In this week’s cannabis round-up, Singapore executes Tangaraju Suppiah for cannabis delivery; Delaware legalizes adult use cannabis in an unusual way; Colorado announces new funding opportunities for cannabis businesses; put your best foot forward in CBD sneakers and record sales reported for this year’s 420.
Singapore Executes Man Accused of Cannabis Trafficking
Even though he wasn’t found in possession of any cannabis, Singapore has executed a man accused of organizing a cannabis delivery. In 2018, the 46-year-old Tangaraju Suppiah received a death sentence for his role in the trafficking of slightly more than two pounds of cannabis. Trafficking cannabis in excess of a pound is punishable by death in Singapore.
Suppiah was hanged on Wednesday despite his family’s pleadings for mercy and protests from campaigners who claimed the evidence used to convict him was insufficient. He was identified by the prosecution as the person in charge of organizing the drug deliveries through phone numbers. However, Suppiah had insisted that he wasn’t in contact with the other people involved in the case.
Nations Human Rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani called on the Singapore government to adopt a “formal moratorium” on executions for drug-related offenses at a briefing on Tuesday.
“Imposing the death penalty for drug offenses is incompatible with international norms and standards,” Shamdasani said, adding that increasing evidence shows the death penalty is ineffective as a deterrent, a direct contrast to Singapore’s claims. The island state has carried out 11 executions in the last year alone for drug-related arrests.
Delaware Becomes Latest State to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis
Delaware became the 22nd state to legalize adult-use cannabis on April 23 with a rather unusual twist: Gov. John Carney didn’t sign the bills into law. Instead, the Democratic governor let the laws pass without his signature as he still opposes legalization in the First State.
Gov. Carney has been a strident opponent of legalization during his six years in office, even though some 60% of his state’s constituents support the legalization of cannabis for adult use. However, on April 21, he released a written statement saying that although his position remains unchanged, he wouldn’t veto a bill to legalize the use, possession or transportation of up to one ounce of cannabis. He also said he won’t veto the bill that created a regulated retail market, stating that there are more pressing issues for the state.
“As I’ve consistently said, I believe the legalization of recreational marijuana isn’t a step forward,” Gov. Carney said in a statement. “I support both medical marijuana and Delaware’s decriminalization law because no one should go to jail for possessing a personal-use quantity of marijuana. And today, they don’t. I want to be clear that my views on this issue haven’t changed. And I understand there are those who share my views who’ll be disappointed in my decision not to veto this legislation. I came to this decision because I believe we’ve spent far too much time focused on this issue when Delawareans face more serious and pressing concerns every day. It’s time to move on.”
His inaction is a change from his veto of a legalization bill supported by other Democrats last year. The result was an unsuccessful attempt by House Democrats to overturn the veto.
Combined, House Bills One and Two permit adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce (28 grams) of flower, 12 grams of concentrates or products containing up to 750 milligrams of THC. Public consumption and possession of more than an ounce of marijuana would still be considered crimes as does home cultivation for personal use. Delaware may provide up to 30 initial licenses for retail sales, 30 for manufacturing, 60 for growing and 5 for testing. Specific licensing pools are included for social equity and microbusiness applicants.
Colorado Announces Landmark Statewide Cannabis Loan Program
Gov. Jared Polis and the Cannabis Business Office (CBO) within the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT) announced on April 24 a new funding source for social equity licensed cannabis businesses in Colorado. The Cannabis Business Loan Program (CBLP) is created in partnership between CBO and mission-based lender NuProject to provide financing that isn’t otherwise available to cannabis businesses through traditional lenders.
The CBLP will operate as a revolving loan fund by NuProject and the CBO. The interest earned on the loans will be reinvested into the fund to assist future borrowers as they are repaid. Over the following decade, the initial $1 million investment is anticipated to lend $2.9 million, creating and maintaining significant jobs in Colorado.
“This landmark loan program will create and retain 239 good-paying jobs and promote equity in the cannabis industry by providing growing businesses access to funding. I’m committed to saving small businesses money and ensuring our state remains a great place to start and run a business in every industry,” said Gov. Polis in a statement.
Traditional funding options for small businesses are typically unavailable within the cannabis industry, making it harder for cannabis business owners obtain capital for expansion. The CBLP will offer loans between $50,000 and $150,000 for remodeling or expansions, the acquisition of equipment, real estate or usage as operating capital to help close this funding gap. The loans will have manageable conditions based on the demands of the borrower.
The CBLP is the third CBO funding source available for Colorado’s social equity licensed cannabis businesses. The Cannabis Business Grant, introduced in 2021, offers $50,000 Growth Grants to assist current cannabis firms as they expand or improve their operations and $25,000 Foundational Grants to support early-stage cannabis businesses with their startup needs. The new CBLP program will expedite the expansion of larger, more established cannabis enterprises.
8000Kicks Debut First Shoe Made from CBD Flower
Hemp footwear brand 8000Kicks has released a limited-edition shoe made from premium ground hemp flower—500g per shoe, to be exact. The Portuguese company collaborated with Royal Queen Seeds and Nisiseltor Studio to create 100 pairs of Weedo sneakers.
“We’re excited to partner with 8000Kicks and Nisiseltor Studio to bring this exclusive product to our customers,” Shai Ramsahai, CEO of Royal Queen Seeds said.
In addition to hemp flower, the shoes are made with other sustainable materials, including hemp and organic cotton blend laces, hemp insoles and a hemp interior, with a water-based glue securing the materials together. Each shoe is reported to take up to 30 hours to make.
“This limited-edition shoe is a one-of-a-kind product that showcases our commitment to innovation and client demand,” CEO of 8000Kicks, Bernardo Carreira, said. “We believe that this idea will surprise our customers who are looking for a more eccentric pair.”
Cannabis Sales Hit $100 Million on 420
Headset, a cannabis data and market intelligence solution that focuses on retail trends, consumer insights and purchasing behavior, has released a special 420 report showing market insights and cannabis sales in real-time from the unofficial cannabis holiday. It reports that more than $100 million was spent on cannabis products on April 20, with sales reaching upwards to $160,000 per minute. Watch it happen in real time in the video above.