IS CBD LEGAL? DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ASK

IS CBD LEGAL? DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ASK

By: Dale Schafer, Esq.

One of the hottest dilemmas, in the cannabis industry, these days involves the relative legality of CBD. The answer involves the DEA, the Farm Bill of 2014, the myriad state laws, on the subject, and a history of ambiguity in America over jurisdiction, and control, over products that are consumed by humans for benefits to health.  Understanding this quagmire is helped by a glance back in history to see how we all got to this difficult place.

The 19th century was dominated by unrestricted capitalism in many commodities, including drugs. Opium had been known, for millennia, as a pain medication and pleasure producer, but it had a dark side. In 1805 the German pharmaceutical giant Merke isolated Morphine from opium. The British were very successful purveyors of opium and forced the poison onto the Chinese in several Opium Wars in the 1840’s. Opium tincture (laudanum) was a widely available medical, or whatever, product in stores across America. The Civil War brought widespread use of morphine, through hypodermic syringes, and it became a drug problem for many veterans of the conflict.

Coca wine was available circa the war, but it was refined to a crystalline product with cocaine hydrochloride. President Grant used the substance to help with the writing of his memoirs before he died from throat cancer. Doc Pemberton concocted Coca-Cola, from coca leaves, to help him treat his morphine addiction. It was labeled a “soft drink” because it contained no alcohol and was believed, in dry Atlanta, to be less harmful than liquor. By the time Sigmund Freud was treated for cocaine addiction, it was becoming apparent that cocaine had a dark side.

Indian hemp was introduced into European society when Napoleon’s troops returned from the near east with hashish. Dr. O’Shaughnessy brought Indian hemp medical products to England in the 1840’s. It’s medical benefits were widely spread through medical societies and products were developed, principally based on alcohol extraction. The second half of the 19th century saw a rapid expansion of cannabis preparations here in America.

Morphine, cocaine and cannabis were not the only substances that were put into “patent medicines”, but they were the big ones. Alcohol was the solvent, and an ingredient, in many of the medicines. As you probably recall, alcohol was becoming quite the moral dilemma as the end of the 19th century approached. Traveling “medicine men” mixed up their special elixirs and sold them to rural citizens. These medical products, along with many other commercially prepared products, eventually appeared in the Sears and Roebuck catalog to be shipped in plain wrapping to your home. When Bayer developed Heroin, in the late 1890’s, the nation was seemingly flooded with snake oil and “addiction” was part of the national discussion about safety in consumer products.

Not to be forgotten was the invention of nutritional products to bring people back to health. Health sanitariums popped up and inventors like Kellogg developed food products (I’m thinking breakfast cereals) to bring people to optimum health. The health claims of these food products were puffing on steroids and their safety was never guaranteed. The food supply was increasingly uncertain and there were few laws to protect consumers. This situation had gained the attention of Congress and when Upton Sinclair published “The Jungle”, about the meat packing industry, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 (PFDA). The act required truthful labeling of drugs (morphine, cocaine, chloral hydrate and cannabis) and alcohol and is still considered the beginning of the FDA. However, those products that were not considered drugs were not treated as harshly. This would turn out to be the beginnings of the modern battle between drugs and nutritional supplements.

Over the decade that followed the PFDA, morphine was criminalized. The International Convention of 1912 lead to the Harrison Anti-Narcotic Act of 1914 and federal drug prohibition was off and running. The Treaty of Versailles contained language to prohibit morphine and opium, as did the League of Nations in the 1920’s. States began to enact laws to control poisons and Boards of Pharmacy evolved in all states. As drugs were increasingly controlled, nutritional supplements fought hard to avoid the label of drug. Food, which included supplements, were under the control of the US Department of Food and Agriculture. Consumer safety for foods was viewed differently that the control mechanisms for drugs to protect medical consumers. In the 1930’s Congress added cosmetics to the FDA and today we operate under the FDCA.

America’s attack on cannabis took racial overtones as “marijuana” entered the lexicon of prohibition. When the Mexican Civil War sent refugees fleeing north after 1910, cities and states began to enact prohibitions against marijuana use, but medical use of cannabis was allowed. After alcohol prohibition ended in the administration of FDR, there was increasing pressure for national marijuana prohibition. In 1937, Congress nefariously passed the Marijuana Tax Act and even medical use was made effectively impossible. The Tax Act lasted until 1969 when Tim Leary got SCOTUS to find it unconstitutional. Congress took up the issue of drugs in the Omnibus Controlled Substances of 1970 (CSA). As you know, marijuana was placed in Schedule 1 of that Act and was completely outlawed, except with federal permission. An unfortunate situation that continues today.

In 1994, Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. This act had jurisdiction over products taken orally for supplementing the health. Claims of health benefits were required to prove their claims or cease advertising the benefits. It also put the burden on the FDA to prove a product, or ingredient was to be treated as a drug rather than a supplement. Ingredients like ephedra lost the battle with the FDA and recently, kratom has fallen under such scrutiny. The industry that produces and markets food supplements is vast, politically connected and well funded. If there is a straight-faced argument to keep a supplement a food rather than a drug, massive political pressure can be brought to bear.

MARIJUANA AS A LEGAL TERM IS A PROBLEM

Prior to Dr. Machoulam’s discovery of THC in the early 1960’s, science did not know what was in cannabis that made it psychoactive. By that time, marijuana was the legal term, used by the federal and state governments, to describe the cannabis plant with psychoactive and medical benefits. Once this cannabinoid was discovered, definitions were developed to distinguish between “marijuana” and “hemp”. THC concentration defined the two terms and the figure of 0.3% THC was the line. Less was hemp and more was marijuana. When Congress enacted the CSA, marijuana was defined to include all parts of the cannabis plant, growing or not, seeds, resin extracted, all salts, compounds, derivatives and all the language thought to cover every possible product from the plant. The CSA also excluded the stalks, fiber, oil cakes made from seeds, but resin extracted from stalks was not excluded. (21 USC 802). The use of the term “resin” is a problem in today’s question about hemp derived CBD.

The cannabis plant produces cannabinoids. Prior to the scientific definition of THC, the term marijuana was all inclusive, even though the non-psychoactive phenotypes were defined as hemp for practical purposes. WWII brought hemp production back for a short period of time, but amnesia was imposed for several decades. Hemp and marijuana were treated effectively the same. They were illegal.

As research continued into the multitude of cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant, it became possible to isolate the cannabinoids. CBD was able to be looked at separately and investigators began the process to identify which of the cannabinoids were responsible for the many medical effects described by patients. Research also proceeded into the health and nutritional benefits of hemp seeds and the oil derived from them. Dating back, to the 1937 Tax Act, whole seeds needed to be rendered sterile. Seed cake was the base for nutritional and health products. It was also determined that some varieties hemp had relatively more CBD than others. It was possible to extract, and isolate, CBD as a commercial by-product of hemp cultivation and processing. Herein lies the present reality that is creating today’s uproar.

