“Under California law, cannabis is not even a drug any more.”
Cat Packer, Executive Director Of The Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation
“In our zeal to enforce the law, we too often blind ourselves to the medicinal benefits of natural substances like cannabis.”
Orrin Hatch, Republican Senator From Utah
SF Supervisors Vote To Place 45-Day Moratorium On New Cannabis Shops (CA – Cannabis Moratorium)
SF Gate (September 12, 2017) San Francisco will temporarily halt approvals of new cannabis dispensaries just months before the sale of recreational marijuana becomes legal in California, the Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday.
City To Introduce Medical Cannabis Ordinance (CA – Medical Cannabis)
Willits News (September 12, 2017) The Willits City Council will introduce the final draft of the medical cannabis ordinance at its regular meeting this week, according to the agenda. “The City of Willits proposes a comprehensive Commercial Medical Cannabis Ordinance amending the City’s Zoning Code to regulate medical cannabis land uses consistent with California State law,” reads a notice of public hearing from the City.
It Appears You Can Officially Get High At Food Festivals Now (CA – Cannabis Food)
LA Weekly (September 13, 2017) For the last year or so, food festivals in California have had cannabis purveyors on-site, offering samples of their wares, but without actual cannabis in them. Chocolates, candies, chips — the regular offerings of the weed companies, only they don't get you high.
Menlo Park Backs Temporary Ban On Pot Businesses (CA – Cannabis Industry)
The Almanac (September 13, 2017) Even though two-thirds of Menlo Park voters supported legalizing recreational marijuana in California last year, pot shops, farms or manufacturing or distribution centers likely won't be opening in the city anytime soon, if ever.
The Latest In California Cannabis Wars Proves It's Not Just About The Money (CA – Cannabis Wars)
Konbini (September 13, 2017) On the morning of September 5th, cannabis farmer Enosh Baker received a phone call. It was the manager of his family's farm, The Mighty Lichen, in Yuba County, California. “I have some really terrible news, Christian “Dirt” Adams told Baker, “You'd better sit down for this. Someone broke into the farm and cut down our entire crop.”
In The Age Of Trump, How Do You Build A Legal Marijuana Industry From The Ground Up? (CA – Cannabis Wars)
Los Angeles Times (September 13, 2017) Election night 2016 was such a shocker nationally that maybe you’ve forgotten that, oh yes, California voted to legalize recreational marijuana. And come January, if you’re at least 21, cannabis can be officially taxed and sold to you, just like, oh, the cheese doodles you’ll be wanting to eat after you light up. It is a massive undertaking, turning an illegal underground industry into a legal and legit one – a business that could put $50 million a year in tax money into the city’s purse.
Republican Senator Introduces Medical Marijuana Research Bill And Presents The Drug As An Opioid Alternative (DC – Medical Cannabis)
Civilized (September 13, 2017) Republican Senator Orrin Hatch has served the state of Utah in Congress since 1977. In those 40 years, he's largely spoken out against marijuana reform. But that changes today as Hatch is planning to introduce a bill that will expand research by the federal government into medical marijuana.
Senate Appropriations Committee Calls For Federal Protocol To Test Legal Cannabis Products (DC – Cannabis Study)
Merry Jane (September 12, 2017) A group of U.S. Senators is attempting to end the prohibition-fueled dearth of federal cannabis research. The Senate Appropriations Committee has made a series of directives to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that could create national standards for cannabis product safety.
Hawaii Says Its 1st State To Go Cashless For Marijuana Sales (HI – Cannabis Sales)
Fox 6 Now (September 12, 2017) Hawaii said Tuesday that it will be the first state to require marijuana sales to be handled without cash, saying it wanted to avoid robberies and other crimes targeting dispensaries. Medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii won’t be allowed to accept cash beginning Oct. 1 and will require people to use a debit payment app instead. The app is already an option for marijuana transactions in six states, including California and Colorado.
“The new rules and regulations that will be required of cannabis businesses next year are going to be a big change for the industry, we are working to do everything we can to make this transition period as easy as possible.”
