Los Angeles cannabis businesses concerned regs will shut them down

Los Angeles cannabis businesses concerned regs will shut them down

Like countless Californians in the last few years, Roberta Koz Wilson and her brother Jeff saw the coming revolution in cannabis and decided they wanted a piece of it.

Or in their case, a bite.

Using a recipe perfected by their mother, they created Dr. Norm’s Cookie Co., a Los Angeles-based edible cannabis company named after their father.

Its tasty psychoactive products are available in at least 70 Southern California dispensaries. At the moment, they are sold to patients who have a doctor’s recommendation for pot.

Come January, anyone over 21 will be able to imbibe them for pleasure. That is, if the Kozes are still in business.

Like so many other cannabis entrepreneurs, the Kozes are desperate to operate in the light, to be licensed and regulated, to pay their taxes. They are waiting for the city of Los Angeles to tell them how to do that.

Unfortunately, in the draft of cannabis rules that the Los Angeles City Council will be asked to vote on sometime in the next week or so, the Kozes — and almost every other cannabis business except about a few dozen older dispensaries — will be required to shutter their operation until they receive an official city license. It’s a process that could take months.

“You have a multimillion-dollar industry in Los Angeles and to have it come to a grinding halt will be ridiculous,” said Jeff Koz. “People will be fired, or laid off. Businesses will have to leave the city. It’s a very messed up situation to say the least.”

The Kozes, who are looking for investors and distributors and formulating new products, may have to leave Los Angeles. They are caught in what I will call the Cannabis Catch-22: They don’t want to be put in the position of operating illegally until they receive a license because illegal businesses will not be given licenses.

They could also be subject to prosecution by the Los Angeles city attorney.

Who the heck will want to do business in Los Angeles under those conditions?

Well, legally, anyway.

To say the local cannabis industry is beside itself with angst is an understatement.

Groups like the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force have been working intensely for months with the office of City Council President Herb Wesson to develop regulations that are acceptable to the city, to the industry and, of course, to the voters of Los Angeles, who have again and again supported legalization.

“I have clients who have 40 employees saying, ‘I am going to have to lay everyone off and shut down,’ ” said Ariel Clark, a Santa Monica-based attorney who specializes in cannabis regulation. “It’s nuts.”

Clark estimates that about 80% of the Los Angeles marijuana industry would be affected by the requirement to shut down until licensing applications are approved.

“These are forced errors,” said Elizabeth Ashford, a cannabis consultant who spent years working in high-level jobs for politicians like Kamala Harris, Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger. “This does not bode well for any emerging businesses in the city of Los Angeles. If this is how business is done, I can see why a lot of cannabis operators will look elsewhere with their tax dollars and their payrolls.”

Ruben Honig, executive director of the Cannabis Task Force, has been meeting regularly with city officials to iron out the details of 50 or so pages of rules that will form the basis of an ordinance regulating when and where cannabis can be grown, processed, distributed and sold to consumers.

Honig, who ran a medicated dried fruit business called Garden of Weeden, said the idea of closing down existing businesses until licenses can be granted was unexpected. It had been his understanding, he said, that the city would not move against such enterprises while their applications were being processed.

“We are hopeful they find a path forward,” Honig said.

Some have argued that the proposed regulation is a way of leveling the playing field to allow an equal chance to people who have been waiting on the sidelines to go the legal route.

In fact it will do something contrary to common sense: It will benefit bigger businesses with deeper pockets, which can afford to wait on the sidelines during the licensing process, but drive out the small businesses that are the lifeblood of not just the cannabis industry but the city’s economy, too. I’ve seen forecasts that say the city could realize up to $50 million a year from cannabis revenue.

So what on Earth were city officials thinking when they came up with this scheme?

“I recognize that this is a flaw, and we are figuring out ways to try to deal with that now,” said City Council President Wesson. “I don’t want to screw it up.”

I wondered if he had spoken to worried entrepreneurs like the Kozes.

