Recent Posts

Light Meters in Cannabis Cultivation

, , No Comment

A common mistake among many beginner indoor cannabis growers is that of not changing lightbulbs often enough, so while the first few crops are a roaring success, later grows, despite having all the same parameters, don’t produce anywhere near the same quantity of buds. Why might this be? On many occasions it’s because you are using a grow lamp with far too many hours of use behind it.

High intensity discharge bulbs, such as HPS, HM or CMH/LEC are, with use, gradually diminishing the amount of light emitted, so (although at first glance we may not realise it) after several crops we can find bulbs that are delivering half the lumens than when we first fitted them. In addition, at each phase of its development, the plant will require a maximum and a minimum of lumens to grow and flourish in a normal way.

In this article we will see how to use a light meter to measure how much light is emitted by our lighting systems, as well as the ideal range of light intensity for each phase of our plants development.

Good light distribution helps to give homogenous harvests

Good light distribution helps to give homogenous harvests

Light meters for cannabis cultivation

Light meters are devices for measuring the amount of light (in units called lux) in a given environment. They use a photoelectric …

Read Post →

Battle Royale? Phase 3 Cannabis Licensing in City of Los Angeles

, , No Comment

Something has gotta give in Phase 3.

The City of Los Angeles has long endured questions surrounding its elusive Phase 3 licensing process for cannabis businesses. The City completed Phase 1 and 2 licensing without too much crazy change, but Phase 3 is very likely going to be a different story, and will affect a lot of stakeholders for better or worse.

On February 8, 2019, the Department of Cannabis Regulation (“DCR“) wrote to the Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee (“Committee”), proposing total reform for Phase 3 licensing in the face of multiple regulatory issues caused by undue concentration, the promotion of social equity businesses, and the overall economic interests of various stakeholders who are waiting for Phase 3 to open. DCR wrote to the Committee that it wants to make certain strategic amendments to the licensing process in Phase 3 that “would make our licensing process more efficient, transparent, and, most important, equitable.”

DCR’s obvious concern in its letter to Committee is that Phase 3 successfully hoist up social equity applicants and be as efficient as possible at the same time. In particular, the letter states that:

DCR recognizes that the existing licensing process provided in the Cannabis Procedures ordinance and regulations will take significant time to implement and that many Phase 3 storefront retail applicants will have to make significant investments in

Read Post →

The Feds Aren’t Done With Cannabis

, , No Comment

federal law cannabis FDAAs more and more states legalize cannabis in some form or another, and as more and more Senators and Representatives introduce legislation that would relax the federal pot laws, it’s important not to lose sight of reality: cannabis is still a Schedule I drug and is unlawful under federal law. That said, in the years since cannabis has become legal in various states, the federal government has taken an increasingly less active role in enforcement in those states. Sure, the feds could start ramping up enforcement even against state-lawful operators, but it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen any time soon.

To understand the future of federal pot enforcement, we need to look back a few years. Most readers of this blog are familiar with the Cole Memo, an Obama-era Department of Justice policy memo which essentially says that the federal government wouldn’t prioritize marijuana enforcement where operators follow state laws and would instead follow focused enforcement priorities. Since President Trump took office, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo but didn’t go full-enforcement, instead leaving it up to more local federal authorities to decide whether to enforce. But Sessions was removed, and the newly appointed William Barr has indicated that he probably isn’t going to spend federal resources enforcing the Controlled Substances Act against state-lawful operators.

What …

Read Post →

UPS Sues Multiple Cannabis Delivery Companies for Trademark Infringement

, , No Comment

cannabis trademark infringementAs ardent followers of this blog are well aware, one of my favorite pastimes is keeping tabs on who is suing whom in the cannabis industry for trademark infringement. These lawsuits serve as great examples for my clients of what NOT to do when choosing a brand for their company. The last couple of years have provided a couple of big-name cannabis trademark lawsuits, including the Gorilla Glue dispute and the Tapatio Foods lawsuit.

