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What’s On Your Label, Part 2: California Cannabis Packaging and Labeling for “New” Products

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California marijuana packaging and labeling
What are the packaging and labeling requirements for new marijuana products?

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

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Will California Protect Off-Work Medical Marijuana Use?

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marijuana employment cannabis
This might not be true in California anymore.

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 …

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Marijuana News and Culture Recap: Winter 2017-2018

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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.

To view our fall 2017 recap, click here.

Top Marijuana News and Culture

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?

De-wax vs. Winterization
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 …

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Cannabis Startups 101: Raising Funds Under Rule 506(c)

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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 …

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What Is the Best Cannabis for Sleep?

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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. 


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Products to enhance microbial soil life

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Feeding the soil

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 substrates can benefit from microbes

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 …

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Blockchain and California Cannabis: From Seed to Sale

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blockchain cannabis california

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.

Using blockchain technology, …

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How to Make Cannabis-Infused Gummies

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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.

Gummy Bears
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

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Oregon Cannabis: OLCC Clarifies Shared Processing Arrangements

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oregon cannabis processor
Licensees and employees only: them’s the rules!

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 …

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Landlords, Tenants and Cannabis Loans

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cannabis subordination loan
Best if landlord, tenant and lender talk out that cannabis loan ahead of time.

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, …

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California Cannabis Countdown: Culver City (Updated!)

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California marijuana businesses Culver City
Cannabis businesses are finally coming to the Heart of Screenland.

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:

Storefront Retail Applications:

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

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Exploring New York’s Cannabis Culture as Legalization Looms

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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. …

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Regulatory Audits of Your Cannabis Business: Plan Ahead!

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audit marijuana cannabis
Can your cannabis business survive state scrutiny?

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.

Plan Ahead

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 …

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How to Consume Cannabis Concentrates

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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.

Joints covered in cannabis concentrates

Twax Joints (Photo: )

On a vaporiser screen

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

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Vermont Cannabis Legalization: Everything You Need to Know

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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 …

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Much Ado About RICO and Cannabis Part 5: Multi-State Update

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marijuana RICOWe’ve previously discussed several civil cases in Oregon where private parties sought to shut down cannabis grow operations under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), claiming that the grow was part of a criminal conspiracy that would drive down property values (see our RICO series here, herehere and here).

Today, we have an update on two marijuana RICO cases elsewhere the country, one in Colorado, and the other in Massachusetts.

Colorado: In a previous post, we discussed Safe Streets Alliance v. Alternative Holistic Healing, LLC, a case from Colorado. This case is notable because the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has already issued an opinion addressing several key legal issues, giving the litigants the go-ahead to try their case. In dicta, the 10th Circuit noted that at trial, it was possible that a judge or jury would determine that the plaintiff’s land was actually more valuable because of its suitability for cannabis cultivation. Although the 10th Circuit’s opinion only technically applies in the states of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming, other trial and appellate courts will consider the opinion as “persuasive” authority, in other RICO cases.

This case is now scheduled for trial beginning in late August 2018. Assuming this case does not settle, and …

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California Cannabis Events: Coming to a City Near You?

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marijuana event california
Like this, but with cannabis.

In order for a business to succeed, it has to create a connection with customers. This is especially true if the product sold is one that customers consume. Think about the importance of tasting rooms for wineries, or of tap rooms for breweries (especially craft brewers). These venues allow customers to connect with a product in a social setting, giving those businesses a valuable marketing platform.

When the California state legislature passed the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), it granted local jurisdictions authority to regulate on-site marijuana consumption for retailers and microbusinesses, and temporary cannabis events. The focus of this post is on temporary events, but first, a quick refresher on the microbusiness license type is in order. A microbusiness is a cannabis licensee that must engage in at least three of the following commercial cannabis activities:

  • Cultivation (up to 10,000 square feet);
  • Manufacturing (Type 6 only);
  • Distribution; or
  • Retail.

All three (or four) of the commercial cannabis activities need to take place on the same premises. If a microbusiness chooses to cultivate, manufacture, and conduct sales, it would give that business a great opportunity to directly connect with its customers and tell a story. This is even truer if the local jurisdiction allows for on-site consumption. (For additional information on …

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What Is a Medical Cannabis Clinic?

