Posts tagged cannabis licensing
Cannabis Legalization Linked to Substantial Drop in California Suicide Rates: Study
suicide rates 2.jpg

Calvin Hughes 
May 31, 2019

Civilized.life

California's legalization of medical marijuana in 1996 was followed by a drastic reduction in the state's suicide rate, according to researchers at the University of California Irvine.

"In particular, for all suicides, our results demonstrate that California's 1996 intervention led to an average reduction of 398.9 suicides per year and a cumulative reduction of approximately 3,191 suicides during 1997–2004," reads the recently published study. "Similarly, legalization led to a reduction in gun suicides of 208 per year on average and a cumulative reduction of approximately 1,668 fewer gun suicides during 1997–2004."

Their data was sourced from state suicide records spanning the years between 1970 and 2004. While reduced suicide rates were seen across the board, the decrease in gun-related suicides appears to be the most related to medical marijuana legalization. Researchers said it was not certain why medical marijuana seems to have such an impact on gun-related suicides, but suggested it may have to do with marijuana as a means of fighting depression and anxiety.

"If marijuana alleviates the acute stress associated with these disorders, we expect suicide risk to decrease following legalization of medical marijuana," the authors wrote. "The evidence for this is mixed, however."

Some researchers argue that the study's key finding has less to do with cannabis itself and more to do with America's gun laws. According to the Gun Control Act of 1968, people who use cannabis or any other federally prohibited substance are banned from owning guns. That means California's drop in gun-related suicides could actually stem from the fact that medical marijuana patients have less access to firearms, say the study authors.

Protecting gun rights for medical marijuana patients has been fiercely debated as medical marijuana legalization has continued to spreads across the country. And while many have argued that patients should be able to access both medical marijuana and keep their Second Amendment right to own a firearm, the reduction of gun-related suicides may be one unintended benefit of the ban.

10 ProTips Before You Start Your Legal CannaBiz Venture
cannabis and money.jpg

Author: Joseph Chicas | Cannabis Expert | Cannabis Advising Partners

After several years consulting in the cannabis industry and now as the Executive Director of Cannabis Advising Partners, below are some gold nuggets, some ProTips, I offer for those of you looking to start your own CannaBiz venture.

1.   Start with Your Why– Yes, I know its sounds cliché, but this point cant be understated. Do some intense soul searching, mediate on your goals, speak with your close friends and family, and dig deep to arrive at your WHY. Getting into the cannabis industry is no joke. Its highly competitive and capital intensive. It will require you to dig deep to be successful in the long-term. Being clear about your reason to be in the industry and having that reason (AKA Your Why) be sincere and authentic, is a great foundation for early success. Find your why and use it as your daily motivation. 

2.    Realize that Fortune Favors the Bold After drilling down on your WHY, realize there are inherent risks in launching your venture. Constantly changing regulations, high tax rates, inflated costs of business (i.e. real estate price hikes) all make cannabis a risky investment.

For this reason, many entrepreneurs and investors are on the sidelines. But this shouldn’t stop you. Early adopters who carve out a niche in the industry are seeing solid early returns. For instance, our clients are obtaining licenses to operate and choosing to put them on the market to be sold. We are consistently seeing 10 x returns within one year.

Obtaining your cannabis license is a low risk high reward proposition. But with cannabis prohibition slowing losing its grip, more and more licensing opportunities will occur and the space will get more saturated and competitive. Avoid the rush to the floodgates by being an early adopter, capture early market share and get ahead of the “green rush”

3.   Avoid the Red Ocean– red oceans exist where sharks are feeding on their prey. This analogous to whats happening in the cannabis industry. Despite being at the early stages, cannabis is still a highly competitive industry. Some spaces are already extremely competitive and saturated. Evaluate the cannabis landscape and see what gaps, or blue ocean, exists out there. Catch up on cannabis news, sign up for cannabis blogs, and consult with experts as soon as possible.

