Oregon Governor Signs Legislation Protecting Cannabis Consumers’ Privacy

Oregon Governor Kate Brown

SALEM, OR — Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed legislation into law this week limiting the ability of government officials to obtain data identifying customers who purchase marijuana at state-licensed retail facilities.

Voters legalized the commercial production and retail sales of cannabis in November 2014. Retail sales of cannabis to those age 21 or older began in October 2015.

The new law, which took effect immediately upon signing, states “A…

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Oregon issues first recall for tainted recreational marijuana

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) announced its first recall of pesticide-tainted recreational cannabis, a situation that underscores the need for reliable record keeping and clear communication about contaminated products.

The commission said in a news release that samples of Blue Magoo cannabis grown by Emerald Wave Estate tested positive for excess levels of pyrethrins, a chrysanthemum-based insecticide that also can be made synthetically.


Spring 2017 MJBizCon
The tainted cannabis was shipped to a…

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OR lawmakers aim to pre-empt any marijuana crackdown by feds

Oregon state legislators are trying to head the federal government off at the pass.

To keep the federal government from potentially seizing cannabis consumers’ personal data, a bipartisan committee of Oregon lawmakers proposed legislation that would require marijuana businesses to destroy customer information within 48 hours after receiving it.


Spring 2017 MJBizCon
The measure will receive its first hearing Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. The full legislature must approve the bill before it can be signed into law by Oregon’s Democratic governor.

The…

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Rural Colorado town to get state’s first marijuana drive-thru

The tiny western Colorado town of Parachute is getting what is believed to be the state’s first marijuana retailer with a drive-thru window, a move that could attract on-the-go cannabis customers who don’t want to get out of their car.

Tumbleweed Express, as the planned drive-thru will be known, received a business license last year but didn’t open. The Parachute Board of Trustees approved Tumbleweed’s annual license renewal Thursday, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported.


Spring 2017 MJBizCon
The drive-thru is expected to open for business in…

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NORML Forms Multi-State Workplace Drug Testing Coalition

DENVER, CO — The fact that 190 million Americans now live in states where marijuana has been legalized to some degree is raising a number of questions and issues about how to integrate the American workforce and marijuana consumers rights in regards to drug testing.

With medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and recreational marijuana for adult use in 8 states and Washington DC, millions of responsible and otherwise law-abiding adults remain at risk of being excluded from the…

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OR regulator warns rec cannabis businesses for lax record keeping

Recreational marijuana businesses in Oregon that do not use the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system could lose their licenses or face fines.

Steve Marks, executive director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, delivered that warning Thursday to cannabis cultivators and retailers, noting that roughly 20% of the state’s 900 license holders are not keeping their seed-to-sale tracking records up to date, according to the Bend Bulletin.

The “most egregious” violations, Marks wrote in a compliance notice:

  • Failure to record batches of…

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Oregon Agency Rejects Adoption of Per Se Traffic Safety Laws for Cannabis

SALEM, OR — Lawmakers should not amend the state’s traffic safety laws or institute per se thresholds for cannabinoids, according to the recommendations of a new report issued by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which had been tasked with reviewing the state’s driving laws following the passage of legislation in 2015.

Authors concluded that intoxication due to alcohol, not marijuana, remains by far the greatest contributor to motor vehicle accidents and found…

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Marijuana extraction firm faces $9 million suit for role in blast

An $8.9 million lawsuit filed by an Oregon construction worker who was badly burned in a butane hash oil processing explosion highlights the personal and financial risks faced by marijuana extraction companies – especially those that perform solvent-based extraction – and the need for industry safety standards.

Jacob Magley is suing Higher Level Concentrates, a cannabis processing company in Astoria, Oregon, as well as 10 other businesses and three individuals for violating workplace safety laws that led to the October blast that put…

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Deadline looms for Oregon dispensaries

The clock is ticking for Oregon medical cannabis dispensaries that want to continue selling to recreational customers.

On Jan. 1, all storefronts serving the adult-use market must have a recreational marijuana business license from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.


