Robert Hunt, principal at boutique cannabis consultancy, Shingle Hill, details the shortfalls of legalization that have allowed the illicit market to flourish in California and contemplates how to support the legal market.
For years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has delayed applications for the cultivation and research of marijuana without explanation. Now, a new lawsuit has pushed the DEA for clarification. Due to stringent federal regulations, many scientists are forced to operate in the "gray area" between sanctioned and forbidden areas of research.
The recreational cannabis market in Massachusetts has been hit hard by COVID-19 due to the closure of all non-medical dispensaries by Governor Charlie Baker. These small businesses would, if not for their cannabis connections, qualify for essential federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, but they are excluded because they operate in the "gray area" between state and federal law. Massachusetts lawmakers held a hearing to discuss the establishment of a state-level coronavirus relief program that would extend PPP benefits to the marijuana industry imminently.