Massachusetts’s Legal Cannabis Market Now Above $3 Billion

Massachusetts started letting retail stores sell recreational cannabis products to adults in 2018. Over the last few years, the state has built a successful industry that recently celebrated more than $3 billion in sales.

Cannabis Sales in Massachusetts

The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) uses a seed-to-sale system to track all transactions. It even has an Open Data Platform that lets anyone browse or download datasets. The approach makes it relatively easy for Massachusetts to calculate the financial benefits of cannabis legalization.

CCC announced the achievement on May 18, 2022, via its official Twitter account.

Records show that retailers in the state sold over $5.9 million of cannabis and cannabis products on April 20, an official holiday for marijuana enthusiasts.

In 2021, Massachusetts cannabis stores sold more than $1 billion within a single year, a first for the state.

More States Celebrate Milestones

Massachusetts isn’t the only state celebrating financial milestones since legalizing recreational cannabis sales.

In April, Illinois stores sold $132 million in legal, adult-use cannabis products, setting a new record for monthly sales in the state. Arizona achieved a similar record in March. In April, Michigan had its highest per-month gross sales (almost $200 million).

States legalize recreational cannabis for various reasons. Not surprisingly, many governments point to the benefits of collecting cannabis sales taxes. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, states with legal, adult-use cannabis generated more than $3.7 billion in taxes, a 34% increase from 2020. States have collected about $11.2 billion in taxes since Colorado and Washington started allowing adult-use sales in 2014.

June 7, 2022Comments Off
California Cannabis Retailers Check 100% of IDs, According to Study

Concern about minors having easier access to cannabis has been one of the tallest barriers to its legalization. A new study adds to the ample evidence suggesting that states with legal cannabis do not have higher use rates among minors. Some evidence even shows that recreational cannabis laws might curb underage use.

California’s Cannabis Stores Take Regulations Seriously

The latest study shows that 100% of cannabis retailers comply with state ID policies designed to prevent underage consumers from buying products. The study’s authors express some surprise regarding the perfect consistency throughout the state. However, they acknowledge that research shows dispensaries in Washington and Colorado also comply.

Preventing Underage Patrons From Purchasing Cannabis Products

At least two factors likely influence the success of ID policies. First, retailers face hefty fines and possible jail time for failing to follow strict laws about who can buy cannabis products. In California, a first violation can result in a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail. The state uses decoys to test the system, and any store that doesn’t comply can lose its license.

Second, companies have designed retail stores to make it nearly impossible for underage shoppers to enter. Typically, the stores have waiting rooms where patrons can sit while employees check their IDs. Once cleared, they can enter the retail area of the store. This approach makes it easier for cannabis retailers to control who enters their stores and limits the number of people within the retail space, which likely prevents theft.

States With Recreational Cannabis Have Lower Underage Use

Somewhat surprisingly, legalizing recreational cannabis seems to reduce the amount of underage use within a state. States with recreational cannabis laws show a 9% decrease in frequent use by teenagers.

Researchers speculate that legalizing recreational cannabis could actually make it harder for underage users to access marijuana products. It’s possible that law-abiding stores make it harder for drug dealers to earn money. More local product goes to the licensed distributor instead of someone selling illegally. Also, more adults who consume cannabis will choose retail stores that provide a wider range of products that have been tested for safety.

States that have not adopted recreational marijuana laws should consider whether prohibition truly benefits public health. The evidence suggests otherwise.

June 7, 2022Comments Off
New York Public Insurance Plans Might Need To Cover Medical Cannabis

New York has taken a significant step toward treating medical cannabis as a legitimate medication. Senate Bill S8837 passed a floor vote with 54 Ayes and nine Nays.

SB S8837 has attracted national attention because it would force public insurance plans to treat medical cannabis like other prescription drugs. However, private insurers would not need to follow the regulation. The law would also make it possible for private insurers to cover medical marijuana if they choose to do so.

Making Medical Cannabis More Affordable for Patients

The bill’s justification states that “cost is the primary barrier to patient access in New York’s medical marijuana program.” Currently, no health insurance plans in the state help patients pay for medical cannabis. Some patients in New York start treatment but soon quit using their medications because they can’t afford to pay out of pocket.

If passed into law, SB S8837 would impact New York’s publicly funded programs, including Medicaid, workers’ compensation, Child Health Plus, and EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage).

The Next Steps Toward Adding Cannabis to Health Insurance

The bill still has two hurdles to clear before it becomes law. It awaits a vote from the State Assembly, but they will likely approve the bill. In the Senate, every Democrat and more than half of Republicans voted to mandate cannabis coverage. Democrats have an overwhelming majority in the Assembly.

