As we’ve discussed before on this blog, cannabis can be and is being patented. It is important to remember that patents are a balance between competing social values. In classical legal theory, patents exist to encourage innovation by offering innovators a limited monopoly in return for making inventions, and eventually releasing them to the public. Although the common law disfavors restraints on trade such as patents, the prevailing theory is that granting a partial monopoly is justified by the social benefit of innovation. This is known as the contract model of patents. Whether this model really produces net social utility in particular cases, or ever, is hotly debated.
What isn’t debated is that the contract model fails if what is patented is not new. One of the biggest challenges of our patent system is determining what is “new enough” to reward with a patent. In general, the patent system examines novelty by comparing a claimed invention to existing products (known as the “prior art”) that are in the same or related fields. (In some patents, an invention must also be “non-obvious” in light of prior art. I don’t address obviousness here.) The practical problem is searching the historical haystack for the needle of relevant prior art. Searching the text of patents is relatively easy. But most of the world …
Once you and your doctor decide that medical marijuana is the right treatment option for you, you have to learn how to get medical marijuana. Currently, you’re not able to just walk into any regular pharmacy and ask for it. This makes getting your hands on it a little bit more challenging because the government wants to ensure you actually need it for medical reasons.
Cannabis plants have a remarkable capacity to adapt to the environment they grow in, a great advantage for us growers as it frees us to select the type ofsubstrate best suited to our needs from the wide range available on the market that serve perfectly as growing media for cannabis.
In this post we will look at the different substrates and the variants of each of them, highlighting the fertilisers to be used and the peculiarities of each substrate, enabling you to choose the one that best suits your needs, whether it is for ease, production, quality , or simply because you want to innovate or try new cultivation techniques.
Cannabis and substrates
Soil as a substrate for cannabis
Soil is the universal substrate used for all vegetation, the most widely used growing medium since the invention of agriculture. We can describe what we call soil as a composite of different types of substrates. The native soil out in the fields may be suitable for cultivating certain types of plants but not for others. Likewise, not all soils work for cannabis cultivation, they must have structure, composition and characteristics suitable for this use.
We must highlight the essential characteristics that the soil must have so that the cannabis plants have an optimal, problem-free development. If that’s not …
Many people who seek out cannabis for medical purposes head to the dispensary because of nausea. Though rarely life threatening, nausea can keep you from getting the nutrients you need and disrupt daily routines. And, let’s be honest, having nausea is a very uncomfortable experience.
So, for anyone experiencing symptoms of nausea, this article is for you! Next time nausea hits, try these strains for relief.
Cannabis and Nausea Overview
The causes of nausea are diverse and can linger. Chronic pain, depression, anxiety, ulcers and gallbladder disease all frequently cause nausea. Some cancers and side effects from chemotherapy treatment can cause severe nausea and vomiting as well.
Cannabis has been shown to be a very effective antiemetic, meaning that it can help calm a nauseous stomach.
And while cannabis affects everyone differently, most people find cannabis to be a more pleasant form of nausea medicine. This is because cannabis doesn’t have the side-effects that can come along with pharmaceutical antiemetics, like dry mouth, fatigue, muscle spasms, decreased urination and heartburn.
The Best Cannabis Strains to Help Relieve Nausea
There are several strains of cannabis that have proven to be effective in treating nausea. Here’s the rundown:
Described as having a sativa front and an indica end, this indica-dominant mix of Blueberry and Sour Diesel has a THC …
The Washington State House of Representatives is considering House Bill 2334, which would allow licensed marijuana producers and processors to use cannabidiol (CBD) from a source not licensed by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). The bill defines a “CBD product” as “any product containing or consisting of cannabidiol” and would permit the use of CBD products from unlicensed sources so long as the CBD product has a THC level of 0.3 percent or less on a dry weight basis and has been lab tested.
Washington’s regulated cannabis market is a closed loop that works on the principle that no marijuana comes in and none goes out. Everything sold in a licensed retail store is grown by licensed producer and processed into products like oils and edible by a licensed processor. If a licensee is caught bringing in marijuana from an outside source, the LCB will cancel the license.
