METRC Frequently Asked Questions

METRC Frequently Asked Questions

METRC Frequently Asked Questions – are exactly what their name implies…a compilation of frequently asked questions about METRC

METRC Frequently Asked Questions

What is the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace system?

The California Cannabis Track-and-Trace (CCTT) system is the program used statewide to record the inventory and movement of cannabis and cannabis products through the commercial cannabis supply chain—from cultivation to sale.

What software is being used for this system?

And who is the service provider?

The state’s contracted service provider for the CCTT system is the technology company Franwell, Inc., and they are using the Metrc software program—the same program now used in many other states for their medicinal and adult-use cannabis programs.

Do I have to use CCTT-Metrc?

Yes. All state-issued annual licensees are required to use the CCTT-Metrc system to record, track, and maintain information about their cannabis and cannabis product inventories and activities. Please note that temporary licensees are not required to use the system, nor will they be provided access to it. Instead, the state’s emergency regulations require temporary licensees to document all sales and transfers of cannabis and cannabis products between temporary licensees—or between temporary licensees and annual licensees— by manually using paper sales invoices or shipping manifests. A sample sales invoice/shipping manifest (in a printable fill-in PDF) is available on the California Cannabis Portal’s California Track-and-Trace System web page, under Sales Invoice/Shipping Manifest Sample: cannabis.ca.gov/track-and-trace-system.

Note: All annual licensees must use the CCTT-Metrc system to manage inventory related to transfers to and from temporary licensees and to print an “external” manifest that serves as, or supplements, the paper manifest.

What is a Unique Identifier (UID)?

A unique identifier (UID) is an alphanumeric code or designation used to uniquely identify a specific plant, cannabis, and/or cannabis product on licensed premises. UIDs are specifically provisioned as the plant or package tags and are ordered by and assigned to the annual licensee within the CCTT-Metrc system. The annual licensee is responsible for assigning a CCTT-Metrc nonrepeating, a globally unique identifier to each immature lot, flowering plant, and distinct cannabis product. This assignment is accomplished via the issuance of encrypted radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to annual licensees. The assigned UIDs then track the cannabis and cannabis products when they are transferred from one licensee to another.

METRC Frequently Asked Questions

How will I get my UIDs?  And do I have to pay for them?

Once annual cannabis licensees or the designated Account Managers have been trained and provided access to the CCTT-Metrc system, they may order their UIDs through the system. The cost of UIDs, along with all other costs needed for administering California’s state cannabis programs (the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, California Department of Consumer Affairs’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, and the California Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch), their respective licensing systems, and the CCTT-Metrc system have been factored into the fees for the state’s cannabis licenses. There is no additional cost for the UIDs.

Do I have to complete the state-provided training before I can use the CCTT-Metrc system?

Yes. Upon submission of an annual-license application, the applicable licensing authority—the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the Bureau of Cannabis Control, or the California Department of Public Health—will send system-training registration information to the applicant. Annual licensees will not be allowed to access the CCTT-Metrc system until the required CCTT-Metrc Account Manager New Business System Training has been completed by license holders or their designated Account Manager. Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the required user training while their annual license application is being reviewed. Once an annual license is approved and the license holder or designated Account Manager has completed the required CCTT-Metrc Account Manager New Business System Training, he or she will be able to access the CCTT-Metrc system.

When and how will CCTT-Metrc system training be provided?

Franwell provides the required CCTT-Metrc Account Manager New Business System Training sessions for licensees who have submitted an annual license application to one or more of the licensing authorities. These training sessions are provided via live, interactive webinars and pre-recorded webinars. The registration process for training is provided by the applicable licensing authority upon receipt of a complete annual license application.

As more annual licensees are credentialed into the CCTT-Metrc system, Franwell will offer more frequent Account Manager New Business System Training webinar sessions and additional “advanced topics” training opportunities.

Are there any restrictions on the number of designated CCTT-Metrc system users for each licensed individual or entity?

