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Cannabis Briefs for November 19, 2019

November 19, 2019

•The House Judiciary Committee will debate the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act on Wednesday. The bill, sponsored by Committee chair Jerry Nadler in the House and by Kamala Harris in the Senate, is a comprehensive piece of legislation that would decriminalize cannabis and remove it from the Controlled Substances Act. It also includes numerous considerations to right wrongs perpetuated by the war on drugs including a community reinvestment grant program, record expungement for old offenses, and mandatory review toward resentencing for all prison inmates currently serving sentences for federal cannabis charges. The MORE Act boasts 55 co-sponsors in the House but, if passed, could face significant resistance in the Senate.

•Viv & Oak, a cannabis beverage company based in Woodland, California, has announced the launch of its first product, a non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused sparkling rosé. Made from California grapes, it will be sold in two dosage levels with one containing 50-mg. of THC (10-mg. a 5-ounce glass) and the other 25-mg. of both THC and CBD (5-mg. of each a 5-ounce pour). Viv & Oak will debut at select dispensaries in California in December and will be distributed statewide by Pacific Expeditors. Additional releases, including a red varietal, are planned for the coming months.

•New York-based Columbia Care has acquired Colorado’s The Green Solution in a deal valued at roughly $140 million. Upon completion of the transaction, Columbia Care says it will be the largest vertically integrated cannabis company in Colorado, a cannabis market worth roughly $1.6 billion. The Green Solution’s former holdings will add 21 dispensaries to Columbia Care’s portfolio, with two more expected by year-end. The acquisition will bring Columbia Care’s U.S. footprint to 93 facilities (74 dispensaries, 19 cultivation/manufacturing) across 15 markets.

•Green Thumb Industries, the owner of Rise and Essence retail stores, has sold its Danville, Pennsylvania cultivation facility to Innovative Industrial Properties (IIP), which will lease it back to Green Thumb. IIP purchased the property for $20.3 million and has agreed to reimburse Green Thumb for up to $19.3 million in improvements to the facility, for a total transaction of $39.6 million. Green Thumb Industries runs seven Rise stores in Pennsylvania and has licenses for 11 more.

•California cannabis producer Nug continues to expand its retail operation. It opened a new flagship store in San Leandro, California this week called Nug Wellness. The company opened the store in partnership with the Davis Street Family Resource Center, which works to address poverty and offer medical services; the Center will receive a percentage of the retail outlet’s gross receipts. The 7,000-square-foot store offers Nug’s catalog of products in addition other brands. An Oakland location is planned to open early next year.

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