Category: Regulations

Hungry for Hemp

Originally published in the Tacoma News Tribune, Jan. 12, 2005

downloadBY ED MURRIETA

When the pipe dreams of food entrepreneurs, hemp activists and libertarian farmers come true, America’s fruited plains will be ripe with emerald waves of industrial hemp, a plant deeply rooted in the nation’s fabric and politics.

In this imagined world, we’ll eat a perfectly balanced, scientifically documented source of the essential fatty acids we need to keep our arteries supple and our brains finely tuned, in consumer foods from hemp tofu to hemp ice cream. Never mind debunked claims of positive drug tests.

Hemp will rotate with corn and soybean crops, boosting domestic farming, processing and manufacturing as the United States joins industrialized economies from Germany to China in hemp cultivation.

Before American consumers get a mainstream hit of hemp, however, some hemp activists insist the ultimate shift in consciousness must occur: The United States government must end its prohibition against marijuana, hemp’s heady cousin.

These entangled political, market and consumer issues have bummed hemp’s high hopes of becoming the greatest thing since soy.

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5 Wine-Style Appellations California Needs

The California agency charged with creating an appellations system that will let cannabis cultivators market sun-grown flowers by region of origin like wine is sold to discerning consumers is seeking public input as it prepares for workshops on the CalCannabis Appellations Program that was authorized by Gov.  Jerry Brown nearly three years ago.

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Clearing Air (and Mellowing Your Head) in re: ‘A Spike Lee Joint’

BY ED MURRIETA

Google the phrase “A Spike Lee Joint.”

Lest you’re thinking the New York filmmaker doobied the right thing and branded his own line of joints, baby, please, baby, please, baby, baby, baby, please remember that “A Spike Lee Joint” is the brand Spike Lee slaps on all his films, including his latest, “BlacKKKlansman,” a story so soberingly provocative and racially enraged you’ll want to a smoke a mellow indica before, during and after watching this joint.

 

 

Regardless of Spike Lee films’ limited cannabis themes and content in films set in the pre-legalization cannabis era, some of you may think A Spike Lee Joint is a cinematic spleef. Pipe dream anew  then — please baby, please, baby, please, baby, baby, baby, please pipe dream anew —  now that New York legalization looms.

Media Flashback: First Cannabis TV Ad

BY ED MURRIETA

We’re coming up on the 8-year anniversary of the broadcast of the first medicinal cannabis television advertisement, which aired on Sacramento’s Fox 40 on Aug. 30, 2010.

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California Prohibits CBD in Food, Beverages and Pet Treats — Updated with CDPH Comment

Updated with comment from the California Department of Public Health

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BY ED MURRIETA

Many consumers regard CBD as the magic cannabinoid — a therapeutic agent that heals bodies without messing with heads. In hipster, circles, CBD is like a super-food on par with acai and baobab in purported healthful benefits. But according to the State of California, CBD, whether it’s derived from cannabis or industrial hemp, is not a food ingredient or dietary supplement fit for humans or animals.

The California Department of Public Health, which oversees cannabis manufacturing and edibles production, released an updated FAQ last week that explicitly states CBD is not allowed in food, drinks, confections, condiments or chewing gum not manufactured for the legal cannabis market.

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Chalice Has No Shot at Victorville Event OK

Cannabis festival organizers can make their case to city council but there’s no way Chalice will get local jurisdiction approval.

By ED MURRIETA

Regarding Chalice Festival’s attempt to stage a recreational cannabis event at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, Calif., next month and its chance to make its case to the City Council next week, here’s a note from the city public information officer, who makes it sound like Chalice is being placated prior to the ultimate truth sinking in.

TONIGHT

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Eve of Cannabis Destruction: Here’s How Pot Will Be Destroyed in July

BY ED MURRIETA

Any cannabis flowers and manufactured products  — edibles, concentrates, tinctures, beverages, transdermal patches and suppositories — that have not been lab-tested cannot be sold in California cannabis stores as of July 1 under state law that mandates such products must be destroyed.

Don’t expect to attend any pot bonfires.

Here’s how destruction must happen, per the state Bureau of Cannabis Control’s Cannabis Waste Management regs:

A licensee may not sell cannabis waste. (b) Licensees shall comply with all applicable waste management laws including, but not limited to, Division 30 of the Public Resources Code. (c) A licensee shall dispose of cannabis waste in a secured waste receptacle or in a secured area on the licensed premises.

