News Nuggets – December 2016

smokingColorado

National Marijuana Museum to be Built in Pueblo in 2017

Pueblo is one area that has had to fight long and hard for its cannabis rights. Now, the city has spoken, and the attempt to pass a ruling that would ban retail cannabis licenses has failed. To celebrate, the cannabis enthusiasts in the community plan to build a National Marijuana Museum. The museum is being planned by a group of interested citizens and the Pueblo County museum will be built in Pueblo City itself. “Being able to provide the general public with information about this amazing plant sounds like an awesome idea,” stated Jeremiah Clarke, Facility Manager at Dabble Extracts in Colorado Springs, when asked about his thoughts on the museum. “People need to be able to see and gather facts and information for themselves first-hand, with the ability to see all of the history behind marijuana from unbiased platforms. We should take pride in the fact that we are leading the nation’s legalization movement, and we should be the first to properly showcase the history of that movement.” Plans for the museum are under way, and in the meantime, residents of Pueblo are celebrating their lax new legal cannabis rulings.

Colorado Sees Positive Results for Cannabis after Election 

In Colorado, new areas have embraced legal cannabis, such as Pueblo County in Southern Colorado, and 53 percent of voters chose to support Initiative 300, which will allow for public use in Denver. Now, the real work begins, as a four-year pilot program will allow Denver businesses to obtain permits that allow their patrons to legally vape or consume edibles indoors, and smoking cannabis in designated outdoor areas. So what does all this positivity mean for cannabis in Colorado? “This shows that the ‘experiment’ in Colorado is working,” explained Mark Malone, Executive Director of the Cannabis Business Alliance in Denver. “Tax revenues are up, a new job market has opened up, real estate is through the roof and teen usage is down.” As more and more states turn to legalization, they will be looking to the increasingly thriving cannabis industry in Colorado as a guidepost. With the passing of social use and bold new initiatives, the state will continue to pave the way for the rest of the country with forward-thinking policy.

deliveryLos Angeles

Ojai Permits Medical Cannabis Delivery and Pickup

Ojai City Council voted unanimously in November to allow the delivery and pickup, by appointment, of medical cannabis within the city, however medical cannabis distributors will first need to obtain a license from the city. According to the council meeting agenda, the ordinance was set for “prohibiting outdoor cultivation, prohibiting smoking and consumption of marijuana in public places, and regulating delivery of marijuana within the city of Ojai.” Creating a licensing system to regulate medical cannabis in the city will be led by City Manager Steve McClary. The ordinance does not permit outdoor cannabis cultivation, although many people at the meeting spoke in favor of it. The council said they would revisit that topic at a future meeting, which could be expected to happen as soon as March.

Riverside County Aims to Stop Illegal Distribution of Synthetic Drugs

It is common knowledge that synthetic cannabis drugs like spice are far more dangerous than original, natural alternative. Also, dangerous synthetic drugs that are fashioned to look like illicit drugs like cocaine are also extremely dangerous. During a meeting on October 4, Supervisor Chuck Washington presented a submittal to the Board of Supervisors of Riverside County with an ordinance that aims to criminalize synthetic substances in order to keep them off the streets. “The purpose of proposed Ordinance No. 932 is to supplement state and federal laws so as to provide the county with the means to address the dangers posed to the community by illicit synthetic drugs not regulated by state or federal law,” Washington’s submittal stated. “Ordinance No. 932 shall not apply to any activity that is already regulated by the State Synthetic Drug Laws, the Federal Controlled Substances Act or any other applicable state or federal law or regulation.” Following Washington’s statement, the council voted 5-0 to approve the ordinance, which will criminalize the sale, supplying or possession of synthetic drugs and is effective after November 22.

fox-news-anchor-quits-to-help-michigan-cannabis-reformMichigan

Fox News Anchor Quits to Help Michigan Cannabis Reform

Anqunette Jamison Sarfoh worked as a news anchor for Fox 2 Detroit for 22 years, but in a Facebook video in late October, Sarfoh shared her plan to retire and join the effort to help support Michigan’s cannabis reform group, MI Legalize. CULTURE got a hold of Sarfoh to ask about her new plans to assist medical cannabis in her state, “I decided to retire because Multiple Sclerosis was affecting my ability to do my job. I’ve been a medical marijuana patient for a year and a half and that led me to research the medicinal value of this plant for my condition. I see how research is being restricted and people are being arrested because of a beneficial plant. And when MI Legalize’s petition drive failed to make the ballot, I decided I wanted to help,” Sarfoh told CULTURE. At one of MI Legalize’s fundraisers, the group announced Sarfoh as a member of the upcoming “MI Legalize 2018” campaign. MI Legalize is currently working on bolstering its ranks as it gets ready to push for legalization, and Sarfoh is one of many who will be a part of that strong effort.

