Cannabis legalization needs to be priority says NORML
Deputy director of NORML, Paul Armentano, writes that, although President Biden took partial steps by announcing pardons for individuals with federal convictions for simple cannabis possession and has called for a review of how cannabis is scheduled, “the efforts don’t nearly go far enough.”
Armentano highlights polling data revealing US citizens view on the matter, noting that:
- More than half of people between the ages of 18 and 44 said that Congress should prioritize the issue
- Among registered Democrats of any age, 54 percent of respondents said that lawmakers ought to prioritize legalization
- One-quarter of Democrats said that it should be one of Congress’s “top” priorities
“With the midterm elections fast approaching, federal lawmakers — and Democratic leadership in particular — would be wise to heed voters’ calls and to fast-track legislative efforts to amend America’s failed and unpopular marijuana prohibition laws. Doing so would galvanize the Democratic base while simultaneously appealing to many Republicans and Independents — in a way that few if any other hot-button political issues would,” writes Armentano.
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BANKING ON A BILL
Governor of Colorado joins call for congress to pass banking bill
The governor of Colorado and other top state officials are again pushing Congress to pass a bipartisan cannabis banking bill with what’s left of the session, reports Marijuana Moment.
Banking is still one of the biggest issues plaguing the cannabis industry. A group of Governors are now trying to move the issue forward, writing a letter to officials in order to “drive home the urgency of the legislation in terms of public safety and industry equity.”
The letter states: “The lack of safe banking and financial services for the cannabis industry in the State of Colorado has become a dire public safety issue for highly regulated cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state law.
“Further, the lack of safe banking exacerbates the uneven playing field faced by small and minority-owned cannabis businesses, despite their serving the same communities and being subject to the same increased state regulation as other cannabis businesses in the State.”
The publication highlights that the SAFE Banking Act has passed the House in some form seven times now, only to stall in the Senate under Republican and Democratic control.
Canadian legal cannabis retailers starting to gain market share
Business Intelligence for B.C. (BIV) reports that last year, only 38 percent of cannabis users in Canada acquired their product at a legal retailer, while this year, the proportion has grown to 48 percent.
With a review of Canada’s legalization coming up four years after cannabis was legalized for recreational cannabis, these numbers reflect the success of the changes in diminishing the illegal market.
BIV highlights that its data has also shown a drop in the proportion of Canadian cannabis users who say that not an ounce of their product was bought at a legal retailer, from 20 per cent in 2021 to 15 per cent this year, noting its survey suggests “that the legal system is starting to win consumers over.”
Tilray reports huge losses as result of strikes and wholesaler issues
One of the globe’s leading cannabis companies, Tilray, lost $65.8 million in the first quarter of this year as net revenue declined 9% year-over-year to $153.2 million, reports MJ Biz Daily.
According to the publication, Tilray CEO Irwin Simon said the losses were impacted by two events, including strikes in British Columbia and a company wholesale issue in Ontario.
These losses were against a backdrop of growing Canadian cannabis industry, however, the publication highlights the company’s “lone bright spot” was its beverage alcohol business which saw revenue soar 33 percent year-over-year to $20.7 million in the first quarter.
“Tilray Brands’ top and bottom-line results during the first quarter reflect successful realignment of the business to maximize revenue and market share gains across core business segments and geographies,” said Simon.