TSX plunges before trading halt while U.S. on path to worst week since 2008

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index plunged for a fifth straight day before trading was prematurely halted while U.S. markets were in correction territory on the path to their worst weekly performance since the financial crisis. The S&P/TSX composite index was down 324.48 points or 1.9 per cent at 16,717.44 before trading ended at 1:54 […]

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Hobo Cements Expansion into Prairies

Lethbridge store opening signals Hobo’s Alberta market entry with construction underway on two additional provincial locations Vancouver, Feb. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — One of Canada’s top-performing cannabis retailers, Hobo Cannabis Company (“Hobo”), today announces the opening and launch of its first retail store in Downtown Lethbridge, Alberta (305 6th Street South), with an additional two locations […]

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CannTrust receives Continued Listing Notice from the NYSE

VAUGHAN, ON, Feb. 28, 2020 /CNW/ – CannTrust Holdings Inc. (“CannTrust” or the “Company”, TSX: TRST, NYSE: CTST) announced today that on February 27, 2020 the Company received written notification from the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) that CannTrust is no longer in compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standard rules because the per share trading […]

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Friday, February 28, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, February 28, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// USDA Announces Two Temporary Changes To Restrictive Hemp Rules (Marijuana Moment)

// In major shift, UN drug chief questions whether control treaties involving cannabis are out of date (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Vermont farmers concerned by cannabis bill provisions (WCAX 3 CBS)

These headlines are brought to you by MJToday Media, publishers of this podcast as well as our weekly show Marijuana Today and the most-excellent Green Rush Podcast. And check out our new show Weed Wonks!

// Mass. Cities And Towns Demand Large Payouts From Marijuana Companies (WGBH 89.7)

// What marijuana companies can learn from federal legalization of hemp (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Colorado’s First Marijuana Tasting Room to Open on 4/20 (Wikileaf)

// Alcohol is killing more Americans than ever. Here’s how to save them (Leafly)

// Marijuana and the NBA: Erasing the stigma and healing the league (NBC Sports)

// Massachusetts May Tax Black Market Weed Dealers Instead of Fining Them (Merry Jane)

// More Than 80% of Denver Teens Don’t Smoke Weed, New Study Says (Merry Jane)

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Friday, February 28, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily NewsPhoto: Oregon Department of Agriculture/Flickr

California Cannabis Appellations: Proposed Regulations Are Here!

On February 20, 2020, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) released its proposed regulations for the Cannabis Appellations Program, something that many cultivators have been anticipating since the inception of the Medicinal and Adult Use Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA).

We’ve written about appellations and their applicability to cannabis before, but a quick refresher is warranted. For the uninitiated, an appellation is a geographical name (as of a region, village, or vineyard) under which a winegrower is authorized to identify and market wine. But appellations are used for more than just wine. In France, for example, the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) is a certification given to certain French geographical indications for wine, cheese, butter and other agricultural products.

Certifying the geographical origin of certain products stems from the concept of terroir, which is the set of environmental factors that affect a crop’s unique flavor, aroma and other characteristics. Some great examples of this are Champagne, which is produced from the Champagne region grape grown on specific parcels in the Champagne appellation, and Camembert cheese, which is protected by a designation of origin that requires production in Normandy. Tequila and Mezcal also must come from a particular region. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscientious about where their food comes from and how it’s produced.

A number of cannabis cultivators in the Emerald Triangle proposed the “Mendocino Appellations Project” a few years back, but MAUCRSA, via Business and Professions Code Section 26063(b), required the CDFA to develop the process by which state-licensed cannabis cultivators may establish appellations of origin by January 1, 2021. The CDFA’s proposed regulations lay out the process for establishing cannabis appellations of origin and provide additional clarification on the use of county of origin.

Some of the requirements for cannabis advertising laid out in the proposed regulations are as follows:

  • “Cannabis shall not be advertised or marketed containing any statement, design, device, or representation which tends to create the impression that the cannabis originated from a particular county or appellation of origin, unless the label of the advertised product bears that county of origin or appellation of origin.”
  • “A country of origin, appellation of origin, or any similar name that is likely to mislead consumers as to the kind or origin of the cannabis shall not be used in the labeling of cannabis unless:
    • One-hundred percent of the cannabis was produced in the named county or appellation of origin;
    • Records demonstrating compliance with subdivision (b)(5)(A) of this section have been retained by the licensee pursuant to section 8400 of this chapter; and
    • Within 30 days of the use of an appellation of origin, Notice of Use of the appellation of origin has been filed with the department pursuant to section 8212.1 of this chapter.”
  • “For purposes of labeling and packaging using a county of origin or appellation of origin, cannabis is produced in a county or appellation of origin if all cultivation as defined in Business and Professions Code, section 26001, subdivision (l), starting from the time the cannabis plants were taller or wider than 18 inches, was conducted within the county or appellation of origin and according to any applicable standard, practice, and cultivar requirements.”

In addition, licensees must submit a Notice of Use to the CDFA for use of an Appellation of Origin that includes the licensee’s name and license number, contact email address, appellation of origin used, and the date on which use of the appellation will commence. Each Notice of Use is goods for three years.

