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Industry Experts Predict Cannabis Consumption Lounges Will See Exponential Growth in California, Oklahoma Officials Enact Two-Year Moratorium on New Medical Marijuana Licenses, and MMJ Grower in PA Plans to Sue the State After Laying Off Almost Half Its Employees

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Industry Experts Predict Cannabis Consumption Lounges Will See Exponential Growth in California

When the idea of social consumption lounges and cafes first took hold, many cannabis industry experts hoped the concept would be a great way to generate additional revenue. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic stalled progress for social consumption sites. California is seeing more cannabis consumption sites getting the green light to open across the state. Currently, existing consumption lounges are concentrated in the Oakland and San Fransico areas and there are around a dozen or so in operation. But as more municipalities look to open social consumption cafes and lounges, experts expect the number of these types of facilities to double or even triple over the next year or two. 

Oklahoma Officials Enact Two-Year Moratorium on New Medical Marijuana Licenses

The state of Oklahoma has gained a reputation for being one of the most business-friendly medical cannabis markets in the U.S. As a result, Oklahoma has thousands of licensed operators throughout the state. To get caught up and to increase the number of compliant businesses operating in the industry, officials announced that a two-year moratorium on cannabis grower, processor, and dispensary licenses will begin on August 26th. Regulators with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) have struggled to curb illegal activity within the medical marijuana industry, as well as issues getting businesses to comply with the rules and regulations. The hope is that the moratorium will allow officials to deal with these concerns. 

MMJ Grower in PA Plans to Sue the State After Laying Off Almost Half Its Employees

Recently, medical marijuana grower Hanging Gardens was forced to lay off or reduce the hours of almost half of its 110 employees. According to Hanging Gardens owner Shane Kenney, this is because an oligopolistic market in Pennsylvania has allowed a few multistate operators (MSOs) to acquire smaller competitors or push them to the brink of going out of business. Kenney told a local newspaper, “I consider the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program to be in collapse. The few remaining independent businesses who invested with the promise of fair competition may soon disappear. The existing monopoly has already resulted in some of the highest medical marijuana prices in the country and diminishing patient choice.” Kenney said that his company is filing a lawsuit because PA officials have ignored a provision of the 2016 medical marijuana law that should have prevented this monopoly situation from taking hold.