Russians say US should respect its drug laws, keep Griner negotiations private

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BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Russians say US should respect its drug laws, keep Griner negotiations private

In response to a press conference announcing that the US could give up convicted “Merchant of Death” arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for WNBA player Brittney Griner and fellow detained American Paul Whelan, the Kremlin’s Dmitry Peskov told reporters that no deal has been made so far, per Reuters.

He also advised US representatives to refrain from discussing negotiations publicly. “When discussing such topics,” he said, “you don’t conduct information attacks.”

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also acknowledged the discussions, but advised the US to respect Russia’s drug laws.

“If a U.S. citizen was taken in connection with the fact that she was smuggling drugs, and she does not deny this, then this should be commensurate with our Russian, local laws, and not with those adopted in San Francisco, New York and Washington,” Zakharova said. “You understand, if drugs are legalized in the United States, in a number of states, and this is done for a long time, and now the whole country will become drug-addicted, this does not mean that all other countries are following the same path.”


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THE NORTH AMERICAN REPORT

Prohibition Partners projects North America’s adult-use cannabis market to reach US$66.4 billion by 2026

We have partnered with Prohibition Partners to bring you The North American Report: 3rd Edition. Prohibition Partners projects the continent’s adult-use cannabis market to be worth USD $66.4 billion by 2026. In addition to market sizing projections based on exclusive, scrupulous data collection, industry expert Q&As and analysis, this year’s report highlights the top trends in mature and emerging markets across North America. 

Highlights

  • By 2026, Canada’s adult-use cannabis market will grow to US$7.6 billion, while the medical cannabis market is likely to decline by 11%, from US$440 million to US$379 million. 
  • The US Adult-use cannabis sales are projected to grow 218% between 2022 and 2026, from US$18.5 billion to US$58.8 billion in 2026, with the fastest-growing markets emerging in Arizona, Illinois, Connecticut, New Mexico, New York, Vermont and Michigan
  • With new states still in the process of expanding and passing new medical cannabis legislation, sales are projected to grow by 41.5% between 2022 and 2026, from US $9.2 billion in 2022 to US$13.1 billion

Trends to watch: 

  • Consolidation and market right-sizing
  • Continued progress on state legalization and debate on federal cannabis and banking reform
  • Demographic buying habits, product preferences and early signs of brand loyalty
  • Cross-border business via licensing and M&A
  • Hot competition among cannabis tech and point-of-sale companies

Download the report here.


NOT ENOUGH

Denver’s social equity licensees are struggling to survive

Grants, training programs and special licences reserved for social equity applicants haven’t been enough to help diversify Denver’s cannabis industry, reports Politico

But Ari Cohen, the first successful delivery business licence holder who recently had to shut down his company, Doobba, doesn’t blame the lack of opportunities—but rather that they came too late after Colorado legalized cannabis. 

Initially, state law blocked those with cannabis criminal records to participate in the market. Now, Denver’s regulators are looking to further reduce licensing fees and ban retailers from delivering cannabis without partnering with a social equity licensee, and plan to introduce new legislation soon.


CONTESTING SALE

Former Akanda director orders liquidation of Lesotho-based subsidiary

An unhappy former director at international cannabis company Akanda applied for and requested the liquidation of the company’s Lesotho-based subsidiary, Bophelo Bioscience, without authorization of the parent company, per BusinessCann

Akanda plans to contest the sale, whichhas been ordered by the Lesotho court and which they say was executed by Louisa Mojela, the former executive chairman of the company. Mojela was terminated, along with every other board member except for CEO Tej Virk, in June.

“It is appalling that Ms. Mojela would take the extraordinary and significant action of seeking to cause Bophelo to be declared insolvent without consulting with, or obtaining the consent of, the board of directors or the senior management team of Akanda, which is the beneficial owner of 100% of Bophelo’s equity interests, or even of the full board of directors of Bophelo itself,” said Virk in a statement.

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