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.

Governor Cuomo Announces Proposed Regulations For Cannabinoid Hemp Products

Department of Health’s Cannabinoid Hemp Program Will License Processors and Retailers and Set Quality Control Standards

NEW YORK:  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Department of Health has filed proposed regulations to regulate cannabinoid hemp products in New York State. In accordance with legislation signed earlier this year by the Governor, the Department is creating a Cannabinoid Hemp Program. The Program will license both cannabinoid hemp processors and retailers and set quality control standards that all cannabinoid hemp products must meet.

“These regulations are the next step toward regulating the growing hemp industry in New York in a way that protects consumers and helps ensure the industry’s long-term viability,” said Governor Cuomo. “Establishing the State’s Cannabinoid Hemp Program to regulate production and sale of hemp and hemp extract will help protect both consumers and farmers.”

The Cannabinoid Hemp Program will organize and legitimize the cannabinoid market in New York State by creating a licensing framework for cannabinoid hemp processors and retailers, and by establishing basic manufacturing, packaging and labeling and laboratory testing standards. Currently, applications for cannabinoid hemp processing and retailing licenses are under development, and NYSDOH intends to make them available in early 2021.

In 2015, the Governor launched the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program, supporting farmers and further boosting economic development in upstate New York. Since then, New York’s hemp program has expanded significantly, making New York one of the leading hemp producing states in the country, with more than 700 farmers and 100 manufacturers of hemp products. Hemp is a sustainable, carbon-sequestering crop that is capable of being transformed into hundreds of products including textiles, furniture, fuel, food, construction materials and personal care items.

Some hemp products that have been growing in popularity include cannabinoid hemp products such as Cannabidiol, or CBD, which can be found online or in retail stores throughout the state. While regulations exist at the federal level for the growth of hemp, there are currently no federal regulations for the processing and manufacturing of cannabinoid hemp products, resulting in the cannabinoid hemp marketplace lacking basic consumer protections that are common in similar industries. There are published reports of cannabinoid hemp products that do not contain any cannabinoids but contain unspecified or inconsistent levels of THC – the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant – or are contaminated with harmful toxins.

The proposed regulations fill this regulatory void and create a system allowing for the use of hemp-derived cannabinoids in certain foods, beverages, topicalsand dietary supplement products, provided regulatory requirements are satisfied. All cannabinoid hemp products must be manufactured using good manufacturing practices based on the end product’s intended use. The label must contain the total amount of cannabinoids in the product, number of cannabinoids per serving, a nutritional or supplement fact panel, information about whether the product contains THC and appropriate warnings stating the product is not intended for children, its use may cause the failure of a drug test, the product has not been evaluated by the FDA and if pregnant or nursing, to consult a healthcare provider before use.

Additionally, cannabinoid hemp products are required to be laboratory-tested before entering the market, with testing for their cannabinoid profile, heavy metals, microbial impurities, mycotoxins, pesticides and residual solvents. This information is required to be retrievable by the consumer in the form of a QR code or corresponding link on the product label. Retailers are prohibited from selling inhalable cannabinoid hemp products, such as vape products, to consumers under 21 years of age. Processors are prohibited from making claims suggesting the product will diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent disease.

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “When you purchase a product, you should have confidence that what is stated on the label is actually in the product. With the increased production and use of cannabinoid hemp products, New York State could not wait for the federal government to act to institute basic consumer protections to protect the health and safety of New Yorkers.”

Senator Jen Metzger said, “These regulations will provide much-awaited certainty for the hemp industry and offer a tremendous opportunity for our farmers while ensuring that we have the standards consumers need for a safe and high-quality product. As the Senate sponsor of the bill that created the regulatory framework for hemp, I want to thank the Governor for his continued leadership to advance the hemp industry and move the regulatory process forward, and I urge New York farmers and all stakeholders to review the regulations and provide input during the 60-day comment period.”

Assembly Member Donna Lupardo said, “With these regulations, New York is creating a national model for consumer safety, requiring strict labeling and production standards. The inclusion of cannabinoid extracts in food and beverages will provide new economic opportunities for farmers, processors, manufacturers, and retailers throughout the state. I appreciate the Governor’s continued commitment to New York’s hemp industry and look forward to working with his administration as these regulations are finalized through the public comment period.”

For more information on New York’s Cannabinoid Hemp Program and to view the proposed regulations, please visit: https://health.ny.gov/regulations/hemp/.

