This week, Canopy Growth, the Canadian licensed producer that once touted itself as the largest cannabis company in the world, announced drastic steps to reduce its operations and cash-burn rate, ceasing operations at several of its locations. Elsewhere, in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation to decriminalize the simple possession of cannabis.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Virginia: Gov. Ralph Northam has signed legislation to decriminalize the simple possession of cannabis. The decriminalization measure, which is an amendment to House Bill 972, reduces the penalty for the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis to a $25 fine. Read more
- Maine: The Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) has issued a letter to conditional and prospective adult-use cannabis licensees, indicating that it is indefinitely postponing the launch of the state’s adult-use market due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The OMP cited safety and social distancing concerns in its decision, saying “it now appears as though a spring launch of Maine’s adult use industry is simply unrealistic.” Read more
- New Hampshire: The state has announced that it will extend the deadline for patients to renew medical cannabis cards due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Patients with cards expiring in April, May and June now have until July 31 to renew them amid concerns that patients will have a difficult time visiting their doctors for recertification. Read more
- Colorado: Denver City Council has approved a new cannabis research and development license as part of the city’s efforts to update its cannabis laws. The city council also approved a lottery cap for new dispensary licenses and plans to eventually roll out a social equity plan. Read more
- Washington, D.C.: Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Department of Health announced an emergency rule this week that temporarily allows medical cannabis dispensaries to provide delivery and curbside pickup services to their patients. The new rule takes effect immediately and will remain in effect for 120 days or until 45 days after the public health emergency ends, whichever comes first. Read more
- Ohio: The Ohio Board of Pharmacy has established a new process for calculating a patient’s 90-day supply of medical cannabis, with the news rules taking effect April 17. The process is aimed at simplifying the way that patients, caregivers and dispensaries calculate days’ supply while ensuring that patients do not exceed the maximum 90-day possession limit outlined in Ohio’s medical cannabis law. Read more
- Missouri: A campaign to place an adult-use cannabis legalization initiative on Missouri’s 2020 ballot is suspending its efforts due to the COVID-19 crisis. Dan Viets, chairman of Missourians for a New Approach, told the Springfield News-Leader this week that the petition initiative campaign is officially over due to public response to the pandemic, which is prohibiting supporters from gathering signatures. Read more
- California: Following an audit of its licensing process and after receiving feedback from stakeholders and the local community, the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) has put together recommendations to amend the licensing process. “Although the Department agrees that its normalization process was reasonable, it acknowledges that the process and the policy itself can and should be improved in a number of substantive ways,” according to a report the DCR sent to Los Angeles City Council. Read more
- Guam: Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has declared a public health emergency on the island that suspends all “non-essential” government activity through May 6 in a move that will likely delay the release of Guam’s forthcoming adult-use cannabis regulations. The Cannabis Control Board—established by Guam’s legalization bill to regulate and oversee the industry—has been shut down since Leon Guerrero’s order went into effect March 16, although the board did hold several meetings before the shutdown in an attempt to meet its deadline, which passed during the first week of April. Read more
- Canada: Canopy Growth, the Canadian LP that once touted itself as the largest cannabis company in the world, is taking drastic steps to reduce its operations and cash-burn rate, ceasing operations at several of its locations. The company announced this week that it is selling all of its African cannabis assets (located in South Africa and Lesotho) to a local business, as well as ending cultivation operations at its Latin American facility in Colombia and shuttering its indoor cultivation facility in Yorktown, Saskatchewan, Canada. Read more