6 new things we learned from California’s cannabis czar

SAN FRANCISCO — Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, talked to the Bay Area News Group on Friday at the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco.

We wanted to find out what’s up with the state’s law legalizing recreational marijuana. Here are the most interesting things we learned:

1. The state’s on schedule — so you may actually be able to walk into a store and buy marijuana on Jan. 1, 2018. That’s because Ajax may start issuing temporary licenses.

“We are going to issue licenses” on Jan. 1, she said. “We may issue temporary licenses until we complete our background investigations.”

But it’s going to take awhile for the whole system to ramp up.  “There is no possible way we can issue everybody a license on Day 1,” she said. “For some people, it make take a few months.

“We expect to accept applications on Day 1,  we expect our licensing system will be in place, where you can go online to apply.”

But if you have a medical marijuana card, relax: It’s business-as-usual. Under the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, if you have a local permit you are allowed to continue cultivation and dispensing — until the state makes a final decision on applications.

2. Want a commercial growing license? Talk to your local officials. Now.

“You have to be in compliance with your local jurisdiction before we issue a license,” Ajax said.

And because there will be limits to the number of “Type 3” licenses — which will allows licensees to grow up to one acre outdoors — you’ll need to hurry to make sure you’re at the front of the line.

3. Colorado, Washington and Oregon have offered some helpful hints — but only up to a point.

“Colorado had issues with edibles and overconsumption — and it getting into the hands of kids. Washington taxed very high. We can learn from that,” she said. “Those are important lessons for us to look at — to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes here.”

California has a lot more commercial cannabis than these other states. And we’re really diverse — culturally and geographically, she noted.

“At the end of the day, we’ve had a cannabis industry for two decades,” she said. “We need to learn from our own folks. We need to do the best model for California.”

THE REMAINDER OF THIS ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND AT: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/17/6-new-things-we-learned-from-californias-cannabis-czar/

What are High CBD Cannabis Strains and How Do They Differ from High THC Strains? by: RACHEL CHAMBERS

Cannabis connoisseurs have long prized potency as one of the main factors that makes a particular strain more desirable than another. Potency has long been popular in an illicit market—when the local selection consisted of the offerings of one illegal dealer versus those of another, many consumers were looking to get more bang for their buck and sought out the strongest strain. Traditionally, cannabis users attributed strain potency to high levels of the cannabinoid THC, which has led to the proliferation of strains that are full of it. THC may be the most prevalent active compound in marijuana, but it is only one of at least 85 that we know of. Thanks to marijuana’s growing legitimacy as a medicinal option, CBD is starting to emerge as the cannabinoid poised to steal THC’s thunder.

What are High CBD Cannabis Strains?

CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, the cannabinoid second only to THC when it comes to average volume. Recently, research has shown CBD to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety properties without the psychoactive effects (the “high” or “stoned” feeling) that THC provides. While high THC strains often tout levels of over 20%, generally, CBD levels of over 4% are considered to be high.

the remainder of the article can be found at: https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/whats-the-deal-with-these-high-cbd-strains

California Bill Provides Trademark Protection for Marijuana Industry

California, long a pioneer in legalizing cannabis, is intent on giving the industry the legal tools to grow.

California Bill Provides Trademark Protection for Marijuana Industry

In any business, the owner can trademark the name, logo and even images associated with their business with the United States government.

Every business, that is, expect the marijuana business.vThe federal government grants trademarks for businesses but the federal government still classifies marijuana as an illegal drug. That makes getting a trademark at the national level impossible.

However, lawmakers in California, which has been among those leading the way in the new era of legalized marijuana, have proposed a solution for businesses in the Golden State.

California Trademark Proposal

Businesses need trademarks to protect intellectual property, keeping other businesses from stealing names and logos associated with their product and using it on products of their own. The lack of trademark protection in the marijuana industry already has led  a German pipe maker to sue companies in the United States for appropriating their name and placing it on other products.

Under current law, a secretary of state can provide trademark protection for businesses at the state level, but only if they already have a federal trademark.

