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Cannabis Briefs for July 9, 2019

July 9, 2019

•Ontario will issue 50 new cannabis retail licenses by year-end in an effort to expand access and sales in Canada’s most populous province. Despite containing nearly 40% of Canada’s population, there are only 22 cannabis retailers currently open in the province, almost all of which are in the greater Toronto area. The first 25 licenses were awarded by lottery to begin operations in April. Ontario sales more than doubled that month, up from C$7.7 million ($5.9m) in March to C$19.7 million ($15m) in April, according data from Statistics Canada. By comparison, Alberta, which contains less than one-third of Ontario’s population but has over 150 dispensaries, sold C$15.9 million ($12.1m) worth of cannabis in April.

•Acreage Holdings is on the hunt for a new CMO, with Harris Damashek stepping down from the position effective July 5. Additionally, Acreage provided an update on its Florida operations, noting that it has closed on a property in Sanderson, Florida that will become home to a processing facility for Form Factory, Acreage’s edibles and beverage manufacturing subsidiary. Rhonda Kratz, former senior vice president of Nationwide Vision, has been appointed general manager of Florida operations. Acreage has also secured seven Florida dispensary locations, including a planned flagship dispensary in Miami Beach.

•New York City’s ban on CBD additives to food and drink is going back into effect. The Health Department conducted a crackdown earlier this year targeting cafés and other businesses selling CBD lattés, chocolates, and other similar products but temporarily ended the push following criticism. Moving forward, however, any businesses still selling CBD products risk having them embargoed if found by Health Department officials. Fines ranging from $250-$600 are scheduled to start being enforced in October.

•Steve Goldner, the co-inventor of liquid methadone, has launched Parachute, a pure-CBD pill that’s said to ameliorate the effects of a bad or too-intense high. Goldner is the founder of Pure Green, an Inkster, Michigan-based medical marijuana company that produces Parachute. The pills are mint-flavored, dissolve under the tongue, and take effect within five minutes.

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