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Unlicensed Cannabis Dispensaries Continue to Multiply in New York, Recreational Cannabis Sales in New Mexico Reach $1.9 Million on the First Day, and House Passes Cannabis Research Bill

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Unlicensed Cannabis Dispensaries Continue to Multiply in New York

New York’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act allows for the legal transfer of up to three ounces of cannabis to anyone 21 or older, provided there is no compensation involved. For months, unlicensed cannabis dispensaries have popped up and are taking advantage of this loophole in the law. Many of these illegal dispensaries sell some type of digital content, and with the purchase of the content comes a “gift” of cannabis or a cannabis product. The owners of these dispensaries argue that this is completely legal and within the law. But state regulators disagree and thus far have sent out 52 cease-and-desist orders to these unlicensed marijuana shops. While some shop owners have stopped selling products containing THC until the legal market is officially up and running later this year, others feel that it is worth the risk to get a headstart on familiarizing consumers with their brand.  

Recreational Cannabis Sales in New Mexico Reach $1.9 Million on the First Day

New Mexico launched the sales of its recreational cannabis program on April 1st. Within just a few short hours, sales were nearing the half-million mark. By midnight on April 1st, sales numbers from the state’s Cannabis Control Division put the total at $1.9 million. There were a few setbacks for some retailers, however. One issue was with BioTrack, a software used to track cannabis sales. Their system wasn’t working correctly, and therefore retailers using the software weren’t able to sell any recreational cannabis products for the first few hours of the day. But in other parts of the state, dispensaries opened their doors at midnight to begin selling to consumers. 

House Passes Cannabis Research Bill

On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill to allow more cannabis research. The Medical Marijuana Research Act would remove some of the barriers that researchers currently face when they apply to study cannabis. The bill would create specific deadlines that federal agencies would adhere to regarding applications, and it would make it easier for researchers to modify their protocols without federal approval. The bill was sponsored by pro-legalization Representative Earl Blumenauer and prohibitionist Representative Andy Harris. Advocates on both sides of the issue also support the legislation and agree on the need for more federal cannabis research.