California

Mon
10
Aug

Enforcement Alone Won’t End California’s Illicit Cannabis Market

So long as it is extremely difficult and expensive to start and run a licensed cannabis business, there will be people who opt for the illicit market.

It seems like every week, there’s a new announcement of state or local enforcement actions or raids of allegedly unlicensed cannabis operators in California. Some time ago, this would have been welcome news to many licensed cannabis businesses in the Golden State that pay large sums of money to get licensed while illicit market operators can offer cheaper, tax-free products to consumers at a huge competitive (though not legal) advantage. Nevertheless, it’s becoming clearer that nothing the state is doing is really changing the illicit market, and this offers little solace to the participants in the regulated market.

Fri
07
Aug

This L.A. cannabis startup blew $164 million in less than two years

 

"Not one person at the top knew what they were doing," one former employee told dot.LA.

A new series from dot.LA is chronicling the demise of the cannabis-focused startup Genius Fund. 

The company was financed by Russian oligarch Dmitry Borisovich Bosov, who invested roughly $164 million. The venture was run by two twenty-somethings, Ari Stiegler and Gabriel Borden.

The structure of the business included more than 50 corporate entities, including THC and CBD manufacturing processes, and employed more than 300 people. Stiegler and Borden had aspirations of building a cannabis empire in California, the world’s largest legal cannabis market.

Fri
07
Aug

San Diego County Declines To End Cannabis Ban

San Diego County cannabis activists have set their sights on the upcoming election as their next chance to affect change.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors declined to take action on a proposal that would end a ban on cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas of the county and establish the framework for a social equity program in a regulated marijuana industry. The motion to approve the proposal from Supervisor Nathan Fletcher died a quick death at a meeting on Wednesday when it failed to receive a second from any of his colleagues on the board.

Tue
04
Aug

California Bill Would Give Banks A Safe Harbor For Cannabis Business

Banking institutions and accountants offering services to cannabis businesses would have a safe harbor in California law under one of the weed-related bills awaiting state lawmakers’ action when they return to Sacramento this week.

One measure (A.B. 1525) says financial services, including public accounting firms, don’t commit a crime under any California law “solely by virtue of the fact that the person receiving the benefit of any of those services engages in commercial cannabis activity as a licensee” under state law.

Fri
31
Jul

California should ban marijuana advertising to protect children and teens

It’s one thing to decriminalize cannabis, but it’s another to encourage use with marketing and advertising that reaches kids.

And that’s the problem: Almost all commercial advertising makes its way to the eyes and ears of children. If we care about public health, we should ban all cannabis ads.

San Diego banned cannabis billboards within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, playgrounds and daycare centers. But kids in cars go everywhere, especially teenagers, which means marijuana messaging is still seeping into young minds, associating pot smoking with fun activities like rollerblading.

Thu
30
Jul

California Cannabis And Taxes: A Shining City On The Coast

It is a fact that the legal cannabis industry has tremendous potential to generate significant tax revenue for states and municipalities in the years ahead. Earlier this year, for example, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration reported that, from the day legal cannabis retail sales began in January 2018 until January 2020, the state had already collected more than $1 billion in taxes. And those are only state-level taxes.

Wed
29
Jul

In Santa Barbara Battle Between Cannabis and Wine, Grand Jury Reprimands County Supervisors

A battle over wine and cannabis in Santa Barbara County, pitting neighbor against neighbor, is coming to a head. On June 30, a report from a grand jury tasked with monitoring local government issued a scathing report criticizing the county board for its mismanagement of the county's cannabis production.

"The jury believes the Board of Supervisors, in their hubris, failed the people of Santa Barbara County," the report stated. "Now they must amend the cannabis ordinances to regain the people's trust."

Thu
23
Jul

Opinion: Cannabis Tax Revenues Are Going to Police Budgets, Not Communities

As cries to “defund the police” reverberate across the country, cities are looking at ways to shift funds from policing into communities. In California, tax revenues from marijuana should be a clear point of entry. When voters legalized cannabis in 2016, they expected the taxes would be invested in communities that were adversely impacted by the war on drugs. Instead, a new report finds that these revenues are actually funding the police.

Wed
22
Jul

California Records Fewest Felony Pot Arrests Since 1954

Law enforcement data released by the California Department of Justice reveals that in 2019 the state recorded the lowest number of felony marijuana arrests since 1954, while showing that the racial disparity at play in such arrests continues to grow. 

Tue
21
Jul

California weighs steep new fines to combat illegal cannabis sellers

Alarmed that unlicensed cannabis sellers continue to dominate California’s pot market, state lawmakers are moving toward imposing steep new fines on businesses that provide building space, advertising platforms and other aid to illicit operations.

Those who provide assistance to illegal pot sellers would face civil fines of up to $30,000 per day under legislation approved unanimously by the state Assembly that is now pending in the Senate. A final vote on the proposal is expected sometime after lawmakers return to Sacramento this month.

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