Marijuana lobbyists and a group of lawmakers are continuing their fight to include cannabis-related businesses in coronavirus relief packages.
MJBizDaily takeaway: The marijuana industry is a significant contributor to state economies across the country. But because the plant is illegal federally, it remains an uphill fight to allow the businesses to be eligible for federal coronavirus aid.
Marijuana and ancillary business failures and job losses likely will be exacerbated if the industry continues to be mostly shut out of financial-relief programs.
Hemp businesses vie for federal stimulus money
Farmers and other hemp businesses in the United States have another shot at federal coronavirus-related funding after Congress passed a $484 billion economic stimulus package.
MJBizDaily takeaway: Despite hemp’s legal status, industry officials reported that many businesses were denied relief in the first round of stimulus funding. Advocates have been working hard to try to change the situation.
Hemp farmers, in particular, might need federal help and banking access to make wise business decisions around planting season. But it remains unclear how many hemp farmers and other businesses will benefit from this latest stimulus and recovery round.
California boosts social equity funds
California awarded cities and counties another $30 million for social equity programs after disbursing $10 million last fall.
MJBizDaily takeaway: The additional assistance could be key to the health and growth of the state’s social equity program, especially during what’s been a difficult business environment for many companies.
Funding will include technical and worker-recruitment assistance, reduced or waived licensing fees and even assistance in preparing for emergencies such as the pandemic currently challenging the industry.
Brazil OKs first medical cannabis product
Brazilian regulators authorized the first medical cannabis product – THC-free CBD – under rules developed last December.
MJBizDaily takeaway: This is another important step in the development of a cannabis industry in Latin America’s largest economy.
The 2019 rules ban domestic cultivation but allow manufacturing. They also pave the way for a potentially large market for companies exporting raw extracts, isolated cannabinoids and finished products to Brazil.
Surviving cultivators experience firmer prices
A new Marijuana Business Daily report and video offer a snapshot of cultivation trends across the U.S. in both recreational and medical marijuana markets. (Most of the research was done before the coronavirus outbreak.)
MJBizDaily takeaway: Cultivators in more mature adult-use markets such as Colorado, Oregon and Washington state have experienced dramatic ups and downs as well as market attrition. But growers that survived have experienced higher prices and demand.
In newer recreational markets such as Illinois and Michigan, high initial consumer demand and constrained supply have translated into high prices.
Mexico still poised to legalize cannabis
Coronavirus has stalled hemp and marijuana legalization efforts in Mexico, but a bill could pass in the legislative session later this year.
MJBizDaily takeaway: If the measure is approved, Mexico would be the world’s most populous country to legalize cannabis regardless of THC content. But it could take years before regulations are in place to launch a commercial market.
Jeff Smith can be reached at [email protected]
For more of Marijuana Business Daily’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the cannabis industry, click here.