How Much Cannabis Each State Sold in First Month of Legal Sales

Illinois dispensaries sold nearly $40 million dollars with of cannabis in the first 31 days of recreational cannabis sales, according to new numbers released last week.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced the number on Feb. 3. Officials said the final total of $39,247,840.83 came from the sale of 972,045 cannabis products at licensed retailers across the state.

The state also said the lion’s share of those sales went to Illinois residents, who purchased over $30 million worth of pot, while those visiting tourist destinations like Chicago or just jumping state lines to escape dated marijuana laws spent almost $9 million.

“A portion of every cannabis sale will be reinvested in communities harmed most by the failed war on drugs,” the state’s report noted.

The office of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the first month of legal cannabis sales was a success, and again emphasized the importance of equity in the cannabis industry.

“The successful launch of the Illinois’ legal cannabis industry represents new opportunities for entrepreneurs and the very communities that have historically been harmed by the failed war on drugs,” said Toi Hutchinson, senior advisor for cannabis control to Pritzker. “The administration is dedicated to providing multiple points of entry into this new industry, from dispensary owners to transporters, to ensure legalization is equitable and accessible for all

Illinoisans.”

So where does that $40 million in first-month legal cannabis sales rank all time among other states that have legalized? Let’s look at Nevada first. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that, in September 2017, Nevada officials announced the state had sold $27 million worth of cannabis products. We have some slightly longer periods we can look at too for Nevada, as the Nevada Dispensary Association said the first four months of legal sales from July through October 2017 saw $127 million in sales.

So if Illinois was to keep pace with its first month sales, keeping in mind there hasn’t been enough flower to go around when it transitioned to the legal market, it could hit nearly $160 million in the first four months, blowing Nevada out of the water again.

In Colorado, the state’s dispensaries sold $5 million worth of pot in the first week. Years later, Colorado ramped up to selling $119 million in the month of January 2018. But that would be the last month that Colorado served as the state selling the most pot per month in America.

That’s because California’s adult-use cannabis market came online in January 2018 and conducted $114 million in sales, according to BDS Analytics. By February 2018, California would be the largest legal marketplace in the world and never look back. (Of course, these numbers only reflect the legal market, and experts estimate that California’s traditional underground cannabis market is still worth three times that of the legal one.)

So while Illinois may have not had as big a start as the more populous California, it was plenty reputable. Plus, they have a bunch of other cool stuff going on.

Recently, the Illinois Department of Agriculture started the application process for cannabis infusers, craft growers and transporter licenses. They’ll start taking them on Valentine’s Day and people will have a month to get them in.

“Social equity applicants will receive additional points on their application and are eligible to receive technical assistance, grants, low-interest loans and fee reductions and waivers,” the state noted.

Illinois equity-centric plan for marijuana legalization has long been considered one of the most progressive approaches to fight off the damage done by the War on Drugs to communities of color. One of the most important parts of the program is there will be money to support entrepreneurs from those impacted communities, which is currently an issue with a lot of equity programs in other places.

Here’s a comparison of each state with legal cannabis sales, in order of when they opened up for sales, and how much they earned:

Colorado, January 2014: $14 million ($46.6 million including medical marijuana)

Washington, July 2014: $3.2 million

Oregon, January 2016: $13.9 million

Alaska, October 2016: $750,581 (for first five weeks)

Nevada, September 2017: $27 million

California, January 2018: $114 million

Massachusetts, November 2018: $9.3 million

Michigan, December 2019: $6.5 million

Illinois, January 2020: $40 million

Both Vermont and Maine have legalized adult-use cannabis, but do not have adult-use cannabis marketplaces set up yet.

TELL US, what do you think cannabis taxes should be used for?

