Cannabis Industry Daily News

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San Diego preparing to restrict cannabis billboards

San Diego is expected to crack down by year’s end on billboards advertising marijuana, a move supported by much of the cannabis industry.

The proposed rule would ban cannabis billboard ads within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, playgrounds, day care centers or youth centers, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The restrictions would apply to both legal and illegal marijuana businesses, a move applauded by local cannabis industry leaders, according to the newspaper.

The proposal by Councilman Chris Cate will be heard by the planning commission Oct. 24 and is expected to be approved by the entire city council before the end of 2019, according to the Union-Tribune.

For more on this story, click here.

Group sues Massachusetts over marijuana vaping, e-cigarette ban

A national vaping industry trade organization is asking a federal court to end the vaping ban in Massachusetts, which is intended to halt sales of cannabis vape products as well as e-cigarettes for at least four months.

The Vapor Technology Association, which focuses on nicotine-containing vapor products, filed the lawsuit asking a judge to put a stop to the ban.

The lawsuit named Gov. Charlie Baker as a defendant in the case.

In September, Massachusetts became the first state to ban the sale of cannabis and tobacco vaping products, dealing a financial blow to the state’s marijuana retailers and vaporizer businesses.

Washington state regulators have proposed banning the sale of all flavored vape products, both marijuana and nicotine, and the Los Angeles City Council may ban all vape products for up to a year.

For more information on this story, click here.

For more of Marijuana Business Daily’s ongoing coverage of the vaping crisis, click here.

Tilt Holdings founders to forfeit stock options with cannabis firm

Tilt Holdings, a Massachusetts-based marijuana company, said it reached an agreement with six of its founders to forfeit their stock options.

The company said approximately 60 million options were forfeited.

The options were associated with more than $47 million of expenses during the second quarter of Tilt’s fiscal 2019.

Tilt reported a net loss of $48.9 million for its second quarter.

As part of the restructuring, the company also is issuing approximately 9 million share warrants to those founders who are leaving the company.

Tilt hired a new interim CEO, Mark Scatterday, in May. Marijuana Business Daily had a Q&A with him last month.

Tilt is traded on the Canadian Securities Exchange under TILT.

Details of the forfeiture agreement can be found here.

For more analysis and in-depth looks at the investment trends and deals driving the cannabis industry forward, sign up for our premium subscription service, Investor Intelligence.

Pennsylvania lawmakers pitch adult-use marijuana bill with state-run stores

A Pennsylvania state lawmaker introduced a recreational cannabis legalization bill that calls for retail stores to be operated by the state Liquor Control Board, a move that would limit private business opportunities.

The proposed law, introduced by Democratic Rep. David Delloso, comes just days after Gov. Tom Wolf said he supports legalizing recreational marijuana.

The governor’s office didn’t immediately respond to a query asking if this is what he had in mind.

The 19-page bill, which has 23 co-sponsors, is short on licensing specifics, but includes these provisions in addition to the state-controlled retail stores:

  • A 19% retail sales tax.
  • A 10% tax to be paid by cultivators.
  • A July 1, 2020 deadline for the state Liquor Control Board to establish regulations including cannabis licensing procedures.

About 65% of Pennsylvanians support rec MJ legalization, according to polls and a report released from Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s statewide cannabis listening tour.

But Republican lawmakers say they have no interest in taking up a bill legalizing recreational marijuana.

Jeff Smith can be reached at jeffs@mjbizdaily.com

iAnthus CEO offers business update, urges purchase of ‘undervalued’ cannabis stock

(This story is part of MJBizDaily’s premium subscription service, Investor Intelligence.)

Monday was a busy day for iAnthus (OTC: ITHUF), with CEO Hadley Ford addressing several topics important to investors, such as the recent cannabis stock sell off, his company’s build-out plan and a strict focus on cost controls.

On a business update call, Ford also announced a new capital raise, guided to cash flow positive in 2020, discussed expansion plans and made a robust defense of the company’s business model.

But the CEO also took an unusual step: Urging listeners to buy iAnthus stock because he believes it’s undervalued.

Read more about iAnthus’ business update and the potential risks ahead at Investor Intelligence.

Poll suggests Californians want more adult-use marijuana stores

Recreational cannabis retailers could open far more stores in California if municipalities respond favorably to a poll that shows the majority of state residents welcome the legalization of adult-use MJ sales.

The UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies’ poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times found that 68% of Californians say the legalized sale of recreational marijuana has been a “good thing.”

And 63% of the respondents said they favor allowing retail dispensaries to sell cannabis products in the communities where they live.

Three years ago, 57% of voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized growing, selling and possessing marijuana for recreational use.

At the time, state officials thought there would be as many as 6,000 licensed cannabis retailers, but so far just 601 stores have been issued permits, likely because municipalities have the power to ban recreational marijuana businesses. About 75% of California cities have outlawed them.

Assemblyman Phil Ting, a Democrat from San Francisco, told the Times that the survey validates a bill he introduced that would require marijuana retailers to be allowed in cities where a majority of voters supported Proposition 64.

Under Ting’s bill, which was temporarily mothballed, one licensed cannabis retailer would be required for every six restaurants and bars with liquor licenses or every 15,000 residents, whichever would have resulted in fewer dispensaries in a community.

It’s estimated that would have led to 1,195 more cannabis retailers opening stores in the 392 incorporated cities and unincorporated areas that voted in favor of Proposition 64, according to a study by consulting firm Applied Development Economics Inc.

For more on this story, click here.

Nevada governor names head of new cannabis regulatory panel

(This story has been updated to provide additional detail on the status of Nevada’s former cannabis licensing chief.)

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak appointed an executive director to the new Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB), which is aimed at providing stronger oversight of the state’s $640 million legal cannabis industry.

The panel, created by Assembly Bill 533, is modeled after the state board that oversees gambling and casinos.

Sisolak appointed Tyler Klimas, a state government and federal affairs veteran, as the first CCB executive director.

Legislation also permits the governor to appoint the board members.

The announcement comes as Nevada struggles with lawsuits following a cannabis licensing round in late 2018.

Jorge Pupo, former head of the state’s cannabis licensing division, was placed on administrative leave last month after allegations of favoritism and improper conduct.

Eden Larson, public information officer for the Nevada Department of Taxation, said Pupo is no longer with the taxation department but declined to provide additional information.

In a statement distributed on social media, Sisolak made a point of noting Klimas’ “thoughtful, impartial perspective.”

Klimas previously supported the Nevada governor’s office and other clients while working for a Washington DC-based federal affairs firm called District Strategies.

The Nevada governor’s office said in a news release that Klimas initially will serve with the state Department of Taxation’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, “where he will help lay the groundwork for the transfer of its regulatory authority over Nevada’s marijuana industry to the CCB.”

Cannabis sales in Nevada totaled $639 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, a 20% increase over sales of $530 million for the same period a year ago.