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Californina’s cannabis culture wars converge on billboards

3/31/21--An increasing debate is occurring in the California Legislature over cannabis-related billboards that have sprung up around the state, advertising tools the industry says are necessary to support the struggling legal market, but that opponents argue expose children to a potentially harmful substance. This debate could have a major impact on California's legal cannabis market, because the industry relies on outdoor advertising since major tech companies like Google, YouTube, and Facebook largely bar them from marketing to consumers online. Read

Teens may be more likely to use marijuana after legalization for adult recreational use

2/15/21--Adolescents who live in California may be more likely to use marijuana since adult recreational marijuana use was legalized in 2016, according to a new report in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The researchers who conducted the study suggest that recreational marijuana legalization may present increased opportunities for adolescents to obtain marijuana and that the increasing availability of non-smoking products such as edibles may prove appealing as well. Read

New California bill would decriminalize psychedelics, expunge criminal records

2/18/21--California could become the latest state to decriminalize psychedelics for personal and therapeutic use. The bill, introduced Thursday by state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat who represents San Francisco, would decriminalize substances such as psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, ketamine, DMT and mescaline. Read

Legendary California marijuana-growing region Humboldt permanently bans hemp cultivation

2/15/21--A renowned marijuana-growing county in northern California’s Emerald Triangle, Humboldt County, has permanently banned outdoor cultivation of low-THC hemp varieties. Humboldt County has had a temporary moratorium on outdoor hemp cultivation since 2018. Read

Medical marijuana retail workers move to head of vaccine line, ahead of teachers

2/15/21--The state of California has updated its COVID-19 vaccine allocation guidelines to include medical marijuana retail workers as frontline workers to receive the vaccine. Jerred Kiloh, owner of the Higher Path Collective in Sherman Oaks and president of the United Cannabis Business Association, was one of the people responsible for nudging medical marijuana retail workers toward the front of California’s vaccine eligibility line, before some educators, emergency workers and food and agriculture workers. Read

Examining associations between licensed and unlicensed outlet density and cannabis outcomes from preopening to postopening of recreational cannabis outlets

1/29/21--This study expands beyond studies of outlet prevalence to find that, after controlling for outcomes 1 year prior, licensed and unlicensed outlets were associated with young adults' cannabis outcomes. The current study is among the first to find associations between cannabis use outcomes and density of cannabis outlets among young adults using data from two time points: preopening and postopening of recreational cannabis retailers. Read

The state of cannabis: Local scorecards provide glimpse into California’s ‘Wild West’ patchwork of cannabis policies.

1/14/21--Released today by Getting it Right from the Start at the Public Health Institute (PHI), 157 scorecards summarize cannabis policies in each of the California cities and counties that have opted to permit storefront sales of recreational cannabis. The scorecards bring light to a patchwork of local policies that often fall far short of what public health leaders believe is necessary to prevent the cannabis industry from following in the footsteps of Big Tobacco. Read

Notice regarding billboard advertisements on interstate and state highways

1/22/21--Section 5040(b)(3), which only prohibited billboard advertising within a 15-mile radius of the California border on an interstate or state highway that crosses the California border, is no longer in effect. To comply with the law and regulations, licensees may not place new advertising or marketing on any interstate highway or state highway that crosses the California border. Read

Proposed budget for 2021-22 – highlights for CDFA

1/8/21--For CDFA, Governor Newsom’s proposed budget represents an important step in facilitating economic recovery after the tumult of 2020. This budget includes strategic investments to support California’s agriculture industry as it addresses continued challenges and rapid innovation while also advancing the state’s climate resilience objectives. Read

Examining associations between licensed and unlicensed outlet density and cannabis outcomes from preopening to postopening of recreational cannabis outlets

1/15/21--This study expands beyond studies of outlet prevalence to find that, after controlling for outcomes 1 year prior, licensed and unlicensed outlets were associated with young adults' cannabis outcomes. The current study is among the first to find associations between cannabis use outcomes and density of cannabis outlets among young adults using data from two time points: preopening and postopening of recreational cannabis retailers. Findings can inform policies around the density and placement of cannabis outlets. Read