HB 2234 would have the most impact on processors who could add CBD to products such as marijuana oils, candies, capsules, and other infused products. Though HB 2334 is still far from being law, processors in Washington have flirted with the idea of using unlicensed CBD to create products with higher CBD concentrations. Processors who choose to enrich products with unlicensed CBD do so at their own risk.…
Even though more Americans than ever have access to legal cannabis, many people still have to take a drug test as a stipulation for employment, and in some states, as a prerequisite to receive state assistance like food stamps and unemployment benefits.
At-home drug tests are easy to find in both drug stores and online. And they are affordable, too, costing anywhere from $5 to $30. But if failing a drug screening causes a loss of work and benefits, should you really rely on the results of a cheap test? Let’s take a closer look.
Cannabis and Body Fat: What’s the Deal?
Most people who must consent to a drug screening are concerned about testing positive for cannabis, and for good reason. Cannabis’ metabolite, THC-COOH, can remain in the body for a while, depending on several factors.
THC-COOH gets stored in body fat and how long it stays in the body depends on body fat percentage. THC metabolites dissolve in lipids and fats, so, the more fat you have, the more cannabis will accumulate, thereby extending elimination time.
For more information on how to flush marijuana out of your system, click here.
How much metabolite remains in your system depends on how frequently cannabis has been used, what kind, and how much was ingested. Therefore, if someone …
Earlier this month, the Oregon Secretary of State’s office released a formal audit report (“Report”) of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s (OLCC) information technology systems as they relate to Oregon’s recreational cannabis regulatory enforcement. The Report, titled “Oregon Liquor Control Commission: Cannabis Information Systems Properly Functioning but Monitoring and Security Enhancements are Needed“, focused on two separate but related issues: 1) the OLCC’s Marijuana Licensing System (MLS) and Cannabis Tracking System (CTS), and 2) general IT security concerns and disaster recovery procedures. The Report and the OLCC’s formal written response (“Response”) paint a picture of an underfunded agency doing its best to establish appropriate procedures and processes in the face of a unique emerging marketplace, unexpected demand for licenses, strict statutory deadlines, an an ever-changing regulatory framework. It is also apparent that the Secretary of State and the OLCC worked well together during the audit process, as each party complements the other on transparency, professionalism, and common courtesy.
The audit was initiated to determine whether:
the OLCC has sufficient technical controls in place to ensure that the MLS and CTS are supporting effective regulation of the recreational cannabis industry; and
the OLCC has implemented sufficient security procedures to protect against known technical and physical threats.
California has 58 counties and 482 incorporated cities across the state, each with the option to create its own rules or ban marijuana altogether. In this California Cannabis Countdown series, we cover who is banning cannabis, who is embracing cannabis (and how), and everyone in between. For each city and county, we’ll discuss its location, history with cannabis, current law, and proposed law to give you a clearer picture of where to locate your California marijuana business, how to keep it legal, and what you will and won’t be allowed to do.
Why we get the munchies as a staple part of any heavy cannabis session has been something of a scientific mystery throughout the ages. Nevertheless, targeted studies are for the first time beginning to explain exactly what the munchies are and why they occur. For the most part, it all comes down to the way […]
Nowadays more and more people are being made aware of the benefits of consuming cannabis resin extracts or concentrates, they are more efficient, with higher purity and potency, they have better flavour and give relief more quickly than smoking or vaping flowers. Indeed, in California, cannabis flowers currently make up just over half of the market (55% in the 2nd quarter of 2017.), with extracts making up the remaining 45%, and according to figures from Colorado, another beacon of legalisation in the US, the concentrate market is growing at an astounding rate, with sales increasing by 125% from 2015 to 2016, compared to an 11% rise in flower sales and an 53% rise in edibles.
Fresh frozen ice water hash (Photo: @hashcelona)
Solvent, Non-solvent, Solventless and Solvent-free. What’s the difference?
These terms are increasingly common to see in the menu in dispensaries or cannabis clubs, but they can cause some confusion, so let’s examine the real meaning behind them within the context of the cannabis world. Solvent extracts are those that are carried out using a (generally hydrocarbon like purified butane gas) solvent to dissolve the active ingredients and separate them from the plant material. Solventless or non-solvent is a label applied to products that have been extracted mechanically, without the use of solvents. Now, here’s …
There’s no one secret to producing great cannabis – the best cannabis is the product of premium genetics, careful cultivation, precise pruning, timely trimming and, finally, a slow-and-steady curing process.