 

Counties Spent Less Than One-Third of Funds Set Aside to Regulate Cannabis

The Department of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs (LARA), under the Bureau of Professional Licensing released a report that showed that only 18 of the 83 counties in Michigan applied to receive money for medical cannabis regulation and education. CULTURE asked the Bureau why so few agencies took advantage of the state fund, “It is a new program and has grown in use each year after implementation,” a representative from the Bureau said. LARA’s report on which counties received a grant also states that for now, the money will remain in the Michigan Medical Marihuana fund. “The funds for the grant must be allocated each year by the legislature in the budget. The legislature determines how much money can be spent on these grants and the deadline for submitting the grant application,” the Bureau representative stated. This year, $3 million dollars were allocated to county sheriffs for medical cannabis regulation, however only $823,000 was spent by counties.

regulationsOregon

Oregon Liquor Control Commission Approves New Software Provider

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) and the Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance (METRC) confirmed the decision regarding which software solution providers will support the Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) for the Oregon Recreational Marijuana Program in June. At the time, four software companies were approved. Now an additional company, a Bend-based website called CannaFo.com, is the newest to be added to the 18 companies approved by the OLCC, and will provide services that will help cannabis retail licensees transmit inventory and sales data electronically, in addition to other services. “All licensees in Oregon’s Recreational Marijuana system are required to use the CTS,” according to an OLCC press release. “Licensees are not required to use POS or inventory management software and can enter their CTS data manually. The OLCC is not endorsing these software solutions.” Many of the companies like CannaFo are already providing services to the medical cannabis community in Oregon, and this decision gives licensees the option to choose which provider they would like to use, instead they are providing a time-saving option in comparison to the manual data entry that is currently required.

Oregon Cities and Counties Approve Retail Cannabis and Tax

This year’s election results yielded a positive movement for the cannabis community in Oregon. An estimated 30 different counties and cities approved retail cannabis in the November election, and the next step is for those areas to establish their specific rules and regulations, according to the official Oregon election result website. These regulations will involve everything from cannabis growing to managing cannabis on the retail level, which includes determining proper business operating hours and zoning regulations. An estimated 111 cities and counties in Oregon also chose to approve up to a three percent local tax on recreational cannabis products. The ballot measures will go into effect as early as January 2017, so the cities and counties who opted-in have under one month to make the arrangements to begin taking advantage of the tax. Local cannabis businesses will only begin to start making their own arrangements to obtain licenses or start selling once the cities and counties have finalized those regulations.

NATION

Temporary Rules Issued for Cannabis Growers and Producers in PA

Temporary rules were set forth by Pennsylvania’s Department of Health in a release from Official News for Pennsylvania State Agencies. Health Secretary Karen Murphy shared the agency’s intention behind this decision. “We’re especially looking for comments from the laboratory community to help us develop regulations that protect the integrity of the medical marijuana testing process,” Murphy stated. “As we move forward in this ground-breaking effort, we want to make sure that patient safety is paramount, and laboratories are essential to meeting that goal. These regulations are designed to ensure we have a safe and responsible process in place.” The temporary rules can only be in place for up to 24 months. They allow processors and growers to import seeds and immature plants from out of state, whereas before they were only allowed to import seeds from out of state. The new rules doubled the number of growing districts in Pennsylvania, and growers now have 90 days to get their grow sites up-and-running. These regulations also ensure the hiring process for cannabis cultivators provides equal opportunity to all, and officials are not allowed to disqualify a candidate’s application on the basis that another state rejected the candidate.

irelandWORLD

Ireland’s Minister of Health Calls For Cannabis Research

Ireland is a bit behind the rest of the world, as it still does not permit its citizens to use cannabis for medical purposes. However, that might be changing soon. Ireland’s Minister of Health, Simon Harris, gave a statement in November regarding the future of cannabis in the country. “This is not a discussion about decriminalizing cannabis in any way, shape or form, it is about reviewing our current policy and seeking to inform ourselves of the latest medical and scientific evidence on the potential medical benefits of cannabis for some people with certain medical conditions.” He continued to share that although he is aware that many patients are interested in using cannabis as a treatment, it hasn’t undergone the necessary regulations that medicines must go through to be proven to be used as effective and safe treatments. That is why in his statement, Harris asked the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) of Ireland to provide expert scientific advice regarding cannabis.

carlsbad-based-cbd-naturals-makes-new-partnership-with-canadian-companySan Diego

San Diego Cannabis-Related Business May Become the NYSE’s First Traded Cannabis Business

A real estate company in San Diego may become the first cannabis-related business to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Innovative Industrial Properties (IIP) is a real estate trust that will primarily purchase properties that can be utilized for cannabis businesses, “Our real estate investments will consist of primarily properties suitable for cultivation and production of medical-use cannabis, which may be difficult to sell or re-lease upon tenant defaults or early lease terminations, either of which would adversely affect returns to stockholders,” says the executives who wrote in the prospectus that was submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company has filed paperwork to obtain an Initial Public Offering (IPO) from the NYSE and if granted the IPO, IIP may become the first cannabis-related business to be traded publicly on the NYSE.