The use of the term “resin” in the CSA demonstrates a desire to prohibit, and control, cannabinoids as a drug. The Farm Bill of 2014 was enacted to allow research projects, under state law, to develop agricultural products from hemp. Several states, most notably Kentucky, have moved forward with increasing commercial production of hemp products. As more acres of hemp are grown, increasing amounts of hemp flowers were available and CBD could be extracted commercially. Over the last two decades, CBD products have become increasingly popular and the source of CBD began to be hemp. Domestic hemp production was not enough to cheaply meet demand so international sources were sought out, think China. Many that were in the CBD trade began to believe that CBD was not a drug covered by the CSA, but an industrial hemp product or a nutritional supplement, outside federal criminal enforcement.

The DEA did not suffer from this belief. In early 2017, a statement was issued by the DEA that clarified, at least in their minds, that CBD was a schedule 1 drug under the CSA and that the Farm Bill did not allow CBD production since it was not an agricultural product, but a drug product. Litigation was started to fight this ruling, but the case was dismissed. In December of 2017, the DEA announced a new category of marijuana extract that covered CBD, and all cannabinoids. As far as the federal government is concerned, CBD is treated like THC, it’s all marijuana. It’s not that simple though.

Many states that have legalized cannabis specifically allow, or restrict patients to, CBD as a state legal medical product. If the CBD is produced within the lawful state, it is only the federal government that would take enforcement action. Unfortunately for the federal drug establishment, there aren’t enough enforcement officers to stop CBD as a medical product. CBD products are seemingly available everywhere and states appear to be inclined to not enforce. This creates a situation that defies understanding, logic or currently workable solutions.

To make matters even more difficult, hemp probably is not the best source of CBD for human consumption. The cannabis plant will extract many toxins from the soil and it takes acres of hemp to commercially produce CBD. The toxins can show up in the CBD and that is problematic for consumer safety because of a lack of testing. Additionally, the cannabis chemotypes that produce high concentrations of cannabinoids, traditionally called marijuana, include a fuller profile of cannabinoids and contain terpenes. Most cannabinoid experts, I’ve talked with, believe that full spectrum cannabinoid products are medicinally superior to hemp derived CBD. This particular topic cries out for research to determine the best source for medicinal products high in CBD.

Now that I’ve said all that, the central question remains difficult to answer. The DEA considers CBD to be prohibited as a schedule 1 drug and not allowed to be produced from hemp, since it’s not considered an agricultural product. If CBD is shipped through interstate commerce, the federal government may decide to take some enforcement actions to send a message. However, for all practical purposes, the feds can’t stop the CBD trade. If your state is allowing CBD production, odd are you’re safer, but not totally safe. How far one goes with CBD production and sales, depends on one’s willingness to accept the risk. Of course, that’s been the theme involved in cannabis production for many decades now. Welcome back to the wild west.  

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El Dorado County – Seven Ad Hoc Cannabis Meetings Announced

Seven Ad Hoc Cannabis Meetings Announced

Seven Ad Hoc Cannabis Meetings Announced

Department:
CAO
Date:
3/5/2018
Contact:
Carla Hass
Phone:
(530) 621-4609

(PLACERVILLE, CA) – The following seven meetings of the El Dorado County ad hoc Cannabis Committee meeting are scheduled between today and May 14th.

WHAT: Ad hoc Cannabis Committee meetings

WHEN: All meetings are from 3:00 pm-5:00 pm

  • Monday, March 5th (Outdoor/Cottage)
  • Monday, March 12th (Indoor/Mixed Light/Cottage)
  • Monday, March 19th (Dispensaries/Deliveries/Distribution)
  • Monday, April 23rd (Microbusiness/Nurseries/Testing)
  • Monday, April 30th (Manufacturing)
  • Monday, May 7th (Tax Rates/Funding)
  • Monday, May 14th (Administering a Program/What does it look like?)

WHERE: All meetings will take place at the County Board of Supervisors Chambers 330 Fair Lane Placerville, CA

WHO: Members of the ad hoc Cannabis Committee, Supervisors Michael Ranalli and Sue Novasel
El Dorado County Staff
Members of the public are invited to attend

UPDATE – Successful Cannabis Business DIY Program

Cannabis Regulations

Workshop Overview

 

  1. Regulations Overview and Local Approval (Approx 3 hours)
  2. Temp. License Application Process – Includes information about all required elements of the temporary license application for the BCC, CDFA and/or CDPH (Approx 3 hours)
  3. Annual License Application 1 – Business Plan & Description, Business Formulation Documents, Fictitious Business Name Process (Approx 3 hours)
  4. Annual License Application 2 – Lists of Funds, Lists of Loans, Lists of Investments, Lists of Gifts, List of every individual with financial interest (approx 3 hours)
  5. Annual License Application 3 – List of every owner, Livescans, Evidence of Legal Right To Occupy, Evidence of Premises Compliance, Labor Peace Agreement (Approx 3 hours)
  6. Annual License Application 4 – Seller’s Permit, Proof of Bond, Standard Operating Procedures (Approx 3 hours)
  7. Annual License Application 5 – Cultivation Plan, Water Board Regs, Prohibited chemicals, heavy metals, etc. (Approx 3 hours)
  8. Annual License Application 6 – Track & Trace, Supply Chain, (Approx 3 hours)
  9. Maintaining Your License – Liability Issues, Potential hurdles, What to watch out for, Maintaining your License. (Approx 3 hours)
  10. Having a successful business – Your website, marketing your business, setting yourself apart in the industry, Branding, Trademarking (Approx 3 hours)

 

*** Between Workshops 2 & 3 there will be a week off to complete your TEMPORARY STATE APPLICATION and sit down with us to review before submitting

OR

Bank that 2-hour appointment for when you are ready to do so

AFTER WORKSHOP 10 THERE WILL BE ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A 2-HOUR APPOINTMENT TO REVIEW YOUR ANNUAL APPLICATION 

OR

BANK THAT APPOINTMENT AS WELL

*** Program subject to change based on changes made by the State regulatory agencies

For more information go to Successful Cannabis Business DIY Program

6 Ways to Beat a Local Cannabis Ban

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON LEAFLY.COM

When California’s first adult-use cannabis stores opened on Jan. 1, many of the state’s residents realized they would be shut out. They weren’t happy. Residents of Orange County, where all but one city, Santa Ana, has banned retail sales, shook their heads in disgust. “Orange County will have no retail stores?” one Leafly reader wrote. “What a f joke OC is.”