The necessity of this last step should not be understated. A proper curing process (though timely and kind of boring) is key to producing that smooth, flavorful (and yes, more potent) smoke sesh that’s characteristic of only the finest green, and we’ll tell you exactly how to do it right. But before we do that, let’s look at why curing cannabis is so important in the first place.
Curing for Preservation Purposes
People have been curing their food for as long as there has been civilization. In fact, the ability of ancient humans to cure (and thus store) food for later consumption may have been the most important step to creating civilize societies.
No longer was it necessary to consume food as soon as it was harvested or hunted; food preservation via various curing processes meant people could reap bountiful harvest then save it for later instead of always having to be on the prowl for their next meal.
Though many curing methods have been used over the years, the goal is always the same: to remove bacteria for long-term storage.
We receive calls on a weekly basis from clients and prospective clients who want to know what steps they must take to host a cannabis event. We’ve heard plans for cooking classes, dinner parties, shows at art galleries with on-site consumption, and the list goes on. And while the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA”) does provide for state temporary event licenses, those licenses are unfortunately extremely limited.
Pursuant to MAUCRSA, a state licensing authority may issue a state temporary marijuana event license to a licensee authorizing onsite cannabis sales to, and consumption by, persons twenty-one years of age or older at a “county fair or district agricultural association event, provided that certain other requirements are met.” No other venue is allowed.
The hypothetical events I listed above do not constitute a “county fair” or a “district agricultural event,” and so technically, even if a local jurisdiction were entirely willing to issue a special event license for one of these types of events, it would not be permissible under state law. Assembly Bill 2641, introduced on February 15th, seeks to remedy this problem.
AB 2641 would authorize the Bureau of Cannabis Control (“BCC”) to issue the temporary event licenses, and would authorize a state …
California is just starting to get its cannabis packaging and labeling regulations right under MAUCRSA. The state has a mandated transition period from January 1 to July 1, 2018, during which time adult use and medical marijuana licensees can do business with each other, and temporary and annual state licensees can transport and sell cannabis products already in their possession in the newly regulated market. This means there are two packaging and labeling standards during this transition period: one for products that licensees bring into the marketplace from before January 1, 2018 and another for products cultivated or made on or after January 1, 2018. I covered transition period product packaging and labeling in a previous post. This post will cover the packaging and labeling requirements for those products made or cultivated on or after January 1, 2018 (collectively, “New Products”).
For New Products, retailers won’t package or label anything. Instead, all New Products will come to retailers already packaged and labeled by either cultivators, processors, manufacturers, or distributors. The only packaging requirement retailers have for New Products is exit packaging. Specifically, per section 5413 of the Bureau of Cannabis Control Emergency MAUCRSA rules, “[c]annabis goods purchased by a customer shall not leave the retailer’s premises unless
Thirty states and the District of Columbia have laws that legalize marijuana for adult recreational use and/or medical use. Many of those states also protect employees’ off-work use of medical marijuana. However, some of those states, including California, Oregon and Washington, have statutes or case law allowing employers to terminate employees for off-work use of marijuana– even employees legally using it under the state’s medical marijuana laws. Oregon recently tried to pass legislation protecting off-work use of marijuana, but the bill failed to gain traction and fizzled at the committee level. California is the latest state to attempt to pass legislation to protect employee’s off-work use of medical marijuana. Let’s hope it happens!
California Assembly Bill 2069 (AB 2069), introduced last week, proposes to protect medical marijuana patients’ off-work use of marijuana. AB 2069 would amend California’s anti-discrimination statute by expanding the list of protected classes to include medical marijuana patients. This means that if an employer discovered that an employee or potential employee was a medical marijuana patient, or that the employee had tested positive for marijuana, it would be illegal for the employer to:
“refuse to hire or refuse to select the person for a training program leading to employment, or to bar or to discharge the person from employment …
This winter has been a whirlwind of cannabis news, culture and industry progress across the United States. With so much going on, we realize it can be a little difficult to stay up to date on all the industry happenings. To help you get up to speed, we’re back at it with another quarterly blog roundup.
