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Cannabis Briefs for March 15, 2022

March 15, 2022

•Seattle, Washington-based Jones Soda is launching Mary Jones, a new line of cannabis-infused sodas, gummies, and syrups. The initial wave of Mary Jones products will include 12-ounce bottles of soda containing 10mg of THC, 16-ounce soda cans containing 100mg of THC, bottles of syrup containing 1,000mg of THC, and 5mg gummies shaped like bottles. The brand will launch April 1 in California, with tentative plans to expand to other markets in the future. The move follows Jones’ acquisition of Canadian entity Pinestar Gold last July, at which time the company said it would begin developing cannabis products.

•British American Tobacco upped its stake in Canadian cannabis producer Organigram. After making an initial investment of C$220 million in March of last year, the tobacco company put in an additional C$6.3 million to bring its stake in the company to 19.5%. Organigram refers to the partnership between the two companies as the Product Development Collaboration, underscoring its focus on R&D and innovation.

•Washington D.C. will be blocked again from instituting recreational cannabis sales. In November, it appeared that the federal budget rider that has prevented the District from setting up sales infrastructure had been removed from the appropriations bill in Congress. Now, however, the rider has reappeared in the congressional spending plan released in recent days. That development squashes any chance for change this year. D.C. voters approved a ballot measure to legalize adult-use cannabis in 2014.

•New Jersey expects cannabis sales to generate $4 million in state tax revenue before the end of its fiscal year on June 30. That figure comes from Governor Phil Murphy’s budget brief which also projects an additional $19 million in cannabis taxes for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. It’s now expected that the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission will give the go-ahead to begin sales at certain existing medical dispensaries at its meeting on March 24, setting the stage for sales to begin in April or early May.

•California’s Department of Cannabis Control is proposing a number of changes to its industry regulations. Those changes would include allowing prepackaged food and drink at cannabis consumption lounges, as well as extending curbside pickup. The revisions also consider banning cannabis products that would otherwise be considered medical devices or over-the-counter medications, such as nasal spray, eye drops, and metered-dose inhalers.

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