Panama Legalizes Medical Cannabis: Week in Review
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Panama Legalizes Medical Cannabis: Week in Review

This means big business—and, more importantly, great reforms in civil rights and criminal justice.

September 4, 2021

We’ve reported on the wave of medical and adult-use legalization moving across the U.S., particularly in the past 12 months, but it’s important to recognize the progress sweeping across the globe, as well. This week, Panama became the first country in Central America to legalize medical cannabis. This is a major step forward.

At the same time, as Marijuana Moment reported, the Mexican legislature plans to address the recurring question of cannabis legalization in that country—one that holds the potential for the world’s largest cannabis market.

In both cases, the promise is real. This means big business—and, more importantly, great reforms in civil rights and criminal justice.

These headlines also serve as a reminder that cannabis won’t remain a series of fragmented markets for too much longer. U.S. legalization is being bandied about, of course, and business owners will one day need to reckon with the broader supply and demand curves outside their relatively small corner of the global industry.

What does that mean?

It’s hard to say, but it does mean that everyone in the business should keep an eye on the horizon. The cannabis industry is only getting bigger. There’s plenty of room for everyone who feels a calling to this plant, and it will surely remain an industry in which the important of listening to one another cannot be overstated.

We’ve rounded up some of the key cannabis headlines from the week right here.

At this time, it remains unclear when adult-use sales will begin in New Jersey; however, newly approved regulations lay out the requirements for those looking to apply for a New Jersey cannabis license. Read more


November 2021 marks three years since adult-use cannabis sales launched in Massachusetts, and already, the state’s dispensaries have reported more than $2 billion in sales. Read more



The Michigan Regulatory Agency released 116 pages of proposed rules Aug. 30 that would create new license types and reduce licensing fees for the industry. What does that mean for prospective business owners? Read more


Panama has become the first Central American country to legalize medical cannabis. Read more


It took recently inaugurated New York Gov. Kathy Hochul less than two weeks do what former Gov. Andrew Cuomo failed to accomplish in the five months following his signing of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act: nominate the folks who will head up the cannabis regulatory authority. Read more


And elsewhere on the web, here are the stories we’ve been reading this week:

KSHB: “A trade group representing Missouri’s medical cannabis industry said Friday more than 4,500 Missourians now work in the industry.” Read more

Tampa Bay Times: “The husband of [Trulieve’s] CEO was convicted on five federal charges earlier this year. Does that cloud the company's apparently bright future?” Read more

Santa Fe New Mexican: “The Santa Fe Planning Commission voted unanimously Thursday to forward its [dispensary regulation] recommendations on cannabis to the City Council.” Read more

Los Angeles Times: “Two weeks after Costa Mesa, Calif., began accepting pre-applications for retail cannabis businesses, staff have received at least 19 requests for dispensaries and are moving ahead in their review, even as one applicant seeks a restraining order to halt the process.” Read more

WEWS: “Ohio is preparing to double the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. The hope is to alleviate some of the problems with the relatively new industry, including travel distance, price, and supply. But there are some concerns about who will receive these new licenses.” Read more