April 14, 2020
The Morning Buzz presented by TRICHOMES brings you late-breaking news that tells you what’s happening within the cannabis industry.
COVID is causing chaos for the cannabis industry in Maine, a potential landmark lawsuit is underway in California, and if you need a job in Illinois, keep listening. It’s Tuesday, April 14th and this is your TRICHOMES Morning Buzz.
**Maine is the latest state to delay their rollout of adult-use cannabis sales amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
According to Ganjapreneur, Maine officials are delaying the rollout of recreational cannabis sales, citing the coronavirus pandemic as the reason. In a letter to stakeholders, the Office of Marijuana Policy Director Eric Gundersen called a spring industry launch “unrealistic.”
He went on to say that localities preparing for authorization to opt-in to adult-use sales have to postpone their actions amid the outbreak and that there are currently “sheer unknowns” such as when social distancing efforts will be scaled back.
Last month, officials announced they were delaying the start of recreational cannabis sales in the state until June – three months later than expected. It’s been four years and counting since Maine voters approved adult-use sales.
** A California Hemp grower is suing a slew of government officials, claiming unlawful destruction of plants
Hemp Industry Daily reports, California-based hemp grower Apothio is suing their local sheriff’s office and many other officials, alleging the authorities destroyed about 500 acres of their plants, which the company estimates were worth $1 billion, according to the lawsuit.
The federal lawsuit filed Friday calls the demolition of the plants “one the largest wholesale destructions of personal property by government entities in the history of the United States.”
Apothio researches and commercializes hemp plants for use in foods, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceuticals, including ones to treat epilepsy. The complaint goes on to say that Apothio LLC is an established agricultural institution that is allowed to legally research and commercialize hemp, by both federal and state law.
Named in the suit are Kern County and its sheriff’s office, along with the sheriff himself, Donny Youngblood. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and its director, Charles Bonham, are also named in the lawsuit along with “other unknown county and state officials.”
No one was arrested during the sheriff’s operation, but the sheriff’s office has said the plants’ THC content exceeded the federal limit of 0.3 % for hemp.
Apothio’s lawyers argue it’s irrelevant if the plants exceeded the limit because of the company’s special federal exemption as an agricultural research organization.
** Cresco Labs is looking to hire displaced workers, providing much-needed support in response to COVID-19
According to a press release, Cresco Labs, one of the largest multistate cannabis operators in the United States, has announced it is hiring retail positions for its Sunnyside dispensaries throughout Illinois in an effort to shore up its teams and provide patients and customers with the cannabis products they need. The company will focus its recruitment efforts on local industries significantly impacted by COVID-19, including hospitality and restaurant service workers. In addition, the company has added an essential pay program and additional support to current employees working in its cultivation centers, distribution facilities, and dispensaries.
Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs’ CEO, and co-founder said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the daily lives and disrupted the livelihoods of everyone in this country, with some communities, groups, and individuals impacted more than others. As the states in which we operate have acknowledged cannabis as an ‘essential’ industry, we understand Cresco’s responsibility to continue operations, to be stewards of this industry, and to be leaders in our communities. Cresco has a culture that focuses on, and prioritizes the needs of all stakeholders; we are committed to do our part to maximize our impact and help those most affected by these unfortunate circumstances.”
Cresco will focus on hiring and training restaurant industry and hospitality service workers who have recently lost their jobs for 250 full-time positions at its Sunnyside dispensaries, including wellness advisors, inventory managers, managers, assistant managers, and security personnel. The company is partnering with hospitality companies across the state to promote this opportunity to their employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
** And that was today’s Morning Buzz! Come see what industry professionals are saying and join the conversation with the cannabis community at trichomes.com.
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