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Cannabis Briefs for May 5, 2020

May 5, 2020

•Illinois has suspended its May 1 deadline to issue up to 75 new cannabis licenses. The suspension will continue until further notice, the state said, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to delays in reviewing applications for licenses. Prior to the May 1 deadline, the state had received applications from 700 applicants, the local NBC affiliate reported, with 600 of the applicants saying they qualify for social equity applicant status. Illinois’ adult-use sales surpassed $110 million from January through March.

•High Times Holding Corp., owner of High Times magazine, is set to acquire 13 California retail locations from Tempe, Arizona-based Harvest Health for $80 million in cash and stock. Harvest CEO Steve White said the deal would allow the company to “focus on optimizing operations and expanding assets in core markets such as Arizona, Florida, Maryland, and Pennsylvania while retaining a smaller retail presence in California.” Harvest Health saw sales more than double to $116 million in its fiscal year through December, but its adjusted EBITDA showed a loss of $34.8 million, compared with a gain of $7.9 million a year earlier.

•CBD and edibles brand Azuca has expanded to 10 U.S. markets, including Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and West Virginia. Known for its culinary CBD line, which includes ingredients like simple syrup, infused sugars, and infused chocolate coins, Azuca says its trade-marked Time Infusion process allows a rapid onset time of about 15 minutes. In addition to its CBD offerings, the company markets branded THC products in Massachusetts, and it’s Time Infusion process is used in Wana Quick gummies in Colorado.

•New Zealand has finalized a cannabis legalization proposal that will appear on its general election ballot in September. Under the ballot initiative, individuals aged 20 years and older would be able to purchase up to 14 grams of cannabis from licensed retailers, grow up to two plants for personal use, and visit on-premise “coffee shops” once they’re established. Advertising by cannabis businesses would be restricted. If more than 50% of voters approve the measure, it will be taken up by the legislature, which will be required to pass it, but is allowed to make amendments.

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