California

Tue
31
Dec

California puts the brakes on recreational cannabis smoking in formerly exempted vehicles, but continues to allow drinking alcohol

Passengers in the state of California will soon be banned from smoking cannabis in any moving vehicle, although drinking alcohol is still A-OK.

Although passengers in standard moving vehicles like cars, trucks and vans were already prohibited from toking at the wheel, there were exceptions for vehicles like taxis, limos, campers, residential vehicles, pedicabs and party buses.

But now legislators have opted to put an end to the exemption for passengers of the aforementioned vehicles, despite its legal status in the state having rendered it a popular party drug for Californians.

Tue
24
Dec

Two years in, California’s legal marijuana industry is stuck. Should voters step in?

Two years after California began licensing pot shops, the industry remains so outmatched by the black market that a state panel recently joined some legalization supporters in calling for significant changes — perhaps turning again to voters to address the problems.

In its annual draft report, the Cannabis Advisory Committee warned Gov. Gavin Newsom and California legislators that high taxes, overly burdensome regulations and local control issues posed debilitating obstacles to the legal marijuana market.

With tax revenue about a third of what was expected and with only about 800 of an anticipated 6,000 licensees open for business, the panel said, officials may need to consider “revisiting the ballot initiative process.”

Fri
20
Dec

Pay to play: California mulls taxing cannabis based on the strength of the strain

Would you be willing to pony up for pot potency?

Analysts in California’s beleaguered cannabis industry have proposed making consumers do just that by getting rid of the state’s bizarre patchwork tax system and replacing it with one tied to the strength of the strain.

Made by California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office, the proposal would wipe out the current taxation system, including a 15 percent levy that all consumers pay at the counter, and replace it with a tiered system.

Thu
19
Dec

L.A. officials say system for pot licenses was open early. Cannabis activists call foul

Hundreds of cannabis entrepreneurs rushed to turn in applications in September, eager to snap up the limited number of licenses that Los Angeles was offering up for new pot shops on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The hotly contested process soon came under fire: After the Department of Cannabis Regulation revealed that two applicants had gotten into the application system early after their passwords were reset, City Council President Herb Wesson called to suspend the licensing process and Mayor Eric Garcetti sought an independent audit.

Wed
18
Dec

California Marijuana Taxes Will Increase New Year's Day

After having avoided an increase in state taxes on legal marijuana, California officials changed course Thursday and announced MJ excise and cultivation taxes will go up effective Jan. 1.

High state and local tax rates have been an industry problem that have made legal businesses less competitive with the illicit market: Unlicensed retailers can lure customers with lower prices, since rogue shops don’t pay any taxes.

Tue
17
Dec

Dozens Of Los Angeles Cannabis Retailers Raided In City’s Largest Crackdown

By the time the sun came up on Friday the thirteenth, cannabis law enforcement agents had seized $8.8 million worth of cannabis products, including some 10,000 counterfeit vape pens and $129,000 cash, from two dozen unlicensed cannabis shops in Los Angeles, California. From December 10 – 12, investigators with the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control and the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cannabis Enforcement Unit served search warrants at dozens of cannabis retailers, rounding up and arresting staff and confiscating products and cash.

The week-long mass raids represent the largest crackdown on the illicit cannabis industry in Los Angeles. And chief cannabis regulators vow there’s more to come.

Fri
13
Dec

California declares marijuana smoke, THC a risk to pregnant women

A California panel voted on Wednesday to require warning labels for cannabis products sold legally in the state.

California’s Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee made the decision after concluding that marijuana smoke and its active ingredient, THC, are harmful to pregnant women and the development of the fetus, says Tracy Woodruff, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and a member of the committee.

“We reviewed probably several hundred studies,” Woodruff says of the committee’s research. “We were focused on the effects of exposure to cannabinoid smoke and THC on development, so development of the fetus.”

Fri
13
Dec

San Francisco's first black owned dispensary to open this month

Growing up, San Francisco’s first Black dispensary owner Shawn Richard sold marijuana on the streets of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. He was far from the first person to do so. The Haight gave birth to the 1960s hippie movement and cannabis has long been a cornerstone of the area’s culture.

But now, on December 21, Richard will open the doors of Berner on Haight, the neighborhood’s very first legal marijuana dispensary.

Thu
12
Dec

California Could Declare THC A Risk For Pregnant Individuals

More than three years after California voters broadly legalized marijuana, a state panel is considering if its potent, high-inducing chemical — THC — should be declared a risk to pregnant women and require warnings.

Studies have indicated that a rising number of mothers-to-be have turned to marijuana products for relief from morning sickness and headaches, though it’s effectiveness has not been backed by science.

Tue
10
Dec

How California Is Killing off High-end Cannabis Edibles

Would-be cannabis entrepreneurs might commit a drastic act to have Christopher Schroeder’s problems. The founder of Somatik, a San Francisco Bay Area-based cannabis startup that manufactures THC and CBD-infused coffee drinks and chocolate-covered espresso beans produced in concert with existing, well-known consumer brands, launched his company to a round of positive press. The warm reception was an object lesson that in the cannabis legalization era, there was a big market for high-end cannabis edibles. Schroeder’s stated dream — to see Somatik cold-brew coffee on tap in high-end cafes, next to the “unleaded” cold crew and the kombucha — seemed within reach.

Then legalization happened.

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