New Mexico’s latest cannabis data reveals a new monthly record for adult-use sales in the state.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in Tennessee are attempting to redefine what constitutes legal industrial hemp, and Kentucky has introduced a bill to allow personal use and possession of cannabis, but not sale.
Keep reading for a round-up of this week’s top news and trends in the cannabis industry.
New Mexico breaks adult-use sales record
On Tuesday (January 2), the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department’s Cannabis Reporting Online Profile released December sales figures for medical and recreational cannabis, revealing US$50.47 million in sales for the month. This brings all-time sales in the state to an impressive US$915.86 million.
As for how the two categories performed, in December, adult-use cannabis sales in the state reached US$37.47 million, setting a new record. Medical cannabis sales came to just under US$13 million, the highest level since August.
Legalization efforts in Alabama halted once again
Alabama’s efforts to provide legal access to cannabis were stopped in their tracks on Wednesday (January 3) by Montgomery County Circuit Judge James Anderson, who issued a temporary restraining order on the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission. The judge previously blocked dispensary-only permits from being issued in December.
The state’s most recent attempt to provide licenses for medical use was the issuance of “integrated licenses,” which would have allowed five pre-selected companies — Flowerwood Medical Cannabis, Specialty Medical Products of Alabama, Sustainable Alabama, Trulieve AL and Wagon Trail Med – Serv — to cultivate, process, transport and distribute medical cannabis. Companies that were not selected have challenged the selection process, and the ongoing legal dispute has been cited as the reason for the judge’s ruling.
This marks the third attempt by the commission to provide access to medical cannabis, which was legalized in 2021. Licenses were to be issued on January 9, assuming that all fees had been paid and no issues had arisen. However, Anderson has said the state may need to scrap the current round of licensing
Kentucky introduces personal possession bill
As Kentucky lawmakers roll out a policy for medical cannabis that will fully take effect on January 1, 2025, separate legislation has been introduced to legalize home cultivation, use and possession, but prohibit recreational sales.
HB 72, a limited legalization measure, would allow adults to possess up to an ounce of cannabis, 5 grams of cannabinoids, 1,000 milligrams or less of delta-8 and delta-9 THC and up to five plants. Possession of higher quantities would be grounds for a misdemeanor charge and would carry a fine and a penalty of up to 45 days in jail.
The bill was sent to Kentucky’s House Committee on Committees on Tuesday. As of the time of this writing on Friday (January 5), no amendments to the bill had been requested.
New rules for Tennessee redefine industrial hemp
Since Tennessee’s Industrial Hemp Agriculture Act of 2018 legalized the cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp — including products containing CBD and THCA, which are non-psychoactive cannabinoids — lawmakers have made several attempts to further regulate sales.
The latest came in December, when the Tennessee Department of Agriculture introduced new rules that, if implemented, would prohibit the sale of products containing THCA; these are currently legally sold in Tennessee as flower or edibles.
This change could have significant implications for businesses that rely on the sale of these products, as well as consumers who use them. If passed, the changes could go into effect by July of this year.
A hearing on this issue has been scheduled in Nashville for February 6.
Truelieve closes deal, appointments new CFO
Truelieve (CSE:TRUL,OTCQX:TCNNF), one of the biggest multistate cannabis operators, has secured a multimillion-dollar loan that will help the company “(prepare) for growth catalysts,’ according to a press release.
The loan, which totals US$25 million, was provided in tandem by two banks and will be repaid at a rate of 8.31 percent over five years. First Federal Bank was the lead agent on the loan, and its president and CEO, John Medina, said in a statement, ‘The cannabis industry is an important and complex sector with a significant presence in Florida. We are honored to offer deposit and lending solutions, and particularly this loan to facilitate Trulieve’s growth.”
The company also announced it has appointed a new CFO, Wes Getman. Trulieve’s vice president of finance, Ryan Blust, had been acting as interim CFO after Alex D’Amico’s abrupt resignation in June 2023.
Securities Disclosure: I, Meagen Seatter, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.