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There’s a lot of confusion around medical cannabis in Canada currently. Part of the reason for the confusion is that the laws are changing this summer. The other part of the reason is that people, in general, just don’t know enough about it or understand who can use it for medical reasons. This leads to questions about medical cannabis clinics—what they are and what they do. Medical cannabis clinics are imperative in medical marijuana treatment.


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Santa Barbara County Nears Final Commercial Cannabis Regulations

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Santa Barbara marijuana cannabis
Get ready for a LOT of cannabis rules.

On February 6th, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors met to consider an ordinance and policy amendments for land use activities associated with commercial cannabis. Currently and historically, all commercial cannabis activities have been prohibited within unincorporated Santa Barbara County. The Board of Supervisors approved the proposed ordinances “in concept,” together with some revisions regarding buffer zones, a delay in instituting energy conservation plans, an elimination of odor control requirements on certain large parcels in the AG-2 zone, a limit on where outdoor marijuana cultivation is allowed, and a cap on the number of retail locations. The ordinances will receive a second reading at the next meeting on February 13th, and will likely be adopted.

One of the highlights from the meeting was the decision to cap the number of available marijuana retail licenses at eight. These licenses will certainly be prized. Note that initially, the county had no cap, and there would have been 284 parcels where retail stores were allowed, a number that the Board of Supervisors deemed excessive and “outrageous.”

Here are some of the highlights from the proposed ordinances:

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Red Herring Alert: Should California Have a Public Cannabis Bank?

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California marijuana banking
A public marijuana bank is a red herring.

It seems like every state in its own way has tried to grapple with a state-legislated solution to the notorious banking issue across the cannabis industry. And now California is going to study its own banking solution that, in all reality, probably isn’t going to go anywhere.

California is predicted to take in $7 billion by 2020 because of adult-use legalization. Its licensed operators have nowhere reliable to put all of that cash, and you can be sure that the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration doesn’t want those operators trucking hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to Sacramento. Additionally, the cash epidemic was complicated by the fact that Attorney General Sessions’s rescission of the 2014 Department of Justice (DOJ) Financial Crimes memo, which allowed financial institutions to bank marijuana businesses in states with “robust regulation”, in concert with the 2014 FinCEN guidelines. Thankfully, those guidelines still exist, but the Department of Treasury is currently looking at them in the wake of Sessions’s decision.

Back to California.

This month, Treasurer John Chiang announced that his office (along with the California State Attorney General’s office) would undertake a two-part feasibility study around forming a state-backed bank to serve California cannabis businesses. In his office’s November 2017 report, Chiang admitted that creating …

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California Adult-Use Cannabis Update: Trends from the First Month

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With the first month of recreational marijuana sales in the books, California will soon find out how it performed in sales and pricing across the state. Stores that opened in January or were previously open saw success, including day one turnout exceeding expectations. Yet, success for some countered the decline in other cities that saw a slow rollout due.

California’s performance in January is far from an indicator of its overall future. That being said, it was an exciting month that shows promise for sales and access. It also revealed issues including the possibility of additional litigation to come.

California Recreational Marijuana by the Numbers

BDS Analytics Vice President Greg Shoenfeld told PotGuide that we’ll have the first month numbers in March. While the data is collected, he did note that stores that opened in January saw significant gains in traffic. Conversely, the state’s numbers could see a decline in first month sales due to the dispensaries and other services currently waiting on licensing. The delay left small towns and cities like Los Angeles virtually out of adult use sales until the 19th.

Bud and Bloom Dispensary Nugs
A nug is inspected at Bud and Bloom dispensary in California. photo credit

“We’ll have to figure out once the data starts pouring in,” explained Shoenfeld, “just how significant, or what’s the counterbalance, of increased …

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Much Ado About RICO and Cannabis, Part 4

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Oregon RICO marijuana
This is not the racketeer you’re looking for.

