Category Archives: Medical Marijuana

The 7 Most Potent CBD Strains

The 7 Most Potent CBD Strains

eCann Media is proud to showcase our portfolio of investments and subsidiaries. We have completed numerous investments across multiple verticals and sectors in the cannabis industry. Requesting an invitation will enable the eCann team to consider your eligibility for investment as well help us to identify the opportunities that best fit your needs and investment objectives.

Published at Wed, 11 Sep 2019 18:00:00 +0000

The Reinvention Of Mike Tyson: How He’s Rewriting His Story With Cannabis

The Reinvention Of Mike Tyson: How He’s Rewriting His Story With Cannabis

eCann Media is proud to showcase our portfolio of investments and subsidiaries. We have completed numerous investments across multiple verticals and sectors in the cannabis industry. Requesting an invitation will enable the eCann team to consider your eligibility for investment as well help us to identify the opportunities that best fit your needs and investment objectives.

Published at Thu, 19 Sep 2019 12:00:00 +0000

Canopy Rivers Inc. (OTCMKT:CNPOF) Unveils Strategic Advisory Board

Canopy Rivers Inc. (OTCMKT:CNPOF) Unveils Strategic Advisory Board

Canopy
Rivers Inc. (OTCMKT:CNPOF)

has announced the formation of the company Strategic Advisory Board. It
comprises a group of celebrated business leaders who will offer guidance to the
company’s executive team to strengthen and enhance Canopy River’s portfolio of top
cannabis firms. 

Narbe Alexandrian, the CEO and President of canopy growth, stated that they had constituted an outstanding group of individuals with incredible track records in their respective areas of specialization. He said that the role of the Strategic Advisory Board would be a crucial one which is offering insight and guidance to the company as it pursues its global strategy. He affirmed that they have enough zeal and commitment to building the cannabis sector for a better future.

Members of the strategic board include Meg
Lovell, John Ruffolo, and Philip Donne.

Meg
Lovell

Ms. Lovell has huge experience having served as the Corporate and Commercial Counsel and CO-Head of M&A ay Imperial Brands PLC. Imperial is a consumer products company with a portfolio of tobacco and next-generation products. She is recognized during her time at imperial for the various strategic acquisitions that she led with a particular focus on the company’s next-generation product portfolio. Equally, she was vital in providing advice on a range of issues at the company. Before she joined Imperial, she was an associate at leading multinational law firm Slaughter and May.

John
Ruffolo

Ruffolo is the Vice-Chair and co-founder of the Council of Canadian Innovators. He is the founder of OMERS and also established OMER’s innovation arm, Platform Investments. He has led investments in District Ventures, Purpose Financial, PointNorth Capital, ArcTern Ventures and OneEleven.

Philip
Donner

Donne is former CEO and President of
Kellogg Canada, former president of Campbell Canada former president of
Cossette’s Toronto office. He is an advisor for several companies such as
Valens, Nature’s Path Foods, and Green Juice. He is an award-winning markets
strategist who received a Gold Medal Award from the Canadian Association of
Advertisers. He also received a Golden Pencil Award for his role to the
Canadian food industry.

Published at Fri, 20 Sep 2019 12:01:37 +0000

Delta 9 Enters into Binding Letter of Intent to Acquire Two Alberta Retail Stores

Delta 9 Enters into Binding Letter of Intent to Acquire Two Alberta Retail Stores

As the cannabis industry continues to expand, attacks have begun on direct marketing (text, call, etc.) campaigns undertaken by cannabis-related businesses. Cannabis advertising is heavily regulated, so many cannabis companies rely on direct marketing to consumers—often in the form of text messaging. But technology has outpaced the federal statutes regulating telemarketing, leaving marketers uncertain as to what is and is not permitted under existing laws. 

