Legal Marijuana Sales Exceeded $45 Million on April 20 (4/20)

There was over $45 million in legal marijuana sold on April 20 (4/20), the unofficial cannabis holiday, according to a new report.

MJ Freeway, a leading provider of seed-to-sale traceability solutions for the cannabis industry, reports that cannabis retail sales for the largest marijuana holiday exceeded $45 million, a 20% increase compared to the 2016 holiday.

Prior to the holiday, MJ Freeway predicted a 20% increase in retail cannabis sales and a 10% increase in customer traffic. MJ Freeway’s predictions and reports are based on sales data figures compiled through analysis of their majority cannabis retail market share.

April 20th is widely recognized as a holiday by cannabis enthusiasts, increasing cannabis tourism and events. “With the increase in widespread acceptance of cannabis, we anticipated a large jump in US sales for the holiday. 4/20 is an excellent opportunity for adults to purchase and consume products in a responsible, regulated market, while learning about the culture and history of the industry,” said Jessica Billingsley, COO and Co-founder of MJ Freeway.

4/20 by the Numbers

  • MJ Freeway predicted a 10% increase in order count (number of transactions) for the week of 4/20 (4/14 – 4/20). This year’s 4/20 week saw a 13% increase in order count compared to the weekly average.
  • On the day of 4/20, MJ Freeway predicted a $6 per transaction average increase from an average order sale compared to the rest of the year. This year, the actual results were much higher at $77.21 for 4/20 – a $10 increase per transaction compared to the 2017 average.
  • On average, 13% discounts have been applied to all sales for the year. On 4/20, MJ Freeway saw an average discount of 24.11% applied to all sales.

*Note: One physical location may operate with two individual licenses – medical and recreational

The next largest holiday for cannabis sales is July 4th, which ranks as the third highest holiday in total cannabis retail dollar sales following 4/20 and New Year’s Eve.

For more information on state-specific retail sales data or for help spotting trends and opportunities using cannabis sales data, please contact MJ Freeway Consulting Services at sales@mjfreeway.com or 888-932-6537 ext 2.

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Nevada Hemp Legalization Bill Passed Unanimously by Senate

Nevada’s Senate has unanimously voted to legalize the production and cultivation of industrial hemp.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 396 with a unanimous 20 to 0 vote, with one member absent. This send it to the House of Representatives, where passage would put it to the desk of Governor Brian Sandoval for consideration.

Existing Nevada law authorizes an institution of higher education or the state’s Department of Agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or for other agricultural or academic research. Section 2-21 of Senate Bill 396 creates “a separate program for the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp and produce agricultural hemp seed in this State”, allowing hemp to be grown for commercial purposes.

Section 12 of this bill “requires a person who wishes to grow or handle industrial hemp or produce agricultural hemp seed to register with the Department [of Agriculture].”

Section 19 “requires the testing of commodities or products made using industrial hemp by an independent testing laboratory”

Section 24 of this bill “allows a facility for the production of edible marijuana products or marijuana-infused products and a medical marijuana dispensary to acquire industrial hemp from a registered grower or handler.”

Section 24 “also allows a facility for the production of edible marijuana products or marijuana-infused products to use industrial hemp to manufacture edible marijuana products and marijuana-infused product”.

Finally “section 24 allows a medical marijuana dispensary to dispense industrial hemp and edible marijuana products and marijuana-infused products containing industrial hemp.”

And section 25 “requires the Division of Public and Behavioral Health of the Department of Health and Human Services to adopt regulations setting forth minimum requirements for industrial hemp which is used by a facility for the production of edible marijuana products or marijuana-infused products to manufacture such products or which is dispensed by a medical marijuana dispensary”.

For the full text of Senate Bill 396, click here.

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Denver City Council Passes Ordinance to Allow Marijuana Outlets to Stay Open Longer

An ordinance extending the hours marijuana businesses can remain open has been passed by Denver’s full City Council.