Washington: WSLCB Notice Of Proposed Rules

October 28, 2020

Notice of Proposed Rules – WSR #20-22-042

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board invites your input on proposed rules regarding marijuana license qualification and application process rules described in chapter 314-55 WAC.

This notice and other relevant rulemaking materials may be viewed at lcb.wa.gov/laws/laws-and-rules under Proposed Rules.

The Liquor and Cannabis Board encourages your participation in the rule making process by giving input on this rule. The board will hold at least one public hearing before the rules are adopted.

Public Comment

Please forward your initial comments to the Liquor and Cannabis Board by mail, e-mail, or fax by December 9, 2020.

By mail:   Rules Coordinator                       By e-mail:                 By fax:
                 Liquor and Cannabis Board      rules@lcb.wa.gov    360-664-9689
P.O. Box 43080
Olympia, WA  98504-3080

Public Hearing: December 9, 2020, 10:00 a.m.

In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, the Board will not provide a physical location for this hearing to promote social distancing and the safety of the citizens of Washington state. A virtual public hearing, without a physical meeting space, will be held instead. Board members, presenters, and staff will all participate remotely. The public may login using a computer or device, or call-in using a phone, to listen to the meeting through the WebEx application. The public may provide verbal comments during the specified public comment and rules hearing segments.

For more information about board meetings, please visit https://lcb.wa.gov/boardmeetings/board_meetings

California Community Reinvestment Grants Program Update

 

CALIFORNIA:  10-27-2020 Important Note: The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development is aware that the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts (RCT) Registry Verification Tool is currently down for maintenance and may be unavailable until after the application due date.

In lieu of the screenshot showing eligibility, please upload a Word document stating that you have verified your organization’s RCT status as either “Current” or “Exempt”.  Applicants can visit https://www.oag.ca.gov/charities/reports to check their status using the Charity Registration Reports downloadable Excel files.  GO-Biz will still independently verify the RCT status and all Community-based Nonprofit Organization (CBO) applicants, including all CBO partners in a Collaborative Application, must have a status of “Current” or “Exempt” by the application due date, which is November 2, 2020.  There will be no exceptions to this requirement.

Updates

09-28-2020 The California Community Reinvestment Grants (CalCRG) program Grant Solicitation for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020–21 is now available. The Grant Solicitation includes an overview of the program, eligibility criteria, application components and requirements, and the evaluation process and scoring criteria.

The Online Application Portal is now open and can be accessed by clicking the “Apply Now” button above. The application process is divided into two phases, and Phase 1 applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm on Monday, November 2, 2020. Please review the Grant Solicitation for additional details.

Resources

Required Documents

Background

The CalCRG program was included in The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64), which was approved by California voters on November 8, 2016. In accordance with the proposition, GO-Biz will award grants to local health departments and qualified community-based nonprofit organizations to support the following activities for communities disproportionately affected by past federal and state drug policies, also known as the War on Drugs (WoD):

  • Job placement
  • Mental health treatment
  • Substance use disorder treatment
  • System navigation services
  • Legal services to address barriers to reentry
  • Linkages to medical care

The mission of the CalCRG program is to advance health, wellness, and economic justice for populations and communities harmed by the WoD. The CalCRG program’s guiding principles are that its efforts will be:

  1. Responsive to and focused on populations and communities disproportionately impacted by the WoD.
  2. Grounded in science and data, while being receptive to emerging and innovative approaches.
  3. Advancing whole person, trauma-informed care.
  4. Accountable to taxpayers and stakeholders.

Funding

The CalCRG program is funded by the cannabis excise and cultivation taxes imposed by Revenue and Taxation Code sections 34011 and 34012, respectively.  Contingent upon sufficient tax proceeds generated, the funding for the grant program is as follows:

  • $30 million in fiscal year 2020-21 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021)
  • $40 million in fiscal year 2021-22 (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022)
  • $50 million in fiscal year 2022-23 (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023) and each year thereafter

At least 50 percent of the grant funding will be allocated to qualified community-based nonprofit organizations.

Creating An Improved THC For Edibles and Beverages

Cannabis Global, Marijuana Company of America and Natural Plant Extract Form Research Partnership for New THC Nano Technologies

CALIFORNIA:   Cannabis Global, Inc., a cannabinoid and hemp extract science-forward company developing infusion and delivery technologies and investing in fast-growing cannabis markets, today announced the inclusion of Marijuana Company of America Inc., as a research partner in its Project Varin research and development program. The two companies plan to collaborate on the development of new food and beverage products in conjunction with Natural Plant Extract of California, Inc., which operates a licensed cannabis manufacturing business operation out of Lynwood, California. Cannabis Global and Marijuana Company of America have both have equity stakes in NPE.