This uncertainty potentially leaves consumer-facing cannabis companies open to attack by resourceful plaintiff’s attorneys claiming violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The TCPA was enacted in 1991 to combat a rising tide of invasive and unwanted telemarketing calls and faxes. The Act limits the use of automatic dialing systems, prerecorded voice messages and fax machines and has been expanded to cover calls to cell phones and text messaging, neither of which were prevalent when the statute was enacted. It was intended generally to restrict automated or prerecorded (robo) calls unless the receiving party consents to receive the call or when the call is made for emergency purposes. 

The TCPA distinguishes between marketing and non-marketing calls, requiring different types of consent based on the purpose of the communication. A marketing call includes an advertisement or other communication intended to encourage a purchase or the like. (Although payment reminders, confirmations, informational messages and service calls are not considered telemarketing, if a dual-purpose call includes a marketing intent, the call is treated as a marketing call.)

Transparency is Key

Marketers can ensure TCPA compliance by obtaining appropriate consent from the called party. For non-marketing calls or texts to a cell phone, implied consent is sufficient under the TCPA. Implied consent recognizes that if a customer provides their cell phone number, then they expect to be called or texted at that number. For marketing calls, the TCPA requires “written consent.” “Written consent” does not necessarily mean “in writing”; “written consent” could include verbal consent on a recorded line or otherwise captured by electronic means. The FCC has clarified that consumers may revoke TCPA consent at any time through any reasonable means.

The TCPA imposes strict liability based on the party who actually receives the call, not the intended recipient. This feature of the Act causes a trap for the unwary. Even if a company has express consent from the intended recipient, if the phone number provided to the company is inaccurate and the called party differs from the intended recipient, then the call violates the TCPA despite the fact that the intended recipient gave consent. The Act’s strict liability is particularly problematic with respect to reassigned cell phone numbers. The FCC estimates that as many as 100,000 cell phone numbers are reassigned every day, and each reassigned number represents a possible TCPA violation for marketers.

Because the regulatory regimes surrounding these statutes have remained stagnant in the face of remarkable technological growth, considerable uncertainty remains with respect to how these statutes apply to today’s direct marketing technologies. 

Unsurprisingly, TCPA litigation (and class actions in particular), has skyrocketed in recent years as plaintiff’s attorneys realized the statute’s potency. TCPA litigation abounds because the Act allows damages of $500 for each violation and $1,500 if the conduct is deemed willful. Because there is no cap on damages, the potential liability in these cases can be enormous.

Technology Outpaces Regulations—Again

The Americans with Disabilities Act, a wide-ranging civil rights law intended to protect against discrimination based on disability, was enacted in 1990. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination “on the basis of a disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who . . . operates a place of public accommodation.”

Public accommodations include private establishments such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, and stadiums—areas that the ADA was originally intended to address. Like the TCPA, technology has outpaced the regulatory regime of the ADA and clear guidance on how the ADA applies in the internet age, specifically as it relates to web site accessibility, is lacking.

Websites and other technological spaces, which did not exist as we now know them when the ADA was first enacted, have been interpreted to be places of public accommodation under certain circumstances. Hundreds of class actions lawsuits have been filed alleging violations of the ADA based on companies’ large and small alleged failure to maintain ADA compliant websites that are accessible to the blind and visually impaired. Unfortunately, neither the Department of Justice, the agency responsible for enforcing the ADA, nor the federal courts have illuminated a consistent standard for determining ADA liability in online spaces. The Ninth and Eleventh Circuits have provided that a website is a place of public accommodation only where there is a nexus between the website and the service of a physical place of public accommodation—like a business’s commercial web presence.

Under this standard, online-only businesses such as eBay or Facebook would not be considered places of public accommodation, but a website that allows ordering goods for in-store pickup (say, at a licensed cannabis dispensary) would likely have a sufficient nexus to physical stores to be subject to the ADA.

The ADA permits litigants to pursue injunctive relief and attorney’s fees and costs; it does not include compensatory damages or civil penalties similar to the TCPA. Although the ADA does not provide a mechanism for monetary damages, plaintiff’s counsel often includes claims under a state mini-ADA or local human rights statute that allows recovery of monetary damages.

