The Digital Dime: 3/6/2020

By Samantha Wahl

 

Following important cannabis news articles every day can be a real burn-out, we know. That’s why the Emerald rolls up a chronicle of the headiest news hits, and passes them to you at the end of each week. We Bring You: The Digital Dime.

The World’s Largest Cannabis Company is Closing Doors on Weed and Workers

As the legalized world finds its footing, cannabis companies learn from their original mistakes. Canada’s Canopy Growth is laying off 500 employees, after closing down two cultivation facilities. Over 3 million square feet of grow houses are shutting down, making up about half of their cultivation in Canada, CNN Business says. The company chalks their decision up to overshooting the market’s needs. They were forced to spend extra on changing their cultivation sites to greenhouses after federal regulations ruled against outdoor growing. Now, their stocks are falling 7%, and they could be down $800 million in charges. The industry will likely see more stories like these as companies learn what this new legal cannabis market requires.

Utah’s Opening Medical Dispensary Doors

Meanwhile, Utah’s first medical dispensary opened in its capital on March 2nd, according to Cannabis Business Times. Everything happened as quick as it began. Legislators signed the cannabis regulatory laws just two days prior to the opening, and the state released applications on March 1st. But that’s how the cannabis industry operates–nothing happens until it does, and then it really does. The dispensary, Dragonfly Wellness, is a new one, with a bare-bones website and limited operation hours at the start of their venture. But so close to Colorado, there’s hope for Utah’s cannabis program. We’ll just have to wait and see how everything rolls out.

Louisiana Wants to Do Things Differently

Everyone in the U.S. knows how difficult it is to get an entire state to agree on legalization. A Marijuana Moment report shows that Louisiana wants to scale it down to a city-wide agreement. If passed, this bill would allow individual cities to decide if and how they want to regulate “sale, possession, distribution, and use” of cannabis for themselves. The bill is in its early stages–it still needs approval by legislature, then voters’ approval in November. This could be tricky to achieve in a red state. At the same time, as this is a new type of bill, logistical issues are still in question, like whether the cities or state will collect tax revenue. But Louisiana could be setting an example for other states to adopt similar policy interests. 

The Coronavirus and Cannabis

With reports of the coronavirus hitting the U.S., it would seem nobody is immune to its wrath, not even the hemp industry. National and international businesses have planned for temporary shutdowns to avoid spreading infection among workers. According to Hemp Industry Daily, much of the hemp hardware used around the industry comes from China. Chinese facilities will likely halt export of vapes, labels, and equipment, forcing U.S. companies to source their needs from their own country. But the good news is this could strengthen bonds between American companies. Results could also lead to less of a carbon footprint–less international shipping could mean more environmentally-friendly forms of packaging and more. While this virus is a serious health threat, it could cause the U.S. cannabis industry to rethink the way they’ve been operating.

Emerald contributor since September 2019

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