Weekly News in Cannabis and Hemp - April 26thMulti-million-dollar partnerships, a first glance at 4/20 sales data, and hemp gains momentum from state to state.
Applied DNA and TheraCann Solidify Partnership with $1m
TheraCann International made the first million dollar payment to Applied DNA Sciences, Inc., solidifying their 5 million dollar licensing agreement. As a leader in PCR-based DNA manufacturing, Applied DNA Sciences focuses on product authenticity and traceability through the use of molecular technologies.
In a press release from the Associated Press, Dr. James A. Hayward, president, and CEO of Applied DNA, stated, “The agreement with TheraCann represents further validation of the commercialization of our CertainT ® technology platform across industries where compliance, control, and tracking are essential to marketplace safety and security. Powered by our CertainT platform, TheraCann’s ETCH biotrace TM system can provide the global legal cannabis and hemp industries the unparalleled ability to ensure true authentication and origin verification for products through the supply chain.”
Flowhub Releases First 4/20 Sales Data
Cannabis data giant, Flowhub released preliminary numbers regarding the sales totals from 4/20. Pulling data from AK, CA, CO, MD, MI, NV, and OR, Flowhub reported a seven percent increase in sales with a nine percent growth in dispensary check-ins and transactions.
Compared to the average Saturday, 4/20 brought retailers more than a 50% increase in sales. Additionally, the holiday weekend, in general, presented a 22% increase over the same weekend the previous year. While flower remained in the top slot for popularity accounting for 54 percent of sales, concentrate sales increased slightly with nearly 31 percent of sales.
Interestingly, Colorado flower sales declined by nearly 9 percent compared to 2018 numbers but had more than 5 percent increase in the sale of concentrates.
Alabama Issues Hemp Licenses
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) started issuing licenses for the upcoming hemp growing season. Thus far, the state has permitted 152 cultivators, 59 processors, and five universities to participate in the industrial hemp boom this year.
“We have had a significant interest in the Alabama Industrial Hemp Pilot Program from potential growers and processors since the availability of applications was announced in January,” Commissioner Rick Pate said in a press release. “The approval of applications and execution of license agreements is complete, and we are in the next phase of the program. We are encouraged after our initial meetings with the approved growers and processors that the first year of the pilot program will provide opportunities for the agriculture industry in Alabama.”
Florida Readies for Rush to Industrial Hemp
SB 1020 passed the Florida Senate with a unanimous vote on Thursday. If approved, the bill would allow the Department of Agriculture in Florida to create the necessary infrastructure to allow hemp cultivation and production. Additionally, the bill includes regulations for processing and purity of hemp products.
Moving forward, the House bill HB 333, is ready for consideration on the floor with expectations for overwhelming support.
Iowa Legislature Passes the Iowa Hemp Act
Iowa Governor, Kim Reynolds, is about to give the final signature to allow industrial hemp cultivation in the Hawkeye State. The Iowa House approved the bill Tuesday with a 95-3 vote, and Thursday, the Iowa Senate gave their approval with a 49-1 vote.
The bill designates the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship as the official authority over the hemp program. Although legal, farmers are limited to a mere 40 acres of hemp.
“This bill moves us in the right direction to consider it more of a commodity and a crop and an opportunity for farmers and our economy," Rep. Chris Hall, D-Sioux City stated for a local Fox news source.
As one of just nine states without hemp regulation or laws, the state department declined to say whether the governor supported the initiative.
Hemp Cultivation Gains Ground in Louisiana
Hemp is also making strides in the Pelican State as cultivation laws slid through the first phase of legislation Thursday. However, the bill aligns with the federal farm bill and won’t officially begin until federal regulations are in place, likely in 2020.
HB491 includes regulations for cultivation, licensing, and acreage monitoring. The bill also bans felons or anyone with a drug-related misdemeanor from growing him, a provision which is causing conflict with some representatives. State Representative Julie Emerson, R-Carencro stated, “I just think misdemeanor, ten years is a little much,” in opposition of the limitation.