This time, it’s the United Parcel Service (UPS) suing a group of cannabis delivery companies for trademark infringement. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on February 13, 2019 and alleges trademark infringement against United Pot Smokers, UPS420, and THCPlant, all of which market and sell cannabis products. These companies, according to the complaint, offer delivery and logistics services via the websites www.upsgreen.com and www.ups420.com.

In its complaint, UPS accuses the defendants of infringing its family of trademarks, which includes its famous shield logo, and states that the defendants “intended to capitalize off UPS’s extensive goodwill and reputation.” UPS allegedly sent multiple cease and desist letters to the defendants, which were unwisely ignored.

The lawsuit includes claims for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, false designation of origin, deceptive advertising, and unfair business practices, and includes a request …

Read Post →

Responsible Cannabis Consumption as a Parent

, , No Comment

Some critics claim that consuming any cannabis whatsoever as a parent is irresponsible. In which case, you have to say the same about every parent on earth who ever indulges in a glass of wine or the occasional beer. It’s exactly the same thing – complete BS on both accounts. Just because you’re a parent […]

The post Responsible Cannabis Consumption as a Parent appeared first on Legalize it. We Think So.

Source: https://www.liwts.org/cannabis/responsible-cannabis-consumption-as-a-parent/…

Read Post →

Oregon Marijuana Audit: Everything is All Messed Up and Also Just Fine

, , No Comment

oregon marijuana cannabis
Time to kick back and consider Oregon cannabis.

On January 31, the Oregon Secretary of State released an audit of Oregon marijuana regulation. The audit is a hefty 37 pages, but its core findings are listed right there on the cover sheet: “Oregon’s framework for regulating marijuana should be strengthened to better mitigate diversion risk and improve laboratory testing.” Now: we would all like to see less diversion and better testing, but those findings are not exactly surprising. And no one should expect big fixes anytime soon.

Below is some straight talk about the audit’s two primary conclusions, and a few thoughts about where things are headed.

  1. Much of the medical market is a black market and diversion is unstoppable at this time.

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) was passed over 20 years ago, in 1998. As we explained a few years back, OMMA was (and is) little more than an affirmative defense for designated marijuana possessors and distributers from state criminal prosecution, and from federal hassles to the extent possible. Those are commendable goals, but the program never made sense from a commercial perspective. Thus, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has always found itself in the unenviable position of struggling to write rules around legislation that creates a marketplace while ignoring the market itself.

When the legislature did …

Read Post →

Exporting CBD Food Just Got Harder: The European Union Makes a Move

, , No Comment

EU CBD food export

We’ve been writing a lot on this blog about the regulation and sale of cannabidiol (“CBD”) products at the state and federal levels. The United States is not the only international actor, however, that is concerned with regulating the sale of CBD products, including CBD-infused foods. The European Food Safety Authority (“EFSA”), the European equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), recently changed guidance on cannabinoids, declaring that all new food products infused with the plant or its derivatives should receive a pre-market approval under the European Union “novel food” regulation.

Regulation 2015/2283, which is the latest food regulation adopted by the European Parliament and the European Union (“EU”), defines “novel food” as “food that was not used for human consumption to a significant degree within the Union before 15 May 1997, irrespective of the dates of accession of the Member States to the Union.”

The EU Novel Food Catalogue entry for CBD, which contains a non-exhaustive list of ingredients that inform member nations on whether a product will need an authorization under the Novel Food Regulation, now refers to a broader class of “cannabinoids” and provides that:

Without prejudice to the information provided in the novel food catalogue for the entry relating to Cannabis sativa L., extracts of Cannabis sativa L. and derived

Read Post →

Beyond the Crackdown: New York Classifies Hemp-CBD as a Dietary Supplement (Part Two)

, , No Comment

new york cbd
Home of “dietary supplement” CBD.

This post is part two of two on how New York is regulating CBD. 

