Search Results for: DEA

Perception Is Reality Now With Rolling Stone/Curaleaf Licensing Deal

“What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been!”

By Stu Zakim

The recent press release announcing that Rolling Stone and MSO Curaleaf have formed a licensing deal for a branded Rolling Stone strain, to steal one of the many cliches about rock n roll, for those of us who grew up with the magazine, shows “What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been!”

When Jann Wenner published the first issue in November of 1967, not only did he change journalism, he changed the way that advertisers and subscribers interacted with a publication; to attract early new subscribers, Rolling Stone, embracing their readers love of Cannabis, offered a roach clip as a gift with purchase as Wenner knew his audience better than anyone.

He also knew what he didn’t know and that was how to work with advertisers outside of the music industry, who until then, had comprised the majority of of the magazine’s advertiser base. Lucky for him, as the core reader entered the workforce and started earning serious discretionary income, he brought in the kind of ad sales/marketing pros like Joe Armstrong and Kent Brownridge to break into more lucrative ad categories like cars, fashion, beauty, high end consumer electronics and film and television.

The breakthrough was creating what has become an iconic B2B ad campaign called “Perception/Reality.”  While acknowledging where their readers came from on the Perception side, such as the classic execution with on the perception side was an old VW bus and a very hippyish looking person, the Reality side had them driving a high end foreign import with clever copy lines celebrating the Boomer generation as it aged.  There were many variations of that which targeted key ad categories and played a very vital role in growing the brand.  It’s also in the Advertising Hall of Fame.

At that point in the company’s history, however, the one thing Jann stayed away from was maximizing the value of its name through licensing and merchandising opportunities that would have generated millions for him.  Thinking it would cheapen the integrity and credibility he had built, during my 6 and a half years there, he walked away from opportunities that other publishers would have died for.

Reality took on a different meaning a few years ago when after selling Us Weekly and Men’s Journal to American Media as the publishing world went digital, the writing was also on the wall for Rolling Stone.  Selling to Penske Media and leaving his son Gus to operate it, Rolling Stone started stretching its power; tv productions, the creation of a new revenue stream with the Rolling Stone Culture Council – in full transparency, I’m a member – and now the ultimate tie in with this Curaleaf deal.

Advertisers always loved Rolling Stone branded promotional items, from t-shirts to hats to getting their picture on the cover.  But now, you can bet those ad reps are going to be asked by clients in legal states the definitive premium long associated with the Rolling Stone brand.  Perception has become reality and it’s about time!


Stuart Zakim is a President of Bridge Strategic Communications, MJBA Communications Chief, and member of the Rolling Stone Culture Council.  He is a frequent contributor to MJNews Network.

DEA Continues to Prioritize Efforts to Expand Access to Marijuana for Research in the United States

 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  On May 14, 2021, the Drug Enforcement Administration took an important step to increase opportunities for medical and scientific research.  DEA is nearing the end of its review of certain marijuana grower applications, thereby allowing it to soon register additional entities authorized to produce marijuana for research purposes.  Currently, the National Center for the Development of Natural Products at the University of Mississippi is the only approved supplier of marijuana for research purposes in the United States, and that production has been exclusively for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Pending final approval, DEA has determined, based on currently available information, that a number of manufacturers’ applications to cultivate marijuana for research needs in the United States appears to be consistent with applicable legal standards and relevant laws.  DEA has, therefore, provided a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to these manufacturers as the next step in the approval process.

On December 18, 2020, DEA finalized new regulations pertaining to applications by entities seeking to become registered with DEA to grow marijuana as bulk manufacturers for research purposes.  Under these and other applicable regulations, applicants are responsible for demonstrating they have met various requirements, including requirements to possess appropriate state authority, document that their customers are licensed to perform research, and employ adequate safeguards to prevent diversion.

At this time, DEA has presented those manufacturers referenced above, who appear to meet the legal requirements, with an MOA outlining the means by which the applicant and DEA will work together to facilitate the production, storage, packaging, and distribution of marijuana under the new regulations as well as other applicable legal standards and relevant laws.