Marijuana Business License Directory
Oregon officially launched recreational sales last year by allowing existing dispensaries to sell cannabis to customers without a patient card until the state could get its adult-use program fully up and running.

Now that Oregon is licensing rec-specific businesses,…

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Reminder: Oregon Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Return to Patients Only Jan 1

As of January 1, 2017, Oregon’s medical marijuana dispensaries will no longer be able to sell to adults 21 or older without a valid medical marijuana card as the state’s early recreational marijuana sales end.

Adults 21 or older wishing to purchase marijuana for recreational use will only be able to do so from retail marijuana shops licensed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.  Currently, there are about 100 recreational pot shops licensed statewide.

Limited…

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Portland, Oregon, approves marijuana delivery services

Hoping to attract smaller, new businesses to the local cannabis market, the City Council in Portland, Oregon, has approved an ordinance that creates a new class of license for delivery-only marijuana businesses.


Marijuana Business License Directory
These new marijuana delivery services would be prohibited from selling marijuana from storefront locations. They also could accept and deliver orders only during certain hours and would be prohibited from delivering beyond city limits, KATU News reported.

Many small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs have not been able to break…

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Beer Sales Fall In States with Legal Retail Marijuana Markets

NEW YORK, NY — Beer sales are falling in states that permit the retail sale of marijuana to adult consumers, according to an analysis performed by the New York-based research firm Cowen & Company.

Their analysis reports that beer sales by several of the larger domestic producers have “collectively underperformed” the past two years in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.

They added, “With all three of these states now having fully implemented a [marijuana] retail…

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Which is best for cannabis – a Dutch or North American greenhouse?

GreenHouse

By Omar Sacirbey

High energy costs and declining cannabis prices have many cultivators thinking about moving their indoor grows into greenhouses.

But once that decision is made, those cultivators must determine whether to buy a North American-made greenhouse or import one from the Netherlands, which has dominated the industry since the 1800s.

Though many believe greenhouses can produce a high-quality cannabis crop, cultivators still must weigh abundant questions about which type is best.

Are you driven by design features? Or do you seek…

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Oregonians to banks: Cannabis clients are OK

How can banks in Oregon improve their reputation? Serve cannabis clients.

That’s the finding of a survey by Portland-based LT Public Relations and DHM Research that suggests financial institutions could better their public standing by providing financial services to marijuana businesses.

Most banks in Oregon and nationwide reject cannabis clients, arguing that it will hurt their reputation to offer services to businesses that break federal law. Serving marijuana companies also could land banks and other financial institutions in legal hot…

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Marijuana rule changes afoot in Portland and rest of Oregon

Marijuana businesses in Portland as well as other Oregon cities soon could see some relief with new and pending rules from city and state regulators.

The Oregon Health Authority issued revised testing regulations this week that essentially require marijuana growers to go through the same tests, but with less frequency, for potency, solvents and pesticides, The Oregonian reported. The aim is to get more flowers, oils and marijuana-infused edibles on depleted store shelves.

The new rules take effect immediately and are designed to help rectify…

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In Legal Marijuana States, Consumers Are Turning to Buds Over Beer

A new industry study says access to legal marijuana is having a negative impact on beer sales. That’s bad news for the brewing industry, but good news from a public health perspective.

According to the industry site Brewbound, the research firm Cowen & Company analyzed the beer industries in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — three states that have recreational pot shops — and found that their beer markets have “collectively underperformed” in the past two years.

The…

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Report: City’s slow license process could add to Oregon MJ woes

A new report asserts that regulators in Portland, Oregon, have been slow to approve hundreds of cannabis retail applications for licenses, a situation that could further disrupt the state’s already troubled marijuana industry.

“Based on data from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement on the City of Portland’s website, it appears that only 5.4% of all applications submitted in 2016 have been licensed by the city,” said Beau Whitney, the report’s author and an economist who heads Whitney Economics.

“This is having a profound effect…

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Head of Oregon’s embattled testing program to retire

The head of the Oregon Environment Laboratory Accreditation Program, which is in charge of accrediting testing labs including those used for marijuana, will retire early next year because of job-related health reasons.

Administrator Gary Ward said his health had deteriorated because of stress stemming from an overwhelming number of lab accreditation requests that overtaxed an agency that is in understaffed by its own leadership and the Oregon Health Authority, the Statesman Journal reported.


Marijuana Business License Directory
The lack of accredited labs in Oregon has been…

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Testing rules sinking Oregon marijuana sales, report shows

Marijuana sales in Oregon have been sliding since the state implemented stringent new testing rules on Oct. 1, dropping 8.5% to $29.5 million that month.

The October decline marked the first time since May that the market posted sales below $30 million, according to a new report.

The report, by Colorado-based BDS Analytics, shows the impact of the new testing rules, which the state tweaked on Dec. 2 in a bid to offset supply shortages that arose after the regulations were introduced.


Marijuana Business License Directory
The sales decline worsened in November, BDS said, based…

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Oregon eases cannabis testing rules, but is it enough?

Oregon regulators have eased marijuana testing rules that retailers and other industry professionals say held up supply, forced prices upward and drove some businesses to close.

But some industry professionals say the revised rules don’t address the main problem areas.

Among the changes outlined Friday in two pages of revised rules – which are temporary and valid through May 30, 2017 – the Oregon Health Authority said it would permit cannabis businesses to have larger and more varied sample sizes tested at one time, the Bend Bulletin…

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A Letter to the Oregon Recreational Marijuana Community from the OLCC

Print

Hello Friends,

It’s been a busy year for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Oregon marijuana community working together to establish Oregon’s new recreational marijuana market. Our work is far from complete but we pride ourselves with the strides we’ve taken to establish the legal market envisioned by Ballot Measure 91.  2016 has been filled with new laws, policy developments, and our furiously paced effort to license new businesses — from farms to retail….

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Report: Tax Revenue From Retail Marijuana Sales Exceeds Expectations

marijuana money - istock

WASHINGTON, DC — Tax revenue collection from retail marijuana sales in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington is exceeding initial projections, according to a report published by the Drug Policy Alliance.

The DPA study finds that marijuana-related tax revenue in Colorado totaled $129 million over the 12-month period ending May 31, 2016 – well exceeding initial estimates of $70 million per year. In Washington, tax revenue totaled $220 million for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2016….

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So Far, So Good: What We Know About Marijuana Legalization in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C.

3D Cannabis retail marijuana packaging

As Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada prepare to vote on marijuana legalization next month, all eyes are on the initial outcomes of those states that have already legalized marijuana. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two U.S. states – and the first two jurisdictions in the world – to approve ending marijuana prohibition and legally regulating marijuana production, distribution and sales. In the 2014 election, Alaska and Oregon followed…

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Up to 12 Oregon Rec Shops May Be Fully Operational

Oregon’s marijuana industry has begun a new chapter.

At least 26 recreational cannabis retailers in the state have now been fully licensed, the Associated Press reported. And up to a dozen of those were in a position to begin adult-use sales this past Saturday, the official start of Oregon’s full recreational marijuana market.

Although medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon have been allowed to sell limited amounts of cannabis to recreational users since October 2015, adult-use customers have been allowed to purchase only up to a…

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Oregon MJ Regulators Ease Industry Rules Ahead of Deadline

Oregon marijuana regulators on Friday announced temporary rules that will make it easier for MJ companies to comply with new rules governing testing, packaging and labeling of recreational and medical cannabis products.

Stricter rules were set to kick in on Saturday, Oct. 1. But delays in the state’s processing of regulatory applications had threatened to throw the market into turmoil, cannabis industry insiders had warned. The delays raised the prospect that retailers would be forced to remove unapproved products from their shelves, the…

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Report: Marijuana Legalization Has Had “Minimal” Adverse Impact On Health

Report: Marijuana Legalization Has Had “Minimal” Adverse Impact On Health

WASHINGTON, DC — The enactment of laws regulating the adult use, production, and retail sale of cannabis in four states has had negligible, if any, adverse impact on overall health and safety, according to an analysis commissioned by the CATO Institute – a Washington, DC think-tank.

Researchers from Harvard University and Western Carolina University assessed the impact of marijuana legalization laws in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington on a variety of health and safety outcomes, including drug use, suicide rates, substance abuse…

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Prominent Travel Writer: ‘Get Ready’ for Age of MJ Tourism

One of the most well-known travel writers in the world, Arthur Frommer, predicted recently that cannabis tourism is going to become big business after the November election, when up to five more states could legalize recreational use.

If accurate, marijuana tourism would present additional opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on the legalization of marijuana.

“The prospects seem strong that marijuana is now about to be added to beer and wine as a permissible product to order,” Frommer wrote in a column last week, the…

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Oregon Lab Accreditation Problems Could Delay Rec Cannabis Rollout

The full rollout of Oregon’s much-anticipated recreational cannabis industry next month could be delayed owing to problems with the accreditation of marijuana testing labs.

The Register-Guard reported that the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program, or ORELAP, is overworked and understaffed. That means the agency may not be able to accredit enough labs to satisfy required testing for rec products in time for the industry to begin full adult-use sales.

In addition to cannabis, ORELAP oversees water and other health…

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Week in Review: Growth Potential in New York, Oregon Rec Market Red Hot & MI Stumbles

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By John Schroyer

New York’s health department recommends doubling the size of the state’s medical marijuana industry, Oregon recreational applications flood in as adult-use sales skyrocket, and Michigan’s MJ legal limbo may persist a few more years.

Here’s a closer look at some notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

Doubling Down

In a rare move for a state agency, the New York State Department of Health this week issued a report recommending – among other things – that the number of MMJ business licenses

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Oregon Rec Marijuana Sales Pass $100M Mark Through July

Oregon’s recreational marijuana sales have passed the $100 million mark, and that’s just between January and the end of July.

Although rec sales began at medical dispensaries last October, the state didn’t begin taxing those sales until January, at 25%. The 2016 sales figures for the first seven months are in line with the $180 million-$220 million in retail sales the Marijuana Business Factbook 2016 projects for the entire year.

The total sales figure at the end of July is an estimated $102 million, according to the Oregonian.

Sales…

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Oregon Receives Over 1,300 Rec Business Applications

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which is overseeing the coming recreational marijuana industry in the northwestern state, has received over 1,300 applications from companies that are hoping to obtain business licenses.

And the number keeps going up, according to the Oregonian.

To date, the OLCC has issued about 200 licenses, the paper reported Thursday afternoon, nearly all of them cultivators. The agency expects it will take until the end of the year to get through all of them, given that the state has no cap on the number of rec…

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Oregon Marijuana Businesswoman Fined $40k for Fraud

An Oregon medical cannabis dispensary owner has been fined $40,000 by state regulators after they concluded she defrauded investors.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services last week found that Tisha Siler, the CEO of Cannacea, was guilty of investment fraud, the Oregonian reported. The allegations, first reported last month, could be the first-ever case of a licensed cannabis businessperson being penalized for such a crime.

The agency found that Siler lied to investors when she claimed that state regulators had…

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Flood of Investment Money Flowing to Oregon Cannabis Firms After Residency Change

cannabis investments

By John Schroyer

Out-of-state investors are pumping millions of dollars into Oregon’s marijuana industry now that a restrictive residency requirement has been abolished, giving local cannabis businesses a sorely needed pipeline of money to tap as they grow.

In March, Oregon’s governor signed a law eliminating a rule that required every legal marijuana business to be at least 51% owned by an Oregon resident who lived in the state for at least two years.

As a result, cannabis companies are now free to raise money from out-of-state investors…

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Many Oregon Localities to Vote Again on Rec

Oregon already has a recreational marijuana industry, but that’s only true in about half of the physical state. Most of eastern Oregon, and a good bit of the western half, chose to ban rec businesses after the 2014 election, but the topic will be back on the ballot this year in several dozen local communities.