On Monday, I wrote about the New York City Department of Health’s (“DOH”) recent crackdown on Hemp-CBD in food and how it was consistent with the New York State Department of Agriculture’s (“Department”) FAQs on hemp-derived CBD (“Hemp CBD”). In summary, the Department’s FAQs state that any Hemp-CBD product sold in New York state must be labeled and manufactured as a dietary supplement. Today’s post focuses on the Department’s Template CBD Processor Research Partner Agreement (“CBD Agreement”) which elaborates on the dietary supplement classification.

The CBD Agreement is a research contract between Hemp-CBD processors, referred to as “Research Partners” in the Agreement, and the Department. Its provisions would not bind other actors including Hemp-CBD sellers or Hemp-CBD processors legally operating in other states. However, the CBD Agreement does shed light on what the Department is going to require for Hemp-CBD.

Research Partners cannot process or sell Hemp-CBD as food. A Research Partner must also obtain written approval from the Department if it intends to sell or distribute Hemp-CBD dietary supplements in a form other than “pill, capsule, caplet, tablet, tinctures, droplets or elixir, chewable, or isolate form[.]”

The CBD Agreement expands on how Research Partners, or CBD processors in other states …

Read Post →

ICYMI: U.S. Attorney General Nominee (Likely) Won’t Harsh Your Mellow

, , No Comment

william barr federal law
Hopefully, anyway…

Back on January 4, 2018, the industry was in a slight tailspin due to then acting Attorney General Jeff Session’s (renowned marijuana hater) rescinding of all marijuana enforcement guidance from the Department of Justice (“DOJ”). Reactions in the media ranged from treating the Sessions announcement as nothing more than an attempt to frighten the cannabis industry to claiming that it was the first step in an organized crackdown of the marijuana industry that could affect cannabis businesses and users. Both possibilities are arguably realistic. And the drama that followed Sessions’ moves was pretty satisfying, including when Cory Gardner vowed to (and did) block DOJ appointments until the issue was resolved in favor of the states, culminating in a deal with President Trump to back off of state-legal marijuana. However, now that Sessions is out at the helm of the DOJ, industry folks can breathe a little easier where new Attorney General nominee William Barr has gone on record stating that state-law abiding cannabis businesses will not be prosecuted by the DOJ and essentially that the 2013 Cole Memo will be back from the dead.

In rescinding all DOJ guidance on marijuana enforcement, Sessions torpedoed the famous 2013 Cole Memo, which outlined eight specific enforcement priorities of the DOJ in states with legal marijuana and which, …

Read Post →

Beyond the Crackdown: New York Classifies Hemp-CBD as a Dietary Supplement (Part One)

, , No Comment

new york cbd
Home of “dietary supplement” CBD.

This post is part one of two on how the State of New York is regulating CBD. 

Last week, New York City’s Department of Health (“DOH”) quarantined a number of edible products that contained hemp-derived CBD (“Hemp-CBD”) and announced that Hemp-CBD would not be allowed in food products in the City. Eater first broke the story, but the crackdown made national news with the Wall Street Journal, the New York TimesNBC, and Fox all publishing stories on the event. It is unsurprising that the DOH action drew such coverage. CBD is massively popular, New York City is the largest city in the United States, and the story is compelling because the DOH actually sent out agents to quarantine products, rather than simply issuing a statement. It seems to be this last point that garnered national attention based on the relative lack of coverage a very similar story garnered back in December 2018.

On December 18, 2018, shortly before the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (the “Department”) issued a series of frequently asked questions (“FAQs“) and a CBD Processor Template Agreement (“CBD Agreement“) that were both focused on Hemp-CBD. Unlike the DOH, the Department did not take any …

Read Post →

The World Health Organization Steps Up on Cannabis

, , No Comment

international law marijuana united nations

On February 1, it was reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) made some significant and long overdue recommendations with respect to cannabis. Those recommendations have not been formally released, but we expect that to happen soon. If adopted wholesale by the United Nations (UN), the recommendations will have a significant impact globally as to controls placed on cannabis and its constituent parts.