To the extent these MOAs are finalized, DEA anticipates issuing DEA registrations to these manufacturers.  Each applicant will then be authorized to cultivate marijuana – up to its allotted quota – in support of the more than 575 DEA-licensed researchers across the nation.  As individual manufacturers are granted DEA registrations, that information will be made available on DEA’s Diversion Control website.

DEA will continue to prioritize efforts to evaluate the remaining applications for registration and expects additional approvals in the future.

Virginia Congressman Riggleman Sends Letter To DEA In Support Of Hemp Industry

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Congressman Denver Riggleman, along with eight of his House colleagues, sent a letter to acting Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Administrator Timothy Shea to protect hemp producers and clarify hemp regulations due to discrepancies in the DEA Interim Final Rule (IFR).

The letter, led by Rep. David Joyce (R-OH-14), asks Administrator Shea to address the discrepancies between the 2018 Farm Bill and the DEA Interim Final Rule which was issued in August 2020. The IFR issued specific restrictions regarding hemp derived material that appears to contradict the legalization of hemp and hemp derivatives under the 2018 Farm Bill. According to the newly released IFR, provisions of the Farm Bill can result in criminal liability.

“The DEA must specify their requirements and streamline hemp directives by clarifying the legal means of processing hemp products,” said Congressman Riggleman. “The Farm Bill created new venues of business in this country, and we need to ensure that our hemp farmers have clear directives when it comes to their products.”

The 2018 Farm Bill is a critical piece of legislation that opened the door for hardworking hemp farmers by legalizing hemp and hemp derivatives so long as they contain less than 0.3% of THC on a dry weight basis. This bill has allowed states across America to start to build a new industry in hemp production, and expand their markets to CBD products and other related material. The DEA must revise the IFR to protect hemp farmers from overly harsh regulation and ensure that the hemp industry is safeguarded.

Background:

Congressman Riggleman has fought for hemp producers throughout his time in Congress. He is a lead supporter of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program and has worked with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to expand economic opportunity for hemp farmers in the 5th District and beyond. Earlier this year he also introduced the Hemp Opportunity Zone Act which would designate certain low-income areas as “opportunity zones” and provide economic incentives to grow the hemp industry and encourage long-term investment in rural communities. The hemp industry has the potential to be a game changer for farmers in America and the 5th District can lead this effort.

Learn more about the industrial hemp industry from the USDA here. Learn about how a new hemp processing facility will strengthen the economy and bring more than 20 new jobs to South Boston, VA here.

 

Vicente Sederberg Representing Hemp Industry In Federal Lawsuit Against The DEA

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  A national hemp trade association and a South Carolina-based hemp company have filed a federal lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration, challenging a rule the agency implemented last month that could have far-reaching consequences for the U.S. hemp industry.

The petition filed Friday afternoon in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asks the court to review an interim final rule, “Implementation of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” which was promulgated by the DEA on August 21. The lawsuit claims the rule is unlawful because it exceeds the DEA’s legal authority and violates the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the farm bill. The petitioners also argue that acting DEA administrator Timothy Shea, who is individually named as a respondent along with the agency, issued the interim final rule without observing procedures required by law.

The DEA’s interim final rule clarifies that all hemp derivatives or extracts exceeding 0.3% THC shall remain Schedule I controlled substances. This could be interpreted to include intermediate hemp derivatives that temporarily exceed 0.3% during processing, but contain less than 0.3% in final products. As such, it improperly establishes the DEA’s authority over legal hemp activities, which is contrary to the plain language and intent of the 2018 farm bill, according to the petitioners.

The petitioners in the lawsuit are RE Botanicals, Inc. and the Hemp Industries Association.

RE Botanicals, Inc. is a hemp manufacturer and retailer based in South Carolina. In 2019, it acquired Palmetto Synergistic Research LLC (dba Palmetto Harmony), which was founded to provide lawful, reliable, and high-quality hemp products.

“We are a small, woman-operated company,” said Janel Ralph, CEO of RE Botanicals. “The DEA’s new rule could put us out of business overnight.”

