In the days of the Armada, a fleet of warships, the scuttlebutt was the rumor or gossip that would spread throughout the ship. Today, Armada Law Corp presents The Scuttlebutt, a daily summery of news articles that people within the cannabis, hemp and plant medicine industries are chatting about along with links to the full articles.

In today’s news:

#cannabisindustry – “In a complaint filed Monday, The Hawthorne Gardening Co. says Jason G. Wild, who owns JW Asset Management, which in turn owns 40% of TerrAscend Corp.’s stock, is using JWAM’s position as the largest shareholder of RIV Capital Inc. to interfere with RIV’s acquisition of Etain IP LLC, which holds a New York cannabis license.

Hawthorne says in the suit that it invested $175 million into RIV so it could acquire U.S. cannabis businesses and build a brand, and that investment is what fueled RIV’s bid to acquire Etain last year.

According to the complaint, TerrAscend had also tried to acquire Etain to get its New York cannabis license, as TerrAscend only has a New Jersey license, but failed in that bid, and TerrAscend, JWAM and Wild have been trying to scuttle the deal since it was announced in March 2022.

Hawthorne says that JWAM not only has a controlling interest in TerrAscend, but also owns 20% of RIV’s stock, making it the largest single shareholder, and Wild has aimed to use that leverage by pressuring RIV’s board to call off the deal.”

#cannabisindustry – “On February 3, 2023, the Maryland Legislature introduced cross-filed emergency bills SB516 and HB556. The proposed legislation would impart licensing and regulation duties upon a renamed Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Commission (ATCC), create an Office of Social Equity, an Advisory Board on Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis, and create a Cannabis Regulation & Enforcement Division within the ATCC.

Key Takeaways from the Bills

Medical licensees will be able to convert to adult use on or before July 1, 2023

Conversion fees for existing licensees will range from $100,000 to $2,500,000 depending on gross revenue for 2022

New adult use licenses will be available on or before January 1, 2024, with a second licensing round scheduled to begin May 1, 2024

The First Round of Licenses will only be available to Social Equity Applicants

The Division is prohibited from requiring applicants to have property at the time the application is submitted

Applications will be reviewed on a pass/fail basis, and then submitted to a lottery”

#californiacannabis – “The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved the relaxation of payment terms required by conditional use permits granted to four marijuana dispensaries under construction in different parts of Riverside County, including Winchester. The owner can now postpone satisfying a bill in excess of $1 million.

Sean St. Peter, the operator of the Cannabis 21 chain, was the subject of a brief public hearing focused on his operations in the unincorporated communities of Bermuda Dunes, Highgrove, Mead Valley and Winchester.

Following a short presentation by the county Transportation & Land Management Agency, and a word of thanks from St. Peter, the board unanimously authorized modification of the development agreements tied to each of his four outlets, which the board first approved in 2020 and 2021.”

#californiacannabis – “A chain of cannabis stores that was once described as the “Apple store of weed” and valued as high as $1.7 billion as a public company, is near financial collapse, according to a regulatory filing.

The company, MedMen, said that it has only $15.6 million in cash remaining versus $137.4 million in debt.

“The conditions described above raise substantial doubt with respect to the company’s ability to meet its obligations for at least one year,” the company said in its filing last week.

MedMen is just the latest of the onetime cannabis darlings to face a reckoning as the industry bubble of five years ago deflates due to excessive debt, falling marijuana prices, competition from illegal sellers, and high taxes. The reality, as in any retail business, is that opening stores is expensive and taking on debt is risky—even as an increasing number of states legalize pot sales.”

#cannabisindustry – South Dakota – “Two bills placing more restrictions on medical marijuana passed the House Health and Human Services Committee Tuesday morning.

One bill, HB 1172, requires a medical assessment of a patient in a licensed healthcare facility to obtain a medical cannabis card.

The other bill, HB 1129, requires that a doctor certify that they have assessed the patient’s medical history.

It would also require that the visit is not for obtaining a marijuana card unless it is a referral, and that any contra-indications of medical cannabis are indicated.”

#cannabisindustry – New Jersey – “From July 2022 to September 2022, New Jersey recreational cannabis sales totaled $116.5 million. This marks a 46% increase from the $79.7 million in revenue generated from April 21 – when the adult-use marketplace opened – through June, according to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC).

The figure increases to $177.7 million when you factor in medicinal sales from that same time period.

There are now 20 dispensaries in New Jersey selling recreational cannabis, and another 10 that sell medicinal cannabis to registered patients only.”


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