MedMen-PharmaCann Acquisition Falls Apart, New Report Says Vaping-Related Illnesses Similar to Chemical Burns: Week in Review

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This week, MedMen and PharmaCann announced the termination of MedMen’s acquisition of PharmaCann, which would have doubled MedMen’s market reach and given the company a presence in 12 U.S. states. Elsewhere, the Mayo Clinic released a report that characterizes the lung damage caused by vaping-related pulmonary illnesses as something more akin to chemical burns than anything else—meaning the toxic fumes of vaporized oil may be the more specific culprit of the crisis.

Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.

  • Federal: The Mayo Clinic released a report that characterizes the lung damage caused by vaping-related pulmonary illnesses as something more akin to chemical burns than anything else—something along the lines how a factory worker might be affected by “an industrial accident.” This means that the toxic fumes of vaporized oil may be the more specific culprit—rather than the oil itself or the thinning agents contained within (like vitamin E acetate). Read more
  • MedMen and PharmaCann have terminated a $682-million acquisition deal that would have allowed MedMen to purchase PharmaCann in an all-stock transaction, doubling MedMen’s market reach and giving the company a presence in 12 U.S. states. MedMen is still getting one of PharmaCann’s two growing facilities, a dispensary and a license to open another retail location in Illinois in exchange for forgiving a line of credit that MedMen had extended to PharmaCann, which totaled about $21 million. Read more
  • Michigan: Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency has released instructions on how to apply for adult-use cannabis business licenses ahead of a Nov. 1 start date for accepting the applications. Beginning Nov. 1, the state will begin accepting license applications from prospective cultivators, retailers, “consumption establishments,” and “marijuana event organizers” and “temporary marijuana events.” Read more
  • Florida: A new petition to get an adult-use cannabis initiative on Florida’s 2020 ballot gathered 100,000 signatures in 20 days, as of Oct. 4. The petition, organized by Make It Legal Florida and one of three active petitions in the state, would allow adults 21 and older to purchase adult-use cannabis at the state’s existing medical marijuana dispensaries. Read more
  • California: Kushy Punch is under investigation for alleged illicit market operations in the state after California Department of Consumer Affairs investigators raided a warehouse in Canoga Park (northwest of Los Angeles) and seized millions of dollars’ worth of untested, illicit vape products and edibles that were allegedly manufactured by the company. Kushy Punch holds manufacturing and distribution licenses in California, with each one registered to a Marina Del Rey address—about an hour south of the Canoga Park warehouse. Read more
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation into law Oct. 9 that allows schools in the state to decide whether parents can administer medical cannabis to their children on school property. The law—called “Jojo’s Act”—goes into effect Jan. 1. Read more
  • Illinois: State Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Park Forest) has been appointed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to take on a new role as the state’s “cannabis czar”—Illinois’ cannabis regulation oversight officer. Hutchinson was appointed to the Illinois Senate in 2009, and has advocated for not only cannabis legalization, but also social equity measures that would ensure those convicted of low-level cannabis offenses have their records expunged, as well as allow minority-owned businesses an opportunity to enter the market. Read more
  • Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) is advancing plans to allow social consumption cannabis lounges in the state, but Gov. Charlie Baker is urging lawmakers to take up legislation on impaired driving before allowing the lounges to become a reality. Baker said during an Oct. 7 press conference that lawmakers should not allow plans for social consumption lounges to move ahead until impaired driving concerns are addressed. Read more
  • Texas: Just over a week into the licensing process, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has stopped accepting new applications for medical cannabis dispensary licenses. The DPS announced last month that it would accept new applications for low-THC medical cannabis dispensary licenses from Oct. 1 through Nov. 1 as part of a broad expansion of the medical cannabis market that was signed into law earlier this year, and it has not provided a reason for halting the process. Read more
  • Canada: Quebec has filed an appeal to challenge a court’s ruling that the province cannot ban its citizens from growing their own adult-use cannabis at home. The appeal comes after Quebec Superior Court Justice Manon Lavoie’s ruling last month that the province’s ban on home cannabis cultivation was unconstitutional. Read more
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