Mexico Further Delays Legalization And Cannabis Freedom Alliance Joins Conservatives

A new #national #cannabis #advocacy coalition with #Republican backing aims to influence federal #marijuana reform. The idea for the recently-launched Cannabis Freedom Alliance was formed following a #Zoom call between #rapper and cannabis mogul #Snoop Dogg, right-wing #billionaire Charles #Koch, and criminal justice activist Weldon Angelos last summer. The group includes the conservative political organization #Americans for #Prosperity and #nonprofit The Weldon Project, which pushes for the release of people in prison for marijuana offenses, as well as other political and #trade associations. The alliance is dedicated to ending federal cannabis #prohibition, #advocating for participation from individuals formerly involved in illicit marijuana operations, and promoting free market policies as well as low tax rates. According to Angelos, who was pardoned by former #President #Trump in #December after serving 13 of his sentenced 55-years for cannabis trafficking, the influence of the far-reaching Koch network could be the turning point in gaining Republican support for nationwide legalization. While the group plans to start by reaching out to libertarian-leaning lawmakers, like senators #Rand Paul and Mike Lee, such politicians could change the dynamics of a mostly democrat-led debate on a specific regulatory framework. The CFA is the third marijuana lobbying organization to launch this year, following the #US Cannabis Council and the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation.

In #Virginia, lawmakers approve measures legalizing the personal use, possession, and #cultivation of marijuana beginning #July 1st, with retail sales slated to launch in 2024. The amendment to speed up the timeline of a #recreational legalization bill passed by legislators in #February cleared both chambers, after being proposed by #Democrat governor Ralph Northam.

In #finance, #cannabis #tech company #Fyllo closes on a 30 #million #dollar #capital #raise. The oversubscribed Series B #financing round, led by Sol Global and JW #Asset Management, saw 60 percent of funds come from outside of the #marijuana sector, from participants such as K2, Entourage Effect Capital, and Arcadian Capital Management. Chicago-based Fyllo, which specializes in #digital marketing and compliance #software, has raised nearly 60 million dollars since its founding in 2019, and plans to eventually expand to other highly-regulated industries. They intend to use the most recent funding to double their engineering staff, scale operations and #sales, and accelerate the delivery of compliance automation solutions to publishers, advertisers and operators. They will also use the capital to integrate point-of-sale, #retail marketing, and customer loyalty tools from January acquisition DataOwl into their platform. The DataOwl purchase builds upon Fyllo’s goal of increasing their service offerings, following their 10 million dollar #acquisition of marijuana compliance tech provider CannaRegs in #January of 2020. Fyllo currently works with more than 320 cannabis retailers, including major multistate operators like Grassroots and Columbia Care, across 25 states.

In #Mexico, #adult-use #cannabis legalization could face further delays, as lawmakers struggle to agree on a regulatory framework. Despite the recent advancement of an implementation #bill through both #legislative chambers, senators are reportedly considering requesting a #deadline extension from the country’s #supreme court due to potential constitutional inconsistencies. This comes after the previous policy deadline was pushed back multiple times from its original date of October 2019, one year after the upper court ruled #marijuana prohibition unconstitutional. Under the latest measure, adults 18 and older would be allowed to purchase and possess up to 28 grams of #marijuana and grow as many as 6 #plants for personal use. Controversial revisions include increased penalties for possession of large amounts of cannabis and the granting of regulatory authority to the existing National Commission Against Addictions instead of the establishment of a new agency. Various politicians are calling for the Senate to approve the bill before the current deadline of #April 30th, and make changes later through subsequent legislation. If the Supreme Court refuses another deadline extension to permit senators to revisit the proposal during the next legislative session in #September, cannabis legalization could be enacted without any corresponding regulations. Though retail sales will likely still be years away even if the current bill is passed by the end of the month, once launched, Mexico will represent the #world’s largest legal adult-use cannabis market.

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William Bradley

William Bradley

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