Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
This week, we see New York issuing its first cannabis licenses. Ireland considers a bill to decriminalize marijuana use. Connecticut delays its dispensary openings. Rhode Island, on the other hand, plans to begin sales this month. And finally, Thanksgiving weed sales were up this year.
Good things come to those who wait – the old adage was proven true again this week, as New York issued its first adult-use cannabis licenses. 28 of the first 36 licenses issues went to individuals; the remaining eight went to nonprofits. All of the licenses went to “justice-involved” individuals or organizations serving those persons. When will those dispensaries open? Soon…
Cannabis for personal use may be coming to the Republic of Ireland. Irish MP Gino Kenny introduced a bill that would allow adults 18 and older to possess up to 7 grams of cannabis or 2.5 grams of cannabis resin. The bill would not establish legal sales or cultivation, either by individuals or commercial enterprises.
As a counterpoint to New York’s progress, we have a lack of progress in Connecticut. Originally set for a 2022 opening date, now it appears that retail cannabis dispensaries won’t open in the Nutmeg State until 2023. Delays in the process of approving grow and manufacturing space is setting the process back. Early 2023 now seems to be the earliest stores could open.
Continuing our focus on small New England states, Rhode Island‘s adult-use market started this week. As early as 5:45 am ET, doors opened on Thursday, with steel drum bands, balloon arches and free samples. One can only imagine this will provide incentive for Connecticut to get its act together.
This Thanksgiving, it wasn’t only the beans that were green. Green Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, was the most fruitful sales day for cannabis, raking in over $116 million in sales, showing a 16% increase year-over-year. The day was second only to April 20 in sales. If you’re in the cannabis industry, this is something for which to be thankful.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!