If cannabis is legal statewide, how come you can’t buy it in your own county?

It’s not just Newport Beach turning its nose up. Retail cannabis may be legal statewide, but California law allows local municipalities to severely limit or ban cannabis companies. Cannabis is banned entirely, for example, in the cities of Redding, Pomona, Crescent City, and Santa Monica, as well as most of Orange, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties. That’s just the start of a long list.

These local bans aren’t entirely unusual—and they usually don’t last forever. During the early days of legalization in Colorado and Washington, many municipal councils enacted bans out of fear and ignorance. Suburban towns shut out retail storefronts, for example, nervous that legal sales could bring more trouble than good. Meanwhile, most local politicians voting on those bans knew very little about cannabis and the legal industry around it. Many bought into old stereotypes about weed, stoners, dealers, and crime.

When Oregon legalized, we saw the same thing. Today, California and Massachusetts are in the thick of it.

Here’s the rub: Many of the communities that initially enacted bans were themselves not anti-cannabis. Some voted overwhelmingly in favor of statewide legalization. In many cases, bans were the response to the vocal outcry of a relatively small number of concerned citizens. In others, local governments were simply unfamiliar with legal cannabis or felt unprepared to appropriately regulate it.

The good news is that bans can be reversed. But they don’t overturn themselves. Here are a few ways you can start opening minds and changing votes.

1. Work With an Advocacy Group (but Not Always)

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Connect with an advocacy organization, such as your state chapter of NORML, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws. They have a deep well of knowledge, resources, and experience with the local political landscape. The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) also has a “Block the Ban” initiative up and running; they’ve already successfully overturned the ban in one Massachusetts town.

Connecting with and joining NORML or another group doesn’t mean you become their official representative. Politicians sometimes tune out advocacy groups because they see them as “special interests.” That’s not entirely fair, but it is what it is. If you introduce yourself to a local elected official as a constituent and concerned citizen—or a concerned parent or business owner—you may get more traction.

2. Get Out and Meet the Man

It’s easy to protest The Man and his cannabis ban. But there is no Man. In most cases, there are well-meaning but fallible men and women who haven’t encountered a local constituent eager to talk with them as a cool-headed legalization advocate. (Okay, not all politicians are well-meaning. But you’d be surprised.) There are a number of entry points:

  • Sidle up to your local city council member before or after a weekly council meeting. Introduce yourself, give them your elevator pitch, and tell them you’d like to talk with them further about the issue.
  • Use the New Business or public comment period at the end of the council meeting to air your concern.
  • Write a letter to one or all of the council members.
  • Send a version of that letter to the local newspaper. Call out supporters and opponents of the ban by name.
  • Post about the issue on social media. Again, call out officeholders by name, and consider tagging them or creating a hashtag. You will get their attention.

Before you go: Have your clear, concise talking points ready to deliver. See #3 below.

3. Arm Yourself With Facts

“One of the biggest challenges we as a legislative body are going to face,” Indiana state Rep. Jim Lucas, a medical marijuana legalization supporter, recently told his colleagues, “is coming through all the smoke, all the fear-mongering, all the stigma, the ignorance.”

Luckily, there’s a lot of good evidence that a legal, regulated market works far better for everyone than prohibition.

There’s no shortage of misinformation when it comes to cannabis. Like with a lot of issues that people feel strongly about, it’s common for opportunists to seize on information that supports their preconceptions rather than digging deeper into the issues. Luckily, there’s a lot of good evidence that a legal, regulated market works far better for everyone than prohibition. So when you engage with elected officials, come armed with facts.

The reasons you support legal cannabis might not be reasons your neighbors or your council members find persuasive. If you’re talking to an elected official, learn about the issues that drive them customize your pitch. If you’re talking to a liberal Democrat, lead with social justice concerns. A conservative Republican may be more amenable to a pitch about personal freedom and the waste of taxpayer resources on nonsensical cannabis arrests. Centrists might appreciate the extra revenue to shore up budget holes. This article has a number of further tips.

4. Bring a Positive Proposal to the Table

Guess who writes a lot of the first drafts of legislation? Not the office holder! Seriously. Do some research. Find copies of the local cannabis ordinances adopted by towns and counties similar in size and culture to your own. Present the entire piece of legislation to your local office holder. They are busy, and they’re working on issues ranging from potholes to violent crime. The more work you can do for them, the more likely they’ll seriously consider introducing your measure.

5. Argue From a Position of Strength

Did your county, district, or town vote in favor of statewide cannabis legalization? Well then why is the local town council disrespecting the clearly expressed will of local voters? Do they think the voters are confused children?

70% of Marin County, CA, voters embraced legalization. And yet the county council banned it. That’s got to change.

When you approach an elected official, do so with the knowledge of how your district voted on the state’s ballot initiative. (If you’re working in a county that voted overwhelmingly against legalization, you will want to have an answer to the inevitable question. Often that’s where the experience of people from NORML and other groups comes in handy.)

For example, the map below shows how California counties voted on Proposition 64, the 2016 statewide measure to legalize the adult use of cannabis. Check out Marin County in the map below. Marin embraced legalization with 70% of the vote. Three months later the Marin County Board of Supervisors banned all cannabis-related business activity in unincorporated Marin. There’s your conversation starter, Concerned Marin Constituent.

6. Run Your Own “Beat the Ban” Initiative

When local elected officials won’t listen to your well-reasoned argument, you still have Option B: The local initiative. Find out how to get a local initiative on the ballot in your area, if it’s an option (different jurisdictions often have different rules). Reach out to groups like NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project, which have a lot of experience running and winning these “Beat the Ban” measures.

Local voters love to cast their ballots in favor of these initiatives, because they’re kind of like telling local politicians: “Yes, I did actually mean it when I voted for statewide legalization. It wasn’t a mistake.”

Often it’s just a matter of persistence. In Oregon, roughly a year after legal sales began, 15 municipalities that initially prohibited cannabis businesses voted to undo those bans. And in Massachusetts, which is readying for adult-use sales to begin this summer, a growing number of communities are voting to allow cannabis businesses, bucking an early trend of local bans.

“We got a lot of support from people who don’t use cannabis, but might want to someday,” Scott Winters, an Amesbury resident who spearheaded opposition to an anti-cannabis referendum that was defeated in November by a nearly 2-1 margin, told the Associated Press. “From users to non-users to just folks who want revenue for the city, we had a lot of support.

Bruce Barcott & Ben Adlin

Bruce Barcott is Leafly’s deputy editor. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America. Ben Adlin is an editor at Leafly who specializes in politics and the law. Together with editor Dave Schmader, they host Leafly’s weekly politics podcast, The Roll-Up.

