Maryland made headlines this summer, not only for legalizing recreational cannabis use but because its residents collectively spent a whopping $87.43 million on weed in July, the first full month of recreational sales.

The Prairie State then followed suit, with cannabis retailers selling $140 million in weed products over the same period, breaking a record for 2023 and marking the second-highest monthly total since legal sales launched in 2020.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a keynote speaker at the upcoming Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago, said recently that cannabis legalization has created more than 30,000 jobs in Illinois over the two years since he enacted the law.

Considering the economic benefits of marijuana being commercially available, such as increased tax revenues, job growth, and investment opportunities, one can’t help but wonder, what are other states waiting for?

Governor Walz Disagrees With Minnesota’s Cannabis Loophole

Some Minnesota cannabis advocates are saying the state Constitution allows individuals to freely sell their personally cultivated marijuana without acquiring a license – a claim that Governor Tim Walz (D), who backed the marijuana policy reform – strongly opposes, reported Marijuana Moment.

The new recreational cannabis law took effect on August 1, allowing those 21 and older to possess, cultivate and gift cannabis. However, the sale of marijuana is not yet permitted, except on tribal land, where the NativeCare dispensary on the Red Lake Nation in north-central Minnesota, home of the Ojibwe people, recently started selling recreational cannabis.

Section 7, Article XIII of the state Constitution, which was enacted in 1906, stipulates that “any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license.”

But what about cannabis?

Gov. Walz said last week in a press conference that this wasn’t something he and lawmakers had in mind when they were enacting marijuana policy reform.

“Look, I think on the cannabis piece of this, just like every other piece of legislation, certainly around things like alcohol, these are ever-evolving,” he said. “And I’ve said that I think there’s a strong need–we’ll come back. We’ll revisit these things year after year, probably for decades to come. But that was never our intention to do that.”

California AG Reviews Risks Of Allowing Intestate Marijuana Commerce

Speaking of commerce, documents obtained by Marijuana Moment reveal that theCalifornia attorney general’s office is seeking input from local government officials and various cannabis industry organizations as it works on forming an opinion regarding the possible legal consequences of allowing interstate marijuana trade despite federal prohibition.

The organizations that weighed in on the issue said they don’t think California would face a “significant risk” of federal enforcement action.

Latest Legal Cannabis Sales Data

Arizona’s demand for cannabis products seems to be dropping, at least according to data reported by the Arizona Department of Revenue.

In May, recreational sales plunged to $82.9 million, reported Arizona Mirror. The same trend is evident in medical marijuana sales, which decreased to $28.3 million from roughly $30 million.

Canada, on the contrary, has enjoyed steadily rising cannabis sales for years. In June, sales increased 2.6% month-over-month and 12.9% year-over-year, to CA$426.6 million ($316.7 million), reported New Cannabis Ventures.

Data also revealed that June represented the fourth consecutive month that weed sales surpassed the CA$400 million mark, fueled by operations in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

Want to get into the weeds about weed sales? Join us at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago this Sept 27-28 for its 17th edition. Get your tickets today before prices increase and secure a spot at the epicenter of cannabis investment and branding.

Photo: Courtesy of HQuality by Shutterstock

 Maryland made headlines this summer, not only for legalizing recreational cannabis use but because its residents collectively spent a whopping $87.43 million on weed in July, the first full month of recreational sales.  Read More