CBD Centric Carlsbad Naturals Makes New Partnership with Canadian Company

San Diego County continues to be a growing epicenter for cannabis businesses, and one Carlsbad-based company is doing its part to further that growth. Carlsbad Naturals announced that it’s working in partnership with Laguna Blends, which is based in British Columbia, Canada. The companies agreed to finalize their announced equity acquisition and exclusive license agreement this month. The Co-Founder of Carlsbad Naturals, Jared Berry, shared his feelings about the partnership in a release, “We are proud to announce the alignment of Laguna Blends and Carlsbad Naturals,” Berry said. “Laguna Blends’ extensive client base and distribution network will fulfill the growing demand for hemp CBD products worldwide.” The transaction holds a value of $1.8 million, so it’s no surprise that both companies are excited about this endeavor.

pillsWashington

WSLCB Asks for Input Regarding Cannabis Research Licenses

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) continues to evolve the state’s cannabis rules and regulations. Most recently, the WSLCB sent out a “Notice of Rule Making” for a proposed rule on research licenses for cannabis. The proposed rule set out to regulate scientific reviewers of cannabis. “A marijuana research license allows a holder of the license to produce, process and possess marijuana for the limited research purposes provided in the Revised Code of Washington 69.50.372. The WSLCB designates a scientific reviewer to review research applications and make recommendations for the approval or denial of research projects and to assess licensed research activities.” The proposed rule implements additional requirements, which include making reviewers keep cannabis and cannabis products for research separate from product grown and processed for commercial sale, in addition to where they are able to grow and process cannabis and cannabis products for research purposes. Various other requirements outline rules for multiple applications processes, the involvement of the WSLCB along the way and more. The full list of proposed rules can be found on the WSLCB’s website. Those who would like to give their input on the rules can submit their input via mail, e-mail or fax. All the input must be received by December 28, 2016.

Washington Sees Growing Demand for High-CBD Products 

It appears that cannabis products that contain high cannabidiol (CBD) are growing in popularity across Washington State. A public report by cannabis data analytics provider, Headset, showed that although CBD products are not sold as frequently as cannabis products with THC, there is an increasing demand for them. The report speculates that this increase in demand correlates with consumer awareness of CBD. The report explains how quickly the CBD market is growing. “Overall high-CBD sales have increased significantly from last year, to the tune of 200 percent,” according to the report. “While many of the big players from last year continue to dominate, and have even had significant growth, the expansion in the overall market and addition of new segments within it have caused their market share to decline.” Washington State sold more than 800 different CBD products in 2015, which accounted for 2.8 percent of its cannabis sales. This number has even increased, with CBD products accounting for 3 percent of cannabis sales in October. CBD products come in many forms like flower, pre-rolls, vaporizer pens, concentrates, beverages, edibles, capsules, tinctures and topicals.

growing-cannabisBakersfield

Coalinga Residents Vote in Favor of Single Cannabis Collective

The city of Coalinga in Fresno County voted on Measure G. With 51.4 percent of voters supporting Measure G, the city of Coalinga will authorize a single cannabis collective to operate. There will be a 10 percent tax imposed on the gross receipts of cannabis businesses and the measure’s text validated what the cannabis taxes would be allocated toward. “Revenues from the tax would be deposited in the city’s general fund, which is used to pay for police and fire protection, senior and youth programs, street repairs, code enforcement, employee salaries and benefits and other city services,” the measure states. The deficit for the city of Coalinga is more than $3 million, so it will be interesting to see how much tax a single cannabis collective will bring to Coalinga.

Hanford Votes in Favor of Cannabis

City officials in Hanford decided to move forward with allowing a cannabis cultivation facility in the city. Two officials from Hanford traveled to indoor cannabis growing facilities in San Jose and Canada before they decided to permit cannabis cultivation in Hanford. The Police Chief Parker Sever filed a report about his trip. He shared his insight into seeing a large indoor cannabis facility, “We found them to be very impressive facilities, not what we were expecting.” Sever also shared the experience with the city council. “Looking at the facilities we went to, even the district attorney was impressed,” Sever said. “Do I think if a facility like that was in Hanford I could regulate it? I do.” The city council came to this decision after Oakland-based Purple Heart Patient Center sent a letter to the city council in mid-September, inquiring about the possibility of operating within Hanford and promising to bring 1,115 full-time jobs and a tax revenue of $14 million each year. Now officials will involve Purple Heart representatives to propose their business plans to the council.

Pismo Beach City Council Temporarily Bans Cannabis

Pismo Beach City Council passed a temporary cannabis ban on November 15. The ban prohibits everything cannabis-related aside from indoor cultivation and consumption for adults. Specifically, the ban disallows outdoor growing, manufacturing, labeling, storing, distribution and laboratory testing of cannabis. Pismo Beach City Attorney Dave Fleishman shared his support of the temporary ban, because he was concerned that the city needed time to bring the city’s code into compliance with the newly passed Proposition 64. Four councilmembers voted in favor of the ban with only Councilmember Erik Howell voting against the temporary ban. He didn’t think the issue regarding recreational cannabis was urgent, and therefore he did not see a reason to warrant the temporary ban. “I think this resolution reads as hysteria,” Howell said at the meeting. Although the ban is set to expire on December 30, the city council will have the option to extend the ban initially for another 10 months and 15 days.

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