If the Assembly votes in favor of the bill, it will go to Governor Hochul, who can veto or sign it into law. Although the governor has shown support for expanding cannabis access, she has not made it clear whether she plans to approve the bill.

If Gov. Hochul vetoes the bill, it will go back to the state legislature, where members could override the decision and force it into law.

June 7, 2022Comments Off
Connecticut Will No Longer Limit Number of Cannabis Stores in Municipalities

Connecticut legislators recently passed a bill that removes an earlier restriction on how many cannabis stores and micro-grows can be in the state’s towns and cities. The new law also clarifies some industry regulations.

Connecticut Prepares for Recreational Cannabis Sales

Connecticut legalized recreational cannabis in 2021. Currently, adults 21 and older can possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis for medical or recreational use. Over the last year, the state has been working on rules that would regulate the new industry. So far, Connecticut hasn’t issued licenses for recreational cannabis sales. The state expects to finish setting guidelines by the end of 2022.

An early version of proposed regulations mandated that municipalities could only have one cannabis retail location per 25,000 residents. According to that rule, a town like New London, which has a population of about 28,000 people, could only have one retail cannabis store. New Haven, which has about 130,000 residents, could have up to five stores.

The new law removes that restriction, giving more control to local governments. Kaitlyn Krasselt, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s communications director, tells The Norwich Bulletin, “it’s up to towns to decide how many businesses are appropriate for their town.”

The state could reverse the decision in 2024, but that seems unlikely.

New Law Establishes Regulations for the Upcoming Cannabis Industry

The bill, which Governor Lamont signed into law on May 24, also clarifies some regulations ahead of the state sending licenses to recreational cannabis stores and cultivators.

A summary of the law states that it will:

  • Ban billboard advertisements.
  • Impose additional penalties for those who sell or trade cannabis outside of the legal limits.
  • Define the financial and licensing responsibilities of dispensary and cultivation facilities.

Other changes will make it easier for certain applicants to take advantage of social equity programs. Accordingly, the state’s Social Equity Council (SEC) has grown its staff and started planning an accelerator program that teaches applicants how to operate successful businesses. The SEC also has access to a $10 million fund it can use to help qualified applicants start cannabis businesses.

June 7, 2022Comments Off
Ohio Moves Cannabis Vote to 2023

Ohio cannabis advocates have been working hard to convince state legislators to vote on a law that would make the plant and related products legal. Currently, Ohio allows patients with prescriptions to purchase cannabis to treat medical conditions. While recreational possession and use is illegal, it has largely been decriminalized for personal use, defined as less than 3.5 ounces.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has now reached an agreement with lawmakers after suing the state for ignoring its petition.

Cannabis Advocates Collected More Than 140,000 Signatures

The advocacy group needed to collect 132,887 signatures to get the Ohio legislature to vote on its proposal. It turned in more than 200,000 signatures. Earlier this year, the Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that only 120,000 of the signatures came from registered voters, putting the petition below the required number. The group responded by collecting 30,000 more signatures. After combining the two reams of signatures, the secretary of state said that the group had met the requirement.

Despite meeting the requirement, state legislators did not take action. State law says the legislature has four months to act, putting them beyond the deadline. Now, an agreement has been reached that the signatures will remain valid and the vote will move to 2023.

What Could the Initiative Accomplish?

The current version of the initiative establishes several goals, including:

  • Legalization for up to 2.5 ounces of recreational cannabis for adults over 21.
  • Legalization for up to 15 grams of cannabis concentrates for adults over 21.
  • Allowing adults 21 and over to grow up to 12 plants per household.
  • Creating a 10 percent sales tax that would benefit cities that choose to host dispensaries.
  • Creating an additional tax to fund substance abuse programs.

The advocacy group says that a clear path has been established to legalize recreational cannabis in Ohio. If passed, it will put cannabis products on the same legal footing as alcohol.

May 18, 2022Comments Off
John Fetterman’s Nomination Could Help the U.S. Find a New Path Toward Cannabis Legalization

In a blowout victory, Pennsylvania Democrats have chosen John Fetterman as their nominee for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Winning the seat could take the federal government closer to cannabis decriminalization or even legalization.

John Fetterman’s Political History

Fetterman has had an interesting career in politics. He’s unabashedly progressive, but he knows how to find common ground with many of Pennsylvania’s conservatives. He entered politics as the mayor of Braddock. He won the election by one vote. The former steel town had once thrived. Fetterman revitalized it by encouraging the community to invest in arts and youth programs.