“I have spoken to a gazillion of them,” Wesson said. “I know that they are out of their minds.”

Wesson realizes that Los Angeles is expected by its sheer size to become the de facto capital of the cannabis industry in California, if not the nation. “The winds in this country blow from the west to the east,” he said, “and this is a huge responsibility and we want to do it right.”

Then please do it right. Entrepreneurs like the Kozes deserve to flourish, not be forced out.

Information from Los Angeles Times
Get more of Robin Abcarian’s work and follow her on Twitter @AbcarianLAT
robin.abcarian@latimes.com

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Published at Tue, 10 Oct 2017 18:21:58 +0000

Medical Marijuana Bill Endorsed In The Philippines

Medical Marijuana Bill Endorsed In The Philippines

Medical Marijuana Bill Endorsed In The Philippines, A Drug-War Torn Country

MEDICAL MARIJAUNA BILL

When I talk to my American friends or meet anyone from the USA, joking me about my president who is a known murderer responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in the Philippines for extra-judicial killings and the war on drugs, is pretty common. But then I say the same to them: it’s no secret that Trump isn’t really any better than Duterte.

However, I can say that Duterte is doing one thing right at the very least: he’s pro cannabis. He has vowed to kill anyone, including his own son, if found using drugs. Despite his clear hatred and aversion for drugs though, Duterte supports cannabis use.

This week, the house panel just endorsed medical cannabis use in the Philippines, and this is a huge reason to celebrate. Filipino advocates of medical cannabis are high about the fact that the House of Representatives just endorsed a bill permitting the use of cannabis for the treatment of debilitating and chronic health conditions. The House panel unanimously approved the draft report for the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act after thorough consultations and discussions with experts in controlled substances, advocacy groups, healthcare practitioners, and even patients, says Rodolfo Albano III, Isabela province representative and principal author of the bill.

Albano is optimistic about the fact that his bill passed at the committee level, all that’s left is that it gets approved by the house and senate levels. “I have high hopes under the Duterte administration that this bill would be enacted into law. Finally, there is hope for our people, especially our children, who suffer from medical conditions like epilepsy, cancer, and multiple sclerosis,” he says. “Unlike many medicl professionals, President Duterte has an open mind on medical cannabis,” Albano adds.

Albano goes on to say that after Duterte won his presidency, he was honest about his stance that he isn’t opposed to legalizing cannabis for medical use; Duterte is only against it for recreational use. “Medical marijuana, yes, because it is really an ingredient of modern medicine right now. There are medicines right now being developed or already in the market that have marijuana as a component… used for medical purposes,” Duterte said back then. “If you just smoke it like a cigarette, I will not allow it, ever. It remains to be a prohibited item and there’s always the treat of being arrested. If you choose to fight the law enforcement agency, you die,” Duterte said in the past.

In the Philippines, cannabis is still considered a prohibited substance according to the Dangerous Drug Act. Albano says that the plant “has been confirmed to have beneficial and therapeutic uses to treat chronic or debilitating diseases or medical conditions.” He goes to cite studies proving that cannabis is useful for several illnesses including chronic and severe pain, cachexia, seizures, nausea, epilepsy, muscle spasms, and multiple sclerosis. With Albano’s proposal, medical cannabis would be allowed for patients although there would be strict guidelines to be followed which will be issued by the Department of Health in partnership with the Food and Drug Administration.

Albano challenged opponents of medical cannabis to “shed your fear of the unknown and open your minds to its potential benefits to patients with debilitating ailments who need it.” He also adds, “Marijuana, even in its raw form, is not harmful, unlike tobacco and liquor.” Philippine doctors who support his bill also tell the house that in the United States, at least 23 states have approved cannabis for medical use and also cite the fact that there hasn’t been a single death recorded that has been attributed solely to cannabis use, unlike tobacco and alcohol.