Successful Cannabis Business DIY Program

Announcement

The purpose of this announcement is to gauge the interest in the DIY Program. The DIY Program is still being created and some of the elements of the program may change. The intent is to offer the DIY Program in Northern California (In the Sacramento Area), between March and May, and Southern California (Location TBD), between June and August, for approved participants.

 

Attorney Dale Schafer is a pioneer in the cannabis industry, practicing attorney of more than 30 years and expert on the california cannabis regulations. Since 1999 Mr Schafer has been working hard to help small cannabis business owners to follow california state law and bridge the gap between medical cannabis businesses and policy makers in local municipalities. As California moves into a regulated and legal market, Mr. Schafer is focused on helping small cannabis businesses to be successful and sustainable, not only in the application process but also in their first years of official business.

 

The average consultant/attorney charges approximately $25,000, per license, to complete the necessary paperwork to obtain the temporary and annual state cannabis license. That fee does not include the necessary education to be successful and sustainable, in the california cannabis industry, over the next 5+ years. It is the objective, of the Law Office of Dale Schafer, to participate in training and educating cannabis business owners to not only complete their paperwork but also to understand the landscape, of the up and coming cannabis industry, so as to be as successful as possible. It was with this objective, in mind, that we created the Successful Cannabis Business DIY Program and set the fee at approximately ¼ of that $25,000 cost.

 

The Successful Cannabis Business DIY Program is a pilot program, offered by the Law Office of Dale Schafer, to help cannabis business owners, who would only be prohibited by the cost of hiring an attorney to handle their paperwork needs in order to successfully open a legal state cannabis business within California. The program has been created to walk the applicant through the entire temporary and annual application process as well as many issues, the applicant will face, within the first year of business. The applicant will receive a 3-ring binder with resources to help with your application and business set-up process, sections and notes for each workshop, as well as section for the applicant’s business plan and standard operating procedures.

 

The objective, of the Successful Cannabis Business DIY Program is to help cannabis business owners, struggling to come up with all of the funds to obtain and maintain their temporary and annual state license, obtain all of the necessary tools to be as successful as possible in their application process as well as within their first year of business.

 

The goal, of the Successful Cannabis Business DIY Program is to offer each of the cannabis businesses, admitted into our program, all of the necessary one-on-one appointments, workshops, physical and online resources, etc. to obtain their temporary and annual license as well as maintain their license through the first year of business.

 

Who Will Benefit From The Program:

  • California cannabis business owners looking to transition from a non-profit mutual benefit model to a state licensed, for-profit, cannabis business.
  • New cannabis business owners looking to open a legal, state licensed, cannabis business in the State of California.
  • Operations Managers and/or Compliance Officers for licensed cannabis businesses

 

Please Note:

  • Only 25 applicants will be admitted into the Successful Cannabis Business DIY Program per program phase
  • The first phase will begin in March of 2018
  • Each program phase will be 12 weeks in total
  • Each and every client, of The Law Office of Dale Schafer, is required to complete an initial consultation. The initial consultation is approximately 2 hours, in length, and is billed at a rate of $500. Should Mr. Schafer determine that you are a candidate for the Successful Cannabis Business DIY Program, the initial consultation fee will be applied to the $7,500 program fee and your initial consultation requirement will be checked off as completed.
  • The order of workshops and/or content discussed within the workshop is subject to change based upon changes made within the state regulatory systems, development within the industry and/or subject matter which is found to be beneficial to the applicant.

 

Applicant Requirements:

  1. Applicant must sign a contract and pay a $7,500 fee to begin the program.

 

  1. Applicant must participate in a consultation which will be approximately 2 hours in length. Discussed at the consultation will be the desired license(s) to obtain, any potential hurdles to obtaining said license(s) and a basic plan to obtaining and maintaining said license(s).

 

  1. Applicant must attend and participate in the required workshops as follows:
    1. Regulations Overview (Approx 3 hours)
    2. Temp. License Application Process – Includes information about all required elements of the temporary license application for the BCC, CDFA and/or CDPH (Approx 3 hours)
    3. Annual License Application 1 – Business Plan & Description, Business Formulation Documents, Fictitious Business Name Process (Approx 3 hours)
    4. Annual License Application 2 – Lists of Funds, Lists of Loans, Lists of Investments, Lists of Gifts, List of every individual with financial interest (approx 3 hours)
    5. Annual License Application 3 – List of every owner, Livescans, Evidence of Legal Right To Occupy, Evidence of Premises Compliance, Labor Peace Agreement (Approx 3 hours)
    6. Annual License Application 4 – Seller’s Permit, Proof of Bond, Standard Operating Procedures (Approx 3 hours)
    7. Annual License Application 5 – Cultivation Plan, Water Board Regs, Prohibited chemicals, heavy metals, etc. (Approx 3 hours)
    8. Annual License Application 6 – Track & Trace, Supply Chain, Local Authorization (Approx 3 hours)
    9. Maintaining Your License – Liability Issues, Potential hurdles, What to watch out for, Maintaining your License. (Approx 3 hours)
    10. Having a successful business – Your website, marketing your business, setting yourself apart in the industry (Approx 3 hours)

 

  1. Between workshop’s B & C there will be a required consultation appointment to review all of the client’s collected elements, of the Temporary License Application, and ensure that all of the elements are up to par and therefore is likely to be accepted and approved by the regulating agency. (NOTE – From the date the Temporary Application is submitted there is approximately 30 days to get approved by the regulating agency. From the date the Temporary Application is approved there is 120 days to get the Annual Application submitted and approved by the regulating agency.)

 

  1. After all workshops have been completed their will be a required exit appointment to review all of the client’s collected elements, of the Annual License Application, and ensure that all of the elements are up to par and therefore it is likely that the application will be accepted and approved by the regulating agency. All final questions will be answered and the client will be exited from the program.

 

To Qualify Client MUST: (No Exceptions)

  • Have completed their Initial Consultation before the 1st Workshop date.
  • Have signed their contact before the 1st workshop date.
  • Have paid their program fee before the 1st workshop date.
  • Be willing and able to attend ALL workshop dates. Each date will cover a great amount of information essential to understanding exactly how to be successful in both submitting their application and running their business. However, we should consider allowing the main participant to list up to 2 alternate participants who could attend in their place should an emergency come up and the participant is unable to attend a workshop date.
  • Complete the entire program, including the exit appointment, within the allotted 12 week time period.