HIA is a trade association that represents approximately 1,050-member hemp businesses, including approximately 300 hemp processors and individuals involved in, or impacted by, the manufacture, distribution and/or sale of hemp extract and other products lawfully derived from industrial hemp. HIA successfully challenged DEA rulemaking in 2003, when the agency amended federal regulations to include naturally occurring THC within the definition of “synthetic THC,” thereby treating it as a Schedule I substance despite it falling outside the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act.

“When Congress passed the 2018 farm bill, it explicitly carved hemp and its derivatives out of the Controlled Substances Act so that hemp can be regulated as an agricultural commodity,” said HIA President Rick Trojan. “The DEA’s interim final rule could create substantial barriers to the legal manufacturing of hemp-derived products, a critical component of the hemp supply chain, and devastate the entire hemp industry. Although the DEA states that is not its intention, the rule must be amended to ensure hemp remains an agricultural crop, as Congress intended.”

The petitioners are represented by leading hemp industry attorneys at Vicente Sederberg LLP, Kight Law Office PC, and Hoban Law Group, along with appellate attorneys from Yetter Coleman LLP, which has received national attention for its work against the DEA in the realm of cannabis research.

“The DEA implemented this rule without following proper rule-making procedures, such as providing the public with notice and the opportunity to comment,” said Shawn Hauser, a partner at Vicente Sederberg LLP and chair of the firm’s hemp and cannabinoids practice. “The petitioners believe legal action is necessary to protect the lawful U.S. hemp industry that Congress intended to establish when it enacted the 2018 farm bill.”

Steny H. Hoyer, House Majority Leader ‘Dear Colleague’ Update On September Floor Schedule

 Confirms Legalization On Docket For Third Week Of September

August 31, 2020

Dear Colleague:

On September 8, the House will return for its Committee Work Period, to be followed on September 14 with a busy legislative work period.  I want to thank all of you for your efforts during the August District Work Period, which involved engaging closely with constituents, community leaders, and civic organizations working hard to address the COVID-19 pandemic and other pressing national challenges.  It also involved a brief return last weekend to Washington to pass the Delivering for America Act, which would end President Trump’s sabotage of the U.S. Postal Service, a vital service to American communities and to our democracy.

While we have all been waiting for the Senate to take action on the Heroes Act, it appears that the Republicans who control that chamber are not in a hurry to do their jobs and pass an emergency assistance package to help American workers and their families get through this economic and public health crisis.  If that changes, the House will return immediately to ensure that emergency assistance is delayed no further.  I will, as stated previously, provide twenty-four hours’ notice before any Floor action. The American people need this assistance, and this will continue to be our priority in September.

Looking ahead to the week of September 14, the House will consider the following pieces of legislation on the Floor.  First, we will take up a number of bills from the Education and Labor Committee, including: Rep. Fudge’s Strength in Diversity Act, Chairman Scott’s Equity and Inclusion in Education Act, and Chairman Nadler’s Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act.  All of these would further Democrats’ agenda of ensuring that American workers can succeed in our economy regardless of their race, sex, or background.  They are based on the premise that everyone ought to have a fair and equal chance to make it in America.  In addition, the House will also consider a bipartisan resolution offered by Rep. Meng condemning all forms of anti-Asian bias and bigotry related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following week, the House will take up Chairman Nadler’s MORE Act to help restore justice to millions by decriminalizing marijuana and expunging records of nonviolent federal cannabis convictions.  Additionally, the House will consider a package of legislation reported out of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee to invest in energy innovation and clean energy development.  These bills have broad support from across the aisle and from business and environmental groups, who together recognize that Congress must lead in promoting a cleaner, more sustainable energy future that drives innovation and helps us create good jobs for American workers.  The House may also take up legislation to reauthorize our intelligence agencies and ensure that they can do their jobs free from political interference and with the latest tools to protect against foreign threats while safeguarding Americans’ civil rights.