Cannabis Business Owners Should Be Wary

With the rapid growth of legal cannabis sales, plaintiffs have begun to use the TCPA to target cannabis-related business. In June 2019, a group of plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit in federal court against Baker Technologies and its parent company Tilt Holdings Inc. alleging violations of the TCPA and California’s Unfair Competition Law. Tilt Holdings specializes in cannabis technology, and its subsidiary Baker Technologies provides customer relationship management services to retail stores, including online ordering, customer loyalty, messaging and analytics.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Baker collected cell phone numbers, provided them to its cannabis dispensary clients and facilitated telemarketing text messages to those mobile numbers without first obtaining the necessary consent. The defendants have promised a vigorous defense of the lawsuit and maintain that messages are only sent to customers who have voluntarily signed up to receive messages at dispensaries and that those customers may opt-out at any time—in full compliance with the TCPA. What will happen in this litigation remains to be seen. 

When the TCPA was enacted, text messaging did not exist. Now, an estimated 6 billion text messages are sent daily. A shop owner is able to clearly ascertain whether her physical store location is handicap-accessible as required by the ADA, but companies struggle with how to make their website ADA compliant in the absence of clear federal guidance on the issue. Because the regulatory regimes surrounding these statutes have remained stagnant in the face of remarkable technological growth, considerable uncertainty remains with respect to how these statutes apply to today’s direct marketing technologies. 

Administrative agencies generally responsible for enforcement of these statutes—the FCC and FTC with respect to the TCPA and the DOJ with respect to the ADA—have largely ceded enforcement responsibility to plaintiff’s attorneys. With possible damages of up to $1,500 per unwanted call or text, the potential liability in a TCPA class action—and corresponding attorney fee award to class counsel—is tremendous. Enterprising plaintiff’s attorneys look for violations wherever they can find them, and the blossoming cannabis industry may provide fertile hunting grounds. 

In light of advertising restrictions, many cannabis companies prefer to communicate directly with customers, often collecting cell phone numbers in connection with loyalty and rewards programs, which are then used for direct marketing purposes. Given this prevalence of direct marketing to cell phones using SMS text messaging, we anticipate seeing an increase in TCPA cases against cannabis industry participants. Cannabis industry participants and related businesses should review their direct marketing procedures and ensure that they secure proper consent and comply with the TCPA. For example, industry participants should check the FCC’s Do Not Call Registry and remove any numbers on that list from their call lists. Marketers also need to ensure that they respect any opt-out request received. Industry participants should also review their website configuration and attempt to ensure ADA compliance, particularly where the website allows for direct sales or allows a customer to make a purchase for in-store pickup.

Clarity in the areas of TCPA and ADA compliance is not likely any time soon, so it is imperative that cannabis-industry participants that market directly to consumers through messaging and/or websites take proactive steps to minimize the risk of unwanted legal actions.

Published at Fri, 20 Sep 2019 18:14:00 +0000

The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd (OTCMKTS:TGOD) Reveals That Strong Demand For Organic Products Triggers More Orders

The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd (OTCMKTS:TGOD) Reveals That Strong Demand For Organic Products Triggers More Orders

At the end of
August, The Green Organic Dutchman
Holdings Ltd (OTCMKTS:TGOD)
announced its entry into the Canadian
recreational market by launching in Ontario. Following the entry into the
segment, the company is reporting that initial demand is already exceeding
expectations.

Growing demand triggering more orders

The company’s premium-THC signature strain, Unite Organic, is doing well at the dispensaries and online. Some retailers have quickly sold out prompting a second order from the COES much earlier than initially expected.

The CEO of The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings, Brian Athaide, stated that they were delighted to see such positive feedback from retailers and consumers as well as strong sales in Ontario. Ontario is the most populous province in Canada with around 14.32 million. The CEO said that based on the initial response, they have received the demand from the company’s premium quality flower is very high.

