Topic: Enforcement

Happy Holidays! Cannabis Regulators Announce Higher Taxes and Suspend Cannabis Permits in California

California cannabis businesses and consumers have faced a rash of challenges as state agencies hike taxes and suspend business licenses. There is no sign of let up. On November 21, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) announced hikes on next year’s cannabis mark up and cultivation tax rates. Effective January 1, 2020, the newest mark up rate will increase from 60% to 80%.

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California Authorities Ramp Up Efforts to Reduce Illegal Cannabis Growing Operations

Two recent articles from the Los Angeles Times suggest that authorities in California have increased their efforts (and perhaps their effectiveness) in curbing illegal cannabis grown in the state. According to one article, 345 state law enforcement raids this year resulted in the seizure of almost 1 million marijuana plants from unlicensed growers.

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It’s Complicated: Tax Revenue From Recreational Marijuana Remains Difficult to Estimate

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” The Works of Benjamin Franklin, 1817. That idiom remains true today, and with the legalization of recreational marijuana markets, it was widely accepted that the taxes would allow state and local governments to plug budgetary shortfalls.

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Second Act: Illinois Lawmaker Proposes Bill To Regulate the CBD Industry

Fresh off becoming the first state to create a recreational marijuana market via legislation, at least one Illinois lawmaker remains focused on the cannabis industry. On October 2, 2019, Illinois Representative Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield) introduced the CBD Safety Act (HB 3906), which will mandate that CBD products meet labeling and minimum testing requirements pursuant to rules adopted by the Department of Agriculture.

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CBD Industry Continues to Struggle With Product Content and Labeling

Last week, the Center for Food Safety (a national non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organization) released the results of a recent study that identified some disturbing findings about the CBD industry. According to the study, nearly half of the 40 companies surveyed received failing or near-failing grades (Ds and Fs) for “their production and processing methods, testing protocols, and transparency to consumers.”

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Back in Session: A Look at California’s Latest Cannabis Bills

Though it still feels like summer in balmy Los Angeles, school is back in session and so is the California legislature. From banking reform to labeling, state legislators are set to mull over at least five bills directly impacting the $2.5 billion legal cannabis industry in California, now ranked the fifth largest economy in the world.

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New Mexico Judge Goes Old School; Issues Writ of Mandamus Opening Medical Marijuana Program to Out-of-State Residents

You don’t see many Writs of Mandamus these days. Yet on August 5th, Santa Fe District Court Judge Bryan Biedscheid signed an Alternative Writ of Mandamus officially ordering the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) to allow out-of-state residents to participate in New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program.

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Oops?! Ohio Bill Legalizing Hemp Has Effectively Decriminalized Marijuana, At Least For Now

On July 30, 2019, Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill legalizing hemp and hemp-derived CBD in Ohio. Like many other jurisdictions, the Ohio measure defines hemp to be cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, which is the key compound of the cannabis plant that can cause a psychoactive effect in certain concentrations. As a practical matter, however, it appears that the hemp law may have actually decriminalized marijuana (cannabis with 0.3% THC or more) for at least the next few months as well.

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