In 2019, Fetterman became Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor. He won the position by traveling the state and speaking to anyone who would listen. He was upfront about his positions, which include the legalization of cannabis, advocating for Medicare for All, and implementing a wealth tax.

The Republican nominee has not been decided yet. The current Republican holding the seat will not participate in the upcoming election. Fetterman says that his opponent will not influence his approach to campaigning because he always focuses on the concerns of working people.

Fetterman’s Positions on Cannabis Legalization

Pennsylvania has medical cannabis, but Fetterman has encouraged legislators to change that. By moving to Congress, he will have opportunities to change laws at the federal level.

The odds don’t look great for Democrats in the Senate. Fetterman’s win would flip one seat from Republican to Democratic. Unfortunately, most Republican members of the Senate have been reluctant to support cannabis legalization. This puts them in conflict with their constituents. About 62 percent of registered Republicans say they support cannabis legalization.

Fetterman’s Path Forward

Fetterman’s career shows that he can appeal to conservatives and liberals. While he holds progressive social views, he also understands the economic issues that concern many conservatives. His position on cannabis could make it easier for Republican members of Congress to break away from their national leaders and support legalization. After all, it’s not just something that Democrats want. It’s something most of the country wants. If Fetterman wins, he may provide a path forward.

May 18, 2022Comments Off
Nebraska Medical Cannabis Supporters Sue State Over Ballot Initiative

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana filed a federal lawsuit against the state on Monday, May 16. The group argues that Nebraska law gives voters in rural areas outsized influence over potential ballot initiatives. According to Nebraska’s Constitution, initiatives can only get added to ballots when groups get signatures from at least 5 percent of registered voters in 38 of the state’s 93 counties.

Medical Cannabis Ballot Initiative Came Close in 2020

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana has dedicated years of effort to getting approval for a ballot initiative that would let voters decide whether the state legalizes medical cannabis. It says that it reached its goal and the question should have gone to the public.

Ultimately, the Nebraska Supreme Court sided against Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana on technical grounds.

Legislators in Nebraska have shown little interest in giving residents access to cannabis, even for treating a limited number of health conditions. For the time being, a ballot initiative is the only way for legalization to move forward.

The 5% Rule Gives Rural Voters Too Much Power

After losing in the Supreme Court, the group has decided to challenge the state Constitution in federal court. Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana must gather at least 87,000 signatures for the question to appear on the 2022 ballot. Since many of those signatures must come from small rural voters, the group says the law silences the voices of voters in larger cities and towns.

The group argues that one voter in Arthur County has the power of 1,216 voters in Douglas County, where Omaha is located.

The lawsuit has been turned over to State Attorney General Doug Peterson, a Republican who has served in the position since 2015. Now, the group will have an opportunity to make its case in a federal court.

May 18, 2022Comments Off
Delaware Takes Steps Toward Cannabis Legalization, but Future Remains Unknown

Over the last couple of weeks, legislators in Delaware have taken two monumental steps toward recreational cannabis legalization. The futures of the bills remain uncertain, though, as they head to Governor John Carney’s desk. Historically, Gov. Carney has hesitated to embrace legalization.

DE House and Senate Pass Cannabis Bills

On May 5, 2022, Delaware’s house passed a bill that would remove all penalties for people 21 and older who possess an ounce or less of cannabis. The bill passed with 26 votes in favor and 14 votes not in favor. Nearly all of the votes came from Democratic House members. Three Republicans who had been undecided voted to support the bill.

Currently, Delaware law states that possession of more than 28 grams of cannabis can lead to a $100 fine for people 21 and over. Those under 21 years of age can face stiffer consequences, especially for repeat offenses.

Delaware allows medical cannabis possession for patients with prescriptions.

There was little worry about whether a similar bill would pass the Delaware Senate, which also has a Democratic majority that supports legalizing recreational cannabis. The bill passed on May 12 with 13 out of 20 votes favoring legalization.

The bill now heads to Gov. Carney’s desk.

An upcoming bill will establish permit requirements, taxes, fees, and other logistics.

Gov. Carney Has Expressed Concern About Legalization

While this is a historic moment for cannabis legislation, there is a chance that Gov. Carney, a Democrat, will veto the bill. Carney acknowledges that cannabis isn’t “the worst thing in the world.”

He seems to question recreational cannabis legalization because of its potential impact on public health. In a speech earlier in the year, Gov. Carney said, “We spend all this time and money to get people to stop smoking cigarettes and now we want to say it’s okay to just smoke marijuana recreationally.”

