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Cannabis Briefs for June 4, 2019

June 4, 2019

•Canada’s cannabis market is set to take a big step later this year with the scheduled launch of edibles, drinkables, concentrates, and other alternative products. Deloitte estimates the new additions could be worth C$2.7 billion ($2b), with edibles accounting for C$1.6 billion ($1.2b), beverages at C$529 million ($394m), topicals at C$174 million ($130m), concentrates at C$140 million ($104m), tinctures at C$116 million ($86m), and capsules at C$114 million ($85m). Deloitte’s survey of cannabis consumers found that 59% intend to consume edibles, 53% topicals, and 37% beverages when they become available in stores. Taking a look at the big picture, Deloitte estimated that the top cannabis markets worldwide are worth a combined $100 billion today, but by 2025 will nearly double in value to $194 billion.

•Fireball-branded cannabis-infused gummies have been rolled out in the Nevada market. Packaged in 10-packs, each cinnamon whisky-flavored gummy is individually sealed and contains 10 milligrams of CO2-extracted Sativa cannabis oil. The gummies don’t contain any whisky. The move marks a foray into the burgeoning cannabis edibles category for one of the drinks industry’s most successful brands of recent years. According to Impact Databank, Fireball, part of the Sazerac portfolio, more than doubled in size from 2013-2018, topping 5.2 million 9-liter cases last year on 6% growth.

•New York-based medical marijuana producer and retailer Vireo Health has named Harris Rabin as CMO. He most recently held the position of global vice president of marketing at AB InBev, where he led brand-building efforts for the core beer brands. At Vireo he will oversee brand marketing, e-commerce, and sales efforts. Additionally, Vireo’s vice president of sales is Jennie Leuzarder, who held various sales and marketing roles for Diageo and Pernod Ricard. Vireo is currently licensed to operate in 10 U.S. states.

•Colorado has enacted three new measures further liberalizing the cannabis market. The first allows for the creation of on-site consumption lounges, which notably would be allowed both to retail cannabis products and provide a space to consume them. The second bill creates cannabis delivery licenses and related rules including a limit of one delivery per day to private residences, legal protections for drivers, and a requirement that municipalities opt in to allow delivery. The third measure repeals the restrictions on investment and ownership from outside the state, which could herald dramatic changes moving forward for one of the country’s largest markets.

•The federal Travel Safety Administration has eased its restrictions around CBD to allow it through airport security, provided it is an FDA-approved product or was produced within the regulations of last year’s Farm Bill, which legalized hemp and hemp-derived CBD. The TSA will still report the discovery of any “cannabis-infused products” (that is, THC products) to law enforcement if they find them, though they claim they do not specifically search for them.

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