California’s response to the cannabis industry during COVID-19

California’s response to the Cannabis industry, through this COVID-19 crisis, has been the right approach. As a result, the industry is thriving. In March, cannabis was deemed to be an essential service. But, it didn’t start out this way. The people spoke, the Government listened and it worked out well… Here is what happened down […]

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Friday, May 8, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, May 8, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Montana Marijuana Activists Will Begin Signature Gathering For Legalization Measure With New Safety Protocols (Marijuana Moment)

// Massachusetts marijuana delivery license applications on track to launch in May, reserved for economic empowerment and social equity applicants (Mass Live)

// Florida high court considers marijuana vertical integration, adult-use vote (Marijuana Business Daily)


These headlines are brought to you by Green Worx Consults, a company specializing in project management, workflow mapping and design, and Lean & 6 Sigma process. If you could use help making your business better at business, get in touch with Green Worx Consults.


// The Pandemic Is Disrupting the Illegal Drug Trade (Bloomberg)

// Australia medical cannabis approvals steady as COVID-19 grips country (Marijuana Business Daily)

// First ‘Call of Duty,’ and Now ‘Animal Crossing’ Is Censoring Weed Language (Merry Jane)

// Missouri Lawmakers Defeat Amendment To Require They Consume Marijuana Before Voting (Marijuana Moment)

// Few impressed with Biden’s weak new marijuana decriminalization plan (Leafly)

// Cresco Labs Triples Pennsylvania Cannabis Cultivation Capacity (New Cannabis Ventures)

// San Francisco Is Delivering Weed and Alcohol to Homeless Residents in Quarantine (Merry Jane)


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: Prachatai/Flickr

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// San Francisco Successfully Stopped Thousands From Attending Its 4/20 Smoke Out (Merry Jane)

// California Announces $30 Million Grant Program To Promote Marijuana Industry Social Equity (Marijuana Moment)

// Canada’s pre-pandemic recreational cannabis sales stagnate in February (Marijuana Business Daily)


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!


// Michigan’s marijuana businesses weathering COVID-19 economic storm (Michigan Public Radio)

// Chart: Illinois harvested 73% of crops planted in 2019, according to first-year hemp production totals (Hemp Industry Daily)

// Supply issues still hinder Uruguay recreational cannabis market growth (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Nike Delays ‘Strawberry Cough’ 4/20 Dunk Release Over COVID-19 Concerns (Merry Jane)

// Washington Voters Could See Drug Decriminalization And Treatment Initiative On November Ballot (Marijuana Moment)

// Medicine Man Changes Name To Schwazze, Ticker To SHWZ (Green Market Report)

// The Cannabis Company Structure Hall of Shame (with Pictures) (Canna Law Blog)


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: Austin Kirk/Flickr

Friday, April 3, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, April 3, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Eleven Senators Push To Let Marijuana Businesses Access Federal Loan Programs (Marijuana Moment)

// Weed Prices in France Nearly Double as Supplies Dry Up Due to COVID-19 (Merry Jane)

// Illinois Stores Sold Nearly $36 Million Worth Of Recreational Marijuana In March Despite Coronavirus (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!


// Canada classifies medical cannabis ‘essential’ amid COVID-19 pandemic (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Canada’s COVID-19 wage subsidies could keep cannabis workers on payroll (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Idaho Activists Suspend Campaign To Legalize Medical Marijuana Due To Coronavirus (Marijuana Moment)

// Cops Are Still Busting Weed Grows in the Middle of the Coronavirus Pandemic (Merry Jane)

// The 2020 Hash Bash will be livestreamed due to the coronavirus (Detroit Metro Times)

// Coronavirus Pandemic Cancels Annual ‘420 Hippie Hill’ Cannabis Celebration In San Francisco (KPIX 5 CBS SF BayArea)

// When will your state’s COVID-19 cases peak? Check this chart (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: Geoff Livingston/Flickr

A pot shop at your door: Home delivery surges amid outbreak

SAN FRANCISCO — One company rushed to expand its delivery fleet. Another has seen sales triple. The global coronavirus pandemic has left millions of people locked out of bars, restaurants and theatres, but it’s been an unexpected boost for some U.S. pot shops. Marijuana users in the nation’s largest legal pot shop, California, and elsewhere are […]

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San Francisco Closes Cannabis Stores Over Coronavirus Fears

Update: At 4:30 p.m. today the San Francisco Department of Health announced the city’s dispensaries would be able to remain open as “essential businesses.

All of San Francisco’s cannabis dispensaries were ordered shut down by city health officials late Monday, an extraordinary and so far unprecedented step that may yet be repeated in other cities as the coronavirus pandemic continues to profoundly disrupt Americans’ lives.

Bay Area elected officials midday Monday declared a “shelter in place” order for the six-county region and its nearly 7 million residents. Only “essential businesses” including grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, banks and auto-repair garages would remain open; all other merchants were ordered to close.

And according to an e-mail from San Francisco Department of Public Health sent to the city’s roughly three dozen retail cannabis outlets at about 6:30 p.m. that evening, cannabis sales are not “essential.”

“At this time, Cannabis Dispensaries and Cannabis Delivery Services are not considered an ‘Essential Business,’” wrote Mohanned Malhi, the city cannabis program’s principal health inspector. “You will need to close your business starting March 17, 2020. You will be notified of any future updates or information immediately.”

A spokesperson for DPH did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

There was speculation that San Francisco ordered its dispensaries closed to avoid a repeat of scenes seen over the weekend, when enormous lines of spooked cannabis buyers queued outside the city’s cannabis stores in seek of supplies.

If so, the abrupt shutdown order had the opposite effect, as even larger crowds of even more spooked cannabis buyers — faced with the reality of at least three weeks with no legal cannabis access — arrived at the city’s dispensaries, seeking one last purchase before service ended at 10 p.m., multiple dispensary operators told Cannabis Now.

“The lines were [blocks long], which completely defeats the purpose,” said Sarah Shrader, an executive at Bay Area Safe Alternatives on San Francisco’s Divisadero Street. “It was insanity.”

Some dispensaries in the state had been given special permission from the state Bureau of Cannabis Control to do “hand-offs” to customers arriving in parking lots or at storefront doors.

Prohibiting even that make-do in San Francisco means that cannabis consumers and medical-cannabis patients — many of whom are low income or seriously ill, and likely do not have the material resources to lay in a three-week supply of increasingly expensive legal cannabis — will be forced to patronize the state’s thriving black market, potentially exposing themselves to dangerous moldy or pesticide-laden cannabis as well as the coronavirus, critics say.

It’s not yet clear what path other cities will take. Dispensaries in Los Angeles, Vallejo, Oakland and Berkeley remained open as of mid-day Tuesday but that could quickly change.

The Board of Supervisors in Alameda County, responsible for Oakland and Berkeley, location of some of the oldest and busiest cannabis dispensaries in the country, was set to take up the question of “essential businesses” at its meeting Tuesday.

Greg Minor, Oakland’s assistant city administrator responsible for the city’s cannabis program, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Tuesday.

Regulators in Los Angeles did not immediately respond to a similar query asking about that county’s plans.

According to Oakland-based cannabis attorney James Anthony, dispensaries absolutely meet the definition of an “essential business,” because for medical-cannabis patients, cannabis stores are “healthcare operations.”

“Cannabis has been recognized as medicine, and therefore healthcare, by all of California since the voters so deemed it in 1996,” Anthony wrote in a letter submitted to county officials. “Since 2005, the County has recognized and permitted cannabis businesses for healthcare purposes.”

He has yet to receive a response, he told Cannabis Now.

If dispensaries are to shut down, the impact could be widespread and immediate.

“We currently have 13,795 registered patient members receiving medical marijuana under doctor’s orders,” Debby Goldsberry, an executive at Magnolia Wellness in Oakland, wrote to the Oakland City Council on Monday evening.

“One person after another is worried, asking questions we can’t answer, and expressing absolute terror that their medicine supply will be cut off,” she wrote. “People do not have enough money to stock up through April 7, and they did not have time to do so either, before the end of today.”

TELL US, do you have enough cannabis to get you through a “shelter in place”?

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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?

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