Cannabis Global and Marijuana Company of America will collaborate to develop new protocols and techniques for food and beverage cannabinoid infusion based on the experienced gained under the Project Varin program.

Arman Tabatabaei, commented, “Marijuana Company of America and Cannabis Global are both equity holders in NPE, which holds both manufacturing and distribution licenses within the State of California, so this collaboration between the three companies is a natural fit. Upon the filing of our next patent in this area, we plan to jointly work within the California regulatory framework to create a new method to infuse food and beverages with THC. The technology holds the promise to rewrite the industry dynamic relative to both cost of infusion and overall efficacy for not only THC, but also for other cannabinoids.”

The recent successes of Cannabis Global’s Project Varin includes the creation of highly loaded cannabinoid nano units made from all-natural ingredients. Whereas the current state of the art for cannabinoid nano infusion of foods and beverages relies on chemicals to maintain stability, Project Varin technologies use no such chemicals. This will allow product formulators to create foods and beverages with clean labels and do so without the introduction of bitter tastes. Additionally, with the extreme bioavailability expected, manufacturers can use less active ingredients to reduce costs or include the full amount of active ingredient to provide a superior effect of the chosen cannabinoid.

“Our hempSMART product line places strong emphasis on purity and natural ingredients, so the Project Varin technology suite is of great interest to Marijuana Company of America,” commented Jesus M. Quintero, CEO. “With both Cannabis Global and our Company being equity holders in NPE, and each holding equity in the other via our recently announced stock swap, the three-way collaboration makes tremendous sense and has the opportunity to yield extraordinary results. We welcome our expansion of the relationship with Cannabis Global.”

USDA Approves Hemp Production Plans For Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico And South Dakota

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the approval of hemp production plans under the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program for Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico and South Dakota, bringing the total number of approved plans to 69.

USDA continues to receive and review hemp production plans from states and Indian tribes. To review approved plans or check the status of a plan, visit the Status of State and Tribal Hemp Production Plans webpage.

State and tribal plans previously approved include:

States Tribes
Delaware Blackfeet Nation
Florida Cayuga Nation
Georgia Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes
Illinois Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Iowa Chippewa Cree Tribe
Kansas Colorado River Indian Tribes
Louisiana Comanche Nation
Maine Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
Maryland Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
Massachusetts Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe
Minnesota Fort Belknap Indian Community
Missouri Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska
Montana Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Nebraska La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indian Tribes
New Jersey Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Ohio Lower Sioux Indian Community
Oklahoma Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
Pennsylvania Oglala Sioux Tribe
South Carolina Otoe-Missouria Tribe
Tennessee Pala Band of Mission Indians
Texas Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma
Utah Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
Washington Pueblo of Picuris Tribe
West Virginia Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
Wyoming Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Puerto Rico Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa
U.S. Virgin Islands San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona
Santa Rosa Cahuilla Indian Tribe
Santee Sioux Nation
Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
Seneca Nation of Indians
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo
Yurok Tribe

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) directed USDA to develop a regulatory oversight program for hemp and include provisions for USDA to approve hemp production plans submitted by states and Indian tribes. Accordingly, on Oct. 31, 2019, USDA issued an interim final rule establishing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program and the provisions for USDA to approve submitted plans. State and tribal plans provide details on practices and procedures that enable hemp producers in their jurisdictions to operate according to their individual plans and in compliance with federal laws.

For additional information about the program, visit the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program webpage.

Agrozen Opens Indiana’s First Hemp Testing Laboratory

Certified By The U.S. Department Of Agriculture, The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, And The Office Of Indiana State Chemist

INDIANA:  Following a year of submissions and reviews by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, central Indiana’s Agrozen Life Sciences today announced that it is expanding business operations by launching Agrozen Labs, now a certified U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) analytical hemp testing laboratory.  Agrozen Labs also recently achieved Schedule I Cannabis Testing certification from the DEA and is now an approved hemp testing laboratory through the USDA’s Domestic Hemp Production Program.

In conjunction with the USDA and DEA approvals, Agrozen Labs is the first hemp cooperative analytical testing laboratory approved through the Seed Section of the Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC) at Purdue University.

