National News Briefs

arizona marijuna


Industry Pioneer Harborside Goes Corporate As HBOR

The 10-year struggle of Steve DeAngelo (and brother Andrew behind him) to fight asset forfeiture and bad federal tax policy has given way to the California/Oregon operator of 18 licenses (as the largest Calif retailer) joining about 165 other cannabis firms on the Canadian Stock Exchange.

While no direct fundraising occurred in the reverse takeover with Lineage Grow, HBOR will now have access to millions in capital, and enters the publicly held space with 2018 annual sales of $39Mil.  In his book, The Cannabis Manifesto, DeAngelo wrote, “No matter the country or its laws, religions or current understanding about cannabis, access to the cannabis plant is a human right–like access to all healing botanicals.”  The first 4 days saw the stock open at $6, but closed down to $4.50, resulting in a market cap of about $63.6Mil.

CO Taxes Fuel State Ed Programs

Five years, and nearly one billion dollars in statewide marijuana taxes has produced a major impact on funding for Colorado state programs.  In this chart above, Vicente Sederberg researchers have complied the tax allocations to various state priorities.  The 42% shown for schools above were principally consisting of actual school construction of new buildings and facilities, or the expansion and repair of schools.

Kroger to Market CBD

The world’s biggest supermarket giant is jumping into sales of (non-ingestible) CBD topicals, leaving the door open to eventually adding other CBD goods through its 940-plus U.S. locations.    While not releasing chosen brands, it is believed that Charlotte’s Web(CWEB),  Elixinol and CV Sciences(PlusCBD) may be named, according to sources.  Walgreens,  CVS and GNC have joined Lucky’s Market (partially owned by Kroger) in beginning retail sales of CBD topicals.   Cincinnati-based Kroger reported fiscal 2018 sales of $121.2 billion, and operating stores under names including Kroger, King Soopers, Ralph’s, Dillon’s, City Market, Fry’s, QFC, Mariano’s, Fred Meyer and Harris Teeter.    Kroger also is a leading seller of healthy lifestyles products – it’s sales of natural and organic products alone exceeded $16 billion in 2017.

FDA Still Taking Public Comments on CBD

If you were unable to attend the live May 31 FDA hearing on CBD and cannabis as a food ingredient, the agency would still like your comments. The FDA is accepting public comments on their website until July 2. Specifically, the FDA is asking for feedback on specific areas, including: 1) Health and Safety Risks, 2) Manufacturing and Product Quality, and 3) Marketing/Labeling/Sales. ASA has prepared guidelines to make it easy to submit comments that make a difference. Read the American for Safe Access blog here.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

The day before Illinois voted to officially approve adult use, an Illinois cancer sufferer was sentenced to twelve years in prison for illegally ordering a large quantity of edibles to cope with his condition.  Thomas J. Franzen says he ordered 430 marijuana-infused chocolate bars from a California dispensary in 2014 in order to abate some of his symptoms, such as nausea. He pleaded guilty on May 30 to possession of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis, which carries a prison term of four to 14 years. Prosecutors dropped the more serious charge of trafficking more than 5,000 grams of cannabis.

Quick Reads

Oregon’s governor has signed a bill aimed at allowing the state to allow interstate MJ trade with contiguous states, providing the federal government signs off …. Nevada’s governor approved a bill which sets up a new commission to oversee MJ regulation, and places a two-year moratorium on licensing social consumption lounges in the state …. A California Assembly committee has approved a bill which allows the addition of CBD in any food, beverage or pet products, directly contra-verting the current FDA position.  The bill will also allow licensed cannabis retailers to begin selling CBD products, now opposed by the Bureau of Cannabis Control …. Herban has sued California MJ delivery giant, EAZE, claiming the delivery service has illegally used numerous credit card accounts.

–Based in Denver, Dr. Lloyd Covens, DBA is a seasoned cannabis industry journalist and the publisher of West420 NewsWeekly. Writing his doctorate on diffusion of innovations, Covens has been an expert journalist/researcher for 20 years chronicling new technology, global television and renewable energy advancements. He has reported on developments in the cannabis and hemp industry with weekly reports since 2014 covering the western U.S. for legal medical cannabis, recreational sales and hemp production. Covens is also the creator of the annual CO Hemp CBD conference held in Pueblo, Colorado.


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