Albano also addressed concerns that the law might have a potential for abuse. He said that the measure is clear about the prohibition of cannabis smoking. “It is very clear in the bill that you can’t smoke weed per se. You cannot even disperse it in its raw form and say, ‘just use this for tea.’ It has to be in medicinal form,” says the congressman. He said that the cannabis may be used in capsule, tablet, or edible form. In his proposal, he says, “medical cannabis compassion centers” that are licensed by the Department of Health will be put up with the objective of selling, supplying, and dispensing cannabis to eligible patients as well as their caregivers. The pharmacists will be licensed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Facilities will also be established for conducting medical and scientific research on cannabis use, and testing the plant for contaminants and potency. The DOH will issue identification cards for qualified patients once they have been certified as having a debilitating medical condition.

Other lawmakers explicitly support Albano’s bill. “The patient, caregiver, physician, or medical researcher who delivers, transports, uses, acquires, administers, cultivates, or manufactures dangerous drugs for medical purposes shall be exempt from criminal liability,” says the bill.

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Published at Sun, 08 Oct 2017 05:00:00 +0000

7th Annual Prairie Medicinal Harvest Cup Winners and Highlights

7th Annual Prairie Medicinal Harvest Cup Winners and Highlights

The 7th annual Prairie Medicinal Harvest Cup (PMHC) was this weekend in downtown Saskatoon, and even though the prairies are famous for being flat, attendees were sure flying high!

As one of the longest-running cannabis cups in Canada, the competition part of the Prairie Cup traditionally focused on sativa, indica, and hybrid flowers, but this year, they added a new category for extracts and Cannabis Life Network has all the winners below!

IMG-6590

This year’s Prairie was located at The O’Brians Event Centre in downtown Saskatoon and attendees were encouraged to bring their own cannabis and cannabis-derived products, assuming they are MMAR, MMPR, or ACMPR permit holders because the PMHC is not liable for those who aren’t. That’s just the reality of cannabis still being illegal in Canada, but by next year’s cup, everything should be different. Vaping was allowed inside the venue and for combustibles, there was a private outdoor area.

The Prairie Cup is considered by many, like Derrick from headline sponsor Thompson Caribou Concentrates said, as the “unofficial community cup and the one where the most activists go”.

Highlights of the PMHC included the glass-blowing demos and the famous Cannabis Olympics, where cannabis enthusiasts competed to win prizes for “Fastest Joint Roller” among other categories.

FLOWER

Sativa

1st – “Critical Mass” from Continental Group

2nd – “Strawberry Cough” from Continental Group

3rd – “Super Silver Haze” from Dave Elder

Indica

1st – “Lindsay OG” from Liberty Farms

2nd – “God Quad” from Continental Group

3rd – “Strawberry Kush” from Continental Group

Hybrid

1st – “Master Bubba” from Continental Group

2nd – “Gorilla Glue #4” from Teemu

3rd – “Zombie Kush” from Phat Pharmer

Extracts

1st – “Pineapple Shatter” from Continental Group

2nd – “Blueberry Dist.” from High Guys

3rd – “Strawberry Kush” from Continental Group

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Published at Mon, 09 Oct 2017 00:12:53 +0000

Michigan Releases “FAQ” on Marihuana Facility Licensing

Michigan Releases “FAQ” on Marihuana Facility Licensing

Michigan Releases “FAQ” on Marihuana Facility Licensing

Today, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) issued a detailed “FAQ” on the process for issuing licenses under the State’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.

LARA’s FAQ document may be found here.

As regular readers of this blog know, LARA has been extremely busy in the roll-out of the State’s MMFLA program. The last two weeks have seen LARA issue two important Advisory Bulletins, and host five work groups to obtain public input on how to address regulatory topics in the upcoming rules.

We fully expect further pronouncements from LARA as we get closer to the October 17 Medical Marihuana Licensing Board meeting. We also believe that LARA remains on target to issue emergency rules and an application checklist by early November.

