USA Roundup: Federal, California, Florida, Nevada, Utah

USA Roundup: Federal, California, Florida, Nevada, Utah


Article penned by Green Light Law Group – Portland OR

CARERS Act Reintroduced In Senate


CARERS Act Reintroduced In Senate

Earlier today, a bipartisan group of Senators reintroduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act (“CARERS Act”) into Congress.

The CARERS Act as originally introduced in 2015, was aimed at providing protection against federal prosecution for medical marijuana states, and providing banking for the industry. The new version of the bill takes a less aggressive approach, instead changing the Controlled Substances Act to allow states to establish their own medical cannabis laws, which would provide protection against federal prosecution. This would not reschedule cannabis altogether, however, but only protect against federal prosecution. This would essentially provide a permanent solution to the threat of federal prosecution, which is currently only temporary under the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment.

The bill’s co-sponsors include Senators Corey Booker, Rand Paul, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mike Lee, Al Franken, and Lisa Murkowski. The House version of the bill was reintroduced by Tennessee Congressman Steven Cohen and Arkansas Congressman Donald Young. 

The new version of the CARERS Act also removes cannabidiol, commonly known as “CBD” from the Controlled Substances Act, which would allow CBD-legal states to import CBD oil from other states. This would bring additional clarity to federal law, as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) considers CBD a Schedule I substance because it is derived from the cannabis sativa plant. The legislation will also ease restrictions that currently limit the ability of Veterans Affairs physicians to issue medical cannabis recommendations to veterans. The bill also eases restrictions that will allow researchers access to research-grade marijuana grown outside of the University of Mississippi.

Given that the CARERS Act requires very moderate changes to federal law as opposed to requiring more widespread changes, i.e. de-scheduling or rescheduling cannabis, Congressional staffers are hopeful that the bill will gain traction this year. Even securing a hearing on the legislation would be significant progress at the federal level. Stay tuned as we track the progress of the legislation in the coming months, as it could mean significant changes for the industry.

Federal Bill Would Allow CBD Research, Entrench Pharmaceutical Companies



Santa Barbara County California Marijuana Business Ordinances (Updated 2017)​ In Santa Barbara County, all cities have banned recreational marijuana businesses. While permitted medical marijuana business activities vary from city to city, the majority of Santa Barbara cities also passed memorandums prior to the passage of Proposition 64 last year in order to ban medical marijuana businesses in their cities.

Here is a breakdown of the city ordinances that apply to marijuana activities in each city for Santa Barbara County:


Recreational and medical marijuana businesses are prohibited in Buelton. The City County passed Ordinance No. 17-01 in January that placed a 45-day moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses. The ordinance prohibits non-medical marijuana facilities citywide, prohibits any person or entity from cultivating marijuana at any location in the City (with a limited exception for personal indoor cultivation of six marijuana plants or less), and prohibits non-medical marijuana facilities from delivering to any person in the City.

The moratorium was also permitted to be extended for up to 10 months and 15 days after notice public hearing is held along with an extension for up to 10 months and 15 days. In September, 2016, the City Council enacted a 45-day ban on marijuana businesses, both recreational and medical and renewed the ban for up to a year from the original date of passage.


Last year, the Carpinteria City Council approved an ordinance that places a number of restrictions on where recreational marijuana may be cultivated within the city. Under the ordinance, outdoor cultivation of recreational marijuana may only occur in backyards and without any exterior visual evidence. Cultivation is also banned within 600 feet of schools, day care centers, and youth centers.


Goleta currently only permits two medical marijuana dispensaries which were grandfathered in when the city placed a moratorium on additional dispensaries.


Guadalupe currently permits medical marijuana dispensaries. However, the city has not yet implemented city ordinances pertaining to recreational cultivation.


​Lompoc recently rejected an ordinance to impose heavy regulations on marijuana cultivation within the City. Currently, marijuana dispensaries are banned in the City of Lompoc, per the Marijuana Ordinance passed in January 2016. As of April 2017, marijuana regulations are still up for discussion by the City Council.

Santa Barbara

In Santa Barbara, recreational marijuana businesses are banned per an interim emergency zoning ordinance enacted by the City Council in November 2016. Although the ban was set to only go into effect for 45 days, the City Council was granted the ability to extend it for up to two years.

Santa Maria

In Santa Maria, nonmedical marijuana operations were temporarily banned in February by the Board of Supervisors. The purpose was to allow the staff and board time to adopt a permanent ordinance, which includes plans for licensing, permitting, and tax and fee schedules.

Currently, marijuana cultivation, packaging, and distribution of recreational marijuana are banned. Regarding medicinal marijuana businesses, the city currently has no ordinance in place to regulate the operations.


The Solvang Municipal Code already prohibits medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation, whether for personal or commercial use. However, it does permit the delivery of medical marijuana to qualified patients under the Compassionate Use Act. Last year, the City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting the manufacturing, processing, laboratory testing, labeling, storing and wholesale and retail distribution of cannabis.

The ordinance was set to expire in 45 days. However the City Council was granted permission to extend it for 10 months and 15 days, then extend it again for one year with a four-fifths vote.

CA lawmakers approve merger of rec, MMJ regulatory systems

The California legislature approved a state budget plan that includes a proposal from Gov. Jerry Brown to merge the regulatory systems for both medical and recreational marijuana businesses.

The implications of the move are enormous for cannabis companies. But from the simplest viewpoint, the biggest impact is that the new system will allow California marijuana retailers to sell both rec and medical at the same physical storefront, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The budget bill, which reportedly includes Senate Bill 94, would also allow for marijuana home delivery, set standards for organic cultivation and labeling, allow cannabis samples at county fairs and distinguish appellations for MJ cultivators that want to identify where their crops were grown, according to the Associated Press.


Poised to become one of the more lucrative medical cannabis industries in the United States, Florida’s program will license only a few companies to produce, process and distribute all  the MMJ sold in the state. The situation could result in some of the largest cannabis firms in the nation. For more details,  check out our exclusive Chart of the Week:



Judge hearing Nevada bid for recreational pot sales July 1

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada’s marijuana regulators are working furiously to launch recreational sales on July 1, a fast-approaching deadline that could hinge on a court deciding whether the powerful liquor industry should be guaranteed a piece of the pot pie before tourists and residents can light up.

Lawyers for the liquor industry, marijuana retailers and the state faced a judge Monday to argue whether Nevada has the authority to issue marijuana distribution licenses to anyone besides alcohol distributors.

The state says it has the power to temporarily license some existing medical marijuana cultivators and retailers to serve as their own middlemen. It wants to get a head-start on collecting millions of dollars in tax revenue devoted to education before permanent rules are required by Jan. 1, 2018.

The liquor lobby sued, saying the state didn’t give it the first shot at distribution licenses as called for in the ballot measure approved by voters in November, the only legal pot state with that arrangement.

More at link above


Utah Advocates Pushing to Put MMJ to Voters in 2018


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