Cannabis Client Alert – Week of May 10, 2021

Attorney General Confirms Cannabis Use Is Not a Justice Department Enforcement Priority – Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed in a recent House subcommittee meeting that enforcement against cannabis use in states where it has been legalized is “not a good use of our resources” or a priority for the Department of Justice.

Kay Ivey “hopes” to sign the bill after “thoroughly reviewing it.” If signed, the bill would legalize medical cannabis use for about 10 different medical conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, autism and epilepsy.

Jared Polis signed legislation last week to expand access to medical cannabis in schools, ensuring that cannabis will be treated “the same way as other prescribed medicines.” The new law removes discretion previously granted to school principals to set policies, instead requiring school boards to create policies regarding storage and administration of cannabis-based medicine for qualifying students.

IL – Cannabis sales in Illinois broke another monthly sales record in April, surpassing sales in March by about $5 million.

IA – Pursuant to an Iowa law requiring the state to seek protections for its medical cannabis program, Iowa officials have requested that four federal agencies, including the DEA, guarantee that they will not punish individuals participating in the state’s program.

The legislation gives the state authority to license medical cannabis growers, testing labs, processors distributors and retailers, but permits counties to opt out of allowing cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction.

The House also passed legislation establishing a cannabis business licensing system and will now move on to consider a companion bill that would legalize recreational cannabis use.

MN – The Minnesota House will vote for the first time ever on legislation that would legalize recreational cannabis use for adults and expunge most minor cannabis convictions.

The court’s order invalidates that rule and, consistent with the enabling legislation, requires the Department of Health to allow individuals to register in New Mexico’s program if they have proof of authorization to participate in another state’s or territory’s medical cannabis program.

NC – The tribal council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians approved an ordinance that allows adults to possess up to one ounce of medicinal cannabis on tribal land.

Canadian Cannabis Companies Tilray and Aphria Close Merger Deal – Following shareholder approval, Canadian cannabis companies Tilray, Inc., and Aphria, Inc., announced the closure of a significant merger deal.

Credit Suisse Stops Services for Some Cannabis Transactions – According to customers of Credit Suisse Group AG, the Swiss lending company will no longer execute transactions in or hold customers’ shares of cannabis companies that operate in the United States.

Ascend joins several other US cannabis companies that have gone public in the last several months due to rising expectations that Congress will pass federal banking legislation.

Acreage and Medterra Agree to Joint Venture – Acreage Holdings, Inc., a vertically integrated cannabis company, will partner with one of the largest CBD companies in the cannabis industry, Medterra CBD, LLC, to produce and market a collection of CBD products.

Scotts Miracle-Gro – The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s cannabis-focused subsidiary, Hawthorne Gardening Company, saw sales increase 66 percent in the last quarter.

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