CCMA Political greenBrief
Thursday, February 7, 2019
Imperial County, CA Continues To Suffer The Highest Unemployment Rates In The State. Locals Have Pinned Hopes On A Variety Of New Industries, Including Geothermal Energy, Lithium Extraction And The Growing Of Industrial Hemp.
“We have a bipartisan proposal to allow well-regulated marijuana businesses to handle their money in a way that is safe and effective for law enforcement to track. I am eager to get to the work of refining it and passing it into law.”Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) On Cannabis Banking Legislation
“Depriving state-legal cannabis businesses of basic banking services and forcing them to operate entirely in cash presents a significant safety risk, not just to those businesses and their employees, but to the public. Support for addressing the cannabis banking problem is strong and bipartisan, and it appears Congress may be ready to adopt a real, commonsense solution. Members concerned about public safety should be jumping at the chance to express their support for this legislation.”Don Murphy, Director Of Federal Policies For The Marijuana Policy Project, On Cannabis Banking
EVENT: Malibu Fire Fundraiser On February 15th (Los Angeles – Cannabis Events)
On Friday February 15th, help the CCMA and Future Cannabis Project bring the cannabis community together for a fundraiser to benefit victims of the Woolsey Fire in Malibu. Daytime activities include conference sessions and yoga classes. The evening kicks off with a four course dinner prepared by a team of chefs followed by a party in a beautiful venue in downtown Los Angeles. Tax deductible proceeds will go directly to the Malibu Foundation, a non-profit working to assist in recovery for victims of the Woolsey Fire.
House Financial Services Committee Will Hear Cannabis Banking Bill Next Week (USA – Federal Banking)
Cannabis Business Times (February 6, 2019) With a new Democratic majority in the U.S. House, the movement of cannabis bills in committee is expected to be smoother. The first sign of a more receptive Congress in 2019 will come when the House Financial Services Committee takes up a draft of the SAFE Banking Act, expected Feb. 13. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Denny Heck (D-WA), would allow banks and credit unions to work freely with state-legal cannabis businesses (even as the plant remains illegal on the federal level). On the surface, the goal is twofold: Facilitate business development in the industry and allow regulators to clear a significant hurdle en route to broader cannabis reform legislation.
The First Marijuana Hearing Of The New Congress Has Been Scheduled (USA – Federal Reform)
Forbes (February 6, 2019) Congressional Democrats are already moving ahead with plans to consider broad changes to federal marijuana laws in 2019. The newly scheduled marijuana hearing is a signal that Democrats intend to move cannabis legislation this year, and is likely to be the first in a series of committee-level actions across the House on the issue. Congress has held only a handful of hearings on marijuana reform issues in recent years, and never before has any come at a time when broad cannabis reform legislation seemed to be conceivably on its way to passage.
Schools Still Await Cannabis Tax Revenue That’s Expected To Fund Youth Education Programs (CA – Tax Revenue)
Desert Sun (February 6, 2019) California had $70 million in cannabis tax revenue through January, but Coachella Valley schools and others across the state have yet to see a dime in funding promised to youth education programs. In July 2018, at the end of the last budget year, cannabis tax revenue was just able to cover the cost of the new state bureaucracy. But a full year after legalization in California, the state has some more money to spend.
May 7 Deadline For Delivery-Only Cannabis Sellers To Submit Site Review Applications (CA – Delivery Services)
SFGate (February 6, 2019) Four retailers have until May 7 to submit site review applications for their delivery-only medicinal cannabis operations in unincorporated Marin County. The Marin County Board of Supervisors approved a Medicinal Cannabis Delivery-Only Retailer licensing ordinance in November 2017 and a fee schedule for applicants in February 2018. The license requires the cannabis retailers to be closed to the public and dispense cannabis by delivery only.
This Corner Of California Is Suffering Economic Misery Despite Boom All Around It (CA – Hemp Industry)
Los Angeles Times (February 5, 2019) As California has rebounded from the Great Recession, the Imperial Valley has largely defied attempts to expand its economy beyond seasonal farming and government work, and the county continues to suffer the highest unemployment rates in the state. Among the crop rows at Jack Vessey’s Holtville farm, workers from Mexico harvested bok choy and packaged the vegetables into plastic crates as he greeted his employees. Industrial hemp, which could be grown twice a year and was approved for cultivation by the federal government in 2018, is a primary candidate.
