In this week’s cannabis news round-up, Diddy loses multi-million-dollar cannabis deal; Maryland’s first-month adult-use cannabis sales skyrocket to nearly $85 million; study finds no elevated risk of workplace accidents for off-hour cannabis users; and Illinois smashes records with $136m in adult-use cannabis sales in June.
Diddy Loses Multi-Million Dollar Cannabis Deal
Hip hop legend and successful entrepreneur P Diddy, also known as Sean “Puffy” Combs, reportedly faced a setback in his cannabis venture as the proposed $2 billion mega-deal involving Cresco Labs and Columbia Care fell through. The merger, originally announced in March 2022, aimed to form the largest cannabis company in the US, providing a much-needed boost to an industry grappling with economic and regulatory obstacles.
The $185 million deal involving Diddy would’ve seen him acquiring stores across New York, Massachusetts and Illinois, along with their production facilities. However, the superstar’s management remains committed to exploring business opportunities in the cannabis industry to empower diverse leaders. The Grammy Award-winning artist had previously expressed his mission to create opportunities for black entrepreneurs and promote inclusion within the cannabis market.
“My mission has always been to create opportunities for black entrepreneurs in industries where we’ve traditionally been denied access and this acquisition provides the immediate scale and impact needed to create a more equitable future in cannabis,” he said.
Maryland’s First-Month Adult-Use Cannabis Sales Skyrocket
Maryland’s adult-use cannabis market has hit the ground running, with first-month sales in July reaching almost $85 million, as reported by the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA).
Most sales, more than $51.1 million, came from flower purchases, showing the strong demand for traditional cannabis products. Concentrate sales followed closely behind at $22.1 million, while infused edibles reached over $6.3 million and infused non-edibles achieved more than $4.8 million. Additionally, shake and trim contributed $554,104 and plants generated $3,535 in revenue.
The MCA has been actively converting licenses to accommodate adult-use cannabis customers, successfully transitioning 95 medical cannabis dispensaries. State regulators have also issued licenses to 42 cannabis cultivators and manufacturers, promoting a diverse array of products to meet consumer demands.
Study Finds No Elevated Risk of Workplace Accidents for Off-Hour Cannabis Users
A recent study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health revealed that employees who consume cannabis during their off-hours do not face a higher risk of workplace accidents compared to those who abstain from marijuana altogether.
Researchers from the University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, examined data from 2,745 Canadians to assess the relationship between cannabis use and the risk of workplace accidents. The study confirmed previous findings that there was “no difference in workplace injury risk” between employees who used cannabis outside of work and those who abstained entirely.
However, the research showed that employees who reported using cannabis during or right before work had a nearly two-fold increased risk of experiencing an occupational injury.
Illinois Smashes Records with $136M in Adult-Use Cannabis Sales in June
Illinois’ adult-use cannabis market reached unprecedented heights in June, raking in a staggering $136 million in sales, according to data from the Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer (CROO). This impressive figure not only represents the highest total of the year but also stands as the third-highest monthly sales ever recorded.
In-state consumers accounted for $102 million of the sales, while out-of-state visitors contributed $34 million. Meanwhile, medical cannabis sales in the state remained steady at $27 million, maintaining the same total as May and only $1 million lower than April’s figures.
The surge in adult-use sales can be attributed to an increase of $3 million from May and $4 million from April. However, Illinois experienced a dip in sales from $128 million in January to $120 million in February, which experts believe could be linked to neighboring Missouri’s launch of adult-use sales with the lowest excise tax at 6%, according to Tax Foundation data. By contrast, Illinois imposes a 7% excise tax on the wholesale value, a 10% tax on cannabis flower and products with less than 35% THC, a 20% tax on cannabis-infused products and a 25% tax on products with a THC concentration above 35%.