In this series (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) we have been looking at two RICO cases filed in District Court in Oregon against cannabis producers. The first, McCart v. Beddow, appears to have settled pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement. The second, Ainsworth et. al. v. Owenby et. al., is just getting started. The common thread here is that the pro se (self-represented) plaintiff in McCart v. Beddow, is an attorney who is now representing the plaintiffs in Ainsworth.

Due to this common thread, we think we can draw some likely conclusions about the contents of the confidential McCart settlement from the issues raised in the Ainsworth complaintNote that the Ainsworth complaint was filed just about two months after the McCart defendants filed their motions to dismiss. As discussed below, it is clear that the Ainsworth complaint learned some valuable lessons from the motions to dismiss. Let’s engage in a bit of idle speculation:

Dispensaries can breathe a sigh of relief.

The McCart lawsuit named each and every OLCC licensed retailer that purchased the defendant farm’s product. In sharp contrast, the Ainsworth complaint doesn’t name any such “dispensary defendants.” Given that one of the goals of these RICO cases is …

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How to Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Ontario

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Receiving medical cannabis treatment and purchasing your prescription can be a little bit challenging because cannabis is currently illegal in Canada. In order to prove you are legally allowed to use and have cannabis for medical reasons, there are some hoops you have to jump through. The rules are in place to ensure only the people who need it for medical reasons have it. However, this summer, the rules will change again when recreational marijuana is made legal. 


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Presenting Colorado Seed exclusively at Alchimia

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Colorado Seed Inc. is a seed bank based in Boulder, Colorado (USA) that since 2008 has been producing regular seeds under license from its library of more than 40 cannabis varieties, as well as producing medical cannabis for various state dispensaries.

However, Timothy and Sam have experience going back decades, since the 70’s when Tim’s passion for cannabis breeding was born. After several decades of work selecting and breeding their best strains, in 2008 he finally decided to market their most valued projects through Colorado Seed Inc. with Sam, founding a seed bank to distribute the highest quality cultivars.

Colorado Seed Int. logo

Colorado Seed International, the European branch of the company

Years later, after having established the company as one of the industry leaders in Colorado, the guys at Colorado Seed Inc. decided to embark on a new adventure: to bring some of their best work to Europe and develop feminised versions of them. A very ambitious project that, after many months of work, we are very happy to finally present.

At Alchimia Grow Shop we are proud to introduce the catalogue of Colorado Seed International, the European branch of the company, exclusively for all our customers. This has been possible thanks to the three-way collaboration between Colorado Seed Inc., R-Kiem Seeds and Old School Genetics, with the latter …

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What if You Break the Rules? Cannabis Administrative Litigation in Oregon

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marijuana oregon cananbis
Follow the rules or risk having to close your doors–permanently.

Recreational cannabis is highly regulated. In Oregon, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is the agency tasked with implementing and enforcing the recreational cannabis rules. The rules are complex and frequently change (see posts on that here, here, here, and here) meaning compliance can be difficult even with the best of intentions. For that reason, marijuana businesses should set up a comprehensive compliance plan to avoid violating OLCC rules. But what happens when a rule is violated?

When the OLCC determines a cannabis business or its employee has violated a rule, it issues what is known as a “charging document.” The charging document will list what rule has been violated and the penalty the OLCC plans to assess. The rules identify six categories of violations. The categories identify different levels of egregiousness and the OLCC, while not required to assess a penalty, has adopted guidelines for the kinds of penalties cannabis businesses can expect:

Category I: These are considered the most egregious violation and can result in license revocation. These violations include things like failure to verify the age of a minor, intentional false statements made to the OLCC, or intentional destruction or concealment of evidence

Category II: These are violations that create a …

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Planning a 4/20 Trip to Colorado? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Welcome to the wide world of cannabis events, a growing sector of the industry that is full of excitement, adventure and knowledge-seeking. As you may already know, cannabis events provide a firsthand look into the burgeoning marijuana industry and offer insight and networking opportunities from key influencers. And on 4/20, one of the biggest cannabis celebrations of the year, there are countless events to addend and experience.

Perhaps the most frequented city for cannabis events and happenings is Denver, Colorado – especially when 4/20 comes around. There are numerous marijuana-related events going down in the Mile High on any given day, making it an ideal destination for anyone looking to get more involved in the industry.