4.    Clarify Your Roadmap & Go – when you commit to starting your venture, go through a series of exercises to drill down on your vision and plan. Vision board, use design thinking, plan a strategic planning retreat, whatever it takes. Consulting with an industry expert is also highly suggested to get insider perspective and informed advice. Discuss your ideas with trusted and selected friends and colleagues that can give you their honest take. Narrow down your ideas and weigh the costs and benefits of each. Speak with prospective partners and co-founders. After you’ve exhausted these efforts, make a decision and GO!

5.    Have Your End Goal In Mind – failing to plan is planning to miss the green rush. Is this a short or long-term investment? How do you define success? Are you interested in vertical integration? What is your exit strategy? Once you can answer these and answer other related questions, reverse engineer and map out all critical strategies and tasks needed to achieve your end goal.

6.     Licensing is Key – Whatever avenue you choose, you will most likely need a commercial cannabis license to operate. Like any industry, cannabis licensing stretches across many verticals: retail, manufacturing, cultivation, distribution, testing, and delivery. Licensing in California is a two-fold process: obtain local authorization and then apply for a state license. Sounds straightforward, but the application itself is quite complex. Consult experts on this and don’t take short-cuts or take it all on your own.Cities are looking for applicants that know what they’re doing and the application is how you will get measured. Failed applications can result from incomplete documents, inaccurate materials, cookie cutter documents, technical oversights, language not aligned with local and state law etc. Missteps will lead to serious delays in getting your application approved. Avoid being penny wise and pound foolish.

7. Get Your Finances In Order - make no mistake, it takes a sizeable investment to get into the cannabis industry. Application and consulting fees will cost you around $100,000 and startup operational costs will cost a few hundred thousand, minimum.You will also need reserves while you strive toward positive cash flow. Additionally, city’s issue licenses for applicants that are fiscally strong and sustainable. They want to see roughly $500,000 + in your bank or in assets. If you don’t have that, find an investor or partner who does, and share your piece of the pie. There is plenty opportunity to go around.

8. Real Estate is an X Factor - to obtain a commercial cannabis license, you will need to secure properly zoned property. You can buy or lease real estate. The city and state will need to know you have permission to conduct cannabis activity at your site. Cannabis property rates are sky rocketing by the day while cannabis zoning laws can be unclear. Look out for deals that may drain your cash flow and hurt your bottom line. Contingency deals are advisable. Consult with experts to help you negotiate your terms and ensure your property fits the city’s zoning requirements.

9. Build Your Dream Team - anticipate your growth and prepare to build your dream team. Bootstrap as much as possible until growing your team is necessary.Attend trade shows, local cannabis meetups, and network on LinkedIn to find like-minded and like-spirited individuals in the space. Find technically sound people with values and mission alignment. And if you need more advanced help, seek out a cannabis hiring firm and pay them to do the heavy lifting of screening potential candidates that fit your dream team goals.

10. Course Correct, Pivot, Stay Agile and Stay Hungry - the road ahead is exciting, yet filled with highs and lows. Your plan will sometimes be met with resistance, doubt, may not be feasible or may be the wrong move. Be brave and course correct. Pivot when needed. Speed matters here so be agile. Celebrate small wins and stay humble, yet ferociously hungry.


Summary of Major Changes of the Recently Amended Article 4 of Chapter X City of Los Angeles Ordinance

The most significant updates to Article 4 include a revised definition of “Undue Concentration” to increase the number of the number of cannabis businesses and define ownership concentration.  In addition, a tiered system of “Social Equity Applicants” was permitted to allow for economically disadvantaged persons to apply for cannabis licenses.

  • The definition of undue concentration was updated to allow for additional business licenses according to population density and applicable zoning laws.  This includes:

    • One Store Front Retail (Type 10 license) for every 10,000 residents.

    • One Microbusiness (Type 12 license) for every 7,500 residents.  A Microbusiness is an entity that engages in cultivation on less than 10,000 square feet.

    • One square foot (1 sq. ft.) of cultivation space for every 350 square feet of zoned land.

    • One license to manufacturer (Type7) for every 7,500 residents.