He has also questioned whether full legalization would benefit the state’s economy.

Carney’s statements comparing cannabis to cigarettes show that he might not fully understand the role legalized cannabis could play in public health.

Like much of the country, Delaware faces an opioid crisis that threatens lives. In 2020, the state reported 447 deaths from opioid overdoses, up from 431 deaths in 2019. Delaware has a population lower than 970,000 people, making it one of the least-populated states in the country. By percentage, the increase in deaths between 2019 and 2020 puts Delaware above the national average.

Years of evidence show that cannabis can lessen the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and serves as a replacement for people living with opioid use disorder. Easier access to recreational cannabis might also prevent some people from turning to opioids that pose much greater threats to health.

The governor might also be mistaken about the products many cannabis consumers prefer. A significant percentage of non-daily users say they see edibles as a less harmful way to consume cannabis. Easier access to cannabis edibles might also decrease the amount of cannabis flowers daily users smoke.

The fact of the matter is that better access to cannabis would improve the health outcomes of many people. Additionally, legalizing a product does not mean a state says smoking marijuana is “okay.” It means that adults have the option to decide for themselves, just as they do with alcohol.

The Future Is Unclear but Hopeful

Even if Gov. Carney vetoes the bill, this marks an important step toward recreational legalization in Delaware. Eventually, Carney will lose his opportunity to stand in the way. It’s just a matter of time.

May 18, 2022Comments Off
KY Governor Considering Executive Action on Medical Cannabis

A bill that would allow medical cannabis for Kentucky residents with serious health conditions has stalled in the Senate after passing a House vote in March. The Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer says that the Senate will adjourn without bringing the bill to a vote.

Governor Andy Beshear says that he’s considering executive action to make medical cannabis legal in Kentucky.

Medical Cannabis Has Broad Support in Kentucky

A poll from two years ago shows that about 90% of Kentuckians support medicinal marijuana. Currently, the state has a divided government that struggles to accomplish tasks. Both chambers of the General Assembly have Republican supermajorities, making it difficult for the Democratic governor to meet goals.

The governor and Republican legislators have clashed since Republican governor Matt Bevin lost his reelection bid in 2019. 

KY Senate Uninterested in Passing Medical Cannabis Law

Kentucky’s Senate Majority Leader says that the bill lacks enough support to spend time on a vote. Advocates for medicinal marijuana, however, want the bill brought to the Senate floor so constituents can see how their senators vote.

As currently written, Kentucky’s law would only allow people with specific medical conditions to buy and possess cannabis. Those conditions include chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. 

Kentucky has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. Many cannabis advocates say that legalizing the plant would help lower the amount of opioid abuse throughout the state. 

It’s unclear whether the governor has the authority to pass medical cannabis, but it could be the only way forward until the next legislative session.

April 12, 2022Comments Off
Should You Work With a 420 Real Estate Agent?

Entering the legal cannabis industry means that you have to make a lot of critical business decisions. Even small mistakes will make it more challenging for your company to survive, let alone thrive. Working with a 420 real estate agent could help you make better choices before you even start cultivating plants or selling cannabis products to your customers.

If you aren’t sure whether you should work with a 420 real estate agent, consider the following ways that they can help you save time and position your business for success.

A 420 Land Locator Knows the Cannabis Properties in Your Area

You might think you know your city well, but that doesn’t mean you can identify cannabis properties as easily as a 420 real estate agent. Whether you want to cultivate cannabis, manufacture products, or open a storefront, you need to follow strict guidelines established by your state and local municipality.

Many people don’t understand that cannabis legalization means they can only operate in specific areas, known as “green zones.” In fact, some cities in California and other states with legal recreational cannabis don’t allow any section of the marijuana industry to operate within their borders.

420 Properties in Oregon

Within America’s legal framework, Oregon has very liberal cannabis laws. Regardless, you must apply to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to get a cultivation or distribution license. If an area already has too many companies selling cannabis to consumers, the commission might reject your application.

A 420 real estate agent can point you in the direction of a city or neighborhood that has not been saturated by the industry. That way, you have a better chance of securing a permit and opening a business that attracts plenty of customers.

420 Properties in California

California is a very diverse state with areas that approve and disapprove of cannabis legalization. Trying to open a cannabis store in some cities is a waste of time and money because the residents don’t want a business selling cannabis products in their community.

Talking to a 420 real estate agent makes it easier for you to avoid places that will likely deny your application. To you, the absence of cannabis stores may look like a terrific opportunity. To your real estate agent, it’s a warning sign that you should focus your attention elsewhere.