Expansion to the rest of the provinces

Brian said that the company’s team is working hard to increase its production of the high-quality organic product in preparation of expanding distribution. The company wants to enhance distribution with the addition of more strains and product forms to other provinces in Canada in the coming months. The CEO indicated that its Hamilton hybrid greenhouse already is complete and they are almost completing building another facility in Valleyfield. This shows that the company is on the right path to be able to distribute across the country as from next year.

A study conducted
at the beginning of the year by Hill & Knowlton revealed that they would
love their cannabis to be organic. Around 50% of the recreational consumers who
intended to buy marijuana indicated that it is important that their pot be
organic.

The Green Organic
Dutchman grows its cannabis in the company’s proprietary living soil without
irradiation and under all-natural principles. TGOD’s cultivation process is
equally certified by both ECOCERT and Pro-cert. The two are the top organic
certification bodies striving to offer consumers with consistent, safe, and
pleasant cannabis experience.

Published at Wed, 18 Sep 2019 12:01:27 +0000

3 Tips for Supply Chain Risk Management Amid Vaping-Related Lung Illnesses in the U.S.

3 Tips for Supply Chain Risk Management Amid Vaping-Related Lung Illnesses in the U.S.

The question of what’s behind the spate of vaping-related pulmonary diseases in the U.S. and Canada is vexing broad swaths of the cannabis industry. With vaping products rising in popularity and sales, there’s reason to be in a defensive mode; many of the public statements about these diseases point to problems in the illicit cannabis market or in the illicit e-cigarette market, but licensed cannabis businesses are embracing a cautious attitude of open communication about their products. 

The illicit cannabis market has grown more sophisticated with the growing awareness of vaping technology and consumer choice. That gap that forms, then, is a lack of education about what constitutes a safe vaping product in a licensed cannabis market. That’s where business owners can approach this issue and draw out some transparency from the supply chain.

Ben Bodamer, an attorney in Dickinson Wright’s cannabis practice group, says that the opportunity is here to get out in front of the amorphous and uncertain public reaction to what’s become a mainstream national news story. While many cannabis brands are issuing statements about the safety of their products, there’s a more important structural and legal approach that needs to be considered. 

In the meantime, it’s worth watching how federal and state regulators handle this story.

“This isn’t really just a story about one industry,” Bodamer says. “One question is: What is the intersection between the regulatory authority of the FDA and the federally non-compliant [but] state-compliant medical cannabis industry that’s legal in 33 states? I think we saw a little preview of that with what happened with CBD last fall, where the FDA commissioner sought to regulate CBD as a food ingredient, despite the fact that it was technically federally non-compliant, so shouldn’t have been used as anything from a federal perspective.

“You’ve seen what’s happened,” he continues, “where there’s complete confusion and a patchwork approach to regulation. I think a similar risk is entirely possible in the context of vaping, particularly if there’s not meaningful distinction between the issue of this illness and its origins and the highly regulated, state-compliant cannabis marketplaces.”

“That question of supply chain risk and product liability is one that I think is very much on people’s minds.”

– Ben Bodamer, Dickinson Wright

While much has been made about constituents like Vitamin E acetate found in illicit-market cannabis vape products, the general public has raised suspicions about vaping more broadly. Everything under the sun has been rolled into this question about the safety of vaping devices—including state-legal and tested cannabis products, illicit-market vapes, flavored e-cigarettes and so on. Licensed cannabis businesses would do well to evaluate their own standing in the market and speak directly to their consumer base.

Already, President Trump has pushed the FDA to crack down on flavored e-cigarettes and remove them from shelves in the U.S. As Bodamer points out, there’s reason to consider a similar federal overreach into the state-legal cannabis space. Whether anything significant will happen at the federal level remains unclear; political momentum is moving toward things like banking reform or some semblance of states’ rights legalization, but nothing is certain. Cannabis business owners have plenty to tend to without predicting the weather in Washington, D.C. 