In order to establish an Appellation of Origin, a petition must be submitted to the CDFA with a “general description and location of the proposed geographical area which may include information such as total acreage of the area, total canopy acreage within the area that is currently occupied under licensed commercial cannabis cultivation, and estimated cannabis canopy acreage eligible to use the proposed appellation of origin.” Petitioners must also include a description and evidence of distinctive geographical features affecting cannabis cultivation in the area, an identification of all standard, practice, and cultivar requirements of the proposed appellation, as well as a description and evidence of the “legacy, history, and economic importance of cannabis cultivation in the area.”

We expect that most petitions will encompass geographical areas in the Emerald Triangle, but expect to see appellations established throughout the state. Comments on the proposed regulations may be submitted until Monday, April 6, 2020, via email to CDFA.CalCannabis_Appellations@cdfa.ca.gov, via mail, or in person at the public hearing on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, from 1pm to 3pm, in the CDFA Auditorium at 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Connecticut Clergy Push Pot Legalization at State Capitol

Faith leaders from across Connecticut converged on the state capitol recently to show their support for legalization efforts this year. The move comes on the heels of Connecticut’s legislative session starting last week. Also prompting the Feb. 18 press conference, Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney and House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz are both filing cannabis legalization bills backed by Governor Ned Lamont during the new session. 

In light of the bills, a coalition of clergy gathered at the State Capitol for a news conference in support of the legislation to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis for adults 21 and older. The festivities included the leadership of nearly a dozen congregations around the state, with a performance from the gospel choir “Brothers in Christ” of Cross Street AME Zion Church in Middletown.

At the gathering, the religious leaders spoke to the failure of the state’s current marijuana policies one by one. Rev. Alexander Sharp, executive director of Clergy for a New Drug Policy, spoke of the status quo saying that, “prohibition does not work.”

“Legalization will regulate the market and bring sorely needed revenue to the state budget, reduce needless arrests, especially for people of color, and provide jobs in communities ravaged by the failed War on Drugs,” Sharp said.

Clergy for a New Drug Policy’s mission is to mobilize clergy nationally on behalf of an agenda that ends the War on Drugs by allocating resources to education, treatment, and public safety. Their vision is, “a society in which values of compassion, mercy, and healing, especially concerning drug use, replace our nation’s culture of punishment.”

The organization currently has 14 partner organizations under their umbrella including the American Civil Liberties Union, Community of Congregations, Drug Policy Alliance, and Marijuana Policy Project.

The local clergy in attendance echoed Sharp’s sentiments.

“Connecticut can’t afford to wait any longer before addressing this urgent issue,” Bishop Robert L. Middleton said. “ It’s time to right the many wrongs associated with the prohibition of marijuana, and Connecticut can and should be a leader in this process.”

Middleton is the senior pastor of New Beginnings Ministry, Inc.

”I urge our legislators to pass legislation to regulate and tax cannabis for adults and end the harmful and failed policy of prohibition in our state,” he said.

Rev. Charlie Stallworth of East End Baptist Church in Bridgeport said he believes the results of legalization will be similar to what occurred when alcohol prohibition ended.

“Much like alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, our efforts to deal with cannabis using law enforcement and the criminal justice system have been a total failure,” Stallworth said. “Regulation will free up resources so that police can focus on more serious crimes and will also help improve police/ community relationships. And, instead of continuing to fuel organized crime, the money spent on cannabis in our state can and should be used to help revitalize communities that have been disproportionately harmed by enforcement of laws against cannabis.”

Rev. Tommie Jackson of Rehoboth Fellowship Church in Stamford noted on the scale of the movement they had put together. “Our group represents more than 100 congregations across the state.”

Jackson said he believes there is a real need to make things happen sooner than later, and that it is critically important to make lawmakers act during this legislative session.

“Connecticut needs to send a strong message that the public safety and public health of its residents is a top priority,” Jackson said. “Regulation will reduce prison sentences, fund much-needed services, and direct revenue to those communities most negatively impacted by the war on cannabis. It’s time to pass it.”

Three different committees in Connecticut advances bills to legalize regulate and tax cannabis. Unfortunately, the legislature adjourned last June without bringing any of them to a vote. The Marijuana Policy Project says that the governor and legislative leaders have made it clear that they will be working a lot harder to legalize cannabis in Connecticut in 2020.

Jason Ortiz, president of the Minority Cannabis Business Association’s board, has been involved in Connecticut’s cannabis politics for over a decade. He believes the progress on cannabis started in the Governor’s Mansion years ago. 

“Governor Dan Malloy made it a priority for his administration to pass both decrim and medical and he did. So I would say cannabis policy started becoming a mainstream issue in 2011,” Ortiz told Cannabis Now. “I was there to work on both efforts as a college student through Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Malloy came through UConn multiple times and would always address criminal justice reform and drug policy specifically.”

We asked Ortiz how helpful is it having clergy on the pro-cannabis side of the debate?

“It’s incredibly helpful as they can appeal to the older generations in ways I and other young progressives just can’t,” he said. “There are thousands of older Latinos and African Americans that take their faith very seriously and will not support an issue their church does not support. This event means houses of worship across the state who are supportive of reducing suffering can feel supported if they want to come forward and support ending the war on cannabis users.”

Ortiz believes the leadership shown by these clergy will have incalculable ripple effects and change the way the conversation is discussed at Sunday dinner in homes across the state. 

The effort to legalize cannabis in Connecticut is being led by the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana.

TELL US, are you a religious person who supports marijuana?

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