BANKING

Title: Marijuana businesses are awash with cash. California wants to help get that money into banks

Author: LA Times

Date: 22 December 2017

URL: http://beta.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-marijuana-cash-20171222-story.html

Extract:  Hoping to reduce the threat to public safety and the risk of a federal crackdown, California officials are trying to develop a new cannabis banking system — one that enables regulators to track pot transactions and gives financial institutions confidence that they won’t get in trouble for working with marijuana businesses.

The goal of the Brown administration’s proposal is to encourage a network of smaller banks to open accounts for pot shops, growers and other cannabis businesses. Those banks would be given access to state databases of cannabis businesses to make sure the ones they are serving are licensed and remain in compliance. Marijuana-related transactions handled by these smaller banks would pass through a larger “correspondent bank” that would hold accounts from banks that are doing business with marijuana firms. Special state inspectors would be based at the correspondent bank to monitor the movement of money and detect suspicious behavior.

The idea is to give banks some assurance that they can serve marijuana customers without running afoul of federal banking guidelines. As more banks serve cannabis businesses, more of the transactions will shift from cash to credit cards and electronic funds transfers. That makes the industry safer and easier to regulate, which is good for California.

In Los Angeles, City Councilman Bob Blumenfield wants marijuana businesses to go cashless for the same reasons. He has proposed requiring that any business that receives a permanent cannabis license from the city be prohibited from accepting cash payments and barred from paying taxes in cash. He argues that because cashless systems are complicated and cost more upfront than cash, retailers won’t make the leap to a cashless system voluntarily.

BUSINESS

California Cannabis Track and Trace Update

 

STATE

Title:   Legal pot in California brings host of environmental rules

Author: ABC News

Date:  22 December 2017

URL: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/easy-green-legal-pot-brings-environmental-rules-51953067

Extract:  At a state briefing on environmental rules that await growers entering California’s soon-to-be-legal marijuana trade, organic farmers Ulysses Anthony, Tracy Sullivan and Adam Mernit listened intently, eager to make their humble cannabis plot a model of sustainable agriculture in a notoriously destructive industry dominated by the black market.

In line with a 2017 study that found marijuana grows are more damaging, plot for plot, than commercial logging in Northern California forests, Anthony said he has seen too many destructive grows. Trash-strewn clearings. Growers heaping fertilizer at the foot of a centuries-old sequoia tree, needlessly endangering it. Wild streams diverted for irrigation.

 

 

CALAVERAS

Title:  After fierce political battle, Calaveras votes against banning pot cultivation

Author: Sacramento Bee

Date: 19 December 2017

URL: http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/california-weed/article190670049.html

Extract:  Few places have had more mood swings over marijuana than Calaveras County.

The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night voted 3-2 to continue to allow commercial marijuana cultivation, capping nearly two years of political turmoil that has divided the Sierra foothills county of 45,000 people.

 

CLEARLAKE CITY

Title: Clearlake City Council to consider urgency marijuana ordinance at special meeting

Author: Lake County News

Date: 21 December 2017

URL: http://www.lakeconews.com/index.php/news/53677-clearlake-city-council-to-consider-urgency-marijuana-ordinance-at-special-meeting

Extract:  CLEARLAKE, Calif. – Confusion over wording in a city ordinance governing commercial marijuana rules has led to the calling of a special Clearlake City Council meeting this week to discuss an urgency ordinance banning marijuana cultivation on the west side of Highway 53. The council will meet in closed session to discuss two potential cases of litigation beginning at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, before the public portion of the meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at Clearlake City Hall, 14050 Olympic Drive. Under council business, council members will consider an urgency ordinance, Ordinance No. 202-2017, placing the proposed moratorium on commercial marijuana, or cannabis, cultivation businesses west of Highway 53 in the city limits.

 

LAKEPORT CITY

Title:  Lakeport City Council approves new personal, commercial marijuana regulations

Author: Lake County News

Date: 21 December 2017

URL: http://www.lakeconews.com/index.php/news/53678-lakeport-city-council-approves-new-personal-commercial-marijuana-regulations

Extract:  Following a lengthy discussion and extensive public comment, the Lakeport City Council approved new guidelines that allow for commercial marijuana, or cannabis, operations in certain areas of the city.

The council had an initial discussion on both the commercial regulations as well as updated rules – with only minor changes – for personal cannabis cultivation, formerly referred to in city rules as medical marijuana, at its Dec. 4 meeting.

On Tuesday, the council unanimously passed the personal cultivation rules after a brief discussion, with no members of the public giving any comment.