California Department of Cannabis Control Proposes Consolidation of Cannabis Regulations

Emergency rule-making action would create a single set of regulations for commercial cannabis activity in California

CALIFORNIA:  The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) today published proposed emergency regulations. This action follows those taken in July by DCC to move all cannabis regulations into Title 4 of the California Code of Regulations. This is the second and most significant action taken by DCC thus far to improve the cannabis regulatory framework and comes within the first 60 days as a new state department. 

The proposed regulations consolidate, clarify and make consistent requirements, including aligning license application requirements, ownership and financial interest of a cannabis business, and establishing uniform terminology and definitions across license types. The emergency regulations also include rules governing trade samples between businesses, which was recently authorized by Assembly Bill (AB) 141.

Read the proposed regulations and rulemaking documents: www.cannabis.ca.gov/rulemaking.

 

Governor Newsom Signs Cannabis Trailer Bill, Creating the Department of Cannabis Control

Formation of the Department consolidates three programs into one and advances efforts to streamline the state cannabis regulatory structure

CALIFORNIA:  The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) was established yesterday, following the signing of Assembly Bill 141. This action consolidates the three state cannabis programs into a single department. The creation of a standalone cannabis department, proposed by Governor Gavin Newsom, is part of a larger effort to improve access to licensure, simplify regulatory oversight and support California businesses. The Governor appointed Nicole Elliott to lead DCC as its Director.

 

This action represents the most significant consolidation and reorganization of state agencies since the Business, Consumer Services and Housing (BCSH) Agency was created in 2013. It is the culmination of 18 months of sustained effort by officials from more than 10 state agencies and reflects input from stakeholders and the legislature. 

“California has led the nation in progressive cannabis policies, beginning 25 years ago as the first state in the nation to legalize medicinal use of cannabis,” said Governor Newsom. “We’ve taken another significant step forward to fulfill the opportunities of legalization and better serve all Californians. We will continue building upon our efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive industry, protect consumer and public safety, safeguard our environment and advance economic opportunity for small businesses.”

DCC consolidates regulatory, licensing and enforcement functions previously performed by three programs housed within different state departments: the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, and the Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch. DCC is housed within the BCSH Agency.

“The state’s consolidation effort delivers on the commitment made by the Newsom Administration to listen to and work with California’s legal cannabis industry to streamline participation in the legal market by offering a central point of contact for licensed operators,” said BCSH Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramirez. “One of the key missions of our agency is to build strong, equitable, and vibrant communities. This action takes bold steps in that direction.”

DCC will regulate all commercial cannabis license holders in California, including cultivators, retailers, manufacturers, distributors, testing laboratories, microbusinesses, and industry event organizers. DCC will also manage the state’s track-and-trace system, which is used to track cannabis and cannabis products, from seed to sale, within the legal supply chain.

Today, officials unveiled the new logo and website. The logo includes a modern representation of a cannabis leaf. The leaf’s intertwined design is a visual representation of the unification of the three programs and collaborative spirit with which DCC intends to engage businesses and stakeholders.

The California Cannabis Portal, www.cannabis.ca.gov, was relaunched as the DCC website and will continue to serve as a centralized online location for cannabis information. The website was rebuilt and redesigned in partnership with the California Government Operations Agency’s Office of Digital Innovation (ODI) to be more accessible and better serve Californians. The prior websites for the three licensing authorities will remain accessible to the public while content continues to be migrated.

Old email addresses for staff will redirect to their new DCC email address for several months.

While the Department of Cannabis Control has officially launched, much work remains on the horizon. More news will come in the months ahead.

 

Dama Financial Introduces Smart Safe Solution

CALIFORNIA: Dama Financial, the nation’s largest provider of access to banking and financial services for the cannabis industry, has added Dama Smart Safe to its business toolkit.

Smart safes allow business owners to authenticate and monitor their cash at every step of the handling process. With rapid advancements in counterfeit technology, the detection of fake currency with the naked eye has become nearly impossible. Smart safes are equipped with bill validators that significantly decrease the risk of fraud. At the same time, the cash is reconciled automatically, eliminating the need to spend hours doing it manually. 

With Dama Smart Safe, the safe can promptly record any deposit as a credit to the customer’s Premier Business account, providing access to the money the next business day. Dama Smart Safes can be configured to meet the needs of any size operation.

“Cannabis businesses deserve solutions that solve real problems.” said Anh Hatzopoulos, Dama co-founder and chief executive officer. “Between human error and the risk of theft, handling cash has become one of the more difficult processes for any business to manage, so we’re proud to roll out Dama Smart Safe to help cannabis operators improve both efficiency and public safety.”

Comments from Dama Smart Safe customers:

“We love the quick access to funds. It’s like having a bank teller inside our store twenty-four hours a day to accept our deposits,” said Kaz Ajir, co-founder of Grupo Flor, which owns the dispensary East of Eden.

“Dama’s Smart Safe Solution saves our operation hours every single day,” said Monica Gray, chief operating officer of Nice Guys Delivery.

Dama’s other offerings include access to Premier Banking (FDIC-insured accounts), credit, cash management, and merchant services.

The Emerald Cup 2022 Moves to Los Angeles & Adds “Harvest Ball” NorCal Event

CALIFORNIA: The iconic cannabis competition, The Emerald Cup, is proud to announce they are moving the ECA’s (The Emerald Cup Awards) and legendary festival for 2022 to Los Angeles. This news follows a historic 2021 event where the pandemic-proof event went virtual – via hundreds of hours of new and existing content – becoming “The Emerald Cup Channel” on cannabis’ first TV network Social Club TV. A full director’s cut of the event debuted for video-on-demand on 4/20/2021.

Staying connected to their roots the traditional December dates for the Cup will live on as the Emerald Cup Harvest Ball and the beginning of the Road to the Cup.  The event will be the opening of submissions for the Spring 2022 contest and the beginning of the Road to the Cup.  The event will be more intimate than the past and focus on the fresh harvest and genetics.  Tickets will be limited so don’t wait and miss out.  Described as a global gathering of the Emerald Cup tribe in celebration of the traditional harvest time, the event will take place in Santa Rosa, CA over 2 days and will continue to offer education, entertainment and community to their international family and fan base.

“The tribe has spoken and we are making the move to bring our Cup to the world’s largest cannabis community and industry  – Los Angeles” says The Emerald Cup founder and CEO Tim Blake. “Following our most recent, and largest event ever, our community has exploded and we are transitioning to a venue closer to the epicenter of California’s cannabis market. This evolution continues as we cement our place as the most recognized and attended cannabis competition in the world.”

Named the “Academy Awards of Cannabis” by Rolling Stone, The Emerald Cup, has celebrated excellence in organic, sun grown and now indoor cannabis with over 35 catagories and awards across the product spectrum from flower, concentrates, topicals and edibles. Attracting countless attendees and special guests over the years, including top talent including The Roots, Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti, Rebelution, Chelsea Handler and SantiGold. Joining the calendar and complementing The Emerald Cup, the new Harvest Ball is an opportunity for the community among the cannabis industry to serve as a first opportunity to submit entries for the 2022 Emerald Cup Awards, but will also host a diverse marketplace, high-wattage musical performances and expert panel discussion on trends and innovation and in the industry.

Key elements of The Emerald Cup Harvest Ball will include:

  • Featuring the fresh harvest of the growing season with a focus on new genetics

  • Marketplace

  • Emerald Concert Stage

  • Kickoff to the 2022 Emerald Cup Contest

  • A Sanctuary Space honoring plant medicine with educational and entertainment programming

  • Area 101 (Where it all started)

  • Regenerative Agriculture Garden Activation

  • VIP Parties

  • Food, Beverages and Cannabis

“With over 17 events, starting with our first in 2004, the Cup has always been a fixture on the cannabis and festival calendar with our early December presence,” shared Tim Blake.With the pandemic forcefully changing, and evolving us, we moved this year’s event to April. The response from our community, entrants and audience was resounding, this new timing was better for growing and cultivating the most optimum entries for competition. Our new event the Harvest Ball  continues to open the space for our community to bond and share information in the wake of a time of massive change across all parts of cannabis. What this experience is teaching us is that our industry thrives on communication and collaboration. We are confident the Harvest Ball will quickly blossom into a must-attend in all our calendars.”

The Emerald Cup Launches TV Channel For 2021 Edition of Award Show On SocialClub

CALIFORNIA:The Emerald Cup announced they will be going virtual and global for the first-time during their 2021 edition. Long known as the “Academy Awards of Cannabis” the iconic global cannabis competition will launch their own CTV channel on the SocialClub TV platform on April 5, 2021. With countless hours of linear programming launching over the all 6 days leading into the live-cast of the world-renown The Emerald Cup 2021 Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 11, 2021.