No. However, each licensee is required to designate an owner or another party in the licensed organization who can legally represent the licensed entity and act as the licensee’s CCTT-Metrc Account Manager. The licensee’s designated Account Manager will be required to complete the CCTT-Metrc Account Manager New Business System Training and subsequently train each licensee-designated system user in the proper and lawful use of the CCTT-Metrc system.

Note: Licensees will be responsible for all data entered into the CCTT-Metrc system by their employees or contractors.

METRC Frequently Asked Questions

Who will have access to my CCTT-Metrc information?

Pursuant to Section 26067(b) of California’s Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), information received and contained in the CCTT-Metrc system is confidential and may only be viewed by the licensee and authorized employees of the state of California, or any city, county, or city and county to perform official duties pursuant to MAUCRSA or a local ordinance.

Also, upon the request of a state or local law enforcement agency, licensing authorities will provide access to, or provide information contained in, the CCTT-Metrc system database to assist law enforcement in its duties and responsibilities pursuant to MAUCRSA.

Does the CCTT-Metrc system have an interface, or file upload process, that allows connection to third-party systems?

Yes. The CCTT-Metrc system offers access to third-party business applications via a standard Application Programming Interface (API) or file upload.

For more information, please see the “Integration and API” section of the Metrc California web page at: metrc.com/california. A list of third-party vendors who have completed the required steps and have been validated to use the API to interface with the CCTT-Metrc system also is accessible from the Metrc California web page.

Do I need to purchase additional hardware to use the CCTT system?

No. CCTT-Metrc is a completely web-hosted system, which means all access to the CCTT-Metrc system is via the Internet. Only an Internet connection (via an Internet service provider) and a web browser (such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Mozilla Firefox) is required. Access to a web browser and the Internet usually is achieved easily by using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. In addition, there is no software to download, install, or maintain.

How does using the CCTT-Metrc system allow the state of California to prevent inversion and diversion of cannabis or cannabis products?

The CCTT-Metrc system and plant- and package-tagging requirements alone are not expected to eliminate illegal inversion or diversion of cannabis throughout the commercial cannabis supply chain, but they are valuable auditing tools for assisting state and local compliance and enforcement staff. A multifaceted approach of regular monitoring—including reviews of licensee-reported data and onsite inspections—and referrals to law enforcement are expected to limit illegal movement significantly. The CCTT-Metrc system also will be used to identify anomalies indicative of potentially fraudulent activity. The state’s licensing authorities, sister state agencies, and local agencies will work collaboratively to develop analytical tools and inspection protocols to identify and investigate potentially fraudulent activity during all phases of the commercial distribution-chain activities, and they will take appropriate action as needed.

How can I find out more about the CCTT-Metrc system?

Additional information regarding the CCTT-Metrc system will be published on the following websites as it becomes available: California Cannabis Portal cannabis.ca.gov California Department of Food and Agriculture CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division calcannabis.cdfa.ca.gov California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Cannabis Control bcc.ca.gov California Department of Public Health Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch cdph.ca.gov/mcsb

METRC Frequently Asked Questions

Coke With Your Cannabis?

Coke With Your Cannabis?

Coke With Your Cannabis? – CBD craze meets Coca-Cola. After an early morning report yesterday that Coca-Cola is in talks with Canadian cannabis company Aurora about CBD-based wellness beverages, the media went wild with headlines suggesting that the world’s largest beverage company was basically cannonballing into the cannabis industry. Coke With Your Cannabis?

Not so fast.

Cannabis Wire reached out to confirm the report about Aurora, and a Coca-Cola spokesperson declined to comment “on reports and speculation of talks with Aurora or others.”

While Coca-Cola did confirm interest in CBD in a statement published on their site later in the day, they presented it as totally unrelated to the plant … from which CBD is derived.

“We have no interest in marijuana or cannabis. Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.”

While, perhaps, they could be talking about CBD derived from hemp, CBD is still very much part of and one of the most abundant compounds contained in “marijuana or cannabis.”

Let’s be real. This is like saying you are eyeing the chicken nugget market, but have “no interest” in chicken.

it’s unlikely that a major company like Coca-Cola would offer a product infused with CBD in the United States until the federal law changes, said Kris Krane, president of 4Front, a firm that advises companies on the legalities of marijuana and an expert on cannabis law. He said he would expect that Coke would develop the product first for sale in Canada, readying it for the United States once it’s legal.