For the purposes of this section, “secure waste receptacle” or “secured area” means that physical access to the receptacle or area is restricted to the licensee and its employees and the local agency, or waste hauler franchised or contracted by a local agency.

Public access to the designated receptacle or area is prohibited. (d) If a licensee is composting cannabis waste on the licensed premises, a licensee shall do so in compliance with title 14, California Code of Regulations, chapter 3.1 (commencing with Section 17850).

(e) If a local agency, or waste hauler permitted by a local agency, is being used to collect and process cannabis waste, a licensee shall do all the following:

(1) Provide the Bureau with the following information for the local agency, or waste hauler franchised or contracted by a local agency, who will collect and process the licensee’s cannabis waste; (A) Name of local agency providing waste hauling services, if applicable; (B) Company name of the local agency franchised or contracted or permitted waste hauler, if applicable; (C) Company business address; and (D) Name of the primary contact person at the company and contact person’s phone number.

(2) Obtain documentation from the entity hauling the waste that indicates the date and time of each collection of cannabis waste at the licensed premises; and (3) Obtain a copy of the certified weight ticket or other documentation prepared by the entity hauling the waste confirming receipt of the cannabis waste at one, or more, of the following solid waste facilities: (A) A manned, fully permitted solid waste landfill or transformation facility; (B) A manned, fully permitted composting facility or manned composting operation; (C) A manned, fully permitted in-vessel digestion facility or manned in-vessel digestion operation; (D) A manned, fully permitted transfer/processing facility or manned transfer/processing operation; or (E) A manned, fully permitted chip and grind operation.

(f) If a licensee is self-hauling cannabis waste to one, or more, of the solid waste facilities in subsection (e)(3) of this section, a licensee shall obtain for each delivery of cannabis waste by the licensee a copy of a certified weight ticket or receipt documenting delivery from the solid waste facility. Only the licensee or its employees may transport self-hauled cannabis waste.

Elite Regulators and Entrepreneurs Will Meet in Mendocino Retreat

California cannabis regulators, entrepreneurs and activists will gather for Meadowlands2018 in the redwoods next week. 

BY ED MURRIETA

California’s top cannabis regulators will join some of Northern California’s top cannabis entrepreneurs and activists in the cannabis-friendly Mendocino County redwoods June 15-17 to network and discuss the state of the industry.

Sponsored by San Francisco cannabis technology company Meadow, the exclusive, all-inclusive Meadowlands 2018 gathering will feature gourmet catered  cuisine and open cannabis consumption. It will be held at Camp Navarro, a rustic retreat offering cabin, tepee and tent camping, plus yoga, meditation and climbing near both the Navarro River and the Pacific Ocean.

Regulators scheduled to appear include include California cannabis czar Lori Ajax, San Francisco cannabis czar Nicole Elliott , Sacramento cannabis czar Joe Devlin and Los Angeles cannabis czar Cat Packer. Other speakers include leading Northern California entrepreneurs and activists and legendary hashmaker Frenchy Cannoli.

The weekend includes Friday night’s non-infused dinner prepared by cannabis chef Coreen Carrollof The Cannaisseur Series. Saturday’s agenda includes speaker sessions, lunch and lawn games, fireside chats, BBQ dinner and entertainment.  Wake and Bake Brunch wraps up the weekend on Sunday.

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To Make Dank Beer, Brewers Forced to Get Creative

My latest for Leafly.

Read all of my cannabis news, culture and lifestyles journalism reports for Leafly.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, GreenState.com and other leading cannabis publications.

California State Capitol Smoking Spots Mapped — Even Under Moon Tree

Thanks to cigarettes, medicinal cannabis users can smoke cannabis at the California Capitol, atop a subterranean building resembling an abandoned Star Trek set, against a tree-shrouded stone waterwall and beneath the Moon Tree.

BY ED MURRIETA

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Twenty years before recreational cannabis was legalized in California and public consumption was explicitly prohibited, the state’s medicinal cannabis users were already allowed to smoke cannabis wherever it’s legal to smoke cigarettes. In the state capital, thanks to the tobacco lobby, cigarette smoking is allowed on state property and near some state buildings in downtown Sacramento.

That means qualified medicinal cannabis users can smoke on steps of the state Capitol, on park benches surrounding the Capitol’s grounds, atop a subterranean building, in a cool, shady bamboo thicket set against a waterwall near the state’s really cool, harlequin-esque power tower, and beneath the Moon Tree, a Sequoia Redwood grown from seed that went to space aboard NASA’s Apollo 14 in 1971.

