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Biden’s cannabis pardons don’t apply to veterans


Biden’s cannabis pardons don’t apply to veterans but will increase number of eligible applicants

Biden’s cannabis pardons do not apply to U.S. military members, a White House official told Military.com, reports Benzinga

The publication highlights that although the pardons will not help military members – it will increase the number of people eligible to apply to join the service, noting that “as many as 77% of young Americans are unable to qualify for military service, with drug and alcohol abuse accounting for 8%, according to a Pentagon study.” 

Eric Carpenter, an associate professor of law at Florida International University with a specialty in military justice said: “This will open up a lot of people to come into the services. But once they’re in, the UCMJ will apply to them.”

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Insiders say cannabis accounting issues show the industry is still maturing

According to MJ Biz Daily, the US cannabis industry has an accounting problem. It highlights that a number of companies are correcting errors in financial statements in recent years through restatements, making it harder for investors to gauge the financial health of a cannabis company. 

Speaking to the publication, John Pelliterri, a partner at New York-headquartered Grassi Advisors and Accountants, said the issues that companies such as Verano and Jushi have grappled with, are common in the cannabis industry. 

Common pitfalls include: 

  • Inventory, which moves quickly in cannabis. 
  • State taxes combined with issues related to Section 280E of the federal tax code, which prohibits marijuana businesses from taking traditional business deductions.
  • Convoluted ownership structures. 

Pelliterri urges cannabis companies to invest in accounting and make an effort to stay on top of the latest developments: “A lot of the rules are still being written. As more people get into the industry and it becomes more mainstream, a larger group will gravitate (toward cannabis) from a financial perspective.” 


Are blanket cannabis pardons better than Canada’s approach?

Polls suggest that Biden’s pardon announcement is a winner with the American public, reports CBC

Despite the pardon only applying to a limited number of people, CBC highlights that a number of experts say one aspect of his announcement was more progressive, effective and beneficial than the approach taken by the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. That is that, Biden’s decision to proactively pardon those people he has the power to help. 

Samantha McAleese, an adjunct research professor at Carleton University, told the publication: “I think a more automatic approach that doesn’t require any kind of lengthy application or red tape is definitely preferable to the system we have here. The U.S. approach wins in that regard.” 

It has been three years since Canada introduced its record suspension application process for simple possession of cannabis convictions, and so far, the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) has received only 972 applications for cannabis record suspensions. 

To tackle this, some critics are suggesting the government should expunge, rather than pardon. 


Less than 10% of license holders since 2018 have left Canadian cannabis market

MJ Biz Daily reports that new government data has shown how just under 10% of federal cannabis license holders in Canada have exited the market since legalization in October 2018. 

The data shows that: 

  • 95 cannabis license holders left the industry, representing 9.7% of licenses issued during that period. 
  • 15 exiters were micro license holders, a class of license limited to 200 square meters of growing canopy. 
  • 13 were sale-for-medical-purposes only. 
  • 67 were standard license holders, which face no canopy limits. 
  • There are currently 920 active federal cannabis licenses. 

Importantly, MJ Biz highlights that the paper presented a rare government snapshot of Canada’s cannabis overproduction. 

It shows that: 

  • 10 standard license holders accounted for 43% of all dried cannabis production in Canada between October 2019 and December 2021. 
  • 56% came from 307 standard license holders. 
  • About 178 micro licensees accounted for less than 1% of all cannabis production in the country. 
  • Only 10 companies accounted for 66% of all legal sales, while another 200 accounted for one-third of all sales between October 2019 and December 2021. 
  • Micro license holders accounted for 0.3% for all sales in the period. 

However, a positive takeaway from the data is that Canada’s legal market is successfully displacing the illicit market. 

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