CBD and Cannabis News Update

Marijuana retailers are deemed essential in some states but are ineligible for federal disaster relief.

April 01, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—NACS publishes periodic roundups of news and information on cannabis and CBD to help update Daily readers on the fast-moving products and their legality. Here are the topics in the news for the week of March 30 to April 3, as the CBD and cannabis industry responds to the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Federal Activity

  • Is Marijuana an ‘Essential’ Like Milk or Bread? Some States Say Yes. Over the past week, more than a dozen states have agreed that while “nonessential” stores had to close, pot shops and medical marijuana dispensaries could remain open—official recognition that for some Americans, cannabis is as necessary as milk and bread. (Source: NYTimes)
  • Marijuana Businesses Are Ineligible for Coronavirus Disaster Relief, Federal Agency Confirms. With the exception of businesses that produce or sell hemp and hemp-derived products (Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Public Law 115-334), marijuana-related businesses are not eligible for SBA-funded services. (Source: Boston Globe)
  • DEA Proposes Process to Expand Marijuana Research in the United States. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Justice announced action to further expand opportunities for scientific and medical research on marijuana in the United States. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking provides details on the proposed process and was filed for public inspection March 20. (Source: DEA)
  • Cannabis Insurance Claims Dominated by “Inside” Theft Jobs. Theft remains by far the biggest concern for both marijuana and hemp businesses in the United States. The nature of the product and its popularity on the black market make it a prime target for petty and organized crime. This is painfully clear in cannabis insurance claims data, which have been dominated by theft-related issues. (Source: Insurance Business)
State and Local Activity
  • Virus Worries May Further Delay Start of Recreational Marijuana Market. Medical marijuana dispensaries and caregivers are considered essential businesses under Maine’s coronavirus guidelines, but the launch of the adult recreational retail market may be further delayed by the pandemic, according to a memo released Tuesday by the state Office of Marijuana Policy. (Source: The Portland Press Herald)
  • Arizona Marijuana Activists Have More Than Enough Signatures to Put Legalization on the Ballot, They Say. The Smart and Safe Arizona campaign to legalize cannabis for adult use said it has gathered more than 320,000 signatures—about 80,000 more than is required—to make the ballot. (Source: Marijuana Moment)
  • Oregon Regulators Moved to Make it Easier to Obtain a Cannabis Worker Permit Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to support and accommodate the cannabis industry, effective March 18, 2020, through April 30, 2020, employees may work for an OLCC recreational marijuana licensed business if they meet specified conditions. (Source: Oregon.gov)
  • Cannabis Finds Its Moment Amid Coronavirus Outbreak. Marijuana sales are booming, with some states seeing 20 percent spikes in sales as anxious Americans prepare to be hunkered down in their homes potentially for months. Cannabis sellers are staffing up too, hiring laid-off workers from other industries to meet demand. And in the midst of a historic market meltdown, stock prices for cannabis companies have surged, in some cases doubling since the public health crisis began. (Source: Politico)
  • Coronavirus Could Accelerate U.S. Cannabis Legalization. As the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic piles up, U.S. cities and states are set to face significant lost revenue given the loss of business activity. Legalization of cannabis for adults, DataTrek Research’s Jessica Rabe points out, could be a really easy way to shore up tax basis without driving people out of state, as raising income taxes might do. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

NACS has prepared a fact sheet (for members only) to help you navigate what’s legal and what’s not for CBD retailing.

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.