Check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

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Published at Thu, 28 Sep 2017 16:00:00 +0000

MMJ Canada CEO talks world’s politest police raid and fight for Ontario dispensaries

MMJ Canada CEO talks world’s politest police raid and fight for Ontario dispensaries

Clint Younge, the CEO of MMJ Canada, talked to us about how Ontario’s LCBO retail model for recreational cannabis threatens to put all of Ontario’s existing dispensaries out of business, what he hopes to accomplish by speaking to Hamilton city council, and how we can join the fight for fair and common sense cannabis laws.

You recently spoke to Hamilton’s City Council. Can you tell us about the experience?

It was great. I got 45 min to speak and the councillors were listening and asking important, valid questions like “Why are you bringing your dispensaries from Vancouver even though you’re from Hamilton, and why are other dispensaries not following the rules?”

Some dispensaries aren’t following the rules because they are not educated- they don’t know the rules. They don’t know that you’re not supposed to open within 300 m of a school. There’s even one dispensary that’s directly across from a school, like 10 m away! But the dispensaries aren’t doing it out of spite, and the council needs to open the communication lines so we can work together.

I’m trying to help Hamilton with what I learned in Vancouver because Hamilton is my hometown, and I’m like “We need to regulate and figure this out. We need to start talking.”

mmj canada

Clint speaking to the Licensing and Standards Committee

Which councillors would you consider cannabis-friendly?

There’s so many. 100% councillor Matthew Green is cannabis-friendly. He has no issue with cannabis. He doesn’t like the big corporations and he doesn’t like the LCBO model and he thinks there’s a lot of hypocrisy going on in the government- you can see it with former high-ranking government officials jumping into bed with licensed producers, leaving small businesses to fend for themselves or worse.

But councillor Green also made it very clear that dispensaries need to stay away from schools. If you’re coming to Hamilton, he expects you to operate like a proper business.

There’s also councillors Jason Farr, Terry Whitehead, and Arlene Vanderbeek who believe there needs to be standards but don’t have an issue with cannabis. Even Doug Conley, the councillor who put the motion forward for more enforcement, was open-minded and listened to me. After I talked to the councillors during my delegation, the city actually rewrote the motion!

The original enforcement was for all dispensaries in Hamilton. But after I spoke, the council came back and said “no non-medical cannabis in areas and residences near children”- which I am totally in favor of! And the dispensaries need to give up a little bit, too, but by working with the city, they’ll get to ensure the longevity of their business along with look good in the public eye.

Right now, we have the ability and the chance to do something very major in Ontario. I’ve never seen a city council this friendly and who knows how far they’re going to take this battle.

How do you feel about MMJ Canada locations in Hamilton being raided a few times over the last few months?

If you were to see the way we were raided, you would have came in and looked around like “What, really?”.

Unlike in Toronto where all the staff are being charged along with whoever is on site, Officer Gibson called me and said “Hey Clint, this is a routine raid of your dispensaries but don’t worry, everything will be fine and I’ll let your staff go.”

When I got there, I told them about my PTSD and that I was really nervous. I asked if i was going to jail. The officer laughed and said that wouldn’t happen unless I had a warrant out, and they would just take my product and I could lock up the store within an hour.

The police were very polite- they even said I had a beautiful establishment and said they believed that only 5% of the cannabis industry had ties to organized crime. I think 5% is a fair assumption but really, 5% of any industry could have that criminal element.

I see the raids as just the bumps and bruises that come with cannabis, and the police are only doing their jobs. But, I think they have bigger things to deal with in Hamilton like the opioid crisis, hard drugs, guns, and organized crime- the real issues.

I even made a video of the raid where I explained exactly what was happening and it went kind of viral, and some of the police even thanked me for it later!

MMj Canada

One of Hamilton’s MMJ Canada locations.

How has the community responded in the wake of Ontario’s plans for an LCBO-controlled retail model?

The community is scared, and anyone who says they aren’t is lying. We’re all scared because we’ve built our lives on this. We’re in the public spotlight now and we have to defend what we love and fight for our small businesses.