By September 30th, Congress must complete our work on appropriations and other expiring items, such as flood insurance and surface transportation.  In July, the Democratic-led House passed legislation to fund nearly all of the government, yet to date the Senate has not held even a single markup of an appropriations bill.  At this rate, it is likely that we will have to pass a continuing resolution to keep government open past the end of this fiscal year.  While that is not ideal, the House will do its job to avert a shutdown that would only further damage our economy.

Throughout September, the Democratic-led House will show the American people what responsible governance looks like, doing its job to legislate For the People.  I thank you in advance for your hard work and contributions, and I look forward to seeing you either virtually or in person when the House returns to session.

Sincerely,

STENY H. HOYER
House Majority Leader

DEA releases 2020 Drugs of Abuse Resource Guide

Digital guide issued as a tool for law enforcement, practitioners, and the public

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has released the 2020 edition of Drugs of Abuse, A DEA Resource Guide, which is designed to be a reliable resource on the most commonly abused and misused drugs in the United States.

Released on a periodic basis, Drugs of Abuse provides important science-based information about the harms and consequences of drug use, describing a drug’s effects on the body and mind, overdose potential, origin, legal status, and other key factors.  In addition, the guide outlines U.S. drug regulation, including drug scheduling and chemical controls.  The 2020 digital edition updates the 2017 Drugs of Abuse publication with the most current information on new and emerging trends in drug misuse and abuse, including fentanyl, marijuana and marijuana concentrates, vaping, and stimulant drugs.

Because education plays a critical role in preventing substance abuse, this comprehensive guide is intended as a tool not just for medical practitioners and law enforcement officials, but also for educators, families, and communities.  Drugs of Abuse also offers a list of additional drug education and prevention resources, including the DEA websites: www.DEA.govwww.getsmartaboutdrugs.com for parents, www.justthinktwice.com for teens, www.campusdrugprevention.gov for colleges and universities, and www.operationprevention.com for school and work curriculum.

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority Sets April 1, 2020 Laboratory Deadline

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority

OKLAHOMA: Beginning April 1st, all marijuana product sold by a grower or processor will be required to be tested by an Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) licensed laboratory.

The mandatory testing requirements were created by the Oklahoma Legislature and went into effect on Nov 1st, 2019. Since that time, the OMMA has been creating the rules and guidelines under the guidance of Laboratory Oversight Manager Lee Rhodes.

The OMMA has ten fully licensed laboratories in the state. There are many more in different stages of the licensing process. A fully licensed lab will have not only a license from OMMA but have been inspected by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

Current requirements include:

  • Any dispensary customer may request the certificate of analysis from the dispensary. The document can be kept in either a paper or electronic format.
  • A processor or grower shall retain test results and related records for at least two years.

A list of the fully licensed labs can be found on the OMMA website.

USDA, DEA Provide Options For Labs, Disposal Of Non-Compliant Hemp Plants

usda-logoDISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the delay of enforcement of certain requirements under the interim final rule (IFR) establishing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program.

Under the new guidance, USDA will delay enforcement of the requirement for labs to be registered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the requirement that producers use a DEA-registered reverse distributor or law enforcement to dispose of non-compliant plants under certain circumstances. Enforcement will be delayed starting this crop year and until Oct. 31, 2021, or the final rule is published, whichever comes first.

“Because currently there isn’t sufficient capacity in the United States for the testing and disposal of non-compliant hemp plants, USDA has worked hard to enable flexibility in the requirements in the Interim Final Rule for those issues,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach.

Laboratory Testing

Laboratory testing for the purposes of determining compliance under the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program can be conducted by labs that are not yet registered with DEA. The laboratories must still meet all the other requirements in the IFR.

All laboratories engaged in the testing of hemp through this interim period will be subject to the same compliance requirements of the IFR. Specifically, labs must adhere to the standards of performance as outlined within the IFR, including the requirement to test for total THC employing post-decarboxylation or other similarly reliable methods. All labs will have to make arrangements to be compliant with registration requirements before this period of delayed enforcement expires. DEA will evaluate all applications using the criteria required by the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 823(f)).

