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Cannabis Briefs for May 19, 2020

May 19, 2020

•Massachusetts will reopen its recreational cannabis retailers May 25, according to the state’s new general reopening plan. Non-medical cannabis dispensaries have been closed since March 24, when they were deemed non-essential; medical locations have been limited to curbside pickup in the interim. As part of the first of four phases of reopening, recreational dispensaries will now be required to adopt a curbside pickup system for the time being.

•Drizly has appointed Meredith Mahoney as president of Lantern, its new cannabis delivery subsidiary. Mahoney joins from omni-channel beauty retailer Follain, where she served as president, and previously spent eight years with Wayfair, where she ended her tenure as vice president, lifestyle brands. Lantern is currently in its early stages of operations as it scales up retail partnerships and expands throughout Massachusetts, all of which Mahoney will oversee.

•Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy announced that it will stop enforcing residency requirements of cannabis operators. Until now the state has followed a clause in the law that mandates a four-year resident income taxpayer requirement for owners of cannabis businesses. The state is currently facing a lawsuit brought by medical cannabis company Northeast Patients Group challenging the issue on dormant Commerce Clause grounds. In its announcement that it would cease enforcement, the state acknowledged that it did not expect the requirement would have withstood such a challenge.

•The latest Covid-19 stimulus bill, the $3 trillion HEROES Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives with the entirety of the SAFE Banking Act included. The SAFE Banking Act would grant cannabis businesses access to banking services by eliminating the penalties banks face for working with businesses selling federally illegal materials. The House passed the SAFE Act on its own last September but it died in committee in the Senate. The Senate has yet to vote on the stimulus bill.

•Boulder, Colorado-based Wana Brands is expanding their line of high potency edibles in Arizona. The leading edibles maker is launching new flavors in its range of sour gummies, adding High Potency Mango Sativa and High Potency Watermelon Indica. Both come in packages of 10, with each gummy containing 30 mg of THC. Prices vary between dispensaries but hover around $30 a 10-piece pack.

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