    • Existing dispensaries (EMMD) and processors (as defined under Section 104.08) are not subject to this new rule.

    • Additional rules, including calendar days, for how applications are submitted, accepted, processed, approved and denied was also clarified. Some limits pertaining to zoning (i.e. M1-M3, MR1, MR2), as well as limits on the number of licenses (i.e. 1 cultivation license per every 2,500 square feet of cultivation space) were also delineated.

    • The Undue Concentration provisions may be waived if the City Council believes doing so would serve “public convenience or necessity.”

  • Ownership & Percentages was also updated to clarify and limit the number of individuals that may own cannabis businesses

    • A person may own or have a maximum 20% profit share in up to three Storefront retail (Type 10) or Delivery (Type 9) businesses. 

  • Three types of Social Equity Applications (Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3, each which must be approved by DCR), were introduced:

    • Tier 1 applicants are reserved for those with low income AND a prior California Cannabis Arrest or Conviction; OR Low income and a minimum of 5 years California residency. 

      • Restrictions, including a minimum ownership requirement (51%), as well as benefits including expedited renewal processing, fee deferrals are also detailed.

    • A “Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant” was also defined to include anyone with a Low Income & 5 years' residency or 10 years residency and no less than a 33.3% ownership.

    • A “Tier 3 Social Equity Applicant” was also defined to essentially include those entities that support Tier 1 & Tier 2 applicants and regulates the price per square foot of property, in certain instances.

  • Finally, this ordinance also requires a completed financial statement for the “most recently completed fiscal year” for any cannabis businesses applying for a renewal license.


LA Phase 3 Retail Count.png
LA Phase 3 Timeline Blog.png
City Holding Community Meetings on Cannabis Regulations

Posted on: April 25, 2019

The City is hosting two Community Meetings to present information on the current state of cannabis regulation and collect community input on potential regulation of cannabis-related uses in Signal Hill. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn and comment on current State law, the City’s current ban, regulation in Long Beach, State and local fees and taxes and the observations of the City's Prop 64 Subcommittee. The results of the workshop will be presented to the City Council in July. 

The meetings will be held on the following dates in City Council Chambers, 2175 Cherry Avenue:

  • Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

  • Tuesday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m. as part of the Planning Commission Meeting

The City of Signal Hill currently prohibits all commercial uses related to medical and adult use cannabis with the exception of mobile cannabis delivery, which was legalized through State legislation.  In addition, regulated personal indoor cultivation for up to six plants is allowed as mandated by State law.


In a first, L.A. sues unlicensed cannabis dispensary, seeking millions

By JAMES QUEALLY

APR 17, 2019 | 5:10 PM

The city of Los Angeles is seeking millions in civil penalties from an unlicensed South L.A. cannabis dispensary accused of selling marijuana contaminated with pesticides, a move officials said Wednesday is intended to crack down on widespread illegal pot sales.

The dispensary, Kush Club 20, was selling cannabis tainted with paclobutrazol, a fungicide frequently used to make golf turf more dense and verdant, which is classified as a Type II toxic chemical by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is not approved for use on cannabis in California, a lawsuit filed Monday by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office said.

inRead invented by Teads

ADVERTISEMENT

“Customers patronize illegal shops at their peril, and undermine businesses who play by the rules — and whose product is tested to protect buyers’ health,” City Atty. Mike Feuer said in a statement.

Only 181 dispensaries have temporary city approval to sell marijuana in Los Angeles,according to the Department of Cannabis Regulation. But hundreds of illegal dispensaries have popped up across the city as an attractive option for those looking to buy marijuana while skirting the state’s 15% tax on legal marijuana sales. Regulators, however, have warned that those shops might traffic in unsafe wares or counterfeit versions of popular marijuana brands and cultivators.

“We apparently as a community care a lot about whether our romaine lettuce is contaminated, and we should. We care a lot about whether we can safely eat at Chipotle,” Feuer said at a downtown news conference. “Marijuana buyers should at least exercise that same degree of caution.”