It is important to note that the WHO is not recommending the wholesale legalization of marijuana. Therefore, no one should expect the doors to swing wide on international cannabis trade overnight. Still, the WHO development is welcome news after nearly 60 years of unmerited and unexamined prohibition of cannabis under international law.

The WHO recommendations are reported as follows:

  • Remove whole plant marijuana and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 (the “Single Convention”), but leave them on Schedule I of that treaty. (Under international law, Schedule I drugs are relatively safe, and Schedule IV drugs are the most heavily controlled.)
  • Place cannabis extracts and tinctures containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in Schedule III of the Single Convention.
  • Remove THC and its isomers completely from the 1972 Protocol to the Single Convention. (The 1972 Protocol is a follow-up treaty requiring states to actually enforce laws on their books against cannabis cultivation.)
  • Clarify

Read Post →

The Best Wake and Bake Strains Money Can Buy

, , No Comment

Find your perfect wake and bake strain and even the dreariest Monday morning can become an absolute joy. Well, maybe not a joy as such, but at least a little less painful. Which begs the question – what makes the ideal strain for a perfect wake and bake? The answer – the combination of fabulous […]

The post The Best Wake and Bake Strains Money Can Buy appeared first on Legalize it. We Think So.

Source: https://www.liwts.org/cannabis/the-best-wake-and-bake-strains-money-can-buy/…

Read Post →

California Cannabis Trademarks Could Get a Legislative Boost

, , No Comment

california cannabis trademark
 

State trademarks for cannabis goods and services have been an ongoing saga in California that we have written about extensively. For a little background, until January 1, 2018, obtaining state trademark protection in California was not possible due to Sections 14270-14272 of the Model State Trademark Law of the California Business and Professions Code, which are simply titled “Miscellaneous.” Section 14272 states the following:

The intent of this chapter is to provide a system of state trademark registration and protection substantially consistent with the federal system of trademark registration and protection under the Trademark Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1051 et seq.), as amended. To that end, the construction given the federal act should be examined as non-binding authority for interpreting and construing this chapter.”

However, in December of 2017, the California Secretary of State’s Office announced that customers would be able to register cannabis-related trademarks or service marks so long as the following requirements are met:

  1. The mark is lawfully in use in commerce within California; and
  2. The specification matches the classification of goods and services adopted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The Secretary of State’s Office has reiterated that it will only accept applications insofar as the goods and/or services in question fit within an existing classification code from the USPTO’s Identification …

Read Post →

8 Ways to Deal With an Immense THC Tolerance

, , No Comment

Realistically, it’s impossible to avoid building a somewhat developed and strong tolerance to THC over time. It’s the same with any drug – the more you use it, the greater the resistance your body develops to it and the more you need. Some stay in lightweight territory for their entire lives, but most will inevitably […]

The post 8 Ways to Deal With an Immense THC Tolerance appeared first on Legalize it. We Think So.

Source: https://www.liwts.org/blog/8-ways-to-deal-with-an-immense-thc-tolerance/…

Read Post →

State Crackdowns Against CBD Products Have Begun

, , No Comment

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) began seizing various cannabidiol (“CBD”) products from store shelves. These enforcement actions reflected the implementation of the agency’s position that CBD, regardless of the source from which it is derived, cannot be lawfully sold for human consumption.

A few states, including states that have adopted industrial hemp pilot research programs under the 2014 Farm Bill, now seem to have embraced this FDA position by banning certain CBD-infused products from local stores.

Last Friday, several New York restaurants, bakeries, and bars were forced to stop selling CBD-infused foods and drinks. Officials with the state Department of Health confiscated those products, marking them as “embargoed.” The embargo process consists of identifying, itemizing and removing products. The Department has yet to issue a public statement or to provide further information on these actions, but it appears that state health inspectors explained to the affected business owners that CBD could not be used as a “food additive”.