Below, we’ve highlighted some of our top posts over the past quarter. Whether you’re looking to stay informed on recent cannabis industry news and culture or just would like to re-read some of your favorite posts, this article is full of great information for every cannabis enthusiast to enjoy.
The cannabis industry is ever-evolving, bringing with it new trends, opportunities and ideas. Check out some of our favorite stories from this past quarter:
Winterization vs. De-Waxing: Which Method is Best?
Removing waxes and lipids from cannabis concentrates is a popular industry practice.
Concentrate popularity is on the rise, taking a hefty portion of market share away from flower sales. With such a dramatic increase in popularity, we’re also seeing a wide assortment of new products hitting the market. From wax, shatter, live resin, distillate and more, it seems a new product becomes a fan favorite every month – leaving …
A growing number of startups in the cannabis space are engaging brokers and online platforms to assist in their fundraising. This makes sense: as we’ve written previously, most investors (particularly institutional capital) are staying on the sidelines and taking a wait-and-see approach to the cannabis industry. Thus, cannabis startups will always target a smaller, more dispersed, more specialized investor base, and going through experts is a logical way to reach them. Note that 506(c) is one of the relatively new options for company financing, implemented as part of the JOBS Act of 2012. It allows for companies to engage in a more public “general solicitation”—but with strings attached, as we’ll detail below.
From a securities law perspective, the engagement of a broker-dealer or online platform converts the offering exemption from the ever-popular 506(b) offering to a 506(c) offering – changing this one letter has a number of significant consequences:
1 – You must ensure that the broker-dealer is registered, or else.
Section 3(a)(4)(A) of the Securities Act generally defines a “broker” broadly as “any person engaged in the business of effecting transactions in securities for the account of others.” This broad definition includes any “finder,” “fundraising consultant,” or anyone else receiving any transaction-based bonus or commission in return for introducing or engaging an investor. You should always consult your …
An estimated 3.3 million Canadians suffer from insomnia, which is about one in every seven people. Insomnia is defined as having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when you have the chance to do so. Because of this, people who have insomnia can experience fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, and mood disturbances.
The nutrition of cannabis plants is a key factor that to a huge extent will determine the success of the harvest. Naturally, achieving a high yield of flowers is one of the principal objectives of every gardener, and a good way to measure the success of the grow. As a result the use of fertilisers in cannabis cultivation is pretty much ubiquitous, although there are still many growers unaware of the benefits of a healthy and active microbial life in the substrate.
To faithfully reproduce and accentuate the organoleptic characteristics (the aromas and flavours) of the cultivated variety, and to achieve a high cannabinoid content in the trichomes, are good indicators of a successful cannabis grow, and to achieve this, proper nutrition is absolutely indispensable.
All growing media needs microbial life for healthy plant development
Therefore, the type of fertiliser that we use, in addition to encouraging flower production, will also have a significant influence other aspects such as the quality and final aroma of the flowers, their cannabinoid content and even the speed of flowering and maturity.
It has been demonstrated that when cultivating cannabis with natural or organic fertilisers instead of chemical or mineral fertilisers (minerals) the plants will produce better quality buds, giving excellent results in terms of flavour and aroma as …
We have previously discussed blockchain technology and the effect it can have on the cannabis industry here and here. This post serves as a more detailed analysis of how blockchain can and may disrupt the tracking of cannabis from seed to sale, specifically within the new California adult use market.
Currently, cannabis businesses are spending significant amounts of money to implement track and trace systems compatible with Franwell’s Metrc. Metrc is a government-designed software that many states have elected to use, including California, that allows regulators to ensure that cannabis products are not being diverted to illegal markets. Cannabis products are given a radio frequency identification (“RFID”) tag, which licensees along the supply chain must input into their systems. This allows regulators to track the chain of custody of marijuana products. Under this system, however, licensees and regulators spend significant time ensuring compliant transfers.
Enter blockchain. In its simplest form, blockchain is a dispersed ledger. Transactions, or “blocks,” are added in a linear fashion, or “chain”, after they have been verified by other members of the blockchain as valid. All transactions on the chain are trackable to the initial entry. A blockchain platform can have various levels of supply chain information gathering, such as record keeping, tracking, assigning verifications, linking products together and sharing information.
