July 22, 2020
Things are popping off on the left coast today, and we have 2 different stories from the wild wild west world of California cannabis, along with some positive progress from congress regarding military personnel and the use of CBD.
The Morning Buzz presented by TRICHOMES brings you late-breaking news that tells you what’s happening within the cannabis industry.
First today, California Officials are Considering Hefty Fines for Businesses that Support Unlicensed Cannabis Shops
The LA Times reports a proposal from the California Assembly would levy civil fines up to $30,000 per day to anyone who provides building space, advertising platforms, and other services to unlicensed cannabis operators.
A story from Ganjapreneur says the bill was introduced by Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D) who said that as much as 80 percent of the cannabis sold in the state comes from illegal operators. The language of the proposed law would require it to be known that a cannabis business is illegal and there must be an obvious intent to support the illegal operator.
The proposal is backed by the United Cannabis Business Association who, in a letter to lawmakers, said illegal sales “must be shut down to ensure that legal operators can see an increase of patients and consumers which creates union jobs while we contribute to local and the State of California’s tax revenues.”
The law would strengthen the position of officials for cases like that of the cannabis platform Weedmaps. In 2018, cannabis industry oversight officials sent a cease-and-desist letter to Weedmaps over their advertising of unlicensed businesses on the platform. After arguments on both sides, last August the company said they would no longer allow such businesses to advertise on the site.
The measure still requires approval from the state Senate before it becomes law.
**Next, Congress has Approved a Measure that Allows CBD Use by Those Serving in the Military
According to Marijuana Moment, the House of Representatives approved an amendment on Monday to allow military service members to use products containing hemp and its derivatives—including CBD.
The measure, sponsored by Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), stipulates that the “Secretary of Defense may not prohibit, on the basis of a product containing hemp or any ingredient derived from hemp, the possession, use, or consumption of such product by a member of the Armed Forces” as long as the crop meets the federal definition of hemp and that “such possession, use, or consumption is in compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local law.”
It passed by a vote of 336-71 in a package including dozens of other non-cannabis amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill also features a measure approved in committee earlier this month that allows heads of military branches to issue reenlistment waivers for those who admit to using cannabis, or were convicted of a misdemeanor cannabis offense, once.
** Lastly today, more news from California–something is definitely ‘off’ in the LBC–where Only 2% of Cannabis Social Equity Applicants are Actually Operating
According to MJ Biz Daily, just one out of 50 business applicants who qualified for Long Beach, California’s social equity program has actually entered the city’s cannabis industry.
The astonishingly low 2% participation rate can be attributed to a lack of seed money for those who qualify for the program, according to the Long Beach Business Journal, which estimated that it can cost upwards of $1 million to enter the city’s market.
In a letter to city leadership, the acting Long Beach city manager wrote that according to applicants: “The primary reason for the discrepancy between interest in the program and actual business license applications received is the substantial amount of capital necessary to start a cannabis business.”
Long Beach was one of several California localities that received state grant money to bolster their cannabis social equity programs. The city took in $2.7 million in funding, but so far that hasn’t translated to more minorities actually owning cannabis companies. Long Beach’s cannabis program manager told the Business Journal he was not aware of any Black-owned cannabis retail stores in the city.
**That was today’s buzz! Thanks for listening…for more cannabis news and insights from industry professionals, and a place to discuss these stories and others, visit TRICHOMES.com