This argument was similar to that used by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”). Earlier last week, Maine health authorities began notifying businesses that they were required to remove all CBD-infused foods, tinctures, and capsules from their shelves. Relying on an internal report by the state Attorney General’s Office, which concluded that CBD could …

Read Post →

How to grow magic mushrooms from Freshmushrooms

, , No Comment

As you may have noticed, recently we’ve added a wide range of magic mushrooms from Freshmushrooms to our online catalogue. While growing them at home is easy, it does require carefully following a few important steps to ensure everything works as it should and you can enjoy a successful, problem-free harvest of your own magic mushrooms.

In this article we present a concise guide to using our mushroom growing kits in a simple and effective way. You’ll be surprised at how easy it can be!

A small forest of Amazonica mushrooms

A small forest of Amazonica mushrooms

Cultivating Freshmushrooms magic mushrooms step by step

Growing your own mushrooms like the famous Psilocybe Cubensis Panamericana, the classic Golden Teacher or the legendary Psicolybe Mckennaii is now easily within reach, and as you’ll see below, the team at Freshmushrooms couldn’t have made it easier thanks to this handy guide! These mushroom cultivation kits include everything you’ll need to get excellent crops in just a few weeks, without complications or risks, and with shrooms loaded with psilocybin. Let’s do it!

Step 1:

Open the box and remove the contents: the mushroom growing kit, the plastic bag and the paperclip. Remove the lid of the kit’s plastic container, rinse it well with clean water and store it properly, you’ll need it later (you can keep it safe inside …

Read Post →

Washington Cannabis: The Proposed Hemp Overhaul is Here

, , No Comment

washington hemp In light of the recent federal legalization of industrial hemp, Washington lawmakers are taking a hard look at the state’s hemp program. Senators Bob Hasegawa (D) of Beacon Hill, Steve Conway (D) of Tacoma, and Karen Keiser (D) of Kent recently introducing Senate Bill 5719. The stated purpose of SB 5719 is as follows:

Authorize the growing of hemp as a legal, agricultural activity in this state. Hemp is an agricultural product that may be legally grown, produced, processed, possessed, transferred, commercially sold, and traded. Hemp and hemp products produced in accordance with this chapter may be transferred and sold within the state, outside of this state, and internationally. Nothing in this chapter is intended to prevent or restrain commerce in this state involving hemp or hemp products produced lawfully under the laws of another state or country.”

The bill requires Washington comply with the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, and which provides for state- and tribe-level programs for the cultivation of industrial hemp. As such, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (“WSDA”) would need to submit a plan to US Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) pursuant to the 2018 Farm Bill. The plan would need to cover licensing, THC testing, enforcement, and a host of other topics required under federal law.…

Read Post →

Autoflowering Seeds: The Expert’s Guide

, , No Comment

Man holding autoflowering seeds

One of the most righteous things about modern cannabis genetics (other than the sky-high THC counts) is the introduction of autoflowering seeds. The first hints of the autoflowering revolution popped on the scene as early as 1995, with the first commercial autoflowering strain (Lowryder) hitting the market around 2005.

If you’re wondering why we’re making such a big deal about autoflowering seeds and the plants they produce, read on. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to become an expert in autoflowering marijuana.

Photoperiod-Dependent Seeds

Before we explain autoflowering seeds, it’s essential that you understand the other side of the cannabis coin.

Photoperiod-dependent seeds (or photoperiodic for short) are your classic indica, sativa, and hybrid strains with names even the newest of noobs is probably familiar with (like Blue Dream, Sour Diesel, and Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies).

So what sets these apart from autoflowering seeds? It’s all in the name, man. But “photoperiod-dependent” isn’t the most self-explanatory of monikers.

So let’s dissect and divide in order to better understand this multi-syllabic monstrosity.

  • Photo means light
  • Period is a length of time
  • Dependent means determined by

Put all that together (and add in a few more words for clarity) and you come up with:

Seeds whose flowering point is determined by

Read Post →

The Future of Cannabis in Washington and Oregon

, , No Comment

In late January, Portland hosted the Cannabis Collaborative Conference (“CCC” or “Conference”), an annual forum created by cannabis industry leaders, aimed at addressing the most pressing issues facing this emerging market. This year’s conference focused on the future of the cannabis industry.