Fans of the event – new, old and all across the planet – will be able to enjoy:

  • High wattage exclusive live-musical and comedy performances (line-up revealed later this week)
  • Insider access to the judging of awards with special appearances by B-Real (Cypress Hill/Dr. Greenthumbs), Jimi Devine (LA Weekly) and Abdulluh Saeed (Great Moments in Weed History Podcast)
  • A visual history of iconic moments from The Emerald Cup in a documentary format
  • A full library of past The Emerald Cup shows spanning 17 years of events
  • Fireside chats with leading names across the cannabis, and now psychedelic industry
  • Expert filled educational panels concerning topics including “The Cannabis Plant: Terpenes And Beyond”, “The future of Cannabis Genetics Around The Globe” and “Real Social Equity: Creating Impact not Impressions”
  • Interviews with hosts and founders Tim and Taylor Blake, Willie Nelson Lifetime Award recipient Winona LaDuke and many more

 

California Cannabis Authorities Publish Proposed Regulations to Facilitate Financial Services for Cannabis Businesses

CALIFORNIA: The California state cannabis licensing authorities—Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Food and Agriculture and California Department of Public Health—provided notice to the public of proposed emergency regulations to implement the provisions of Assembly Bill 1525 (Jones–Sawyer, 2020). The proposed regulations are intended to facilitate greater access to financial services for licensed cannabis businesses that face challenges obtaining banking, insurance and other financial services commonly available to other businesses.

The proposed regulations create a pathway for licensees to authorize sharing of non-public information with selected financial institutions and provide a mechanism for financial institutions to more readily conduct the federally required reviews of the cannabis business. By reducing the burden of providing financial services to cannabis businesses, more financial institutions may be willing to provide services, thereby reducing the need to keep cash on hand and improving public safety.

The proposed regulatory text and supporting documents can be viewed at the following links:

Following the required minimum five working-day notice to the public, the licensing authorities will file the emergency regulations with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The five calendar-day formal public comment period will begin when OAL publishes the proposed regulations as being “under review” on its website.

Cannabis Licensing Authorities Consolidation Part Of Governor’s Proposed State Budget

CALIFORNIA:  Governor Newsom’s fiscal year 2021-2022 budget proposal released today includes a proposal to consolidate the three state licensing authorities into a single Department of Cannabis Control. This proposal was first announced in January 2020 but was delayed due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. If approved by the Legislature, the new Department will be created on July 1, 2021.

In an effort to improve access to licensing and simplify and centralize regulatory oversight of commercial cannabis activity, the Governor’s Budget proposes to consolidate licensing and associated regulatory functions into a single state Department. This proposal seeks to better serve stakeholders including cannabis businesses, local governments, and members of the public by acting as a single point of contact as well as leverage existing funding in a more efficient way by reducing redundancies. Further, it seeks to establish uniform operations and procedures that will streamline processes for applicants and licensees and offer better service and coordination.

The three state licensing authorities have begun to prepare and plan for the consolidation and, most importantly, to ensure continuity of operations. We are committed to making this transition in a manner that reduces unnecessary disruption to the marketplace and California businesses. Our team members will remain available to applicants and licensees as they continue their routine business activities.

The Emerald Triangle, Sonoma & Del Norte Participate In First-Ever Research Study Of Northern California’s Cannabis Economy

HUMBOLDT COMMUNITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER TO ESTABLISH ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY

THROUGH GRANT FROM THE CALIFORNIA BUREAU OF CANNABIS CONTROL

ECONOMIST ROBERT EYLER OF SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY TO LEAD RESEARCH IN PARTNERSHIP

WITH THE CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR RURAL POLICY AT HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY

 

CALIFORNIA:  Northern California’s cannabis industry will become the focus of a pioneering study examining the economic impact of industry upon the region.  The Humboldt Community Business Development Center (HCBDC), has partnered with the California Center for Rural Policy at Humboldt State University, and Sonoma State University for a comprehensive look into the impact of cannabis farming, manufacturing, distribution, and retail sales on the overall economy of a research area which includes the legendary Emerald Triangle (Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino counties).  The HCBDC will develop the study through a grant from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.

“It is widely understood that cannabis is a significant economic driver in rural northern California, yet four years into the regulation, legalization, and taxation of California’s cannabis industry we still do not have real, data-driven research and analysis on what is the true economic impact of the cannabis industry,” says Natalynne DeLapp, HCBDC Executive Director.  “This grant will provide resources to answer long-standing questions, will help establish a baseline by which to measure the economic health of the cannabis industry, and by which public policies can be evaluated for efficacy for years to come.”

