WASHINGTON: WSLCB September 16 Board Activity

WASHINGTON: The WSLCB Board met yesterday, September 16, 2020. During the meeting, the following actions were taken:

WSLCB Virtual Listen and Learn Forum Session #2: Rules Regarding Marijuana Vapor Products

WASHINGTON:  The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is hosting two Listen and Learn forums to consider establishing new and amending existing sections of rule concerning marijuana definitions and marijuana vapor products. This is the second of two planned sessions. The full text of the draft conceptual rules are provided here.

For this session, we are discussing only draft conceptual rule sections 314-55-550 to implement House Bill 2826 pertaining to marijuana vapor products, and the Marijuana Vapor Product Disclosure Form. The Disclosure Form is provided here.

Please join us virtually on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. via WebEx.

**Attendees wishing to provide feedback are encouraged to participate early in the meeting, as the meeting may end early dependent on level of participation.**

Background
On March 25, 2020, HB 2826 passed the legislature in response to concerns related to marijuana vapor product and vapor related lung illnesses. The bill contained an emergency clause, and in its intent section, found that “recent reports of lung illnesses associated with vapor products” demanded “serious attention by the state in the interest of protecting public health and preventing youth access.

HB 2826 provides that the Board may adopt rules prohibiting any type of marijuana vapor product device, or prohibit the use of any type of additive, solvent, ingredient, or compound in the production and processing of marijuana products, including marijuana vapor products. However, before adopting either of these types of rules, the Board must have determined, following a consultation with the Department of Health (DOH), or any other authority the Board deems appropriate, the device, additive, solvent, ingredient, or compound may pose a risk to public health or youth access.

HB 2826 authorizes the Board to require marijuana processors to submit, under oath, to the Department of Health, a complete list of all constituent substances and the amount and sources of all constituent substances in each marijuana vapor product. HB 2826 also provides that Board may adopt rules prohibiting the use of a characterizing flavor in marijuana vapor products.

Rules are needed to implement the provisions of HB 2826, and to establish definitions for terms including, but not limited to “characterizing flavor,” botanical terpenes,” and others.

The Pre-proposal Statement of Inquiry filed by the Liquor and Cannabis Board may be found here.

Meeting Details
An agenda is attached. Please come prepared to offer feedback and suggestions regarding this rule section.

If you wish to participate virtually, we’d like to offer the following reminders:

  • Virtual participation will be structured to allow one speaker at a time through a hand-raising feature on WebEx.
  • If you experience difficulty with audio or visual elements of virtual participation, please be patient.

Please remember that we are still in the developmental phase of rulemaking, and there are not yet any proposed or final rules amendments. To help you prepare for this listen/learn/contribute forum, please review the guidance document prepared for this and future forums.

Questions? Contact Casey Schaufler at casey.schaufler@lcb.wa.gov

To join the WebEx meeting online:
https://watech.webex.com/watech/j.php?MTID=m208eaad1ec16f31cfccdf6970963e1cb


To join the WebEx meeting via audio conference only:
Dial: (415) 655-0001
Access Code: 372 115 47

Planet 13 Awarded Nevada Dispensary License

Planet 13 awarded Nevada retail cannabis license through settlement of the lawsuit against the Nevada Department of Taxation

NEVADA:  Planet 13 Holdings Inc., a leading vertically-integrated Nevada cannabis company, today announced it has agreed to a settlement of its ongoing lawsuit against the Nevada Department of Taxation and other parties which subsequently joined the litigation. As part of the Settlement, Planet 13 is receiving one provisional adult-use dispensary license in unincorporated Clark County, Nevada. The License will be used to re-open Planet 13’s former dispensary located at 4850 Sunset Road in Las Vegas, Nevada that closed on October 30, 2018 (the “Medizin Dispensary”).

