Arizona’s cannabis industry experienced a decline in sales, Colorado announced the first round of social equity grant winners, and a pesticide chemical was found in the urine of 80% of Americans.
Let’s dive into this week’s cannanews.
Arizona Rec and Med Cannabis Sales Stumble
Arizona’s new recreational cannabis market hit an unexpected dip, racking up only $75 million April sales. The month’s sales represent a $5 million decline compared to March—the state’s highest-grossing month since the market opened in January.
On the medical cannabis side, Arizona lost an estimated $2.4 million in sales from the previous month. This marks the sixth month in a row that the state’s medical sales have declined. Worse yet, the amount of registered medical cannabis patients in the state also dipped from 212,083 patients in April to 191,682 patients in May.
All that said, Arizona’s medical and recreational slumps are not something to worry about yet. However, the downward trends are worth monitoring. With the cannabis industry’s tax revenue being used to fund everything from community college to firefighters and highways, continued losses could spell trouble.
What do you think about the Arizona cannabis industry’s downward trend? Do you think Arizonians should be concerned by these figures? Let us know in the comments!
Colorado Announces Social Equity Grant Winners
Back in April 2021, Colorado announced it would begin taking applications for its cannabis industry social equity program. The program sought to combat the effects of the war on drugs by awarding money to cannabis business owners from underrepresented communities. In order to qualify for the grant, applicants needed to meet one of the following criteria:
- Have a prior cannabis arrest on their record
- Earn 50% of the state’s median income
- Come from a designated low-economic opportunity zone
After months of combing over heaps of applications, Colorado finally announced its first batch of grant recipients earlier this month. The bulk of the 16 winners come from the delivery and hospitality side of the cannabis industry. Notable winners include the Tetra Hospitality Group, Meta-on CannaClub, Colorado Kush, and Different Strokes 2.0 Puff N Paint Art Studio.
The size of the winners’ grants is dependent on the maturity of their business. Smaller businesses still in their foundational phases, for example, can receive up to $25,000 in grants. More established business owners looking at growth opportunities, on the other hand, can receive up to $50,000. The program stipulates that these recipients must now submit six-month and 1-year reports outlining how they use their grant money.
Colorado plans to issue another set of social equity grants and loans in the near future. However, the application process for this second round is not yet open.
What do you think of Colorado’s cannabis business social equity grant program? Would you like to see your state adopt something similar? Let us know in the comments!
‘Likely Carcinogenic’ Pesticide Found in 80% of Americans’ Urine
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 80% of Americans have detectible levels of the herbicide chemical glyphosate in their urine. The report echoes previous findings that uncovered trace amounts of glyphosate in everything from children’s cereal and baby formula to wine and even hummus!
So how exactly is glyphosate ending up in all these different places? The answer is simple enough—Roundup! The massively popular pesticide used everywhere from big farms to small gardens has glyphosate as one of its active ingredients. This wouldn’t be an issue, of course, if it wasn’t for the chemical being “likely carcinogenic,” according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.
The 2015 WHO report unleashed an absolute storm of lawsuits on Roundup’s parent company Bayer from individuals alleging that the pesticide caused their cancer. To date, over 125,000 of these claims have been filed against Bayer. The company attempted to have these ongoing lawsuits dismissed earlier this year but was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court.
Bayer, thankfully, made the decision to remove glyphosate from its residential use Roundup pesticide in 2021. However, individuals buying cannabis through illicit markets should still make sure to test their products for this chemical as a precaution.
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