We want to be treated like businesspeople- we’re setting standards in our shops, we’re paying taxes, and we’re testing our products- and we want the credit that we deserve for all the work we’ve done and we’re getting tired of always having to fight for it.

But as tired as everyone is, I’ve never seen a community battle like the cannabis community. It is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever been a part of in my entire life. It’s a David versus Goliath story, and we’re taking the punches and we’re rolling with it.

We’re all fighting because we have no life left if we lose.

How long has MMJ been open in Hamilton?

A year and a half now. May 4th (May the 4th be with you) back in 2016. In Toronto we opened on Apr. 23rd, 2016.

Do you think it would be better if Canada had consistent cannabis laws across the country?

I don’t know about that- that’s really hard to say. Let’s be honest, it’s Canada. The provinces are going to do whatever they want. But I believe there should be a general standard and a general kindness. Dispensaries should be included, in every province, but I think that Ontario also has the right to go with the LCBO model and I get it- it’s simple and to the point.

But it’s like they’re ripping the heart out of the chest.

We’re wasting all this money on court cases and litigation when really, everyone could be making a little bit of money and the most important thing- our patients won’t be going without their medicine for Christ’s sake!

People don’t get that it’s all being taken away from where we started- when it was all about compassion. That compassion for patients is being lost in the translation to legalization.

What approach do you think Ontario should take instead?

I think Ontario should have a private and public partnership, where the government and private businesses can work together- like the LCBO and craft beer. In Ontario, there’s Collective Arts Brewing which is doing awesome things with craft beer, and I hope to see something similar with craft cannabis come up.

But I think that we’re going to see major constitutional challenges in the future and our patients could be very upset with the outcomes.

Aside from the Hamilton Votes Dispensaries Facebook page, how else can people show their support?

Social media. Hamilton Votes Dispensaries has been going great- we’ve already got 5600 signatures and they’re all ready to go out and vote. In just three months, we’ve already got thousands of members and it’s only going to grow. That’s just from our dispensaries- who knows what other dispensaries have been getting.

We’d love to see more of the public at the council meetings, and I’d love to see them show support when they see our videos come out.

Were there any last thoughts or upcoming events you’d like to tell us about?

I’ve got MMJ Canada’s ‘Collective Care’ event with rapper Merkules coming up on October 29 at Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver. It’s been amazing seeing this event grow over the last few years- we’ve had performances from the likes of Monster Truck, Walk Off the Earth, Scott Helman, and Bend Sinister in the past.  

It all started at my dispensary in Vancouver a few years back with my friend’s band, the Vancity Collab. It was great and kind of set a precedent where people started to listen to MMJ. From there it just steamrolled and got bigger and bigger, and now we’re selling out venues!

For the Oct. 29 event, we’ve got a $1000 prize for best Halloween costume with $750 and $500 for the runner-ups. We’re also doing a live auction for concert tickets and a night out in Whistler, and it’s all going to Friends with Hearts, an organization that my friend Jay Perry started. It’s for families that can’t afford Christmas. We’re raising like $20,000-30,000 between now and Christmas to buy these families Christmas presents. It’s so cool and it gives me goosebumps just talking about it knowing that kids who never got to experience Christmas actually get to. It’s awesome.

mmJ canada

Collective Care at Fortune Sound Club Oct. 29, 2017.

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Published at Fri, 06 Oct 2017 14:00:27 +0000

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Marijuana Testing

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Marijuana Testing

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Marijuana Testing

Today, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) released an Advisory Bulletin regarding testing points for marihuana and marihuana infused products. As with all of LARA’s Advisory Bulletins, this announcement provides advance notice of what LARA intends to include in emergency rules that will be issued to implement the State’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). We continue to expect those emergency rules to be issued by the early part of November.

Per this Advisory Bulletin, LARA intends to require that products be tested at two points in the supply chain. First, a grower will be required to test marijuana after harvest and before it is transferred to either a processor or a provisioning center. Second, a processor will be required to have products tested after they are in their final form and before they are transferred to a provisioning center. Test results will be recorded in the statewide monitoring system, and growers and processors able to access the results. Provisioning centers will not be allowed to sell marihuana or infused products unless the product has been both tested and labelled.