“That question of supply chain risk and product liability is one that I think is very much on people’s minds,” he says, “and our advice to clients has been: You should have already been doing a host of things, combined with best practices in your entire supply chain, including complying with GMP practices, regardless of the fact that they’re not required by individual states.”

It’s the sort of thing enshrined in environmental health and safety tenets of the 2013 Cole Memo. Though the federal document has been rescinded, the spirit of the memorandum has persisted as a guidepost for state-licensed cannabis marketplace etiquette.

Here, Bodamer and fellow Dickinson Wright attorney Scot Crow offer a few ways to think about the glaring issue of supply chain risk management.

Know Your Indemnification Provisions

“This industry is highly complex,” Crow says, “and it’s very easy to find yourself on the edge of a sword unintentionally because no one paid attention to these provisions in the agreement because everyone’s excited to the deal.”

An indemnification provision is otherwise known as a hold-harmless provision. The legal language outlines who will pay for what when a conflict arises. Business executives should pay close attention to any mention of indemnification in different scenarios. Unknown and unforeseen circumstances can materialize in a maturing industry, and the spate of vaping-related lung illnesses is a terrific example.

“The more important thing is if I’m a dispensary, or retail operation, or I’m a production company, … is making sure all of a sudden [that] your indemnification provisions as agreements take on a much bigger part of the contract,” Crow says. “If you’re a vertically integrated operator, there’s really no way to protect yourself, other than to put in place GMP standards to protect yourself from the product liability claim and getting brought into some giant class action lawsuits. But those that are in the retail or production [side of the business], those agreements have a lot more importance than what they have had historically.”

Vet Your Supply Chain

Now’s the time, if you haven’t gone through this process recently, to get up-close and personal with your supply chain and re-interrogate its trustworthiness and compliance. The shape of legal claims is a matter of debate, but class-action lawsuits have emerged in various areas of the cannabis space, and it helps to identify and address any weak spots in a business’s interactions with third-party vendors or in other partnerships.

cannabis vape supply chain cartridges

JetCityImages/Adobe Stock

 

“First of all, we don’t really know enough to know the kinds of claims that will emerge,” Bodamer says. “I know that the plaintiff’s bar is creative, but they’re also attentive. And in this context, they’re going to be following the results of ongoing investigations at the state level and at the federal level. And to the extent that [those] investigations reveal specific sources, and if those specific sources have been supplying product to individual companies, if that supply chain is in any way illegal, … I think the ease with which the plaintiff’s bar could bring claims would go up significantly.”

Getting out in front of the national news narrative with public statements on social media is one thing; showing proof of Good Manufacturing Principles or other standards and certifications will make a clear statement to the consumer base—and to public officials and private attorneys interested in parsing businesses’ tangential roles to a story with an expansive reach.

“You’re going to see scrutiny and the emergence of good actors versus bad actors from a supply chain standpoint,” he says. “It’s incumbent on good actors to point out their best practices, but it’s also incumbent on people to not be bad actors.”

…This Includes Licensing Arrangements

“Who could potentially get caught up in [litigation], I think, is a good question as well,” Crow says, “because the way that many of the companies are [set up], and this isn’t news, is that you’re expanding to licensing arrangements. You can see your brand eviscerated if it’s caught up in a dirty-type pen or delivery system, or it gets [linked to] an edible that [causes] a bad result or an adverse consequence.”

Any connection to other brands or other companies is a link worth examining, even in more relaxed times that aren’t burdened with a national news story and a rising count of sicknesses and deaths. Licensing agreements are, of course, included in this.

“You’re really putting a lot of trust in production companies that they are doing things properly and correctly in not violating state rules or adhering to the best possible standard that they could adhere to,” Crow says.

Bodamer adds an important follow-up, reminding cannabis businesses to be aware always of the federal government’s stance on cannabis: “That non-compliance across state lines also removes what would have been one of the … de facto protections from the federal prosecutorial standpoint, which is that if you are stay compliant, there’s less of an interest in federal prosecution.”