Rick Garza, Director of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (“WLCB”), was one of the key speakers at this year’s Conference. Mr. Garza discussed the possibility of Washington state allowing small cannabis farmers to sell directly to consumers. This practice would be comparable to that allowed for wineries, breweries and distilleries. If approved by the Washington State Legislature, this move would afford small growers an opportunity to increase their sales and, consequently, boost the local economy. This initiative would mirror the practice adopted by several Canadian provinces, which allow licensed producers to sell marijuana to consumers at cultivation facilities, and states like Colorado and Oregon, which authorize licensed cannabis growers to concurrently hold retailer licenses.

washington oregon cannabis marijuanaThe Washington cannabis regulator was also joined by Steve Marks, Executive Director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC”). Both discussed upcoming changes to the Washington and Oregon programs, which respond to the ongoing and growing issues of oversupply. As we previously discussed, Oregon’s supply has far exceeded local demands: the state is currently sitting on approximately 1.4 million

Read Post →

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control’s Final Regulations Immigration Impact on Foreign “Owners”

, , No Comment

cannabis marijuana immigrationOn January 16, 2019, each of the three California cannabis agencies dropped a final set of regulations. In many senses, the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s (“BCC”) regulations were the most comprehensive and expansive (we summarized some of the highlights here, and summarized the highlights of the California Department of Public Health’s final regulations here). In one area in particular, the BCC’s regulations may have some unintended and far-reaching effects: immigration.

For some reference, one of the biggest changes to the BCC’s regulations is in the “ownership” disclosure requirements, which now will require disclosure of persons as potential owners who may be far removed from the actual licensed entity. To recap, in the post linked above, we wrote:

[The BCC’s] entity ownership requirements kick in in any situation in which a company owns a licensee—not only where the ownership is based in equity (remember that ownership can also be based on direction, management, or control of a licensee or other grounds). If an entity is considered an owner, then anyone with a financial interest in that entity must be disclosed to the BCC and may be considered an owner.

This is a tremendously significant requirement and means that virtually everyone in the corporate chain must be disclosed (and probably must provide all of the many significant and

Read Post →

Cannabis and International Trade: Never the Twain Shall Meet?

, , No Comment

international trade cannabis marijuana

Recently, we’ve been getting tons of questions from clients regarding the international import and export of cannabis around the globe. 2018 was a historic year for the cannabis industry not just in the United States, but also internationally. Canada legalized recreational marijuana for the entire country. Many countries (e.g., Thailand, New Zealand, Mexico, Lithuania, U.K.) took significant steps to decriminalize or legalize medical or recreational marijuana. In December, Israel became the fifth country to pass legislation legalizing the export of medical marijuana (after the Netherlands, Canada, Uruguay, and Australia).

Despite these advances, international trade in legal marijuana currently is limited. Under a 1961 international treaty (Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs), cannabis is classified as a controlled substance with no medicinal use or value (we explored this recently here). Most countries are signatories to this and other international treaties that set forth the ground rules for the international drug control regime for controlled substances. Individual countries, however, can and have begun to make their own determinations on whether cannabis should be treated as a narcotic substance. Countries that have legalized marijuana can agree to allow trade in marijuana between those countries. Dutch and Canadian companies have gotten a head start in the global marijuana trade with medical marijuana being exported to Germany, Italy, Croatia, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Chile. …

Read Post →

Should U.S. Cannabis Companies Seek Trademark Protection in Canada?

, , No Comment

canada marijuana trademark

With Canada’s new trademark law set to take effect on June 17, 2019, U.S. cannabis companies should be considering whether it makes sense for them to file for trademark protection in Canada.