 

Program Timeline

  • First Workshop to begin in the 1st week of March
  • Workshops will run every Thursday from March – May:

Regulations Overview TBD

Temp. License Application Process TBD

Annual License Application 1 TBD

Annual License Application 2 TBD

Annual License Application 3 TBD

Annual License Application 4 TBD

Annual License Application 5 TBD

Annual License Application 6 TBD

Maintaining Your License TBD

Having a successful business TBD

*** You have approx. 2 weeks to complete your exit appointment and finish the program ***

 

What The Program Provides For The Applicant:

  • Approximately 30 hours of workshop time with Attorney Dale Schafer.
  • A 3-ring binder filled with cannabis business resources and workshop content.
  • One-on-one appointment to review both the Temporary Application and the Annual Application for the applicant’s cannabis license(s).
  • Access, via email and phone, to Attorney Dale Schafer’s staff, to answer questions, as the applicant completes their application process.

 

Application Process

To apply for the program click the link, below, and we will contact you once we are notified that your application has been received. If you have not heard from our office, within 2 business days, please email daleschaferlaw@gmail.com

https://form.jotform.com/80057095384157

What Is Really Required To File Your State Cannabis Application

My goal, today, is to dispel some of the fears and myths, around the State cannabis application process, and inform about the process of filing your application for a California State Cannabis Permit. Remember, this post does not pertain, specifically, to the local application as those can, and will, be different for the nearly 500 municipalities across California.

 

Temporary Application Requirements (Only Valid For 120 Days)

Temporary license application (can be filed by hard copy or via www.bcc.ca.gov)

The legal business name of the applicant

The email address of the applicant’s business and the telephone number for the premises

The business’ federal employer identification number

A description of the business organizational structure of the applicant (partnership or corporation)

The temporary license type that is being requested

The license designation requested, A-license or M-license, (all license types other than laboratories)

The contact information for the applicant’s designated primary contact person

owner’s name, title, percentage of ownership, mailing address, telephone number, & email address

The physical address of the premises to be licensed

Evidence that the applicant has the legal right to occupy and use the proposed location (section 5007)

A premises diagram

A copy of a valid license, permit, or other authorization issued by a local jurisdiction

Attestation to the following statement: Under penalty of perjury, I hereby declare that the information contained within and submitted with the application is complete, true, and accurate. I

understand that a misrepresentation of fact is cause for rejection of this application, denial of the license, or revocation of a license issued.

 

Cultivation Applications – Department Of Food And Agriculture

Temporary license applications shall be completed and submitted online at calcannabis.cdfa.ca.gov or mailed to the department at P.O. Box 942871, Sacramento, CA 94271.

The license type, pursuant to section 8201

If the applicant has already submitted an application for annual licensure, the application number

The legal business name of the applicant entity

The full legal name, mailing address, phone number, email address, and affiliation of the designated responsible party who shall:

(A) Be an owner with legal authority to bind the applicant entity;

(B) Serve as agent for service of process; and

(C) Serve as primary contact for the application

The physical address of the premises

A copy of a valid license, permit, or other authorization, issued by a local jurisdiction, that enables the applicant entity to conduct commercial cannabis activity at the location requested for the temporary license. For the purposes of this section, “other authorizations” shall include, at a minimum, a written statement or reference that clearly indicates the local jurisdiction intended to grant permission to the applicant entity to conduct commercial cannabis activity at the premises.

 

Annual Application Requirements (Must Be Filed 120 Days After Temp. Application)

Temporary license application (can be filed by hard copy or via www.bcc.ca.gov)

The legal business name of the applicant

The email address of the applicant’s business and the telephone number for the premises

The business’ federal employer identification number

A description of the business organizational structure of the applicant (partnership or corporation)

The temporary license type that is being requested

The license designation requested, A-license or M-license, (all license types other than laboratories)

The contact information for the applicant’s designated primary contact person

owner’s name, title, percentage of ownership, mailing address, telephone number, & email address

The physical address of the premises to be licensed

The mailing address for the applicant, if different from the premises address

The telephone number for the premises

The website address of the applicant’s business

Evidence that the applicant has the legal right to occupy and use the proposed location (section 5007)

A premises diagram

A copy of a valid license, permit, or other authorization issued by a local jurisdiction

Payment of an application fee (section 5014)

Whether the owner is serving or has previously served in the military. (Disclosure is voluntary)

A list of the license types and the license numbers issued from the Bureau and all other state cannabis licensing authorities that the applicant holds, including the date the license was issued and the licensing authority that issued the license.

Whether the applicant has been denied a license or has had a license suspended or revoked by the Bureau or any other state cannabis licensing authority. The applicant shall provide the type of license applied for, the name of the licensing authority that denied the application, and the date of denial.

The business-formation documents, which may include, but are not limited to, articles of incorporation, operating agreements, partnership agreements, and fictitious business name statements. The applicant shall also provide all documents filed with the California Secretary of State, which may include, but are not limited to, articles of incorporation, certificates of stock, articles of organization, certificates of limited partnership, and statements of partnership authority.

A list of every fictitious business name the applicant is operating under including the address where the business is located.

A list of funds belonging to the applicant held in savings, checking, or other accounts maintained by a financial institution. The applicant shall provide for each account, the financial

institution’s name, the financial institution’s address, account type, account number, and the

amount of money in the account.

A list of loans made to the applicant. For each loan, the applicant shall provide the amount of the loan, the date of the loan, term(s) of the loan, security provided for the loan, and the name, address, and phone number of the lender.

A list of investments made into the applicant’s commercial cannabis business. For each investment, the applicant shall provide the amount of the investment, the date of the investment, term(s) of the investment, and the name, address, and phone number of the investor.

A list of all gifts of any kind given to the applicant for its use in conducting commercial cannabis activity. For each gift, the applicant shall provide the value of the gift or description of the gift, and the name, address, and phone number of the provider of the gift.

A complete list of every individual that has a financial interest in the commercial cannabis business as defined in 5004 of this division, who is not an owner pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 26001(al).

A complete list of every owner of the applicant as defined in Business and Professions Code section 26001(al). Each individual named on this list shall submit the following information:

(A)

The full name of the owner.

(B)

The owner’s title within the applicant entity.

(C)

The owner’s date of birth and place of birth.

(D)

The owner’s social security number or individual taxpayer identification number.

(E)

The owner’s mailing address.

(F)

The owner’s telephone number. This may include a number for the owner’s home, business,

or mobile telephone.

(G)

The owner’s email address.

(H)

The owner’s current employer.

(I)

The percentage of the ownership interest held in the applicant entity by the owner.

(J)

Whether the owner has an ownership or a financial interest as defined in 5003 and 5004 of this division in any other commercial cannabis business licensed under the Act.

(K)

A copy of the owner’s government-issued identification. Acceptable forms of identification are a document issued by a federal, state, county, or municipal government that includes the name, date of birth, physical description, and picture of the person, such as a driver license.

