USA Wrap: DEA, California CPA Update, Maine, Michigan, Oaklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont


Title: DEA Chief Announces Retirement

Author: Cannabis Business Times

Date: 21 June 2018



Robert Patterson, the current acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), has announced that he is retiring at the end of the month.

Patterson has worked at the DEA for 30 years and has been the DEA Chief since October, when Chuck Rosenberg resigned after disagreements with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over marijuana research policy. Patterson has said that running the agency as a temporary replacement has become “increasingly challenging,” according to aWashington Post report.


  • San Francisco currently has a 120-day authorization for medical cannabis dispensaries to sell adult-use cannabis. Now, the city is one step closer to allowing the Department of Public Health to extend for multiple 90-day periods.  Currently, they are only able to extend for a single 90-day period.
  • Bellflower recently recommended adopting a resolution to further establish minimum qualifications to obtain a business permit and is deciding the number of permits that would be available.
  • Truckee doesn’t even need a second reading to adopt an ordinance regulating cannabis delivery services. They waived the second reading and are discussing new zoning regulations.
  • Goleta had the first reading of a cannabis land use and business license ordinance. Cannabis business taxes will be on the ballot this November.
  • La Palma had the first reading of an ordinance that would amend its current code and further open the doors towards commercial cannabis activity.

Read more: Cannabis News from San Francisco, Bellflower, Truckee, Goleta and La Palma


Proposal Would Give Maine Municipalities Power to Ban Cannabis Retailers


From The Hemp Roundtable:

On May 11, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) issued an advisory bulletin on hemp and cannabidiol (“CBD”) that raised concerns in the industry.  Specifically, the implication of the guidance was that CBD would be regulated under the same strict requirements for medical marijuana.

As you are quite aware, hemp is not marijuana, and hemp-derived CBD is not medical marijuana.  Accordingly, the Roundtable reached out to LARA, and our General Counsel, Jonathan Miller just returned from a very productive trip to Lansing.  Jonathan met as well with leading officials of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), and leaders of both parties in the Michigan legislature. He reports back:

  • There is a strong consensus among the political leadership that the legislature should pass a bill this year (likely after the election in November) that would clarify that hemp-derived CBD is legal for retail sale.  Indeed, we have encountered no organized opposition to the idea.
  • Agency officials at LARA and MDARD support the development of separate regulatory schemes for hemp-derived CBD and medical marijuana.
  • There is interest in developing regulatory safeguards such as those recently passed in Indiana – including independent THC testing requirements and potentially QR codes on labels.  These same officials expressed enthusiasm that the Roundtable is leading efforts to create a self-regulated organization (SRO) for the industry to provide assistance to overworked agency officials in providing strong standards and best practices for the industry.
  • For the present time, LARA has told us that they do not exercise jurisdiction over hemp sold outside of marijuana dispensaries. LARA will not be coming to grocery and natural foods stores to inspect or seize CBD products.  LARA can’t control what local or state police will do, but they promised to be helpful in clarifying issues if they arise.
  • We, of course, cannot make any blanket assurances that there will be no local or state law enforcement actions taken.  But it is clear that there is a not-too-distant light at the end of the tunnel: leading state policymakers understand the difference between hemp and marijuana now, and want Michigan law to reflect that.


Oklahoma Voters Consider Medical Cannabis Legalization on Tuesday


Title: He gave a $125K gift to Jefferson, expecting it would help get a marijuana growing license. Was it pay-to-play?

Author: Philly Enquirer

Date:  22 June 2018



When marijuana entrepreneur Matthew Mallory promised to donate $250,000 to Thomas Jefferson University, he expected something in return — an alliance with a major research university that would put him on an inside track to launch a business growing, selling, and researching medical cannabis in Pennsylvania.

Mallory made an initial payment of $125,000 to Jefferson in December 2016. He was bitterly disappointed two weeks later when “it was discovered that Thomas Jefferson would not be able to assist in securing the affiliation with a medical facility,” Mallory’s lawyer wrote to Jefferson’s attorneys.

Mallory demanded his money back. He filed a complaint with the state attorney general, which told him Jefferson wasn’t obliged to return the gift, Mallory said in an interview.

“We thought we were doing the right thing,” said Mallory, who owns parts of medical-marijuana operations in Illinois and Michigan. “We were told the money was going to help kick-start Pennsylvania’s research program. But we got bamboozled. I didn’t want to [make the donation], but we were told, ‘If you don’t do it, you’re not going to be part of this program.’ ”

Now critics of Pennsylvania’s novel marijuana research program are citing Mallory’s payment to Jefferson as evidence of what they say is a form of  “pay-to-play” infecting the state’s embryonic plan to turn the Keystone State into a Silicon Valley of cannabis research and development. They are touting emails from Mallory’s lawyer to Jefferson’s attorney as demonstrating a crass exchange in which money was solicited to buy into the ground floor of a new pharmaceutical industry.


Title: Hemp regulations in Vermont to go into effect July 1

Author: WCAX

Date: 25 June 2018



BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A new pilot program that begins in July will make it legal to buy and sell hemp in Vermont for those registered with the Agency of Agriculture.

The program is expected to ease concerns about federal agencies cracking down on growers as long as they comply with state laws. Right now, the rules are murky when it comes to how the Agency of Agriculture is going to regulate hemp and hemp products.

“The laboratory component of the new legislation establishes a cannabis quality control program from the Agency of Agriculture. It allows us to certify other labs around hemp,” said Director of Public Health Agriculture Manager Cary Gigeure.

It will also give growers access to seeds from outside of the state, as long as their supplier is from one of the 39 farm bill-compliant states, which are states that have been approved to regulate hemp for research and development. Regulations will also benefit those interested in growing hemp in Vermont.

“Farm bill gave states and universities the authority to do research on hemp, whether that was market research, genetic research,” Gigeure said. “Just exploring the option of growing hemp as a viable crop.”

New Vermont Hemp Rules Take Effect July 1

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