“Not being able to trademark your brand is a huge setback if you’re trying to get capital investment,” Nate Bradley, a lobbyist for marijuana sellers, told non-profit journalism site Calmatters.com. “If you’re not able to protect what you’re asking people to invest in, you’re not likely to get investments.”

California lawmakers have introduced a bill that would provide that protection. Assembly Bill 64 expands provisions of the Model State Trademark law allow the state to grant trademarks to business that deal in “medical cannabis and nonmedical cannabis goods and services.” Assemblyman Rob Bonta, a Democrat representing the Oakland area, is lead author on the bill.

Both Colorado and Washington have passed similar laws to offer marijuana businesses in those states trademark protection. THE REMAINDER OF THE ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND AT: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289315

Inside ‘Pot Alley’ as LA Gears Up for Legal Weed


Marijuana has been legalized in California for recreational use.

It is referred to as the “salad bowl of the nation,” best described in iconic pages when John Steinbeck, American author and son of Salinas, put pen to paper in most of his classic writings.

It’s here where Japanese immigrants found their American dream after World War II in the cut flowers business, evident even today.

“A lot of these houses are Japanese-style houses,” said Alicia, a cannabis properties realtor.
Alicia agreed to show us around the valley on the condition we don’t share her last name. She specializes in the new green that’s growing here, pointing out farms she says are now cannabis farms.
“Look. Barbed wires, cameras,” she said.
Alicia works to sell, buy or manage what used to be properties housing the booming flower market, properties that have since fallen apart due to various free trade agreements over the years.
She says ever since California legalized marijuana, there’s new life breathing into the valley and sucking dry the idea of continuing with the cut flowers business, when owners can sell their properties for millions.
“It wouldn’t make sense to grow flowers, you know, at $5 million,” she said.
Under new California law, cannabis cultivators are banned from building new greenhouses, unless they are built in the footprint of old ones.
So any “green” house in the state has the potential to evolve into a “grow” house.
“California cannabis is its own brand, no different than California wine or anything else,” Michael Williamson, the director of operations at Harborside, a leading cannabis grower and distributor in northern California.
He says his hairnet, white jumpsuit and gloves are a way to keep the product pure and free from human interaction.
“When you look at our product and our plants, it’s really not that different than a lot of the cut flowers market,” he said. “Which makes this valley kind of the potential to be the Sonoma Valley of cannabis.”


Follow us: @NBCLA on Twitter | NBCLA on Facebook

When will California regulations of the marijuana industry be in place?

On Nov. 8, 56% of voters approved California’s Proposition 64, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older. Though the new law was expected to come into full force on Jan. 1, 2018, there may be some delays. 

State lawmakers are reportedly worried that the relevant agencies may not be able to set up a regulatory and taxing system by the deadline. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, a state agency, is struggling to establish rules for licensing and taxing cannabis cultivators and related business in the industry, the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reported. 

When will California regulations of the marijuana industry be in place?
Although Californians voted in favor of legalizing marijuana, its start date may experience delays.
Source: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Legislators have voiced concerns about delays in the system. “Frankly, I have to say that there is a considerable amount of skepticism from some of us up here about meeting that deadline,” Democratic state Sen. Jerry Hill of San Mateo said at a hearing on Jan. 30, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, also expressed doubts about the system’s timely implementation. “There are a lot of challenges,” she said, according to the LA Times. “We are not going to be able to grant everyone a license on Jan. 1, 2018.” 

Will California finally have a statewide standard for the sale of legal marijuana by 2018?

Marijuana for medical use has been legal in California since 1996, but efforts to regulate it like a normal product have been elusive.


For nearly two decades the production, distribution, sale and taxation of cannabis has operated through a patchwork of local rules that can differ from one city or county to the next. What one grower or pot dispensary does in one part of the state could be illegal in another, from the number of plants producers can grow to whether or not cannabis-based edibles require warning labels.

Now that voters have approved the sale of marijuana for recreational use through November’s Proposition 64 referendum, officials involved with working out regulations are scrambling. They must establish statewide rules before the start of next year, when licenses are supposed to become available for the sale of recreational-use marijuana.

