Low-income cannabis patients await CA Governor’s signature on Compassion Bill

California’s hopes of reinvigorating the state’s longtime “compassion programs,” which for decades provided medical cannabis to the sick for free, now rest in the hands of Gov. Gavin Newsom.


Another first for the pot industry: A licensed cannabis restaurant

Cannabis edibles are a growing segment of the market and are expected to reach $4.1 billion in 2022, combining Canadian and U.S. sales. In 2017, that figure was just $1 billion among the two countries. The segment is going to be key to the industry's long-term growth.

Restaurants haven't been able to take advantage of that growth since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has still not permitted cannabidiol (CBD) to be infused into food. While the FDA has held hearings on CBD, there's no indication that changes are coming anytime soon.


Los Angeles Lawmakers vote to adopt ordinance banning flavored tobacco products

Los Angeles County now has 30 days to buy flavored tobacco after its Board of Supervisors approved a ban on all such wares, including menthol products. The decision, which applies to the unincorporated areas of the county that are home to one million residents, comes amidst a rash of deaths related to vaping products, and concern over rising e-cigarettes usage by teens.


Hemp licenses issued by State 2019

  • The 29 U.S. states having reporting licensed hemp cultivation acreage total nearly half a million acres in combined cultivation land area, a massive increase over 2018's combined U.S. total of just over 100,000 acres.
  • Colorado leads the nation in hemp cultivation and processing land area with over 80,000 acres reported.
  • Oregon, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Montana lead in hemp program expansion efforts.
  • Tennessee leads in total hemp licenses issued in 2019.
  • At least 70% of the 2019 U.S. hemp harvest is intended for extract production.
  • California is poised to be the top-producing hemp state for both conventional and organic production as thousands of acres have already been planted in 2019.

Proposal would devote millions in San Diego marijuana taxes to low-income communities

San Diego may soon follow the lead of Los Angeles and San Francisco and use marijuana tax revenue to boost neighborhoods adversely affected by previous criminalization of the drug.

Council members Chris Ward and Monica Montgomery are proposing a new “cannabis equity” program that would devote millions in city marijuana tax revenue to programs for at-risk youth, such as drug prevention and job training.

The program would also try to give low-income residents in neighborhoods affected by the War on Drugs a leg up in opening local marijuana businesses. But San Diego would prioritize that goal less than other California cities.


California says nearly all cannabis businesses will be in Statewide tracking system by end of October

California says its system for tracking cannabis products from seed-to-sale will soon cover the entire industry — but regulators still have more work to do.

In May, less than 10 percent of licensed cannabis businesses were enrolled in the system known as track-and-trace. Speaking at a press conference Monday, Nick Maduros with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration said the state has since made significant progress.

“As of about a week ago, well over half the market is in track-and-trace,” he said. “By the end of next month, we should have just about everybody into track-and-trace.” 


California's cannabis black market has eclipsed its legal one

Although marijuana has been legal in California for nearly two years, black market weed is still a booming business in the state.

Illegal sellers outnumber legal and regulated businesses almost 3-to-1, according to a startling analysis of California cannabis sellers released this month. Some critics blame the website Weedmaps for letting thousands of rogue stores advertise.

But cannabis regulators are cracking down. This week, they put publications, including Weedmaps, that advertise unlicensed marijuana businesses on notice that doing so is against state law.

"Failure to comply with the requirements for advertising may lead to significant financial penalties," the Bureau of Cannabis Control said in an email to the industry Tuesday.


California pledges $20 million to public awareness campaign against vaping

California will spend $20 million on a public awareness campaign about the dangers of vaping nicotine and cannabis products and step up efforts to halt the sale of illicit products amid a rise in vaping-related illnesses.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the actions Monday as part of an executive order.


Hemp farmers face $7.5B in losses as banks struggle to come to terms with CBD

A dramatic rise of hemp planted this year has been seen around the world and in particular the US, with 46 states having licensed farms since the US Farm Bill was passed in December of 2018. The potential for the US market alone is astronomical ($8.5 billion USD), but there isn't enough processing equipment installed to handle 90% of this year's harvest. The fear is that $7.5 billion dollars of hemp will be rotting in farmer's fields this fall.


California’s illegal cannabis industry three times bigger than regulated market

​It has been nearly three years since California voters overwhelmingly approved a measure legalizing recreational marijuana use, opening the door for boutique pot shops and cannabis bakeries. But a report this week found that the state’s illicit market is still plenty active in its own right.
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