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State Produces Guide for Recreational Marijuana Businesses

Designed to Help Navigate State and Local Government Requirements

November 20, 2015

News Release PDF

Portland, Oregon – The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has released a “Business Readiness Guidebook for Oregon Recreational Marijuana Operations” for individuals interested in applying for a recreational marijuana license.  The guidebook was produced under the guidance of Governor Kate Brown’s office, with contributions from more than a dozen state agencies that directly regulate the marijuana industry or regulate business.

“Obtaining a license from the OLCC is just one step to establishing a marijuana related business,” said Steve Marks, Executive Director of the OLCC.  “The OLCC wants to help this industry become successful and compliant, and having this guide to help navigate the business regulatory process is an important component of that effort.”

From building codes to odor control, from waste management to workplace safety, the Business Readiness Guidebook provides an overview of the rules and requirements within the larger regulatory framework under which all businesses in Oregon must operate.

By pointing to where up-to-date state and local information can be found the OLCC expects the guide will help businesses be better prepared to establish legal recreational marijuana operations in Oregon and comply with state and local law.

The “Business Readiness Guidebook for Oregon Recreational Marijuana Operations” can be found on the OLCC website and will be updated with current information as it becomes available.

For more information:
Mark Pettinger, Spokesperson
[email protected]  (503) 872-5115

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From the Editor, 25 February 2015, 7:30PM CST

 In a few hours, cannabis will be legal in Washington D.C., as approved by an overwhelming majority (64%) of voters in November. The Republican controlled Congress maneuvered to prevent city officials if they tried to “use funds to implement” the new law, but that has simply had the ironic effect of blocking regulation, not blocking the democratic vote of the people.

So at midnight, we will see a truly historic event. For the first time, America will wake up with cannabis legal in the Capital city, but still federally illegal. This type of hypocrisy surely will not stand the test of time, and is most certainly a milestone in the battle against prohibition. Nobody is exactly sure how this will shake out, though. If police continue to make arrests for possession, prosecutors will have a difficult time landing a conviction with that law on the books. Moreover, any D.C. defense attorney worth her salt will be jumping at the chance to defend one of these cases.

Moreover, D.C. possession will actually be far less restrictive than in the states that have adopted legalization policies. While consumption is still banned in public and on federal land, citizens can possess up to two ounces and can give up to an ounce as a gift. Even better, adults may grow and maintain up to six plants at home; though only three mature at any one time.

Thanks to the citizens of D.C. for voting for positive, common sense change. Prohibition is on its way out, as people of the nation see that a world with cannabis is actually pretty great. And thank you for joining us on this historic journey, we’re with you all the way.

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Reps from Colorado and Oregon Introduce Bills to End Federal Prohibition of Cannabis

Today, Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)  introduced two bills that together would legalize and tax marijuana at the federal level. Representative Polis’s legislation, H.R. 1013, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, removes marijuana from the schedule set by the Controlled Substances Act; transitions marijuana oversight from the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Agency to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and regulates marijuana like alcohol by inserting into the section of the U.S. Code governing “intoxicating liquors.” Representative Blumenauer’s legislation, H.R. 1014, the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act of 2015, creates a federal excise tax on non-medical marijuana sales and moves this quickly growing industry out of the shadows.

More than 213 million people live in a state or jurisdiction that allows the some form of legal use of marijuana. Twenty-three states currently allow for medical marijuana, while four states-Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska-and the District of Columbia recently legalized the recreational use of small amounts of marijuana. Eleven additional states have passed laws allowing the use of low-THC forms of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions.

Following federal legalization, the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act would impose a federal excise tax on the sale of marijuana for non-medical purposes as well as apply an occupational tax for marijuana businesses. The bill would establish civil and criminal penalties for those who fail to comply, like those in place for the tobacco industry.  The bill also requires the IRS to produce periodic studies of the marijuana industry and to issue recommendations to Congress. It phases in an excise tax on the sale by a producer (generally the grower) to the next stage of production (generally the processor creating the useable product).  This tax is initially set at 10% and rises over time to 25% as the legal market displaces the black market.  Medical marijuana is exempt from this tax.

