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Jan. 14-20, 2020 Dispensary Compliance Updates


In California, CalCannabis has assembled several helpful materials and documents explaining the track-and-trace process for licensed cannabis businesses. The third addition of the Frequently Asked Questions About the Track-and-Trace System was announced this week via the BCC's social media outlets. 

The California Cannabis Advisory Committee released a draft of its 2019 Annual Report. The report stated, "[w]ith upwards of 80 percent of California’s cannabis businesses remaining in the illicit market, the CAC finds it necessary to emphasize that the aforementioned programs and efforts, continue to be at risk of failure if issues associated with local control, excessive regulatory burden, excessive taxation, and access to banking are not immediately addressed." It also noted that "there will need to be further discussions and changes in order for tribes to participate in California’s cannabis market under a common regulatory structure, the components of which will need to be developed."

In an effort to improve access to licensing and simplify regulatory oversight of commercial cannabis activity, the Administration plans to consolidate the three licensing entities that are currently housed at — the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Department of Public Health — into a single Department of Cannabis Control by July 2021.  (Budget Proposal announced Jan 10, 2020)

Governor Newsom also proposed simplifying cannabis tax administration by changing the point of collection of excise tax from the final distributor to the first, and for the retail excise tax from the distributor to the retailer.

SB-34, to exempt compassion programs that give away cannabis to needy patients from taxation, is expected to be implemented sometime in March once regulators can implement changes to track donations.

In Colorado, MED issued an Industry-Wide Bulletin in response to stakeholder inquiries regarding Medical Marijuana sales limitations. The bulletin provides additional guidance regarding (a) requirements for sales of Medical Marijuana in amounts exceeding the above-noted sales limits; and (b) sales involving a combination of Medical Marijuana Concentrate, Medical Marijuana flower, and Medical Marijuana Product.

In Massachusetts, the CCC announced the Virtual Gateway which houses the Medical Use of Marijuana Online System used by certified qualifying Patients, Caregivers, Clinicians, and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers is migrating to a new system. On January 20, 2020 the Cannabis Control Commission’s electronic licensing and registration processing platform, the Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Portal (MassCIP), will become the central location for Medical Use of Marijuana Program service. The Commission has produced training videos and guidance documents to assist constituents through this transition. 

In Maine, the state started taking adult-use business applications on Dec. 5, and it has received 76 applications so far, according to the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy. Thirty-eight of the applications are for retail stores, 27 are for cultivation facilities and 11 are for manufacturing facilities.

ME LD1076 is scheduled for hearing on 1/16/2020. This bill would change the excise tax on adult use marijuana cultivation facilities from a tax based on quantity to a tax based on a percentage of the average market price for the category of marijuana sold. The bill requires the average market price to be determined quarterly by the Department of Administrative and Financial Services. The tax would not apply to sales by a cultivation facility to a licensee with which it is vertically integrated.

In Michigan, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency will hold a public hearing on February 12, 2020 to receive public comments on the proposed combined topic-based rule sets. The proposed topic-based rule sets are intended to provide clarity/consistency to those working in both the medical and adult-use markets. Each rule set is published on the Office of Regulatory Reinvention’s website and in the February 1, 2020 issue of the Michigan Register.

In Oregon, the Oregon 2020 legislative session is what we call a short session, starting February 3rd and ending March 8th.

In Washington, WSLCB Executive Director, Rick Garza, announced that the state will adopt marijuana enforcement changes recommended by a consulting firm as a result of SB 5318 from the 2019 legislative session. The consulting firm's final report can be read here.

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Brittany Radice

Compliance Officer

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