The Commonwealth publishes new medical- and adult-use of marijuana regulations

1/8/21--The Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) received confirmation that the medical- and adult-use marijuana regulations, 935 CMR 501.000 and 935 CMR 500.000, have been published in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations and are thereby in effect. Leading up to the filing, the Commission held eight public policy meetings, received more than 250 public comments, and hosted two public hearings. Read

State has 30 days to notify cannabis businesses of billboard ban

1/12/21--The California Bureau of Cannabis Control has 30 days to inform all cannabis business owners that they can no longer advertise on highways that cross state lines, according to a judgement San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Ginger Garrett issued Monday. The judgment has state-wide effect. Read

California Poison Control warns about holiday marijuana edibles

12/16/20--This holiday season, California Poison Control System (CPCS) is reminding all adults to practice caution when using or serving cannabis-containing edible items such as cookies, candies, pastries or beverages during holiday events and New Year’s celebrations. Edibles can contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the chemical that causes someone to get high. Read

Celebrities, cash and questions: A new force roils the cannabis prisoner-release movement

12/30/20--The star-studded group known as the Last Prisoner Project is calling on cannabis enthusiasts to help secure the release of people convicted of marijuana-related crimes. However, many have claimed that the organization failed to follow through on commitments to support preexisting groups while doing relatively little on its own to reduce the level of incarceration.  Read

CannaCraft’s AbsoluteXtracts launches 200mg THC Single-Serve Soft Gel

11/19/20--AbsoluteXtracts, or ABX, a leading manufacturer of strain-specific, full-spectrum vape cartridges and cannabis oils, announced today it has doubled the dose of its best-selling 100mg gel cap. The new 200mg soft gel is not only the most potent single serving of THC in California, but also the most cost-effective. Read

UCLA receives seven grants totaling $6.4 million for cannabis research

11/20/20--UCLA has received seven grants totaling $6.4 million from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. The awards will fund studies on topics ranging from the toxicity of inhaled and second-hand cannabis smoke to employment conditions in California's cannabis industry. Read

Seven bodies, nothing stolen: Were killings at Riverside marijuana grow ‘a message’?

10/28/20--According to a Los Angeles Times article, Riverside County’s worst mass killing in recent memory remains cloaked in mystery. Yet what facts have emerged illustrate a brutal point: Violence haunts California’s illegal marijuana market, which, law enforcement authorities concede, dwarfs its fledgling, legal counterpart and comprises a sweeping array of players. Read

Campaign to overturn California’s flavored tobacco sales ban accused of misleading voters

10/20/20--An attorney for the group Tobacco Free Kids Action Fund filed a complaint with state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra asking for an investigation of “numerous instances of illegal signature-gathering tactics,” noting that it is a misdemeanor for signature gatherers to intentionally misrepresent a referendum petition. Read

Three pot growth busts worth over $600,00 in Calaveras County

10/24/20--Three pot grow busts over two days with a value of over $600,000 also netted two arrests, over 85 plants and three guns — one an AR15 rifle. Read

Drug use in local arrestees reaches 20-year high

10/22/20--Drug use reached a 20-year high among men and women arrested and booked into San Diego County detention facilities in 2019, according to a report released Thursday by the San Diego Association of Governments. According to the report by SANDAG’s Criminal Justice Research Division, nearly four in five male arrestees (79%) and 82% of female arrestees tested positive for at least one of the following drugs: marijuana, methamphetamines, opiates, cocaine/crack and PCP. Read

Sacramento increasing number of storefront dispensaries for the first time in 11 years

10/14/20--Ten new storefront cannabis dispensaries will be allowed to open in the city of Sacramento, after a unanimous vote by the Sacramento City Council on Tuesday night. Read

California governor signs bill to ban sale of flavored tobacco

9/1/20--California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 793 into law, banning the retail sale of flavored tobacco products in the state, effective January 2021. Written by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), the bill was supported by the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association. The new law will make the sale of electronic (”e”)-cigarette cartridges and flavored cigarettes subject to a $250 fine to the retailer. Read

This is California Cannabis

9/1/20--"This is California Cannabis" is designed to promote the state's legal cannabis cultivation market and raise awareness of the support and guidance offered to licensed cannabis growers by CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, a division of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Read