Published at Wed, 18 Sep 2019 21:02:00 +0000

Legal Pot Considered A ‘Positive Amenity’ For U.S. Residents

Legal Pot Considered A ‘Positive Amenity’ For U.S. Residents

Recent news reported on Thursday by Marijuana Moment won’t put any money into the pockets of cannabis companies or investors – directly. However, it undermines one of the major (phony) arguments of anti-cannabis zealots. And so it’s potent ammunition for legalization proponents across the U.S.

 The argument from Prohibition advocates is this. Legalized cannabis (and cannabis use) is a societal “negative” for U.S. states and communities.

The propaganda comes in many forms.

Supposedly, legalizing cannabis will increase the crime rate. Supposedly, legalizing cannabis will increase under-age use of cannabis. Supposedly, legalizing cannabis will increase traffic accidents/fatalities. Supposedly, legalizing cannabis will reduce property values.

None of it is true.

It’s already been widely reported that legalizing cannabis doesn’t increase the crime rate. In fact, there are a number of reasons why cannabis legalization may actually reduce overall crime.

Legalizing cannabis does not cause usage of cannabis by teenagers to increase. It causes teenage usage to decrease.

Legalizing cannabis does not lead to any increase in traffic accident fatalities.

Now evidence is emerging that when Americans are looking to establish their home that legalized cannabis is viewed as a positive amenity. Evidence comes in the form of a recent study published in the journal, Economic Inquiry.

The study found that potential migrants to the state of Colorado viewed cannabis legalization as “a positive amenity” that increased their likelihood of moving to the state.

This mirrors earlier numbers with respect to tourism to Colorado, previously covered by The Seed Investor. One-quarter (25%) of visitors to Colorado between 2013 and 2018 listed “cannabis” as one of their reasons for visiting the state.

Strong (positive) migration rates into a state translate into a rising population, which in turn translates into rising property values.

Support for marijuana legalization by Americans and the use of cannabis and cannabis products by Americans both continue to hit new highs. Cannabis is becoming a new consumer tradition in the United States. Political dinosaurs who stand in the way of (full) legalization risk their own extinction.

This is yet one more reason for current and potential investors in marijuana stocks to not flinch in the face of declining valuations in recent months. Markets are notorious for being fickle and irrational.

Rising interest in cannabis = rising cannabis consumption = rising cannabis revenues = rising cannabis share prices.

There is nothing complicated here. Nearly a century of cannabis Prohibition has artificially created a stellar
investment opportunity. It’s the chance to build what will be a trillion-dollar-per-year global industry (over the long term) from the ground up.

It’s not just cannabis investors who are strongly in favor of cannabis legalization. The American people, in general, continue to become more enthusiastic about (legal) cannabis. And as Americans become more accustomed to legal pot, the number of cannabis investors will also continue to rise.
 

Published at Mon, 16 Sep 2019 10:00:06 +0000

California’s Total Number of Cannabis Licenses Shrinks

California’s Total Number of Cannabis Licenses Shrinks

The cannabis industry has received media criticism (especially in Canada) with respect to the speed at which it has been able to grow and develop. However, in both the U.S. and Canada, the principal obstacle in the evolution of the legal cannabis industry continues to be government.

As the U.S.’s single largest cannabis market, California has been especially prominent in its failure to successfully navigate the translation to legal cannabis. The latest example of its regulatory stumbles? The total number of cannabis licenses in the state has contracted in 2019.

As reported in MJBizDaily, cannabis licenses have contracted across the board in 2019. The largest drop has taken place among cultivation licenses (48%). However, there have also been significant declines in manufacturing (29%) and distribution licenses (17%).

The silver lining in this licensing issue is that the number of licenses for retail storefronts has declined the least in 2019 – only 7%. This reflects the fact that storefront licensing is arguably the least complex segment of cannabis licensing.

Apart from more stringent restrictions on how these cannabis retail stores can conduct business, licensing of retail storefronts is generally straightforward. Not so for cultivators, manufacturers, and distributors.

