Capitol Intervention Needed to Save California Growers

About 10,000 California growers will lose their temporary licenses by this summer, a potential “extinction event” for the California cannabis industry. State Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) has proposed SB 67, which would allow growers to work while waiting for their annual licenses.

  • Of nearly 7,000 applicants, only 56 cultivators received provisional or annual licenses from the Department of Food and Agriculture. The deadline for a temporary license extentions was Dec. 31. McGuire’s bill would push the deadline to Dec. 31, 2019.
  • The bottom line is this,” McGuire said. “This bill is going to protect thousands of cannabis farmers, in particular, who did the right thing and applied for state license after the passage of Prop. 64.”

L.A. Fights Illegal Businesses By Cutting Their Power

L.A. is using a form of soft power to shut down illicit dispensaries. The city's decision to cut off the electricity at unlicensed weed businesses hits them where they grow. It’s a stark contrast to the governor's move to send troops from the Mexico border to the remaining illicit grows in Northern Cali. The city’s approach is far less confrontational and criminalizing.
L.A. Daily News

  • Licensed businesses blame the illicit market for undercutting their profits almost as much as the state’s burly taxes. And taxes won’t ever be accused of lowering your property values, as some illegal dispensaries are perceived to do.
  • Five years ago, Anaheim shut down the water and power of 20 operations. Along with Pasadena, the Orange County municipality has led the way in using the tactic.

Welcome Small Town Stragglers

The desert town of Blythe has committed to REC, but failed to get its limited number of businesses going. Meanwhile, towns up north have begun to jump aboard for the sake of revenue.
Desert Sun

  • Blythe, a poor town with cheap land, hasn’t matched the quick start of its Inland Empire peers Coachella Valley and Needles. Lawsuits stymied one project, and the town’s two dispensaries are months away from opening. A 2.5M square-foot industrial cannabis complex on the outskirts of Blythe has become bogged down in development.
  • San Rafael became the first Marin County city to allow REC businesses. By waiting, the town has found itself at a disadvantage compared to nearby S. F., Alameda and Sonoma Counties.
    Marin Independent Journal

Quick Hits

  1. A San Diego agriculture board voted to reaffirm that no REC shall be allowed at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Only events promoting MED will be permitted.
    Del Mar Times
  2. The Women in Cannabis Conference will be held from April 1-3 in Las Vegas. Look for leaders in cultivation, research, law, and even dispensary owners to share their insights and trade secrets.
    Cannabis Business Times

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Steve D'Angelo Feels Great. We Should Too?

During an interview at South By Southwest, Steve D’Angelo, CEO of megadispensary Harborside, shared his unbridled optimism about the future of marijuana. He envisions interstate commerce in the near future, as well as international exchange.

  • The activist-turned-mogul spoke out against what he characterizes as "over taxing," which he said assists the illicit market. Eighty percent of the marijuana sold in California is illegal.
  • "People are willing to pay more to go into a shop where they know that it’s safe, where they know that the cannabis has been tested,” D’Angelo told a reporter. “But they’re not going to pay 50-60% more, and that’s what’s happening in states like Washington and California.”

Quick Hits

  1. Leafly’s jobs report shows that hiring in California remained flat last year, due to 2018’s tumultuous REC rollout. Now the state is facing the same worker shortage that the rest of the industry contends with.
  2. Eaze has eazed into Oregon. The delivery service established an online partnership with a local dispensary called Kaleafa.
  3. Cannabis patent infringement is a new and arcane subject. A case from last summer highlights some of the issues involved, and now there’s an update.
    Canna Law Blog
  4. Israel-based Seedo released its automated home grow device in California, and has plans to expand into Africa.
  5. Federal law enforcement officials seized more than 200 pounds of bud from seven San Bernardino County homes. The alleged ring leader is a real estate agent who spent $5M million on the properties. Authorities say the grow operation was funded by money from China.

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In February, WeedWeek hosted its first event, Recharge, in Los Angeles. Click here to see the terrific keynote by Jeremy Plumb, Director of Production Science at Prūf Cultivar in Portland, Ore., and a brief talk by Danny Davis, founder of sponsor Convectium.

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An L.A. Dodger Studies the Market

Major League Baseball doesn’t allow players to use THC, but that hasn’t stopped Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling -- a licensed stock broker -- from commenting on the opportunities available in the cannabis space.
L.A. Times

  • Unhindered by his sports obligations, the pitcher spent this winter supplementing daily workouts with trips to the brokerage. He said the market is growing so quickly that recommending individual stocks would be unwise.
  • Stripling, 29, said he had previously been invested in Bitcoin, but took a bath in the market last winter. He told a sports writer that he’d come upon opportunities, but declined to name names. “I can’t tell you even if I did [want to].”

Quick Hits

  1. It’s not just policy and activism that has brought marijuana in from the margins. Pop music performs that function, too, and many of the songs that do the heavy lifting come out of California. One need not be Jordan Peele to recognize that “I Got 5 on It” was a people mover on the level of “Legalize It,” by Peter Tosh.
  2. Snoop Dogg has gotten down with Merry Jane to form a new eSports tournament. Casual watchers might think it resembles the Stoned Gamers League founded by Zeus Tipado, and they would be correct.
  3. Weed grows wildly in in all sorts of places.

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