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Delta 8 THC Banned in New York

Delta 8 THC Banned in New York

Delta 8 THC banned in New York by cannabis control board

Rules to allow for delta-8 THC could come in the “future,” but in the meantime, those for CBD in food and beverages have been finalized.

Delta-8 THC was front and center during the latest meeting of New York’s cannabis regulators, as officials work to stand up what will be one of the world’s biggest cannabis markets.

The state’s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) met on Wednesday, for the third time, to approve Cannabinoid Hemp regulations presented by the Office of Cannabis Management. The package of rules will now regulate hemp products, including CBD products, by creating “clear” guidelines for what kinds of products and activities are allowed, and which ones aren’t, “to help foster the development of a robust cannabinoid hemp industry.”

The rules also seek to enhance consumer protection and quality control through testing and labeling, and to “enforce against” products that don’t meet the bar and those that are explicitly banned.

“Delta-8, similar to delta-9 THC, is psychoactive, has psychoactive properties, particularly when synthesized through the processing process. Because of that, we’ve decided to hold off on including the regulations for those products in this package and that will be addressed in the future adult use packages,” Chris Alexander, executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), within which the Board sits, said during a question and answer portion of the meeting, when asked specifically where delta-8 rules stood.

The regulations do, however, allow for cannabinoids, like CBD, to be added to foods and beverages, if they meet the state’s standards, which will require that each product be made using Good Manufacturing Practices. Last month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 45, which will now allow hemp-derived CBD (or other cannabinoids) in supplements, foods, drinks, cosmetics, and pet food.

“I’m pleased that we will be advancing the cannabinoid hemp program today, just as we have done with the expansion of the medical marijuana program at prior meetings,” Tremaine Wright, chair of the Board, said at the start of the meeting. (As Cannabis Wire recently reported, the Board has already moved to allow for medical cannabis shops to sell flower products, which several have started to do, and released rules for patients to home grow.)

Board member Jen Metzger gave an overview of the hemp program in New York. In 2015, the Department of Agriculture and Markets launched the state’s Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program. Metzger said this program “exploded” after it launched, with 800 farmers registered to grow, most for cannabidiol (CBD).

When the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act passed in March, legalizing cannabis for adult use, the Cannabinoid Hemp Program was transitioned under the umbrella of the new Office of Cannabis Management.

Cannabis Is America’s New Cash Crop, More Profitable Than Cotton Or Rice

Cannabis Is America’s New Cash Crop, More Profitable Than Cotton Or Rice

cannabis is now the 5th most profitable cash crop in America

Cannabis marketplace Leafly Holdings, Inc. released its inaugural Cannabis Harvest Report on Wednesday revealing that cannabis is America’s 5th most valuable crop. The report takes the first look at cannabis data, insights and projections across the 11 states where Americans can currently purchase both adult-use and medical cannabis.

To conduct the analysis, Leafly’s investigative team teamed up with Whitney Economics and ended up discovering that cannabis has become a major agricultural commodity that supports thousands of American farmers and farm communities.

Based on the report, cannabis crops in adult-use states now support 13,042 licensed farms in the aggregate. On an annual basis, those growers harvest 2,278 metric tons (5,022,990 pounds) of cannabis. To give you a better idea: that’s enough weed to roll more than two billion joints or fill 57 Olympic-size swimming pools

Cannabis Is More Valuable Than Cotton, Rice And Peanuts

That amount makes cannabis the fifth most valuable crop in the United States. With a wholesale harvest value of $6.2 billion, America’s cannabis harvest ranks above cotton and below wheat, based on US Department of Agriculture data for 2020. Only corn, soybeans, hay and wheat bring in more money to American farmers.

Based on wholesale harvest value, this is how U.S. crops rate:

  • Corn $61 billion
  • Soybeans $46 billion
  • Hay $17.3 billion
  • Wheat $9.3 billion
  • Cannabis $6.2 billion
  • Cotton $4.7 billion
  • Rice $3.1 billion
  • Peanuts $1.3 billion

“America’s adult-use wholesale cannabis crop returned a mind-boggling $6.175 billion to farmers last year, ranking it as the 5th most valuable crop in the United States,” David Downs, the report’s lead author and Leafly’s California bureau chief stated. “ Yet, due to federal prohibition, America does not treat cannabis farmers like farmers. They are subject to more state and federal taxes, regulations, and stigma than any other type of farmer. These barriers hurt small legacy farmers the most. This plant is helping generate wealth, employment, and community investment around the country, and our legislators need to recognize the opportunity cannabis presents for Americans—today.”

The report also revealed that legal cannabis is the single most valuable agricultural crop in Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada and Oregon, but remains completely uncounted and ignored by state agriculture officials. In Alaska alone, the state’s cannabis crop is worth more than twice as much as all other agricultural products combined.