(L)

A detailed description of the owner’s convictions. A conviction within the meaning of this section means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere. Convictions dismissed under Penal Code section 1203.4 or equivalent non-California law must

be disclosed. Convictions dismissed under Health and Safety Code section 11361.8 or equivalent non-California law must be disclosed. Juvenile adjudications and traffic infractions under $300 that did not involve alcohol, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances do not need to be included. For each conviction, the owner shall provide the following:

(i)

The date of conviction.

(ii)

Dates of incarceration if applicable.

(iii) Dates of probation if applicable.

(iv)

Dates of parole if applicable.

(v)

A detailed description of the offense for which the owner was convicted.

(vi)

A statement of rehabilitation for each conviction. The statement of rehabilitation is to be written by the owner and may contain evidence that the owner would like the Bureau to consider that demonstrates the owner’s fitness for licensure. Supporting evidence may be attached to the statement of rehabilitation and may include, but is not limited to, a certificate of rehabilitation under Penal Code section 4852.01, dated letters of reference from employers, instructors, or professional counselors that contain valid contact information for the individual providing the reference.

(M)

If applicable, a detailed description of any suspension of a commercial cannabis license, revocation of a commercial cannabis license, or sanctions for unlicensed commercial cannabis activity by a licensing authority or local agency against the applicant or a business entity in which the applicant was an owner or officer within the three years immediately preceding the date of the application.

(N)

Attestation to the following statement: Under penalty of perjury, I hereby declare that the information contained within and submitted with the application is complete, true, and accurate. I understand that a misrepresentation of fact is cause for rejection of this application, denial of the license, or revocation of a license issued.

Evidence that the applicant has the legal right to occupy and use the proposed location that complies with section 5007 of this division.

Evidence that the proposed premises is in compliance with Business and Professions Code section 26054(b).

For an applicant with 20 or more employees, the applicant shall attest that the applicant has entered into a labor peace agreement and will abide by the terms of the agreement, and the applicant shall provide a copy of the agreement to the Bureau. For applicants who have not yet entered into a labor peace agreement, the applicant shall provide a notarized statement indicating the applicant will enter into and abide by the terms of a labor peace agreement.

The applicant shall provide a valid seller’s permit number issued by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, if applicable. If the applicant has not yet received a

seller’s permit, the applicant shall attest that the applicant is currently applying for a seller’s

permit.

Proof of a bond (section 5008)

(For testing laboratory applications), the certificate(s) of accreditation as required by section 5702 of this division, or the information required for a provisional license as required by section 5703 of this division.

All licensee applications shall include a detailed description of the applicant’s operating procedures including the following (if applicable):

(A)

The Transportation Procedures

(i)

A description of the applicant’s procedure for transportation of cannabis goods, including whether or not the applicant will be transporting cannabis goods or contracting for transportation services.

(B)

Inventory Procedures

(i)

A description of the applicant’s procedure for receiving shipments of inventory.

(ii)

Where the applicant’s inventory will be stored on the premises and how records of the inventory will be maintained.

(iii) The applicant’s procedure for performing inventory reconciliation and for ensuring that inventory records are accurate.

(C)

Non-Laboratory Quality Control Procedures

(i)

The applicant’s procedures for preventing the deterioration of cannabis goods held by the applicant.

(ii)

The applicant’s procedures for ensuring that cannabis goods are properly packaged and labeled prior to retail sale.

(iii) The applicant’s procedures for ensuring that a licensed testing laboratory samples and analyzes cannabis goods held by the applicant.

(D)

Security Procedures

(i)

The applicant’s procedure for allowing individuals access to the premises.

(ii)

A description of the applicant’s video surveillance system including camera placement and procedures for the maintenance of video surveillance equipment.

Bureau of Cannabis Control Emergency Regulation Text Page 8 of 115

(iii) How the applicant will ensure that all access points to the premises will be secured, including the use of security personnel.

(iv)

A description of the applicant’s security alarm system.

Evidence of exemption from, or compliance with, the California Environmental Quality Act as required by section 5010.

 

Cultivation Applications – Department Of Food And Agriculture

Nonrefundable application fees for the specified annual license type

(a) Specialty Cottage Outdoor $135

(b) Specialty Cottage Indoor $205

(c) Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 1 $340

(d) Specialty Cottage Mixed-Light Tier 2 $580

(e) Specialty Outdoor $270

(f) Specialty Indoor $2,170

(g) Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 1 $655

(h) Specialty Mixed-Light Tier 2 $1,125

(i) Small Outdoor $535

(j) Small Indoor $3,935

(k) Small Mixed-Light Tier 1 $1,310

(l) Small Mixed-Light Tier 2 $2,250

(m) Medium Outdoor $1,555

(n) Medium Indoor $8,655

(o) Medium Mixed-Light Tier 1 $2,885

(p) Medium Mixed-Light Tier 2 $4,945

(q) Nursery $520

(r) Processor $1,040

§ 8104. Legal Right to Occupy.

(a) If the applicant is the owner of the property on which the premises is located, the applicant shall provide to the department a copy of the title or deed to the property.

(b) If the applicant is not the owner of the property upon which the premises is located, the applicant shall provide the following to the department:

(1) A document from the property owner or property owner’s agent where the commercial cannabis activity will occur that states the applicant has the right to occupy the property and acknowledges that the applicant may use the property for commercial cannabis cultivation;

(2) The property owner’s mailing address and phone number; and

(3) A copy of the lease or rental agreement, or other contractual documentation.

§ 8105. Property Diagram.

A property diagram shall be submitted with each application and shall contain the following:

(a) Boundaries of the property and the proposed premises wherein the license privileges will be exercised with sufficient detail to enable ready determination of the bounds of the premises showing all perimeter dimensions, entrances, and exits to both the property and premises;

(b) If the proposed premises consists of only a portion of a property, the diagram shall be labeled indicating which part of the property is the proposed premises and what the remaining property is used for.

(c) All roads and water crossings on the property;

(d) If the applicant is proposing to use a diversion from a waterbody, groundwater well, or rain catchment system as a water source for cultivation, include the following locations on the property diagram with locations also provided as coordinates in either latitude and longitude or the California Coordinate System:

(1) Sources of water used, including the location of waterbody diversion(s), pump location(s), and distribution system; and

(2) Location, type, and capacity of each storage unit to be used for cultivation.

(e) The assessor’s parcel number(s);

(f) The diagram shall be to scale; and

(g) The diagram shall not contain any highlighting.

§ 8106. Cultivation Plan Requirements.

