue, we explored how to meet the nitrogen needs of cannabis for each life stage, from rooting to flowering. As “Nutrient Matters” authors Brian Whipker, James Turner Smith, Paul Cockson and Hunter Landis laid out, nitrogen is needed in the largest quantity of all the nutrients provided by growers to stimulate plant growth. Read more
4. 10 Cannabis Harvesting and Post-Harvest Tips
Cresco Labs Cultivation Manager Jessica Ryan outlined her top pointers for the processing, drying and curing stages in our January 2019 issue to help cultivators achieve connoisseur-grade cannabis every crop cycle. Depending on the strain, it’s time to harvest when the pistils have turned amber and the trichomes are no longer translucent, Ryan wrote. Read more
3. 2019 State Cannabis Legislation: The Bills to Watch
State lawmakers from New Hampshire to New Mexico introduced legislation to decriminalize and legalize cannabis at the start of the year. Which ones came to fruition? Read more
2. New Research Results: Optimal pH for Cannabis
Although the recommended substrate pH for cannabis varies widely, a recommended substrate pH of 6.0 to 6.5 often is cited as the standard, according to “Nutrient Matters” columnists Brian Whipker, James T. Smith, Paul Cockson and Hunter Landis in our March 2019 issue. In this column, the North Carolina State University researchers explore the underlying factors affecting pH in substrates and how those fluctuations impact the cannabis plant in order to determine the optimal pH range for cannabis. Read more
1. What’s In Your Vape Cartridge?
Cartridge contents are produced in a multitude of ways, resulting in extracts that can contain many different ingredients, both cannabis-derived and not. In our February 2019 issue, Trichome Technologies’ Kenneth Morrow examined both cartridges and their contents. As the year went on, this cartridge primer only became more relevant and vital for the industry. Read more