With 7 dead, large-scale California marijuana operation is tied to organized crime

9/9/20--An illegal marijuana growing operation where seven people were fatally shot in a small, rural Southern California town had the markings of organized crime, authorities said Tuesday. Seemingly, on the property, marijuana was processed to honey oil, a highly potent concentrate made by extracting the high-inducing chemical THC from cannabis. Read

7 deaths tied to illegal grow operation shake rural Riverside County community

9/28/20--According to authorities, the shooting deaths of seven people was one of many illegal marijuana growing operations in Aguanga in Riverside County where residents say they seem to thrive despite numerous raids by sheriff’s deputies. Read

California governor signs bill to ban sale of flavored tobacco

9/1/20--California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 793 into law, banning the retail sale of flavored tobacco products in the state, effective January 2021. Written by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), the bill was supported by the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association. The new law will make the sale of electronic (”e”)-cigarette cartridges and flavored cigarettes subject to a $250 fine to the retailer. Read

California governor signs bill to ban sale of flavored tobacco

9/1/20--California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 793 into law, banning the retail sale of flavored tobacco products in the state, effective January 2021. The new law will make the sale of electronic (”e”)-cigarette cartridges and flavored cigarettes subject to a $250 fine to the retailer. Read

Local ballot measures across California could significantly expand marijuana industry footprint

8/7/20--The November election offers the prospect that California’s legal cannabis industry footprint could expand significantly, depending on a couple of dozen local ballot measures. According to research by Hirsh Jain, government affairs director at San Jose-based retailer Caliva, and California NORML Deputy Director Ellen Komp, at least 26 localities across California will have pro-marijuana initiatives on the ballot. Read

Report: Pot arrests still fall heavily on Hispanics, Blacks

7/16/20--Although the number of felony marijuana arrests in California continued to decline in 2019 in the age of legalization, another trend remained unchanged: those arrests fell disproportionately on Hispanics and Blacks, state data showed. According to a breakdown of demographic data, Hispanics accounted for nearly 42% of those arrests, followed by Blacks, at 22%, with whites at 21%. Other groups accounted for the remainder. Read

Four years after legalization, California has had unexpected (and often disappointing) results

7/13/20--Californians had high expectations when they overwhelmingly voted in 2016 to legalize adult-use cannabis with Proposition 64: the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. However, high taxes and stringent regulations are squeezing nearly every sector, say frustrated cannabis entrepreneurs, who warn that the burden is making their businesses unsustainable. Read

Grand Jury blasts Santa Barbara supervisors on cannabis ordinance

7/1/20--A Grand Jury report released Monday blasted the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors for its mismanagement of the county’s cannabis production, for dismissing public input, ignoring major environmental impacts, and allowing excessive production, among other criticisms. Read

2,735 Sonoma County marijuana convictions will be dismissed through “Clear My Record” application program

6/26/20--Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that 2,735 Sonoma County marijuana convictions will be dismissed as part of a program initiated by her office with the assistance of the “Clear My Record” application, a state-wide software application that allows District Attorneys to securely and accurately evaluate eligibility for Proposition 64 relief by reading and interpreting criminal history data from the California Department of Justice. Read

California Senate to Big Tobacco: It’s time to end the sale of candy-flavored tobacco products

6/25/20--A coalition of health, youth, and community advocates united to protect kids from the dangers of tobacco use applauded passage by the California State Senate of SB 793, landmark legislation authored by State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) to end the sale of all candy-flavored tobacco products across the state, including the original candy flavor: sweet minty menthol cigarettes. Read

Assessment of Incorporation of Lessons from Tobacco Control in City and County Laws Regulating Legal Marijuana in California

6/19/20--The aim of this cross-sectional study is to assess the extent to which potential best practices, including those from tobacco control, were incorporated into state and local marijuana policies in California. Results indicate that all 539 California cities and counties found that jurisdictions differed widely in how they regulated marijuana and that key public health recommendations and lessons from tobacco control have generally not been adopted, although local innovation is emerging. Read