Most significantly for foreign applicants, a Declaration of Use will no longer be required, meaning that you do not need to actually use your mark in Canada in order to qualify for trademark protection. This is in contrast to the United States, where trademark registration requires proof of lawful use in commerce. The upside to this regulatory shift is that U.S. companies can get a jump on procuring Canadian trademark protection prior to entering the Canadian market. But the inevitable downside is that trademark trolls will now have an open door to “squat” on trademarks that are used by companies in other countries. These trolls often aim to force companies into negotiations for use of trademark rights to their own brand. Filing for protection in Canada will be an important tool for U.S. cannabis companies to avoid such a scenario.

Furthermore, cannabis goods can be specified in any Canadian trademark application. “The following terms are, at this time acceptable by the Office: ‘dried cannabis’ or ‘dried marijuana,’ ‘live cannabis plants,’ ‘medicinal marijuana for temporary relief of seizures,’ ‘medicinal marijuana for temporary relief of nerve pain.’” “Cannabis oil,” …

Read Post →

Portland Awards Cannabis Grants to Minority Owned Cannabis Businesses

, , No Comment

We have been skeptical of cities being involved in the licensing cannabis businesses in the past. Cannabis businesses are taxed and regulated heavily enough at the state level–why involve cities as well? We have always thought that if a city is going to be involved in the licensing process, it might as well do some good along the way. Portland, Oregon has provided one example of what a city can do with those tax funds.

As many cities in Oregon have done, Portland imposes a 3% local tax on retail cannabis sales. The City allocated $500,000 of the taxes to support neighborhood small businesses, especially women-owned and minority owned businesses and to provide economic opportunity and education to communities disproportionately-impacted by cannabis prohibition. Of that $500,000, $150,000 was allocated to specifically reinvest in minority- owned cannabis businesses.

portland minority cannabis marijuanaTo receive a City Grant, a Cannabis Business must complete a Cannabis Tax Allocation Grant Application. The Grant Application requires the cannabis business to identify a project/program that meets the “Record Clearing” or “Workforce Development” goals of the grant. The Record Clearing goals focuses on awarding money to those that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition by removing barriers to housing, employment and education through legal support including, expungement, fine reduction, and charge reduction. The Workforce Development goals focus on creating pathways …

Read Post →

Oregon’s New Industrial Hemp Rules and the 2018 Farm Bill

, , No Comment

oregon industrial hemp cbd OLCC
Oregon hemp will see a little bit of each in 2019.

Last year was a big one for the Oregon industrial hemp program. If you recall, the state legislature enacted House Bill 4089, which provided a much needed regulatory framework for the crop and authorized its processing and sale into the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC”) recreational market. To administer a portion of these statutory changes, OLCC drafted rule changes in September, which will soon be adopted.

However, a lot has happened since September. Indeed, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, more famously known as the “2018 Farm Bill,” became law last month. Specifically, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp by removing the crop from the Controlled Substance Act—this means no more risk of enforcement action by the U.S. Drug and Enforcement Agency because industrial hemp, including concentrates and extracts, is no longer treated as a Schedule I substance—and delegated authority to states to regulate and limit its production.

The federal legalization of industrial hemp has triggered numerous inquiries from our Oregon clients regarding the impact, if any, of the new federal bill on the most recent set of OLCC rules. This post aims to answer this question.

Although industrial hemp is no longer illegal under federal law, states are not yet authorized to hold …

Read Post →

Senators Push for Updates to FDA Regulation of CBD Food Products and Dietary Supplements

, , No Comment

fda cannabis dietary supplement foodWith the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the proliferation of food products containing CBD, we’ve been writing extensively about how the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and in particular, the United States Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) apply to the interstate sale of CBD products. Unfortunately, however, we have little guidance from the FDA regarding how hemp-CBD products such as foods, beverages, dietary supplements and cosmetics should comply with basic FDA requirements, including labeling rules.