Cannabis Supporters And Critics Spar At County Board Of Supervisors Meeting (CA – Local Ordinances)
Coastal View (February 6, 2019) Santa Barbara residents made their voices heard at the heavily-attended Jan. 29 meeting of the County Board of Supervisors that saw a 4-0 vote, approving several modifications of county regulatory policy on cannabis cultivation and operations. Supporters and critics of the region’s growing cannabis industry offered passionate testimony regarding various issues: the severity of county enforcement policies; the effect of large operations on the local wine industry and wine-tasting experience; fears of heightened criminal activity and lessened property values; and the vexed issue of effective odor control.
You’ll Soon Be Able To Buy Legal Pot In SLO — And These Businesses Could Make Millions (CA – Cannabis Sales)
The Tribune (February 6, 2019) As the California marijuana industry shifts into the recreational use market from its recently expired medical marijuana laws, local cannabis business owners say they want to keep a stake in the game — but stiff competition for permits, compliance hurdles and out-of-town competition continue to pose challenges. Cannabis start-up costs can be in the hundreds of thousands — or even millions — of dollars, industry insiders say, and that’s aside from the stringent regulations for safety and security.
Hemp, Hemp…Hooray? (USA – Hemp Industry)
Cannabis Business Times (February 5, 2019) The U.S. government’s often hypocritical position on marijuana and hemp has bewildered many. However, the 2018 Farm Bill’s recent passage legalized, at the federal level, hemp cultivation beyond research purposes, and the country turned its attention to the crop’s tremendous possibilities and potential environmental and economic impact. With the FDA’s mission to protect “the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices; and by ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics,” the organization undoubtedly provides immense benefit to society. And with CBD products flooding the market—many claiming significant human and pet health benefits—consumers are confused about how to evaluate the safety and efficacy of these products, and oversight is needed.
Marijuana Or Hemp? Manufacturers Snagged By Farm Bill Confusion (USA – Hemp Industry)
Marijuana Business Daily (February 6, 2019) Cannabis entrepreneurs say they’re facing jail time and hefty legal fees because of the plant’s complicated biology, with the vaunted 2018 Farm Bill only muddling the picture for interstate commerce. The cases also raise an uncomfortable prospect for the booming CBD industry: states have different THC testing methods – so a plant that tests at or below 0.3% THC in one state can violate the THC limit in another.
Legalization May Come Soon. Who Will Wear The Cannabis Crown? (USA – Legalization)
Bloomberg (February 6, 2019) The U.S. federal ban on cannabis may soon come to an end. But the fragmented market makes it difficult to pick a winner. Not to say American cannabis companies aren’t trying. MedMen is looking to drive higher in-house brand sales to lift margins. Lowell is currently the leader of pre-rolled joints in California, with 35 percent market share. Pax only produces hardware, avoiding the risks associated with a plant-touching business. And the U.S. market itself presents unique advantages as retailers compile significant customer data by scanning IDs of each person who walks through the door and every purchase.
Global Standards Group Adds Two New Categories For Cannabis (World – Cannabis Guidelines)
Marijuana Business Daily (February 6, 2019) An international standards organization has added two new specifications to assist in the processing and handling of marijuana. Because the cannabis industry is in its early stages, it lacks many established, commonly accepted standards, leaving businesses without clear guidelines or ground rules found in other industries.
Why So Many Americans Now Support Legalizing Marijuana, In 4 Charts (USA – Cannabis Market)
PBS (February 5, 2019) American views on marijuana have shifted incredibly rapidly. Thirty years ago, marijuana legalization seemed like a lost cause. In 1988, only 24 percent of Americans supported legalization. So why has public opinion changed dramatically in favor of legalization? As politically polarized as the country may seem, when it comes to marijuana, Americans have been changing their attitudes together, as a nation.
Oregon’s Legal Cannabis Market Is Generating Huge Revenues—But None Of It Is Going To Regulation (OR – Cannabis Market_
Willamette Week (February 6, 2019) Oregon’s legal cannabis market is producing bumper harvests and robust tax revenues. But none of that money is going to regulate the weed industry. In the mind of one of the state’s leading drug policy veterans, the current system for regulating cannabis was almost designed to fail. Oregon’s decision—different from other states—to allow an unlimited number of growers, processors and retailers means they’ve engaged in unfettered competition, driving cannabis supply through the roof and prices through the floor—down more than 50 percent since late 2016.