Cannabis News Update February 5, 2021
Today in the world of cannabis: Planet 13 begins construction of an Orange County, California cannabis superstore, President Biden’s USDA holds its first meeting with hemp industry stakeholders, and a medical cannabis proposal passed through a key state Senate committee in Alabama.
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** First up: In a report by Accesswire, the Nevada-based cannabis company Planet 13 has announced that the company has begun construction of a cannabis superstore in Orange County, California. The company expects construction to be completed in the middle of 2021.
The completed Santa Ana project will be similar to that of the original Las Vegas, Nevada location, with 55,000 square feet of space and 16,500 square feet of dispensary space, as well as space for related stores, interactive art installations and more.
“The combination of our exhaustive design process, attention to detail and deep focus on customer experience will make it a truly exceptional experiential space for California’s discerning cannabis consumers,” said Larry Scheffler, co-CEO of Planet 13. “We are excited about embarking on our first out-of-state expansion and look forward to bringing the unique Planet 13 customer experience to California.”
** And next: Marijuana Moment reports that representatives of President Biden’s U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has held its first meeting with hemp industry stakeholders, including the National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC), to discuss market needs, product testing, certification labs, research and development, trade standards and the development of a hemp checkoff program.
The goal of the meeting was “just to make sure that USDA is working on hemp issues currently, which they are, but also we have incoming political folks—some who know the hemp industry and some who don’t,” said NIHC board chair Patrick Atagi, adding that the meeting “went extremely well.”
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” Atagi said. “But the USDA recognizes that and are bringing in people like us who know the agency, know the regulations, know where the bumps in policy areas of concern are and to work through those.”
The meeting comes as the USDA has issued final hemp regulations last month, which are set to take effect on March 22.
** Last up: In a report by Marijuana Moment, a bill to legalize medical cannabis in Alabama has been approved by a vital state Senate committee, sending the bill to the floor for approval. The bill was proposed by Republican Senator Tim Melson, who sponsored a similar bill last year that was approved by the full state Senate but died in the House due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Included in the bill is a call to create an 11-member Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to supervise licensing and regulations. About 20 qualifying medical conditions are in the bill, including anxiety, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.
While cannabis advocates welcome the proposal, various concerns have been raised, including a provision that would only qualify patients experiencing chronic pain if “conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective.”
In addition, the bill also outlaws raw, smoking, vaping and candy or baked good cannabis products. Instead, patients would be permitted to purchase only cannabis capsules, lozenges, oils, suppositories and topicals.