The Agrozen Labs announcement follows word that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved the Indiana State Hemp plan for commercially growing and processing hemp, a crop that is widely used to produce textiles, rope, carpet, paper, building materials, food, and more.

Hemp production in Indiana is licensed to some 280 growers who farm more than 8,900 acres of the crop.  Farmers are required to have hemp crops tested before harvest and Agrozen becomes one of only about 50 such certified testing labs in the entire country.

“The Agrozen Labs team is honored to be the first hemp testing laboratory certified in the State of Indiana by USDA, as well as the first state-certified lab to be working in the hemp industry.  We’re very pleased to have the involvement of the Seed Section of the Office of Indiana State Chemist, which is based at Purdue, and is working to develop new markets for Hoosier farmers,” said Brian Schroeder, Co-Founder and CEO for Agrozen Life Sciences.  “Our hemp testing process and analytical equipment are managed by a pharmaceutical scientist with more than three decades of experience, and our lab can now produce consistent and reliable results for farmers, extractors, formulators, and finished goods suppliers,” he adds.

“The Office of Indiana State Chemist is looking forward to working with Agrozen Life Sciences as a cooperating hemp laboratory.  Agrozen Life Sciences has built their laboratory with full transparency to the State Chemist while hitting important milestones, such as obtaining a DEA Schedule I registration,” adds Carrie Leach, Quality Assurance Director for OISC.  “It has been a pleasure working with Agrozen Life Sciences building this mutually beneficial relationship that will help hemp growers,” she added.

To learn more about Agrozen Labs cannabis testing services, visit www.agrozen.com/laboratory, email labs@agrozen.com or call (844) 655-6935.

Cannabis Caucus Of Michigan’s Democratic Party Releases List Of Candidate Endorsements

2020’s general election is the most significant election in modern American history, and cannabis law reform is a significant part of every election in America- and in Michigan.”

— Rick Thompson, Elections Committee Chair

MICHIGAN:   Pro-cannabis candidates for election have been identified and endorsed by the Michigan Democratic Party’s Cannabis Caucus. The Caucus has endorsed contestants in both national and in-state contests being decided at the General Election on November 3rd.

The Caucus endorses Joe Biden as President and recommends that the state voters return Gary Peters to the US Senate. The full list of endorsements is included below incorporates candidates for select national and state House races; county prosecutors and sheriffs; and local offices. This is not an exhaustive list, as the corona virus and a lack of statewide cannabis ballot proposal has kept cannabis off the minds of many who are running for political office.

The list of endorsements includes:

President
Joe Biden

US Congress
Gary Peters, Senate

US House of Representatives
Dan Kildee 5th District
Elissa Slotkin 8th District
Andy Levin 9th District
Haley Stevens 11th District
Debbie Dingell 12th District
Rashida Talib 13th District
Brenda Lawrence 14th District

Michigan House of Representatives:
Tenisha Yancey District 1
Joseph Tate District 2
Shri Thanendar District 3
Abraham Aiyash District 4
Cynthia Johnson District 5
Tyrone Carter District 6
Helena Scott District 7
Stephanie Young District 8
Karen Whitsett District 9
Abdullah Hammoud District 15
Darrin Cammilleri District 21
Cynthia Neeley District 34
Julia Pulver District 39
Mari Manoogian District 40
Nicole Breadon District 43
John Cherry District 49
Yousef Rabhi District 53
Nancy Smith District 65
Lily Cheng-Schulting District 72
Rachel Hood District 76

County Level Endorsements
Krystle DuPree, Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education
Julie Dye, Cass County Commissioner
Richard Clement, Detroit Public Schools Community District
Carol A Siemon, Ingham County Prosecutor
Val C. Toops, Jackson County Sheriff
Karen McDonald, Oakland County Prosecutor
Vincent Gregory, Oakland County Sheriff
Nick Roumel, Washtenaw Circuit Judge
Eli Savit, Washtenaw County Prosecutor

The Cannabis Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party is Michigan’s partisan cannabis advocacy group and features Mike McCurdy as Chairman and Rick Thompson as Elections Committee Chair. The group has a Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/MICannaCaucus/

MCR Labs ‘Ask An Expert’ Virtual Event Seeks To Clear Up Mass. Cannabis Confusion

Cannabis experts will weigh in on questions submitted by members of the general public as part of a virtual panel discussion hosted by MCR Labs on October 28.

