Washington DOH And WSLCB Change Heavy Metal Testing Requirements

wslcbWASHINGTON: The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) are reaching out to industry leaders to notify you of temporary changes to heavy metal testing requirements. Products compliant with DOH rules are required to be tested for heavy metals and prohibited pesticides to promote patient safety under chapter 246-70 WAC. These requirements are voluntary and in addition to WSLCB rules.

What is the current situation?
Testing for heavy metals and pesticides is provided by a WSLCB certified testing lab. Beginning January 25, 2019, there will not be any laboratories certified to test cannabis products for heavy metals.  The department has filed emergency rules to temporarily suspend the heavy metal testing requirement, effective January 24, 2019. For licensed producers and processors committed to creating cannabis products compliant with DOH rules, securing a new lab will allow continued heavy metal testing services. The suspension would stay in effect until a lab becomes certified to screen for heavy metals.

How does the emergency rule impact me?
Effective January 24, 2019, products produced under this suspension that have not been tested for heavy metals, may still use the DOH logo appropriate for their product (General Use, High CBD, or High THC) as long as “Not Tested for Heavy Metals” is included on the label before being sold in retail stores. A copy of the emergency rule has been attached for reference.

For information on how to comply with this requirement, please contact the Medical Marijuana Program at 260-236-4819 or medicalmarijuana@doh.wa.gov. For other questions, please contact your Liquor and Cannabis Board enforcement officer.

California’s Bureau Of Cannabis Control Releases Proposed Cannabis Regulations

The regulations are currently under review by the California Office of Administrative Law

CALIFORNIA: The Bureau of Cannabis Control has announced the release of the proposed cannabis regulations currently under review by the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The Bureau’s rule-making action regarding these regulations, initially noticed on July 13, 2018, was submitted to OAL for review on Dec. 3, 2018.

BCC logo

The Bureau has posted to its website the proposed regulations text, in strikethrough and underline, to reflect the differences between the regulations under review and the current readopted emergency regulations: https://www.bcc.ca.gov/law_regs/proposed_regs.html

Included in this posting are the final statement of reasons and the order of adoption containing the regulations text under review – without strikethrough and underline for convenience.

The public comment period has closed for these regulations, and the Bureau will not be providing guidance related to these regulations until OAL has completed its review.

Please note that the proposed regulations submitted to OAL have not yet been approved by OAL and are not currently in effect. While the regulations are under review with OAL, the readopted emergency regulations remain in effect and licensees should continue to comply with those regulations.

The Clinch On Cannabis: Immature Industries Eventually Grow-Up

By Beau Whitney, Whitney Economics

The cannabis industry is still taking shape. Legislative and regulatory policies can have a profound impact on the direction the movement takes. There are many academic sources available, but what differentiates this report from others is that this author is able to combine economic rigor with direct industry experience.  The author has a background in economics, experience in high tech business operations as well as a background in the cannabis industry as a chief operating officer, a governmental affairs officer and a compliance officer. These practical experiences in the cannabis industry has further enabled the author to take the next step and assess the impact policies have on the industry and to make policy recommendations to address them.

Front Runner, an agglomerated cannabis data website, commissioned Whitney Economics to conduct an analysis of the Washington cannabis market. The initial genesis of the project was to ascertain whether or not the 222 additional retail outlets proposed by the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board were an appropriate number based on the BOTEC analysis.

Once the research commenced, the project extended beyond the initial scope and examined such topics as; the total demand forecast for the market, the total supply available to support the market, the elasticity of demand, taxation and how to maximize the conversion from the black market to the retail market. The data used in this report cites multiple sources, includes original analysis and forecasts, as well as data taken directly from the Washington Liquor Control Board (WLCB) and BioTrackTHC. The empirical data was analyzed and the findings contained herein are an interpretation the impact of policy decisions have on the Washington cannabis market.

The data assesses the empirical results from January 2015 through March 2016 and extrapolates into the 2016 fiscal year and beyond.The methodology was to examine specific aspects of the market to ascertain if the Washington market was able to be sustained at the proposed retail levels, whether the current policies support the development of the market, what policies need to be changed and what indicators to examine moving forward.

The conclusions derived from the data were meant to answer questions about the market that are fundamental to the foundation of economics. For if the data cannot support the most basic fundamentals of economic theory, then the data or policies must be viewed with skepticism.

The findings of this report are simple. The consumer is extremely price sensitive. The black market plays a large role in the marketplace and without a reduction in tax, the market will not realize its true potential. The level of demand is able to support the retail expansion, but without converting the demand over from the black market, the retail system will face challenges in growth. The allocation of the retail outlets can support the demand, but the allocation by county needs adjustment. The supply of product in the market is appropriate for now, however the amount of supply capacity is well in excess of what the market will bear. This, in turn will lead to further commoditization of prices, compression of retail margins and maintain a vibrant black market.

The insights contained in this report are much more applicable to an investor, a policy maker or a regulator than many previous works and that is what differentiates this report from others currently available.The report also provides a list of indicators to track on a regular basis that will allow the investor or regulator to ascertain the health of the industry and the success of the public policies as they currently exist.

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Patchwork Of Pot Rules Hampers Marijuana Business Expansion

COLORADO:  Marijuana entrepreneurs rushing into the booming market are running headlong into a patchwork of state-by-state regulations that make it hard to transfer their expertise, brands and staff— and even their profits.

Because the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana have developed widely divergent rules governing their semi-legal marketplaces.

In Colorado, for instance, retailers until recently had been required to grow the majority of the marijuana they sell to customers. But Washington state bans retailers from growing their own cannabis, forcing them to buy from state-licensed farms.


Denver Council to Settle 39 Issues Around New Retail Pot Framework

COLORADO: With legislation pending on whether to ask Denver voters to approve a 5 percent tax on retail marijuana sales, the Denver City Council on Monday will consider setting a host of rules and regulations for the new industry. [Read more…]