On June 16, Denver Police undercover agents wrote $200/citations for illegal public consumption to 30 riders on two Denver cannabis tours. Both My420Tours and Colorado Cannabis Tours have operated for four years, signing people up for “instant memberships” as they board buses which allow consumption while bringing guests to dispensaries, grow tours, glass shops, art, comedy and food venues.
In March, Denver Excise/Licensing wrote both companies saying, “unless you are hosting a purely private event, your business or vehicle may be considered a public place under Colorado law.” EXL has asked the companies to apply for a I-300 social consumption permit. A third bus service, LOOPR, was not impacted by the sting operation.
Oklahoma voters go to the polls Tuesday, June 26 to vote on a proposed MMJ access law. Opponents report raising $463,000 to run TV ads against the proposed law. Some surveys suggest support from 57% of Oklahoma’s likely voters.
In Utah, the MMJ ballot initiative for November also appears to have general voter support. Ballot language will require Utah regulators to begin MMJ access by January 1, 2018, or face the possibility that consumer home grows would be allowed with the start of the new year. Cannabis supporter and State Senator Jim Dabakis (D-Salt Lake City) said, “the state establishment is having a heart attack now because it looks like all the polls are saying this MJ initiative will pass.”
A California bill to allow a tax deduction for dispensaries making a cannabis product donation to low-income MMJ cardholders. Assembly Bill 829 is poised to pass out of the Senate and would allow MMJ dispensaries to voluntarily help poor Californians unable to pay for their own cannabis and CBD products. A new “compassionate care” license will be created under the bill’s terms.
The Hemp Industries Association, and counsel Hoban Law, have decided not to appeal the 9th Circuits’ June ruling refusing to supplant the DEA’s continuing designation of hemp-derived CBD extracts as a schedule 1 substance. An expensive federal appeal would also not be heard before the likely passage this fall of the 2018 Farm Bill, now containing Senator Mitch McConnell‘s language to move industrial hemp (and all extracts, thereof) off of the controlled substance schedule.
Oxycontin-maker Purdue Pharma has laid off the remainder of its 350 person sales force, promising to end its controversial promotion of opioids to physicians. One legal filing from the Massachusetts attorney general alleges Purdue has been complicit in 670 opioid overdose deaths since 2009.
Two banking trade associations have called on federal regulators for clarity on serving the MJ business. The Independent Community Bankers of America has endorsed the banking access bill led by representatives Denny Heck (D-Wash) Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo). The larger trade association of major banks, the American Bankers Association wrote “the time has come for Congress and the regulatory agencies to provide greater legal clarity to banks operating in legal MMJ/RMJ states. Last week, the head of the Federal Reserve reiterated his position that his agency is prohibited from issuing interstate access to the banking system without a change in Schedule I status.
Upcoming: BDS examines “Legal Cannabis as a Game-Changer for Beer, Wine and Spirits,” in a free webinar, Wed., June 27th, 2 pm (EST). As more states look to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, the conversation around what impact legalization will have on Beverage Alcohol remains a hot topic. Jessica Lukas, BDS Analytics’ VP, Consumer Insights, and Gennifer Jackson, Group Research Manager, Radius Global Market Research, will present a data-rich perspective on this topic. Registration for free here.