This week in cannabis news, Utah initiative makes the ballot, 1,000 CA retailers asked to cease and desist, Florida appeals smokables ban ruling, Feds allege organized crime rings in cannabis states, and CannaCon to take place this weekend in Detroit. Let’s get into it.
1,000 Cannabis Retailers Asked To Cease and Desist In California
Almost 1,000 California cannabis businesses have received cease and desist letters or emails from the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), according to a report in High Times.
Nearly 400 of those, or about two-thirds, went to companies operating in the Los Angeles area. Another 100-plus were sent to operations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of the warnings were sent to cannabis retailers and delivery services, according to a spokesman for the BCC.
Apparently, however, some of the operations which received letters from the BCC are legally licensed operations or are currently in process of being licensed.
CannaCon Happening This Weekend In Detroit.
Several thousand marijuana enthusiasts and entrepreneurs are expected to attend Detroit’s CannaCon convention this weekend at Cobo Center.
CannaCon started in Seattle in 2013 and has hosted conventions in seven cities over the past four years.
The three-day seminar will feature top industry experts and entrepreneurs speaking on a wide range of topics including the latest developments in the industry.
Talks and panels will include a Michigan licensing process Q&A with Andrew Brisbo, director of Michigan’s Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation. Other talks include “Sustainable Cannabis Production,” “Being Prepared For Regulatory Oversite, How It Can Make Or Break Your Business,” “Protecting Your Cannabis Business,” and more. There are also a number of discussions planned on a variety of aspects of cultivating cannabis as well as on starting and growing a cannabis business in the state.
Utah To Vote On Medical Cannabis Act This November
Utah regulators announced this week that they have certified a voter-initiated petition which seeks to legalize medical cannabis clearing the way for inclusion of the measure on the state’s ballots come November.
Nearly 154,000 signatures were validated as registered voters, far exceeding the number necessary to place the measure on the ballot.
Under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, patients with a list of qualifying conditions will have legal access to cannabis via a limited number of state-licensed dispensaries.
Republican Gov. Gary Herbert has publicly denounced the initiative as has the Utah Medical Association. However, the initiative is seen as likely to pass. According to a UtahPolicy.com poll, 77 percent of Utahns either “strongly” or “somewhat” endorse the measure.
Florida Governor Urged To Abandon Appeal In Smokables Ban Case
A Florida judge has ruled that the legislated ban on smokable forms of medical cannabis is unconstitutional. Orlando lawyer John Morgan, who led the case against the state, has had no time to celebrate as the state filed an appeal immediately thereafter. The appeal means the ruling is on hold until it is heard by the 1st District Court of Appeal.
On Tuesday, Morgan urged Gov. Rick Scott to abandon thoughts of an appeal and called on voters to contact the governor to urge him to end the state’s legal challenge.
In a press conference with reporters, Morgan said, “What everyone needs to understand is that Gov. Scott could remove that appeal today if he wants. Gov. Scott should say enough is enough: ‘I am going to allow the people’s will to be done.’ … Gov. Scott is going to have to make a decision whether he is going to put politics over people or he’s going to put campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry over compassion.”
State Department of Health spokesman Devin Galetta wrote Friday, “This ruling goes against what the legislature outlined when they wrote and approved Florida’s law to implement the constitutional amendment that was approved by an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority.”
Feds: Legal Cannabis States Attracting Foreign Crime Orgs.
Federal officials are alleging that legal recreational marijuana states such as California, Colorado, and Washington are becoming fertile ground for transnational criminal organizations wanting to capitalize on the growing popularity of the drug.
Feds claim that Chinese, Cuban and Mexican drug lords have purchased or rented hundreds of homes which are being used to grow cannabis illegally. The government also claims that the groups engage in human trafficking to man the operations.
According to a report by NBC News, local and federal authorities raided 74 marijuana grow houses in the Sacramento area which they claim were operations by Chinese crime rings.
Executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, Mike Hartman, says suspects are taking advantage of states that have legalized marijuana “in an attempt to shroud their operations in our legal environment here and then take the marijuana outside of the state.”