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Cannabis Briefs for June 7, 2022

June 7, 2022

•Recreational cannabis sales in Illinois held firm in May at $129.8 million for the month. The figure is down slightly from April’s total of $131.8 million but still registers as the fourth-best month of sales on the books, trailing April, March, and last December, which still holds the record at $137.9 million. The dip was attributable to state residents, who purchased $88.8 million of cannabis, down $2.1 million. Out-of-state visitors contributed just over $40 million each month in March, April, and May. Last month also marked three months in a row when the number of cannabis items sold surpassed 3 million.

•Delaware governor John Carney vetoed a bill that would have legalized recreational cannabis in the state. The Democratic governor broke with his party, expressing concerns that “Questions about the long-term health and economic impacts of recreational marijuana use remain unresolved.” Rep. Ed Osienski, who sponsored the bill, said he was “deeply disappointed” by Carney’s decision and would review his options. Other representatives said that Carney had chosen to ignore the will of Delawareans. 61% of state voters support legalization, according to recent polling from the University of Delaware; an analysis by the Office of the Auditor of Accounts from January estimates that legalization would yield $43 million in new annual state revenue and create 1,400 jobs within five years.

•Canadian cannabis retail chain Fire & Flower has replaced its CEO. Trevor Fencott is stepping down to be replaced by Stéphane Trudel. Trudel is currently senior vice president of operations for c-store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard, which has held a stake in Fire & Flower for years and recently exercised warrants to bring its holdings from 15% to approximately 35%. Fencott is departing the company entirely, having also resigned from its board of directors. Trudel comes from the convenience store world and, before his position with Couche-Tard, was senior vice president of growth and strategy at CST Brands, an international convenience retailer that Alimentation Couche-Tard acquired in 2017.

•New Mexico saw $38.5 million in total cannabis sales in May, the second month of its recreational market. That figure was split between $21.1 million in recreational sales and $17.4 million in medical sales. Albuquerque, the largest city in the state, contributed $14.4 million, split evenly between recreational and medical, followed by Santa Fe at $3.4 million, also split evenly. Las Cruces and Hobbs were also near the top, buoyed by their proximity to the Texas border.

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