The post How Much Cannabis Each State Sold in First Month of Legal Sales appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Consume onsite in licensed retailers, Alaska

Marijuana shops in Alaska will be among the first nationally where onsite use will be permitted. Alaska’s legal marijuana industry hit the milestone Thursday as regulators approved the first retail stores in the state that will be allowed to have customers smoke or consume marijuana products on site. Some cities in other states have approved […]

The post Consume onsite in licensed retailers, Alaska appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Friday, January 17, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, January 17, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// New Mexico Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed After Governor Puts Issue On 2020 Agenda (Marijuana Moment)

// Global Cannabis Sales Grow 48% to $15 Billion in 2019 (Valdosta Daily Times (AP))

// 40% of Arizona’s Hemp Crops Must Be Destroyed Due to Too Much THC (AZ Marijuana)


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// Raimondo’s $10-billion budget plan includes state-run stores for recreational pot (Providence Journal)

// Ontario Cannabis Store sells out of edibles within hours (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Alaska pot board chair being chaired (Boston Globe)

// Marijuana deliver giant Eaze may go up in smoke (Tech Crunch)

// Congressman Backs Ballot Measure To Legalize Psychedelic Mushrooms For Therapeutic Use (Marijuana Moment)

// Travelers Threw Away Over 37 Pounds of Weed at This Colorado Airport (Merry Jane)

// High Times To Open Dispensaries (Green Market Report)


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Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board Fires Its Director

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The board that regulates Alaska’s legal marijuana industry voted Wednesday to fire the director it shares with state alcohol regulators, a move director Erika McConnell maintained lacked justification.

The Marijuana Control Board voted 3-2 to
fire McConnell, following last month’s vote by the Alcoholic Beverage
Control Board to dismiss her. Wednesday’s vote came at the end of a
daylong meeting in Anchorage, with McConnell delivering a fiery speech
in which she said Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration appeared to want
her out before wishing members well for the remaining two days of
meetings.

McConnell’s removal was subject to both boards agreeing.

Marijuana
Control Board member Bruce Schulte said he had no unkind words about
McConnell but thought a change in leadership was appropriate. Board
chairman Mark Springer said McConnell has done a good job and the push
to oust her appeared in part to be “something of a railroad job” related
to a dispute over allowable activities in breweries and distilleries.
Springer said the alcohol industry is powerful.

Alcoholic Beverage
Control Board Chairman Bob Klein last month praised McConnell’s work
ethic and administrative skills. But Klein said he saw a disconnect
between the board’s wishes and how McConnell approaches her position.

McConnell said he never raised such issues with her, and she felt she was being pushed out with no good cause.

July
meeting minutes state the Marijuana Control Board approved without
opposition a motion of confidence in McConnell. Minutes show four
members attended the meeting. Schulte was not yet appointed.

McConnell,
who addressed the board after Wednesday’s vote, said in late August she
learned Assistant Commerce Commissioner Amy Demboski was contacting
Klein and Springer to ask that each board hold an executive session to
discuss personnel issues. McConnell said that, as the boards have
personnel authority over her, “it was clear that the administration was
requesting that the boards remove me as director.”

In an email,
Glenn Hoskinson, a public information officer for the state commerce
department, said the boards acted within their authorities.

“At no
time has the Department of Commerce, its officials, or the
administration requested the board members to remove the director,”
Hoskinson wrote. “The decision whether to remove the executive director
is solely the purview of each Board.”

McConnell said an employment
relationship is based on good faith, “and those of you who have voted
to remove me without actually finding that I’ve done anything wrong or
providing me with an opportunity to correct any issues you have with me
should be ashamed of yourselves.”

She said longtime board counsel
Harriet Milks was reassigned with no reason given. Department of Law
spokeswoman Maria Bahr said by email that the department “cannot comment
on personnel matters, and that includes a reassignment.”

The
marijuana board heard concerns Wednesday from some in the industry about
such things as training for an inventory tracking system, wait times
and fears of heavy-handed enforcement.

Cary Carrigan, executive
director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, which had members
detail complaints during a public comment period Wednesday, said his
group had not taken a public position on whether McConnell should be
removed.

He said members wanted the board to know what they felt
was lacking or needed. He said he is OK with what happened but hopes
it’s a recognition that changes are needed to build out the office and
further support the industry.

