Renderings of Ascend’s planned cannabis pills. (1906 New Highs)

Ascend to bring pot pills to Illinois 

A production and distribution agreement between New York-based multi-state operator Ascend Wellness Holdings and Henderson, Colorado-based edibles company 1906 will bring pot pills to Illinois cannabis customers to Illinois cannabis consumers in 2021.

Low in dosage and with six variations designed to address conditions including sleep, anxiety, focus, energy, mood, and libido, the zero taste and zero calorie Drops pills are engineered so users feel their effects within 20 minutes. 

Ascend, which through acquisition operates a cultivation facility and multiple dispensaries in Illinois, is also expanding its line of Ozone-branded prePacks (glass pipes with 0.3 grams of bud inside) and resin cartridges. The company, which plans to go public, also operates multiple Michigan Supply & Provisions retail locations.  

Michigan group launches training camp to encourage minority-owned cannabis businesses

Michigan has been struggling to add new minority-owned cannabis businesses, so to counter the trend, Minorities for Medical Marijuana is launching a Cannabis Business Licensing Bootcamp program in partnership with the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency to encourage microbusiness applications by people of color.

“The [program] also includes a pitch deck, a virtual green room for businesses and Investors to connect. We have invited NFL, music celebrities, and cannabis corporation executives where small businesses can pitch to,” said organizer Cimone Casson.

The bootcamp is set for March 13 and 14 online. Tickets are $149. Learn more here.

Kansas governor proposes medical marijuana program to fund Medicaid 

Adding yet one more possible challenge to cannabis demand in Missouri, next-door Kansas Governor Laura Kelly floated a proposal earlier this month to fund Medicaid healthcare expansion to low-income residents in the state in part through tax proceeds from the sale of medical marijuana.

Kelly, a Democrat, faces resistance for legalizing cannabis in any form from Republican-controlled supermajorities in both chambers of the state’s legislature. Neighboring states Missouri and Oklahoma in recent years legalized medical marijuana programs through ballot initiatives.

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.