California’s fluid regulatory climate and dual licensing framework has created one of the most challenging business environments participants have ever seen. Doesn’t matter if you are an attorney, an operator, an investor or a CPA …. it just doesn’t matter. The kicks are hard and the hits keep coming.
Regulated out of the market and with no redress in sight, the majority of California’s growers, retailers, manufacturers and other cannabis business operators have found themselves all in the same boat with no viable place to go. Their back stories are profound, their history rich and their plight nothing less than heartbreaking.
It has been harder and harder to find humor in what we do of late, making our weekly humor column less and less frequent. As we approach the closing of the first six months of CA legal weed the challenges, issues and absurdities that had us laughing in the beginning have us scowling today.
The CA Regulations Requiring Destruction of the Sacred Plant on July 1, 2018 Provides an Opportunity for Extraordinary Acts of Compassion Before July 1, 2018
The State of California, Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) Emergency Regulations Requires the Destruction of Cannabis effective July 1, 2018.1 That means we have about 16 days left before California’s six month transition period allowing exceptions from specific regulatory provisions of the BCC’s Emergency Regulations ends.
And we haven’t even had breakfast yet !
The Delivery rules in Cali are guaranteed to spin you silly. As if the California dual licensing regulatory schema isn’t daunting enough with navigating 482 cities and 58 counties all with differing rules on what, when and how or even IF commercial cannabis activity is allowed at all
Boehner gets hard on pot, in a good way! Here’s to the Altered State of the ‘Unalterably Opposed’’ Check Mate Sessions.
With Trump being a strong supporter of our Veterans, especially when it comes to access to health care, and Sessions on his short list, Bohner’s move may have just been the unofficial signal that the tide has turned green for go.
If you work in California’s legal cannabis industry, then be prepared to wait in long lines at the airport. On March 20, 2018, the Orange County Register reported that LA attorney, and cannabis dispensary owner, Aaron Herzberg had his airport fast-track security clearance revoked. The reason? He owned a cannabis business.
Authored By: Silvia San Nicolas When I first started in this business I would listen to attorneys go on about how their last few years had aged them ten and how the ups and downs were so extreme their heads were always spinning, they never sleep and the stress was off...
Two online cannabis platform and dispensary locators, Weedmaps and Leafly have found themselves at the wrong end of the regulatory spectrum and each is taking a very different position to Cease and Desist Orders issued by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) demanding that they stop displaying advertisements from unlicensed cannabis operations and also claiming that the companies are aiding and abetting in violations of California state cannabis laws.
In recent months, a rapid number of compliance enforcement agencies have emerged at both the local and state level. Licensed cannabis businesses in California have experienced a peak in random compliance inspection visits, raids from local and state law enforcement, and seizure of cannabis products.
Los Angeles: DCR’S NEW TOOL TO AID PROSPECTIVE PHASE 3 RETAIL APPLICANTS IN THEIR PROPERTY SEARCH & STATE TO ISSUE PROVISIONAL LICENSES TO QUALIFIED TEMPORARY LICENSE HOLDERS
The Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR), the governing agency regulating commercial cannabis activities for the City of Los Angeles, released a new interactive map this week which highlights the number of retail licenses available for applications in each of the 35 Community Plan Areas in the City.
The Cannabis Regulations Commission met on March 5th and presented their recommendations to the City Attorney that would establish policies for processing phase 3 applications. Phase 3 would begin with a 60-day pre-vetting process of social equity applicants to verify Tier 1 or Tier 2 qualification.
To help streamline the city’s regulations and ameliorate the pressure that cannabis businesses currently face, the DCR released a report including a set of recommended amendments to the city’s cannabis procedures. The recommendations, as filed with the city, are as follows:
CBD products are everywhere – including tinctures, creams, gummies, pills, and drinks. But is it legal to buy, sell, and produce them? The answer may depend on where you are. In the December 2018 Farm Bill, the federal government removed CBD (and industrial hemp and all cannabis derivatives with less than 0.3% THC) from the Controlled Substances Act altogether. But that is not the end of the story, as the FDA continues to regulate CBD products through enforcement of the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, and state governments also have restrictions. Federal and state laws are changing quickly in this area, so anyone involved with these products is encouraged to consult with a lawyer and stay informed on recent developments.