California Assemblymember Jim Wood
“You knock one dispensary down, and another pops up. We need to develop a comprehensive licensing and taxation package. It's a complicated issue. Somewhat emotional. But with the appropriate regulations, marijuana businesses will be less impactful than they are today.”
Riverside County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries
Eaze Loses $1 Million Per Month Delivering Cannabis (CA – Cannabis Money)
New Cannabis Ventures (August 29, 2017) Max Cherney, Tech Reporter at MarketWatch, profiled technology company Eaze, the California company that enables cannabis delivery. In addition to discussing the risk of expanding from Northern California into the less-friendly Los Angeles market from a regulatory perspective, Cherney pokes at the overall business model, where the company takes a cut of revenue rather than being paid per delivery.
These Marijuana Bills From Our State Reps Could Shape California’s Legal Weed Industry (CA – Cannabis Industry)
Lost Coast Outpost (August 28, 2017) State lawmakers are scrambling to develop regulations for California’s legal weed industry before Jan. 1, 2018, when it finally becomes legal for adults to buy marijuana without the cover of a doctor’s recommendation. Regarding that mad scramble, our representative in the California Senate, Mike McGuire, offered an analogy: “We are building the plane while it’s being flown.”
Cannabis Trainers Expands To California With Custom Compliance Education (CA – Cannabis Education)
Cannabis Industry Journal (August 29, 2017) Last week, Cannabis Trainers, a compliance education and training services provider, announced their launch into the California market with their ServSafe and Sell- SMaRT training programs. Ahead of the launch of California’s adult-use cannabis market in 2018, the programs will train employees in the areas of food safety and retail sales.
Smoke And Mirrors: How Far Will LA Cannabis Brands Go To Out-Market Each Other? (CA – Cannabis Brands)
Leafly (August 29, 2017) There is a new, invite-only art gallery coming to Los Angeles that will focus on “functional glass art,” which is something of a euphemism for fancy bongs. These elaborate, hand-crafted bongs cost tens of thousands of dollars each, and are part of Grey Space Art’s collection, which is relocating from SoHo, New York to Los Angeles’s Arts District later this year.
Pasadena-Based Health Startup Launches Medical Marijuana Telehealth Internet Service (CA – Medical Cannabis)
Pasadena Business Now (August 28, 2017) Pasadena-based digital health startup Indica MD has launched a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ) compliant medical marijuana telehealth platform in California and New York that provides patient evaluations for the safe, complementary and alternative use of cannabis, a statement from the company said.
Meet The Two Guys Using Armored Cars To Move Money And Marijuana Across California – Legally (CA – Cannabis Security)
Desert Sun (August 28, 2017) A pair of California business partners think they've found their niche in the burgeoning cannabis industry: Armored cars that move money and marijuana across the state. Because marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, few banks will open accounts for marijuana businesses, meaning most operate entirely in cash. To buy supplies or pay taxes, they need to move that cash.
Pot Permits Gain Ground In Riverside County (CA – Cannabis Permits)
NBC Los Angeles (August 29, 2017) The Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday directed the Office of County Counsel and other agencies to draft an ordinance that will create a permitting process for the sale and commercial cultivation of marijuana in Riverside County's unincorporated communities.
City Of South Lake Tahoe To Host Public Workshop On Cannabis Regulations (CA – Cannabis Regulations)
Sierra Sun (August 29, 2017) With California still working on its statewide recreational cannabis regulations for retail sales, production, growth and testing, local jurisdictions like South Lake Tahoe are attempting to gauge public opinion on the subject as they await the baseline rules. On Tuesday, Aug. 29, from 5 – 9 p.m., city officials are hosting a public workshop on cannabis at the city council chambers. City Council is looking for input on how to regulate medicinal sales, recreational sales, edible production, commercial grows and testing.