“I can’t imagine they’re doing it just for the 35 million people in Canada, they clearly have an eye on the US market,” said Krane.

Coke could be well positioned to capture market share should CBD and other marijuana products become legal, said Bonnie Herzog, an analyst with Wells Fargo. She said in a note to clients Monday that Coke is positioning itself for the long-term. She estimates that cannabis-infused drinks could become a $50 billion annual market in the United States — nearly half the size of the $117 billion markets for US beer sales.

Both Coke and rival Pepsico have been trying to expand their businesses beyond traditional soft drinks as people drink less soda because of health concerns. Just last week, Coke announced a deal to buy Costa Coffee for $5 billion.

Source: Coke could make a move into cannabis-infused drinks

Coke With Your Cannabis?

CA Legislature – Provisional Cannabis License Bill

CA Legislature – Provisional Cannabis License Bill

CA Legislature – Provisional Cannabis License Bill – The California legislature is currently finalizing a bill (SB-1459) which would establish a provisional licensing regime for California cannabis businesses. The bill moved into “enrolled” status late last week, which means that SB-1459 has been approved by both houses of the state legislature and is being proofread to ensure all amendmentsCA Legislature - Provisional Cannabis License Bill were properly inserted. Once SB-1459 is “correctly engrossed”, only a signature from Governor Brown is needed for the bill to take immediate effect. In all, provisional licensing seems imminent.

These pending, provisional licenses would provide holders with a year-long, non-renewable, provisional license to operate after filing completed license applications. These provisional licenses would alleviate pressures on licensing agencies caused by the backlog of pending applications. Provisional licenses would also allow holders to continue operating, rather than potentially ceasing operations later this year.

Here is the current text of the statute [not signed by Gov. Brown yet]

CA Legislature – Provisional Cannabis License Bill

SECTION 1.

Section 26050.2 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

26050.2.

(a) A licensing authority may, in its sole discretion, issue a provisional license to an applicant if the following conditions are met:

(1) The applicant holds or held a temporary license for the same premises and the same commercial cannabis activity for which the license may be issued pursuant to this section.
(2) The applicant has submitted a completed license application to the licensing authority, including evidence that compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) is underway.
(b) A provisional license issued pursuant to this section shall be valid for 12 months from the date issued and shall not be renewed. Except as specified in this section, the provisions of this division shall apply to a provisional license in the same manner as to an annual license.
(c) Without limiting any other statutory exemption or categorical exemption, Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code does not apply to the issuance of a license pursuant to this section by the licensing authority.
(d) Refusal by the licensing authority to issue a license pursuant to this section or revocation or suspension by the licensing authority of a license issued pursuant to this section shall not entitle the applicant or licensee to a hearing or an appeal of the decision. Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 480) of Division 1.5 and Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 26040) of this division shall not apply to licenses issued pursuant to this section.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.
SEC. 2.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

SEC. 3.

The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act adding Section 26050.2 to the Business and Professions Code furthers the purposes and intent of the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act of 2016.

SEC. 4.

This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:

The significant number of cultivation license applications pending with local authorities that do not have adequate resources to process these applications before the applicants’ temporary licenses expire on January 1, 2019, threatens to create a major disruption in the commercial cannabis marketplace.
CA Legislature Page Link is Here
CA Legislature – Provisional Cannabis License Bill

CA Cannabis Licensing

Los Angeles – Transactions under Prop. M

 Los Angeles – Transactions under Prop. M

Los Angeles – Transactions under Prop. M – if there is one activity that absolutely BOILS OUR BLOOD it would be when we see the individuals who can only either be “Forrest Gump STUPID” or OUTRIGHT CRIMINALS attempting to screw yet another numbskull investor with too much cash out of their $$$ to purchase a “turnkey dispensary in Los Angeles“, 

We will call out the fraudsters offering turnkey dispensaries for $15 – $20 million that suck in naive investors Los Angeles - Transactions under Prop. Mwho fail to undertake proper due diligence and get in way over their heads without proper representation.

