Marijuana Business This Week: Hemp hoopla, new Missouri regs take effect, Utah jazzed about MMJ & more

Here are some notable stories and events to watch for in the coming days:

HAILING HEMP: The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill gives added significance to the 10th annual Hemp History Week campaign, an initiative by the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) that runs through Sunday with events across the United States.

Hundreds of national product retailers, hemp advocates and HIA chapters will host more than 1,500 grassroots events throughout the week, ranging from educational components, speakers and documentary screenings to product samplings, state lobbying days and spring plantings, according to the association.

Additionally, leading hemp product manufacturers will be offering discounts on select items at participating retail outlets.

Founded in 1994, the HIA is a nonprofit trade group representing hemp companies, researchers, farmers and supporters.

NEW RULES: Regulations governing Missouri’s nascent medical marijuana industry were scheduled to go into effect Monday.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services posted the final rules May 24, one day before the deadline requiring the agency to do so, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The new rules can be found here.

Medical marijuana sales are expected to start early next year and are forecast to top $100 million by 2025, according to the newspaper.

The rules will remain in effect at least through February, when they can be changed as necessary, a health department spokesperson told the Post-Dispatch. The department will accept further public comment on the rules in July before holding a public hearing.

Applications for those seeking dispensary licenses will be available starting Tuesday.

The department will accept business applications Aug. 3-17, the newspaper said. Officials will have until Dec. 31 to score the business applications ahead of awarding licenses.

Missouri is required by law to approve at least 60 commercial growers, 86 facilities that manufacture marijuana-infused products and 192 dispensary licenses – 24 for each of Missouri’s eight congressional districts, the Post-Dispatch reported.

ANTEING UP: Following up on an item from last week, The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the price for landing a license to grow medical cannabis in Utah could cost $100,000 a year plus a $10,000 application fee, according to draft rules published in the Utah State Bulletin dated May 15.

State agriculture officials are scheduled to hold a hearing on the proposed rules on Wednesday.

The agricultural department said it expects to spend more than $560,000 a year to oversee cannabis cultivation and manage a digital platform that will track each plant to the point of sale, the Tribune reported, with those costs likely to rise over time as the program grows, according to the state’s fiscal analysis.

With 10 grower licenses initially available, revenues to the agriculture department could top $1.1 million in the first year and stay at about $1 million over the following years as cultivators pay the renewal fee, the newspaper reported.

GOING PUBLIC: Harborside, a vertically integrated cannabis company based in California, said it expects to begin trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) this week.

While the company initially announced its plans to go public last August, the process was about 18 months in the making, CEO Andy Berman told Marijuana Business Daily.

Co-founded in 2006 by industry activist Steve DeAngelo, Harborside will inherit dispensary operations in California and Oregon from Toronto-based Lineage Grow, the company with which it is involved in a reverse takeover (RTO) on the CSE.

Lineage also has a 43,000-square-foot grow facility near Sacramento.

Those facilities will complement Harborside’s dispensaries in Oakland and San Jose plus its cultivation facilities on 47 acres in Salinas. The company has 34 licenses in California and will receive another seven after the RTO, Berman said.

REGULATING MMJ: The city of Iron Mountain, Michigan, is holding a public hearing Monday on rules to regulate medical marijuana facilities.

The City Council voted late last year to allow medical MJ dispensaries and growing and processing facilities, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News reported. A draft ordinance approved last month allows for two of each.

The proposed application fee for a medical marijuana facility is $1,500 per license while the proposed annual fee for a facility license is $5,000.

No decision has been made about whether the city will allow recreational marijuana dispensaries.

CONSIDERING MMJ: Elsewhere in Michigan, the Benton Harbor Planning Commission is holding a public hearing Tuesday at which a proposal to open a medical marijuana facility in the city will be discussed.

Nobo Michigan, a unit of Colorado-based Nobo Partners, is seeking a special-use permit to open an MMJ growing and processing center at the site of a former smelting plant, according to The Herald-Palladium.

The company applied to Benton Harbor for four medical marijuana licenses – two for Class C growers, one for a processing center and one for a provisioning center, the newspaper reported.

The provisioning center would be located at a different site. The company can grow up to 1,500 marijuana plants for each Class C growers license it receives.

If planning commissioners recommend granting the special-use permit, city commissioners would then be tasked with considering the request.

EXPIRING LICENSE SCORECARD: There were 539 cultivation licenses set to expire during the month of May in California, according to an analysis of state license data by MJBizDaily.

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