California Supreme Court Suggests Lower Bar For Passing Tax Increases Through Ballot Initiatives (CA – Cannabis Regulations)
San Diego Union Tribune (August 29, 2017) A California Supreme Court ruling Monday makes it easier for citizens to use ballot initiatives to raise taxes, potentially boosting campaigns to use public money for stadiums, convention centers, roads, housing and other projects. Ever since Proposition 218 passed in 1996, it was interpreted that the state constitution required at least two-thirds of voters to approve local ballot measures that raise taxes for a specific projects, a high threshold intended to curtail tax increases.
The Hardscrabble Origins Of California's Fabled “Emerald Triangle” (Part II) (CA – Cannabis Industry)
Merry Jane (August 29, 2017) In our last entry about the founding years of the famed Emerald Triangle, we observed the development of a culture of outlaw cannabis farmers living in the mountains of Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity Counties in Northern California. They were young hippies who left the cities to grow their own marijuana, settle down in the lush region, and have children who attended local schools, where their parents were sometimes the teachers.
An Exclusive Look Inside A Weed-Delivery Startup With Billion-Dollar Dreams (CA – Cannabis Industry)
Market Watch (August 29, 2017) Cannabis delivery startup Eaze Solutions Inc. has a lofty goal: By fiscal year 2020, it expects to ship the rough equivalent of a 33-foot-cube of marijuana — nearly three joints for every registered voter in the U. S. — to weed fans in America’s legal markets.
Alaska On-Site Cannabis Consumption Proposal Unveiled (AK – Cannabis Consumption)
Ganjapreneur (August 28, 2017) Cannabis regulators in Alaska have released a draft for on-site cannabis consumption rules that would allow licensed retail stores to obtain an on-site consumption endorsement and allow use in a designated area. The proposal would require the area to be separated from “the remainder of the premises” either as a separate building or by a secure door, with its own ventilation system, if smoking were permitted by the retailer.
Vermont Brewers Partner With Hemp Farm For CBD-Infused Beer (VT – Cannabis Industry)
Ganjapreneur (August 28, 2017) Vermont-based Long Trail Brewing Company is partnering with local hemp cultivators Luce Farm on an infused beer using the farm’s CBD-infused honey. The yet-to-be-named small-batch brew is set for a Labor Day weekend release.
New York City Judge Sides With MMJ Patient In Taxi License Dispute (VT – Cannabis Industry)
Ganjapreneur (August 28, 2017) New York City‘s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) has overturned a Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) decision to rescind a TLC driver license over a failed drug test for cannabis because the license-holder is also a registered medical cannabis patient in the state.
“Call us the courvoisier of cannabis or hermès of cannabis. We're going after that high-end adult use.”
Adrian Sedlin, Founder And CEO Of Canndescent
“If they come out with a more progressive, liberal policy, the attorney general is just going to reject it, they need to convince the attorney general that the recommendations are the best they can do without embarrassing the entire department by implementing a policy that fails.”
John Huck, A Brookings Institute Senior Fellow Who Studies Cannabis Policy And Was Interviewed By The Task Force
Weed Scene Elated As City Appears To Embrace Pot Shop Permits (CA – Cannabis Permits)
LA Weekly (August 7, 2017) In a proposal that was widely panned by pot shops and legalization advocates, the city in June revealed possible regulations for Los Angeles cannabis businesses that would have continued the problematic policy of treating even the most legit enterprises with “limited legal immunity.”
Largest Marijuana Dispensary Group In The Us Now Takes Debit Payments (CA – Cannabis Dispensary)
Benzinga (August 7, 2017) Steve, a cancer patient in California, hits up his dispensary and asks for half an ounce of high-THC marijuana to calm his pain and stimulate his appetite, recently gone thanks to chemotherapy. He rarely leaves his house now; his sickness is still debilitating.
California City Moving Fast On Green Rush (CA – Cannabis Industry)
Bakersfield (August 6, 2017) I went back out to California City recently to catch up on what it is doing that no other city in Kern County dares to do. Chiefly, legalize the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and testing of medical marijuana for commercial purposes through a permitting process.
Microlife: Growing Cannabis Organically (CA – Cannabis Industry)
Cannabis Now (August 7, 2017) The pear tree in Meg Fender’s backyard is her pride and joy. She said, in many ways, it’s one of the key elements of her garden’s health. “That tree has been producing major amounts of fruit for over a decade,” Fender said. “So much that I sometimes can’t even keep up with it during the picking season. A lot of it ends up on the ground.”
