CCMA Political greenBrief
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Senator Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) Amendment To Protect States’ Cannabis Rights Was Blocked From The First Step Act, But He Says He Will Be Back To Try Again
“The handshake deals, the idea of being able to provide service for equity and things not being put into contract form for disclosure to the state, those times are changing.”
Josh Drayton, Spokesman For The California Cannabis Industry Association, On Cannabusinesses Trading Equity For Legal Services
“We went from being highly unregulated to very regulated in a very short amount of time. So what we are testing for right now, we weren’t testing for a few years ago.”
Dr. Schuwayta Call On Statewide Testing Regulations
California Regulators: Cities Can’t Ban Recreational Marijuana Deliveries (CA – Cannabis Delivery)
NBC San Diego (December 18, 2018) Starting next year recreational marijuana will be available everywhere in California via licensed delivery operations, even in places that have banned pot businesses. The Bureau for Cannabis Control has decided voters approved Proposition 64, legalizing recreational marijuana statewide, and if cities do not want businesses to operate in their jurisdictions, citizens are still entitled to access.
Statewide Legalization Of Cannabis Deliveries Pending (CA – Cannabis Delivery)
The Proclaimer (December 18, 2018) The California Bureau of Cannabis Control announced on Dec. 7 its plan to adopt a new set of regulations that includes the statewide legalization of marijuana deliveries — a move which, if approved by the state, will overturn Santa Clarita’s moratorium on the practice. Under the existing statue, marijuana vendors who operate in cities like Los Angeles in which commercialized pot is legal can be apprehended by local authorities should they attempt to deliver their product to a city.
Marijuana Startups Trading Equity Stakes For Legal Help, Real Estate (CA – Cannabusiness)
The OC Register (December 17, 2018) Some attorneys, landlords and other service providers in California are quietly taking equity stakes in cannabis startups in lieu of cash fees — a practice that many say comes with ethical and legal risks. Such deals also have been common in the illicit marijuana market. And now, as operators struggle with high startup costs, lack of access to capital and a highly competitive real estate market, equity swaps are spilling over to the legal cannabis industry.
Weed Buyers Beware: Distributors Eager To Get Around Cannabis Testing (CA – Cannabis Testing)
CBS Los Angeles (December 17, 2018) Now that pot is fully legalized in California, more of the industry is being regulated, which is beneficial for buyers but an extra cost for sellers. Chemical contaminants like pesticides and fungicides in cannabis are only now being tested in state-licensed labs. Licensed marijuana distributors are required by law to have their cannabis rigorously tested. Often times, whole crops fail to pass state regulation and have to be destroyed.
Is Hemp On The Verge Of A Comeback In California? (CA – Hemp Industry)
ABC 10 (December 17, 2018) A Plumas County farming family is the first in Northern California to legally harvest a crop that’s been banned since 1937. It’s not marijuana… it’s hemp. The hemp plant was banned because it is a member of the cannabis family —but hemp cannot get people high. Right now the harvest is labor intensive, since there is no commercial machinery in the United States to harvest large quantities of hemp.
‘Dead Skunk’ Stench From Marijuana Farms Outrages Californians (CA – Cannabis Cultivation)
New York Times (December 19, 2018) They call it fresh skunk, the odor cloud or sometimes just the stink. As a result of the stench, residents in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, are suing to ban cannabis operations from their neighborhoods. Mendocino County, farther north, recently created zones banning cannabis cultivation — the sheriff’s deputy there says the stink is the No. 1 complaint. In Santa Barbara County, cannabis growers confronting the rage of neighbors are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars installing odor-control systems that were designed for garbage dumps.
Legal Cannabis Lounges Booming In San Francisco (CA – Cannabis Use)
ABC 7 (December 18, 2018) San Francisco is already known for its lively bar scene and now it has some new competition. Cannabis dispensaries are opening pot lounges, where people can buy weed and smoke it, too. There’s no food, and it is illegal to sell alcohol. Patrons here are smoking weed, and they are coming in droves as dispensaries look for new ways to attract customers.
Farm Bill’s Federal Hemp Provision Could Disrupt Humboldt County Cannabis Economy (CA – Hemp Industry)
The Times Standard (December 17, 2018) A major agriculture bill passed by the U.S. Congress last week could legalize hemp at the federal level, allowing farmers across the country to cultivate hemp, but that doesn’t necessarily spell good news for Humboldt County. But if other companies in the country begin selling hemp products within the legal THC level, they won’t face any of the prohibitive costs or federal tax restrictions that pump up the price of Humboldt County’s legal hemp. As a result, out-of-state hemp might sink local companies in the competitive marketplace.
Arrest Of Two Compliant Eureka Marijuana Distributors Sparks Class-Action Lawsuit Against The CHP (CA – Cannabis Convictions)
Lost Coast Outpost (December 17, 2018) Three months after two former Del Norte County California Highway Patrol officers turned licensed Eureka based marijuana distributors were arrested by Fresno CHP, their lawyer has filed a class-action lawsuit aiming to prevent CHP officers from interfering with state-approved marijuana businesses.
Marijuana States Rights Amendment Blocked, But Cory Gardner Will Be Back (USA – Cannabis Politics)
Roll Call (December 18, 2018) Sen. Cory Gardner failed to add language to the Senate’s criminal justice bill that would ensure the federal government respects Colorado’s marijuana legalization. But neither the Republican senator, who is running for re-election in 2020, nor the issue will be going away. Gardner tried to line up as part of the floor debate on the criminal justice overhaul an amendment based on legislation he introduced with Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Joe Kennedy Calls Current U.S. Marijuana Policy Dysfunctional (USA – Cannabis Politics)
My San Antonio (December 18, 2018) The way U.S. Congressman Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts sees it: A patchwork of laws governing the sale and use of recreational and medical marijuana “compounds the dysfunction” surrounding legalization of marijuana. Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts and the incoming House Rules Committee chair, has said he will allow debate on marijuana legislation to reach the House floor. That’s something that didn’t happen with Texas Republican Pete Sessions chairing the committee since 2013.
11 Facts Cannabis Entrepreneurs Should Know About The Illicit Market (USA – Illicit Market)
CT Post (December 17, 2018) Though 10 states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational cannabis, illicit market weed still dominates. Even in states like California, the illegal cannabis market is several times bigger than the legal adult use market. In other words, illicit market weed does not disappear the moment a state or country legalizes recreational cannabis. Instead, legalization highlights just how entrenched the illicit market is—even in the post-legalization era.
Are Cannabis Taxes Too Low? Some Economists Think So (USA – Cannabis Taxation)
Leafly (December 18, 2018) As legalization gains momentum across North America, many officials in non-legal states are looking wistfully at their 420-friendly neighbors and wondering if they’re missing out on an opportunity to bring in millions of dollars in cannabis tax revenue. Despite all the talk about a “Green Rush,” most legal cannabis industries are not yet cash cows. And unlike the alcohol and tobacco sectors, which have thrived for decades in spite of so-called “sin taxes,” the federal illegality of cannabis has created an uneven playing field for pot producers, manufacturers and distributors.