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Editors’ Note: This is an excerpt from our Monthly Playbook. If you would like to read the full monthly playbook and join the thousands of others you can sign up below.

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The Fyllo Regulatory Database creates unparalleled visibility at every level of government with access to more than 800,000+ files and entries addressing regulations across the United States. Today’s leading MSOs, SSOs and law firms rely on Fyllo to accelerate research, track licensing opportunities and make better decisions. To learn more or schedule a demo, please visit hellofyllo.com.

Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) is seeking applications for cannabis consumption lounge licenses. The application period opens on October 14, 2022, and closes on October 27, 2022. The application must be completed and submitted to the Accela Cannabis Customer Portal.

Editors’ Note: This is an excerpt from our Monthly Playbook. If you would like to read the full monthly playbook and join the thousands of others you can sign up below.

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The Fyllo Regulatory Database creates unparalleled visibility at every level of government with access to more than 800,000+ files and entries addressing regulations across the United States. Today’s leading MSOs, SSOs and law firms rely on Fyllo to accelerate research, track licensing opportunities and make better decisions. To learn more or schedule a demo, please visit hellofyllo.com.

Missouri’s medical cannabis program has officially surpassed 200,000 patients for the first time, nearing almost $500 million in sales. Since Missouri’s first dispensary opened in October 2020, patients have purchased $494,139,809 worth of medical cannabis. On November 8, 2022, voters will have the chance to legalize recreational cannabis through State Amendment 3.

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Recently two prominent investors analyzed cannabis equities saying the sector was like ‘walking the graveyard at midnight looking for shallow graves’ and riffed that cannabis stocks might be similarly positioned to Bitcoin in 2019. Joe Biden’s pardons and request for a scheduling review have revived what has often felt and looked like a corpse in equities markets the past two years. Talk of a congressional lame-duck session post-midterms where passage of ‘SAFE Banking Plus’ is on the table by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and others have also breathed some life back into the industry.

But is this enough?

Joe Biden’s pardon of some federal marijuana convictions is a welcome and long overdue move but does little for the industry right now. The more important move is his calling for an executive branch review of the scheduling of cannabis.

The scheduling review will take some time, potentially years, and the results are not guaranteed or necessarily positive for operators. Moving cannabis to Schedule III, for example, putting it on par with ketamine and codeine, might disempower current operators and bring in pharmaceutical companies to take over a large segment of the market. De-scheduling cannabis and removing it from the Controlled Substance Act would be the best possible outcome of the review. This would essentially place cannabis policy in the hands of individual states and create another period where the FDA and likely Congress weigh in on federal regulations of cannabis for medical and recreational use. This would be like the FDA’s ongoing multi-year review of CBD’s health effects. De-scheduling is unlikely asDEA will be intimately involved in the scheduling review and who have stated their opposition to outright legalization of cannabis. In general, federal agencies are not prone to seceding regulatory powers without Congressional mandates via legislation.

And there lies the rub. The cannabis industry is reliant upon political and regulatory solutions to their business problems. We’ve witnessed wave after wave of political progress at the state and local level since California first legalized medical cannabis in 1996. The November 2022 mid-term elections will certainly bring more progress on the state and local level with three of six states very likely to pass recreational cannabis ballot initiatives.

Rhetoric around cannabis has also changed drastically in Washington, DC since the 90s. Politicians are daily falling over themselves tweeting their support for legalizing cannabis and ending the war on drugs but concrete policy changes are hard to point to. The best the industry has received from Congress and the Executive branch is tolerance, often given grudgingly.

Rumors and speculation abound on social media that the Biden administration will take more progressive moves in cannabis reform after the mid-term elections as set up to the 2024 Presidential elections. Campaign promises about cannabis and overall criminal justice reform from the 2020 race have so far gone largely unfulfilled. As a US Senator since 1974, President Biden has been the progenitor and cheerleader for some of the most regressive and ugly pieces of criminal justice legislation we’ve ever seen: the 2003 RAVE Act, mandatory minimum sentences and the 1994Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act are just three of the major lowlights. Pinning our hopes on President Biden and his administration to be the savior of the cannabis industry is not warranted if history is anything to go by.

More time in the graveyard where the only people paying attention are cannabis industry operators, insiders, and investors seeking out if ‘the bottom is in’ may still be the story for the near future. On the upside, the US cannabis market continues to grow and smart companies continue to build great businesses and great future brands. That the future of the US and global cannabis is bright is a given. The only question as is often the case is timing.

Editors’ Note: This is an excerpt from our Monthly Playbook. If you would like to read the full monthly playbook and join the thousands of others you can sign up below.

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About his role as Chief Equity Officer

The number one thing I can say about myself in this position is everything I’m coming up with, everything I’m proposing, and everything I’m pushing for internally is the result of years of talking to social equity operators and activists in more mature markets.

I got tapped in a few years back with social equity advocates out in California, Michigan, [and] Colorado, and was on basically like weekly calls with a bunch of different groups, learning about their roadblocks, their setbacks, what the state[s] and [cities]and municipalities were doing in their areas that was working and [what] wasn’t working.

Is NY preventing MSO’s from entering?

When it opens up next year, where there’s absolutely no universe in which New York is going to be blocking this opportunity from large-scale operators. They will have to adapt their business models to whatever the regulatory environment [is] that we end up creating here in New York.

We welcome experienced operators to come here and provide great products to New Yorkers. That absolutely is a priority for us. The cannabis industry’s hard, and so I’m not going to sit here and pretend that this is rocket science. I think that there are people in the cannabis industry across this country that would like the rest of us to believe that this is an impossible thing to do without them, but it’s not. It isn’t. But again, like, we’re not blocking [the] opportunity for many of those—for any of those—MSOs to come to New York and build their businesses out here.

Is NY preventing MSO’s from entering?

In state after state, you’ve seen state officials rush through this process and deputize the medical operators to go first and then open it up to just pro applicants who are ready to start building out facilities immediately. There’s no turning the dial back on that later.

Damian Fagon, Chief Equity Officer

And so, the way you start an industry, the way you launch the foundation of a legal industry that is going to be here for a hundred years, is you should take your time with it. You want to be intentional and deliberate with every single regulation that you put in place.

Is this necessary? Is this not necessary? What kind of outcomes will happen if we make this a requirement? … These should take time. I liken it to building a bridge, an infrastructure project like [a] bridge. You want that bridge to be there for a hundred years, [so] you have to do a lot of engineering and planning before you start laying the foundation of it.

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