New York Will Not Issue Adult-Use Licenses Until 2023

New York Will Not Issue Adult-Use Licenses Until 2023

New York recreational cannabis licenses delayed until 2023

The head of New York’s Cannabis Control Board said last week she does not anticipate the state will begin issuing industry licenses until the spring of 2023 at the earliest.

The head of New York’s Cannabis Control Board said last week that she does not anticipate the state will begin issuing industry licenses until the spring of 2023 at the earliest, WXXI News reports. Tremaine Wright’s comments came during a cannabis conference at Comedy at the Carlson in Rochester.

“What we do control is getting (dispensaries) licensing and giving them all the tools so they can work within our systems. That’s what we are saying will be achieved in 18 months. Not that they’re open, not that they’ll be full-blown operations, because we don’t know that.” — Wright via WXXI

The state’s legalization law included a launch date of April 1, 2022, at the earliest and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) only appointed members to the Cannabis Control Board in September. Hochul was not governor when lawmakers passed the broad legalization bill last March; she would replace Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August following his resignation over sexual misconduct allegations.

During the board’s meeting in late October, Wright declared the practice of “gifting” cannabis including it with the purchase of another, often overpriced product — illegal and that violations could be met with “severe financial penalties.”

While state regulators have been slow to get the cannabis licensing process underway, adult-use cannabis sales have already commenced under the jurisdiction of several New York tribes, including the St. Regis Mohawks.

bill has also been introduced that would allow licensed cannabis cultivators to start growing their crops prior to the launch of the formal program, creating provisional licenses that would allow businesses to operate if the Office of Cannabis Management doesn’t propagate program rules by January 1. That bill remains in the Senate Rules Committee.

Washington DC grey market could be going away

Washington DC grey market could be going away

Washington DC cannabis delivery

Update 11/2/21: The provision to crack down on the grey market in DC was removed prior to voting on the overall bill on November 2, 2021.

Despite legalizing cannabis in 2014, Washington DC has yet to see a single legal sale of recreational cannabis. But that doesn’t mean the cannabis industry in DC isn’t thriving.

However that could all be changing after the DC Council will vote on a new measure on November 2, 2021.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many Washington DC medical cannabis patients had their medical cards expire due to lack of government services. Patients must register through the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) because there is no cannabis specific regulatory agency.

Under the current law, those seeking medical marijuana have to first get approval from medical practitioners registered with the ABRA, some of whom charge up to $200 a visit. To try and resolve the issue, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson introduced an emergency bill that aims to allow qualifying patients and caregivers whose registration cards expired or will expire between March 1, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2022 to continue purchasing, possessing and administering cannabis until Jan. 31, 2022.

However the emergency bill includes other measures that would severely cripple if not crumble entirely the grey market cannabis industry that is currently thriving in Washington DC. The same bill that aims to help medical cannabis patients also would enable city agencies and law enforcement to impose fines, revoke licenses, and shut the doors of non-authorized businesses engaging in buying, selling, or otherwise “exchanging” marijuana to its customers.

The Washington DC Grey Market

To understand the potential impact of this bill, it is important to understand how the “cannabis industry” operates in Washington DC. Despite legalizing recreational cannabis possession, cultivation and use in 2014, there is a rider put into the original bill preventing any funds from being spent on the establishment of a legal cannabis industry.

Because of this rider, known as the Harris Rider, there is no regulatory agency or current architecture for a recreational cannabis industry in DC. This hasn’t stopped the people of DC from starting their own underground “legal” cannabis industry that has grown exponentially since its inception.

Known as a “grey market” because it operates in a loophole of the current law, the cannabis industry in Washington DC operates entirely different from any other legal cannabis industry in the country. Here’s how it works:

  1. A customer enters a smoke shop, hydroponic store, or finds an online delivery service
  2. The customer must “donate” a certain fee for a product (i.e. $45 donation for a T-shirt)
  3. The customer then receives a “gift” in the form of cannabis products (i.e. cartridge, flower, edibles)

It is that simple, but can be easier said than done in an underground industry that is entirely unregulated. This can lead customers to pay higher prices for smaller quantities of cannabis, with no way to judge the quality for themselves prior to purchase, mainly in the case of delivery services.

If Mendelson’s bill passes however, the entire grey market could be shut down in a matter of months. But if the 2022 Budget Proposal passes in its current state, it may not be all bad news.

Removing the Harris Rider

Although President Joe Biden does not support broad cannabis legalization on the federal level and left the Harris Rider in his 2022 Budget Proposal, legislators had a different idea. After the House of Representatives removed the Harris Rider in June 2021 passing it on to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy passed the bill through with more additions, but notably kept the Harris Rider out.

The slightly modified legislation also contains several other cannabis provisions, including a request to continue an existing protection for state medical marijuana laws, a call on the federal government to reconsider policies that fire employees for cannabis, criticism of the restrictive drug classification system that impedes scientific research and encouragement to develop technologies to detect THC-impaired driving.