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act would remove marijuana from the schedule set by the Controlled Substances Act; transition marijuana oversight from the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Agency to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and regulate marijuana like alcohol by inserting into the section of the U.S. Code that governs “intoxicating liquors.”

“Over the past year, Colorado has demonstrated that regulating marijuana like alcohol takes money away from criminals and cartels, grows our economy, and keeps marijuana out of the hands of children,” said Representative Polis. “While President Obama and the Justice Department have allowed the will of voters in states like Colorado and 22 other jurisdictions to move forward, small business owners, medical  marijuana patients, and others who follow state laws still live with the fear that a new administration – or this one—could reverse course and turn them into criminals. It is time for us to replace the failed prohibition with a regulatory system that works and let states and municipalities decide for themselves if they want, or don’t want, to have legal marijuana within their borders.”

“It’s time for the federal government to chart a new path forward for marijuana.” said Representative Blumenauer. “Together these bills create a federal framework to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, much like we treat alcohol and tobacco. The federal prohibition of marijuana has been a failure, wasting tax dollars and ruining countless lives. As more states move to legalize marijuana as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska have done, it’s imperative the federal government become a full partner in building a workable and safe framework.”

National trends reflect state efforts.  More than 46% of people 18 and older have tried marijuana at least once and public opinion research reveals more than half of the U.S. population supports legalization. Yet even as states and local governments have taken the lead in finding legal arrangements for marijuana, federal law classifies it among the most dangerous illegal drugs. The enforcement of these laws wastes federal resources and ruins lives. Individuals, states, and marijuana businesses are trapped in a patchwork of conflicting state and federal laws.

It is time for Congress to end the federal prohibition on marijuana, remove it from the Controlled Substances Act, and create a sensible tax and regulatory framework. This represents a unique opportunity to save ruined lives, wasted enforcement and prison costs, while simultaneously helping to create a new industry, with new jobs and revenues that will improve the federal budget outlook.

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 Feb. 06, 2015  Via TechCrunch,  @ryanlawler), @kimmaicutler)

“Invest in what you know.”

That’s a common piece of advice given to new investors that Calvin Broadus, Jr. (a.k.a. Snoop Dogg, a.k.a. Snoop Lion) seems to be taking to heart.

Sources tell us the prolific rapper, youth football coach and marijuana aficionado is putting together a fund specifically to invest in cannabis startups. According to one source, he hopes to raise $25 million to fund the nascent, but fast-growing legal marijuana industry. Because his agency is still in the process of raising the fund, its ultimate size is uncertain. His representatives did not reply to requests for comment.

Snoop is one of many celebrities who have begun dabbling in tech investing over the last few years. Ashton Kutcher paved the way with the launch of his A-Grade Investments fund, which has put money into companies like Airbnb, Flipboard, and StyleSeat. But lately he’s been joined by the likes of Nas, Jared Leto and Justin Bieber among others.

As for Snoop, his tech investing career seems to have taken off recently. Over the last few months, the rapper invested in Reddit, the so-called homepage to the Internet, as well aszero-fee stock trading platform Robinhood.

But having a fund specifically to invest in cannabis companies makes a lot of sense, since Snoop probably knows more about weed than anyone. It’s our understanding that the fund’s bets won’t have anything to do with cultivation and production. Instead, it will focus on tech affiliated with the growing legal cannabis industry.

It also seems to be a good time to invest in the marijuana industry in general. Venture money is pouring into weed startups as states have begun legalizing the drug for both medical and recreational use.

Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund is part of Privateer Holdings‘ big fundraising push, where the holding company is trying to raise $75 million. And, of course, we’re seeing all sorts of new startups pop up — like Eaze and Meadow — that are devoted to weed delivery, among other things.

