US Rep Blumenauer Highlights Growing Bipartisan Support For Cannabis Legislation At Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference

In an exclusive address to the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) emphasized the remarkable progress and enduring challenges in cannabis legislation.
Blumenauer, a longstanding cannabis advocate, traced his involvement in the cause back to 1973 when Oregon decriminalized cannabis.
He commended the bipartisan support in the House for the Safe Banking Act and the historic passage of the MORE Act in Congress.
“No one has been penalized for their embrace of cannabis reform or legislation at the same time that we continue our multipronged approach federally. We must continue to build on our record of support in state after state. I'm proud to have worked on every successful ballot measure for …Full story available on

PharmaTher Is 'One Step Closer To Being A Ketamine Leader' Due To FDA Acceptance

The Food and Durg Administration (FDA) has accepted specialty biopharma company PharmaTher Holdings’ (OTCQB: PHRRF) new drug application for a racemic ketamine product. 
What Happened: The so-called goal date for PharmaTher's KETARX drug is April 29, 2024, according to the FDA.
From the Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) acceptance phase, PharmaTher anticipates KETARX’s U.S. commercial launch and the pursuit of international approvals thereafter. 
The ANDA acceptance is a significant milestone for PharmaTher, according to CEO Fabio Chianelli.
The move brings PharmaTher “one step …Full story available on

EXCLUSIVE: 'Get Loud,' Cannabis Pros Advise — If Feds Call Shots Without Us, 'We'll Be Screwed'

U.S. regulators are currently making decisions on behalf of the cannabis industry, such as reclassifying it from a Schedule I to a Schedule III controlled substance.
The move certainly bodes well for the overall industry, but there's just one problem, according to Christine De La Rosa of The People's Ecosystem. Regulatory changes are happening without any input from the actual cannabis community.
Decisions are being made “by people who don't use cannabis,” De La Rosa told the crowd in attendance at Wednesday's Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference (CCC) in Chicago. “If we're not part of the regulatory process at the federal level, we are going to be screwed,” she said.
See Also: Senate Committee Approves Cannabis Banking Reform In Historic Vote
Fellow speaker and panelist, Jackie Cahan of 240 Holdings, agreed.
“Get loud,” Cahan advised, citing how the health and wellness aspects of cannabis are overlooked, yet they exceed the recreational market in …Full story available on

EXCLUSIVE: Cheech & Chong's Motto — 'Try Anything Twice,' Plus: Leafly, Weedmaps Embrace Digital

Building a strong digital presence is essential for the success of cannabis brands in the modern world. Several leaders in the cannabis space discussed their approaches to digital Wednesday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago.
Brandon Harshbarger, president of Cheech and Chong's Global Holding Company, told the crowd that an organic social media presence really defines a brand. 
“But at the end of the day, our presence now is augmented by a lot of paid advertising,” Harshbarger said.
Through ads, the company is able to attract new eyes. The social aspect of the brand acts as a window into the daily lives of famous comedy duo Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong.
The Cheech and Chong company is also willing to experiment to figure out what works and what doesn't.
“We have a motto… we'll try anything twice,” Harshbarger said with a laugh. 
Jackie Gonzalez-Becerra, VP of revenue …Full story available on

Cannabis Stocks Move As Schumer Pledges To Bring Bill To Senate Floor: Expect GOP Pushback

The passage of the bipartisan banking bill has sent some Senate members opposed to the legislation into their corners as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pledges to bring the bill to the floor “very soon.” It also sent cannabis stocks surging, but they’ve since pulled back. 
The legislative development is occurring as cannabis sector leaders gather at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago. 
What’s Happening? Several GOP senators are already vowing to kill the legislation.
“The SAFER Banking Act is sold as an easy banking fix. In reality, the legislation is fatally flawed and its consequences are complex and sweeping. We will remain opposed to liberalizing drug …Full story available on

Ric Flair's Cannabis Line Comes To Mississippi: Here's How Medical Marijuana Changed Pro-Wrestler's Life