McConnell said she worked hard and did her best to uphold the laws. The Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office has great staff but inadequate resources, she said.

By Becky Bohrer

The post Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board Fires Its Director appeared first on High Times.

Thursday, October 31, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Thursday, October 31, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Quebec passes cannabis law that will raise legal age to 21 (CBC News)

// Cannabis Council urges Ontario to ramp up number of adult-use stores citing ‘ample’ marijuana supplies (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Judge upholds Gov. Baker’s vaping ban after state health officials report 2nd death (WHDH 7 News)


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// In Random Mold Tests at 25 Denver Dispensaries 80 Percent Fail (Denver Westword)

// Majority of Pennsylvania voters want legal cannabis poll shows – just not in state stores (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

// Wisconsin Lawmakers File Marijuana Decriminalization Bill (Marijuana Moment)

// Marijuana board wrangles with unincorporated area licenses (Alaska Journal of Commerce)

// Price averages for Canadian cannabis by province (Leafly)

// Maine cannabis retailers see spike in vaporizer sales after Massachusetts vape ban (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Washington marijuana businesses report glass jars packaging seized by U.S. Customs agents (Spokesman-Review)


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Tuesday, October 15, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// FBI probing potential public corruption in California capital’s marijuana industry (Marijuana Business Daily)

// California Governor Signs Marijuana Tax Fairness Bill But Vetoes Cannabis In Hospitals (Forbes)

// Colorado marijuana regulators finalizing ban on certain additives in cannabis vape products (Denver Post)


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// What glut? Cannabis prices rise as oversupply worries ease (Mail Tribune)

// On-site smoking of marijuana one step closer after Anchorage Assembly kicks questions to voters (Anchorage Daily News)

// Vape shops closing in response to Oregon’s temporary ban on flavored vaping products (KATU 2 News)

// Vermont farm offering pick-your-own hemp experience (My NBC 5)

// Jurors revolt, refuse to consider felony charges for cannabis (Leafly)

// Pesticide maker bans its own product due to cannabis stigma (Leafly)

// Scotland’s Ruling Party Unanimously Backs Drug Decriminalization Measure (Marijuana Moment)


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Alaska Doctor, Nurse Practitioner Face Charges For Mass Opioid Distribution

An Alaska doctor and nurse practitioner are facing separate federal narcotics charges for allegedly distributing “large amounts of opioids and other powerful narcotics by writing prescriptions for ‘patients’ without medical examinations and lacking medical necessity,” the Department of Justice said Wednesday.

Jessica Joyce Spayd, an Anchorage resident who owns a medical clinic in Eagle River, Alaska, and Dr. Lavern R. Davidhizar, a licensed osteopathic physician who owns a clinic of his own in Soldotna, Alaska, could each face prison time for up to 20 years for what U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder described as “the creation of addicts, crime, and sometimes death.”

Both allegedly gave out prescriptions to individuals without medical examinations, or when it was unnecessary. 

Serious Allegations of Overprescribing Pills

Spayd, 48, is accused of prescribing more than four million dosage units of opioid narcotics between 2014 and 2019 to more than 450 supposed patients, which the Justice Department alleges resulted in the death of two individuals. The DOJ said it is continuing to investigate Spayd’s alleged unlawful distribution. She faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years to life in federal prison for the most serious charges alleged in the complaint, the DOJ said.

Davidhizar, 74, is accused of prescribing more than 700,000 narcotic pills between 2017 and 2019, activity that the DOJ says earned him the nickname the “Candy Man” because “it was common knowledge that people could obtain pain medication prescriptions from him even though they did not have a legitimate medical need.” 

“During that time, the leading medications prescribed, but not limited to, were hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, methadone, and tramadol,” the Justice Department said in the press release. 

Hydrocodone, oxycodone and methadone are the most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Like Spayd, law enforcement continues to investigate Davidhizar, who faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Search warrants for both Spayd and Davidhizar were executed on Tuesday.

In a press release, Schroder said that law enforcement is “committed to prosecuting the illegal distribution of controlled substances, whether the crimes are committed by medical professionals or street dealers.”