“We’ve always known that as one of the top operators in Nevada, responsible for 9% of the state’s sales, we deserved to win a license from the Nevada Department of Taxation. Although we are not happy with how long the process took for us to obtain the license to re-open our original location, we are thrilled to be able to service our loyal customers who supported Planet 13 from day one,” said Larry Scheffler, Co-CEO of Planet 13. “The Medizin Dispensary at 4850 Sunset Road in Las Vegas is a fully built-out 4,750 sq. ft. store that offers the same dedication to customer service, high-quality products, and innovation that Planet 13 is known for, all in a compact footprint designed to compliment its local neighborhood.”

The Medizin Dispensary was closed on October 30, 2018, to transfer the license to the Planet 13 SuperStore located next to the Las Vegas Strip. During the last full quarter of operations, Q3 2018, the Medizin Dispensary generated $4.9 million in revenue with a gross margin of 53%. The Medizin Dispensary requires no additional CAPEX to open.

Nevada CCB Launches Investigations Into Three Nevada Dispensaries, Selling Potentially Unsafe Product

NEVADA: The Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) has opened investigations into three dispensaries for selling product that twice failed microbial testing.

On March 5, 2020, the Department of Taxation and CCB issued a directive to all dispensary/retail stores to immediately stop selling the product, Cherry OG F3, which failed laboratory testing for yeast and mold, coliforms, Enterobacteriaceae and Aspergillus.

At that time, the CCB instructed dispensary/retail stores to destroy or return the affected product to the cultivator and communicate that they took such action with the State. Despite the CCB’s directive, it appears three dispensaries retained their inventory of Cherry OG and began selling the product again in May.

Approximately 375 grams of the Cherry OG product were sold between May 19, 2020 and June 29, 2020 at the following Retail Stores/Medical Dispensaries:

1. Waveseer of Las Vegas, LLC (Jenny’s Dispensary), 5530 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89130 (License # 83760475147127946601);

2. Paradise Wellness Center, LLC (Las Vegas ReLeaf), 2244 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89104 (License # 54283805068313943868); and

3. Desert Aire Wellness, LLC (Sahara Wellness), 420 E Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89104 (License # 25729455103203031356)

On May 16, 2020, a hold on the product was temporarily lifted due to a CCB error that occurred during an unrelated investigation. However, the CCB’s health and safety advisory remained in effect; and under the directive, dispensaries should not have had the product in their inventory.

The CCB advises those who have purchased the product to avoid consuming it. Consumers should check any Cherry OG products for the source package # 1A404030000076F000006649. The CCB notified the aforementioned dispensaries and initiated investigations which are ongoing. There are no known reports of illness.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Applauds Passage of Amendment to Protect State, Territory, and Tribal Cannabis Programs

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, today applauded the passage of the Blumenauer, McClintock, Holmes Norton, Lee amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science Department funding bill. The measure, which would prevent the Department of Justice from using its funds to impede the implementation of cannabis programs in states, territories, and tribes, passed in a 254-163 vote. 

“For far too long, our federal cannabis policies have been rooted in our discriminatory past and have continued inflicting harm on communities of color. As the public’s views toward cannabis have evolved, Congress has a responsibility to ensure that our policies follow suit and move toward restorative justice,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “I’m proud to have worked alongside Reps. Blumenauer, McClintock, and Holmes Norton on this crucial amendment to protect the progress states, tribes, and territories have made toward ending the discriminatory war on drugs.”

“The American people are demanding a change to our outdated cannabis laws and I am glad to see my colleagues heeding their calls,” said Rep. Blumenauer, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. “As we work to ultimately end the senseless prohibition of cannabis and the failed war on drugs, these amendments will help ensure the protection of legal state, territory and tribal cannabis programs.”

Maine: 17 New Adult Use Conditional Licenses Issued

MAINE: How big is Maine’s new adult-use cannabis industry? According to the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy, there are 17 new adult use conditional licenses. The breakdown includes seven marijuana stores, five cultivation facilities, four products manufacturing facilities, and one testing facility.

NECANN Announces Largest Digital Cannabis Industry Event In The World

NECANN Online Debuts September 14-16

Three fall NECANN shows in VT, MA and NJ rescheduled to 2021

MASSACHUSETTS: The New England Cannabis Convention (NECANN) today announced it will host the largest Digital Cannabis Industry Event in the world September 14-16, while also rescheduling three fall conventions to new dates in 2021.