Cannabis dispensaries stunned by wave of violent burglaries

6/3/20--Over the weekend, one or more large groups of armed men targeted and robbed a long list of Bay Area cannabis dispensaries in what looks to most observers like a long-planned spree. Although unconfirmed, a couple of sources said that every single pot retailer in Oakland. Read

5,191 illegal marijuana plants found during drug raids in Siskiyou County

5/30/20--The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office and Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team conducted a series of counter-drug raids. The teams collected 5,191 illegal marijuana plants, starter clones, process cannabis product and four firearms in the Big Springs and Mt. Shasta Vista area. An arrest was also made during one of the raids. The Sheriff's Office is estimating the 5,191 illegal marijuana plants are worth about $46.7 million on the East Coast illicit drug market. Read

Fire, explosion at Los Angeles marijuana-oil business injures 11 firefighters

5/17/20--An explosion Saturday at a hash oil manufacturer in downtown Los Angeles injured 11 firefighters who had gone inside the building after an initial report of a fire and then had to run for their lives when a ball of flames shot out the building and scorched a fire truck across the street. Read

Unlicensed marijuana delivery’s bold, bizarre existence in Denver

4/29/20--Even if you're not looking for a weed delivery service, it might find you, and dealing with any such businesses is risky, according to Denver Police Department Lieutenant Andrew Howard, who leads the DPD's vice and drug control unit. The risks that a would-be customer faces range from being robbed to getting scammed to breaking the law. Read

Coding and cannabis: Santa Clara County to expunge thousands of marijuana convictions

4/30/20--Santa Clara County plans to expunge 13,000 minor marijuana convictions that were rendered moot by the state’s 2016 legalization of recreational pot use and sales, two months before a deadline set by the landmark law. Read

Authorities chop 14,601 marijuana plants in Anza, Aguanga; 3 arrests made

4/29/20--Authorities served 10 marijuana-related search warrants in the unincorporated communities of Anza and Aguanga, chopping down more than 14,000 plants and arresting three Aguanga residents, sheriff's officials reported Wednesday. Read

County clerk rejects signatures in quest to quash cannabis

4/29/20--The Keep Cannabis Away from Kids coalition hit a speedbump last week in its quest to curtail cannabis businesses in Mount Shasta when Siskiyou County Clerk Laura Bynum rejected all 380 signatures submitted on their initiative because an affidavit wasn’t submitted to the city in the required timeframe. Read

Update: KCSO identifies body found in Shafter residence with marijuana extraction lab inside

4/29/20--The body of a deceased man was found yesterday inside a residence that had an industrial-sized marijuana extraction lab in it, police say. Occupants in the residence were detained as officers conducted a search of the residence, the Shafter Police Department said. Read

Alameda County judge orders thousands of marijuana cases reduced

5/1/20--Alameda County Superior Court Judge Charles Smiley signed an order reducing thousands of felony marijuana cases to misdemeanors and misdemeanor marijuana cases to infractions. The order follows the 2016 passage of Proposition 64 that legalized the possession and use of recreational marijuana by adults. Read

County invests over $2 million in cannabis businesses

5/1/20--Mendocino County announced April 20 an award of more than $2 million dollars from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Read

California announces $30 million grant program to promote marijuana industry social equity

4/21/20--California marijuana regulators announced on Tuesday that the state will be providing $30 million in grant funding for cannabis entrepreneurs from communities disproportionately impacted by the drug war. Read

How much does it cost California cannabis growers to safety test?

4/23/20--The high cost of testing cannabis in California leads to higher prices for the consumer, which could drive consumers to unlicensed markets. A new study finds the safety tests cost growers about 10 percent of the average wholesale price of legal cannabis. The biggest share of this expense comes from failing the test. Read

California pot dispensaries are open during coronavirus crisis. Some want them closed

3/30/20--In designating California's marijuana industry as essential under the state's COVID-19 stay-at-home order, the administration of Gov. Gavin Newsom has argued that the health benefits of keeping pot shops open outweigh the risks — even as opponents of the policy call it reckless. Read

Cannabis sales, deliveries explode as Californians stock up on pot amid coronavirus

3/24/20--Cannabis sales and marijuana deliveries are exploding as Californians stock up on pot amid the coronavirus pandemic. Marijuana dispensaries are allowed to stay open during the coronvirus pandemic because they are considered an "essential" service. Read

Cannabis sales and delivery boosted in L.A. to “ease minds” about Coronavirus

3/12/20--As the coronavirus spreads in California, cannabis businesses including Lowell Farms, Caliva, Sweet Flower and Sherbinskis say the demand is high: "People are stocking up." Angelenos are turning to CBD and THC products to combat anxieties and stocking up. Read

Federal prosecutors investigate California marijuana companies in wide-ranging probe

3/3/20--Federal prosecutors have launched a probe of cannabis companies in California, seeking a batch of records held by a startup that functions as a Yelp for marijuana dispensaries, according to a grand-jury subpoena reviewed by MarketWatch. Read

Former teacher accused of giving marijuana, alcohol to students

3/3/20--Monique Garcia, formerly of Southwest High School in El Centro, is accused of purchasing and providing marijuana and alcohol to underage students during a school-sanctioned camping trip in the Laguna Mountains was charged Tuesday with felony and misdemeanor counts. Read

Fresno man charged after using orange grove to hide marijuana plants

2/14/20--A federal grand jury charged Diego Garcia Lua with illegally raising marijuana plants. According to court documents, Lua used his orange grove to hide the presence of over 6,300 marijuana plants. He was charged with "cultivating marijuana and maintaining a drug-involved premises." If convicted, Lua faces life in prison and over $10 million in fines. Read

LA County DA moves to dismiss 66,000 marijuana-related convictions

2/14/20--Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey has asked a judge to dismiss and seal the records of 62,000 felony cannabis convictions for cases as early as 1961, as well as, 3,700 misdemeanor cannabis possession cases. Lacey called it a marker of the sweeping change that can occur when government partners with technology leaders. Read

The Governor’s Cannabis‑Related Proposals

2/14/20--The Governor’s 2020‑21 budget includes various cannabis‑related proposals, including both budget trailer legislation and budget change proposals from multiple departments. To help the Legislature in its consideration of the Governor’s various proposals, this report: (1) provides some background on cannabis regulation and taxation in California, (2) describes the Governor’s proposals, and (3) provides recommendations on these proposals for legislative consideration. Read

California calls pot smoke, THC a risk to moms-to-be

A California panel voted Wednesday to declare marijuana smoke and the drug's high-producing chemical — THC — a risk to pregnant women and their developing fetuses and require warning labels for products legally sold in the nation's largest pot market. The decision by the little-known Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee will not take effect for a year, and it remains to be seen what impact it will have on the state's emerging marijuana industry. Read

Study: California medical marijuana programs attracted past users

12/5/19--Results from a prevention study in California conducted by the RAND Corporation, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, suggest that medical marijuana programs in that state attracted a substantial number of young people who already were heavy users of the drug. Read

Medical marijuana cards often sought by existing heavy users

12/4/19--According to new results published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, young adults who seek enrollment in state medical marijuana programs are often those who already use heavily rather than those with mental or physical issues that could be addressed by the drug. Read

California suspends hundreds of cannabis business licenses, Massachusetts issues quarantine on vapes

11/16/19--The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) suspended hundreds of cannabis business licenses for businesses lagging in compliance with the state’s track-and-trace training requirements. Elsewhere, in Massachusetts, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) implemented a quarantine on “all vaporizer products” less than a week after a judge ruled to exclude medical cannabis vape products from Gov. Charlie Baker’s four-month ban on all vaping product sales. Read

Marijuana use among pregnant women continues to rise

11/5/19--Marijuana use by pregnant women appears to be on the rise. According to new data, more women are using cannabis while pregnant. A new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association says that marijuana is now the most commonly used illicit drug among pregnant women in the U.S. Data collected from 276,000 pregnant women in a Northern California study found that cannabis use nearly doubled from 2009 to 2017. Read

Investigators seize and destroy millions of marijuana plants found in California worth more than $1 billion

11/2/19--A search of Southern California cultivation sites last month turned up about 10 million marijuana plants worth more than $1 billion, which were destroyed by investigators, authorities in the Golden State said. The investigators uncovered the giant haul of weed in an Oct. 25 sweep of 11 fields in the Arvin area, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. Read