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.

Thursday, February 27, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Thursday, February 27, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Vermont House gives initial OK to recreational cannabis sales, putting state on track to $160M market (Marijuana Business Daily)

// MedMen Reports Revenue Of $44 Million, But A Net Loss Of $96 Million (Green Market Report)

// Acreage Holdings Reports 2019 Revenue Of $74 Million, Net Loss Of $195 Million (Green Market Report)


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!


// Canada Finally Surpassed $1 Billion in Total Legal Weed Sales (Merry Jane)

// Mexican President Wants Focus On Medical Marijuana As Senators Consider Broader Legalization (Marijuana Moment)

// Utah Medical Cannabis Program Set to Launch Next Week (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Nevada Publishes List Of Cannabis Test Failures (Green Market Report)

// Medical marijuana is third in revenue in Maine (News Center Maine)

// Maine currently has no recreational marijuana testing facility says state agency (WGME 13 CBS)

// Plans for Special Cannabis Crimes Unit Sparks Outrage (U.S. News & World Report (AP))


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Re-Legalize it? Herer’s Legacy Lives on in Hemp Initiative

Jack Herer was likely the figure most responsible for the revolution in cannabis consciousness in the 1990s — especially where the industrial applications of hemp are concerned.

His 1985 book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” an encyclopedic take-down of cannabis prohibition, to be expanded over several editions with more documentation of the plant’s multifarious uses, was the proverbial bible for a generation of hemp crusaders.

Now, a decade after his passing, his surviving friends, family and comrades are fighting to get his legacy enshrined in California law though an updated version of a ballot initiative that he authored over a generation ago. 

A Post-Prop 64 Vision

A new plan for changing the scope of legal marijuana in the Golden State is California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI). Dan Herer  —  Jack’s son, who founded the Jack Herer Foundation to carry on his father’s work —  says that with some “minor changes,” the initiative is the same one that the “Emperor of Hemp” first crafted in 1990.

The initiative failed to win enough signatures that year, and several election years since then. But Dan thinks that widespread disillusionment with how things have unfolded since California’s 2016 legalization initiative, Proposition 64, could mean that the CCHI’s hour has arrived. 

“We’re collecting signatures for a new initiative that we hope will put Prop 64 out of business,” Dan Herer tells Cannabis Now. “The way Prop 64 was written, there was a lot of room for serious f*ckery to go on, and over the past four years a lot of our worst fears have been realized. Things have gone woefully awry for those who hoped for a cannabis economy that lifted communities rather than suppressed them.” 

The CCHI is crafted to support small businesses and encourage hemp production by keeping taxes and licensing fees manageable, and lifting restrictions on cultivation.  

Dan has little patience with the limitations in Prop 64 and its enabling legislation.

“The narratives used in the name cannabis control are same lies and falsehoods that created prohibition and all the pushback over the past 80 years about what cannabis is and what it can do,” he says. “We are being inhibited at every step.” 

Lifting the Tax Burden

Dan is scathing in his indictment of California’s status quo.

“If you grow cannabis in Santa Cruz and sell it in San Jose, there are taxes in both jurisdictions of up to 15% of gross,” he protests. “By the time you’re paying all your taxes, there’s no room for expansion, for lobbying — for educating the community about the truth about cannabis, and countering the lies that are created to control cannabis.” 

The text of the CCHI stipulates that only a point-of-sale excise tax can be imposed on “euphoric” (psychoactive) cannabis products, with the total not to exceed 10%. The state and localities can divvy up the 10% as they wish, but that’s the cap. And at least 50% of the revenues would go toward research, development and promotion of an industrial hemp industry in California.

Current taxes based on gross sale from producers to retailers are to be eliminated. “Now, the tax liability can be up to 80% and it is taxed on gross rather than earnings, and regardless of cost to produce goods,” Dan said of the current system. “The profit margin can be as low as four percent.” 

In a very critical issue for “compassionate care” in California, taxes would be eliminated for medicinal use under the CCHI.

The CCHI would loosen things up quite considerably in other ways too. It would raise the state limit on the number of plants that can be grown for personal “euphoric” use from the current six to a very impressive 99. 

Licensing fees for commercial cultivators are to be capped at $1,000, as opposed to up to $30,000 now. Localities would only be able to impose an ordinary business license. The text also allows temporary licenses for special events. 

These regulations mostly follow the model already in place for wine and beer. And the CCHI, unlike Prop 64, would actually de-schedule cannabis under state law, removing it from the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

Limits on quantity for commercial cultivation would also be lifted. This may, for some, raise fears about corporate cannabis exploiting economies of scale. But Buddy Duzy, CCHI initiative coordinator, thinks the market will ultimately favor small growers.

