Climate change, nitrogen deposition and fire suppression are leading to shifts in the types of trees that dominate American forests. These changes will have environmental consequences, potentially positive and negative, according to a Purdue University study.
Following news of Harvest Health & Recreation’s latest acquisition, officials at the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued a response to the company, calling the press release’s contents a “blatant misrepresentation.” Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Sam Wood III first reported this exchange.
On April 9, Harvest Health & Recreation announced that it had entered into a binding, definitive agreement to acquire CannaPharmacy Inc., which holds a grower-processor license in Pennsylvania along with other cannabis business licenses in Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The move, once approved and closed, would place Harvest operations in 213 cannabis facilities, 130 dispensaries and 17 U.S. states. But whether those assets mean that Harvest holds those business licenses is a matter that the Pennsylvania Department of Health is calling out.
The health department threatened to revoke Harvest’s existing licenses because of how the company’s management was communicating its holdings in Pennsylvania.
CannaPharmacy is the owner of Franklin Labs LLC in Pennsylvania, which owns a 46,800-square-foot cultivation facility in Reading, Pa. Harvest’s management team touted this expansion of its Mid-Atlantic footprint in a press release announcing the M&A news.
John Collins, the department’s director of the Office of Medical Marijuana, wrote in his April 10 letter to Harvest Health & Recreation CEO Steve White that “permits are nontransferable [in Pennsylvania]. … Accordingly, even after completion of the acquisition, Franklin Labs LLC will retain ownership of the permit and Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. may not represent that it owns the permit issued to Franklin Labs LLC.”
Harvest’s transaction is “subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals in the relevant states,” according to the press release accompanying the news. It’s a standard provision of M&A transaction announcements, but this response from Pennsylvania authorities opens up a discussion about how licenses, as assets, are transferred in legal business acquisitions—in an industry predicated upon state regulatory approval.
“This is a new and particularly acquisitive time in the cannabis industry and many transactions involve assets that fall within a number of individual state regulatory systems,” a spokesperson for Harvest Health & Recreation told Cannabis Business Times. “Harvest will always evaluate its options in order to be fully compliant in any state in which it operates.”
But the Pennsylvania letter went beyond the M&A news.
A second concern brought up older business in Harvest’s mention of its existing Pennsylvania footprint: “Harvest currently has seven state licenses allowing up to 21 retail stores throughout the state,” according to the press release.
Individual companies are capped at five medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Pennsylvania, and each license allows that company to operate three storefronts—effectively limiting companies to 15 dispensaries. (This is according to Section 616 (3) of the state’s 2016 medical marijuana law. The language is specific: “The department may not issue more than one individual grower/processor permit to one person.”)
The disconnect between the number of licenses Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. claims to hold in the state (seven, which exceeds the permissible count) and the number of licenses the state Department of Health perceives Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. as holding (zero) seems to be an issue of interpretation: At what point does a legal entity’s public image begin and end?
The licenses were neither awarded to nor filed under Harvest Health & Recreation Inc., but rather individual LLCs.
Case in point: In the second round of Pennsylvania medical marijuana dispensary business licensing (for which permits were awarded in December 2018), Harvest won six licenses for a potential total of 18 storefronts—again, a number that exceeds the state license cap. These applications, however, came in the form of different LLCs: Harvest of Southeast PA LLC, for example, and Harvest of North Central PA LLC. In each application, the same management team (that of Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. in Tempe, Ariz.) is cited.
Earlier, in 2017, in the state’s first round of medical marijuana dispensary business licensing, a company called SMPB Retail LLC, out of Arizona, won a license for a company called Harvest of Reading.
In total, seven LLCs with a connection to Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. in Tempe, Ariz., hold dispensary licenses in Pennsylvania. That allows for the potential of up to 21 dispensaries in the state, as Harvest plainly laid out in its press release.
But, still, according to the Department of Health letter, the state has an issue with how this information is being conveyed.
“Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. did not apply for, or receive, any permits in Pennsylvania.” Collins wrote (italics his). “Because each business is recognized as a separate legal entity under law, the department expects each to operate as independent entities as represented in the permit applications.
“Any continued misrepresentation that these entities are one in the same will be construed as a falsification of the permit applications and will result in the Office taking action against each entity, including possible revocation of permits,” Collins wrote.
Harvest Health & Recreation responded to Cannabis Business Times’ request for comment: “As a publicly-listed company operating in the cannabis space, we’re required to file public notice of intended acquisitions at an early stage in the process. Harvest is fully committed to always operating within state guidelines and working closely with Pennsylvania’s Department of Health on their medical cannabis program. We look forward to bringing a high-quality experience and serving patients in need throughout the Commonwealth.”
