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In California, the BCC announced that beginning March 1, 2020, cannabis retailers may provide free cannabis or cannabis products to qualified medicinal patients or their primary caregivers. Any licensee may designate cannabis or cannabis products that they hold in their inventory for donation, but only a licensed retailer may provide those donated items directly to the medicinal consumer. “All items intended for donation must be marked as such in Track-and-Trace. A bulletin with step-by-step instructions for designating new or existing packages of cannabis, cannabis products, and immature plants and for entering retail donations these items has been posted in the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace system.”
The CDTFA approved a formal rulemaking process to permanently adopt Cannabis Tax Regulation 3702 to:
(1) specify that a distributor and cannabis retailer are required to input the retailer’s wholesale cost of cannabis or cannabis products in an arm’s length transaction; and
(2) specify that a cannabis retailer is required to input their retail sales price of cannabis or cannabis products when sold to its customers.
In Washington, the WSLCB issued an enforcement bulletin clarifying and reminding licensees that home delivery of marijuana is prohibited. The bulletin states, “[s]ome companies claim to have found a way around the delivery prohibition, but to date there is no legal method for commercial delivery of cannabis from a retailer to consumer off premises.”
In Alaska, the public comment period for proposed purchase limit changes ends on March 13th. After the public comment date, AMCO may choose to immediately adopt the proposed changes.
In Maine, according to the Office of Marijuana Policy, Maine is months away from recreational marijuana sales. “We’re expecting stores to start opening up in late Spring,” Office of Marijuana Director of Engagement and Community Outreach Policy David Heidrich said. “Definitely by July.” In total, the state department has received 93 store applications, with about 80 of them currently being reviewed for a conditional license.
The state legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing on plans to create a new division of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency dedicated to cannabis crimes. Marijuana advocates see the proposal to investigate marijuana crimes as an effort to outlaw the drug again.
In Michigan, Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) announced a phase-out process for the transfer of marijuana and marijuana products into the regulated market from caregivers. The phase-out process begins immediately and ends on September 30, 2020 with a final termination of all external marijuana transfers.
In Nevada, Gov. Steve Sisolak has appointed Jerrie Merritt as the third member of the five-person Cannabis Compliance Board. Merritt served as SVP of the Bank of Nevada and was previously Chair of the Urban Chamber of Commerce. The Cannabis Compliance Board is required to have a cannabis industry expert, an attorney, a doctor, a finance expert, and law enforcement. The new Board is slated to assume regulatory control of Nevada’s cannabis industry in July.
In Oklahoma, the OMMA has submitted new rules for the administration of medical marijuana. The public comment period ends on March 7th.
In the age before marijuana legalization became a feasible possibility, every generation had its own term for smokable cannabis.
In Michigan on February 19th, the MRA sent notice that the statewide monitoring system “METRC” was unable to produce responses from the Patient Look-up Status inquiries. The problem lasted over 3 hours and did not impact recreational marijuana sales. Questions related to the glitch should be directed to MRA-Compliance@michigan.gov.
In Colorado, Denver’s Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) set a new cap for marijuana locations in the city for the first time since 2016. According to the OMP, the number of allowed locations – not actual licenses – in Denver has been set at 220 retail storefronts and 299 cultivation sites. By comparison, Denver currently has 212 marijuana retail storefronts and 247 cultivation sites, according to an OMP spokesperson.
In California, “AB-1948: Taxation: Cannabis” has been set for hearing on 09-MAR-20. The bill would reduce the cannabis excise tax to 11 percent.
In Maine, the Office of Marijuana Policy Newsletter released details on adult-use applications and noted that “24 cultivation, 7 manufacturing, and 41 marijuana store applications have been deemed complete and are undergoing formal review by OMP.”
Over the course of the next several months, OMP and Metrc will engage with industry stakeholders through several avenues to familiarize them with Metrc. Starting in mid-to-late March, regional roadshows will be conducted throughout Maine to provide future adult use licensees with a high-level introduction to Metrc and a platform to have their questions and concerns addressed.
In Michigan, Detroit businesses are planning to sue the state of Michigan later this week in a bid to launch recreational marijuana sales in Detroit. The lawsuit will focus on Michigan’s largest city not having an ordinance in place barring adult-use marijuana businesses on Nov. 1 — when the state began accepting license applications
In Nevada, the new cannabis regulatory board is taking shape as a former state Supreme Court justice and former gambling regulator have been appointed to Nevada’s new state marijuana industry oversight board. Those appointments come on the heels of the governor’s selection last October of Tyler Klimas to serve as executive director of the panel. Douglas, Neilander and Klimas will begin “regulatory groundwork” after the appointment of three more board members in coming weeks, according to Gov. Steve Sisolak.
In Washington, “Government [WSLCB] documents reveal a reduction and probable cancellation of Akerna’s Washington contract, one of only three the company currently has, casting management guidance into doubt.”
The WSLCB Traceability 2.0 Work Group met and released “Traceability 2.0 Oversimplified General Workflow to Identify GUID and Reporting Requirements DRAFT” and Harvest Subcommittee – “Recommendations.” The external work group has become the locus of conversation between the agency and licensees about the future of cannabis supply chain transparency in Washington state.
In California, the BCC announced that the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) has approved the emergency rulemaking action for the Quick Response Code (QR Code) certificate requirements. The emergency regulations are effective as of February 13th and require licensed commercial cannabis storefront retailers to prominently display the QR Code certificate on their premises.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) has released a 14-page commentary on Governor Newsom’s cannabis proposals for his 2020 Trailer bill. The LAO recommended that the Legislature approve the Governor’s proposal to change the point of collection for the retail excise and cultivation tax. It also found “that the concept of consolidating the cannabis licensing functions into a single entity focused on cannabis makes sense, and could improve the accountability and effectiveness of the state’s cannabis activities.” The LAO further recommended that the Legislature withhold action on cannabis-related proposals until all the budget proposals and budget trailer language are available this spring.
In Michigan, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued a technical bulletin about potency variance in marijuana packaging.
In Nevada, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) made his first appointments to the new Cannabis Compliance Board. Sisolak tweeted, “[t]hey will provide invaluable guidance as CCB transitions to full authority.”
In Maine, Metrc will be deployed in Maine’s emerging adult-use marijuana program. It is expected that adult-use sales will begin mid-March. Following the successful launch of Metrc, the OMP will shift their focus to introducing the track and trace solution to Maine’s existing medical marijuana program.
In Oklahoma, the OMMA announced that beginning April 1st, all marijuana product sold by a grower or processor will be required to be tested by an Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) licensed laboratory. Any dispensary customer may request the certificate of analysis from the dispensary. The document can be kept in either a paper or electronic format.
In California, three prominent labor unions sent a letter to the Democratic Caucus asking lawmakers to shut the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) out of future political negotiations regarding the marijuana industry for the time being. In their letter, the unions criticized a CCIA white paper as “a piece of anti-union literature.” It’s unclear how much this situation might hamper CCIA’s ability to get Democratic legislators on board with further cannabis reforms, but it will at least serve as a distraction as political chaos over the future of the CA cannabis industry continues in the state capitol.