Cannabis Science Issues Second Quarter Update Looking Forward To More Quarterly Growth And Progress Reports With More New And Exciting Revenue Developments Coming Soon (CA – Cannabis Industry)
Benzinga (August 7, 2017) Cannabis Science, Inc., a U.S. company specializing in the development of cannabinoid-based medicines, is pleased to update its shareholders on the Company's second quarter growth and progress. Cannabis Science has made considerable gains in its endeavors to become a seed-to-sale company.
California Inc.: The State Mulls Creation Of A Pot-Industry Bank (CA – Cannabis Finances)
Los Angeles Times (August 7, 2017) Welcome to California Inc., the weekly newsletter of the L.A. Times Business Section. I'm Business columnist David Lazarus, and here's a rundown of upcoming stories this week and the highlights of last week. The trend continues: Steady if unspectacular economic growth. On Friday, the Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added 209,000 net new jobs in July.
Getting Rid Of California’s Cannabis Catch 22: Federal Bill Would Legalize Marijuana Nationally (CA – Cannabis Legalization)
City Watch (August 7, 2017) Driving through West Hollywood, it’s hard not to notice the billboard for Zen Dispensary with its trendy Buddha icon. Medical marijuana dispensaries are no longer solely the provenance of dicey strip malls. And last November California voters supported Prop 64 which legalized recreational marijuana and establishes certain sales and cultivation taxes, passed by 56 percent. The sale and taxation of legalized marijuana will go into effect on January 1, 2018.
This Harvard MBA Grad Is Building A Luxury Weed Business — ‘The Hermès Of Cannabis' — That He Expects To Bring In $50 Million A Year (CA – Cannabis Industry)
CNBC (August 7, 2017) Canndescent's Instagram page looks like that of a luxury lifestyle company. It features chic people doing yoga, painting, working out, surfing, partying and reading in the bathtub. Canndescent is a cannabis company. It grows and sells weed. Adrian Sedlin, a graduate of Harvard Business School and the founder and CEO of Canndescent, wants to make pot sophisticated.
DOJ Task Force Recommends No Changes To Federal Cannabis Policy (DC – Cannabis Policy)
Ganjapreneur (August 7, 2017) In its report to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety offered no new policy recommendations related to state-approved cannabis programs, according to an Associated Press report. The task force, comprised of federal law enforcement officials and prosecutors, largely backed the current Justice Department policies outlined by the Obama-era Cole Memo.
Las Vegas Tribe Opening Largest Free-Standing Retail Cannabis Store In Nation (NV – Cannabis Store)
Ganjapreneur (August 7, 2017) The Las Vegas Paiute Tribe is preparing to open what is believed to be the largest free-standing retail cannabis store in the country – a 15,000-square foot facility located less than a mile from downtown Las Vegas, KSNV reports. The shop, which is expected to open next month, will be called the Nu Wu Cannabis Marketplace.
Maine Public Safety Committee Doesn’t Recommend Blood-Level Limits To Test Cannabis Impairment (NV – Cannabis Regulations)
Ganjapreneur (August 7, 2017) A committee assembled by the Maine Department of Public Safety has determined that the state does not need to create blood-level limits to determine cannabis impairment. Rather, law enforcement officers should receive additional training to recognize impairment and the dangers of driving while under the influence of cannabis, according to a Bangor Daily News report.
Real Estate for Cannabis Businesses: August 4
Offit Kurman Cannabis Attorney, Jason Klein, will host “Real Estate for Cannabis Businesses” with presenters Andrew Robinson and Tracie Clabaugh from Offit Kurman’s Real Estate Practice Group.
Robinson will discuss the importance of performing zoning due diligence in connection with site selection and leasing of properties for all facets of the medical cannabis industry. He will specifically be covering issues related to working with government officials to develop and implement effective regulations, reviewing existing regulations where they exist, and what to expect during the development process.