Here are some of the best and most convenient locations for medicinal cannabis users walking, biking or commuting downtown Sacramento’s famous tree-lined streets.

Take a break.

Medicate.

It’s legal.  Nonetheless, carry valid ID and your current medicinal cannabis authorization.

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California Cannabis Tax Revenue Short of State’s Projection

The state’s $141 million shy of the $175 million it predicted cultivation and excise taxes would generate by the end of the fiscal year.

Ed’s Note: Ed Murrrieta is an experienced, versatile journalist who needs full-time work.  Read him. Hire him. 

BY ED MURRIETA

SACRAMENTO, CA — California adults are not purchasing enough taxed-and-regulated cannabis to meet the state’s revenue projections for the first six months of legal, levied sales.

A report due Friday from the Department of Tax and Fee Administration will show the state collected $34 million in cannabis sales for the first quarter of 2018 — leaving the state $141 million shy of the $175 million it predicted cannabis cultivation and excise taxes will generate by the end of the 2017-2018 fiscal year, June 30.

The figures were published online Tuesday in a blog post by an economist at the state Legislative Analyst’s Office and are the latest indication that California cannabis consumers may be turning to the black market to avoid paying up to 45 percent taxes when local sales taxes are factored.

The Department of Tax and Fee Administration figures do not address local taxes, which range from 7.25 percent to 9.25 percent, and are tallied at the local level.  

In addition to black-market sales affecting state projections, lower-than-forecast tax revenues may be due to the number of California cities and counties banning cannabis businesses, and the late start of adult-use retail sales in Los Angeles, the state’s largest market.

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Permit Denial Leaves 420 Cannabis Cup Dry, Not High

My latest on Leafly.com.

Read all of my cannabis news, culture and lifestyles journalism reports for Leafly.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, GreenState.com and other leading cannabis publications.

Ed Murrieta’s Cannabis Lounge Pitch Deck

Wherever cannabis is legal, the public needs safe and comfortable places to smoke pot and socialize. Here’s a vision for such a place, even a chain of smoking lounges. 

BY ED MURRIETA

San Francisco Scores First Public Cannabis Lounge in U.S.

Update 2/11: ReLeaf Herbal’s bare-bones lounge is now serving recreational adult-use customers.
Update 2/8: Green Door’s Lounge847 is now open for recreational consumers.
Update 1/18: Urban Pharm opened for recreational sales and lounge use today, Thursday Jan. 18.

Decadent, safe, comfortable and regulated, Barbary Coast is now serving recreational cannabis consumers.

Barbary Coast

A view of the dab bar at Barbary Coast’s lounge. 

BY ED MURRIETA

America’s first legal cannabis lounge will not open in Denver.

America’s first legal cannabis lounge will not open in Las Vegas.

Forget about Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts, too.

America’s first legal cannabis lounge opened Thursday in San Francisco.

Actually, Barbary Coast Collective opened its luxe lounge next to its South of Market medicinal cannabis dispensary in March. Barbary Coast started serving adult-use recreational customers Thursday, making it the first legal, regulated cannabis lounge in America — the holy grail of the modern cannabis era.

“It’s something we’re proud of and excited about,” Barbary Coast director Jesse Henry told me. “I think we are going to get a lot of people who’ll think it’s like going to Amsterdam, and we’ll provide a safe, clean, comfortable place for folks to smoke.”

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San Francisco Leads Legal Pot Lounge Sweepstakes By a Nug

One of the city’s medicinal cannabis lounges will be America’s first recreational pot lounge when adult-use cannabis sales start Saturday.

san-francisco

ED MURRIETA

SAN FRANCISCO — The first pot lounge in America will not open in Denver.

The first pot lounge in America will not open in Las Vegas.

Forget about Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts, too.

The first pot lounge in America is already open in San Francisco.

On Saturday, when San Francisco medicinal cannabis dispensaries are expected to transition to the adult-use recreational market, it’ll be official.

There are eight pot lounges in California’s historically progressive cannabis capital, all currently operating inside or adjacent to dispensaries, providing the city’s medicinal cannabis consumers comfortable and safe environments to smoke, vape, dab and socialize — the holy grail of every pothead who’s ever heard of Amsterdam.

“We have eight existing lounges in the city, and they will be able to continue operating in 2018,” San Francisco’s Office of Cannabis director Nicole Elliott said.

Permitted for more than a decade and tolerated since the earliest days of the city’s medicinal cannabis community, San Francisco dispensary lounges are models of public cannabis consumption.

