2020 is upon us and cannabis companies across North America are looking for a rejuvenated market after being gutted in 2019. They did get some good news this week as Illinois’ cannabis market went live and more potential states are on the horizon in 2020.
Trump Administration bans most flavored vaping pods
Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a nationwide ban on most flavored vaping pods excluding menthol and tobacco-flavored.
“By prioritizing enforcement against the products that are most widely used by children, our action today seeks to strike the right public health balance by maintaining e-cigarettes as a potential off-ramp for adults using combustible tobacco while ensuring these products don’t provide an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for our youth,” Alex Azar, the HHS secretary, said in a statement.
Many fear this move will allow JUUL to survive the hurdles ahead – a premarket tobacco application happens in May and could price-out smaller brands (the price to apply is expensive) -and thrive.
Illinois opens the doors to legal recreational cannabis sales
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations reported 77,128 transactions took place on Day 1 of the Illinois legal cannabis launch netting $3,176,256.71. The numbers were a strong first day, only Oregon had more sales on day one. 37 dispensaries started selling on Wednesday in Illinois, nine of those were in Chicago.
Dispensaries in the area used restaurant-style paging systems to accommodate the number of customers lined up, and some areas even had movie marathons outside.
“This is particularly impressive when you consider the long waits, supply shortages and sky-high pricing of products available at the limited number of dispensaries open,” Bethany Gomez, managing director of cannabis research firm Brightfield Group, told the Chicago Tribune.
MedMen is leaving Arizona
After investing $200,000 in the state’s legal cannabis future, MedMen is leaving the state due to financial woes. The company has three dispensaries in the state and will now look to sell all three licenses as it “trims the fat” to restore cash. The company also plans to sell a factory in Illinois and divest itself from brands.
MedMen was valued at more than $1 billion n 2018, but now the company’s market cap is a $106 million and its stock price is below a dollar on the OTC.
Equities Contributor: Stephen L. Kanaval
Source: Equities News