OLCC Notice of Public Hearing: OAR 845-025-5760 Audit, Compliance, And Random Testing

OLCC

OREGON:  OLCC Notice of Public Hearing.

What: OAR 845-025-5760, Audit, Compliance, and Random Testing

When:  2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday, March 16, 2020

Where: Oregon Liquor Control Commission, 9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Portland, OR 97222

Public Notice & Proposed Rule Draft

The national outbreak of e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) has resulted in more than 2,800 hospitalizations and 68 deaths, including 2 deaths in Oregon. At this time neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) have determined the cause of the illness outbreak in Oregon. While studies using cases in other states have identified Vitamin E acetate as one likely cause in those states, there is no evidence of Vitamin E acetate being linked to cases in Oregon and the CDC and FDA have not ruled out other potential causes of the illness outbreak.

This rule is needed to assist the OLCC and OHA in the ongoing investigation of the cause of EVALI cases in Oregon as well as to prevent and respond to potential future outbreaks or risks to public safety due to additives, adulterants, microbiological contamination, heavy metals, or other contaminants.

In addition to the recent EVALI outbreak, undisclosed ingredients and additives have been discovered in marijuana products in violation of Commission rules. These ingredients and additives cause public health and safety issues and decrease transparency for members of the public using these products. These rule amendments will allow the OLCC to sample the products of marijuana licensees to determine whether they contain ingredients or additives. Further, the ability to randomly test acts as a deterrent and discouraging licensees from making marijuana items with illegal or unknown indigents, additives, solvents or pesticides.

Public comment period ends Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 11:55PM

 

 

 

Alameda County California Leverages Automated Cannabis Code Enforcement Program from Adherence Compliance

CALIFORNIA:  Adherence Compliance, a leading RegTech SaaS provider to the cannabis industry, announced the completed implementation of Alameda County’s Cannabis Code Enforcement Program. The program utilizes Adherence’s regulatory code libraries, industry operations training and automated inspection software to monitor and report on code enforcement for cannabis licensees within its jurisdiction.

“The Alameda County Community Development Agency has implemented a comprehensive Cannabis Code Enforcement Program with Adherence Compliance. The program includes cannabis operations training, regulatory code reviews and onsite inspection software. With the Adherence SCORE App, the County can efficiently inspect, monitor, report and rank cannabis businesses. Overall, the program implementation has been a success,” said Edward Labayog, Senior Code Enforcement Investigator for the Alameda County Planning Department.

“By partnering with Adherence, the County has automated the cannabis code enforcement process. With the goal of public safety in mind, the County is monitoring and reporting on multiple categories of cannabis compliance on a routine basis. Adherence is thrilled to support Alameda County,” said Michael J. Hunt, President of Adherence Compliance Inc.

Adherence Compliance was awarded the renewable contract with Alameda County in July of 2018. Adherence’s cannabis compliance programs are in use with multiple regulatory agencies in the United States and Canada.

 

MTech Acquisition Corp. And MJ Freeway Announce Merger Agreement

NEW YORK: MTech Acquisition Corp., the first US-listed Special Purpose Acquisition Company focused on acquiring a business ancillary to the cannabis industry, and MJ Freeway, a leading seed-to-sale technology provider and developer of the cannabis industry’s first enterprise resource planning platform, announced today they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Following the consummation of the transaction, MTech and MJ Freeway will become subsidiaries of a newly-formed holding company to be listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market. Following the closing of the transaction, if there are no redemptions by MTech shareholders in connection with the MTech shareholder vote to approve the transaction, it is currently anticipated that the combined entity will be debt free and have over $60 million of balance sheet cash to take advantage of strategic growth opportunities.

MJ Freeway is a seed-to-sale technology provider, with more than 30% of the global cannabis technology market based on management’s estimates. MJ Freeway has tracked more than $10 billion in sales for its clients in Australia, Europe, South America, New Zealand, Africa, Canada, and the United States in 29 states and the District of Columbia. MJ Freeway’s software, MJ Platform®, includes compliance tracking of cannabis from seed-to-sale, as well as enterprise scale business management tools across the entire supply chain. In addition, its Leaf Data Systems® software solution enables governments to track cannabis plants from seed-to-sale to help ensure patient, public and product safety.

“We built MJ Freeway to be the technology infrastructure for the cannabis industry,” said Jessica Billingsley, Co-Founder & CEO of MJ Freeway. “With access to public capital markets and additional balance sheet strength as a result of this transaction, MJ Freeway will accelerate its growth and broaden its product offering as we strive to meet the ever-expanding demands of a highly complex and heavily regulated industry.”

Current MJ Freeway investor and Senior Strategic Advisor to the Board, Roger McNamee, added, “Cannabis companies that want to be leaders are adopting MJ Platform because I believe it is the only product with the technical foundation to support multi-line and multi-location operations. MJ Freeway prepares customers to manage high growth and complexity as the industry transitions from local to global scale. MJ Freeway’s merger with MTech will enable a smart growth strategy to capitalize on the industry’s continuing growth.”

Scott Sozio, Chief Executive Officer of MTech, commented, “We believe technology solutions that empower operators to efficiently and compliantly run their business, with tools that track the full vertical from cultivation to consumer, are critical to the industry’s long-term success. We believe MJ Freeway provides the most robust seed-to-sale software technology available today, positioning the company for enormous growth as the legalization of cannabis expands throughout the country and the world. We are excited for MTech to be able to invest in MJ Freeway at what we believe to be a very attractive valuation.”

“This merger will prove valuable over the long-term. Not only will it allow us to grow our current lines of business, it will accelerate our dominant market share in the cannabis SaaS space and also allow the company to make strategic acquisitions and expand its reach into related industries,” noted Emery Huang, Senior Partner of Batu Capital, a MJ Freeway investor, and a current board member of MJ Freeway.

Cannabis Industry Needs To Know Packaging Laws

CALIFORNIA: A leading expert has warned the fledgling Californian Cannabis industry that businesses could soon face heavy fines for breaking new laws they don’t fully understand.

Brad Davis, Product Category Manager of Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging, has warned that Proposition 65 has effectively changed the regulations already. As the legal cannabis industry is in a state of constant flux, more regulations could follow, and cannabis licensees need to understand that every change could affect their labeling strategy.

“Proposition 65 is not specified within the MAUCRSA guidelines,” said Davis. “But any cannabis products manufactured in California that contain chemicals above safe harbor levels will be required, under Prop. 65, to add to their label warnings. This applies to everyone in the cannabis supply chain.”

Prop. 65 regulations come into force on August 30, 2018, and every affected product must be clearly labeled unless it was manufactured before the cut-off date. But this is just one regulation, and there will be more changes as the cannabis industry matures.

It’s a controversial industry that has only just found acceptance after decades of prohibition. The cannabis industry will inevitably be under constant scrutiny, and there will be test cases to show that the regulators are taking a strong stance. Individual businesses could find they fall foul of the law and incur massive fines or sanctions if they fail to label their products properly.

Regulatory compliance can be a complete minefield, but there is a simple solution. Los Angeles-based Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging specializes in helping clients navigate this pitfall-strewn maze. One of the ways APCP is helping clients is with an ‘in stock’ exit bag with 24-hour delivery where the state requires childproof bags for customer walkout.

The company goes beyond the rules and can help clients produce eye-catching packaging that will help them stand out in a competitive industry that is already turning over more than $31 billion a year globally according to a study by the Brightfield Group and could easily top $20 billion in California alone by 2023. That’s going to reap real rewards for suppliers and retailers at every stage in the cannabis supply chain.

Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging even offers a full range of products that can benefit each stage of the cannabis supply chain. The company is building out a white label range of goods for those that want to get into the explosive cannabis industry, beginning with the development of a supply chains solutions website and an eCommerce platform to launch in Q2.

It’s a novel way for companies to dip their toes into the water in one of the most lucrative, and yet highly-regulated new industries in North America. With Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging on their team, they can rest assured that the products are compliant and clients can simply focus on marketing, sales, and the customer.

“Smart Money” Bootcamp For Cannabis Biz Is August 16th In Seattle

WASHINGTON: Responsible financial management is of critical importance to cash-constrained cannabis entrepreneurs.  Leading cannabis attorneys Aaron Pelley and Anne van Leynseele of NWMJ Law will host “Smart Money” the latest MJBA Seattle Business Bootcamp on Tuesday, August 16th at their new offices at the historic Maynard Building in Pioneer Square, 119 1st Avenue S, Suite 420, Seattle, WA 98104.  Anne and Aaron will lead the audience of legal cannabis business owners and industry participants through an open discussion with stories from the frontline about partnerships, investors, the essentials of business planning, and proactive ways to avoid conflicts.

