Business

Cannabis news roundup: Extract OKd, Canadians cash in

PARACHUTE, Colo. (AP) — A business believed to be Colorado’s first drive-thru marijuana shop is opening up this week.

The Rifle Citizen Telegram reports customers will be able to start pulling their cars into the Tumbleweed Express Drive-Thru starting Thursday, the unofficial marijuana holiday. The shop is located in the western Colorado town of Parachute.

A spokesman for the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, Robert Goulding, says it isn’t aware of any other drive-thru pot shops in Colorado.

He says the business will have to comply with regulations that apply to every marijuana shop. That means no one under 21 will be allowed, even if they are in the back seat of a car. Since no pot can be visible outside the shop, vehicles will have pass through the building, a former car wash, to get to the sale window.

Associated Press


MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a bill that legalizes possession of a marijuana extract used to treat seizures.

The governor signed the bill Monday in Burlington.

Parents of children who suffer from seizures have pushed for access to cannabidiol oil for years.

The bill makes possession of the oil legal with a doctor’s certification, but it is still against the law to produce or sell the oil in the state.

The measure passed the Republican-controlled Legislature after a similar version stalled last session amid fears it would lead to full marijuana legalization.

The oil does not produce a high.

— Associated Press


DENVER — Washington state regulators have begun accepting bids for a new seed-to-sale tracking system to keep tabs on marijuana commerce, a deal with an initial value of about $3 million.

The competition likely will be fierce, given that the contract involves one of the nation’s largest cannabis markets.

But businesses won’t be squaring off against the provider of the state’s current seed-to-sale system, BioTrackTHC. The company said it has no plans to bid for the new contract, saying it is uncomfortable with some specifics of the state’s proposal.

BioTrackTHC’s contract expires in October.

Bids for the new contract are due by April 26, and the state hopes to have the new system in place by Oct. 31, Brian Smith, communications director for Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), told Marijuana Business Daily.

The contract length will be negotiated.

Associated Press


SANTA FE, N.M. — A judge has issued a ruling that prohibits the New Mexico Health Department from imposing a penalty against a medical marijuana dispensary for displaying a marijuana plant at last summer’s State Fair.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Judge David Thomson ruled Monday that requiring New Mexico Top Organics-Ultra Health to close for five days was an excessive punishment not supported by law. He did uphold a $100 fine for the dispensary.

The nonprofit marijuana producer had filed a petition saying the closure would’ve resulted in a loss of $150,000 and deprived patients of medicine.

Top Organics-Ultra Health Chief Financial Officer Duke Rodriquez says State Fair officials gave the producer permission to display the plant before they received complaints from “higher up” that it needed to be removed.

Associated Press


NEWS IN PICTURES

Volunteers for DCMJ.org, a Washington group calling for cannabis to be removed from the Controlled Substances Act, spent last week preparing for their April 20th protest that gathers at “High Noon” at the US Capitol calling on legislators to relax marijuana laws. The group, fully expecting arrests and large crowds, will be firing up and giving away free marijuana starting at “High Noon” on April 20th — 420 — as they ask the US Congress to have cannabis descheduled from US drug laws.

  • Adam Eidinger works the sewing maching with another supporter making protest props. (Paul J. Richards/Getty Images)


Insiders at two of Canada’s largest marijuana companies are cashing in on the industry’s reefer madness before the country introduces its plans for legalized recreational pot.

Since March 1, five directors, officers and board members with Canopy Growth Corp. sold 3.2 million shares worth at least C$7.5 million ($5.7 million), including Chief Executive Officer Bruce Linton, who sold C$3.7 million worth of his holdings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Between March 1 and April 10, eight executives and the chief cultivator for Aurora Cannabis Inc. sold a total of 4.9 million shares worth C$11.8 million, data show.

The sales were a mix of shares insiders already held and the exercise of options. The profit taking comes as the country’s burgeoning marijuana market has ballooned in value in recent months and just as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government introduces legislation to legalize marijuana. Four of Trudeau’s ministers are expected to unveil its proposed law Thursday in Ottawa.

The value of Canada’s nascent marijuana industry has surged amid investor optimism over recreational sales, which Cannacord Genuity Group Inc. said in November could reach C$6 billion annually by 2021. Smith Falls, Ontario-based Canopy has seen its share price rise more than 300 percent in the past 12 months, while Aurora has climbed more than 500 percent.

There’s a lot of enthusiasm in the sector and the introduction of legislation will cement in investors’ minds that legalization is actually happening, said Vahan Ajamian, a research analyst with Beacon Securities. While there will probably be ups and downs and market corrections as legalization rolls out, the industry as a whole is poised to do very well, he said.

“I’ve never in my lifetime seen an industry this big going from black to white, or profits going from organized crime to shareholders,” Ajamian said in a telephone interview. “Big picture: it’s a very lucrative and attractive industry.”

Bloomberg News