A chief cash crop in the area for decades, there has never been a thorough analysis of the role of cannabis to the local economy of rural Northern California. The study which also encompasses Del Norte and Sonoma counties will begin to harvest data in early 2021 on such issues as the impact of cannabis on the private and the public sectors, cannabis prices on the licensed and unlicensed markets, job creation, and taxes and government and administrative costs.  Some of the questions this  study will seek to address include:

  • How much cannabis is produced by the North Coast cannabis community?

  • How much is the region contributing to California’s GDP?

  • How long have businesses been in the community and how much do they contribute to state and local taxes?

  • How many people are employed; how much is paid in wages?

  • How much are cannabis businesses paying in licenses, permits, and fees?

“This proposal helps policymakers, advocates, private business, and local residents understand the economics and business aspects of the cannabis business as a combination of agriculture and manufacturing with supply-chain partners to deliver goods to retail and customers,” says economics professor Robert Eyler, Dean, Sonoma State University’s School of Extended and International Education, who will be leading the study.  “This framing gets us away from the conversation of illegality and about how these businesses (similar to the wine or craft brew industries) harvest a crop that becomes a manufactured product.”

“For decades, rural northern California counties have incorporated the cannabis economy as an unplanned economic development strategy. This research will help these jurisdictions formulate long-term strategies to incorporate a significant, previously illegible, sector of their economies into a more sustainable, resilient future for their communities,” says Dominic Corva, Co-Director, Humboldt Interdisciplinary Institute for Marijuana Research (HIIMR), Humboldt State University.

California: Notice Regarding State Stay-At-Home Order Issued December 3, 2020

CALIFORNIA:  On Thursday, December 3, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a new Stay-at-Home Order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to continue facilitating a consistent approach across the state to slow the spread of COVID-19. This order goes into effect at 12:59 p.m. on December 5 and will be applied on a regional basis. If a region falls below the 15% ICU threshold, it will have 24 hours to implement the Stay-at-Home Order. The order will remain in effect for at least three weeks. Learn more about this order.

 

The order continues to identify certain services as essential and these services can continue operations while the Stay-at-Home Order is in effect. Cannabis businesses remain essential businesses under the order. To ensure public and employee safety, the order limits the number of people on a cannabis retail premises to 20% of the capacity of the retail location. Cannabis licensees can otherwise continue to operate in the same manner they are now, including activities allowed by approved disaster-relief requests, provided their operations comply with state and local rules and regulations. To determine if your region is subject to the stay-at-home order, please visit: COVID19.CA.GOV.

Any licensee that continues to operate must adopt social-distancing and anti-congregating measures, and must follow the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease at all times.

The Governor recently announced  programs to provide financial assistance to certain small businesses. This includes immediate tax relief from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) in the form of automatic filing extensions, interest-free payment plans, or a hiring tax credit of up to $100,000 to offset income or sales and use taxes. Information about these programs can be found at CDTFA’s COVID-19 web page. You can also learn more about the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant, including availability and eligibility, by signing up for updates from the California Office of the Small Business Advocate. Below are resources for employers, employees, and public safety:

California Bureau Of Cannabis Control Announces Public University Research Grant Funding Recipients

CALIFORNIA: The Bureau of Cannabis Control (Bureau) announced that it has awarded $29,950,494 in public university research grant funding to universities across California.

“The research conducted through these public university grants will provide critical information for evaluating our legal cannabis system and its impacts,” Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief Lori Ajax said. “This research will be a valuable tool to inform future cannabis policy in California.”

Research proposals had to fall within one of the several specified categories, including public health, criminal justice and public safety, economic, environmental impacts, and the cannabis industry. A detailed description of the list of research subjects for grant funding can be found in Revenue and Taxation Code section 34019.

In total, the Bureau received more than 100 applications for grant funds up to $2 million for any specific proposal. After a thorough review process, the nearly $30 million was awarded to the following public universities:

Public University Awarded Funding Research Proposal
UC San Francisco  

$2,000,000.00

Comprehensive Analysis of Developmental Cannabis Exposure on Brain, Immune, and Sensory Systems
 

UC Santa Barbara

 

$1,999,191.00

Surface Water Emissions from Cannabis Cultivation Sites: Quantity, Quality, Toxicity, and Relationships to Farmers’ Practices
CSU

Dominguez Hills

 

$1,866,311.00

 