This sudden scrutiny from Pennsylvania Department of Health, however, comes soon after The Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigative team published the first article in a series on cannabis license transfers and an emergent web of business ownership in Massachusetts. The story raised questions about how large companies were circumventing state regulations to acquire—whether through outright ownership or management agreements of some sort—multiple cannabis business licenses that exceed a number allowed by state regulators.
The reporters at the Globe focused on Acreage Holdings and Sea Hunter.
In the case of Pennyslvania and the matter at hand, the state issued its dispensary licenses to seven distinct LLCs and now takes Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. to task for how that information is being communicated to the public.
Home Prices Spike Following Opening of Marijuana Retailers | NORML
FORT COLLINS, CO — The opening of marijuana retailers is positively associated with rising neighborhood home values, according to data published in the journal Contemporary Economic Policy. Colorado State University researchers assessed the impact of dispensary openings in Denver on home prices in the immediate vicinity. They reported:…
Conscious of the need to avert global biodiversity loss, on May 3, 2011, the European Commission adopted a new strategy to halt the loss of biodiversity, known as EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 (EUBS).
Psychoactive Adulterants Identified In Some Liquid CBD Products | NORML
RICHMOND, VA — Liquid formulations of CBD available on the commercial market have been identified to contain synthetic cannabinoids and other psychoactive constituents, according to a scientific analysis published in the journal Forensic Science International. A team of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University evaluated the…
Alcohol and cannabis are America’s two favorite sources of inebriation. But despite their somewhat parallel popularity, the two substances have followed radically different paths in how they are viewed, particularly by the eyes of the law.
Socially, we know they are often enjoyed in tandem. When it comes to their chemical impact, it makes a big difference which one hits your lips first. And, as is often the case with alcohol, the relationship between them ranges from jovial to adversarial, with a lot of complications in between.
Amplifier or Dampener?
There is no simple answer to how alcohol and cannabis combine in the body and mind, because the effects change based on which enters the system first. A smoke before or shortly after a drink makes one absorb less alcohol than the drink by itself due to the effect of weed on intestinal motility — which is to say, cannabis affects how alcohol moves through the body. On the flip side, a pre-cannabis drink can amplify the high, an effect shown in both subjective reports and chemical studies, like this one from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Alcohol increases the absorption of THC, and this is detectable in blood samples and mood.
Of course, both cannabis and alcohol can have widely different effects based on an individual’s tolerance and biochemistry. One person’s smooth sailing is another’s rocky seas, and this is doubly so when combining substances. For many, the combination can tip into nausea very easily — we’ve all held a “crossfaded” companion’s hair back or fetched them a glass of water while they regurgitated the results of being too gung-ho about smoking and drinking. As always, taking things slow and steady is advisable.
A Tale of Two Prohibitions
There’s a reason we so often refer to the federally criminalized status of cannabis as “prohibition”: It invokes alcohol prohibition, an experiment that has more or less universally been deemed a failure. From 1920 to 1933, alcohol could not be produced, imported or sold in the United States. This pushed alcohol consumption into the illicit market and turned bars into speakeasies (which, post-prohibition, became just another type of bar).
But unfortunately, as alcohol prohibition ended, cannabis prohibition gained steam. It eventually became federal law via the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937, and, of course, remains illegal in the U.S. to this day. But at the state level, legalization is spreading in the West and Northeast, while making inroads in the Midwest.
One of the key levers cannabis advocates have used to pry away at criminalization is the example of alcohol prohibition. Every point about the problematic impacts of cannabis use can be met with a counter about the much more severe impacts of alcohol. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol killed roughly 88,000 Americans and caused 2.5 million years of potential life to be lost each year between 2006-2010. In economic costs, excessive drinking cost the U.S. an estimated $249 billion in 2010 alone.
Vox’s Ezra Klein has argued that the primary public health effect of legalizing cannabis will be how it alters alcohol consumption levels. Yet alcohol is widely available for purchase and can be consumed publicly in bars and restaurants without fear of recourse.
Cannabis, meanwhile, still has no deaths to its name as a direct result of consumption. From what we know, the long-term health effects are less severe than alcohol’s, as is its capacity for addiction. The behavioral effects of pot lean toward silliness and away from violence. It takes all sorts of rhetorical bank shots to make a coherent case that alcohol should be legal and cannabis should be criminalized, yet that has been true in the U.S. for nearly a century. The comparison itself was essentially put in legal terms when Michigan voters passed adult-use legalization in 2018, a referendum led by a coalition named “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.”
The alcohol industry has historically used its legal status to try to keep competition out of the market by lobbying for continued criminalization, including as recently as 2018. Other alcohol groups have figured it’s time to get in on the action, or at least involve themselves in the still-emerging regulatory processes around cannabis.
