U.S. Senate Approves Legislation to Expand Medical Cannabis Research, Missouri Judge Rejects Lawsuit Over State’s Cultivation License Cap: Week in Review

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This week, the U.S. Senate approved the Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act, which would allow the attorney general to increase the number of federally licensed entities authorized to cultivate cannabis for research purposes. Elsewhere, in Missouri, a judge rejected a lawsuit challenging the state’s limit on medical cultivation licenses.

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

  • Federal: Vertically integrated multistate operator Ayr Strategies announced this week the proposed acquisition of Liberty Health Sciences, a vertically integrated operator in Florida, and GSD NJ LLC, a licensed operator in New Jersey. Including these and other pending transactions, Ayr will have operations in seven states covering 73 million people, which include four adult-use markets and three medical markets. Read more
  • Multistate operator Columbia Care signed a definitive agreement this week to acquire Green Leaf Medical in a deal that will expand Columbia Care’s footprint and operating scale in the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic regions. “This combination affirms Columbia Care’s position as one of the largest cultivators, manufacturers and retailers in four key states—Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and Maryland—three of which are expected to convert from medical to adult use in the next 24 months,” Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita said in a public statement. Read more
  • The U.S. Senate voted this week to pass S. 2032, the Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act, which would allow the attorney general to increase the number of federally licensed entities authorized to cultivate cannabis for research purposes. Currently, only the University of Mississippi is authorized to cultivate cannabis for use in FDA-approved clinical studies. Read more
  • Massachusetts: Gov. Charlie Baker, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg and Attorney General Maura Healey have announced the appointments of Nurys Z. Camargo and Bruce Stebbins to the five-member Cannabis Control Board, which oversees the state’s cannabis industry. Camargo and Stebbins will each serve five-year terms, and will replace Shaleen Title, whose term ended Sept. 1, and Kay Doyle, who left the board in May. Read more
  • Missouri: A Missouri judge has upheld the state’s medical cannabis rules after rejecting a lawsuit brought by a family arguing that the state’s limit on cultivation licenses violated their “right to farm.” The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) issued 60 medical cannabis cultivation licenses in December 2019, and Paul Callicoat and his family sued the department after their application to turn their 70-acre Sarcoxie property into a cultivation site was denied. Read more
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