Cannabis Industry in South Bay Los Angeles

UC

Berkeley

$1,827,596.00 Local Regulation of Cannabis in California
UC Los Angeles  

$1,429,001.00

Impact of Cannabis Potency on The Properties, Composition, and Toxicity of Inhaled and Second-Hand Smoke
UC San Francisco $1,384,466.00 Effects of Chronic Cannabis Use on Endothelial Function
 

UC Irvine

 

$1,351,556.00

Exploring Cannabis Policies and Practices That Influence Adolescent Use: Evolution of Local Cannabis Law, Products, Sales, and Marketing
 

UC San Diego

 

$1,321,833.00

The Public Health Impact of Cannabis Legalization in California: A Comprehensive Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis by Age, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, and Regions
UC Los Angeles  

$1,082,815.00

Assessing the Feasibility and Consequences of Implementing a Cannabis Potency Tax in California
UC San Francisco  

$1,067,483.00

The LEAF Study: Lung Effects and Function Associated with Cannabis Use
UC Los Angeles  

$1,048,857.00

Study of Employment Conditions and Equity in California’s Cannabis Industry
 

UC San Francisco

 

$1,038,782.00

Public Health Impacts of State Policies Mandating Point-of- Sale Warning Signs Regarding Cannabis Use During Pregnancy
UC Davis $1,034,730.00 Understanding the Impact of Cannabis Use in Early Psychosis
UC San Diego  

$987,738.00

Evaluating the Impacts of Packaging and Labeling on Cannabis Edible Use among Youth
UC San Francisco $952,540.00 California Cannabis Poisonings Under Proposition 64
 

UC Los Angeles

 

$896,794.00

Assessing the Impact of Proposition 64 on Cannabis Use, Maladaptive Cannabis Use, Cannabis Use Disorder Treatment, and Public Health
UC San Diego  

$887,101.00

The Role of Cannabidiol in Anandamide-Related Improvement in Alexithymia and Health Outcomes
UC Los Angeles  

$781,707.00

A Demographic Analysis of the California Licensed Cannabis Industry and Consumer Market
UC Los Angeles  

$758,517.00

The Impact of Cannabis Marketing on California’s Youth: Neuro-Behavioral Studies for Informing Policy
 

 

UC Davis

 

 

$726,816.00

Cannabis Industry: Assessment of the Location, Structure, Function, and Demographics of Licensed Cannabis, Focusing on Geographical Price Differences, and Differential Impacts of Local Prop-64 Related Regulations on the Competitiveness of Licensed Businesses
UC

Berkeley

 

$658,306.00

Transformation of Unregulated Cannabis Cultivation Under Proposition 64
 

 

UC Davis

 

 

$655,564.00

Economic Impacts: Market Prices for Licensed and Unlicensed Cannabis and the Effects of the Current and Alternate Cannabis Tax Structures and Tax Rates on the Private and Public Sectors in California, Including Government Administrative Costs and Revenues
 

 

UC Davis

 

 

$562,240.00

Environmental Impacts of Cannabis Cultivation in California As Affected by the Farm Economics of Licensed and Unlicensed Cannabis Production, Including Effects of Testing Regulations and Compliance with the Criminal Prohibition of Unlicensed Cannabis
 

UC

Berkeley

 

 

$489,762.00

Assessing Environmental Impacts of Cannabis-Related Noise and Light Disturbance to Inform Management of California Wildlife
UC

Berkeley

 

$465,902.00

Examining Tribal Sovereignty Over Cannabis Permitting on Native Ancestral Lands
CSU

Humboldt

$464,997.00 Cannabis Business Entrepreneurs and Jobs
UC Los Angeles  

$414,183.00

Understanding the Impact of Cannabis Marketing on Cannabis Use Disparities Among Sexual and Gender Minority Youth
UC

Berkeley

 

$328,916.00

Cultivation Bans, Local Control, and the Effects and Efficacy of Proposition 64
UC

Berkeley

 

$319,091.00

Cannabis and Wildfire: Current Conditions, Future Threats, and Solutions for Farmers
UC

Berkeley

 

$314,417.00

Cannabis Water-Use Impacts to Streamflow and Temperature in Salmon-Bearing Streams
UC

Berkeley

$270,269.00 The Effect of Local Cannabis Regulation on Property Prices
UC San Diego  

$235,039.00

Evaluating Risks and Benefits of Cannabis Use by Older Adults: A Pilot Study
CSU

Humboldt

 

$183,015.00

The Economic Impact of Cannabis Legalization in Rural Northern California
 

UC Davis

 

$144,949.00

California Cannabis Workers: Perceptions, Beliefs, and Knowledge of Occupational Health and Industry Hazards