Disposal

Based on feedback from states and tribes, and in consultation with DEA, USDA has identified additional options for the disposal of “hot” hemp plants. Some of these new options include, but are not limited to, plowing under non-compliant plants or composting into “green manure” for use on the same land. The new methods are intended to allow producers to apply common on-farm practices for the destruction of non-compliant plants.

Hemp that tests greater than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis must be disposed of onsite according to the disposal methods approved by USDA. The state, tribe or the state’s department of agriculture will be responsible for establishing protocols and procedures to ensure non-compliant hemp is appropriately destroyed or remediated in compliance with applicable state, tribal and federal law.

A list of allowed disposal techniques and descriptions is available on the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program web page.

“One of the top considerations in making these changes was the desire to provide additional options that minimize, to the extent possible, the resource impact to state and local law enforcement in handling hemp that is out of compliance,” said Under Secretary Ibach.

“We look forward to partnering with producers, states, tribes and other stakeholders to deliver regulations that work for everyone,” said Under Secretary Ibach.

Washington: December 1, Deadline for Marijuana Vapor Product Ingredient Disclosure Forms

WASHINGTON: WSLCB issues reminder of December 1, Deadline for Marijuana Vapor Product Ingredient Disclosure Forms.

Thank you to processors who have already submitted their vapor product ingredient disclosure forms to the LCB.

For those who have not yet submitted, please note that the deadline for all processor licensees to submit the vapor product ingredient disclosure forms to the LCB is December 1, 2019. The emergency rules filed Oct. 16, 2019 require cannabis processors to disclose all compounds, including but not limited to ingredients, solvents, additives, preservatives, thickening agents, terpenes and other substances used to produce or added to marijuana concentrates for inhalation or marijuana-infused extracts for inhalation at any point during production and processing, regardless of source and origin. All processors, regardless of whether or not they produce vapor products, must return the form.

  • The disclosure form can be found here. Please follow the instructions within the document and submit to mjdisclosureform@lcb.wa.gov.
  • For tips and answers to frequently asked questions about the disclosure form click here.

Colorado’s MedPharm Clears Significant DEA Hurdle For Federal Cannabis Research License

COLORADO: MedPharm Research, the leader in cannabis research and formulation development, was notified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that it had been selected to move forward as one of the first applicants to be granted a license to grow federally legal cannabis under the terms of a new policy statement issued today in the Federal Register.

“This is something we have been waiting for since we first sent in our application in September, 2016, as one of the first medical grow facilities to apply for a license,” Albert Gutierrez, CEO of MedPharm, said. “Now, finally, the DEA has seen the importance of allowing federally legal grows to get more active in medical cannabis research, and do the work that we really need to do for patients across the country. It is a real game-changer for the whole medical cannabis industry.”

In a letter to Gutierrez, the DEA stated that MedPharm will be issued a Notice of Proposed Rule-making, where the company will be asked to comment on regulations about growing cannabis for medical research. However, the DEA has not provided a timetable for when those regulations will be completed. “We at MedPharm stand ready to assist the DEA in any way we can to help expedite this process, and bring to patients the best quality, FDA-approved cannabis that they need for research and treatment as quickly as possible,” said Gutierrez.

According to the University of Mississippi News, in 1968, the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy was awarded a competitive contract from the government to grow marijuana that could be standardized for research. For over 50 years, it has remained the only cultivation facility licensed by the DEA to provide federally legal cannabis for medical researchers, who have reported that cannabis from the university is of such poor quality that it is essentially useless in conducting the lab work and human trials necessary for a reliable FDA-approved medical research.

As more medical cannabis research ramped up, a growing group of medical cannabis researchers pressured the DEA to open up licensing to other facilities. Then, in August, 2016, the DEA stated that they would begin accepting applications for companies wanting licenses for legal grows, but nothing more happened until this June, when one of the applicants sued the DEA for unreasonable delays, prompting today’s response.

MedPharm is well-positioned to work with the DEA and be among the first providers of federally legal cannabis for medical research. The application for the license included outlining research objectives and creating areas where medical research cannabis is grown specifically for research purposes.