That will give the rec industry in Oregon yet another chance to expand even more, and give a lot of existing medical dispensaries the chance to serve customers that they’re currently not allowed to sell to, according to Oregon…

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Insecticide Maker Sued Over Cannabis

A class action lawsuit has been filed in Oregon against the Midwestern manufacturer of an insecticide that was purported to be all-natural – but allegedly wasn’t – and was used on cannabis that was supposedly organic.

Benjamin Efran has filed suit in Multnomah County Court against All In Enterprises over Guardian Mite Spray. It was advertised to contain only “cinnamon oil, lemon grass oil, citric acid, yeast extract, sunflower lecithin, and water,” but was found to also have ivermectin, a chemical pesticide, according to…

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Medical Cannabis Research Growing But Hurdles Remain

Scientific Research - Stock Image

By Omar Sacirbey

Scientific researchers are increasingly interested in studying the medicinal properties of cannabis, and breakthroughs have been achieved that could lead to additional uses for medical marijuana.

The moves could bolster the MMJ industry and boost sales. But marijuana’s status as a federally prohibited Schedule 1 drug remains a serious obstacle to research.

That status undermines the medical community’s acceptance of marijuana, which is crucial for the MMJ industry to thrive. Dispensaries depend on doctors to write…

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Oregon MJ Company CEO Focus of Sexual Harassment Suit

A co-founder and former employee of one of Oregon’s largest wholesale cannabis distribution firms has filed a lawsuit against the company’s CEO, alleging the executive “groped and smelled her” and that complaining about the harassment led to her dismissal.

Whitney Hobbs, a co-founder of Highly Distributed, filed the suit in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Monday, the Willamette Week reported. Hobbs alleges that CEO Christopher Malott tried to push her into a sexual relationship, and that for months she endured “physical and…

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Portland MMJ Dispensary Faces Unprecedented Fraud Investigation

Oregon officials are investigating the owner of an Oregon medical marijuana dispensary and a California consulting firm she used, exploring the possibility that investors in the MMJ business were defrauded.

Trisha Siler, CEO of the Cannacea dispensary which was opened last fall in Portland, denies any wrongdoing, and instead blames  a former contract consultant at Green Rush Consulting in Oakland for the misdeeds, according to the Oregonian.

A key component in the case is a fake 2014 letter purportedly from Oregon state regulators to Siler,…

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$60M in Oregon Rec Cannabis Sales From January Thru May

Oregon rang up nearly $60 million in recreational cannabis sales between Jan. 1 and May 30, and that number will likely get even bigger later this year now that edibles and concentrates have been added to the lineup for adult-use customers.

Although adult-use sales formally began last October, when existing medical marijuana dispensaries were allowed to begin serving rec customers, sales taxes for rec cannabis only kicked in after the start of the year. The total sales figure is based on state tax collections.

From the start of the year…

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Week in Review: IL Expanding Medical Cannabis, OR Milestone & CA MMJ Revamp

marijuana news

By Omar Sacirbey and John Schroyer

Illinois moves to give its medical marijuana industry a boost, Oregon marks a milestone in its adult-use cannabis industry, and California lawmakers embark on a revamp of the state’s MMJ market.

Here’s a closer look at several notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

A Shot in the Arm

Illinois is expanding the list of approved conditions for MMJ use – and making it easier for docs to help patients get access to medical…

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OR Market for Edibles, Infused Products Opens

Thursday is a big day for the cannabis industry in Oregon, where medical marijuana dispensaries for the first time can now sell edibles and other THC-infused products legally to anyone 21 years of age or older.

According to Oregon’s new medical marijuana provisions, each infused product’s package can contain up to 15 milligrams of THC; but customers will not be allowed to buy more than one package at a time, The Oregonian reported.

Regulators eventually will limit the amount of THC that…

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Oregon Edibles Makers Kick Off Awareness Campaign: “Try 5”

A coalition of edibles manufacturers in Oregon, concerned with a lack of general public knowledge on the potency of their products, have launched a public safety campaign to urge first-time users to take it easy on the dosage when trying such products.

The campaign’s slogan? “Try 5,” the Oregonian reported.