Licensing of a cannabis cultivation operation more closely resembles the process for licensing a uranium mine versus licensing a conventional farm. This reflects ongoing biases and prejudice among elected officials that extends from national governments all the way down through state and local government.

Along with nearly a century of cannabis Prohibition has come mountains of anti-cannabis misinformation. Because of this, politicians continue to exhibit both strong suspicions and deep ignorance concerning cannabis and all facets of cannabis commerce.

The cannabis industry is grossly over-regulated and over-taxed. In combination, these factors continue to put the legal industry at a strong disadvantage versus the cannabis black market.

Here it needs to be stressed that the cannabis black market is not “an industry problem”. It is a government problem.

The misguided cannabis Prohibition that has existed in North America and around the world created the cannabis black market. This is identical to how U.S. alcohol Prohibition created an enormous illegal alcohol “industry”: handed to Organized Crime.

The difference is that alcohol is a toxic and addictive drug, produced through fermentation. Cannabis is a non-toxic, non-addictive natural substance. The human body naturally produces its own cannabinoids.

While the cannabis black market is a government problem, government continues to be the major obstacle to eliminating this black market rather than being a facilitator in this process. U.S. states (and Canadian provinces) have been reluctant participants in the process of unwinding this enormous black market.

Instead of devoting abundant resources to the licensing process – and reasonable requirements – licensing requirements have (in most cases) been onerous. And inadequate resources have been directed toward expediting the licensing process.

California is a perfect illustration of this.

Its cannabis black market continues to thrive. Rather than increasing its efforts at promoting the legal market through more reasonable cannabis regulations and taxes, California is instead squandering enormous tax dollars attacking its black market with a post-Prohibition ‘War on Drugs’.

Such law enforcement has always been as efficient and successful as whack-a-mole. For every illegal cannabis operation that law enforcement authorities shut down, one more (or two more) mushroom into existence to take its place. Futile.

How can the legal cannabis industry in California grow (to replace the black market) while the number of licenses is shrinking? With great difficulty.

As MJBizDaily pointed out, part of this licensing problem was foreseeable. The state created a one-year temporary licensing framework, precisely to try to eliminate the sort of regulatory bottleneck we are now seeing in California.

The temporary licensing framework was relatively relaxed. Temporary licenses could be obtained with reasonable speed and efficiency.

The permanent (or provisional) licenses that are now required set much higher bars for qualification. Some cannabis businesses with temporary licenses were never going to be able to qualify for such licenses. Others are still trying to navigate this bureaucracy.

For cannabis consumers, heavy-handed law enforcement toward gray market and black market cannabis operations along with reduced cannabis licenses spells reduced access to cannabis.

Government may not see this a problem for the recreational cannabis market. It is definitely a problem for the medicinal cannabis market – and the people dependent upon this medicine.

The issue of reduced access to medicinal cannabis in Canada has just been highlighted through a lawsuit aimed at federal restrictions on THC content in cannabis edibles. Other lawsuits seem likely, in Canada and the U.S.

High cannabis taxes impose hardship on medicinal consumers. This comes at a time where (especially in the U.S.) more and more people are financially imploding from healthcare expenses.
Many medicinal users of cannabis who would prefer to shop for their medicine from a licensed/regulated source continue to buy from the black market. They are (economically) forced to do so because high taxes and strict regulations are adding too much to the final purchase price of legal cannabis products.

The state of Colorado (and the province of Alberta) has shown that it is possible to make the transition to a legal cannabis industry in a sensible and efficient manner. However, ongoing anti-cannabis phobias among politicians mean that the words “sensible” and “efficient” rarely apply when it comes to cannabis legalization.

Instead of copying the success of Colorado/Alberta, most states and provinces continue to repeat what has already failed: trying to replace the cannabis black market with an over-taxed and over-regulated legal industry.
 

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

– Attributed to Albert Einstein

The cannabis insanity continues in California.
 

Published at Mon, 16 Sep 2019 17:37:47 +0000