The Month In... Business and Regulation
Need to catch up on the latest cannabis industry news? Join us for the February edition of our rapidfire rundown
Cannabis industry boosts jobs
Leafly reports that the cannabis industry added 77,000 jobs in 2020, doubling the growth seen in 2019. The increase, which includes both plant-touching and ancillary roles, comes despite the pandemic and subsequent economic woes. However, the report notes that jobs did not increase in line with sales, and suggests this is down to investors cooling on the sector after poor returns in the newly legalized Canadian market.
Jazz hands for GW
The UK’s GW Pharma is to be acquired by Irish firm Jazz Pharmaceuticals in a $7.2 billion deal. The deal means that Jazz will acquire GW’s portfolio of cannabis-derived drugs, including Epidiolex for childhood epilepsies, and Sativex for multiple sclerosis. GW’s shares gained up to 49 percent after the acquisition was announced. Jazz is best known for its narcolepsy drug Xyrem, but the drug will soon lose exclusivity.
Michigan regulators move away from qPCR testing for total yeast and mold
Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Authority (MRA) initially raised concerns about qPCR test methods for total yeast and mold back in August. In response, AOAC International began an Emergency Response Validation program, assessing molecular (qPCR), automated culture systems, and plating-based methods for enumerating total yeast and mold.
A memo by MRA reports that molecular methods failed the first round of testing in the AOAC program, and will therefore be disallowed for total yeast and mold (at least for now). Labs currently using qPCR as the sole test for total yeast and mold can either add a second method for confirmation or switch entirely.
Amusing (if unsurprising) news from Washington State University: entrepreneurs who report smoking cannabis come up with more creative but less feasible business ideas!
Credit for image: My 420 Tours, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons