California Bureau Of Cannabis Control Announces New API For License Search Data

CALIFORNIA:  The Bureau of Cannabis Control announced the launch of a new Application Programming Interface (API). The API allows stakeholders to obtain license data that can be integrated into their own software. Users may use the API to obtain information for a single license, a list of licenses, or the entire license directory in a single request. The data available through the API mirrors the publicly-available data in the Bureau’s license search and is updated nightly.

“The API was developed to provide stakeholders with an additional tool to access the Bureau’s licensing data and to provide greater flexibility in utilizing that information,” Bureau Chief Lori Ajax said.

This API allows users to access all the publicly-available Bureau licensee data in a convenient comprehensive format. The information available through the API allows the user to confirm with certainty that they are not supporting an illegal cannabis business. Third party software application providers can utilize the API to go ‘straight to the source’ instead of relying on self-reported data from businesses or manually looking up every retailer.

To get started, please consult the API User Guide here – https://bcc.ca.gov/about_us/documents/iservices_api_user_guide.pdf. The guide contains step-by-step instructions about how to receive licensing data from the Bureau through the API.

For questions or issues not addressed by the API User Guide, please contact the DCA iServices API Team at the following email address: iservices@dca.ca.gov.

California: Cannabis Advisory Committee To Hold Virtual Meeting

CALIFORNIA:  The Bureau of Cannabis Control (Bureau) announced today that the Cannabis Advisory Committee will hold a virtual meeting on Friday, October 30, 2020. The focal point of the meeting will be to discuss and provide recommendations for consolidating the three licensing authorities’ regulations into one comprehensive set of regulations applicable to California’s cannabis industry.

The agenda for these meetings can be found on to the Bureau’s website at the following link: https://bcc.ca.gov/about_us/meetings/agendas/20201030_cac.pdf

To participate in the WebEx Events meeting, please log on to this website the day of the meeting: https://dca-meetings.webex.com/dca-meetings/onstage/g.php?MTID=e8152c577f560f6f009e3720270e2a834

This information will be used as part of the process for the plan announced by Governor Newsom in January to establish one Department of Cannabis Control to serve as the regulator for the cannabis industry and as the single point of contact for licensees and local governments.

The Cannabis Advisory Committee advises the Bureau, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the California Department of Public Health on the development of regulations that help protect public health and safety and do not perpetuate the illegal market for cannabis.

CDFA Launches Cannabis Industry Education & Outreach Campaign – “This is California Cannabis”

CALIFORNIA: The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) today launched a statewide public education and outreach campaign, “This is California Cannabis,” designed to promote the state’s legal cannabis cultivation market and highlight the support and guidance CDFA provides to help cannabis growers secure and maintain their legal cultivation license. “CDFA is committed to the success of our state’s commercial cannabis cultivators,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “‘This is California Cannabis’ celebrates the passion and hard work of licensed cannabis growers and highlights how we’re all working together to protect and promote the health, safety and quality of the industry.”

CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division is managing the campaign, which profiles the wide range of licensed California cannabis farmers, from legacy outdoor farms in rural Humboldt to high-tech, vertically-integrated operations in urban locations. “This is California Cannabis” will feature comprehensive outreach and education efforts, including community events and workshops to highlight the technical assistance and support that is available year-round to licensed growers and new applicants seeking commercial cannabis cultivation licensure.

“We’re proud of California’s vibrant cannabis cultivator community,” said Richard Parrott, director of CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division. “California is known for growing the best cannabis in the world and our licensed cultivators are leading the way with innovative practices and environmental sustainability.” California cultivators who are interested in seeking a license can begin the application process online at calcannabis.cdfa.ca.gov or by contacting a licensing specialist by calling toll-free 1-833-CALGROW (1-833-225-4769) or sending an email to calcannabis@cdfa.ca.gov.

CDFA provides year-round support and technical assistance, including updated services for commercial cultivators during the pandemic. For more information about the campaign, please visit growwithCA.com to view the videos, farmer profiles and other outreach materials.

Weedmaps’ New Docuseries Digs Into The Challenges California’s Cannabis Industry Faces Four Years After Legalization

‘Uprooted’ explores how excessive regulation, escalating taxes, flawed social equity programs and NIMBYism have stymied the promise of legal cannabis

CALIFORNIA: When it comes to the legalization of cannabis, is California a model to follow or a cautionary tale?

California-based Weedmaps, the leading technology and software infrastructure provider to the cannabis industry, has produced a three-part docuseries titled Uprooted that explores that question. It premieres today on Weedmaps.

Governors across the country have deemed dispensaries essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. Once proudly and loudly anti-pot, many mayors and city councils in California are now considering the public good that comes from cannabis tax revenues, especially as they scramble to cover budget shortfalls from the pandemic-devastated economies. And with the election on the horizon, voters in several states will head to the polls where medicinal and adult-use cannabis is on the ballot, potentially legalizing in their jurisdictions what the federal government still lists as illegal and considers as dangerous as heroin, LSD and Ecstasy.

Cannabis legalization is at an inflection point. As states serve as innovation hubs of legal implementation, California, the proverbial cannabis capital of the world, is the super laboratory, but has their great experiment been a success?

That story is told by those Californians still fighting the unanticipated and unintended consequences of Proposition 64 – the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized adult-use cannabis. Sewing together interviews from experts, as well as the extraordinary leaders and change-makers of the industry, Uprooteddetails the complex history of legal cannabis in California. But more than that, it reveals the barriers to entry still faced by entrepreneurs of color, many of whom built the industry before it legalized, and were incarcerated as a result. The series also sheds light on the unanticipated roadblocks that continue to stifle medical access, hinder legitimacy and fair competition within the industry, and thwart the realization of much-needed tax revenue. Patients, entrepreneurs, veterans, workers, advocates and consumers share the personal and financial heartache inflicted on them by a law that was intended to help them. And still, their belief in the industry and in themselves is unwavering, and they offer practical, sensible solutions to move the industry forward.

“Today, more than 70% of California municipalities prohibit cannabis business, and the people who should be first in line for business opportunities in this industry are too often told to wait somewhere else. That’s not what legalization should look like,” stated Juanjo Feijoo, Chief Marketing Officer at Weedmaps. “Our goal with this film project is to put a human face on the industry and on its history, and remind everyone that policy issues directly impact the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people.”

Uprooted features interviews with experts, advocates and licensed shop owners, including John Entwistle, Jr., Author and Political Activist; Joe Airone, Sweetleaf Joe Founder & Director at Sweetleaf Collection; and Alphonso “Tucky” Blunt Jr., Owner, Blunts and Moore. The docuseries is presented in three separate episodes:

Episode ONE: “California’s Complicated”
California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 and has been globally recognized for having some of the best cannabis on the market. So few Californians were prepared for the unintended consequences that resulted from the passage of 2016’s Proposition 64. From people who were there at the beginning, to those fighting for access today, Episode ONE looks at the impact of change, reveals lessons learned along the way and explores the path that lies ahead.

Episode TWO: “Patients Left Behind”
Proposition 64 “decompassionized” cannabis in California. Cultivators and collectives were no longer allowed to “gift” cannabis to patients. Inadequate licensing along the supply chain left patients with limited options and inconsistent supply, while retail prices skyrocketed. But advocates fought back and the Dennis Perone and Brownie Mary Act was signed into law in 2020. This legislation provides a pathway for compassionate cannabis to once again enter the legal marketplace.

Episode THREE: “Inadequate and Inequitable”
Those with the most to lose in an overtaxed and over-regulated cannabis marketplace are disadvantaged communities negatively impacted by the failed War on Drugs. The great promise of legalization is social equity. Everybody talks about how important it is, but it never seems to be high on anyone’s “to do” list. The community is demanding accountability and action. In addition, lawmakers and regulators are working to create a more functional framework for cannabis in their communities. Prohibition persists and the fight for legalization in California is not yet won.

All three episodes can be viewed free of charge on Weedmaps.com beginning Wednesday, September 2.

CalCPA Cannabis Industry Symposium Examines Impact Of COVID-19, Regulation & Economic Outlook On CA’s $3 Billion Cannabis Sector

CALIFORNIA: COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the California economy, and the cannabis sector has not been immune. Supply chains have been disrupted, revenues have taken a hit, and labor has been impacted. California’s cannabis industry is feeling the pain and seeking a path to recovery through economic stimulus, innovation and new business models, and solid advice from key advisors like CPAs who guide them through complex tax, accounting and auditing matters.

On August 7, 2020, CalCPA will again bring together leading experts and thinkers at its annual Cannabis Industry Virtual Symposium, where attendees will learn about the latest tax, legal and accounting updates impacting cannabis industry businesses and the professionals who advise them. Speakers will provide insight into new, recently implemented policies, outcomes from the COVID-19 stimulus legislation, interpretation of tax law, review of banking rules, trends in federal legislative actions, how to handle bankruptcy and receivership, and valuation of cannabis businesses.

Coachella Valley Is Cultivation Central For California Indoor

By Stu Zakim

CALIFORNIA: The Coachella Valley Cannabis Alliance Network (CVCAN) and its second annual cultivation conference this past weekend in Desert Springs CA painted a very positive picture of the state of cannabis cultivation.

CVCAN 4

A series of panel conversations combined with a selection of vendors pointed to Desert Springs and the surrounding area becoming the heartbeat of the indoor grow sector for California.  The attendees were also offered a tour of the grow facility used by CannaDescent, one of the more exciting brands in California, with a look at their grow rooms, dry rooms and the hand roll departments.  As part of that tour the guests were shown a video that detailed CannaDescent’s expansion plans to increase the amount of cannabis they’re producing with added growing space.

“the free ride for cultivators and their power use is over"

“the free ride for cultivators and their power use is over”

One of the hot buttons at the conference was when will California follow Massachusetts with establishing regulations impacting the amount and costs of electricity and water that cultivators will be able to use.   While those costs are high, the Coachella Valley’s weather provides an ideal setting for producers utilizing alternative sources for electricity.  According to Jonathan Cachat, PHd, CTO of SunGrown Zero, a proprietary hybrid-light cultivation facility powered by natural sunlight, “the free ride for cultivators and their power use is over.  We definitely see a trend in the adult use legalized states that are limiting and restricting the levels of electricity for cannabis cultivators and that is one reason the trailer that demonstrates how SunGrown Zero works was such a hit at CVCAN.”

 

attendees were also offered a tour of the grow facility used by CannaDescent, one of the more exciting brands in California

attendees were also offered a tour of the grow facility used by CannaDescent, one of the more exciting brands in California

For all the attendees, the highlight of the event came when Desert Springs Mayor, Scott Matas, praised the influx of tax revenue the cannabis industry is producing for his city and their budget projections for fiscal 2019 including new schools, parks and police officers saying they couldn’t do it without them.  He anticipates the new Coachillin Office Park, which will be entirely devoted to cannabis businesses, will be a major draw for all kinds of development.  If ony that message could get to Washington DC!

 

Steep Hill Study Provides Evidence Of Substantial Pesticide Contamination In California Cannabis Clones

CALIFORNIA: Steep Hill Labs, a global industry leader in cannabis testing and analytics, has released a study,  Study of Pesticides in Cannabis Plant Cloneswhich shows that – whether through direct use or via cross-contamination – the presence of pesticides in the California cannabis supply is endemic and can be sourced to the persistent presence of pesticides in clones.

In making the announcement, CEO Jmichaele Keller said, “When we released the first study on pesticides in October of 2016, many growers approached Steep Hill saying that they did not use pesticides, they were organic, they were trying to do the right thing for their patients and consumers.  After hearing this over and over again, we knew there was something wrong in the supply chain.  It dawned on me, it’s in the clones.  We started formulating a plan to discover the root of the problem, because our mission is to make sure that growers have all of the tools and expertise needed to successfully pass new California regulations. We undertook this study to understand the concern of our clients who were also perplexed by the pesticide reports we were issuing. The conclusions in the attached study indicate a significant number of failures at the clone stage. We realized that serious problems in the California cannabis supply chain could result in 2018 if the very source material from which the cannabis was being grown for large scale production was already contaminated with pesticides failing current regulations. We at Steep Hill want to work together with California regulators, growers, product manufacturers and the medical community to solve this problem for the safety and success of the California cannabis supply.”

“The report documents clone sources and locations, descriptions of how samples were prepared and analyzed, and the comprehensive findings,” Reggie Gaudino, Ph.D and author of the study remarked. “A crucial issue in the industry is that very few growers are breeding to deliver genetic stability, unlike other crops which have been stabilized over decades utilizing sophisticated agricultural processes. Stable genetic lines provide the ability to grow from seed and thus produce hardy, reproducible product. We need to work together to insure that traditional practices in the industry are re-examined and changed in light of this data.”

Donald Land, Ph.D, and a co-author of the report remarked, “When the ‘mothers’ of clones are contaminated with pesticides, particularly those that are systemic, so too are the clone offspring. We look forward to working with the California cannabis industry to establish best practices to substantially reduce the need for the use of pesticides as a whole, and to help set the standard for clean clone production in the future.”

San Francisco Supervisors Approve ‘Office Of Cannabis’

CALIFORNIA: San Francisco officials have approved a new Office of Cannabis in advance of recreational marijuana sales starting in California next year.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday also directed the new office to analyze disparities that keep certain minority groups out of the cannabis business.

Its other task is to make recommendations on how to keep medical marijuana affordable

Board President London Breed suggested San Francisco follow in the steps of Oakland, California, where lawmakers established a cannabis equity program this year.

