Mexico looks to US on cannabis taxes • Epidiolex sales boom • NJ Gov talks cannabis in State of the State • & more…

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New Jersey Governor talks cannabis during State of the State address.

During his 2021 State of the State address, Governor Phil Murphy referenced the push to pass adult use legislation, amid a standoff with lawmakers that Cannabis Wire has been closely following (read the latest from our daily newsletter).

“We are on the verge of passing an innovative and groundbreaking set of laws to reform our historically unjust approach to marijuana,” Murphy said. 

“Two months ago, you all voted overwhelmingly to legalize adult use marijuana and begin the process of ending the racial imbalance that disproportionately penalizes black and brown people arrested for marijuana offenses. We’re setting up a cannabis industry that will promote the growth of new small businesses, many of which will be owned by women, minorities and veterans,” Murphy continued, adding, “This hasn’t been an easy fight, nor has it happened as quickly as I would have liked. But we are in a better place, a smarter place, and a more just place than ever before.” 

Mexico looks to the United States in considering cannabis taxes.

The Instituto Belisario Domínguez, a legislative research body for Mexico’s Senate, has published a study on cannabis taxes. The goal is to identify how best to tax cannabis in order to control prices, discourage use, and “finance policies for the prevention and treatment of addictions” after legalization.

(Cannabis Wire has been covering Mexico’s path to legalization, which is expected to culminate in the legalization of cannabis for adult use by April.) 

The study’s authors focused on the approaches taken in the US, which is noteworthy because cannabis tax policy in the US is arguably in its infancy. Amid federal prohibition, states have not taken a cohesive approach, and have generally opted for a percentage-of-price-based tax. There are several other options for cannabis taxation that have not yet taken hold in the US, for example, a potency-based tax.

GW Pharma’s Epidiolex sales have nearly doubled since 2019. 

The British company released preliminary FY 2020 product sales figures on Monday. Total net product sales are expected to be $526 million for 2020, with Epidiolex accounting for $510 million of that. In 2019, Epidiolex sales hit $296 million.

In 2018, Epidiolex, a CBD-based medicine, became the first product derived directly from cannabis plants to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration

As we reported in our newsletter earlier this month, Canopy Growth is suing GW, claiming that the process that GW uses to extract its CBD is patented.

GW is also pushing to obtain FDA approval for another one of its products, which contains both CBD and THC extracted from cannabis plants, called Nabiximols in the US and Sativex elsewhere. The company listed as a key priority for 2021 to “achieve data from at least one pivotal MS spasticity trial.”

Government of Jersey “launches new medicinal cannabis sector.”

Sen. Lyndon Farnham, who is the island’s Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, is trying to put Jersey on the cannabis map.

(On an actual map, Jersey is hard to spot, as it is one of the Channel Islands between England and France.) 

As we shared in Monday’s newsletter, a UK license to cultivate medical cannabis was issued to Northern Leaf. Farnham facilitated that effort, and released a statement touting the island’s potential when it comes to the European cannabis market. 

“I see the Island’s growing medicinal cannabis sector as the ideal base for companies across the world, looking to expand into the European market,” he wrote. “Jersey is perfectly placed to be part of a new industry that is about the provision of medicine, innovative cutting-edge science, high-value agriculture, the creation of intellectual property and global regulation.”

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