CCMA Greenbrief July 20: California Adds Over 6000 Cannabis Licenses…Federal Bills On Industrial Hemp & Veterans’ MMJ Take Next Step To Conference Committee…Cannabis Bills Are Aiming At Social Justice…

CCMA Political greenBrief

Friday, July 20, 2018

Policymakers Consider The Criminal Justice & Racial Equity Aspects Of Legal Marijuana

“The people who you thought would be least likely to be supportive — your parents, or mine — in fact are patients of other pharmaceutical products and therefore are actually becoming way more skeptical of those and looking for better solutions. That has meant we get a lot more of those people who want to become investors.”
Bruce Linton, CEO Of Canopy Growth, On The Attitude Shift Towards Cannabis In Recent Decades
“Given the incredible amount of support, both from the general public and veterans community specifically, it would be politically disastrous to vote against veterans and their ability to get access to a substance—which 22 percent are currently consuming, according to the American Legion—to alleviate symptoms of a physical or mental ailment.”
Justin Strekal, Political Director For NORML, On Medical Marijuana For Military Veterans 
California Adds 6421 Cannabis Licenses In First Half Of 2018 (CA – Cannabis Licensing)
New Cannabis Ventures (July 20, 2018) During the first six months of 2018, since California began issuing temporary marijuana licenses for adult-use cannabis, the number of granted licenses jumped from 1,272 licenses on January 17th to 6,421 licenses on June 30th. That’s a growth rate of 405%! According to the Cannabiz Media research team, which tracks marijuana licenses across the United States and Canada in the Cannabiz Media License Database, the growth rate was significantly higher during the first quarter of 2018 (322%) compared to the second quarter of the year (20%), but the team explains that numbers don’t tell the full story at first glance.
Council To Consider Cannabis Ballot Initiative (CA – Local Advocacy)
Sonoma Index Tribune (July 19, 2018) Even if the City Council doesn’t want to inhale, Sonoma’s cannabis advocates are forcing them to grapple with the issue of cannabis-related businesses in town, or at least put it to a vote. At the next Sonoma City Council meeting, on Monday, July 23, the council will hear the “Sonoma Citizens for Local Access” petition – spearheaded by resident Jon Early – to allow a cannabis business inside city limits. As written, the measure would permit the “establishment and operation of commercial cannabis businesses, including commercial manufacturing, distribution, cultivation, transportation, testing, retail sales, and delivery of cannabis in commercial zoning districts in the City.”
Congressional Bills Affecting Cannabis Laws Go To Conference Committees (USA – Cannabis Legislation)
Marijuana Moment (July 19, 2018) Key bicameral congressional panels that will determine the fate of two far-reaching proposed cannabis measures are taking shape. At issue is whether hemp will finally become legal and whether military veterans will be able to receive medical marijuana recommendations from government doctors. House and Senate leaders have begun making appointments to the so-called “conference committees” that will merge each chambers’ respective relevant legislation into singular proposals that can be sent to President Trump’s desk.
Marijuana Bills Increasingly Focus On Social Justice (USA – Cannabis Legislation)
Huffington Post (July 19, 2018) State lawmakers and advocates pushing to legalize marijuana this year aren’t just touting legalization as a way to raise tax revenue and regulate an underground pot market. They’re also talking about fixing a broken criminal justice system and reinvesting in poor and minority communities that have been battered by decades of the government’s war on drugs. The focus on justice and equity has sharpened over time, longtime pot advocates say, as it’s become clear that such issues should be addressed and that doing so won’t alienate voters — most of whom, polls consistently show, support legal marijuana. Civil rights groups also have raised their voices in legalization discussions.
Approval Of Drug Derived From Cannabis Not Necessarily A Win For Weed (USA – Medicinal Cannabis)
CNBC (July 19, 2018) The Food and Drug Administration on June 25 approved for the first time a drug made from cannabidiol (CBD), a molecule derived from the cannabis plant. The drug, Epidiolex, was approved for the treatment of two types of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, that have been resistant to treatment. Well-designed clinical trials have shown that the Epidiolex product of CBD can be helpful in reducing or eliminating seizures in these epilepsy syndromes. Other pharmaceutical grade products may be developed and approved in the future. Additionally, this product could be approved by the FDA for other types of epilepsy or diseases.
Medical Marijuana Research Bodes Well For The Cannabis Community (USA – Cannabis Research)
Pot Network (July 20, 2018) Medical marijuana has been part of the zeitgeist for a significant part of human history. Even Chinese Emperors were prescribed medical marijuana tea to treat gout, rheumatism, malaria, and poor memory as far back as 2737 B.C. Healers in other parts of the world used the herb to relieve pain, earaches and as relief during childbirth. It was not until the 1930’s that public perception about pot began to shift and its use became taboo.