Though a smoke and a drink go literally hand in hand for some people, alcohol and cannabis have been both allies and adversaries in the public eye. With legalization making more and more progress, alcohol will need to make room for America’s other favorite substance.
TELL US, do you ever drink while you toke — or vice versa?
One of the hottest pieces of propaganda to come spilling from jowls of law enforcement over the past few years is that illicit-market marijuana is being laced with a dangerous and destructive opioid called fentanyl.
The idea that drug dealers are intentionally adding this potent drug to pot so hapless children who get their hands on it suffer savage, sometimes fatal overdoses has become a new reefer madness. Even the White House continues to perpetuate the myth with ignorance. Just weeks ago, Trump’s opioid crisis czar Kellyanne Conway told reporters that fentanyl was showing up in “heroin, marijuana, meth [and] cocaine.” Conway resurrected this claim, apparently, because she is still using misinformation given to her by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The marijuana-fentanyl connection has been proven false, at least on a large scale. Even the DEA called it bogus — more on that later. But new twists on the subject are still popping up from time to time that only stand to confuse the public further.
What the Nose Doesn’t Know
One of our favorites comes from a recent Facebook post, in which someone suggests that fentanyl smells like popcorn when it burns. So, of course, they warn that if a person smokes marijuana and catches a whiff of American’s favorite movie-time snack, that’s a good indication they could be in serious trouble.
But all of this popcorn nonsense is absolutely false, according to fact-checking website Truth or Fiction.
“Nearly all information about fentanyl’s scent indicated it was odorless or faintly powder-scented, not that it smells ‘like popcorn,’” wrote author Kim LaCapria. “The inherent risk in such information being spread as ‘better safe than sorry’ [is] lulling recreational drug users into a dangerously false sense of security with respect to detecting contamination from drugs such as fentanyl.”
Back to Reality
What is true is that fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, designed as a post-surgical painkiller. Yet, for obvious reasons, it has found illicit market appeal. Those who enjoy the feel-good effects that come from popping OxyContin or shooting heroin are the primary customer base. It’s also a drug that cartel operations have found much success with, because it is easier to produce than heroin — all of the supplies needed to manufacture it can be purchased relatively easily from online suppliers in China.
It’s also true that fentanyl is now being found in other drugs — though some of those instances might be exaggerated too. This is happening, according to a report from NPR, either as a result of accidental contamination or intentionally, in order to get users hooked on other products. There is also a distinct possibility that fentanyl is being combined with other drugs in the pursuit of new highs.
While it is not beyond the scope of imagination to suggest that people are adding fentanyl or other opioids to marijuana as part of their personal preference — cannabis has been soaked in embalming fluid, mixed with PCP, cocaine, and more over the years — there is little benefit for the illicit drug industry to engage in this practice. These operations certainly aren’t going to put fentanyl-laced marijuana into the market without charging some kind of premium.
But all of this talk is entirely hypothetical.
As we mentioned before, even the DEA says there hasn’t actually been any marijuana found with traces of fentanyl in it. “In regard to marijuana, I’m not familiar with that,” DEA spokesman Melvin Patterson told the Cincinnati Inquirer.
These comments echo DEA senior chemist Jill Head’s remarks from earlier this year. According to Buzzfeed News, Head made a salient point in a National Drug Early Warning System briefing in March: If fentanyl-laced marijuana was actually a trend across the nation, the death toll would be of an apocalyptic nature. After all, marijuana is the most commonly used substance – some 33 million people in both the legal and illicit markets consume it regularly. We’d definitely be seeing more bodies.
So if fentanyl-laced pot isn’t actually a thing, how did the rumors get started? Well, when it comes to the “misinformation” that continues to be spread by the White House – using the data collected by NIDA — all of it is based on anecdotal evidence from local police departments. But all of those reports were eventually proven to be false. Even the fact-checking site Snopes found no evidence to suggest that this drug combination is not a legitimate concern.
In the end, we cannot trust the police to deliver accurate reports over the kinds of drugs they are seeing out in the field.
“There’s this mistaken belief that law enforcement are experts on the drugs they are seizing,” Northeastern University drug policy expert Leo Beletsky told BuzzFeed News. “That’s just not the case, and that’s part of the problem.”
TELL US, what’s the weirdest rumor you’re heard about cannabis sold on the illicit market?
for more info https://www.projectcbd.org/medicine/cbd-mrsa-testimonial
When you gaze upon those words a horde chewing via the most recent defenses of marauders have been ransacking all corners of this world and leaving trail of victims. As demonstrated by a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO), fierce tribes of germs, viruses, parasites and fungi are all on the rampage, also several are demonstrating practically invincible into the so-called”last resort” antibiotics.