While most of the attention on cannabis business in San Diego County has focused on the area in and around the City of San Diego, there are also a few jurisdictions in the northern half of the county with open cannabis license applications. Here’s a breakdown of the licensing application processes in the cities of Vista and Oceanside.
Here are a few jurisdictions where applications for cannabis retail are either currently open or planned to open in the near future.
In November, a measure to tax and regulate cannabis businesses in Contra Costa County was approved by more than 72 percent of the county’s voters. Given that the election indicated overwhelming local approval for legal cannabis, the county has been moving toward finalizing its cannabis regulations, focusing on the county’s land use restrictions for cannabis businesses and its application process for potential cannabis operators.
As discussed in a prior blog post, the legal status of CBD can be very confusing to consumers, businesses, and lawmakers alike. As a substance that is derived from the cannabis plant, but is not cannabis’ main active ingredient, CBD currently occupies an unclear middle ground – particularly in California, where the state has imposed additional rules affecting how the various types of CBD may be legally used.
Steps toward the legalization of cannabis in New York and New Jersey have been in the news recently. But how close are these states to having fully licensed legal cannabis supply chains? Here’s a brief overview of the two states’ marijuana laws and where they stand in regard to cannabis licensing.
Rod Kight writes, ““One single, small amount of CBD oil that you thought was cool to take on a trip with you, could result in life-changing effects,” says Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) US Customs (CBP) Port Director Cleatus Hunt Jr.”
The Agricultural Act of 2014, also knowns as the 2014 Farm Act (Act), will expire on September 30, 2018.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Food and Drug Branch (FDB), released a new FAQ, “Industrial Hemp and Cannabidiol (CBD) in Food Products” on July 6, 2018 (FAQ). The FAQ specifically states that CBD may not be introduced into food products:
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a Critical Review Report (Report) on cannabidiol (CBD) on June 7, 2018. The Report is an update and extension of the Pre-Review Report on CBD that was prepared by Professor Jason White of Australia and released in November 2017 (Pre-Report) to the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD). The Report was one of several issued about cannabis during a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland by a group of international cannabis experts. It was prepared by Dr Sharon Walsh and Dr Susanna Babalonis of Kentucky and J. Rehm of Canada and presented to the ECDD. It is the first of many steps by the WHO to deliver a recommendation to the UN secretary-general on the “need for and level of international control” of cannabis, which could have a major impact on marijuana legislation internationally.
I’ve heard and read a lot this week about how the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2018 (Right to Try Act), signed into law by President Trump on May 30, 2018, functions to legalize medical marijuana. It does no such thing. What it appears to do is allow terminally ill patients to try investigational new drugs that have not yet been approved by the FDA.
To say that the DEA is is slow in responding to matters regarding cannabis (other than raids and arrests) is like saying that Rip Van Winkle took a long nap. It’s a complete understatement. As reported by Lisa Rough in Leafly, “the first petition to reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II was filed in 1972 by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), but the petition was not given a hearing for fourteen years.” In the article, Rough goes on to discuss another petition filed by Americans for Safe Access and the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis in 2002, which was ultimately denied in 2011, nine years later.
The law at issue in the Murphy case, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, did “not make sports gambling a federal crime … Instead, [it] allow[ed] the Attorney General … to bring civil actions to enjoin violations.”
Rod Kight is a lawyer based in Asheville, NC. He is licensed in North Carolina and Oregon and represents legal cannabis businesses. You can contact him by clicking here.
The “Midwest Turnabout”, the name I’m giving to a rapid about-face on CBD policy that started with Indiana, appears to be turning into a trend.
CBD is having a tough week. The Court issued an unfavorable ruling in the HIA v. DEA case and Wisconsin issued a “Guidance” letter explicitly stating that CBD from industrial hemp is illegal in the state. I’ll discuss both. I. HIA v. DEA. A little over a year ago the...
Trademarks are important to every business, especially to those that operate in the fledgling cannabis space. Brief Rundown of Trademarks Trademarks give you protection over your brand. Specifically, trademarks give you the right to use a name or logo in connection...
