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U.S. Virgin Islands Legalizes Recreational Marijuana, NY to Get a Second Licensed Cannabis Retailer this Week, and Cannabis Regulators in Michigan Warn Delivery Drivers about Increased Robberies

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U.S. Virgin Islands Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands signed legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis for the territory. The Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act will serve as the foundation for both the recreational and medical cannabis industries. The bill provides a legal framework for the legal production, distribution, and use of marijuana. While proponents of the bill said it will provide new economic opportunities and revenue for the Virgin Islands, it may be some time before sales officially launch. Necessary regulations for adult-use cannabis businesses need to be in place before licensing can officially get underway. Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. also issued a proclamation that will permit any individual with a past conviction for marijuana possession to apply for a pardon. 

NY to Get a Second Licensed Cannabis Retailer this Week

For months during the latter half of 2022, New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul and state officials remained steadfast in their prediction that 20 cannabis dispensaries would open before the end of the year. Regulators approved the first 36 cannabis licenses in November 2022. However, thus far, only one cannabis dispensary has officially opened its doors. Another retail dispensary, Smacked, is set to open to the public this week. Smacked is located in the Greenwich Village area and is a Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licensee under NY’s social equity licensing program. While many industry experts anticipate that New York will have a substantial retail cannabis market expected to see $1 billion in sales in 2023, there have been several factors hindering the progress of the nascent state-legal industry up to this point, such as an ongoing lawsuit regarding licensing residency requirements and a thriving black market. 

Cannabis Regulators in Michigan Warn Delivery Drivers about Increased Robberies

Michigan cannabis regulators issued a warning to marijuana businesses in the state regarding an uptick in cannabis delivery driver robberies. The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) said that at least 13 drivers were robbed while in the process of delivering cannabis products to consumers. In some instances, the delivery drivers were robbed at gunpoint and their vehicles were stolen. The CRA reminded businesses to notify law enforcement as well as the regulatory agency within 24 hours of any theft or criminal activity. They also advised taking extra precautions for deliveries at this time.