Under CCHI, he says, “big corporations and craft farmers don’t get treated differently. We expect craft farmers to be basically controlling it, because people don’t like to smoke the same thing all the time — they like to switch brands. And most pot smokers don’t like to support big corporations either.” 

The Arc of Hemp History

The CCHI has never made it onto the ballot before, despite tries in 2008, 2012 and 2016, most recently. But Duzy echoes Dan’s optimism. “We’re hoping its gonna pass this time, because Prop 64 made such a mess out of the pot industry in California that people are screaming for change.” 

To get the CCHI on the November ballot, the campaign must line up 625,000 validated signatures by April 20 (which, fortuitously enough, happens to be 420). This may seem a daunting prospect, but Duzy is confident that with enough money to hire signature-collectors, it can be done. The campaign, based in the Los Angeles area, is currently raising money to launch this effort.

“We’re talking to big growers in the Emerald Triangle, and trying to get the environmentalists on board,” says Duzy. “We’re around half way to what we need.”

Duzy has been at this a long time himself. He was involved in California’s first cannabis legalization initiative, the California Marijuana Initiative or Prop 19, which made it on to the ballot way back in 1972. It got about a third of the vote, which was impressive for a first try. The CMI’s second try in 1980 failed to make it onto the ballot due to disqualified signatures. This was an early case in the ongoing controversies over what constitutes a valid signature under California electoral law. The courts have ordered the authorities to loosen their formerly rigid standards since then.

Dan has been something of a torch-bearer since his father Jack’s passing in 2010. He’s been speaking around the country and the world, spreading the gospel of the cannabis plant for medicine, food, fuel and fiber (as well as euphoria). He’s also been marketing the Original Jack Herer line of cannabis products. 

“If my father’s name is gonna be used in connection with cannabis, it should be controlled by his family and people committed to the values he lived and died for,” Dan says of the legacy he is carrying on.  

“He believed cannabis should be taxed like a tomato, like the plant that it is — not as a sin. It is safer than alcohol, safer than tobacco, safer than peanuts. And when you use the plant to its full potential, you are uplifting communities.”

TELL US, would you like to see changes for California’s Prop 64?

The post Re-Legalize it? Herer’s Legacy Lives on in Hemp Initiative appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Presidential Candidates Clash Over Marijuana Legalization At Democratic Debate (Marijuana Moment)

// Massachusetts Regulators Warn That More Pot Shops Mean More Weed on the Streets (Merry Jane)

// Smokable Hemp Bill Heads To Virginia Governor’s Desk And Lawmakers Approve Legal Marijuana Study (Marijuana Moment)


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!


// Mexican Senate Committees Meeting This Week To Finalize Marijuana Legalization Plan (Marijuana Moment)

// Eaze Raises $35 Million As Company Pivots To Plant Touching (Green Market Report)

// Paraguay issues first 12 medical cannabis production licenses (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Chart: Montana medical marijuana patient count continues rapid growth (Marijuana Business Daily)

// How old do you need to be to legally sell cannabis? In Canada it depends on where you live (Growth Op)

// Pennsylvania approves four firms to grow cannabis for research (Marijuana Business Daily)

// GW Pharma Generates $109 Million Revenue in Q4 (New Cannabis Ventures)


Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Photo: CBS News

California Cannabis Claims: Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations

Welcome back to our litigation series on California cannabis claims. Today, we’ll be discussing intentional interference or “tortious interference” – which may apply to your situation if you find that a third party is improperly interfering with you and your contractual relationships.

Introduction

This claim stems from California’s basic recognition that contractual relationships are worthy of protection from the acts of third parties. Therefore, any third party that intentionally seeks out to disrupt or otherwise interfere with an existing contractual relationship can be liable for the damage that results from interference.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations on an intentional interference with contractual relations is two years. That clock starts ticking on the date of the third party’s wrongful act or, if unknown, no later than the date the contract is breached as a result of the tortious interference.

Elements of an Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations Claim

The elements of a cause of action for intentional interference with contractual relations are:

  1. A valid contract: a valid agreement must exist between the plaintiff and a third party.
  2. The defendant is not itself a party to the contract: this claim only applies to a third party that isn’t involved in your contractual relationship. Courts are somewhat vague about how distant that third party needs to be, but generally, the third party cannot be a party or an agent of a party to the contract. On the other end, the third party doesn’t have to be a total stranger either – it can have some kind of relationship to the contracting parties. This is a determination of facts made on a case by case basis.
  3. The defendant has knowledge of the contract: pretty basic, but the third party has to know the contract exists. (This is because of the next element, intent.)
  4. The defendant has intent to interfere with the contract: the third party’s acts must have been “designed” to induce a breach or other interference with the contract. Note: intent can be inferred if the third-party’s conduct was “substantially certain” to cause interference.
  5. A breach or interference of the contractual relationship: there must be a breach of, or interference with, the contractual relationship between the parties. Even making either party’s ability to perform the terms of the contract more burdensome or costly will qualify – you don’t need to show that the third party’s action resulted in a total breach of the contract.
  6. Causation: the plaintiff has to show that, but for the third party’s interference, the contract would have been performed.
  7. Damages/harm: finally, the plaintiff has to show actual damages that resulted from the interference.

Remedies

Two types of damages are available here:

  • Compensatory damages: the plaintiff can potentially recover all damages flowing from the third party’s interference, including expenses, lost profits, and prospective profits. Again, lost and future profits are only recoverable when “their nature and occurrence can be shown by evidence of reasonable reliability.”
  • Punitive damages: if the plaintiff can show by clear and convincing evidence that the third party acted with “oppression, fraud or malice,” punitive damages are recoverable as well.

We’ll be wrapping up this series with our final claim, violation of California’s Unfair Practices Act, shortly! For previous posts in this series check out the following:

The Effort to Decriminalize Psilocybin in California is Underway

Psilocybin has been in the news with increasing frequency as research into psychedelic therapy has proliferated, and a number of local jurisdictions, including the cities of Oakland, Denver, and Santa Cruz have decriminalized psilocybin to varying degrees. Much like cannabis, public perception of certain psychedelics like psilocybin is shifting rapidly, as people really the incredible potential for therapeutic benefits of entheogenic plants.

Last November, proponents (Decriminalize California) submitted the California Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative 2020, which seeks to “decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in California by submitting a citizens initiative to be placed on the ballot for the November 3, 2020 election, to the Office of the Attorney General.” In order to make it on the ballot, the initiative will need 623,212 valid signatures and in order to pass, it will need a 50% +1 vote. According to Decriminalize California, the current timeline for the initiative is as follows:

  • Submitted to the Office of the Attorney General on 1st November 2019.
  • 30 Day Public Comment period ended on 4th December 2019.
  • Received Title, Summary, and Fiscal Impact Reportfrom the Office of the Attorney General on 8th January 2020.
  • Currently: Eligible for signature collection.

The drafters of the current iteration of the initiative cite the following findings and declarations:

  • No one should be in prison for using Magic Mushrooms.
  • No families should be separated for using Magic Mushrooms.
  • Magic Mushrooms have been safely used for thousands of years for spiritual and religious purposes.
  • Taxing Magic Mushrooms will generate money for the State.
  • Regulating the sale of Magic Mushrooms will take money away from gangs and drug cartels.
  • Denver and Oakland have decriminalized Magic Mushrooms.
  • Magic Mushrooms are much safer than caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. A 2010 analysis of the harms associated with the war on drugs found Mushrooms to be the safest of all twenty drugs studied.
  • The FDA designated Psilocybin (the main component of Magic Mushrooms) as a Breakthrough Therapy for treatment-resistant depression and major depressive disorder.
  • Research conducted by the Beckley Foundation has found Magic Mushrooms to be a safe and effective treatment for severe and treatment-resistant depression, anxiety in terminally ill patients, and nicotine addiction.

The initiative proposes amendments to the Health and Safety Code that would implement a regulatory framework for the “cultivation, processing and distribution of Psilocybin Mushrooms and the chemical compounds contained therein for personal, spiritual, religious, dietary, therapeutic, and medical use.” Many of the purposes cited in the proposed legislative language mirror the concerns of former U.S. Attorney General James Cole in his oft-cited 2013 Cole Memo related to the legalization of marijuana, including preventing distribution to minors, preventing cartels, gangs, and criminal enterprises from benefiting from legalization, preventing impaired driving, etc. But the drafters have contemplated some other purposes to this legislation, including, perhaps most importantly, supporting the therapeutic and medical research of Psilocybin.

Some other highlights from the initiative:

  • Taxes on Psilocybin Mushroom businesses could not exceed the amount charged or assessed for comparable non-Psilocybin Mushroom businesses.
  • Psilocybin Mushroom businesses should be regulated as closely as possible to other agricultural businesses, except for age restrictions and potency testing.
  • Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy could be provided by mental health professionals with specialized training in psychedelic-assisted therapy and a license to administer Psilocybin and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) would work with research institutions to develop protocols for healthcare worker engaged in such therapy.
  • There is a possibility for local jurisdictions to “opt out.”
  • Protections would be in place for employees who utilize psilocybin.
  • Legislation would be established to expunge the records of non-violent prisoners convicted of buying, selling, growing, manufacturing, or possessing Psilocybin Mushrooms.

If you’re interested in learning more about this initiative, or in signing the petition, visit Decriminalize California’s website here. In the meantime, for more on psilocybin, check out the following posts:

Growing Indoors in one of the World’s Priciest Real Estate Markets

Growing pot in one of the world’s most insane real estate markets may not sound financially viable, but a pack of San Francisco cultivators are making it happen. But how does that work in the land of $3,000 studio apartments with a roommate? Does it make the pot more expensive?

We sat down with a longtime San Francisco cultivator to get his take on the trials of the marketplace and see if San Francisco’s famously high real estate prices cast their shadow on the manufacturing sectors that the city’s cultivators call home. For the last decade, Gold Seal’s Neil Dellacava has been providing the city top shelf indoor such as its famous Red Congolese.

Over a very San Francisco dinner that included sausages, vegan options and a pack of Black Russian Backwoods Dellacava broke it all down to Cannabis Now.

“I think the struggles that exist are everybody else’s struggles with the overall situation of taxes and stuff,” he said. “As far as growing in San Francisco, I think it’s as expensive as it is anywhere.”

Dellacava believes regardless of how hot any given real estate sector is in a municipality cannabis operators are always going to get fleeced the hardest by property owners.

One of the particular challenges though is balancing labor costs in San Francisco. Dellacava wants to pay staff enough to be able to live a decent quality of life in one of the world’s most offensively expensive real estate markets so they will produce a quality product. That means fewer hands on deck total.

But he does believe other things like power, packaging, and trimming are comparable. Even though he has to pay those trimmers city prices.

“We pay a high price to trim because we want good stuff,” he said. “Regardless, I’d pay that if I were in Adelanto or if I was here.”

Dellacava’s cultivation facility had been on the same footprint for years despite a rebuild. He believes he pays less per square foot for his space in San Francisco than most of the people attempting to open up shop in Sacramento area. Dellacava said the building department is tough, but that tends to be the case in most places.

“I would applaud San Francisco for actually being able to come up with a system to work with preexisting operators,” he said. “Many cities have failed at that, but San Francisco has to be applauded for getting all of us to the point where we are doing what we’re doing.”

As a result of forward thinking in the city, Dellacava felt like he had a permit in hand and peace of mind earlier than most operators he knew.

Dellacava said the new faces of San Francisco are not only dealing with sketch landlords likely, but have to deal with a whole new regulatory beast of a licensing program different from the hoops Gold Seal and the other preexisting operators had to jump through.

But how much room is there to even get your foot in the door of San Francisco’s cultivation market right now?

“I think that would be really challenging,” Dellacava said.

The deal for preexisting operators in San Francisco was for the building they already had. If Gold Seal wanted to acquire another facility they would have to face the rigors of the general applicant pool.

TELL US, have you ever smoked any weed that was cultivated in San Francisco?

The post Growing Indoors in one of the World’s Priciest Real Estate Markets appeared first on Cannabis Now.

L.A. County Voids 66,000 Marijuana Convictions

Everybody’s favorite ballot initiative, Prop. 64 legalized cannabis for adults 21 and over in California. In Donald Trump-era years, this happened a very long time ago: Weed became legal one weird night in November 2016, the very same evening our 45th president was elected.

And yet, in many ways, we’re still waiting for legalization to kick in.

In the years since, in some analyses, very little has gone right. The illegal market is eight times larger than the legal market. The small farmers who built the cannabis industry are shut out or outlaws. And instead of $5 eighths or whatever the brilliant economists looking at advanced models promised us, legal cannabis is outrageously expensive — so expensive that, in some cities, sales are shrinking. And in many other cities, cannabis retail sales are still illegal — same as it ever was.

Okay, so the weed market is jacked up, and people still hate weed. But this wasn’t just about dollars, or getting everyone stoned, or even conquering decades of propaganda and bad press. What about social justice? What about “righting the wrongs of the Drug War,” as the slick legalization campaign’s tagline (sometimes) promised (when it wasn’t castigating weed as bad and promising nobody would get any, anyway)?

Yes, about that! There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of people in California with cannabis convictions — people with criminal records for what is now legal conduct — who are still waiting for that promise to become fulfilled, despite a deadline of this summer for prosecutors to make it so. So far, by one analysis, only three percent of the Californians who have an estimated 200,000 cannabis convictions on their records have had their records cleared.

What’s taking so long? Well, for one, the people in charge don’t have elections to win. That may be the cynical analysis of L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s announcement Thursday that her office is asking a judge to throw out 62,000 felony convictions and another 3,700 misdemeanor cases in a single motion. In all, about 53,000 people will have their records cleared, as NPR reported.

Calling it the single “largest effort in California to wipe out old criminal convictions in a single court motion,” Lacey’s deliverance is powered by Code for America, a civic-minded computing-power nonprofit, which used algorithms to identify almost 66,000 pot busts from dusty Los Angeles County case files dating as far back as 1961.

“The dismissal of tens of thousands of old cannabis-related convictions in Los Angeles county will bring much-needed relief to communities of color that disproportionately suffered the unjust consequences of our nation’s drug laws,” Lacey said in a statement released Feb. 13.

Lacey first welcomed Code for America’s criminal-conviction-clearing effort, called Clear my Record, to L.A. a year and a half ago. The computer program both identifies eligible cases, and then automatically fills out the necessary paperwork to file with a judge — a sort of AI-powered attorney that’s now bearing fruit. But there are two things to keep in mind here.

One is that while Prop. 64 said that legalization would mean cannabis “offenders” could get their records cleared, it also said that all the lifting would be up to the offenders — for them to hire lawyers to file paperwork and attend hearings. This is not something someone whose life’s been upended by a petty drug bust always has the resources to do, as is evidenced by Code for America’s finding that 97% of pot busts Prop. 64 was supposed to clear are still there, and still hindering job and housing opportunities.

The other is that other cities have recognized, years ago, that reliance on “offenders” to clear their own names is a lame half-step, and that the lifting should be done by the very agencies that made the arrests and keep the records. (Government, in other words, should work for the people.)

That was the approach first unveiled in San Francisco a few years back by George Gascon, the former SF chief of police turned then district attorney, the first “top cop” to welcome Code for America geeks into his office to void cannabis convictions — and who, as fate and fortune has it, is currently challenging Lacey for her job.

Both Gascon and Lacey as well as the third challenger for the office, Rachel Rossi, a former public defender, all style themselves as reformers rather than tough-nosed “lock-em-up” prosecutors. In a profile on the race published earlier this month in the Los Angeles Daily News, Lacey said that voiding cannabis convictions would be a thing she’d soon do — and lo, her words rang true with her announcement last week.

That’s great, but what took Lacey so long? Jackie Lacey, the first African-American woman to hold the post, has been DA of Los Angeles County since December 2012. And it wasn’t until she encountered a difficult re-election campaign, with a challenger with perhaps better cannabis-reform bona fides than hers, that she filed the motion to reform her office’s marijuana-related criminal records.

As the Guardian reported, elected DAs in California had until this summer to choose whether to clear the records or fight in court to uphold them. It was highly unlikely that anyone would choose the latter path in Los Angeles, but as Code for America’s sobering statistic reveals, there are still plenty more old pot busts waiting for the right moment to go away forever. And that’s not cool.

TELL US, do you think all cannabis-related charges should be dismissed in “legal” states?

The post L.A. County Voids 66,000 Marijuana Convictions appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Thursday, February 20, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Colorado Sold $1.75 Billion in Weed Last Year Exceeding All Expectations (Merry Jane)

// USDA Touts Hemp Industry’s Growth But Says Challenges Remain (Marijuana Moment)

// Alabama Lawmakers Approve Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill (Marijuana Moment)


These headlines are brought to you by Curaleaf, one of the leading vertically-integrated cannabis operators in the U.S. With legal medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation sites, and processing facilities all over the United States, Curaleaf has served more than 165,000 medical cannabis patients and looks forward to helping many more long into the future. Swing over to Curaleaf.com to learn more about this very cool company!


// Virginia Marijuana Decriminalization Gets Closer To Governor’s Desk With New Amendments (Marijuana Moment)

// Most of Pennsylvania’s Medical Cannabis Patients Pay Over $200 a Month for Weed (Merry Jane)

// Is the Price of Legal Weed Going to Be Way Too Expensive in 2020? (Merry Jane)

// Legal marijuana use still costs people jobs. A new California bill takes on the issue (LA Times)

// New Utah Bill Lets Employers Discriminate Against Medical Marijuana Patients (Merry Jane)

// The buzz on Utah’s fledgling medical cannabis program (Leafly)

// At this high school apparently weed is okay- but only if you’re white (Leafly)


Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Photo: mrBunin/Flickr