420 Properties in Los Angeles

People tend to think of Los Angeles as a unified city. In reality, Los Angeles County includes dozens of small cities. West Hollywood might accept your license application, but Whittier might cash your check and throw your application in the trash.

Don’t waste your energy visiting areas that won’t welcome your business. A knowledgeable real estate agent will help you decide where to concentrate your efforts. Ideally, they will even do much of the legwork for you.

Your 420 Real Estate Agent Might Already Know Businesses for Sale

Perhaps you don’t want to start a new cannabis business. You want to reap the benefits of working in the industry, but you have no interest in starting a farm, opening a storefront, and dealing with your state’s bureaucracy.

Luckily, there are already plenty of cannabis and hemp businesses for sale. You can find a lot of listings on 420 Property.

Not every business owner, however, advertises the sale online. They might talk to colleagues in their community about their desire to sell, though. A 420 real estate agent who pays close attention to industry chatter might already know about some unlisted businesses with owners looking to get out of the industry or move on to other challenges.

It’s nearly impossible for someone outside the local industry to know about these potential business deals. Talk to a real estate agent to make the connections you need to enter the industry and start making money.

No matter where you live, you will have to complete a lot of forms before you purchase a cannabis property. Some states make the process relatively easy. Others have opaque, confusing requirements that make it extremely difficult to qualify for a permit.

An experienced 420 real estate agent has been through the process several times before, so they can help you jump through the bureaucratic hoops of getting your permit or license.

Connect With Other Professionals Through Your Real Estate Agent

Buying property in a green zone will cost quite a bit of money. You want to make sure you purchase real estate that will put your business on the path to success. Your real estate agent can offer some insight, but that doesn’t mean they can fill every role you need to choose a location.

A great 420 real estate agent can, however, connect you with other professionals in your area. For example, you might need introductions to some of your city’s top:

  • Architects and designers
  • Business consultants
  • Appraisers
  • Accountants and CPAs
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Contractors
  • Cannabis lawyers
  • Environmental services professionals

Each of these professionals can provide unique services that will help you find the right location for you. For example, an accountant might point out that the storefront you love doesn’t get enough foot traffic to justify its high cost. If you want to start a farm, a horticulturist or environmental services professional can test a property’s soil and water to determine whether it can grow healthy cannabis plants.

You Take a Big Risk When You Buy 420 Land Without an Expert’s Help

Yes, you can buy 420 land, storefronts, greenhouses, and farmland without an expert’s help. But why would you? Real estate agents can streamline your search, help you understand your financing options, and walk you through the red tape of starting a new cannabis business.

Without help, you take an unnecessary risk that could cost you thousands or even millions of dollars.

Why would you take such a risk when you have knowledgeable, experienced 420 real estate agents eager to help you find the perfect location for your business? Considering that real estate agents only get paid a percentage of a property’s sale price, hiring them to help is a no-brainer.

Browse Listings for Cannabis and Hemp Properties for Sale

Whether you choose to work with a 420 real estate agent — obviously, we encourage you to do so! — you can find numerous properties for sale and lease on the 420 Property platform.

Real estate for sale includes:

  • Land for sale, which you could potentially use as farmland or space to build a production facility.
  • Residential acreage for sale where you can cultivate hemp and run your business.
  • Warehouse and industrial space for sale, where you can build a cannabis grow operation or use extraction equipment to make cannabis products like edibles and tinctures.
  • Retail space for sale that will give you access to consumers who want to purchase cannabis and hemp products.
  • Greenhouses for sale so you can skip the construction process and start cultivating plants now.

Real estate for lease includes the same options, although opportunities will differ by location. By leasing land, warehouse space, commercial property, or a greenhouse, you avoid the upfront cost of buying property. You do, however, extend your property payments over time. You might also lose the ability to lock in a price that meets your business plan. If a landlord decides to change the price, you will either need to adjust your expectations or find a new location.

Working with a real estate agent familiar with your area’s cannabis industry makes all these challenges easier.

Browse the cannabis and hemp real estate agents and brokers listed on 420 Property. You can filter the professionals by location and specific traits. For example, if you want to find an Oklahoma real estate agent with experience testing soil, you can search for a person who matches your unique needs.

Dozens of 420 real estate agents have already joined 420 Property to advertise their services. That number will only continue to grow as states pass new laws that make it easier for businesses to cultivate and sell cannabis products to consumers. Take the first step by searching the 420 Property listings so you can find a reliable real estate agent in your area of interest.

Find your next property today!

April 12, 2022Comments Off
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