Gummy bears are perhaps my favorite candy. There’s something about those sweet little teddy bears that makes me want to kick back and relax or just slow down for a bit. And when you add weed to these gummies — well, let’s just say that’s one great way to make a favorite treat even better. But there’s a lot more to love about marijuana-infused gummy bears than a little stoner nostalgia; cannabis gummies are a great way to medicate. Here’s why:
Reasons to Love Cannabis Gummies
Store bought gummy bears are chalk-full of artificial sugars, flavors and additives that aren’t necessarily healthy. But homemade gummy snacks can be an excellent way get the health benefits of fresh fruit alongside the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
Infused gummies are a great way to enjoy cannabis effectively. photo credit
Easy storage is another great reason to learn to make your own weed gummies. Just toss them in a bit of sugar when done to keep them from sticking together then store them in the fridge until ready to consume. Medicated gummies also make dosing more manageable as a single gummy or two should be a sufficient amount (though you’ll only know for sure through experimentation).
But perhaps the best reason to love marijuana gummies is because they’re a more efficient way
Our Oregon marijuana processor clients often approach us with requests to draft agreements that will allow third-parties to process cannabis in the client’s licensed premises. Typically, the processor is not operating at capacity and would like to supplement income by charging fees to keep the premises open around the clock. Previously, we have explained that this arrangement only really works if the third-party is also a licensed OLCC processor, pursuant to Oregon’s new alternating proprietor rules (OAR 845-025-3255). However, we are most often approached with proposals to have non-licensee third-parties enter the kitchen and physically create cannabis products that will be owned and sold by the licensee.
Here is a more concrete example: Kelly’s Kitchen is an Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) licensed processor. Kelly meets Cindy, who has developed a recipe, labels, and packaging. Cindy doesn’t want to go through the OLCC application process, she just wants to make her Bud Brownies. Kelly invites Cindy to personally make her brownies on Kelly’s property, and Kelly agrees pay Cindy for each unit sold. The prevalence of these arrangements suggests that the industry has been treating this as a grey area. However, we recently reached out to the OLCC and received confirmation that this is black and white: The OLCC will view …
Commercial cannabis leases are different than other commercial leases in many important ways. In other respects, however, they can be quite similar. One item that tends to fall into the latter category is the creation of a landlord’s lien on the tenant’s personal property in the event of an uncured tenant default. For example, if a marijuana producer fails to pay rent, the landlord acquires an ownership interest in that producer’s lights, fans, security equipment, and even the cannabis itself. If the lease is drawn up correctly, the landlord would then be able to seize these assets and liquidate them, in accordance with state law.
When representing landlords, this type of provision makes it into every type of cannabis lease we draft. When representing tenants, we often try to narrow this right, especially in situations where the tenant may be taking on debt. Why? Because lenders often insist on priority rights in the event that a pot business cannot repay a loan. In many cases, the lender will come prepared with a “Waiver and Consent Agreement” or a “Subordination and Consent Agreement.” The tenant is tasked with acquiring its landlord’s signature on this contract, so that if there is a default under the lease, …
Culver City plans to release its commercial cannabis applications before the end of March. On monday, the City Council voted to adopt its proposed cannabis business permit application process. Based on the released draft application documents, getting a commercial cannabis permit in Culver City is not going to be an easy process.
Here is a breakdown the application processes per license type:
In the first phase of the application process, applicants must submit live scans, zoning verification documents, and their cannabis business application. City staff and the Culver City Police Department will review that information and, if sufficient and complete, applicants will move on in the process. A three-person panel of City staff members will review and rank the applications; reviewers will read business plans, security plans, and design/location documents and rank each application on a point scale.
The panel will then choose a minimum of three and a maximum of six applicants with the highest average ranking to proceed. Other applicants will be put on hold pending the outcome of the permitting process. A five-person review committee composed of City staff members will then interview the ranked applicants. At least two of the largest equity holders and the day-to-day operations manager of the applicant must…
One view that increasingly unites New Yorkers across the state is their want for marijuana. Today, 62% of New York state residents want cannabis legalized. Meanwhile, New York’s bordering states, Massachusetts and (rumored to legalize soon) New Jersey, are tempting New Yorkers with legal options in their states. All the while, consumers wonder what will happen next in New York.
