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In September, Gov. Tom Wolf publicly announced his support for legalizing recreational marijuana for adult use. Days later, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the state’s top law enforcement official, did the same.
Cannabis prohibition has been a heavy burden on Pennsylvania taxpayers. Approximately 20,000 Pennsylvanians are arrested per year for simple possession charges, costing the state tens of millions of dollars annually. This does not include lost tax revenue, which the auditor general estimates to be an annual $580 million.
An example of a big win in 2019 occurred when Illinois became the first state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana cultivation and sales through its Legislature.
But the news from New York and New Jersey was not as good, as those states did not move marijuana legalization forward.
California marijuana companies also struggled with a very challenging business and regulatory environment, and headlines around layoffs resulted.
The vape crisis also sent sales ripples across the industry, both in the U.S. and Canada.
The vaping health crisis apparently has been good for the marijuana edibles sector, a sign that consumers are funneling more money into infused products instead of vaporizers.
Since the first vape-related death was reported in August, retail sales of edibles have climbed steadily in four states while those of vaping products have declined, though the vaporizer market appears to be stabilizing – and even rising – in all but Washington.
In recent months, rising numbers of vaping-related pulmonary illnesses and deaths across the country have raised alarm bells about a method of consuming marijuana and tobacco that was once assumed to be safer than smoking. Efforts to understand the root causes of these medical cases—146 in New York, as of October 22—are ongoing. The public health concern around vaping is mounting just as state politicians are gearing up to try to accomplish in 2020 what they couldn’t in 2019: Passing legislation to fully legalize marijuana for those over 21.
Colorado is once again at the forefront of drug policy in America.
California-based Pax Labs, one of the leading vape pen companies in the cannabis industry, disclosed Monday it laid off 65 workers, or 25% of its workforce, after missing its revenue projections.
The layoffs come amid a health crisis that has shaken the vaporizing industry.
The San Francisco company – which originally had ties to the Juul e-cigarette before that product was spun off as a separate company – declined to directly link the vaping health crisis to the layoffs, saying only that its sales had fallen short of expectations.