(a) The cultivation plan for Specialty Cottage, Specialty, Small and Medium licenses shall include all of the following:

(1) A detailed premises diagram showing all boundaries and dimensions in feet of the following proposed areas to scale:

(A) Canopy area(s) (which shall contain mature plants, at any point in time) including aggregate square footage;

(B) Area(s) outside of the canopy where only immature plants shall be maintained, if applicable;

(C) Designated pesticide and other agricultural chemical storage area(s); (D) Designated processing area(s) if the licensee will process on site;

(E) Designated packaging area(s) if the licensee will package products on site;

(F) Designated composting area(s) if the licensee will compost cannabis waste on site;

(G) Designated secured area(s) for cannabis waste if different than subsection (F) above;

(H) Designated area(s) for harvested cannabis storage; and

(2) For indoor and mixed-light license type applications, a lighting diagram with the following information shall be included:

(A) Location of all lights in the canopy area(s); and

(B) Maximum wattage, or wattage equivalent, of each light.

(3) A pest management plan which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(A) Product name and active ingredient(s) of all pesticides to be applied to cannabis during any stage of plant growth; and

(B) Integrated pest management protocols including chemical, biological and cultural methods the applicant anticipates using to control or prevent the introduction of pests on the cultivation site.

(4) A cannabis waste management plan meeting the requirements of section 8108 of this Chapter. (b) The cultivation plan for nursery licenses shall include the following information: (1) A detailed premises diagram showing all boundaries and dimensions, in feet, of the following proposed areas:

(A) Area(s) which shall contain only immature plants;

(B) Designated research and development area(s) which may contain mature plants;

(C) Designated seed production area(s) which may contain mature plants; (D) Designated pesticide and other agricultural chemical storage area(s);

(E) Designated composting area(s) if the licensee will compost cannabis waste on site; and

(F) Designated secured area(s) for cannabis waste if different than subsection (E) above.

(2) A pest management plan which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(A) Product name and active ingredient(s) of all pesticides to be applied to cannabis during any stage of plant growth; and

(B) Integrated pest management protocols including chemical, biological and cultural methods the applicant anticipates using to control or prevent the introduction of pests on the cultivation site.

(3) A cannabis waste management plan pursuant to section 8108 of this Chapter.

(c) The cultivation plan for processor licenses shall include a detailed premises diagram showing all boundaries and dimensions, in feet, of the following proposed areas:

(1) Designated processing area(s);

(2) Designated packaging area(s), if the licensee will package and label products on site;

(3) Designated composting area(s) if the licensee will compost cannabis waste on site;

(4) Designated secured area(s) for cannabis waste if different than subsection (3) above; and;

(5) Designated area(s) for harvested cannabis storage;

(6) A cannabis waste management plan pursuant to section 8108 of this Chapter.

§ 8107. Supplemental Water Source Information.

The following information shall be provided for each water source identified by the applicant:

(a) Retail water supply sources:

(1) If the water source is a retail supplier, such as a municipal provider, as defined in Section 13575 of Water Code, identify the retail water supplier.

(2) If the water source is a small retail supplier, such as a delivery service, and is subject to subdivisions (a)(1)(B) of Section 26060.1 of Business and Professions Code:

(A) And if the contract is for delivery or pickup of water from a surface water body or an underground stream flowing in a known and definite channel, provide all of the following:

(i) The name of the contract water supplier;

(ii) The geographic location coordinates in either latitude and longitude or the California Coordinate System of any point of diversion used by the contract water supplier to divert water delivered to the applicant under the contract;

(iii) The authorized place of use for any water right used by the contract water supplier to divert water delivered to the applicant under the contract; and

(iv) The maximum amount of water delivered to the applicant for cannabis cultivation in any year.

(B) And if the contract is for delivery or pickup of water from a groundwater well, provide all of the following:

(i) The name of the contract water supplier;

(ii) The geographic location coordinates for any groundwater well used to supply water delivered to the applicant, in either latitude and longitude or the California Coordinate System;

(iii) The maximum amount of water delivered to the applicant for cannabis cultivation in any year; and

(iv) A copy of the well log filed with the Department of Water Resources pursuant to Section 13751 of Water Code for each percolating groundwater well used to divert water delivered to the applicant. If no well log is available, the applicant shall provide evidence from the Department of Water Resources indicating that the Department does not have a record of the well log. When no well log is available, the State Water Resources Control Board may request additional information about the well. (b) If the water source is a groundwater well:

(1) The groundwater wells geographic location coordinates in either latitude and longitude or the California Coordinate System; and

(2) A copy of the well log filed with the Department of Water Resources pursuant to Section 13751 of Water Code. If no well log is available, the applicant shall provide evidence from the Department of Water Resources indicating that the Department of Water Resources does not have a record of the well log. If no well log is available, the State Water Resources Control Board may request additional information about the well.

(c) If the water source is a rainwater catchment system:

(1) The total square footage of the catchment footprint area(s);

(2) The total storage capacity, in gallons, of the catchment system(s); and

(3) A detailed description of the type, nature, and location of each catchment surface. Examples of catchment surfaces include a rooftop and greenhouse.

(d) If the water source is a diversion from a waterbody, provide any applicable statement, application, permit, license, or small irrigation use registration identification number(s); and either

(1) A copy of any applicable registrations, permits, or licenses or proof of a pending application, issued under Part 2 (commencing with Section 1200) of Division 2 of the California Water Code as evidence of approval of a water diversion by the State Water Resources Control Board;

(2) A copy of any statements of diversion and use filed with the State Water Resources Control Board before October 31, 2017 detailing the water diversion and use; or

(3) A copy of documentation submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board before October 31, 2017 demonstrating that the diversion is authorized under a riparian right and that no diversion occurred in any calendar year between January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2017.

(4) If the applicant has claimed an exception from the requirement to file a statement of diversion and use, the applicant shall provide a copy of the documentation submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board before January 1, 2019 demonstrating that the diversion is subject to subdivision (a), (c), (d), or (e) of Section 5101 of Water Code. Authority: Sections 26012 and 26013, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 26060.1, Business and Professions Code; and Section 13149, Water Code.

§ 8109. Applicant Track and Trace Training Requirement.

(a) Each applicant is responsible for registering for state-mandated training, as prescribed by the department, within ten (10) business days of receiving notice from the department that their application for licensure has been received and is complete.

(b) Documentation of training completion shall be provided to the department within ten (10) business days of completion. Applicants approved for an annual license shall not have access to the track-and-trace system until the licensee’s designated account manager has completed, and provided proof of completion, of the track-and-trace training prescribed by the department. Authority: Sections 26012 and 26013, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 26067, Business and Professions Code.

§ 8110. Proof of Local License, Permit, or Other Authorization.

When the applicant provides a license, permit, or other authorization from the local jurisdiction where the licensed premises will be or is located, the department will notify the contact person identified pursuant to Section 26055 of Business and Professions Code. If the local jurisdiction does not respond to the department’s notification within ten (10) calendar days, the department may issue a license to the applicant. Authority: Sections 26012 and 26013, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 26050.1 and 26055, Business and Professions Code.

