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Benzinga

Cannabis Regulatory Update: Marijuana 'Soon' Legal In Germany, Mass. Weed Delivery Companies, And More

Marijuana Delivery Companies In Massachusetts Face Many Obstacles 

In 2020 Massachusetts approved the regulation that enables only members of specific “disenfranchised” groups to deliver cannabis products in the first three years.

There are two types of licenses for adult-use cannabis delivery: one for enables companies to buy products wholesale and store them and the other that enables individuals to cooperate with cannabis shops to deliver adult-use marijuana.

Both license types were created solely for applicants coming from the commission's two social equity programs — social equity and economic empowerment.

Two years in the program and the owners of delivery businesses in the state face many obstacles, reports MJBiz Daily.

Among the biggest hurdles are expenses, of course.

First of all, each vehicle must be commercially insured and owned by the delivery company. Cars must have both GPS tracking and cameras, with the latter being able to hold up to nine days worth of footage at a time.  

What’s more delivery people must wear body cameras in case something goes amiss on the job.

“We recently had to spend $33,000 on new cameras,” Christopher Fevry, co-founder and CEO of Boston-based cannabis delivery service Your Green Package told the outlet.

“We’re really grateful to be working with retailers that see what we’re trying to do, and they’re definitely helping us,” he continues. “And they’re paying high fees. But, at some point, something’s got to give.”

Fevry said he hopes that one of the most arduous and costly regulations - that two employees must be in each delivery vehicle – will change soon. Reducing the number of employees to one person per vehicle would reduce payroll by half, from $34 per hour to $17 per hour. The two-employee rule also had the added expanse of insuring both drivers. 

Missouri Marijuana Activists Gather More Than Double Signatures Needed To Put Legalization Before Voters 

Campaign Legal Missouri 2022 announced last week that it has gathered more than 325,000 signatures to put the marijuana legalization question before voters on the November ballot. The deadline for submitting the signatures was Sunday, and the activists managed to collect more, doubling the number of signatures required to qualify the cannabis legalization initiative for ballot in the fall, reported Marijuana Moment.  

“As we submit more than 385,000 petition signatures to the state today, the message from voters is clear: it’s past time to end the senseless and costly prohibition of marijuana,” campaign manager John Payne said in a press release. “This widespread and enthusiastic show of support from the people of Missouri exceeds our expectations.”

44 Mississippi Counties & Municipalities Opt Out Of Medical Cannabis 

Around 44 Mississippi counties and municipalities decided not to allow the medical marijuana industry in their jurisdictions, reported SunHerald.  

According to the outlet, 28 cities and 16 counties have chosen to opt out with the list including George and Pearl River counties in South Mississippi, as well as D’Iberville, Pass Christian, Picayune, and Lucedale.

Those jurisdictions that missed the deadline to decide, now don’t have the option to opt out, while those who have chosen to do so can change the decision and opt back in, via another vote or by the governing bodies or an election.

What does opting out mean? 

Residents of those regions that opted out still have the right to use and possess prescribed cannabis, but they would likely be required to travel a bit in order to fill prescriptions, the outlet reveals.

Municipalities had the option to “opt out of one or more of the following: the cultivation, processing, sale or distribution of medical cannabis and cannabis products,” according to the act. The majority of those who chose to stay out of the medical marijuana program decided to opt out of all four.

Municipalities that opted out of medical cannabis include: Amory, Belmont, Brandon, Caledonia, Carrollton, Clinton, D’Iberville, Ecru, Flora, Flowood (opted in for research), Gluckstadt, Greenwood, Horn Lake, Kilmichael, Lucedale, Madison, New Albany, North Carrollton (opted in for dispensaries, out for cultivation), Noxapater, Pass Christian, Picayune, Poplarville, Pontotoc, Ridgeland, Southaven, Sumrall, Tishomingo, Vaiden, Winona (opted in for dispensaries, out for processing and cultivation).

Counties that opted out: Calhoun, Carroll, Choctaw, George, Jones (opted in for cultivation, out for processing and dispensaries), Lauderdale, Leflore, Lincoln, Madison (out for dispensaries, in for cultivation, processing and distribution), Montgomery (out for dispensaries, in for processing and cultivation), Newton, Neshoba, Pearl River, Pontotoc, Tippah, Union.

Counties and cities on the Gulf Coast that opted in for medical cannabis: Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Long Beach, Gulfport, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Moss Point.

Tornado Destroys $95,000 Worth Of Cannabis Plants In Oklahoma 

Around $95,000 worth of cannabis plants were torn down Thursday at a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Maud, Oklahoma, writes MJBiz Daily. The cyclone ruined approximately 95% of the 50 greenhouses on the property.

The facility owners are members of the local Hmong community who have been cultivating for around two years. People were not hurt in the storm.

The unfortunate occurrence once again underlined the threat natural disasters and climate change present the threat for the marijuana industry, making cultivators rethink their growing methods.

Marijuana ‘Soon’ To Be Legal In Germany, Finance Minister Says 

Germany decriminalized medical cannabis in 2016 and in November 2021, leaders of Germany’s incoming governing parties stated they had a formal agreement to legalize marijuana. "We are introducing the controlled supply of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed stores,” the parties said in a 118-page agreement.

On Friday, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) confirmed that the process of legalizing recreational cannabis has commenced, The Local reported

“A question that people keep asking me: ‘When will Bubatz be legal? I would say: soon,” Linder tweeted. 

“Bubatz” is German street slang for marijuana, not often used by country officials, but rather hip-hoppers and rappers. 

Photo: Courtesy of Louis Hansel on Unsplash