A new poll shows US President Joe Biden could gain double-digit voter impression points if cannabis is rescheduled.
Meanwhile, scientists have discovered what exact neurological processes trigger the munchies after consuming cannabis, and Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED,NASDAQ:CGC) has all but secured a new round of funding.
Keep reading for a round-up of this week’s top news and trends in the cannabis industry.
Rescheduling of cannabis could mean more political support for Biden
A recent poll conducted by Lake Research Partners and commissioned by the Coalition for Cannabis Scheduling Reform reveals that 58 percent of ‘likely voters’ in the US support rescheduling cannabis from Schedule I status to Schedule III.
Unsurprisingly, survey results also found that US President Joe Biden gained more support from young voters after the rescheduling review he initiated in October 2022, a decision that has been under review by the US Drug Enforcement Administration since then.
According to a memo authored by Lake Research Partners, “By the end of the poll, impressions of Biden improve by a net double-digits — an 11-point swing overall, including a double-digit (+11-point) swing among younger voters.”
Trulieve appeals license restraining order in Alabama
Florida-based multi-state operator Trulieve Cannabis (OTCQX:TCNNF, CSE:TRUL) has filed an appeal to a temporary license restraining order issued by a Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge on December 28.
The state of Alabama has faced a multitude of setbacks in its bid to get a successful medical marijuana market off the ground, the most recent happening in the last week of 2023, when Judge James Anderson blocked the issuance of the state’s first five dispensary licenses by issuing a temporary restraining order. The judge cited the ongoing legal battle over how the state selects which dispensaries are granted licenses as the reason for blocking the licensure process, saying he wanted time to review the challenging arguments before going forward.
In the notice of appeal, Trulieve also stated it would like to see that legal battle turned over to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, rather than being dealt with by the courts.
Michigan cannabis sales exceed US$3 billion in 2023
According to a market report put together by Crain’s Detroit Business and reported by MJBizDaily, cannabis sales in Michigan surpassed an impressive US$3.06 billion in 2023, roughly equivalent to US$305 per person and the most spent per capita in the entire US.
The majority of market activity was in recreational sales, with December being a particularly good month, bringing in US$276.7 million, according to data gathered by Michigan’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency. Medical cannabis sales, on the other, made just a little over 1 percent of total sales, amounting to US$3.2 million.
Canopy upsizes private placement to US$35 million
Canadian cannabis operator Canopy Growth announced an upsized private placement with a group of institutional investors worth US$35 million on Thursday. According to a news release on the company’s website, a portion of the additional cash will be used to pay off debt, while the remainder will be used as “working capital.’
The new deal comes just days after the company abandoned a previous subscription agreement with investors valued at US$30 million. The reasons for the termination were not made clear to the public, with the company only saying that an undisclosed third party would not be able to complete tasks necessary for closing requirements.
The placement is expected to close on January 19.
Scientists discover why cannabis causes the munchies
Researchers at Washington State University have uncovered exactly what happens in the brain to cause the munchies after using cannabis in a federally funded study.
The study, conducted on mice, involved using calcium imaging technology to track neuron activity after exposure to vaporized cannabis. It found that cannabis vapor binds to cannabinoid-1 receptors in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain responsible for regulating several critical bodily processes, including hunger and thirst. The results show that when the vapor binds to cannabinoid-1 receptors, Agouti Related Protein (AgRP) neurons, sometimes referred to as feeding neurons, become activated. Typically AgRP neurons are only released when the body needs food.
The authors of the study point to the long-known effect of cannabis on appetite stimulation, but the research brings the understanding of the biomechanics behind the process to the table.
Securities Disclosure: I, Meagen Seatter, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.