The top 5 trending articles from around the industry last week
Good morning MRR! We hope you had a fantastic weekend, we are returning to the Weekly Recap to make sure you are always getting the top news delivered to you both daily, as well as a full recap every Monday. Without any further delay, let’s get you caught up on the top stories from the past week so that you are in the know.
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US AG William Barr Approves Of STATES Act To Current Situation
Last Wednesday during a Senate appropriations hearing, current US Attorney General William Barr clearly stated his personal opinion regarding the actions of Congress with the STATES Act.
The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States, or STATES Act, is meant to allow individual states to operate their own cannabis programs with the blessing from the feds through an exception to the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
This doesn’t mean William Barr is pro-cannabis. He specifically said “Personally, I would still favor one uniform federal rule against marijuana,” but he did relent that the current situation is untenable. “…If there is not sufficient consensus to obtain that, then I think the way to go is to permit a more federal approach so states can make their own decisions within the framework of the federal law and so we’re not just ignoring the enforcement of federal law.”
William Barr said that the STATES Act was currently being circulated through the Justice Department for comment, and while he himself hasn’t seen it he mentioned, “Once we get those comments, we’ll be able to work with you on any concerns about the STATES law, but I would much rather that approach—the approach taken by the STATES Act—than where we currently are.”
You can watch Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a Co-Sponsor of the STATES Act, ask William Barr about cannabis shortly after the 1:12:10 mark, and then watch Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) ask him at 1:55:30 mark in regards to the Cole Memo and DOJ guidance. You can watch the entire exchange here –
Cities In California Are Suing The BCC Over Cannabis Delivery Regulations
A Sacramento boutique law firm known for its local government, land use and water practices will lead the legal challenge to overturn California regulations that allow marijuana deliveries throughout the state, even in jurisdictions that don’t want them.
Churchwell White is representing one county and 24 cities suing the Bureau of Cannabis Control and its director, Lori Ajax, over the expansive delivery authority included in marijuana regulations approved in January. The suit, filed late Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court, asks a judge to invalidate the specific rule allowing statewide deliveries without local approval.
Churchwell White name partner Steven Churchwell is a former general counsel to the state fair political practices commission and a onetime lawyer at the Office of Administrative Law. Firm co-founder Douglas White is a land use attorney with an extensive history in state Capitol advocacy work.
Smoke Shops In Texas Raided for CBD
On March 15, Duncanville, TX police raided two smoke shops, seizing all CBD products claiming that it was marijuana. According to Amy Wazwaz, the owner of GM Tobacco’s two locations, officers confiscated approximately $60,000 worth of products and nearly $15,000 in cash from store safes and cash registers.
Ironically, on the same day of the raid, the Texas Department of Health declassified hemp as a controlled substance. Despite promises from the District Attorney for Dallas County that CBD cases would not be prosecuted, police took no notice. In their statement, they reported seizing “over 30 pounds of marijuana” and “hundreds of pounds of CBD oil in various forms, weapons and other evidence pertinent to the case.”
Wazwaz, of course, insists that the “marijuana” that the police seized was actually CBD-hemp flower, which looks very much the same as recreational cannabis, but contains only trace amounts of THC. No arrests were made, but the investigation is still ongoing and evidence is being processed.
According to police, undercover buys were conducted. The purchased items were tested and some of the products were reportedly “identified as marijuana.” During the raid, employee cell phones were confiscated, as well as the DVR recorders linked to the stores’ security systems.
Wazwaz was particularly disheartened by the aggressive manner of police. “Even though we gave them the keys to our safe and asked them if they would like us to show them how to open it, they said no,” she said. “Instead of using the keys, they destroyed the safe with the tools they were using to open, which made it useless.”
Wazwaz was obliged to purchase a new safe. Police also broke the door of the store office, rather than ask for the keys.
CBD confusion continues to reign on both the state and national level. In December, the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law thereby legalizing industrial hemp cultivation. But in Texas, the state hasn’t yet authorized hemp farming. A bill is currently pending in the state legislature that would legalize hemp and CBD. But it’s still a muddle. In January, the FDA stated that CBD products are illegal because cannabis, which contains CBD, is still illegal on the federal level. However, there are ten states where cannabis, including both marijuana and hemp, are completely legal for recreational and medicinal use. Texas district attorneys are divided on their approach toward prosecution. Some say they’ll decline to prosecute; others insist that, because marijuana is still illegal, arrests will continue.
Wazwaz says she will continue to fight. “I’ve had a lot of great support from our local community and the news media from all over the country helping to get the word out.”
Cannabis Cafe Bill In Oregon Went Up In Smoke
Hundreds of proposed bills in the Oregon Legislature died after lawmakers pushed to move other legislative priorities in advance of a key deadline.
Brandon Goldner, supervisor of Portland’s Cannabis Program, argued that the legalization of indoor cannabis lounges would provide a safe, regulated space for users to consume the drug. He said that tourists often visit Oregon to purchase recreational marijuana, but find they have no place to consume it.
Parents and public health officials raised concerns that cannabis cafes would normalize use among teens and weakened the state’s public health laws.
The proposal also would have allowed for the sale and consumption of cannabis at festivals and other events, something cannabis retailers claimed would generate more tax revenue and tourism for the state.
A representative for Sen. Lew Frederick, who sponsored the measure, said the bill died “seemingly because of opposition to the use of Cannabis itself among members.”
Wholesale Cannabis Price Index For The Week Ending On April 12th
Cannabis Benchmarks®, a division of New Leaf Data Services, is a leading provider of financial, business and industry data for the North American cannabis markets, offering comprehensive and unique benchmark services for public and private organizations, and financial institutions. Visit Cannabis Benchmarks on the web or read the free Cannabis Benchmarks Weekly Report here. Wholesale market details for each state including price indices by cultivation method, detailed analysis, and commentary on the drivers of price change are available in the Cannabis Benchmarks Premium Report.
Cannabis Benchmarks® US Market Prices – All Indexes Are By Weighted Averages
|Commodity||April 12th ($/lb)||April 5th ($/lb)||$ Change||% Change|
|US Spot Index||$1,068.00||$1,066.00||$2.00||0.3%|
|US Indoor||$1,499.00||$1,482.00||$17.00||1.1 %|
|US Greenhouse||$917.00||$930.00||$13.00||1.4 %|
|US Outdoor||$601.00||$608.00||$7.00||1.2 %|
|US Medical||$1,364.00||$1,346.00||$18.00||1.3 %|
|US Adult-Use||$903.00||$897.00||$6.00||0.7 %|
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