In this week’s cannabis news report, Kentucky residents now have access to medical marijuana; Switzerland is moving ahead with an adult use market trial; Illinois records best first-quarter sales in adult use since sales began; The former Michigan Speaker of the House of Representatives has been charged with accepting bribes to obtain licenses.
Illinois reports record cannabis sales
Illinois cannabis retailers had their best first quarter ever since sales began in January 2020, bringing in nearly $4 billion since the market came online, according to reports. Cannabis Business Times.
According to sales data provided by the Illinois Department of Financial and Occupational Regulation, licensed dispensaries in the Prairie State sold more than $383 million in cannabis to adults in the first three months of 2023, indicating an increase of approximately 6% from 2022.
Fourth-quarter revenue was buoyed by sales of $134.8 million for the month of March, the fourth-best month on record. Customers made nearly 3.3 million purchases during the month, and five Fridays — the busiest day of the week for cannabis retailers — over a 31-day period helped boost those numbers.
Former Michigan Speaker of the House charged with accepting bribes to obtain cannabis licenses
Former Michigan House Republican speaker collected more than $100,000 in bribes from potential cannabis business owners in exchange for help obtaining licenses, reports Politico.
According to prosecutors in the case, Rick Johnson received more than $100,000 in cash bribes and free flights while controlling which companies could enter the marijuana industry in Michigan. It is said to be the largest public corruption scandal to hit the state capital in 30 years. Johnson served as Speaker of the House for three years from 2001 to 2004. After leaving office, he ran a lobbying firm in Lansing before chairing the Michigan Marijuana Licensing Board from 2017 to 2019.
Three other defendants are charged alongside Johnson: business owner John Dallally is accused of paying bribes, and lobbyists Brian Pierce and Vincent Brown are charged with conspiracy to commit bribery. All four defendants signed plea deals to plead guilty to the charges.
“[The marijuana industry has] Mark Toten, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, says, “However, what we learned today is that one of its key leaders … acted corruptly and did so at a moment that was most important for those who wanted to move forward in this industry.”
Kentucky governor signs medical marijuana legalization bill into law
Kentucky has become the 38th state to legalize medical marijuana access after Democratic Governor Andy Beshear signed the measure into law on March 31, according to reports. Marijuana moment. Beshear, who has repeatedly called on lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana in the Bluegrass state, signed Senate Bill 47 in a ceremony in the capital, Frankfort.
“Too many of our employees face the hurdle of developing chronic or terminal illnesses such as cancer, or as veterans suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder Or Kentuckians living with epilepsy, seizures, Parkinson’s disease or more,” said Governor Beshear. “These people want and deserve safe and effective treatment methods.”
According to SB 47, patients who meet specific criteria can access medical marijuana for ailments including cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The legislation allows unprocessed cannabis flower to be sold for vaping but prohibits patients from smoking. The bill also allows the use of other forms of cannabis, including capsules, tinctures, and topical applications. Patients will be allowed to keep the equivalent of 30 days worth of cannabis at home and 10 days on their person.
Switzerland to legalize cannabis in a pilot programme
The Swiss government has cleared plans to legalize the sale and consumption of cannabis in Zurich, the country’s largest city, in a trial aimed at assessing the social and economic benefits of regulating adult cannabis use, according to reports. Forbes.
Starting this summer, 2,100 Zurich residents participating in the trial will be able to purchase the drug in predetermined quantities for personal use from pharmacies, medical facilities and social clubs across the city.
As part of the study, which is being conducted in partnership with the University of Zurich, participants will be asked to respond to a questionnaire every six months regarding their consumption patterns and health effects.
“The idea is to get solid evidence from the real world that will serve policy-making for the new [national] “The cannabis laws,” said Barbara Borey, project manager at the Zurich municipal health department. Evidence from the trial will be published on a rolling basis from next year.