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The Week's Bengal News Bite - August 26th, 2021

  • Booming Massachusetts marijuana market offers select cultivation, retail opportunities (MJ Biz Daily) | After a slow start in late 2018, recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts are surging – and on pace to exceed $1.2 billion this year and reach as much as $2.6 billion by 2025. Cannabis businesses are attracted to a market that is densely populated and a licensing regime that prevents an oligopoly by allowing companies to operate only three adult-use stores and 100,000 square feet of cultivation canopy.
  • Legal weed dispensaries banned in more than 70% of NJ towns (NJ Herald) | When New Jerseyans finally go to buy their first ounce of legal weed, they may not be able to find a licensed dispensary nearby. Nearly 71% of towns across New Jersey — some 400 municipalities — completely opted out of the recreational cannabis industry, passing ordinances that prohibit cannabis cultivation facilities, manufacturers, wholesalers distributors, delivery companies, and legal weed dispensaries.
  • U.S. cannabis insurers get ready to roll as Federal legalization nears (U.S. News) | Insurers are quietly gearing up for a potential ten-fold increase in sales to the booming $17.6 billion-a-year cannabis industry as Congress inches closer to legalizing pot at the federal level.  The industry only wrote about $250 million in policies last year, insurance agents estimated, with a handful of carriers offering limited property and liability coverage.
  • The Oligarch and the Marijuana Fund (Rolling Stone) | Dima Bosov brought millions of dollars from Russia to California, thinking the emerging cannabis industry would be a safe bet for easy money. He was wrong. [Genius Fund] might have been overlooked as another expensive weed venture going belly-up. But a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed a month later, on April 24th, attracted notice: The company’s former head of security-turned-CEO, Francis J. Racioppi, alleged “a sordid tale of corporate mismanagement, subterfuge, and fraud.” Within weeks, Bosov would be dead. [Editor's Note: This article should not be read as typical of the industry, but is just highlighted as an interesting, well-reported story.]
  • Cannabis firms catch a whiff of opportunity in Brazil (Reuters) | International cannabis companies are showing interest in Brazil, both its large consumer market for medicinal products and a proposal that could legalize planting of the crop. Major producers like Colombia's Clever Leaves and Canada's Canopy Growth are developing and selling medicinal cannabis products to a Brazilian consumer segment estimated at 10 million to 13 million people. This results from a 2019 regulatory change allowing the import, sale, and manufacturing of such products. 
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