If the 2022 Budget Proposal passes in its current state, the recreational cannabis industry would no longer be prohibited in Washington DC. In other words, the grey market would no longer be necessary. But in the case of Washington DC having a functional legal cannabis industry in 2022, that’s a big “IF”.

Connecticut Asks Massachusetts Cannabis Companies to Remove Billboards

Connecticut Asks Massachusetts Cannabis Companies to Remove Billboards

Connecticut is asking Massachusetts to stop displaying cannabis billboards on the state border

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has sent a letter to seven Massachusetts cannabis companies asking them to remove their billboards from along Connecticut highways.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has sent a letter to seven Massachusetts cannabis companies asking them to remove their billboards from along Connecticut highways, saying that the ads are illegal in the state under its adult-use cannabis law passed earlier this year, Western Mass News reports. Under Connecticut’s legalization law, cannabis advertising is prohibited unless 90% of the audience is 21-or-older.

The Attorney General’s Office clarified to Western Mass News that the letter is a request not a demand.

Erik Williams, chief operating officer of Canna Provisions, which is based in Massachusetts and uses billboard advertising on the highway, said that the company has no intention of removing the ads, despite the letter from Tong.

“If we capitulated to every prohibitionist’s whim or request, I would say that we would not have adult use cannabis in Massachusetts and certainly it wouldn’t be coming in Connecticut. … I believe that this is too far reaching of an insinuation that they have made against our company and other advertisers, against marketing firms, and against the other folks who have also gotten those letters.” – Williams to Western Mass News

In the letter, Tong said the billboards encourage customers to cross state lines with cannabis products, which is a federal crime, but Williams said that was not the case.

“We are continuing to talk to them and I told him that this is an important thing for us to look for,” Williams said in the report, “and we also want to really see that the Connecticut market actually thrives as well.”

Canna Provisions has no intention to take the billboard down, Williams said.

The report does not indicate whether the other six Massachusetts companies with billboards in Connecticut plan to honor the attorney general’s request.

USPS Bans Mailing Hemp, CBD and Vape Cartridges

USPS Bans Mailing Hemp, CBD and Vape Cartridges

USPS bans mailing hemp, CBD and vape cartridges

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on Wednesday released its final rule on the mailability of vapes, asserting that even devices designed for federally legal hemp derivatives like CBD generally cannot be shipped through the U.S. mail.

The agency has been developing the regulations to comply with a bill passed by Congress last year that is mostly aimed at stopping nicotine vaping devices from being mailed—though it has broader implications. Despite significant public comment on an earlier proposed version of the rules that urged USPS not to interpret the law in a way that restricts hemp businesses, the agency ultimately said that cannabis vapes fit the definition of what lawmakers moved to ban.

There are some exceptions, but stakeholders are disappointed by the final rule.

During public comment, some argued that the bill was specifically meant to restrict mailing of nicotine-based vapes. But while the legislation refers to limitations on “electronic nicotine delivery systems,” or ENDS, it defines that term as “any electronic device that, through an aerosolized solution, delivers nicotine, flavor, or any other substance to the user inhaling from the device.”

USPS explained in the rule, which is set to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, that by the letter of the law, that includes hemp and marijuana vapes.

“It goes without saying that marijuana, hemp, and their derivatives are substances,” the agency said. “Hence, to the extent that they may be delivered to an inhaling user through an aerosolized solution, they and the related delivery systems, parts, components, liquids, and accessories clearly fall within the [Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act’s] scope.”

Other commenters argued that USPS shouldn’t impose the restriction on cannabis products because the ban could conflict with state or local marijuana laws—or because Congress has approved spending legislation that prohibits the use of Justice Department funds for interfering in state-legal medical cannabis programs.

USPS said those arguments are not valid because, 1) it’s part of the federal government and is, therefore, unaffected by state or local marijuana policies and 2) it’s not part of the Justice Department, which is the only branch of the government restricted by the state protection rider in appropriations legislation.

The agency further clarified that hemp containing up to 0.3 percent THC is federally legal and is generally mailable, but only “to the extent that they are not incorporated into an ENDS product or function as a component of one.” As such, while business can generally mail out legal hemp-derived products, that’s only the case if they are not vaping products covered under the new law.

“The POSECCA and the Agriculture Improvement Act overlap, but they do not conflict. The Agriculture Improvement Act merely excludes certain products from the CSA. It does not affirmatively declare hemp and hemp derivatives to be mailable in any and all circumstances, superseding all other relevant laws (such as the POSECCA). For its part, the POSECCA restricts the mailability of only certain hemp-based and related products; hemp-based non-ENDS products are unaffected, as are ENDS products falling within one of the PACT Act’s exceptions. That Congress has rendered some subset of a class of goods to be nonmailable while leaving the remainder mailable is not some sort of legal conflict, but, rather, how mailability regulation typically works.”