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Cannabis Sales in Massachusetts Reach $5 Billion Mark, Illinois Music Festival to Be First to Allow On-Site Marijuana Use, and UK Committee Recommends Broader Access to Medical Cannabis Products

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AP

Cannabis Sales in Massachusetts Reach $5 Billion Mark

Massachusetts recreational cannabis sales officially hit the $5 billion mark. The state legalized adult-use marijuana in 2018 and reached $4 billion in sales in January 2023. Between January and August of this year, regulators say that licensed retail marijuana stores saw $1 billion in sales. Officials noted that is a record amount of time for retailers to take in that much revenue. Regulators also mentioned that the fact that additional states in the Northeast have legalized cannabis has not slowed down sales for Massachusetts. In a recent statement, Shawn Collins, the executive director of the Cannabis Control Commission said, “Massachusetts continues to hit record sales even as other states have come online. In fact, our neighboring states Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut also had record sales this summer.”

Illinois Music Festival to Be First to Allow On-Site Marijuana Use

For the first time in the state, the Miracle in Mundelein festival this weekend in Mundelein, Illinois will allow public on-site marijuana consumption at the two-day concert. The headliners for the festival include the marijuana-friendly artists Action Bronson, Cypress Hill, and Stephen Marley. Miracle in Mundelein will start on Saturday and will have rolling stations and dab bars for those in attendance. There will also be complementary grinders, rolling papers, and lighters. A retail dispensary next to the concert site will sell the cannabis products. Marijuana use will be allowed inside the event itself, which is only for those aged 21 and older. Outside of the perimeter fence, public cannabis use will be strictly prohibited. There will be a few additional rules for attendees, including observing possession limits for non-residents of Illinois, and products must be in original packaging and purchased from a licensed cannabis retailer in the state. The event’s website notes the opportunity the concert has to demonstrate “what a responsible and respectful community we are by adhering to these rules and regulations.”

UK Committee Recommends Broader Access to Medical Cannabis Products

Currently, there are no licensed cannabis-based products for medical use (CBPMs) available for patients in the U.K. Unlicensed CBPMs can be prescribed, however, there aren’t any that have received marketing authorization. Earlier this year officials disclosed that there were fewer than five patients receiving unlicensed CBPMs from the National Health Service (NHS), which is England’s publicly funded healthcare system. However, 89,239 unlicensed medical cannabis “items” were prescribed to patients in the private sector of healthcare between November 2018 and July 2022, meaning patients were paying out of pocket for the cost of the products. As such, the U.K.’s Home Affairs Committee made the recommendation to allow broader access to unlicensed CBPMs via the NHS before the current Parliament ends its term. The government must respond to the recommendation within two months.