In other words, edibles makers are suggesting newbies begin with a five milligram dose, similar to what was suggested by a campaign in Colorado in 2014 that used the motto, “Start…

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Marijuana Trafficking Falls Following Statewide Legalization

Marijuana Trafficking Falls Following Statewide Legalization

WASHINGTON, DC — Federal marijuana trafficking prosecutions have declined significantly since the passage of statewide laws regulating the plant’s production and retail sale to adults, according to data provided by the United States Sentencing Commission.

According to the new report, the number of marijuana trafficking offenders prosecuted at the federal level fell dramatically after 2012 — declining from over 6,000 annually to fewer than 4,000 in 2015.

“The number of marijuana traffickers rose slightly over time until a sharp decline…

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Oregon Issues First Batch of Rec Marijuana Grow Licenses

Oregon regulators awarded the first eight marijuana grower licenses under the state’s new recreational cannabis program.

The winners include former Portland Trail Blazer forward Antonio Harvey, the owner of a trendy Portland restaurant and lounge, as well as veteran marijuana growers.

The licensees are:

  • Harold Frazier, Dale Fox, Maiden Azalea LLC (New Breed Seed) –  Outdoor, Lane County
  • Far Out Farms, LLC (Far Out Farms) – Mixed, Tillamook County
  • Preston Greene (Yerba Buena) – Mixed,…

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Keef Cola, Kiva Confections Form Expansion Partnership

Colorado-based CanCore Concepts, owner of the popular edibles brand Keef Cola, and California-based Kiva Confections, maker of cannabis-infused chocolates, have struck a new type of licensing deal that will give each company access to the other’s home market.

Under the agreement, both companies will not only distribute but also manufacture each others’ products on their home turf.

That means Keef sodas and other edibles will be sold in the roughly 850 California medical marijuana…

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Oregon Has Received Almost 900 Rec Applications

Nearly 900 recreational marijuana license applications have been submitted in Oregon so far, indicating intense interest from entrepreneurs.

According to data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) as of April 14, the state has received:

  • 589 applications for cultivation sites
  • 151 for retail stores
  • 67 for processors (infused products makers)
  • 42 for wholesale business
  • Four for testing labs

In addition, another 467 applications are still either in the “draft” phase or are incomplete,…

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Kodiak Capital Inks $1M Stock Deal With MJ Firm

Kodiak Capital Group, a California private equity firm, has agreed to purchase $1 million of common stock in FutureLand Corp., a Colorado company that leases land and equipment to growers of medical and retail marijuana as well as industrial hemp.

FutureLand will use proceeds from the deal for acquisitions and working capital, according to a press release.

The company said it owns 240 acres of land in southern Colorado and plans to purchase additional land and a grow facility in southern…

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Oregon Governor Signs Marijuana Policy Bills

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed four pieces of cannabis-related legislation this year, including two on Monday. One of the bills signed this week, HB 4094, will ensure that financial institutions that serve both medical and nonmedical cannabis businesses will not be subject to state criminal laws. The other, SB 1524, makes it easier for veterans who receive services from the VA health system to renew medical marijuana registrations.

Her signatures follow last week’s signature on SB 1511, the second of two broad…

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Harborside Canceling National Expansion Plans, Will Focus on California

Mug shot of Steve DeAngelo

By John Schroyer

What a difference seven months make.

Since discussing plans last August to expand into nearly every market in the western United States, Steve and Andrew DeAngelo of Harborside Health Center have pulled a 180-degree-turn and decided to focus solely on solidifying and growing their foothold in California.

Along these lines, the brothers told Marijuana Business Daily that they have sold the Harborside-branded dispensary they opened last October in Portland, Oregon, which…

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Oregon Limits Rec and Medical Edible Doses

On Thursday afternoon, Oregon health officials went ahead with a new limitation on cannabis edibles: those produced for recreational consumers will be limited to five milligrams for a single dose and 50 milligrams for an entire package, and medical edibles will be limited to 100 milligrams per package.

Although the Oregon Health Authority will continue to hold hearings on the matter, the edibles rules are already scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1, according to the Oregonian.

The move was…

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