CCMA Greenbrief December 6th: After Sequoia Scandal, Only 43 Testing Labs Operating in CA…Marlboro Poised to Acquire Canadian Cannabis Producer…Michigan Legalizes Recreational Cannabis…

CCMA Political  greenBrief

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Alphonso Blunt & Brittany Moore, Owners Of Blunts + Moore In Oakland, One Of The First Equity Program Licensees, Says Getting Into The Legal Cannabis Game Is Tough. Loan Programs Are Just Beginning As Equity Program Applicants Struggle.


“Businesses need to understand what their exposures are. There are no requirements for a cultivator to have crop coverage, but they have to ask themselves if they could afford to self-insure a loss if they had one. No one thinks they’re going to have a loss or lose their crop. But we’ve seen the claims, so it’s very important to have that coverage in place.”

Mike Bush, Partner At National Cannabis Insurance Services, On Cannabis Insurance

“If you take a dude off the street that just been selling dime bags and you give him a license to now grow weed, but he has to go find money to help to fund it — as an equity person who had to qualify for being poor, where am I going to get this money?”

Alphonso Blunt, Co-Owner Of Oakland’s Blunts + Moore Dispensary, On The Struggles Of Starting A Cannabis Business Under An Equity Program   

Sacramento Lab Forfeits Testing License; 800 Batches Potentially Incorrectly Tested (CA – Cannabis Regulations)

North Coast Business Journal (December 6, 2018) The state of California is in the midst of its first large-scale cannabis testing scandal. Sequoia Analytical Labs, based in Sacramento, was one of just 44 licensed testing facilities in the state until it surrendered its license to the state last week after it was discovered the company’s lab director had been falsifying test results. Losing a licensed laboratory can only worsen the testing bottleneck that exists throughout the state, frustrating cultivators, distributors, retailers and just about everyone else in the industry.


California’s Bigger, Flashier Cannabis Market Set To Outpace Canadian Market (CA – Cannabis Market)

PR Newswire (December 4, 2018) A divide is already happening in these early days of cannabis legalization in major markets such as Canada and California. Suppliers are jockeying for position within the hearts and minds of a growing consumer base, emphasizing the need to establish brand recognition, with pushes coming from companies. Regulatory challenges in Canada that don’t exist in California are likely to cause a branding gap, with the advantage going to the west coast state.


Going Above Ground In Oakland Can Really Get A Cannabis Merchant Down (CA – Cannabusiness)

San Francisco Chronicle (December 6, 2018) Selling weed on the black market is easy, Alphonso Blunt told me as he reclined in an office chair. Blunt (yes, that’s his last name), 38, started selling dime bags when he was 16, but he “retired” from street sales about four years ago because he wanted to sell cannabis legally. Blunt now has a 4,000-square-foot store to run. Blunts+Moore, which began selling flowers, vapes and edibles last week, is the first cannabis dispensary to open under Oakland’s equity program. It’s a success story for the beleaguered equity program.


Santa Barbara County Supervisors May Consider Changing Cannabis Ordinances In January (CA – Local Ordinances)

Lompoc Record (December 5, 2018) Cannabis ordinances that have been in effect for about six months in the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County could be tweaked as early as January to deal with some “unintended consequences” that have cropped up. In the meantime, supervisors plan to approve an amendment to the County Code’s Chapter 50, which established the cannabis licensing program, at the board’s meeting next week in Santa Barbara.


Grover ‘On Track’ To Meet Cannabis Tax Revenue Projections (CA – Local Ordinances) 

New Times SLO (December 6, 2018) Cash from the city of Grover Beach’s commercial cannabis businesses is just beginning to roll in, and city officials appear to be satisfied with the initial returns on the city’s newest industry. According to a recent financial report to the City Council, Grover Beach took in $120,000 in tax revenue from three cannabis businesses operating in the city between July 1 and Sept. 30, the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year.


Cannabis Is A Tax Bonanza For States (USA – Cannabis Taxation)

Forbes (December 5, 2018) During the recent midterm elections, much of the country was focused on the growing divide between red and blue. But smart investors were focused on a different color — green, as in the color of cannabis. The rising green tide promises new streams of tax revenue and job growth. Some states are already reaping the benefits of legalization. If states see their neighbors capturing millions more per year from the burgeoning industry, it should theoretically burnish the economic case for legalization, and accelerate the process.


Cannabis Business Insurance: Compliance Vs. Properly Protecting Your Business (USA – Cannabis Insurance)

Cannabis Business Times (December 6, 2018) Cannabis businesses often look to state and local requirements when shopping for insurance, but most state- and municipality-mandated minimums are not enough to provide adequate coverage in the event of a claim, according to Mike Bush, partner at National Cannabis Insurance Services (NCIS). And without adequate coverage, cannabis companies risk losing their license and their entire business.


State-By-State Cannabis Sales Show That Recreational Weed’s Disruption Of Medical Pot Continues (USA – Cannabis Market)

Benzinga (December 5, 2018) Recreational cannabis sales continue to disrupt medical marijuana markets, which are morphing into merged regulatory regimes — just as GreenWave Advisors founder and managing partner Matt Karnes predicted almost two years ago. The most recent sales figures from Colorado, California and Massachusetts are the evidence.


Marlboro Maker In Talks With Canadian Cannabis Company (Canada – Cannabis Negotiations)

Leafly (December 5, 2018) Altria Group—the biggest tobacco company in the world and owner of the Marlboro brand—is in active negotiations to either invest in, or outright acquire, the Cronos Group, a major Canadian cannabis producer. At this point, both companies have said, no contracts have been signed; but they have agreed to keep negotiations going, although Toronto-based Cronos made it clear that there is no guarantee that the two sides will come to a deal. “No agreement has been reached with respect to any such transaction and there can be no assurance such discussions will lead to an investment or other transaction involving the companies,” the company announced in a statement.


Michigan Officially Legalizes Marijuana For Recreational Use (MI – Legalization)

Huffington Post (December 6, 2018) Legal marijuana has officially come to the Midwest. Under a new measure taking effect Thursday in Michigan, people ages 21 and older in the state can legally possess and use cannabis for recreational purposes. Michigan voters approved the initiative in November with 56 percent of the vote. Michigan’s Proposal 1 allows for the possession and transportation of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana ― including up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrate ― and the possession of up to 10 ounces in a nonpublic place. Residents can also grow up to 12 plants at home, though those plants cannot be visible from a public place.