Los Angeles – Transactions under Prop. M

While we are certainly not known for complimenting other professionals for their work, we are incredibly impressed and appreciative of Hilary Bricken, Esq. of Harris Bricken for an amazing article that is focused on the tortured process trying to do a transaction with an Existing Medical Marijuana Dispensary [“EMMD”] in Los Angeles under Proposition M.

Source: Buyer Beware: Buying and Selling Los Angeles Marijuana Dispensaries Under Proposition M

EMMDs are basically grandfathered Prop. D/Pre-ICO operators that met certain compliance criteria set forth by the City under Prop. M. As of the writing of this post, there are only 163 EMMDs in the entire City. This low number of dispensaries in potentially the largest cannabis market in the world makes the secondary market for these storefronts incredibly hot. So much so that our Los Angeles cannabis lawyers are receiving term sheets for the purchase of EMMDs on an almost bi-weekly basis. And based on that experience, it’s time to update readers on what to look for when contemplating the purchase of an EMMD, which is no small task under the City’s new laws.

Running due diligence on dispensaries in Los Angeles is massively important. The reason being (in addition to normal M & A due diligence) is that the City still has many, many illegal operators (though the City Attorney is doing his best to shut down those operations as fast as possible). Therefore, it’s not a stretch that an “LA dispensary” would try to take a buyer for a ride on a sale when, in reality, that dispensary is 100% illegal, making the purchaser a sitting duck.

While we haven’t been afraid to dive into the intricate details of the Los Angeles cannabis land use statute, we will link to Ms. Bricken’s article and let our readers torture themselves trying to fox through it.

If anyone would like to see examples of the types of deals being offered that we are referring to you can start here.

Los Angeles – Transactions under Prop. M
  1. Is the dispensary even on the City’s EMMD list?The DCR has done a fantastic job of continually updating its EMMD list on its website. Checking that list is the very first step for any reliable due diligence. If the dispensary is not listed, ask the sellers why that’s the case. At this point, with the window for EMMD licensing closed, failure to appear is going to be a huge and fatal red flag that’s fatal unless the selling dispensary can provide viable proof that they arein valid pursuit of EMMD status from the DCR or appealing a DCR denial of EMMD status,

  1. Licenses are not transferable.Many people don’t realize that commercial cannabis licenses are not transferable under California State law. The same goes for commercial cannabis licenses in the City of L.A.—they cannot be bought and sold as individual assets; only the entity that holds them can change owners (meaning, you’re looking at purchasing the company that holds the license). Therefore, any EMMD that’s trying to sell you one of its licenses (or one of its future licenses) is not recognizing that it can only sell its membership interests or stock, and not the licenses themselves, under state and L.A. laws and regulations.
  1. What entity type is the EMMD? Assuming your target EMMD is on the City’s EMMD list and the EMMD understands that it can only engage in an entity purchase and sale, the next question is whether the EMMD is organized as a non-profit or a for profit company. If the EMMD was in compliance with Prop. D, it’s most likely some form of a non-profit corporation (most often a non-profit mutual benefit corporation (“NPMBC”), stemming from 2008 State Attorney General guidelines regarding compliance with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 under which the sale of medical cannabis for profit is not permitted). This obviously creates an issue where a non-profit has no equity that can be legally bought and sold, and individual NPMBC directors taking buyer purchase money undoubtedly violates the California corporations code in a multitude of ways. In turn, part of the EMMD purchase will entail some form of “conversion” to a for profit entity to ensure that future membership interests or stock can be sold off
Los Angeles – Transactions under Prop. M

Wrong Results – METRC What’s Next?

Wrong Results – METRC What’s Next?

Wrong Results - METRC What's Next?
Wrong Results – METRC What’s Next?

Wrong Results – METRC What’s Next? – we ran across a fascinating article – Software to Regulate Legal Marijuana Is Just as Error-Prone as Other Government Software – the problem was Maryland’s mandatory cannabis-tracking Metrc software, which checks a patient’s prescription and purchase history at every sale. Metrc was repeatedly bogged down with user traffic, sometimes for hours. Patients sat waiting, and some who traveled some distance drove home empty-handed.