4/20 events and activities in Colorado are still being defined for 2018, be sure to check out PotGuide’s dedicated 4/20 page for updates as they are announced.

If you haven’t been to a 4/20 cannabis event in Colorado before or simply want to maximize your involvement, follow along as we guide you through some of the top things to do to get the most out of your experience.

Get Outdoors and Explore

Whether you’re visiting from out of town or are a resident of Colorado, getting outdoors before a cannabis event can really help bolster your attentiveness and focus once the event commences. …

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Oregon Cannabis Laws: The 2018 Draft Bills Are Here

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oregon marijuana cannabis
Just the facts on pending Oregon cannabis laws.

The Oregon legislative session began on Monday. Because 2018 is an even-numbered calendar year, this session is a short session, lasting just 35 days. That fact hasn’t stopped Oregon democrats from targeting ambitious policy objectives like cap-and-trade, along with a host of other items that will likely not get done. As to cannabis, there won’t be much movement, despite persistent rumors and calls for a limitation on license issuances, and the calls for an uptick in enforcement dollars.

Last year, Oregon kicked off the legislative session with 30 or so draft cannabis bills. This year, we have four. Two of them are likely to go nowhere and two may pass if things go well, but with significant modifications. The aptly named Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation dissolved last session, which means that cannabis will get even less attention than before. Still, its former co-chair and Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick presides over the rules committee, and for that reason alone, we expect these bills get some play.

Below is the 2018 list, including links to each bill. As a reminder, text in bold typeface is proposed new language, and text in [italicized and bracketed] typeface is language that would be removed from existing statutes.

Senate Bill 1544

This bill …

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Santa Cruz County: Update for Non-Retail Commercial Cannabis Businesses

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Last week, Santa Cruz County hosted two public meetings to discuss the County’s path toward regulating commercial cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution within the County. The County presented a good deal of information for those interested in pursuing these non-retail commercial cannabis licenses that we’ll outline in this post.

One of the most significant proposals is a recommendation that project-level environmental review be required in lieu of Board certification of the current draft Environmental Impact Review, which provided exhaustive analysis of the existing and proposed commercial cannabis industry in Santa Cruz County. This means that each future non-retail commercial cannabis license would be considered a separate project, and would be subject to discretionary land use permit review and associated environmental review based on site-specific conditions.

The County also presented a proposed final Santa Cruz County Code (SCCC) 7.128, as well as amendments to SCCC 13.10 which will serve to regulate all non-retail cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution in Santa Cruz County. SCCC 7.128 will establish operational requirements for cannabis businesses as well as a cannabis licensing program. And the amendments to SCCC 13.10 will establish zoning restrictions and land use permitting requirements for cannabis businesses.

The Planning Commission will meet again on February 28th to review proposed mitigation, monitoring and reporting measures in the form of a Best Management …

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Do You Actually Own Your Cannabis Business?

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marijuana cannabis business
Want to show you own that canna business? Write it down.

Of all the core legal concepts that first-year law students study, property law is the most esoteric. The concept of property boils down to relative rights. Do I have more or less of a right than you do to possess, manipulate, lease, or sell this thing that I am claiming ownership of? Things get harder when we deal with intangible property. While simple possession of real property or equipment doesn’t prove ownership, it at least provides some indication of ownership. But regarding intellectual property like trademarks and copyrights, or other intangible property like interest in a partnership or a limited liability company, there often isn’t anything to possess. This has led to major problems for inexperienced cannabis business owners.

Regarding ownership interests in corporations and LLCs, it is important to make some distinctions. I’ll use Washington as an example, but most states adhere basically to the same principles. The Secretary of State’s office is in charge of forming business entities, and it maintains a database of governing persons. If I look up a company on that website, it is going to list the names of one or more people that are reported to the state as governing persons of that company. However, that listing is not proof of or …

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Is Medical Cannabis Treatment Right for You? Who to Ask

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Medical cannabis is considered an alternative form of medical treatment, but it’s a legitimate and effective medical option and it could be the right treatment for you. Many people have symptoms that could be better managed with medical marijuana; the problem is most people don’t know where to go or who to ask about this treatment option when they have questions. 


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