In addition to the mandatory testing points noted above, growers and processors may choose to have products tested at other stages. Caregivers may also have marijuana or infused products tested, but their products are not entered into the seed-to-sale tracking system.

Left unaddressed by this Advisory Bulletin are a number of critical testing issues that should be covered by the State’s emergency rules. Among these are the contents of labels, batch sizes for testing, the method of sample collection and transport, and, of course, the substances and thresholds for which products must be tested.

Check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

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Published at Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Need Some Help With Detox?

Need Some Help With Detox?

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

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Depending​ ​on​ ​the​ ​level​ ​of​ ​usage​ ​and​ ​the​ ​person​ ​in​ ​question​ ​(age,​ ​gender,​ ​weight​ ​etc.)​ ​the half-life​ ​​ ​(time​ ​the​ ​drug​ ​stays​ ​in​ ​your​ ​body)​ ​varies​ ​greatly.​ ​

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Published at Wed, 04 Oct 2017 06:35:04 +0000

Atlanta City Council Unanimously Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance

Atlanta City Council Unanimously Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance

In a unanimous vote Atlanta’s full City Council has given approval to a marijuana decrim measure.

Today the council unanimously approved Ordinance 17-O-1152, introduced by Councilmember Kwanza Hall on March 20th.

“Today we stand with every parent of Atlanta who is fearful of or has seen their children’s lives destroyed, or careers ruined because of a racist policy that unjustly incarcerated minorities by more than ninety percent,” said Hall following the vote.  “Reforming the racist marijuana laws on the book in Atlanta has been just one in a number of reforms that I have fought for.

Hall continued; “And one of the leaders who recognized the unfairness and harshness of the law was Dr. George Napper, who was our city’s first African American Chief of Police, and I’d like to thank him for his support”.

This legislation was one in a series of justice reform policies Councilman Hall has introduced, including “Ban the Box” which passed in 2014, the creation of the Pre-Arrest Diversion Pilot Program in 2015, a law enforcement transparency and accountability measure and legislation to end broken windows policing in 2016.

One of the most powerful speakers during the vote was Charnette Trimble of Council District 4.  “You destroy the black male, and you destroy the black family unit.”

The ordinance changes the penalty in the Atlanta Municipal code for possession of marijuana less than an ounce from the “general penalty” –which is a fine of up to $1000 and up to six months in jail–to a maximum fine of $75 and no jail time.

The legislation had been held since May. A key fact presented during the debate is that in Atlanta, the overwhelming number of arrests for marijuana-related offenses are African Americans (92%), even though studies have determined usage is at similar levels across racial demographics.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Mon, 02 Oct 2017 21:16:40 +0000

Colorado drags down national marijuana prices in first half of 2017

Colorado drags down national marijuana prices in first half of 2017

The price of a pound of legal marijuana continues to plummet in 2017, according to a new report tracking the commodity’s U.S. spot price index.

Wholesale cannabis prices dropped 18.6 percent nationwide in the first half of 2017, with Colorado prices dropping by up to 40 percent compared to the first half of last year, according to Cannabis Benchmarks’ “2017 Mid-Year Wholesale Market Report.” Similar to commodities like gold and oil, the Denver-based independent price reporting agency tracks spot prices — the current value in the marketplace at which an asset can be bought or sold for immediate delivery.

Despite the overall decline, marijuana prices showed “remarkable” stability considering last year’s price volatility and recent political uncertainty, the analysts found. For the first six months of this year, there has only been a $150 difference between the low and high prices for legal cannabis nationally, compared to nearly $300 separating the lows and highs during the first half of 2016.

The U.S. Spot prices for wholesale cannabis opened the year at $1,532 a pound, up from the 2016 annual low of $1,386 per pound. However, based on 2015 and 2016 wholesale prices, the firm expects further price declines through November as seasonal fall harvest hits the market.