The program sets aside half of business licenses to city residents who have been arrested on a cannabis crime or who live in neighborhoods with historically high numbers of marijuana arrests.

Montel Williams to Keynote Cannabis World Congress Los Angeles

NEW JERSEY: Montel Williams, media celebrity and medical marijuana advocate will deliver a Keynote Address at the 3rd Annual Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition, in Los Angeles, California.  Taking place Sept. 7-9, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, CWCBExpo is the leading trade show and conference on the West Coast for the medical marijuana and legalized cannabis industries.

Montel Williams Keynote entitled, “We Can’t Forget ‘Medical’ Cannabis as Legalization Becomes a Reality,” will take place, Thursday, Sept. 8th at 2:00 pm.    His important speech will focus on why, with the tide turning on the issue of full legalization, it is critical to not forget patients who have very specific needs with respect to cannabis, including strains that are less profitable in the marketplace.

“It’s clear that the regulatory landscape is beginning to adapt as the number of states that have enacted cannabis reform grows. It’s an exciting time for those involved with the cannabis reform movement, but it is important that we all move forward together and that means not leaving patients behind” said Williams.

Montel Williams earned his media celebrity status as an Emmy Award winning television personality whom Americans invited into their homes for more than 17 years. He is a decorated former naval officer, inspirational speaker, author, entrepreneur and advocate for patients worldwide.

Williams has been involved in many major initiatives aimed at helping others. His Living Well campaign and brand encourages and supports people trying to live their best lives with a focus on their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and financial health.

“We are thrilled to have Montel Williams deliver a Keynote at CWCBExpo LA.  This is a pivotal year in legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, and Montel’s personal story of medical marijuana use and advocacy will be inspiring to attendees,” said Christine Ianuzzi, Show Director, of CWCBExpo events.

In addition to Williams’ Keynote, CWCBExpo LA will have more than 60 educational sessions covering everything from “How to Build a World Class Cannabis Brand” to “Endocannabinoid System & Cannabinoid Therapeutics.” Thought Leadership Panels on “CTE, Concussions, and CBD” with top athletes and “Failure is Not an Option” with policy experts and industry leaders discussing the forthcoming Prop 64 (AUMA) initiative on the California ballot in November and the opportunities it will create are also part of the educational agenda.

New sessions added include “Addressing the Nation’s Prescription Opioid Addiction Epidemic with Cannabis” featuring one of the nation’s premier pain management specialists, professional athletes, and cannabis advocate for Native Americans. “Impact of Legalization on Your Business,” will feature Leafs by Snoop, Casa Verde Capital, Flower Shop and MERRY JANE.

All-day Add-On Workshops will take place on September 7th, with the Conference Program and Exhibits, featuring hundreds of cannabis innovations, taking place September 8th and 9th.  An After-Expo Networking Event, open to all badged attendees, will take place on September 8th, with a special screening of the short stoner comedy film: “Recalculating.”  A bonus day has been added on Saturday, September 10th with another Add-On Workshop and California’s largest industry Career Fair, hosted by Vangst Talent.

Mentor Capital Awarded $1.5 Million from Bhang Corporation

The Agreement with Bhang Rescinded by Arbitration Panel Due to Bhang’s Breach

CALIFORNIA: Mentor Capital, announced that it has been awarded $1,500,000 plus approximately $375,000 in interest from Bhang Corporation. The Arbitration Panel concluded in the award that, “Bhang breached the Agreement by failing to deliver the shares” required from Bhang under the contract. Mentor’s requested contract rescission for the return of its $1,500,000 investment, made in 2014, was affirmed, and Bhang’s request for damages was entirely denied.

The Panel also clarified and found that, “Mentor Stock was freely traded,” and “Bhang was not fraudulently induced to enter into the Agreement.” Scott Van Rixell and Richard Sellers must return the 117,000 shares they purchased before they may be paid back the purchase price of those shares as part of putting the parties back “in the position they were before the execution of the Agreement.”

Mentor Capital, Inc. CEO, Chet Billingsley, is pleased that this regrettable chapter in the cannabis sector is being brought to a close. “We didn’t ask for damages and I am pleased our funds seemed to have boosted Bhang’s growth. We put up our funding over sixty-days and, hopefully, the repayment by Bhang will also go smoothly. Mentor plans to redeploy those repaid funds with other established cannabis companies that are interested in moving forward with Mentor.”

Mentor Capital clarifies that other than for the payment of the award to Mentor, neither Bhang nor Mentor will have any affiliation with the other in any way nor own any part of each other. Mentor will immediately remove its previous press releases, accompanying logos and similar older references to Bhang as part of the rescission order to ensure there is no suggestion of any continuing interest by Mentor.