Maryland is among 30 states so far that have legalized recreational or medical marijuana, and the vast majority of them require close tracking—known as “seed to sale”—of the plant. Maryland is also one of 10 states (plus D.C.) that are using Metrc, a product of Franwell. Seven others use software from Florida-based BioTrackTHC, and two, Pennsylvania and Washington, have signed up with MJ Freeway, software made by Denver-based Leaf Data Systems.

Each company helps regulators trace the cannabis moving through their borders—everything from microchipped pot plants to concentrates and buds sold at dispensaries. Retailers can generally use different software to ring customers up, but it’s on them to share the sales and inventory data with regulators to show they’re complying with state law. States have adopted the seed-to-sale model to ensure product safety and show they can keep their weed away from the larger, more entrenched black market.

But when the software doesn’t perform, the industry and its customers suffer. In 2018, in addition to rejecting patients, glitches caused by high levels of user traffic left dispensaries in Maryland unable to make transactions, costing them significant amounts of money, retail managers said. In 2017, Oregon’s marijuana growers and distributors complained of spending valuable man-hours updating inventory in Metrc and dealing with slow connections during peak harvest season. MJ Freeway’s glitches in Pennsylvania and Washington have halted commerce for dispensaries, and the company has suffered multiple hacks and securitybreaches, plus a troubled, months-delayed launch in Washington earlier this year. Before inking a deal with MJ Freeway, Washington worked with BioTrackTHC for four years, but growers bemoaned performance issues and lacking functionality.

You can read the rest of the article here.  However, this is the point where the “bells went off”. If a cannabis business suspects that the seed to sale tracking platform is:

Wrong Results – METRC What’s Next?
  • Creating bottlenecks in operations.
  • Not functioning according to the way is was intended to as described in the guidelines from the regulator or
  • Not producing accurate and repeatable results.

The cannabis would benefit from the expertise of a professional that has recognized credentials to review the system, understands how it works and can make a credible presentation advocating for the business…and that would be a certified public accountant [“CPA”], the ONLY professional that is permitted to certify the results of a review of internal accounting controls [compliance and substantive testing, perform agreed-upon procedures, and actually audit financial information.

The Slate article set off some alarm bells, and we are going to need to research the procedures in California for challenging the results and operations of METRC. However, this is an area where a CPA with the proper skills could be incredibly valuable to a cannabis business.

Wrong Results – METRC What’s Next?

JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory

JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory

JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory  well we are both flattered and overwhelmed by the number of requests we get from clients, partners and the public wondering just how we manage to get everything done. The assumption seems to be that we have an army of mad scientists and who knows what else. The real secret is we have had amazing success by hiring and training “dummies”…in this case, Achmed and Walter.

The broad view of “the Laboratory” provides a good overall perspective on both the dummies and the technology. [We promised no “geek speak” in this post.] That would be a Sony FS-5 Pro Camcorder in the background that streams in 4K, just had to throw that in.

JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory

Closer view of the Laboratory – you can get a closer view of Achmed and the center of the control center.

JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory

Achmed insisted on posing with his “tools”…and we were not about to argue with our resident terrorist and AML expert.

JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory
A- Tucker Telephone
B – T-Sheets Crystal Ball Optimized for Cannabis Industry Accounting, Tax and Regulatory Compliance Issues
C – Palmistry Hand – calibrated by Genuine Which Doctor [aka Witch Doctor]
D – Oujia Board with high-frequency “Wireless Medium”
E – Achmed the Terrorist – AML and FinCEN Expert

 

JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory

The backside of the monitors with the “wire jungle” and a Drobo 5D3 with five 3 TB drives and a 256GB mSATA accelerator card…sometimes it feels like we live in an Apple Store.

JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory

A close up of Walter, our resident grouch with more wire and CalDigit Thunderbolt 3 docking stations.

JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory

This piece of high tech is a genuine palmistry hand which provides incredible insights when other electronic tools just don’t work. The palm of the hand has three major lines — the life line, heart line and headline. … Their meanings can vary, depending on the hand shape, markings, mounts and the other lines nearby or crossing over them

JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory
JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory

Finally, with all of this high tech electronic and psychic gear, we are constantly in need of tools to tweak this stuff with…so I have a second toolbox here…with the larger unit in my private office.

JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory

This is for those of you that thought I was joking.

JSZ Mad Scientist Laboratory

 

 

 

Trinity County – Without Distributors

Trinity County – Without Distributors

Trinity County – WIthout Distributors the regulatory whirlwind that swept through California’s marijuana industry since the newly regulated market launched in January continues to fan many companies’ anxieties – especially those smaller farmers that are more focused on cultivation than mainstream business savvy.

In particular, the state requirement that all growers use licensed distributors as middlemen to get their product to market has resulted in a bottleneck in many rural marijuana farming areas, especially Trinity County, which is famously remote and therefore was a perfect stomping ground for illicit cannabis growers for decades.

But now, that remoteness has become a liability instead of an advantage. Trinity, which often plays third fiddle to its more famous neighbors in the famed Emerald Triangle – Humboldt and Mendocino counties – is home to 205 state-licensed cannabis farms, but it has zero distribution companies, a major obstacle for growers trying to get their product to retailers’ shelves.

It means the county’s growers may be left out of the legal supply chain, which curbs the supply of product to retailers. 

Trinity’s pain is something the state’s entire industry should pay attention to for these reasons:

Trinity County – Without Distributors

1. Distribution is an ongoing challenge across California – compounding the problem of retailers that suffer from bare shelves.

Thanks to roadblocks in California’s regulations, Trinity’s lack of distributors has led to “thousands of pounds” of cannabis from the 2017 harvest going unsold via legal channels, said local industry consultant John Brower.

“Right now, there’s empty shelf space in retail, and there are licensed cultivators up here that are fat with the product and desperately trying to find a white-market home for it,” Brower said.

“Harvest starts in two weeks, and many of these people haven’t moved product from last year.”

Brower testified in front of the Bureau of Cannabis Control and the Department of Food and Agriculture in Sacramento in August in an attempt to bring attention to the issues that have left scores of farmers without any way to get their product into the legal supply chain.

2. Local regulatory hurdles are significant and aggravate distribution challenges statewide.

Continue Reading here.

Source: How ‘thousands of pounds’ of California cannabis may be left out of the legal supply chain

Trinity County – WIthout Distributors

Canadian Military Stoners?

Canadian Military Stoners? Canadian Military Stoners? Dudley Doorite the dope fiend? With marijuana legalization just around the corner, the Department of National Defence wants to ensure the rules are clear to its more than 100,000 members. According to an internal draft of the military’s cannabis policy, members will be banned from consuming marijuana eight hours … Continue reading “Canadian Military Stoners?”

To access this post, you must purchase Distribution Services Document Suite.
Canadian Military Stoners? Canadian Military Stoners? Dudley Doorite the dope fiend? With marijuana legalization just around the corner, the Department of National Defence wants to ensure the rules are clear to its more than 100,000 members. According to an internal draft of the military’s cannabis policy, members will be banned from consuming marijuana eight hours … Continue reading "Canadian Military Stoners?"
To access this post, you must purchase Distribution Services Document Suite.

California – Pay Attention Mass. AG

California – Pay Attention Mass. AG

California – Pay Attention Mass. AG –

Medical marijuana businesses in Massachusetts may have one fewer headache after state Attorney General Maura Healey reversed an earlier decision that allowed municipalities to prohibit MMJ dispensaries.