Whichever dispensary/lounge receives its temporary adult-use retail sales permit from the state — all San Francisco dispensary/lounges reportedly await city permits, the first step in the permit process before permits are granted — will be the first licensed, on-premises consumption lounge in an adult-use recreational cannabis state, leaving Las Vegas, Denver, Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts all playing for second.

There’s at least one more cannabis store/lounge on the way. The Vapor Room opened in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in 2003 and was shut down by the federal government in 2012. The Vapor Room was cleared to open as a medicinal dispensary/lounge and is now under construction in a new location downtown with an eye toward the recreational market.

“The lounges are like a civic water cooler where people gather and build relationships and community,” said Lloyd Francis, a San Francisco novelist who frequented The Vapor Room on Haight Street. “I have met many close friends at San Francisco cannabis lounges.”

Cannabis lounge proposals have been pursued, with limited success and the requisite fits, stops and starts, in Las Vegas, Denver, Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts.

America, meet your first legal pot lounges.*

*Pending city and state permits.

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Cannabis and Cars in 2018: No Smoking, No Eating, No Vaping, and Stuff Your Stash in Your Trunk

New California law outlaws consuming any form of cannabis in moving vehicles.

BY ED MURRIETA

California’s car culture and cannabis culture have been portrayed as two great things that go great together.

Fuggedaboutit, man.

Starting Monday,  drivers and passengers will be forbidden from smoking, vaping, eating, drinking or otherwise ingesting cannabis and cannabis products in moving vehicles. Gov. Jerry Brown approved the new law in September.

It is already illegal to drive while intoxicated on cannabis — even though the state has set no legal standard for impairment and no technology to measure impairment is in standard use by law enforcement.  It’s also illegal to have an open bag of cannabis in a motor vehicle.

Penalties for smoking and consuming cannabis in vehicles begin at $70 but could be as much as $10,000 if injuries or deaths are involved and insurance rates skyrocket, similar to the cost of a drunk driving ticket.

It’s already illegal to smoke cannabis in public (punishable by a $100 fine) so the famous “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” hot-box scene can’t legally be recreated today.

 

Big questions remain: How can law enforcement tell the difference between a regular cookie and a cannabis cookie? People eat and drive all the time. And how does a cop spot an e-cig vs. a vape pen?

To review:

Dispel Your Pipe Dreams of Pot Parties a la Post-Prohibition Beer Busts


 

BY ED MURRIETA

Despite modern cannabis advertising in the back pages of alt-weekly newspapers, cannabis legalization will not be celebrated like the end of alcohol Prohibition was toasted.

Newspaper advertisements and photographs  culled from the morgues of the Sacramento Union and the Sacramento Bee show Sacramento celebrated the repeal of alcohol Prohibition in April 1933 — with ample amounts of beer and food in bars, restaurants, hotels and drug stores steps away from the state Capitol.

All the normals in Sacramento — the Midwest capital of the West Coast — would sprint to the nearest dog-friendly craft beer garage with their hair on fire if anything like this happened with pot.

This Is Your Reasonable PSA Video About Drugs

STORY UPDATE HERE

California TV ad steers sober on stoned driving.

BY ED MURRIETA

This public-service advertisement from California’s Office of Traffic Safety has been in heavy rotation on my cable TV channels this week. I’m trying to track down production and agency information for a story about public-service advertising in the age of legal cannabis.  Are we done with fried eggs and brain-damage claims? Ready for reasonable and responsible messages on TV?

Tokechella Is California’s Smoking-Hot Desert Cannabis Tourist Destination

Massive Cultivation, Most Dispensaries Per Capita
and Cannabis-Friendly Resorts and Rentals
Make Palm Springs, Cathedral City and
Desert Hot Springs a Pot, Pot, Pot, Pot World

BY ED MURRIETA

It’s high season in the Coachella Valley — for tourism and for pot.

Now’s the time to combine them both.

If you want to visit California next week for a taste of historic cannabis legalization in the Golden State, the Coachella Valley — in particular the resort-town cluster of Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs —  is one of the best places to plan a cannabis getaway for Opening Day of legal pot sales, better than other California cannabis travel destinations like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Lake Tahoe, all lagging behind the Jan. 1 start date.