MASSACHUSETTS:  MCR Labs is organizing a virtual panel discussion for members of the public to submit cannabis-related questions to four experts with backgrounds in cannabis testing, research, medicine, and cultivation in order to help new and experienced cannabis consumers expand their knowledge of a complex and often misunderstood plant.

“Even though it’s legal here in Massachusetts, cannabis is still scary and confusing to some and complicated or overwhelming to others,” said MCR Labs President and founder Michael Kahn. “We’re trying to create more opportunities for everyone to get real answers from legitimate sources since there’s still a lot of misinformation being spread about cannabis and marijuana.”

The virtual event, titled “Ask an Expert,” will feature qualified cannabis professionals from a variety of fields and specialties. The panel discussion will include Scott Churchill, Director of Scientific Operations at MCR Labs, a cannabis testing laboratory; Dr. Marion McNabb, President of the Cannabis Center of Excellence, a research and advocacy group; Dr. Benjamin Caplan, Chief Medical Officer at the CED Clinic, a medical cannabis clinic; and Noni Goldman, Co-Founder of Four Trees Management Co., a consulting firm and tier 1 cultivation provisional licensee.

By bringing together experts with a diverse array of backgrounds, the MCR Labs’ outreach team hopes to enable a broad selection of individuals with any level of cannabis knowledge to hear answers to questions ranging from highly complex to basic and introductory.

“COVID-19 has created a significant lack of educational events geared toward cannabis at the same time that many are exploring using, growing, or even joining the industry for the first time,” said MCR Labs Event & Outreach Specialist Melissa Kenton. “So, we’re trying something new for us by hosting this online event because no matter what’s happening with the virus, education is critical to helping people explore cannabis safely.”

The event will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 28 starting at 11 a.m. Attendees can register in advance at https://tinyurl.com/MCRLabsAskExpertEvent. Those with questions for the panel can submit them via any of MCR Labs social media accounts by messaging @mcrlabs on most platforms or by emailing the outreach team directly at news@mcrlabs.com.

The Hemp Industry: Where Are We Going? 

By Steven Gluckstern
Chair and CEO, Santa Fe Farms

It’s difficult to predict where the hemp industry will go over the next five years and how it will develop as it is only been just over 22 months since the farm bill of 2018 was passed legalizing hemp for transport across state lines. This legislation opened up an entire new industry for CBD and other hemp related products. What we do know, is that hemp is an extraordinary plant and the industry, although nascent, will have a profound impact both economically and environmentally in both the US and abroad.

What we learned in the first two years of the legalized hemp industry is now that everyone rushed into cultivation, farming may not be the most profitable sector. The primary lesson learned for most people is that when you partner with Mother Nature, she is fickle and almost always wins. Furthermore, unlike corn, soy, and other US agricultural products, the plant needs to go through a transformational process to make it usable for downstream products. Thought of as the narrow center of the hourglass or “chokepoint” of the industry, the plant needs to be processed and/or extracted to be usable for anything other than smokable flower.

While much of the industry is now focused on CBD and other phyto-cannabinoid products (the base of the hourglass), our vision at Santa Fe Farms is much broader and includes not only cultivation, and processing, but industrial hemp for building materials, plastics, paper, and other manufactured goods as well as our own phyto-cannabinoid products. Additionally, we are discovering that carbon-based derivatives obtained through pyrolysis will drive further business in ways we are just beginning to understand and that could have significant impact on both renewable energy and environmental sustainability.

We also believe there is significant opportunity for technology; because this is a nascent industry, the visibility of the hemp supply chain is almost nonexistent. Studying the data is almost impossible but as advanced technologies such as blockchain become “mainstream”, we will soon see efficiencies in cultivation, harvesting, processing, and innovation. We have always thought there was significant opportunity for software as it relates to the hemp supply chain, and with experienced partners have begun investing significant resources to create an industry agnostic “Supply Chain as a Service” platform.

When we started at Santa Fe Farms, we initially thought only about cultivation, but quickly realized that one should make multiple bets to maximize profit one likely had to allocate capital to all parts of the business from seed genetics to retail sale. In the short-term, we believe that prices will stabilize, people will leave the industry (by choice and necessity) and that prices will rise as demand increases.

More interesting however is looking out ten years. As we face the “hemp future,” there is a tremendous lack of visibility of regulation. We can hopefully drive regulation from within by creating products and SOPs that adhere to high quality standards. No one knows what future regulation will look like as it is clearly, at best, a work in progress. However, it represents a place where we can come together as an industry to create policy change, social justice and educational platforms.