News Tech Apr 04, 2019

Industry News Roundup – March

A collection of some of the biggest stories from the cannabis industry this month.

CBD – Coming to a Pharmacy Near You

Days after CVS announced it would start selling cannabis-based products in its pharmacy, Walgreens joined its rival. Soon, more than 2,300 national drug stores will begin to sell a variety of topical applications like creams, lotions, salves, patches, and sprays.

Right now, complex FDA regulations limit the stores to only carry topical CBD applications for practical and legal reasons. But don’t be mistaken: this is a bold move and a major development for the cannabis industry.

Many welcomed the news and speculated what this would do for the growth of the industry – and cannabis stocks.

But others warned that consumers need to be cautious when buying CBD products, a reminder that the mainstream consumer needs more education about CBD.

Dr. Bonni Goldstein, medical director of Canna Centers, an author and medical advisor to weedmaps.com told Healthline:

“CBD-infused topical products may or may not work to give therapeutic benefits such as pain relief, reduction of inflammation, or resolution of a rash. The results depend completely on the ingredients used to formulate the product.”

There’s truth in that, but as CBD moves from dispensaries onto chain store shelves, a major shift in American culture is bound to happen. Dr. Michele Ross, PhD, MBA, a neuroscientist, author, and cannabis educator put it this way:

“It really does help normalize this. If Grandma can go to the store and get it, now the conversation about cannabis is going to be very different.”

Here’s What Else We’re Reading:

1. A congressional committee approved the SAFE Banking Act. The bipartisan legislation would ensure state-legal cannabis businesses are able to access basic banking and financial services. The bill now moves to the House for approval. We’ll be watching closely – Forbes

2. With cannabis use now legal in 33 states, it’s time for businesses to review their current drug use and testing policies– Inc.

3. For Democrats in 2020, the key issue won’t be just if they support legalizing cannabis, but if they are focused on social justice. Speaking about the higher rates of arrest for marijuana possession of African-Americans, U.S. Senator Cory Booker said in a tweet, “It’s not enough to legalize marijuana at the federal level—we should also help those who have suffered due to its prohibition” – New York Times

4. Comedian/Actor Seth Rogen jumped on the bandwagon when he announced on Twitter that he is launching his own cannabis company, Houseplant. Rogen joins other celebrities turned canna-entrepreneurs such as Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog – CNBC

5. A poll that has tracked support for legal marijuana since 1973 found that a record number of Americans – 61% – now support legalization. Support has grown in all age groups, all U.S. regions and across political affiliations – Business Insider

6. The land grab continues. Harvest Health & Recreation snapped up Chicago-based Verano holdings for $850 million. The deal creates one of the largest U.S. multi-state operators. The two companies combined will operate 200 facilities in 16 states and territories – Bloomberg

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