A longtime playground for movie stars, mobsters, sunseekers and alternative lifestyles 100 miles southeast of Los Angeles, the Coachella Valley has the key elements intrepid cannabis travelers need to ring in California’s new legal era:

  • massive local cultivation;
  • most dispensaries per capita set to sell flowers, edibles and concentrates to adults age 21 and over;
  • cannabis-friendly lodgings, including two cannabis-friendly (and clothing-optional) hot springs resorts and a colorful mountain hotel with a vape-friendly cabin and smoke-friendly grounds;
  • and cannabis-fueled stargazing in Joshua Tree National Park.

Tokechella’s a pot, pot, pot, pot world for sure.

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Medicinal-to-Recreational Pot Transition Tangled Up in Bureaucracy and Crossed Fingers

BY ED MURRIETA

The transition from medicinal cannabis to adult-use recreational cannabis in California is rife with bureaucracy. I met today with a man who prepared the application packages for two Sacramento dispensaries that hope to begin recreational sales on Jan. 1.

Here are the steps in the transition as my dispensary source laid them out:

  • Submit application with City of Sacramento to sell adult-use cannabis.
  • Obtain a letter of authorization from the city affirming currently permitted medicinal cannabis dispensary has paid its taxes and passed  audits.
  • Submit a Neighborhood Responsibility Plan.
  • File application and receive approval for minor modification of conditional use permit (eg: transition from medicinal to recreational) with city Planning Department.
  • Apply for and receive business operating permit.
  • Apply for temporary operating license from the state.
  • Continue to apply for permanent annual state license.

My source said that as of noon today, one of his dispensaries has checked off all but the last two on the list and the other dispensary is trailing the first by a day in the process. He said the first business license will be in hand ASAP and applications for state permits will filed as the business licenses for each dispensary is obtained.

The state will review the applications and verify the dispensaries’ operating status with the city before approving licenses.

My source said he hopes his two dispensaries — two of the best-run shops in Sacramento, one accounting for 25 percent of total amount of money generated by the city’s 4 percent dispensary tax — will be open for recreational sales at 9 a.m. Jan. 1.

The City of Sacramento is closed for business Friday, Monday and next Friday. That leaves tomorrow, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for dispensaries to complete all the necessary steps and get approved to legally sell recreational cannabis on the first day of the new year — the beginning of a new era in California cannabis.

The First Cannabis Lounge of the Legal Era in America Will Be in San Francisco

‘We have eight existing lounges in the City, and they will be able to continue operating in 2018,’ S.F. cannabis czar says.

san-francisco

BY ED MURRIETA

While Denver, Las Vegas and Massachusetts are racing to claim the honor of being the first place in America to host a legal, adult-use cannabis consumption lounge, eight San Francisco medicinal cannabis dispensary lounges are poised to give San Francisco claim to being the home of the first  legal, adult-use cannabis consumption lounge in America come 9 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2018 — the first day of the new legal era in which the city’s currently permitted medicinal social lounges can serve the recreational market.

Anyone wanting to be the first cannabis lounge in America has until 8:59 a.m. PST on the first Saturday  of January.  You’ll be competing with the Apple store of cannabis lounges, a Burning Man-inspired lounge that feels like a steampunk sex club and the newest most decadent lounge in town, which I just had the honor of helping to name the best cannabis lounge in the San Francisco Chronicle’s GreenState Awards.

“We have eight existing lounges in the City, and they will be able to continue operating in 2018,” San Francisco’s Office of Cannabis director Nicole Elliott told me in an email this afternoon.

California has not yet created a licensing scheme for cannabis lounges, nor does the state expressly prohibit cannabis lounges.  Absent state prohibition, local governments like San Francisco, Denver and Las Vegas can approve cannabis lounges.  San Francisco’s eight existing medicinal cannabis dispensary lounges — along with one that was shuttered by the federal government in 2011 and is preparing to re-open near Twitter headquarters — will be allowed to operate under city regulations they’ve operated under over the past decade.  Dispensaries that apply for new licenses in 2018 will be subject to stricter ventilation and  hermetically sealed smoking room requirements.

California pot czar Lori Ajax told regulators in Sacramento last week that when the state licenses cannabis lounges some time next year, lounge licenses will be tied to dispensary permits. There’ll be no stand-alone pot cafes in California.

San Francisco is the de facto model for pot lounges and social cannabis consumption in America.

Three of San Francisco’s leading dispensary lounges — Barbary Coast, Urban Pharm and Sparc — told they’re pursuing the state permit that’ll allow them to transition to the adult-use market. I’m checking with the other five dispensaries regarding their plans.

