Clash of the idea titans on capital hill about strategy during congressional hearing on ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition

The Rundown: The question of “if” federal prohibition will be reversed is moving more and more into the “when” formulation. And it was that “when” question that was hotly debated on Capitol Hill this week.

From MJBizDaily: “Neal Levine, chief executive officer of the Cannabis Trade Federation, called the current situation a “frustrating dichotomy” that creates a hazardous cash-only industry and saddles MJ businesses with higher taxes.

He said he believed the STATES Act, which would protect state-legal businesses from federal interference, would best resolve the current conflict.

He cited the 2019 Marijuana Business Factbook‘s projection that state-legal businesses will generate more than $12 billion in retail sales this year.Levine emphasized how the industry is a “driver of economic growth and tax revenue.””

Marijuana Moment also adds: “The war on drugs was racially biased from its inception and has been carried out in a discriminatory fashion with disastrous consequences for hundreds of thousands of people of color and their communities,” Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-CA) said in her opening statement.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), the acting ranking member of the subcommittee, said that marijuana decriminalization “may be one of the very few issues upon which bipartisan agreement can still be reached in this session” and that it “doesn’t require endorsing cannabis.””

The Takeaway: Cannabis as an industry is still operating in a time of technical illegality, but there are a lot of swords still to clang together in the debate. The fact that it is being categorized as an inevitability by most movers and shakers at the lawmaking level means each passing day gets the industry one step closer to lifting the fog of federal prohibition.



Green Growth Brands makes $310 million securities acquisition 

The Rundown: A wild and byzantine reverse takeover, merger, and restructuring of one of the oldest dispensaries and cultivators in California has led to public listing of the new Harborside Inc. on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Ticker symbol: HBOR.

Green Growth Brands team via MGRetailer

From MGRetailer: “The transaction is a part of GGB’s focused growth strategy. GGB rapidly is building its cannabidiol (CBD) business, including recently securing additional distribution through Designer Brands Inc., the parent company of DSW shoe stores (NYSE: DBI) and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF), and is expanding its footprint of Seventh Sense Botanical Therapy shops from the current 61 to an expected 200-plus by the end of calendar year 2019. GGB also is building its multi-state operation network, which now includes the potential for up to 47 dispensary licenses in three key states.”

The Takeaway: Cannabis mergers and acquisitions are growing just as complex and heated as traditional industries.



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