Due to the fast expanding nature of the the cannabis industry and these companies, many canna-businesses find themselves too big to fly under the radar in avoiding intellectual property laws.
Canada: Cannabis-use ruling sets dangerous precedent for employers concerned with public safety
Canada's Herald Research has reported , "A recent British Columbia arbitrator’s order sets an unfortunate and dangerous precedent for employers (and […]
United Food & Commercial Workers Union Sends Letter To NE Governors Urging Them To “Prioritize Labor Peace Agreements”
Read the letter in full....
Illinois employers’ using pre-employment drug tests for cannabis could face legal challenges in 2020
New cannabis laws allow employers to maintain a drug-free workplace, but could conflict with Illinois' Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act.
Is There An Upside To Downsizing?
For those of you who do not know, the explosive legal CA cannabis market is currently undergoing growing pains due to a number of foreseeable causes. […]
Cannabis firm first in Massachusetts to unionize
MJ Biz report, "Employees at Sira Naturals.........."
Marijuana impairs a driver’s reaction time, decision-making ability, capacity to accurately track objects, balance and equilibrium. Still, it is difficult to measure when a person is impaired. The intoxicating ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is metabolized differently by individuals and remains in the body long after its psychoactive effects have ceased. Currently, there is no way to reliably measure whether a person who has ingested cannabis an hour earlier is impaired because THC concentration does not correlate well with subjective impairment.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) reported that almost $100 million in medical marijuana sales occurred between February 15, 2018, and February 15, 2019, the first full year that medical cannabis was available to Pennsylvania patients. More than $40 million in sales occurred between growers and dispensaries. Pennsylvania does not tax sales to patients, but does tax transactions between growers and dispensaries at a rate of 5%. Thus, in the first year of licensed sales, the Commonwealth received approximately $2 million in tax revenue from medical cannabis.
The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill has opened the gates to industrial hemp farming. Hemp, a crop that has been banned in the United States since 1937, now may be legally grown. While the most popular product of hemp − oils containing cannabidiol (CBD) and other naturally occurring non-psychoactive cannabinoids − are still subject to conflicting federal and state regulations, the plant itself may be grown across the United States.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania wants medical researchers to study cannabis at Pennsylvania medical schools, eight of which have been certified as Academic Clinical Research Centers (ACRCs). ACRCs can contract with Clinical Registrants (CRs), entities that the Commonwealth will license to cultivate, package and dispense cannabis for medical research. An entire set of regulations, commonly referred to as “Chapter 20,” has been drafted, redrafted and amended to make medical research of cannabis a reality in the Commonwealth.
On December 18, 2018, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) issued 23 cannabis dispensary permits (Phase II licenses). Fifty entities have been awarded dispensary licenses, which is the total number allowed under Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act. Each licensee can operate up to three dispensaries, bringing the total number of possible dispensaries in Pennsylvania to 150.
As the legal status of cannabis evolves, state legislatures are confronted with a difficult moral issue – how should local and state governments treat persons convicted of offenses that are no longer illegal? Below is a discussion of some of the options.
But of course, the “hemp oil” or cannabidiol (CBD) remains illegal under state law. Even if the CBD is locally sourced and sold through a licensed dispensary, edibles are not legal in Pennsylvania. Edibles are presently restricted to underage patients New Jersey. Moreover, Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMA) strictly prohibits advertising or packaging that appeal to children. Candy-shaped CBD probably runs afoul of the spirit of the MMA.
National legalization of cannabis is now a reality − in Canada and Uruguay. Further south, we are still waiting, our hopes stoked by committed legislators who assure us that changes are coming soon.
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has decided a new case that may have a huge impact on cannabis licensing in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Commonwealth Court hears cases involving state and local government entities and state agencies in Pennsylvania and has heard a number of challenges regarding the administration of the 2016 Medical Marijuana Act (MMA).
On September 21, 2018, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania certified eight medical schools as Academic Clinical Research Centers (ACRCs). The following schools are now certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to contract with Clinical Registrants (CRs) to conduct medical research: