CCMA Greenbrief July 30: Local Bans & High Taxes Still Stifle CA’s Cannabis Industry…Congressional Black Caucus Aims to Decriminalize Cannabis…Cannabis Investments May Cost More For Foreign Countries…

CCMA Political greenBrief

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Congressional Black Caucus Calls For Major Marijuana Reforms

“The testing and packaging requirements that started on July 1 have changed everything for a lot of folks. They were able to operate without the testing requirements, and now that you have that in place, you’ve seen a lot of brands drop off because they weren’t able to meet the testing requirements for their products.” 
Nick Rinella, COO For Verdant Distribution, On California’s State Regulations Affecting The Cannabis Industry
“Here’s the reality: If we want to truly help people of color, women, those in rural communities, workers, the poor, and others, then we have to put people in charge who share those values.”
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA) On Cannabis Convictions In Communities Of Color And Rural Communities

California Cities Are Banking On Cannabis Taxes, But How Much Is Too Much? (CA – Cannabusiness)

Cannabis Now (July 30, 2018) The most powerful person in California marijuana is not in the marijuana business. The decider is not the state’s marijuana czar or her boss, the governor, or even the U.S. attorney general. With cannabis, all power is local. The person in charge is the mayor, the city council, or the county board of supervisors. Approval from the local government is required for any would-be cannabis merchant or mogul seeking a state license. It is the local government who calls the shots. Today, seven months into California’s era of legal and licensed recreational marijuana sales, two distinct lines of thinking have emerged among local governments.


Cannabis Businesses Struggle To Stay Compliant In California (CA – State Regulations)

Cannabis Business Times (July 30, 2018) California’s cannabis industry is growing up fast, and it hit an important milestone July 1 when the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s (BCC) transition period ended and many exceptions to the state’s rules expired. As of July 1, all cannabis products must meet all statutory and regulatory requirements outlined by the BCC. As part of the new mandatory rules, only lab-tested products that pass all testing requirements can be sold in the state. Edibles cannot contain more than 100 mg of THC per package and must be separated into 10 mg servings. Nonedible adult-use cannabis products cannot contain more than 1,000 mg of THC, and nonedible medical products cannot exceed 2,000 mg.


EDITORIAL: This New Napa Cannabis Organization Aims To Shift The Conversation (CA – Cannabusiness)

Forbes (July 27, 2018) Marijuana. Wine. And what they mean to each other’s business. That interplay captured my attention well before voters in the state of California legalized recreational marijuana back in 2016, but the passage of Proposition 64 nonetheless triggered a series of articles in this column about the vote’s impact on the wine industry’s economy and its labor force. In particular, I’m curious about the lure of cannabis’ better wages for what seems to be less physically demanding work (in comparison to vineyard labor, that is), and how much further that will impact an already-stressed workforce for wine.


Kern County Veterans Speak Out For Medical Marijuana As Dispensary Deadline Nears (CA – Medicinal Cannabis) (July 29, 2018) When Chad Garcia left the army in 2014, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs prescribed him a laundry list of drugs to help him deal with the injuries – mental and physical – he suffered during his service. Garcia, 36, had suffered four concussions during his time in the army. One concussion came from the explosion of an IED, another came after a rocket-propelled grenade went off nearby. The hardest part of his service, he said, was watching his friends fall in combat.


The Best Weed Left In California (CA – Cannabis Product)

Cannabis Now (July 28, 2018) As the regulatory tailspin continues following the beginning of marijuana sales to all adults over the age of 21 in California on Jan. 1, the fires forging the new industry have burnt many longtime producers out of existence. Many of those producers were among the best in the world at producing fantastic cannabis, both indoor and outdoor. There have been varying reasons for farms closing. People will obviously point to Prop 64 as a catalyst, but we must remember that sweeping changes were coming to California’s medical marijuana industry no matter what happened on election night 2016.


Council Wrestles With Adding Prop. 64 Language To Cannabis Ordinance (CA – Local Laws)

Mojave Desert News (July 27, 2018) The California City Council spent a good deal of time at Tuesday’s meeting wrangling with how to incorporate Proposition 64 language into the city’s existing medical cannabis ordinance, which is just that: a “medical cannabis ordinance.” Now that Prop 64 passed in last year’s election and what is now called “adult use cannabis” is the law of the state, California City has to go back and re-write the existing ordinance to reflect that fact to make legal all the investors who will be growing it. Medical marijuana may have been the camel’s nose under the tent, but that façade has now disappeared like so much smoke in the wake of Prop 64’s passage last November.


Black Lawmakers: Marijuana Decrim Is ‘Must-Do’ In First 100 Days Of Democratic Congress (USA – Cannabis Convictions)

Marijuana Moment (July 28, 2018) The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) included ending the federal prohibition of marijuana in a list of 10 “must-do policies” to “address issues hurting both communities of color and rural communities” that the 48-member group released on Friday. Political watchers believe that Democrats have a good chance of regaining the majority of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in the November midterm elections. The new Congress will be seated in January.


Employment Rights For Marijuana Consumers Would Be Protected Under New Bill (USA – Cannabis Legislation)

Marijuana Moment (July 27, 2018) The federal government won’t be able to fire its employees for marijuana use that is legal under state law if a new bipartisan bill is enacted. Introduced on Thursday by Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA), the proposal is titled the “Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act.” The bill, the text of which was obtained by Marijuana Moment prior to its being made available on Congress’s website, would shield a federal worker “whose residence is in a State where that individual’s private use of marijuana is not prohibited” from being denied employment or being “subject to any other adverse personnel action” as a result of a positive cannabis test.


OPINION: Wanna Beat Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee? Focus On Marijuana (USA – Cannabis Politics)

The Daily Beast (July 30, 2018) What if I were to tell you that there is a political issue that galvanizes young voters? An issue that unites libertarians, independents, and African-Americans? An issue with bipartisan power, that works not only in cities, but has demonstrated strength in red states like Kentucky and West Virginia? It’s an issue likely to generate cases to be heard by the Supreme Court in the next decade and one on which the Trump administration’s leading law enforcement official—Attorney General Jeff Sessions—is already on the losing side politically.


7 States That Should Have Billion-Dollar Marijuana Markets By 2022 (USA – Cannabis Market)

The Motley Fool (July 29, 2018) Quite a few states are on track for real money to be made in the cannabis industry over the next few years. Seven states are projected to claim marijuana markets with spending of $1 billion or more by 2022, according to a report published recently by ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics. Which states made the list — and are there opportunities for investors? Here’s what you need to know.


Investing In Legal Cannabis May Cost Foreigners More Than Expected (USA – Cannabis Market)

Arizona Big Media (July 30, 2018) It’s no secret that Arizona’s medical marijuana industry has attracted significant investment from outside players. The injection of “big money” is largely due to the limited number of dispensary registration certificates (i.e., licenses) that permit a non-profit to cultivate and sell medical marijuana and related products. That limitation has resulted in large valuations for medical marijuana businesses, especially if operations consist of functional cultivation facilities and established dispensary storefronts.


This Marijuana Industry Shift Should Make You Smile (USA – Cannabis Industry)

The Motley Fool (July 28, 2018) Whether you realize it or not, the marijuana industry is big business — and it’s about to get bigger. On June 19, after months of debate in the Senate and nearly two weeks of back-and-forth between the Senate and House of Commons, Canada’s Parliament passed bill C-45, which is more commonly known as the Cannabis Act. Its passage will allow Canada to become the first industrialized country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana and in the process, tack on somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 billion in annual sales. Of course, investors have also held out hope that the United States could soon follow in Canada’s footsteps — if not for recreational weed, at least from a medical marijuana perspective.


R.I. Dispensaries Begin Selling To Out-Of-State Customers (RI – Cannabis Sales)

Providence Journal (July 29, 2018) While lawmakers last month rejected adding more medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, one surviving component of the legislation has quietly begun: sales to out-of-state residents. All three Rhode Island dispensaries report summer business from nonresident medical marijuana patients since the measure went into effect June 22. Seth Bock, CEO of the Greenleaf Compassion Care Center, in Portsmouth, and Chris Reilly, a spokesman for the state’s largest dispensary, the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center, in Providence, said their dispensaries had both seen almost 50 nonresident customers in recent weeks.


China Is Blaming Canada For Its Cannabis Problem But Produces 50 Percent Of The World’s Supply (World – Cannabis Industry)

Forbes (July 30, 2018) Canada’s legalization of cannabis this year wasn’t met with red envelope-like celebration by Chinese government officials. The Chinese government has long blamed the maple-blanketed country for its handling of tons of illegal cannabis imports. Those officials have a right to be somewhat perturbed, as roughly 20% of Canada’s total marijuana production ($1.2 billion worth) was sold illegally beyond the country’s borders last year, a good portion believed to be China-bound.


Medical Cannabis In The UK: What Does The Legalization Mean And How Will It Help Patients? (United Kingdom – Legalization)

Independent (July 27, 2018) Doctors will be allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis within months after home secretary Sajid Javid was advised by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs that it has therapeutic benefits. It follows several high-profile campaigns which captured widespread media attention and evoked deep public sympathy. Campaigners had questioned how severely epileptic children could be prevented from accessing medicines that significantly improved their condition while the UK remained the world’s largest exporter of medicinal cannabis.