Eric Camm of Turning Point will present on cannabis business valuations. He will share a critical component to define what partner, investor, and buy-sell deals are worth.

This event, the fourth in a series of bi-monthly MBA Business Bootcamps that NWMJ Law has produced, will cover a wide range of situations that arise in these areas including:

·  Why you must have an Operating Agreement or Shareholder Agreement

·  How can you benefit from an investor and stay safe

·  Ensuring the best partnership relationship

·  Make your business plan work for you

·  What is it all worth, valuations in a new market

·  Avoiding risks and conflict

Do not miss these seasoned cannabis attorneys as they share real world situations and offer their sound advice on how to avoid troubles and tips on solving problems before they cause damage to your company.

nwmjlawnewlogoThe event takes place Tuesday, August 16, 2016, 6:00 to 8:30 PM at the NWMJ Law, PLLC offices in the historic Maynard Building in Pioneer Square: 119 1st Avenue S, Suite 420, Seattle, WA 98104.

 

Washington State Marijuana Shops Caught Selling To Minors

WASHINGTON:  Washington’s retail marijuana businesses got calls from the state liquor control board before the sting operations began, warning them and reminding them about best practices when it comes to keeping weed out of kids’ hands. But when the board sent 18- to 20-year-old operatives into the first batch of stores this month to see if shops would sell them weed, four of them still failed the test. According to the board’s report released Wednesday, that amounted to 18% of 22 operations.

“We’re always going to have the goal of 100% compliance, that’s what we want; [82%] is good, but it’s not great,” says State Senator Ann Rivers, who has continued to work on reforming the state’s retail and medical marijuana industries. “Many of these businesses have invested a lot of time and a lot of money. And it’s stunning to me that they’d be willing to risk their livelihood to do something so foolish.”

By the end of June, the state plans to conduct sting operations at each of the 138 retail marijuana shops reporting sales in Washington. “When the news is out,” the liquor control board’s Brian Smith says of these first numbers, “we’ll see a spike in compliance. That’s what happened on the alcohol side.” In the operations, the underage shoppers present their real IDs if asked but don’t offer an ID if they aren’t; if a store sells them marijuana, they complete the transaction and bring the contraband to officers waiting outside the shops.

 

Washington Marijuana Compliance Checks: 4 Of 22 Recreational Marijuana Stores Sell To Minors

WASHINGTON: Four Western Washington recreational retail marijuana businesses recently failed compliance checks conducted by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB). Officers, working with underage investigative aides, checked 22 businesses for sales of marijuana to minors. The first checks represent an 82 percent no-sales-to-minors compliance rate.

The four businesses will be cited for selling marijuana to minors. The individuals who sold the marijuana will be referred to their respective prosecuting attorney’s office for potential criminal prosecution.

First Marijuana Compliance Checks

The WSLCB and local authorities regularly conduct compliance checks of area businesses licensed to sell alcohol. The checks, conducted May 15-18 in Skagit, Snohomish, Kitsap, Pierce and Cowlitz Counties, were the first marijuana compliance checks. The checks followed a recent communication to all licensees that enforcement officers were beginning compliance checks and recommended best practices for avoiding an illegal sale.

Compliance checks are proven tools to reduce the sale of age-restricted products to minors. Investigative aides assist officers with compliance checks. These individuals are from 18 to 20 years old. They must either present their true identification or none at all if asked by a clerk.

Administrative Penalties

Liquor enforcement officers are empowered to issue Administrative Violation Notices to businesses that fail compliance checks. Fines or temporary license suspensions can be issued depending on the severity of the infraction or the frequency with which a business has been cited. Sales to minors are considered the most serious violations because they present a threat to public safety. Businesses cited for Sale to a Minor face a 10-day suspension or $2,500 fine. Businesses who receive three public safety violations within three years face license cancellation.

