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Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: Biden Extends Cannabis Pardon, Maryland Exceeds Expectations

US President Joe Biden has officially issued pardons to people who have been convicted of federal cannabis offenses.

Meanwhile, amendments to Pennsylvania’s cap on dispensaries could see up to 30 new storefronts, and changes are coming to Alberta’s retail cannabis regulations to help licensed providers compete with the illicit market.

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the cannabis industry? Keep reading for a roundup of this week’s top news and trends.

Biden expands cannabis pardons

In a major step toward addressing the racial disparities in the criminal justice system, US President Joe Biden has expanded his mass pardons for cannabis possession offenses “under federal and D.C. law.” However, it does not apply to individuals outside of D.C. who violated state law.

This move comes just over a year after his initial announcement, demonstrating the administration’s ongoing commitment to cannabis reform. The pardons will provide much-needed relief for thousands of individuals who have been negatively impacted by the War on Drugs and could pave the way for further progress in cannabis legalization.

In a statement, President Biden highlighted the unjust and disproportionate burdens that criminal records have placed on Americans for cannabis possession, a substance that has gained widespread acceptance and recognition for its medical benefits in recent years. With over half of the states in the US now having legalized cannabis in some form, the President’s pardons are a significant step towards addressing the harmful legacy of the War on Drugs and promoting a more equitable criminal justice system.

The President also commuted the sentences of 11 people serving time for non-violent drug charges and urged governors to issue pardons of equally minor offenses at a state level.

CBD-infused tampons can help women cope with menstrual pain

CBD-infused tampons have been available since 2017 when the UK-based fem-care startup Daye launched its first line of period products infused with CBD. However, a groundbreaking study published in the Journal of Endometriosis and Uterine Disorders has revealed that CBD-infused tampons can provide effective pain relief for menstrual cramps without the unwanted side effects of traditional anti-inflammatories. The research suggests that CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, may offer a promising new alternative for women seeking natural and effective menstrual pain relief.

According to the research paper, CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are part of the body’s endocannabinoid system and bind to cannabis compounds such as CBD or THC to trigger biological responses, are found throughout uterine tissue. CBD can bind to these receptors and deliver natural pain-relieving properties.

Pennsylvania set to increase medical marijuana dispensary limits by 20 percent 

Pennsylvania may soon see up to 30 new medical marijuana dispensaries under Senate Bill 773, signed into law by Governor Josh Shapiro on December 14.

Before the new law was passed, Pennsylvania had a limit of 50 dispensary licenses. The new law allows for an additional 10 dispensaries to obtain licenses, an increase of 20 percent, with each permit holder allowed to operate up to three locations. It would also allow up to four more growers to begin their operations.

The bill effectively enables smaller locally-owned cannabis operators to thrive and compete with multistate operators like Green Thumb Industries (CSE:GTII,OTCQX:GTBIF), Curaleaf Holdings (TSX:CURA,OTCQX:CURLF) and Cresco Labs (CSE:CL,OTCQX:CRLBF).

Maryland reports adult-use cannabis sales totaling US$56 million in November 

Adult-use sales in Maryland launched on July 1, and sales have been increasing incrementally month by month. November figures reveal total adult-use sales of US$56 million according to data from the Maryland Cannabis Administration, and year-to-date sales as of November came to an impressive US$270.27 million.

Within the first three months of adult-use legalization, the state collected more than US$12 million in taxes from sales according to a recent report released by the comptroller of Maryland. Regulators and lawmakers originally estimated that the adult-use cannabis market in Maryland was likely to bring in around US$54 million in tax revenue within the first year. However, with continued demand for cannabis products and more businesses set to open in 2024, revenue is likely to exceed the original estimate by a significant figure.

Alberta to introduce reforms to retail cannabis regulations in 2024

Alberta is set to apply several changes to its retail cannabis regulations on January 31, 2024. The proposed changes will be implemented to allow businesses to better compete with the illicit cannabis market, according to the announcement released on Alberta.ca.

The revised regulations will improve convenience for consumers by providing more accessibility to cannabis products. The new rules include allowing dispensary owners to keep their locked displays fully stocked after closing hours, removing restrictions on sales and transfers between retailers and allowing temporary adult-use sales at certain events like festivals and shows, as long as the event is adult-only.

Securities Disclosure: I, Meagen Seatter, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

This post appeared first on investingnews.com

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