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June 18-24, 2019 Dispensary Compliance Updates


On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved an amendment that would protect state cannabis programs against DOJ interference. The appropriations amendment has provided similar protection to state-legal cannabis programs over the past decade, but only to medical programs. The new amendment would extend to adult-use cannabis programs in addition to medical cannabis programs. The action is now turning to the Senate, where we need senators to either include a similar amendment in their version of the bill or allow the House amendment to remain in the final bill after negotiations in conference committee.

The Small Business Administration is urging cannabis firms to submit CBD regulation comments to the Food and Drug Administration. The public comment period was extended this week to July 16 due to intense interest among stakeholders. The update comes as the SBA is increasingly looking into policies related to marijuana. Opportunities and obstacles for small cannabis businesses under the federal framework have been discussed, and members are addressing how access to SBA resources such as low-interest loans could benefit entrepreneurs in the space.

In Alaska, the Marijuana Control Board will discuss marijuana licensing and rules at its regularly scheduled meeting July 10-12. They are also weighing changes to violation fines.

In California, the BCC announced it was kicking off a public information campaign, "get #weedwise," that encourages consumers to verify that their purchases are tested and legal. Ads will be hitting social media sites and billboards promoting a state website where shoppers can quickly check if a shop is licensed via www.CApotcheck.com.

Under pressure from environmentalists, lawmakers amended Gov. Newsom's proposal to reduce the extension of the period for cannabis firms to operate on provisional permits. The revised bills allow operations without annual permits until 2022 rather than 2025.

Additionally, authorities in Santa Barbara seized 20 tons of illegal cannabis in a raid that took four days to complete. The Sheriff’s office destroyed 350,000 cannabis plants from the illegal grow. Officials say they also probed fraudulently obtained state cannabis licenses and the suspected sale of undocumented cannabis.

In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) plans to sign a marijuana legalization bill on Tuesday. The law wouldn't take effect until Jan. 1, 2020.

In Maine, the governor plans to sign a bill in coming days to set up a legal framework for recreational marijuana sales. Voters chose to legalize both the use and sale of recreational marijuana for adult-use in November 2016, but months of delays and political squabbles have slowed the implementation of the commercial industry. The state now has a legal road map for marijuana to arrive in stores as soon as early 2020. The regulations could be implemented by September, according to a spokesman for the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services. That would mean the state could begin accepting license applications by the end of the year and sales could begin in early spring 2020.

Massachusetts banned "CBD-Infused Food Products"In accordance with federal law, Massachusetts allows the production and farming of hemp as stated in the 2018 Farm Bill. The state, however, is still reluctant to make the derived product (CBD) itself to be widely accepted, used, and available to the general public. As such, their local laws have placed a ban on all the CBD-infused food products, dietary supplements, and some other forms of hemp derived products.

A Missouri judge ruled that the state should open some medical marijuana business applicant records. The plaintiff noted that "the process of applying for and awarding licenses to manufacture, distribute and dispense marijuana should be open and transparent.”



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Brittany Radice

Compliance Officer

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