NECANN Online will feature over 500 exhibitors and 50-plus programming sessions covering all aspects of the industry. Participants will also receive a virtual swag bag and 2020 cannabis industry resource guide, and the all-digital event will feature live feeds from the 2020 New England Canna Community Awards Show and the NECANN Cannabis Competition Awards.

“As disappointed as we are to be moving three of our upcoming conventions into next year, we are incredibly excited to be presenting our exhibitors and attendees with NECANN Online, the largest and most content-packed digital event ever in the cannabis and hemp space”, said Marc Shepard, President of NECANN.

Programming will include four tracks running all three days, including expert speakers and panels from around the country speaking on technology & innovation, growing and extraction, business and careers, hemp, CBD, medical marijuana, and social justice & equity.

NECANN’s 2020 Burlington, VT, Springfield, MA and Atlantic City, NJ shows have been rescheduled to 2021. New dates are: May 29-30, 2021 for Burlington; June 19-20, 2021 for Springfield; and Sept. 10-11, 2021 for Atlantic City. NECANN’s 2020 conventions in Portland, ME, Chicago, IL and Boston, MA are still scheduled for respective dates in October, November and December.

“NECANN Online will feature much more than the virtual booths and webinars most shows present. We will have live awards shows, virtual gift bags and even a few surprise guests,” Shepard said.  In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the COVID 19 situation around the country and hope to be seeing everyone in-person again soon”.

 

NECANN 2020-21 Convention Schedule

NECANN ONLINE (Sep 14-16, 2020

 

Portland, Maine (October 17-18, 2020)

Chicago, IL (Nov. 20-21, 2020)

Boston, MA (Dec 10-12, 2020)

 

Burlington, VT (was Sept 29-27 2020), rescheduled to May 29-30, 2021

Springfield, MA (was Oct. 24-25, 2020), rescheduled to June 19-20, 2021

Atlantic City, NJ (was Sept 11-12, 2020), rescheduled to Sept 10-11, 2021

 

U.S. House Of Representatives Approves Cannabis Banking Reform In Larger COVID-19 Relief Package

Lawmakers voted 208-199 (23 not voting) in favor of coronavirus “HEROES” relief package

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: On Friday evening (5/15/20) lawmakers in the United States House of Representatives passed additional coronavirus relief legislation to provide continued economic and government support to the country. The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act includes the language of the SAFE Banking Act, which would prevent federal financial regulators from punishing financial institutions that provide services to state-legal cannabis businesses.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, cannabis businesses across the country have been deemed essential and continue to operate. However, many of these businesses still lack access to the same financial services that are granted to every other industry in the United States. Because it is possible that coronavirus can be transmitted on currency — placing private industry and government workers at risk when handling large amounts of cash — allowing the cannabis industry to access banking services is now more crucial than ever. This policy change would also ensure that small and minority-owned businesses can access the financial assistance designed for them in many state programs.

The HEROES Act, which includes provisions to allow banks and financial institutions to provide services to the cannabis industry without fear of criminal prosecution, will now head to the Senate for consideration. In September 2019, the House of Representatives voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act, but the legislation has since stalled in the Senate.

Statement from Steve Hawkins, executive director at the Marijuana Policy Project:
“I’m encouraged that the House recognizes the urgency of this issue and has taken this strong and necessary position. We thank Chairwoman Maxine Waters and Rep. Ed Perlmutter for their leadership on the issue.

“Continuing to exclude the cannabis industry from accessing basic and essential financial services during this time will result in more harm than good. Not only will it make the country’s economic recovery that much harder, but the provisions intended to help minority-owned businesses would continue to be absent within the industry.”

Statement from Don Murphy, director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project:
“In light of the public health and public safety benefits of this specific change in policy, the Senate has good reason to pass this language into law. This is a change in policy that the banks are asking for even more than the cannabis companies. We urge the Senate Banking Committee to adopt the SAFE Banking provisions to ensure financial institutions can provide basic banking services to businesses that are compliant with state law.”

