Arkansas Puts Dispensary Licenses on Hold and MedMen takes a 90 Million Dollar Loss

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In California, residents of the small town of Carpinteria near Santa Barbara are suing local cannabis growers over odors associated with vapor-phase systems, alleging they’re lowering house values and exacerbating allergies and asthma. Residents claim the lawsuit will likely be dismissed if odors are mitigated.

In Pennsylvania, regulators approve four more companies to grow medical cannabis for research in partnership with state universities. They include Massachusetts-based Curaleaf, which is teaming up with the Perelman School of Medicine at UPenn, as well as Laurel Harvest Labs, CannTech, and Organic Remedies. The recipients will be joining three already authorized MMJ suppliers, leaving the University of Pittsburgh as the last school still seeking a cultivator.

In Arkansas, medical cannabis dispensary licensing is put on a temporary hold after applicant Medicanna sues the Medical Marijuana Commission and two other state agencies for unlawful and inconsistent procedures during the awarding process. The lawsuit claims Medicanna was bypassed for a license in favor of another company that scored less on their application. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen has scheduled a future hearing to decide whether to grant a preliminary injunction against the state for the alleged wrongdoing.

In Vermont, legislation legalizing recreational marijuana sales passes the state House and now heads to the Senate, which are expected to resolve differences between the new bill and a version they passed last year. The proposed law would establish a 20 percent cannabis sales tax, prioritize licensing for locally-owned businesses, and cap THC limits at 30 percent for flower and 60 percent for concentrates. Although Republican Governor Chris Scott reluctantly signed the measure which made Vermont the first state to allow adult-use marijuana in 2018, his chances of signing off on this one remain unclear.

In finance, MedMen reports net losses of 96.4 million dollars for the 2020 fiscal second quarter, up nearly 50 percent from the same period last year. Conversely, revenues of the California-based cannabis retail giant rose by almost the same percentage to 44 million dollars. The company intends to employ a strategy of cutting costs, such as the recent layoff of 20 percent of corporate staff, while continuing on a path to profitability.

In Canada, Ontario prepares to ramp up its number of retail cannabis stores, as the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission approves 183 of almost 800 applicants for the first stage of licensing. Ontario officials hope to catch up to other regions like Alberta and B.C. by authorizing up to 20 shop locations a month, after a slow recreational mairjuana program rollout with only 33 stores open so far.

Overseas, Australian firm Little Green Pharma signs a three-year supply deal with vertically-integrated Berlin-based cannabis company Demecan for the sale and export of up to 1,000 kilograms of dried flower and 48,000 units of medicinal cannabis oil per year. The agreement could provide a significant opportunity for the Australian company to capitalize on the fast-growing, but undersupplied German MMJ market, which is currently the largest in the EU. The first shipment is expected to take place in the second half of 2020.

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