California Cannabis Industry

Your California State Cannabis Permit – Premises Diagram

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Did you know that you will be required to submit a Premises Diagram with your application for your State of California Cannabis Permit? Here are the requirements of the Premises Diagram portion of your application and I have highlighted some of the important requirements to keep in mind:

 

  • 5006. Premises Diagram

(a)

An applicant shall submit to the Bureau, with the application, a complete and detailed diagram of the proposed premises.

(b)

The diagram shall show the boundaries of the property and the proposed premises to be licensed, showing all boundaries, dimensions, entrances and exits, interior partitions, walls, rooms, windows, doorways, and common or shared entryways, and shall include a brief statement or description of the principal activity to be conducted therein.

(c)

The diagram shall show and identify commercial cannabis activities that will take place in each area of the premises, and identify limited-access areas.

(d)

The diagram shall show where all cameras are located and assign a number to each camera for identification purposes.

(e)

The diagram shall be to scale.

(f)

The diagram shall not contain any highlighting and the markings on the diagram shall be in black and white print.

(g)

If the proposed premises consists of only a portion of a property, the diagram must be labeled indicating which part of the property is the proposed premises and what the remaining property is used for.

(h)

If the proposed premises will be a microbusiness, in addition to the requirements of subsections (b) through (g), the diagram must also include measurements of the planned canopy, including aggregate square footage and individual square footage of separate cultivation areas, if any.

 

Authority: Section 26013, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 26051.5, Business and Professions Code.

 

If you have questions about this or any other part of the application process feel free to contact us at daleschaferlaw@gmail.com

 

PUBLIC SAFETY AND REGULATIONS WILL RULE THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED IN CANNACONSUMER MAGAZINE

The Governor of Vermont vetoed legislation to legalize cannabis in the state. He stated that he was not philosophically opposed to the idea of legalization however, he wanted to see increased penalties for selling to minors, driving while under the influence of cannabis and an increased commitment to develop taxes and regulations. These themes, along with product safety, are part and parcel to discussions in all states that have legalized cannabis, whether medical or adult use. These issues will continue until the public is comfortable with how the cannabis products are handled, consumers are protected and the public safety is reasonably assured.

 

I want to state clearly that cannabis is not benign. Consumers can have unwelcome reactions to its use. Drivers can have their ability to operate a vehicle, or engage in other dangerous activities, impaired. Use by children is concerning to many policy makers and citizens. Taxing and regulating an illicit market will not be easy or happen quickly. However, these challenges are being overcome in several states and more will follow.

 

Consumer safety is being addressed in many ways. Creating a safe supply chain begins with regulations that control the growing, processing ,transportation, manufacturing, testing, storing, packaging and retail sales. Along the supply chain there are many places and ways to raise money for state and local governments to oversee and enforce the regulations. There are also taxes being imposed that are raising millions, and eventually billions, of dollars in revenue to benefit states and local jurisdictions in many ways. Ensuring that cannabis and its products are safe, requires testing for contaminants including mold, mildew, toxins, heavy metals, solvents and pesticides. Failures of these tests will remove dangerous products from the supply chain and give some level of assurance to consumers.Testing for cannabinoids and terpenes will help educate consumers about their reactions to these different constituents of cannabis.

 

Much is being made about overdoses from cannabis, especially edibles. Retail dispensers, knowing the cannabinoid and terpene profiles, will be in a position to teach cannabis naive consumers on how to consume without going overboard. For experienced consumers, knowledge will provide better understanding of what they are using and what to expect. With time, the public will get more comfortable knowing that it is impossible to take a lethal dose of cannabis. It can be concerning when more is consumed than desired, including children eating edibles, but with time the effects will pass. Poison control calls and trips to the emergence room will decrease as public knowledge increases on the overall safety of cannabis.

 

Consuming and driving is an area creating public safety concerns. No one wants impaired drivers on the roads, but determining impairment is not like dealing with alcohol. Cannabis is used through the lungs, under the tongue, through the gut, through the skin and by way of suppository. It can take from a few seconds to hours to enter the system and its effects can diminish to non impaired levels within a matter of minutes to hours. Unlike alcohol, it enters the fat system in the body and can slowly be metabolized over weeks. Law enforcement is looking for a portable testing device that can determine levels of active and inactive cannabinoids and laws are being passed to establish “per se” impairment levels of THC and its metabolites. However, science does not currently support per se impairment levels. THC, its active metabolite 11-OH-THC and the inactive metabolite THC-COOH can be present at significant levels hours or days after use, but actual impairment can diminish within minutes. Nevada has set a per se limit of 2 ng/ml in the blood, while Colorado is more common at 5 ng/ml. However, a recent Colorado trial resulted in an acquittal at 19 ng/ml. California has managed to keep any per se levels off the books, but millions are being directed to the CHP and major universities to carefully study how officers can determine in the field whether there is probable cause to believe impairment is present.

 

Many jurisdictions allow cannabis to be transported in a vehicle, but consuming in a vehicle is problematic. Even if not impaired, the smell of burned cannabis will bring much unwanted law enforcement attention. Don’t smoke in a vehicle and certainly not while driving. Passengers smoking can also be a problem. Best advice is to treat cannabis like an open container and store it securely where a driver can’t get ahold of it. Don’t break more than one law at a time is what I drilled into my kids heads.

 

Although the illicit market does not check ID’s, the regulated industry will. Selling to underaged people will carry serious criminal consequences. With a physician involved, minors are allowed to use cannabis for medical conditions. Recreational use is another thing altogether and policy makers and citizens do not want minors buying or using cannabis. Expect adult use states to have stiff penalties when it comes to minors. California lowered almost all cannabis criminal sanctions to legal, infractions or misdemeanors. Selling to minors remains a felony and the state will be looking for this. Don’t expect this to change soon so get used to it and don’t do it.

 

I expect more states to put cannabis legalization on the ballot and more legislatures will be establishing regulated, legal cannabis markets. Legal states are gearing up to fight federal intervention should AG sessions move against legal cannabis at the state level. Legal cannabis is not going away and the states will be struggling for answers to the questions raised by Vermont’s governor, plus more. Cannabis consumption will be safer, but the regulations and taxes will be daunting. Keep kids out of the cannabis market. Although not benign, cannabis is relatively safe, non toxic and not poisonous. Do not drive after consuming until you are sure of the effects and expect more per se laws. As Tiger Woods found out mixing drugs can be a problem, so be very careful with using other drugs or alcohol. My family is out there on the roads and I want everyone home safe. Be a safe consumer and a good citizen.

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