Businesses that sold marijuana to a minor

Mary Mart

3005 6th Avenue Ste. B (Tacoma)

Emerald Leaves

2702 6th Avenue (Tacoma)

Green City Collective

13601 Highway 99 Suite B (Everett)

Purple Haze

4218 Rucker Ave. (Everett)

Businesses that did not sell marijuana to a minor

Westside 420 Recreational

4503 Ocean Beach Highway (Longview)

Freedom Market

820A Westside Highway (Kelso)

Localamster

1006 California Way (Longview)

Longview Freedom Market

971 14th Avenue Suite 110 (Longview)

420 Holiday

2028 10th Avenue (Longview)

Diamond Green

4002 South 12th Street (Tacoma)

Rainier Downtown

112 South 24th Street (Tacoma)

Crockpot

1703 SE Sedgwick Road Suite 113 (Port Orchard)

Greenway Marijuana

4851 Geiger Road SE (Port Orchard)

420 Pot Shop

1374 SE Lund Avenue (Port Orchard)

HWY 420

1110 Charleston Beach Road West (Bremerton)

Kushmart

6309 Evergreen Way (Everett)

Bud Hut

11603 Highway 99 (Everett)

Herbal Nation

19302 Bothell Everett Highway (Bothell)

High Times

1519 Highway 99 (Lynnwood)

Euphorium Lynnwood

20925 Cypress Way Suite 104 (Lynnwood)

Local Roots Marijuana

212 West Winesap Road Suite 101 (Bothell)

High Society

8630 South March Point Road (Anacortes)

The WSLCB mission is to promote public safety and trust through fair administration and enforcement of liquor, tobacco and marijuana laws. Per 2015 legislation, on July 24, 2015, the agency will change its name to the Liquor and Cannabis Board. It will retain the WSLCB acronym.

Blue Line Protection Group Hosts Free Security And Compliance Seminar For Illinois Medical Marijuana Industry

ILLINOIS: Blue Line Protection Group is hosting a free seminar to cannabis dispensaries, cultivation facilities, and other vendors and service providers to provide information about Illinois’ new medical marijuana industry.

The free medical marijuana seminar takes place on Thursday, January 15, 2015 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Convention Center at 1850 Convention Center Drive in Tinley Park, Illinois. Blue Line personnel will be on hand to provide information about:

  • Security and protection of dispensaries and cultivation facilities
  • Lawful, licensed and insured transportation of product and cash
  • Human resources and professional employment services
  • State and federal compliance requirements for marijuana-related enterprises
  • Banking considerations and how businesses can prepare
  • Secure payment solutions and cash alternatives

“We’re committed to bringing our proven success in providing security, transportation and compliance services to the lawful cannabis industry in Illinois,” said Sean Campbell, Blue Line’s Chief Executive Officer. “Even with the state’s recent delay in announcing marijuana licenses, we’ll continue to reach out to license applicants and vendors in Illinois to help establish best business practices and a solid foundation for a secure and legitimate industry.”

Blue Line Protection Group Providing Financial, Security And Compliance To Legal Marijuana Industry

COLORADO:  Blue Line Protection Group, a leading provider of protection, financial and compliance services to the legal cannabis industry, was featured on the front page of The Denver Post on Sunday, June 15th in the article, “Reluctance of banks leaves pot shops looking for secure practices.”

The article focuses on the unique and uncertain banking issues facing legal marijuana dispensaries in Colorado. Traditional banks have not been willing to offer services to cannabis-related businesses due to the serious compliance issues they face, as it is illegal under federal law to manufacture, distribute or dispense marijuana.

The story highlights “Medicine Man,” a family-owned Denver marijuana business with designs on becoming a national brand that has employed Blue Line Protection Group’s security services since January 1st of this year. In addition to its armed guard security and compliance services, Blue Line is currently working with five Colorado marijuana companies to provide a viable financial solution for lawful cannabis dispensaries and has drawn interest from two Colorado-based banks.

The Denver Post article quoted Dan Sullivan, Blue Line Protection Group’s Vice President of Sales & Training and Andy Williams, Medicine Man’s President & CEO, describing how the two businesses are successfully working together.

Referring to Blue Line Protection Group, the article stated, “The company would serve as a compliance intermediary, an independent third party that would provide banks with data confirming that customers are 21 or older, licensing confirmation, monthly tax income, sales figures and other sensitive information.”

Mr. Sullivan commented, “The banks are saying they won’t do it because it’s an enormous amount of information they don’t possess. A third party, though, could do it for them. Blue Line would transport cash from businesses, store it in its own vault and then take it to a bank processing center.”

Andy Williams said the arrangement would give Medicine Man access to debit cards and checking and the terms were agreeable.

Sean Campbell, Blue Line’s Chief Executive Officer, commented on the article, “Blue Line has developed a proprietary standards and compliance verification program for banks interested in providing services to cannabis-related businesses. This makes Blue Line a natural fit to provide ongoing compliance services and reporting in this industry as we build upon our current suite of services to satisfy federal banking compliance requirements.”