Ric Flair Drip, the cannabis line by world-renowned pro-wrestler Ric Flair and Carma HoldCo, is coming to Mississippi via a partnership with Southern Sky Brands.
The news came on the heels of Flair's new Woooo! Energy Drink becoming the exclusive power drink of Ohio's Cleveland Cavaliers.
Southern Sky Brands co-founder and Director Stan Martin said the new collaboration resonates with the mission of this farm-to-patient-focused medical cannabis company. 
“We're excited to offer a product that not only carries the legacy of a legend but also meets the high standards our patients expect and deserve,” Martin commented on Ric Flair Drip's debut in the …Full story available on

Cannabis License Trends – Markets To Watch

Cannabiz Media has been tracking licenses since 2015 and captures market intelligence on the ebb and flow of these state programs.  In looking at calendar year 2023, we have outlined the markets that dominate, the states that are growing, and the activities securing the most licenses,
Cannabiz Media has been tracking licenses since 2015 and captures market intelligence on the ebb and flow of these state programs.  In looking at calendar year 2023, we have outlined the markets that dominate, the states that are growing, and the activities securing the most licenses,
Cannabiz Media is tracking over 41,000 active US cannabis licenses. Due to the restrictions on interstate commerce and other impediments, each state is free to devise their own licensing scheme.  This has led to our current situation where 51% of all the US licenses are in either California or Oklahoma.

The ten markets in the table represent 86% of all the active licenses in the US.  The % column shows whether the number of licenses has increased or decreased since the beginning of the year.  There is context that drives the increases and decreases in these states:

So far this year 36 states have …Full story available on

White Boy Rick, Cannabis Industry Donate $50,000 To Michigan Children In Need: 'We're Trying To Help Foster Kids'

Rick Wershe, also known as “White Boy Rick,” has raised and donated $50,000 to Love For A Child, an organization that helps foster kids in Michigan. Wershe, who now has his own cannabis line, said most of the money raised and donated to the charity came from people in the cannabis industry. 
What Is Love For A Child? Love For A Child, a non-profit organization, provides resources to kids and their foster families as well as offers mentorship opportunities. The organization has also created an overnight camp that helps foster kids get away from their often difficult daily lives
“Love For A Child has three offices across the state of Michigan,” said Joe Savalle, founder and executive director of Love For A Child, in an interview with Fox. “We serve kids in the foster care system ages six through 12 years old who have been through a lot of different forms of trauma. We do summer camps, mentorship services and other resources.” 
Wershe said that securing funds from various …Full story available on

Cannabis Stocks Jump As Senate Committee Approves Cannabis Banking Bill

U.S. cannabis stocks jumped Wednesday following the Senate Banking Committee approval of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act before pulling back. 
Such companies as Canopy Growth Corp (NASDAQ: CGC), Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ: CRON), Aurora Cannabis Inc (NASDAQ: ACB), SNDL Inc (NASDAQ: SNDL) and Tilray Brands Inc (NASDAQ: TLRY) scooted up between 3% and 6.5%. The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (NYSE: MSOS) spiked 6% following the vote. 
The SAFER Banking Act, introduced by a bipartisan group of senators last week, will now move to the Senate floor.
This entire …Full story available on

EXCLUSIVE: How X Is Shaping The Future Of Cannabis

X, formerly Twitter, is the first mainstream technology platform to allow cannabis advertising. The social platform has made several policy adjustments this year to help allow the industry to grow. Trulieve Cannabis Corp (OTCQX: TCNNF) is taking advantage of the opportunity.
What To Know: Wednesday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago, Illinois, Alexa Alianiello, U.S. sales and partnerships at X, explained how the company's rebrand is allowing it to transcend its legacy identity and accelerate a new vision. 
“As Elon [Musk] says, you can talk to Earth on X,” Alianello said. 
So far in 2023, there have been about 20 million posts about cannabis from more than 4 million authors. X …Full story available on

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