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Black-Owned FL Farm Awarded Commercial License, German Officials Visit CA, and Sen. Booker Breaks Down Prohibition Problem

September 30, 2022 08:30 am ET

A Black-owned farm in Florida received a cannabis license for the first time, German officials are looking to California for cannabis industry inspo, and Sen. Booker made a case for federal legalization.

Let’s dive into this week’s cannanews.


Gwinn Brothers Beat Florida’s Rigid Application Process

After years of delays, Florida finally awarded its first Black farmer commercial cannabis license. The lucky recipients are Robert and Clifford Gwinn from Gwinn Brothers Farms. The Gwinns are joining the ranks of the 22 current commercial cannabis license holders—many of which are giant multi-state corporations.

The special “Black farmer commercial cannabis license” came into existence in 2017. Regulations mandated that the license be set aside for the Black farmers involved in the landmark 1997 Pigford v. Glickman case. The case saw thousands of Black farmers successfully sue the U.S. Department of Agriculture over its discriminatory loan allocation practices.

Unfortunately, this was not the end of the troubles experienced by Florida’s Black farmers. Last year, the application fee for the Black farmer commercial license—dubbed the “Pigford license”—was raised to $146,000. For comparison, the application fee for a standard commercial cannabis license is only $60,000.

Beyond these expensive fees, Florida’s strict commercial cannabis business guidelines create further issues. Florida mandates that cannabis companies handle all business from cultivation to distribution. This makes it all the more difficult for small businesses to obtain licenses without the help of wealthy investors.

All these factors make the Gwinns’ success story all the more impressive. We hope to see more Florida success stories like this in the future!

What do you think of Florida’s approach to cannabis? Do you think the state will ever be able to live up to its massive potential? Let us know in the comments!

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Germany Sends Officials on California Canna-Trip

German officials are ramping up for legalization! The country’s latest move involved sending a group of lawmakers to sunny California. The group toured cannabis businesses across the state, hoping to gain some insight into how Germany should proceed with its cannabis legalization.

German lawmakers were reportedly most interested in assessing the “opportunities and risks” that come with legalization. Particularly, how social equity licenses worked in practice. As such, the group spent a lot of the trip visiting social equity-licensed dispensaries.

The group of German lawmakers met with California officials and cannabis industry stakeholders in Oakland. During the meeting, California officials emphasized the importance of creating a regulated environment that attracts consumers and producers while diverting business from the illicit market.

With the trip complete—German lawmakers will now put their full attention to legalizing the recreational use of cannabis in the following months. Check in with Veriheal to stay up to date with Germany’s journey to legalization.

What do you think of Germany’s California trip? Let us know in the comments!

Sen. Booker Breaks Down “Twin Crisis” of Federal Prohibition

Finally, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker recently released a video stressing the need for federal legalization. 

In the video, Booker points out the absurdity of continued federal cannabis prohibition given that “most states now have moved to legalize marijuana, whether it’s for medical use or for overall adult use.” This strange state of affairs, Booker states, has caused a “twin crisis.”

On one side, those living in cannabis-illegal states face the risk of being arrested for cannabis possession. On the other side, hopeful cannabis business owners in legal states are barred from traditional financial services. In both cases, communities of color are often the ones receiving the brunt of the damage. This makes true equity all the more difficult to achieve.

What do you think of Sen. Booker’s video? Would you like to see your representative take similar action? Let us know in the comments!

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