Cannabis News Roundup: New state cannabis bureau questions 2018 readiness

Feb 3, 2017

State not likely to meet 2018 start date for recreational sales ... Oakland diversity coalition examines industry rules ... Pot drive-thru shut down ... and more.

LEGISLATION

Yet another warning about delays in implementing recreational marijuana // L.A. Times

“’We are not going to be able to grant everyone a license on Jan. 1, 2018,’” said [Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation].  “Some may get temporary licenses while the tens of thousands of applications are being processed, she said.” [Editor’s note: See related story in Opinion.]

Are Oakland’s race and equality rules scaring cannabis businesses? // SF Chronicle

“’Yes, it slows things down, creates uncertainty, and may cause certain people to lose money,’ said Lanese Martin, who co-chairs the Oakland Diversity and Equity Cannabis Coalition — an advocacy group that looks out for women, immigrants, and people of color working in the marijuana industry. ‘But in the long term we will get what we want, which is that more entrepreneurs of color become legal.’”

Novato council delays decision on what to allow under zoning rules // Marin Independent Journal

“’I think the best course of action is to table this item until we have a comprehensive discussion later this year,’ said Councilman Eric Lucan, adding that the marijuana industry is complex and constantly evolving, making community engagement necessary.”

Are Tam Valley pot shops a good idea? Depends who you ask // Marin Independent Journal

“’I’m going to remind people that in this country the number one drug problem is alcohol. I don’t see anyone protesting about liquor stores,’ said [one area resident]. ‘I would like to have safe access to medical marijuana. I would like to have access to organic marijuana.’” Others worry about the children.

San Diego becomes first in county to approve recreational sales // San Diego Union=Tribune

“Sales of recreational pot will begin when statewide regulations being crafted in Sacramento are completed sometime before next January. Dispensaries along the coast may have to wait for Coastal Commission approval, but city officials said that’s expected by October.”

COPS & COURTS

Licensed marijuana dispensaries want outlaws shut down // Orange County Register

“The lawsuit filed on behalf of the Santa Ana Cannabis Association this week … lists 14 unlicensed dispensaries the organization alleges are operating outside of the law, ignoring city safety codes and undercutting the dispensaries that are licensed to operate in the city.”

BUSINESS

“Would you like cream, sugar or cannabis with that?” // SFChronicle

“San Francisco’s Ritual Coffee Roasters, beloved by aficionados for its artisanal approach, is providing the beans for a marijuana-infused, cold-brew coffee made by Somatik, a Bay Area pot-products startup. Hitting cannabis dispensary refrigerators [earlier this month], Somatik Featuring Ritual Coffee pairs one of the Bay Area’s most prominent coffee brands with the newly legal botanical drug.”

[Editor’s note: If coffee stimulates and cannabis relaxes, don’t they cancel each other out?]

More dispensaries are selling to anyone over 21 // The Leaf Online

If it’s legal, why can’t they sell it?

“A search on Weedmaps.com turned up many shops that now openly state they’ll sell everything from infused gummy candies to concentrated waxes after verifying only the buyer’s age, not his or her medical status.

“‘I think that they’ve gotten more emboldened,’ said James Wolak, captain of the Narcotics Bureau for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “People feel like now that it’s legal, anything goes. And that’s just not the case.’”

HEALTH

Cannabis is not for kids // Science Daily

“The more teenagers delay smoking marijuana until they're older, the better it is for their brains, but there may be little ill effect if they start after age 17, says a new Université de Montréal study.”

BOOK

Ed Rosenthal has a bud for you //Edrosenthal.com

The legendary horticulturist and legalization advocate has a new book - This Bud’s for You: Legal Marijuana – Selecting, Growing & Enjoying Cannabis.

OPINION

It’s time for “legal states” to free Drug War prisoners // The Hill

“The prison population in the United States is 2.4 million and Blacks and Hispanics make up two-thirds of that total, while Blacks only consist of 12 percent of the general population and Hispanics around 17 percent.

“Despite roughly equal usage rates, blacks are four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana and Hispanics more than three times. Going strictly by the numbers, it’s clear that Black and Brown Lives Matter less when it comes to marijuana enforcement and incarceration.”

IN OTHER NEWS        

Drug Policy Alliance director steps aside // Drug Policy Alliance

Ethan Nadelmann, the organization’s executive director and founder, says farewell after nearly 23 years.

IT’S A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, SO KEEP IT UNDER CONTROL...

“Extra crispy” has new meaning at this Burger King // Portland Press Herald

“Police say a Burger King manager and employee in New Hampshire have been arrested on drug charges after authorities were tipped off that drive-thru customers asked for “Nasty Boy” and extra crispy fries to get some marijuana with their meal.