AOC’s Slam on Biden, NM’s Recreational Launch, & CA Cannabis Businesses’ Cry for Help

As the cannabis industry continues to grow, there are new challenges for businesses. The most recent is a lawsuit by AOC calling for an investigation of banks that service cannabis companies after Biden’s comments about recreational legalization. In addition, New Mexico has finally decided to legalize recreationally and in doing so created barriers for small business owners looking to enter the market as well as creating some concerns with their launch plans. Lastly, California Cannabis Business Alliance came out with a statement asking state lawmakers not to enact taxes on consumers or retailers until 2019 because it would cause immediate harm to both industries which will ultimately hurt those without access

AOC’s “veriheal dispensary” slam on Biden, NM’s recreational launch, and CA Cannabis Businesses’ cry for help.

President Biden has been urged by AOC and others to follow through on his promise of cannabis reform, New Mexico’s recreational market has opened with the issuance of a batch of new licenses, and California cannabis businesses have written to Gov. Gavin Newsom seeking assistance as they struggle to compete with the illicit market.

Let’s take a look at this week’s cannabis news.

Biden is being chastised by AOC and others for his cannabis inaction.

The campaign trail of Vice President Joe Biden gave cannabis advocates optimism for the future. After a year, Biden has unable to make any significant progress on cannabis reform.

In a recent series of tweets, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) mirrored the public’s dissatisfaction. AOC encourages the president to “lean on his executive power immediately,” according to them. So far, he’s been putting it off and underusing it. He has a lot of power over climate change, student debt, immigration, cannabis, health care, and other issues.”

This isn’t the first time AOC has encouraged President Trump to take action on marijuana. The congresswoman, along with 36 of her colleagues, submitted a letter to the president in February. They encouraged Biden to offer pardons to people who had served time in prison for cannabis-related offenses.

On the opposite side of the aisle, Rep. Don Young (R) is urging Biden to take action on marijuana. “You [Biden] have the capacity to reschedule marijuana and you committed to act!” Young said in a recent tweet to the president. The existing quo only harms patients and leads to the imprisonment of far too many.”

Biden is under increasing pressure to act on cannabis liberalization. Let’s see whether this is sufficient to persuade the president to keep his campaign commitments.  

New Mexico issues its first marijuana licenses.

New Mexico has granted its first set of new licenses under the Cannabis Regulation Act, which was just enacted. The state’s adult-use cannabis sector is now fully operational.

Mathew Muoz, one of the licensees, was pleased to acquire a license. Muoz had been arrested for marijuana possession when he was younger. He missed out on a number of scholarship chances as a result of his arrest. Muoz’s ability to offer cannabis to his community is a significant step forward for cannabis reform.

In the next weeks, the state intends to license additional cannabis companies. With over 120 producer license applications already filed, the state is excited to provide people like Muoz the chance to work in the retail cannabis market.

California cannabis businesses have asked Governor Jerry Brown to help the industry.

The retail cannabis market in California has had a difficult time in its first four years. The industry’s early expansion was limited by hefty licensing fees and taxes. Since then, the pandemic’s economic effect has further exacerbated the problem. California cannabis firms are now screaming “no more” after a spate of thefts that were mostly disregarded by law authorities.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom received a letter from 30 different cannabis firms on Dec. 17 warning that the sector might fail due to a “regressive war on drugs.” Retail stores have been unable to compete with the significantly cheaper illegal market due to the high expense of doing business in the state. As a consequence, the illegal market has grown to be 2-3 times larger than the legitimate one. The companies said, “We need you to realize that we have been pushed to the breaking point.”

The firms want the cultivation tax repealed, a three-year exemption from excise taxes, and more retail outlets around the state. To his credit, Newsom seems to be responsive to the call to action. The governor emphasized his support for cannabis tax reform and a stepped-up effort to combat the criminal market, according to his spokeswoman Erin Mellon.

In the near future, California cannabis retailers expect to get a specific plan of action from Governor Jerry Brown. The corporations want Newsom to describe his recommended remedies in his budget plan, which is expected to be released in early 2022.


Cesar is a Marketing Associate at Veriheal, having been born in Mexico and reared in California. He may be seen working on yet another collage project when he isn’t browsing social media for the next online drama.

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