The arrests were made by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration

“While facing a frightening opioid drug epidemic, it is truly sad that these two medical professionals would deliberately contribute to this on-going health crisis,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis.
The CDC estimates that 46 people die every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids; in 2017, the CDC said that such prescriptions were involved in more than 35 percent of all opioid overdose deaths.

The post Alaska Doctor, Nurse Practitioner Face Charges For Mass Opioid Distribution appeared first on High Times.

Friday, October 4, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, October 4, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// New York’s ban on flavored e-cigs on hold for now (WHAM)

// Vaping-Related Illness Could be Caused by Toxic Fumes, Study Finds (Merry Jane)

// Cannabis at work: Almost 1 in 10 Canadians say their employer allows it (CTV News)


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// Alaska alcohol control board votes to remove top regulator (Anchorage Daily News)

// Constellation Takes Huge Hit From Canopy Growth Investment (Green Market Report)

// Digital payments platform Square welcomes US marijuana businesses (Business Times)

// Michigan unveils license instructions for $1.4B adult-use cannabis market (Marijuana Business Daily)

// End-of-life hospital care in California could soon include cannabis (Leafly)

// Marketing consultant sought to brand and promote Humboldt County cannabis industry (KRCR 7 ABC)

// Cigarettes, N.H., Craigslist: How the vaping public is contending with Baker’s ban (Boston Globe)


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Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
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With Plummeting Cannabis Prices, Alaska’s Industry Calls for Tax Relief

Alaska marijuana grower Leif Abel considers his business successful but still feels like he’s living “paycheck to paycheck” much of the time.

A greenhouse expansion is behind schedule, and he said the company could have hired more crews to work on it if taxes and other expenses weren’t so high.

“We don’t have enough of a cushion where we could comfortably have a crop failure, and that’s not a very safe place for a cultivation company to be,” said Abel, an owner of Greatland Ganja in the Kenai Peninsula community of Kasilof.

Abel is among a number of Alaska cannabis growers who have struggled to pay the state’s $50-per-ounce cannabis tax as marijuana prices have tumbled. He said he’s paid his taxes on time, but it hasn’t always been easy.

Forty-five growers in the state are delinquent, compared with six in 2018, according to figures provided by Alaska’s Department of Revenue. For the June 2019 tax filing period, more than 160 growers had filed a tax return with the state.

The cannabis tax is imposed on cultivators when marijuana is sold or transferred from a grow facility to a retail shop or product manufacturer. There is a lesser tax rate for immature bud and trimmings.

Among states that have legalized recreational cannabis, Alaska is the only one whose tax structure is built solely on a fixed dollar amount paid by growers, according to information compiled by the Pew Charitable Trusts, a public policy organization. Alaska has no statewide sales tax, though some municipalities, such as Anchorage, levy their own sales tax on weed.

In comparison, California has a fixed dollar amount cultivators must pay and has a 15% tax on retail sales. Local governments in that state can add a levy on top of the state tax on retail sales. Nevada has a percentage-based tax that also applies to growers.

In Alaska, the total amount of late taxes due, with accruing penalties and interest, is about $1 million, according to the department.

“When you get into a hole, it’s really hard to get out when the holes keep getting deeper underneath you,” said Jana Weltzin, an attorney who represents Alaska cannabis interests.

When the industry first started, prices were around $4,000 a pound, or 0.45 kilograms, said Cary Carrigan, executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, a trade group. They have settled around $2,300 a pound, he said.

While the price was expected to decline, “no one anticipated that the floor would drop that low, to the point where if you paid your taxes on time, you would not have enough money to pay your employees or your electric bill or something else would suffer,” he said. “That’s why there are so many delinquencies and people that are working on tax payment programs.”

The tax generated anticipated revenue of about $1.8 million for the state in June 2019. Three-quarters of state pot revenue is intended to be used for recidivism programs and a marijuana education and treatment fund.