Some are doubtful that state policymakers will have everything in order by then.

“They can’t get it together about what they want the laws to be,” Alicia Darrow, chief operations manager of Blum Oakland, a 13-year-old Bay Area medical marijuana dispensary, told Salon. “I’ll be shocked if it goes live in 2018.”

The problem, she said, is that Prop. 64 threw a wrench into regulators’ efforts that began in October 2015 after the passage of Assembly Bill 266, the state’s first successful attempt to pass a law regulating medical marijuana.

Prop. 64 and AB 266 have considerable differences in the way marijuana is regulated that must be worked out. For example, AB 266 requires a small number of third-party companies to control distribution and oversee testing for pesticide contamination, something dispensaries argue is unnecessary and would increase costs. Another unanswered question pertains to how dispensaries that sell medical-use marijuana and the more heavily taxed recreational-use weed will be required to track and manage their inventories and sales. Under Prop. 64,  dispensaries must have two separate inventories and tracking systems.

“It’s a big job, but we’re working hard and have every intention of meeting our goals,” Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the state’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, said in an email to Salon. “The work we’ve done on regulations for medical cannabis have given us a great start.”

Meanwhile established growers, many of them mom-and-pop operations, are worried about being muscled out by bigger, well-financed ventures backed by deep-pocketed investment groups that are chasing the potential for big gains in the years to come. California’s medical marijuana business generated nearly $2.7 billion in sales in 2015 and that’s expected to balloon to $6.45 billion annually by 2020, including sales from recreational-use marijuana, according to cannabis industry investment network Arcview.

You’ll Never Guess Who Wants to See Marijuana Legalized Nationwide

The marijuana industry is red hot, and it has the rapidly changing views of the public to thank.

In 1995, just prior to California becoming the first state to legalize medical cannabis for compassionate use, only 25% of respondents in Gallup’s national poll wanted to see pot legalized nationally. That was essentially unchanged since 1980. However, since 1995 we’ve seen a steady uptick in support for weed. By 2005, 36% approved of its nationwide legalization. In 2011, marijuana’s approval hit 50% for the first time ever. Finally, in 2016 it topped 60%, logging an all-time high. It’s this rapid shift of opinion that’s allowed marijuana to expand so quickly at the state level.

Last year, residents in nine states voted on marijuana initiatives, and eight were approved. The lone outlier, Arizona, narrowly missed out on making it a clean sweep for cannabis by only 2% of the vote. The year ended with 28 states having approved medical cannabis, and eight states having legalized recreational, adult-use pot. We also witnessed two states in 2016 (Pennsylvania and Ohio) legalizing medical cannabis entirely through the legislative process. In other words, it wasn’t even put to on a ballot for state residents to vote on. This push from legislators to legalize pot adds an entirely new dimension to marijuana’s momentum.

THE REMAINDER IF THIS ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND AT: http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/02/05/youll-never-guess-who-wants-to-see-marijuana-legalized-nationwide.html


Clearing up cannabis confusion in California: What you need to know

Recreational marijuana is now legal in California, after voters said “Yes” to Proposition 64 in November.

Here are some frequently asked questions to clear up the cannabis confusion:


Q: How much pot am I legally allowed to possess on my person?

A: 28.5 grams or about 1 ounce

Q: How old do I have to be to smoke recreational pot?

A: At least 21 years old.

Q: What other states have legalized recreational marijuana?

A: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington

Q: Am I allowed to grow my own marijuana?

A: Yes. You are allowed to grow up to 6 plants for personal use.

Q: Are there shops in the state now where I can buy recreational marijuana?

A: Not yet. You still need to have a medical marijuana card to make purchases at dispensaries. The state is figuring out the rules and regulations to sell recreational use marijuana, which will likely take most of 2017.

Q: Can I smoke weed in public?

A: No, you can only smoke in a private space.

Q: Am I allowed to smoke weed and drive?

A: “Whether it’s marijuana, a prescription drug and unknown substance or alcohol, if any of those impair your driving, you’re subject to DUI laws in California,” California Highway Patrol Capt. Josh Ehlers said.