Source: MA attorney general reverses ruling that allowed cities to ban medical cannabis firms

Here are the basics behind the situation:

  • According to CommonWealth magazine, Massachusetts passed a medical marijuana law in 2012 that included a provision prohibiting cities and towns from banning MMJ dispensaries. But in 2016, voters passed a recreational marijuana law that included a provision that some local governments interpreted as allowing them to ban both recreational marijuana stores and MMJ dispensaries.
  • Margaret Hurley, head of the Municipal Law Unit in the AG’s office, had approved warrants from Bellingham and Northborough that banned both adult-use cannabis retail stores and future medical marijuana dispensaries in those towns, the magazine reported.
  • CommonWealth also noted that the attorney general’s office initially agreed with the interpretation, but the decision was reversed late last week.

“Upon further review, we now determine that this approval was given in error,” Hurley wrote in a letter to local government officials in Bellingham.

A similar letter went to officials in Northborough, which had passed its own measure prohibiting MMJ dispensaries.

Hurley told town officials they “should strongly consider not enforcing the ban,” according to CommonWealth.

The attorney general cited a 2013 decision by previous Attorney General Martha Coakley prohibiting another town, Wakefield, from banning dispensaries.

Relevance to California 

The passage of Proposition 215 is considered a significant victory for medical cannabis. It exempts patients and defined caregivers who possess or cultivate cannabis for medical treatment recommended by a physician from criminal laws which otherwise prohibit possession or cultivation of cannabis.

In May 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a California state appellate ruling from 2008 that upheld Proposition 215 and concluded that California can decide whether to eliminate its own criminal penalties for medical cannabis regardless of federal law. The appellate ruling came about because of a lawsuit against Proposition 215 filed by San Diego and San Bernardino counties.

These counties objected to Proposition 215 on the grounds that it requires them, in their view, to condone drug use that is illegal under federal law. They also challenged a law that requires counties to issue identification cards to medical cannabis patients, so these patients can identify themselves to law enforcement officials as legally entitled to possess small amounts of cannabis. [ San Francisco Chronicle, “Solano to allow medical cannabis ID cards,” June 24, 2009]

California – Pay Attention Mass. AG

SEC Crucifies Cannabis Investment Promoter

SEC Crucifies Cannabis Investment Promoter

SEC Crucifies Cannabis Investment Promoter

Source: SEC Charges Cannabis Investment Fund and Founder in Fraudulent Scheme  

SEC charged Texas-based Greenview Investment Partners and founder Michael Cone with “defrauding investors with false promises of massive returns in cannabis-related businesses.” 

Cone ended up with more than $3 million from investors.

“Greenview allegedly exploited investor interest in the marijuana industry and lied about high returns and the backgrounds of its key executives,” said Shamoil T. Shipchandler, Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office. “Investors must remain vigilant and not let the fear of missing out dupe them into making bad investment decisions.”

The SEC also issued a separate alert to warn of media coverage around legalization that leads to hype and to “urge investors to consider the risks of investment fraud and market manipulation before investing in a marijuana-related company.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Texas-based investment fund and its SEC Crucifies Cannabis Investment Promoterfounder with defrauding investors with false promises of massive returns in cannabis-related businesses.  The SEC also issued an alert to warn retail investors about marijuana-related securities offerings.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Greenview Investment Partners L.P. and its founder Michael E. Cone used misleading marketing materials in raising more than $3.3 million from investors.   Cone allegedly employed boiler room sales staff who made cold calls to investors and promised them up to 24 percent annual returns from investments in Greenview.  According to the complaint, Cone used an alias to conceal his prior criminal convictions, lied about having a former agent from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on staff, and falsely claimed to have a long record of profitably investing millions in cannabis-related businesses.  The complaint alleges that, in reality, Greenview had no track record and its sole investment of $400,000 was in a cannabis company that had yet to harvest a crop.  According to the complaint, Cone spent investors’ money on designer clothes and luxury cars, and on payments to earlier investors to prolong the alleged scheme.  In a parallel criminal proceeding, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California charged Cone and seized approximately $1.4 million in cash and assets.

“Greenview allegedly exploited investor interest in the marijuana industry and lied about high returns and the backgrounds of its key executives,” said Shamoil T. Shipchandler, Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office. “Investors must remain vigilant and not let the fear of missing out dupe them into making bad investment decisions.”

SEC Crucifies Cannabis Investment Promoter

Markets Watching Cannabis Investment