Read more

Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board Issues Emergency License Suspension For Smoking Exodus in Port Orchard

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Friday issued an emergency suspension for Smoking Exodus, a vapor product retailer, after an investigation found multiple violations of their state licenses and violations of state and federal drug laws. The suspension is for the licensee listed below:

Smoking Exodus:1382 SE Lund Avenue, Suite 150, Port Orchard, WA 98366

The suspension covers the licensee’s Cigarette, Tobacco, and Vapor Product Retailer license, and comes after an investigation by the WSLCB including multiple complaints and onsite visits. The violations included manufacturing vapor products without the required license, having alcohol on the premises, living in the premises, and the presence of drug paraphernalia which tested positive for methamphetamine.

The license will remain suspended for a period of 180 days, during which the WSLCB will pursue permanent revocation due to the aggravating circumstances of the case.

The WSLCB educates licensees to reach compliance and enforces Washington’s liquor, cannabis and tobacco laws and regulations. The WSLCB is mandated to ensure that licensees in Washington State follow state laws and regulations. When licensees fail to comply with state law the Board, under state authority can take action including the issuance of suspensions to ensure public health and safety.

Emergency suspensions represent an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power and the WSLCB is mandated to ensure that an emergency suspension is reasonable, justifiable and legal. This is the first Board-issued emergency suspension of 2020.

Dr. Ethan Russo Joins Endocanna Health’s Newly Created Science Board As Chairman

CALIFORNIA: Endocanna Health, a research and development biotechnology company specializing in endocannabinoid DNA testing and precision cannabinoid formulations, announced today Dr. Ethan Russo, world renowned cannabinoid research contributor, has joined Endocanna Health’s Scientific Board (“Science Board” or the “Board”) as Chairman to lead the Board in clinical research both internally and with external partners.

“We are honored to have Dr. Russo as a part of the EndoCanna team and to have him lead our pursuit of validated scientific research and clinical trials,” said Len May, CEO and Co-Founder of Endocanna Health. “This is a crucial new addition for our Company, and our ongoing research into genomics and cannabinoids will continue the enhancement of our endo-compatibility product matching.”

Dr. Russo previously authored the most referenced cannabinoid study on PubMed pertaining to the entourage effect and has propelled cannabinoid research through clinical studies. Dr. Russo’s background makes him an ideal addition to the Board as he is a board-certified neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher, and former Senior Medical Advisor to GW Pharmaceuticals wherein he served as a consultant for three Phase III clinical trials of Sativex, a whole plant medicinal cannabis extract indicated for the relief of multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms and the treatment of severe neuropathic-related cancer pain.

Prior to his work with GW Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Russo was a clinical neurologist in Missoula, Montana, for 20 years in a practice with a strong chronic pain component. In 1995, he pursued a three-month sabbatical doing ethnobotanical research with the Machiguenga people in Parque Nacional del Manu, Peru.

“I am pleased to be associated with Endocanna Health and the promise that future research will elucidate the relationships between the endocannabinoid system and the human genome,” said Ethan Russo, MD, Founder of CReDO Science and Chairman of EndoCanna Health’s Science Board. “This kind of investigation portends to offer great contributions to improved health and quality of life.”

The Endocanna Health Science Board was established earlier this year. Dr. Russo joins Dr. Christopher Spooner, ND, Dr. Michael Tegan, and Len May, CEO of Endocanna Health, top researchers and advocates in the field of cannabinoids and genomics. Endocanna Health has put an emphasis on investing in credible cannabinoid science and research that positions the Company as a credible partner that adds significant value to new and ongoing research initiatives in genomics and cannabinoid science.

The Board seeks to formalize the process that Endocanna Health currently employs for vetting endocannabinoid, cannabinoid and genomics research to produce the Endo·Decoded consumer report and endo-compatibility product matching. The Board aims to do this by taking a deep look at the integral role of plant medicine in modern therapeutics as they pertain to genomics then evaluating and recommending current and future research in cannabinoids and phytomedicine Endocanna should be involved with, then by initiating research that investigates the link between genotypes, cannabinoids and personalized endo-compatibility.