Dane Wyrick shows the growing area of Danish Gardens, a marijuana cultivation site and retailer in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Alaska charges a $50 per ounce, or 28.35 grams, tax on growers. The proportion of taxes has grown as the price of cannabis has fallen by nearly half from $4,000 a pound, or 0.45 kilograms, to nearly $2,300 a pound, according to the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association. (Mark Thiessen/The Associated Press)

Kelly Mazzei, excise tax manager with the Revenue Department, in a letter to marijuana regulators earlier in 2019 called the number of late accounts alarming. The tax debt doesn’t go away if a business goes under, she told The Associated Press.

Many in the industry blame the tax, though some also see an unlimited number of licensees as part of the problem. Oregon officials cited that state’s issue with unlimited licenses after a massive oversupply of marijuana led to a freefall in prices.

Weltzin said Alaska is not in that situation yet, but it’s a concern.

“Hopefully, we can get a system figured out where we have a more fair tax structure and a more stringent licensing process, so it will give value to our existing businesses but still encourage new business growth,” she said.

Alaska’s $50-an-ounce, or 28.35 grams, tax was set by Measure 2, the 2014 voter initiative that legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older. While the initiative allowed the state to establish lower rates for certain parts of the plant, which officials have done, a rewrite of the tax is considered up to the Legislature.

Surveys are planned to gauge industry representatives’ thoughts, Carrigan said.

“We’re trying to figure out … where the sweet spot is with that,” he said, with fairness among growers, retailers and manufacturers a key consideration.

Dane Wyrick said the future of his Anchorage cultivation and retail business, Danish Gardens, is hazy after feeling squeezed by state taxes and other expenses. He said the tax, combined with production expenses and other factors, is too burdensome.

Some industry officials and advocates hope for a sympathetic ear in Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who has adopted an open-for-business mantra.

Dunleavy frustrated the industry earlier in 2019 by appointing to a marijuana regulatory board a woman who was involved in a failed effort to ban cannabis operations in Fairbanks. After lawmakers rejected the appointment, Dunleavy picked a former board member who supported the legalization effort and who Carrigan considers a good choice.

Assistant Commerce Commissioner Amy Demboski has convened a workgroup with industry interests, regulators and the Revenue Department to discuss what they see as business impediments, with taxes among the issues raised, Glenn Hoskinson, a special assistant to Commerce Commissioner Julie Anderson, said by email.

“This process is still in its infancy, so it’s too early to know if there is going to be any proposal or anything of substance from this working group,” Hoskinson wrote.

Carrigan sees this as an effort to move forward with the administration: “When somebody holds out an olive branch and wants to move forward, you don’t slap their hand.”

— Becky Bohrer 


Featured Image: Dane Wyrick of the Danish Gardens marijuana cultivation and retail facility in Anchorage, Alaska, says he’s feeling the squeeze of high costs, low cannabis prices, and a fixed-dollar-amount tax that he must pay to the state. Alaska is unique among legalized states for the fixed-amount tax levied on growers. (Mark Thiessen/The Associated Press)

The post With Plummeting Cannabis Prices, Alaska’s Industry Calls for Tax Relief appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Friday, August 23, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, August 23, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Nearly every single person arrested for weed in NYC this year was black or Latinx (Queens Daily Eagle)

// All CBD products are forbidden to US service members, Pentagon says​ (Task & Purpose)

// New Industry-Backed Marijuana Legalization Measure Filed In Florida (Marijuana Moment)


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// Alaska governor picks Schulte for marijuana board (KTUU 2 NBC)

// L.A. Cannabis Commission Approves Request Seeking More Dispensary Enforcement (My News LA)

// Yes, You Can Smoke Hemp. And Yes, It’s Gaining Popularity (Vermont Public Radio)

// Mr. T sues weed company (TMZ)

// Federally Funded Journal Exposes How Marijuana Prohibition Puts Consumers At Risk (Marijuana Moment)

// Ontario planning to allocate cannabis store permits ‘based on market demand’ (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Canada’s First Nations Assert Their Cannabis Sovereignty (Cannabis Now)


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Photo: Adrian Owens/Flickr