Today’s Top News
The State of California considers CBD products under the umbrella of “cannabis products,” and therefore subject to the cannabis excise tax. Failure to pay appropriate excise taxes can result in fines and penalties, so make sure you’re compliant with these new guidelines!
BONUS: Starting a cannabis business in California is complicated. Check out this guide on where to begin the process: 3 First Steps to Starting a California Cannabis Business
Title: Here’s Where California’s Next Governor Stands on Cannabis
Date: 29 May 2018
At a debate among California’s top six gubernatorial candidates earlier this year, the backdrop read El Momento de la Verdad – The Moment of Truth.
“Just for the record,” asked moderator Jorge Ramos, anchor for the Spanish-language news network, Univision, “will you raise your hand if you’ve ever used pot?”
Have you ever used pot? asked the moderator. Antonio Villaraigosa’s hand shot up. ‘And unlike some,’ he said, ‘I inhaled.’
Up went the hands. Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made sure he was out of the gate fastest and boldest. He shot his hand high in the air and kept it there. John Chiang, the state treasurer, inched his hand up to his chin. Then Delaine Eastin, the former state superintendent of public instruction, belatedly raised her arm.
The two leading Republicans, San Diego businessman John Cox and Huntington Beach Assemblyman Travis Allen, didn’t raise their hands. Neither did leading Democratic contender Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor and former San Francisco mayor who successfully championed California’s Proposition 64 adult use legalization measure in 2016.
Title: California Senate passes bill to create banks for pot businesses
Author: SF Chronicle
Date: May 2018
The bill would allow regulated banks and credit unions to process cannabis-business deposits, withdrawals, and other standard transactions.
Source: Cannabis Wire Newsletter
Analysis: Efforts to eradicate illegal cannabis grows are increasing
U.S. Atty. McGregor W. Scott brought together law enforcement officials in Sacramento, CA to talk about the state’s cannabis overproduction problem. The LA Times reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has repeatedly spoken out against cannabis, has taken a “keen interest” in cannabis, allocating $2.5M to be focused on law enforcement efforts. The state’s National Guard is also moving 70 of its people to help quash illegal grows.
+ CA has a massive overproduction problem, fueled by a vague, one-page medical cannabis law passed in 1996. As we wrote in our book A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition, at that time, when given an inch, some members of the nascent cannabis industry took a mile — and then some. Some of the illicit, or gray market, growers will come aboard the now state-legal marketplace. But, of course, it won’t be all of them, meaning there will be some remaining illegal grows. NBC News this week reported that Chinese, Cuban and Mexican drug rings are renting homes and destroying them to illegally grow cannabis. While AG Sessions has hinted that he wants to crackdown on the legal cannabis industry, Scott said these specific efforts are focused on illegal production. “There is so much black-market marijuana in California that we could use all of our resources going after just the black market and never get there,” he said at the press conference.
++ This meeting in Sacramento comes nearly 2 weeks after the Williams Memo, from Billy Williams, U.S. Atty. for District of Oregon. That memo called for his office to focus on 5 enforcement priorities, including “overproduction that feeds exportation of marijuana across Oregon’s border stops.”
+++ Is it a trend? If one more U.S. Attorney takes this approach, yes. The CBC this week reported about Colorado’s illegal market problem, but it really comes down to this: as long as there’s a patchwork of laws, where in one state someone over 21 can buy cannabis like beer or wine, and in another state they could be hit with a felony, illegal (and legal oversupply) cannabis will likely be packed up and shipped across state lines.