End of March Cannabis Industry News
CVS puts CBD topicals on stores shelves in 8 states
The largest drug store chain in the U.S. has started selling CBD products in eight states. CVS is partnering with Massachusetts-based Curaleaf to supply its hemp-derived CBD topicals, sprays, lotions, ointments, and salves. The CBD products are available in 800 stores in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee.
“Anecdotally, we’ve heard from our customers that have used those products that, gee, it’s helped with pain relief for arthritis and other ailments,” CVS CEO Larry Merlo told CNBC. “So we’re gonna walk slowly, but we think this is something that customers are going to be looking for as part of the health offering.”
New Jersey lawmakers cancel vote on recreational cannabis
Legislation that would have legalized adult-use cannabis in New Jersey was pulled from a vote on Monday after failing to secure enough support from lawmakers. Earlier this month, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced that he had reached an agreement with leaders in the state legislature to legalize recreational marijuana and it seemed like legal weed in New Jersey was a sure thing. However, despite Democrats controlling both the state Assembly and Senate, there ultimately weren’t enough lawmakers committed to a yes vote.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) said in a press conference that he and the governor are committed to passing cannabis legislation. “I may have underestimated the challenge of getting this passed,” Sweeney said. “We’ll be back at this. Anybody who thinks this is dead is wrong.”
On of the provisions of the proposed legislation would have expunged low-level marijuana convictions, and now that the bill won’t get a vote, residents will continue to face arrest and conviction for marijuana possession.
“I know that the biggest loss here is in terms of social justice and racial justice. We arrest 32,000 every year in New Jersey just for marijuana possession,” said New Jersey state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, Roseanne Scotti.
West Virginia passes law to provide cannabis banking
On Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed a bill that allows banks and other financial institutions to provide services to West Virginia’s medical marijuana industry.
“I will say, adamantly, I am 100 percent against recreational marijuana. But we have a lot of people and families out there who are truly hurting and if medical cannabis can help, we need to do everything we can to make life better for those West Virginians,” said Justice.
House Bill 2538 also created the Treasurer’s Medical Cannabis Fund to allow the state treasurer to collect funds for banking services as well as the Medical Cannabis Program Fund to collect fees related to the medical marijuana program.