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Urban Pharm

Sparc

Sparc

Barbary Coast

Barbary Coast

 

Here’s a tour of San Francisco cannabis lounges  I wrote last year.Here’s one San Francisco pot lounge story I wrote for the Denver Post’s The Cannabist in 2015. Here’s another.

Which San Francisco pot lounge do you want to visit when the first recreational pot lounge(s) opens in America on Jan. 6, 2018?

The Regs: Edibles’ Size and Potency Shrink

What’s happening with high-potency edibles?
Are they shoving micro-dosing down our throats? 

638253596BY ED MURRIETA

Shrinkage of edibles’ potency and portion size top The Regs:.

What’s happening with high-potency edibles?

— Sammy Quintana, Capitola

Are they shoving micro-dosing down our throats? 

— Barb Tandy, Berkeley

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The Regs: How to Save Bongloads on Cannabis Taxes and Carry a Half Pound of Pot

Is there some kind of tax break
for medicinal cannabis consumers? 

638253596BY ED MURRIETA

Once again, taxes top The Regs, this time in the context of a Medical Marijuana Identification Card that can save registered medicinal cannabis consumers bongloads of money in new taxes and allow you to carry eight times the amount of adult-use pot.

I’m a medicinal cannabis user. I heard about an official pot card that lets me avoid paying taxes. Is there some kind of tax break for medicinal cannabis consumers? 

— Randy Hollis, El Cerrito

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The Regs: Wild Wacky Tobaccy Taxes Explained in New Ask-and-Answer Column

What’s the deal with sky-high taxes
were going to pay on Californy wacky tobaccy?

638253596BY ED MURRIETA

Taxes top The Regs’ inaugural you-ask-the-questions-we-dig-up-the-answers column about California’s new cannabis regulations.

“What’s the deal with sky-high taxes we’re going to pay on Californy wacky tobaccy?

— Bobbi Zimmerman, San Francisco

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Banned in California But Legal in Your Kitchen

Here’s how to DIY cannabis gummies, 1,000-mg brownies and other newly illicit edibles at home.

BY ED MURRIETA

Just gotta have pot gummy bears?

How about canna-butter?

Infused ice cream?

Boozy tincture?

Soda pop and energy shots containing caffeine?

Craving 1,000-mg brownies?

Forget about ‘em. Come Jan. 1, they’ll all be illegal in California medicinal dispensaries and adult-use pot shops under historic laws governing how the botanical herb is cultivated, manufactured, sold and consumed  in the Golden State.

This story will be about six banned edibles you can make legally at home.

Local Cannabis Sales Taxes Are All Over the Map in California

Get ready to pay wacky rates on wacky tobaccy
—  the largest levies in the legalized land.

 

BY ED MURRIETA

Starting Jan. 1 (or more likely Jan. 2 given dispensaries’ holiday closures, and even later for most recreational shops given local lawmakers’ plodding pace), levies on California cannabis will be the highest in the legalized world. They’ll include:

  • state excise tax (15 percent)
  • state cultivation tax ($9.25 per ounce of cannabis flowers, $2.75 per ounce of leaves)
  • state sales tax (7.25 percent)
  • local sales tax (ranging from 7.25 percent to 10.25 percent depending on city and county rates).

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Huge Tax Savings, Higher Weight Limit in Cards for Some California Medical Cannabis Consumers

Read my version in the San Francisco Chronicle’s GreenState. 

Will exemption from the largest levies in the legalized world and a half-pound stash allowance popularize obscure government IDs?

BY ED MURRIETA

Want to avoid paying sky-high taxes on California cannabis?

Got a qualifying condition to use the botanical herb medicinally?

Need to carry a half pound of pot?

Get a California Medical Marijuana Identification Card.

California’s historic cannabis taxes, announced last week with other final regulations governing cannabis from cultivation to sales, increase the currency of an obscure, voluntary government program that could save you bongloads of money and provide you legal protection to possess eight times the recreational limit.  

Come January and the start of California’s merged medical and adult-use markets, medical cannabis consumers can still use printed-on-paper recommendations and made-in-office plastic authorization cards from doctors to shop at dispensaries. Like other adults, medical cannabis consumers can shop at recreational pot stores when they open.

But you’ll need a county-issued issued card linked to a state database if you want to partake of the perks available only to official card-carrying medical cannabis consumers:

Exemption from paying the largest state levies in the legalized world and the legal protection to possess up to 8 ounces of pot, 7 ounces more than recreational users are allowed to carry.

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