In addition to shutting down the Kush Club 20 dispensary, the lawsuit seeks a civil penalty of $20,000 for each day that illegal activity occurred at the property in the 5500 block of Central Avenue in South L.A. Feuer said the business had been operating for about a year, meaning the city could seek up to $7.5 million. The daily civil penalty has yet to be “tested in court,” Feuer said. The city has used criminal statutes to punish illegal dispensaries in the past because they often result in quicker resolutions.

But some city leaders hope the overwhelming financial burden the suit could bring will deter bad actors from setting up shop without a license.

“We are sharpening our tools and we’re laying the basis to deliver what the voters expect from us ... a legal regulated market with appropriate built-in controls,” City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson said.

Defendants named in the lawsuit include High Spirits Enterprises, LLC; its “organizer,” James Smith; Kush Club 20; Amy Sahadi Diaz; and Michael Lerner, who is described as the CEO of the limited liability corporation tied to the property. None of those named could immediately be reached for comment Wednesday. The suit also marks the first targeting of real-estate brokers and property owners linked to illegal cannabis sales who are alleged to have known that the land was being used for an illegal purpose.

“We’ve alleged the brokers and the business operators and the property owners knowingly omitted the true use of the property from the lease,” Feuer said. “In this case, the lease says that the use is for a church.”

In the last year, the city attorney’s office said it has filed 217 criminal cases involving illegal marijuana dispensaries or delivery services, naming more than 800 defendants. At least 113 illegal storefronts have been closed, officials said.

The decision to seek the civil penalties from Kush Club 20 marks the first attempt to reach into an illegal vendor’s pocket. During a contentious discussion at last week’s City Council meeting, several council members expressed frustration with what they saw as inadequate enforcement of the city’s cannabis regulations.

Asst. City. Atty. David Michaelson said seeking monetary penalties against those charged with operating an illegal dispensary is often “time intensive.” Winning a judgment and the target’s ability to pay the fine is also uncertain, he said. Michaelson said last week that the city had not sought to recoup civil penalties against any of the more than 800 defendants it had brought illegal marijuana cases against in the last year.

Los Angeles Police Department officials said they had also cracked down on illegal dispensaries recently. After the City Council passed an ordinance last month that allows the Department of Water and Power to shut off utilities at unlicensed dispensaries, detectives moved to shut down more than 20 locations in the San Fernando Valley, said LAPD Det. Vito Ceccia of the Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Bureau.

Similar actions are expected in South L.A. later this month, he said at the council meeting.

High Spirits Enterprises was incorporated on April 4, just four days before the city attorney alleges Kush Club 20 began its illegal operation, according to filings with the California Secretary of State. State records show that another limited liability corporation linked to the address, 5527 S. Central, LLC., was formed in December 2016.

The United Cannabis Business Association, which advocates on behalf of legal marijuana business operators and has been vocal in pushing the city attorney’s office to step up enforcement against unlicensed dispensaries, issued a statement Wednesday praising the lawsuit.

“The UCBA and the City Council have been urging the City Attorney about the potential dangers of pesticides in untested products (including Paclobutrazol) and the reckless behavior of landlords who indulge in fraudulent leasing schemes,” executive director Ruben Honig said in a statement.

Honig said that he expects the “lawsuits will deter other illegal enterprises that endanger the public and poison the community.”

Times staff writer Emily Alpert Reyes contributed to this report.

Support for US Cannabis Legalization Reaches New High, Poll Finds

Leafly

March 20, 2019

https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/support-for-us-cannabis-legalization-reaches-new-high-poll-finds

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A growing majority of Americans say marijuana should be legal, underscoring a national shift as more states embrace cannabis for medical or adult use.
Support for legal marijuana hit 61 percent in 2018, up from 57 percent two years ago, according to the General Social Survey, a widely respected trend survey that has been measuring support for legal marijuana since the 1970s.

An analysis of the survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the General Social Survey staff finds that increased backing of legalization cut across all age groups and political parties. The 2018 poll is the first in which a majority of Republicans support legalizing marijuana — 54 percent, up from 45 percent in 2016.

Among Democrats, 76 percent now favor legalization.

The rising support mirrors the evolving legal landscape across the country. Most Americans now live in places where marijuana is legal in some form, with 10 states allowing recreational usage and more than 30 allowing medicinal use.

The GSS asks about making use of marijuana legal, but does not specify whether it should be legal for recreational or medical use.

Legalization advocates say the increasing public support should prompt the U.S. government to reverse course. At the federal level, marijuana is categorized as a dangerous illegal drug, similar to LSD or heroin.

“Our time has come,” said Justin Strekal, political director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. “Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition.”

Support for legalization is strongest among 18-to-34-year-olds, with nearly 75 percent favoring it.

But older Americans are taking a more favorable view, too. Forty-six percent of those 65 and older say marijuana should be legal, up from 42 percent in 2016.

Views on marijuana legalization have shifted dramatically: In the 1973 GSS, just 19 percent supported legalization.

The change in Americans’ views about cannabis can also be witnessed on the campaign trail. A growing list of Democratic presidential contenders want the U.S. government to legalize marijuana, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor whose home state is the nation’s largest legal pot shop, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a prominent legalization advocate on Capitol Hill.

Support for legalization has been gradually growing for years, but it has increased sharply since 2012, when Colorado and Washington state became the first states to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.

The General Social Survey has been conducted since 1972 by NORC at the University of Chicago, primarily using in-person interviewing.

Sample sizes for each year’s survey vary from about 1,500 to about 3,000 adults, with margins of error falling between plus or minus 2.2 percentage points and plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The most recent survey was conducted April 12 through Nov. 10, 2018, and includes interviews with 2,348 American adults.

CAP Secures Two Major Cannabis Licensing Wins in San Bernardino, CA

CAP continues its successful navigation of the complex cannabis licensing process to obtain client licenses.

LONG BEACH and SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (PRWEB) March 01, 2019

Cannabis Advising Partners (CAP), a leading cannabis licensing, compliance, and business consultant, proudly announced that it attained two Commercial Cannabis Business (CCB) licenses for its clients at the San Bernardino City Council meeting on February 21. The two approved licenses achieved the highest ratings possible in their distinct categories.

“We’re thrilled for our clients’ successful outcomes in San Bernardino,” said Gasper Guarrasi, founder and chief executive officer at CAP. While explaining that the licensing process is time-consuming and demanding, Guarrasi credited the City of San Bernardino with its “efficient approach to the complex multi-phase process.”

Cannabis licenses in the city are awarded on a neutral point system, organized and run by HdL's cannabis program services, with the highest points holders earning the commercial business licenses. Out of sixteen total licenses awarded, CAP secured two of these positions—the number one and number three points holders overall. The two licenses were also rated number one in their respective categories of retail and microbusiness.

“CAP played an instrumental role in helping us prepare a business plan and application to help position us, our credentials and our story to secure a license,” said one of CAP’s successful clients upon learning of its win. “We look forward to our continued work with CAP on other licenses in other cities and through the compliance process.”

Background on Cannabis Advising Partners (CAP)
Cannabis Advising Partners (CAP) provides full-service licensing, compliance and business services to cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, microbusinesses and other industry-related companies. By utilizing its 20 plus years of experience in environmental compliance and management of more than 1,300 facilities, CAP provides the highest level of strategic advice in the industry. CAP advises and positions cannabis companies to properly navigate the new and complex requirements that surround all aspects of business formation and growth needs, including the submission of an annual license application, sustainability, business plans, legal consultation, investment strategies, social- equity requirements, branding and marketing, and the broad range of intricate compliance standards that are mandated by law. For more information, please visit http://www.cannabisadvising.com

Contact
Lori Rhodes
Cannabis Advising Partners http://www.cannabisadvising.com +1 800-819-0149

Web Link: https://www.prweb.com/releases/cap_secures_two_major_cannabis_licensing_wins_in_san_bernardino_ca/prweb16134775.htm