What we do know is that the FDA has consistently taken the position that that CBD is excluded from the definition of “dietary supplement” under the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) because CBD is an active ingredient in FDA-approved drugs and was the subject of substantial clinical investigations before it was marketed as a dietary supplement. Therefore, the FDA maintains, as stated by Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, that:

[It is] unlawful under the FD&C Act to introduce food containing added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market CBD or THC products as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived. This is because both CBD and THC are active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs and were the subject of substantial clinical investigations before they were marketed as foods or dietary supplements. Under the FD&C Act,

Read Post →

Flavonoids and Cannabis

, , No Comment

The many different varieties of cannabis contain hundreds of compounds (the exact number is hard to calculate), each with its own characteristics and properties. You’ll most likely have heard of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids as components of the plant, with the first two occupying much of the general interest. However, it is estimated that flavonoids represent 10% of the total substances produced by the plant, and 2.5% of the dry weight in leaves and flowers. But what are flavonoids? What is their purpose, and how do they act? In this article we will answer these questions.

Flavonoids are responsible for the colour of the flowers.

Flavonoids are responsible for the colour of the flowers, stems and leaves.

What are flavonoids?

Described for the first time by Robert Doyle (1664), the first flavonoid – citrine – was identified by Nobel Prize winner Szent-Györgyi in 1930. Today, “flavonoids” is the name used to refer to a wide range of secondary metabolites (phytonutrients) present in terrestrial plants, and also in some algae. Since there is enormous diversity in both the biosynthesis and the chemical composition of these compounds, it is estimated that more than 5,000 flavonoids can be found in plants, fruits and vegetables (some sources even point to 9,000 or more).

In addition, we know that their metabolic functions within the organism of plants and animals (and of course humans) …

Read Post →

Qualified Opportunity Zones and Cannabis

, , No Comment

qualified opportunity zone cannabis
Seems like a long shot, anyway.

Qualified Opportunity Zones, which provide a tremendous benefit to investors and low income communities, are the hot new topic in the real estate investment world. The cannabis industry is buzzing about investment opportunities in these zones, but we remain skeptical about the ability of cannabis business activity to qualify for the benefits under this new federal program.

Qualified Opportunity Zones were created under the relatively new federal tax law, known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” That law authorized each state to nominate certain low-income communities as “qualified opportunity zones.” A list of qualifying census tracts can be found here.

In order to take advantage of the benefits, taxpayers must invest in a Qualified Opportunity Fund, which is an investment vehicle organized as a corporation or partnership for the purpose of investing in qualified opportunity zone property that holds at least 90 percent of its assets in qualified opportunity zone property.

The benefits to investors include (1) a deferral of tax on capital gains from the sale of existing property that are reinvested into a Qualified Opportunity Fund, (2) subsequent basis increases on deferred capital gains reinvested into a Qualified Opportunity Fund, and (3) the elimination of capital gains tax on growth attributable to gain reinvested in a Qualified …

Read Post →

FREE Webinar February 21: West Coast Hemp CBD

, , No Comment

hemp cbd farm act

In December 2018, Congress passed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (better known as the “Farm Bill”). Among other things, the passage of the bill removed industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, allowing legal production of the crop. Despite this landmark legislation, pitfalls still lay on the path ahead. The legality of many industrial-hemp derived cannabidiol (“CBD”) products is in question now more than ever, with different states and federal agencies taking vastly different approaches on every facet of the hemp CBD industry.

Interest in hemp is at an all-time high, and with an industry that has a potential to be worth $20 billion by 2022, it is easy to see why. If you are a hemp CBD business, have interest in the industry or are interested in the state and future of hemp CBD legality, please join us on February 21, 2019 at noon (PST) for the latest installment in our lunchtime webinar series entitled “West Coast Hemp CBD After the Farm Bill.”

In this hour-long session, Harris Bricken lawyers Daniel Shortt (Seattle, Washington), Nathalie Bougenies (Portland, Oregon), and Griffen Thorne (Los Angeles, California) will provide an in-depth look at changes in federal law and policy post Farm bill, as well as its impact on each of the three west coast states (Washington, Oregon, and …

Read Post →