Cannabis_US_Spot_Index_Prices_CannabisBenchmarks
(Courtesy Cannabis Benchmarks)

“We still do expect to see a seasonal price depression nationally that comes with the harvest,” report author Adam Koh told The Cannabist.

While drastic, the 40 percent decline in Colorado wholesale prices follows the national trend of lower prices in all five states with legal adult-use markets — despite the fact that demand remains strong in those states. Cannabis Benchmarks attributes the trend to a business boom that has increased competition for market share and customers, which in turn creates “more than adequate” production. Likewise, those businesses are, by necessity, becoming more efficient and cost-effective in their cultivation and manufacturing “in order to compete and stay afloat.”

The patchwork quilt of state-based marijuana regulations causes prices to vary wildly across borders. The highest average wholesale prices in the U.S. for legal cannabis during the first half of 2017 were in Alaska, at $4,190 per pound; the lowest were in Colorado at $1,280 per pound.

In Colorado, the country’s most mature market with three-plus years of adult-use sales, the price per pound of wholesale cannabis has dropped from a 2016 high of $1,994 to a 2017 six-month low of $1,181. Cannabis Benchmarks attributes declines in part to the state’s “liberal approach to licensing and production,” which has led to dramatic increases in the volume of marijuana grown and produced.

On the other hand, wholesale prices in Washington, another maturing market, have turned around from last year’s “figurative bargain basement,” according to the report. The state’s monthly spot index prices for the first half of this year averaged $1,387 per pound, a rise of about eight percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.

California’s fast-approaching legalization is causing significant uncertainty in pricing for the fourth quarter, Koh said.

While California officials scramble to have regulations in place ahead of the state’s scheduled January 1 launch of legal adult-use sales, Cannabis Benchmarks believes only a “small fraction” of commercial cannabis transactions during 2018 will take place within the licensed marketplace. The report cites the state’s vast black market, which will continue to provide producers other venues in which their cannabis can fetch higher profit margins.

“There appears to be a significant portion of the state’s cannabis commerce that won’t (be licensed), Koh said, “and there will be stiff competition for those operators working to comply with state laws.”

Nevada remains another conundrum for the firm’s spot-price indexing efforts. Adult-use sales kicked off on July 1, however the state’s “unique regulatory circumstances” created supply chain struggles that prevented any wholesale price increases during the first half of 2017, according to Cannabis Benchmarks.

The cash-only nature of legal cannabis transactions presents a common drag on wholesale prices across the country, according to the report. Cannabis companies are prohibited from accessing the federal banking system, limiting businesses’ ability to transact larger deals, according to Cannabis Benchmarks’ analysis.

“In such a landscape,” the report says, “the significant amount of cash required to settle a deal greater than 20 pounds is often not at hand.”

(Why?)

Published at Mon, 02 Oct 2017 16:59:41 +0000

Nevada: Over $27 Million in Marijuana Sold in First Month of Legal Sales

Nevada: Over $27 Million in Marijuana Sold in First Month of Legal Sales

Millions of dollars worth of marijuana was sold in Nevada in July, the month such sales became legal.

In total, there was $27.1 million in marijuana sold in Nevada in July. By comparison, Washington State sold just $3.8 million in legal marijuana during their first full month of legal sales (which was also in July), and Colorado sold roughly $14 million.

According  to the Nevada Department of Taxation, the state garnered $10.2 million in taxes during July; $6.5 million from industry fees and $3.68 million from tax revenue. Governor Brian Sandoval projects the state to bring in around$100 million over the next two fiscal years from such taxes and fees. However, new projections find that the number may end up closer to $120 million, says Stephanie Klapstein, a spokesperson for the Department of Taxation.

According to Klapstein, Nevada made $2.71 million from the 10% tax on marijuana sales, plus $974,060 from the 15% wholesale tax paid by cultivators.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Sat, 30 Sep 2017 05:50:37 +0000