New York’s burgeoning entrepreneur and advocacy groups show a positive sign for the state’s marijuana culture. On the other hand, New York City’s race and arrest issues persist despite decriminalization. Today, the cannabis culture is strong even though the future remains unclear.
The Most Cannabis-Friendly Areas of New York City
In New York City, the rule for marijuana is simple: don’t be obvious about it. Across the five boroughs, New Yorkers smoke from vaping on the Staten Island Ferry to eating edibles in Central Park. In a city where subway slashings and terror attacks are always a possibility, marijuana isn’t the most pressing priority for the police.
Smoking is even fine as long as it isn’t blatantly obvious (i.e., don’t smoke in front of a police officer).
When it comes to buying, the black market reigns supreme for now. Consumers are encouraged to buy from a trusted supplier – and finding a connection in the city isn’t difficult. …
Like all business, cannabis businesses are subject to audit by state taxing authorities and other agencies. These audits tend to proceed differently with cannabis business, though, given the unique regulatory approach states take with marijuana. If a regulatory audit turns up issues, then fines and even loss of your business’s license could follow. This post outlines the top issues in preparing for, and managing, a regulatory audit of your cannabis business.
Every state with a regulated cannabis market has specific record keeping requirements. Prepare for future audits by keeping meticulous records. Like other businesses, a marijuana business must keep detailed records regarding all aspects of the business including: sales, inventory management, purchases, taxes, employment, environmental compliance, legal and transportation. Unlike other businesses, a cannabis business is required to keep all source documentation. For example, purchases of goods and services must not only be supported by master goods and service contracts, but transaction level invoices; bank statements must include check and deposit slip detail. When in doubt, keep as much detail as possible.
As stated HERE and HERE, it is wise to conduct periodic self-audits to identify any weakness in record keeping or any other compliance issues. Self-audits allow a cannabis business to address issues as early as possible. Self-audits …
Cannabis concentrate consumers are increasingly numerous thanks to the advances in equipment available on the market allowing the production of good quality homemade cannabis resin extractions. Here, fans of Rosin or BHO can find various different methods to consume their extracts.
Spread on rolling paper (Twax Joint)
One of the simplest and probably one of the oldest methods, in the 70’s, consumers of honey oil made with alcohol would smoke it by smearing some onto a cigarette.
Now in 2018 consumer habits have evolved somewhat. The Twax Joint has become famous across instagram and it’s frequent to see increasingly complex and highly decorative spliffs covered with various different types of cannabis oil, it seems there are no limits to the creativity and imagination of cannabis users.
When consuming this type of joint, we should take some care not let the oil drip off and fall to the ground, we will have to hold the joint in an upright position to ensure the oil flows onto the paper.
Some vaporisers such as the Volcano or the Firefly allow us, thanks to a specialised screen, to vaporise BHO or Rosin type cannabis oils of high purity. The flavours are preserved perfectly and we obtain the same benefits as in the vaporisation …
On January 22, 2018, Vermont’s Republican Governor Phil Scott signed bill H. 511, making Vermont the ninth state to legalize adult-use marijuana and the first state to legalize via the legislature. H. 511 allows for adults 21 and over to cultivate two mature plants and four immature plants at home and possess up to one ounce of flower or five grams of hash.
Even though this marks a significant moment in progressive cannabis reform in Vermont, the new legalization bill does not establish a regulated commercial marijuana industry as seen in other states like Colorado or California.
That means no recreational dispensaries will be opening their doors on July 1st when legalization takes effect. However, Governor Scott has established a commission to research if a tax-and-regulate system would be good for the state.
Regardless of how the implementation plays out, this is a great moment for the cannabis legalization movement that will undoubtedly fuel the flames of more progress to come. To help you get up to speed with Vermont’s new cannabis laws, let’s take a look at some key points.
Things to Consider
While there has been a lot of excitement about the signing of H.511, some people are saying “not so fast.” One of those is Allen St. Pierre, the former Executive Director for the …