The Legal Drug We Should Be Worried About Isn’t Marijuana (USA – Substance Abuse)
The Boston Globe (July 18, 2018) Massachusetts recently issued its first recreational marijuana license, bringing pot more fully into the ranks of regulated substances. Bravo! Decriminalizing drugs is a tactic that has been demonstrated to reduce their harm, notably in Portugal. And legalizing pot in Colorado and other states has not led to a surge in usage and related crime — or indeed even that collective societal zombification predicted by legalization opponents. But regulation is not a panacea, as we’re seeing with a substance that’s been legal for much longer: alcohol.
The ‘World’s Biggest Legal-Pot Dealer’ Talks About Taking His Company Public And The Future Of Weed (USA – Cannabis Investments)
Business Insider (July 20, 2018) Bruce Linton says he’s the “world’s biggest legal-weed dealer.” Drop one very important word — “legal” — from the chief executive’s title and that meaning changes drastically. A longtime technology entrepreneur, Linton made his first foray into the marijuana industry as part of a process known as “chain of custody” — to ensure nothing tainted a crop either before, during, or after it’s grown. After founding Canopy Growth five years ago in Smiths Falls, Canada — a small town in eastern Ontario, Canada — Linton has overseen the company’s growth to 6 million square feet of production space, which helped it bring in $78 million of revenue last year.
Will Marijuana Stocks Bloom As US Moves Toward Legalization? (USA – Cannabis Investments)
Zacks (July 20, 2018) Legalization of recreational marijuana is on the verge of becoming a reality in the United States as nine states have already legalized every kind of marijuana use. Now, the state of New Jersey is making efforts to legalize the same. Additionally, the number of Americans supporting the legalization of marijuana usage in both medical and recreational ways has also increased significantly. Moreover, on Jul 18, key industry players announced a slew of new expansion announcements ranging from acquisitions to partnership plans. Also, the industry witnessed first ever U.S. marijuana IPO from Canadian company Tilray. So clearly, the marijuana industry is expanding in the United States.
Rep. Tim Ryan: Marijuana Should Be Legal In All 50 States (USA – Cannabis Legalization)
CNN (July 20, 2018) The year Donald Trump was elected President, more Americans were arrested for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined. Moreover, the ACLU found that even though African-Americans use marijuana at similar rates to white Americans, they are almost four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession. I have seen this firsthand in my state and in my district. According to the Sentencing Project, Ohio has the 15th highest incarceration rate in the United States. This translates to over 70,000 Ohioans behind bars.
Cannabis Loyalty Programs Pay Off: A Close Look At Consumer Purchasing Habits (USA – Cannabis Sales)
New Cannabis Ventures (July 19, 2018) Loyalty programs have become an increasingly important part of the cannabis retail landscape. Nowadays, any dispensary worth its salt has one, and customers are encouraged to sign up as they check out. The idea is, of course, to build a repeat customer base, and to delight customers via loyalty-linked discounts and promotions. But does it work? Do loyalty programs make a discernible difference in how people spend their money, or are they—like the ubiquitous grocery discount cards—an afterthought? Turns out, they do.
Are Cities And Towns Demanding Too Much From Marijuana Operators? (MA – Cannabusiness)
The Boston Globe (July 20, 2018) Want to open a marijuana business in Massachusetts? Prepare to open your wallet — wide. In Salem, prospective recreational pot operators must first agree to pay the city 3 percent of their annual revenues, ostensibly the maximum fee allowed under Massachusetts law. Then, in order to win local approval, they are also asked to provide an additional 1 percent of revenue annually to fund a feasibility study on a proposed shuttle bus, give $25,000 a year to local charities, and pay for a $50 background check of every manager, owner, and investor — a less-thorough version of the same screening already performed by the state.
Marijuana Use In Colorado Youth Unchanged, Adult Use Ticks Up (CO – Cannabis Use)
KUNC (July 20, 2018) Since Colorado voters legalized recreational marijuana use in 2012, the state Department of Public Health and Environment has been studying pot use in youth and adults. According to the recently released 2017 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, one in five youth use marijuana. But the state’s chief toxicologist, Matt Van Dyke, says teens think their peers are using pot a lot more than they actually are. Young people who have trusted adults in their lives are less likely to use marijuana, according to the survey. Teens who know their parents think underage use is wrong are 72 percent less likely to use marijuana.