The council approved the ordinance with an 11 to 2 vote. The new law allows marijuana retail outlets to stay open an additional three hours. Starting May 1st, such outlets must be closed by 10pm; under current Denver regulations, marijuana businesses are prohibited from remaining open past 7pm.

The council rejected amendments to reduce the amount of hours outlets can stay open, including an amendment from Councilmember Chris Herndon that would have prevented marijuana businesses from opening prior to 9am, compared to the current allowed opening time of 8am.

The new ordinance effects all 218 marijuana outlets currently operating throughout Denver.

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Nevada Senate Votes to Add Opioid Addiction as Qualifying Medical Marijuana Condition

A bill to allow those with opioid addiction to legally possess and use medical marijuana – along with some other changes – has been passed by Nevada’s full Senate.

Nevada Senate Bill 374 was given approval yesterday by the state’s Senate with a 12 to 9 vote, sending it to the House of Representatives for consideration. According to its official legislative digest, the measure would include opioid addiction within the definition of “chronic or debilitating medical condition”. Section 1.5 of the proposal “prohibits a professional licensing board from taking disciplinary action against a person licensed by the board on the basis that the person holds a validly issues registry identification card or engages in lawful activity, pursuant to the person’s licensed profession, relating to the medical use of marijuana or to a registered medical marijuana establishment”.

Section 2 of the measure “prohibits a professional licensing board from taking disciplinary action on the basis that the person engages in lawful activity, pursuant to the person’s licensed profession, relating to: (1) the recreational use of marijuana; or (2) a licensed marijuana establishment.”

Section 3.3 “authorizes a provider of health care or message therapist to: (1) administer marijuana-infused product or a similar product containing industrial hemp for topical use on human skin to a patient or client if the patient or client provides the product for administration; (2) maintain a supply of products containing industrial hemp for topical use on human skin and administer such a product to a patient or client upon request; and (3) recommend the use of marijuana or industrial hemp by a patient or client to treat a condition.

Section 3.3 also “exempts a provider of health care or message therapist from certain crimes for making such an administration or recommendation, and “prohibits a professional licensing board from taking disciplinary action against a provider of health care or message therapist for making such an administration or recommendation.”

Click here for the full text of Senate Bill 374.

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Massachusetts Supreme Court Throws Out Over 21,000 Drug Convictions

In the largest dismissal of convictions in U.S. history, Massachusetts has thrown out more than 21,000 drug convictions linked to a former state chemist who admitted to faking test results.

Former state chemist Annie Dookhan.(Photo: David L. Ryan/AP)

The convictions were overturned by the Massachusetts Supreme Court several years after former chemist Annie Dookhan admitted to faking test results in 2013. The court threw out all drug cases where Dookhan was involved, in order to make sure that none of the individuals convicted were done so wrongly. In total, 21,587 convictions were overturned, by far the largest single dismissal of criminal charges in United States history.

According to NPR; “Over the nine years Annie Dookhan worked at the Hinton State Laboratory Institute outside Boston, she admitted to returning positive results on drug evidence she never tested and to sometimes forging co-workers’ signatures.” As the scandal unfolded, hundreds of people were released from prison and hundreds more had their charges dismissed. Dookhan herself was released from prison last April after serving about two and a half years of her three- to five-year sentence.

“Innocent persons were incarcerated,” Justice Carol S. Ball of Suffolk County Superior Court wrote in her 2013 sentencing decision. “Guilty persons have been released to further endanger the public, millions and millions of public dollars are being expended to deal with the chaos Ms. Dookhan created, and the integrity of the criminal justice system has been shaken to the core.”

But the ACLU says it’s not just a single person who is to blame. Kade Crockford of the ACLU writes that the scandal stemmed from a system that is set up to facilitate convictions. Crockford continues, “It was that system that enabled her abuse, covered it up, and then fought to preserve the convictions that stemmed from it.”

NPR’s Tovia Smith reports that on top of the 21,587 convictions tossed Thursday, prosecutors are still seeking to uphold several hundred others, which may also involve tainted evidence.

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