As new ways to produce, distribute and consume cannabis emerge, who better to evaluate them professionally than Snoop, who has already spent years evaluating all manner of cannabis products recreationally?[/fusion_text][/one_half][one_half last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][youtube id=”KlujizeNNQM” width=”600″ height=”350″ autoplay=”no” api_params=”” class=””][/one_half][separator style_type=”shadow” top_margin=”” bottom_margin=”” sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””][button link=”” color=”default” size=”” type=”” shape=”” target=”_self” title=”Subscribe to our Free Newsletter” gradient_colors=”|” gradient_hover_colors=”|” accent_color=”” accent_hover_color=”” bevel_color=”” border_width=”1px” shadow=”yes” icon=”fa-envelope-o” icon_position=”left” icon_divider=”no” modal=”subscribemodal” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”1″ alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]Subscribe to our Free Newsletter[/button][fusion_code] [/fusion_code][modal name=”subscribemodal” title=”Subscribe to our Free Newsletter!” size=”large” background=”” border_color=”” show_footer=”yes” class=”” id=””]

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As Cannabis goes mainstream, two very different cultures try to make it work.

For the last year, we’ve had the opportunity to meet and interact with a strange and wonderful mix of people that are drawn to the world of cannabis investing. We have noticed a growing relationship, a marriage of sorts, between the cannabis crowd and the business world. Although this seems to be a marriage that neither wants, both desperately need it, because the stakes are too high to get it wrong.

This isn’t the ceremony, cannabis isn’t fully legal yet. This is just the rehearsal; the first time both sides of the family really get to meet and interact. Gathered before our altar today are the metaphorical bride and groom. Her, well-dressed in a pinstripe business skirt and blouse, her hair up in a no-nonsense bun. He, bearded and a scruffy, casually sporting his favorite pair of jeans and a t-shirt featuring a picture of Marc Emery. Neither seem too pleased with the arrangement, but here they are.

Truth be told, the bride and groom don’t really like each other. She thinks he’s smelly and he thinks she doesn’t “get it”. They are both probably right. But she has a lot of money and political influence that he needs to help go fully legal and mainstream. And he has experience and insider connections that she absolutely needs to be successful. Together, they’ll be able to make a legal cannabis dynasty that will take care of both families for a long time.

On the bride’s side, there are some well-dressed, wildly successful men and women. They come from eclectic business backgrounds; finance, agriculture, the tech sector. They see cannabis as an amazing investment opportunity and wouldn’t miss this wedding for the world. They understand that the emerging market can and will generate a whole swath of economic activity that they can capitalize on. Some of them have limited experience with cannabis, some haven’t even tried it. But for many that’s hardly a concern, they simply require a niche, a plan, some skill and some capital and they can make their way. Many are just blue collar men and women interested in escaping the 9 to 5 soul-crushing rat race that is the American worker’s existence. They are optimistic about the prospect of legal cannabis, though they are wary of the groom’s strange family.

“These people are positively unemployable. What am I supposed to do with someone who has two felonies?” whispers a businessman. “I wish we could have the plant without all of the riff raff. Cannabis leaves…bong hits, how are we supposed to market this?”, says another. One woman leans in, “You know, if we keep the barriers to entry high enough, they won’t be able to compete.” The others nod in agreement and proceed to discuss methods of minimizing tax losses.

The groom’s side is a decidedly different crowd. They vary in age and status; many in their teens and twenties, a large number of middle-age and middle-class folks, some octogenarians. Some on this side are brilliant farmers, scientists, and students. Some have been fighting for legalization for decades and many bear the scars. A good many have felony charges, have faced employment discrimination, police intimidation and constant social stigma. They have tattoos and clothes made from hemp. These are the consumers, and they are equally excited about the prospect of legal cannabis. No more hiding their favorite social activity from the police, no more dealing with sketchy drug dealers. Finally, their lifestyle will be mainstream. But they are not at all pleased about the bride’s family showing up.

Where was big business during the decades of fighting for legalization? Nowhere to be seen. And what will happen to the cannabis culture with these people involved? Will it become just another commodity, to be shrink wrapped and sold at Wal-mart?

“Sellouts!”, the consumers sneer across the aisle, “Damn carpetbaggers.” One woman shouts, “We should just restrict it to personal grows! Nature shouldn’t be sold!” The others nod in agreement. One man pipes up, “We should restrict businesses to just locals”, the others nod affirmatively. “Those greedy bastards don’t know a spliff from a blunt!”

The human cost of these arguments are perhaps lost on the majority. There’s another party to the wedding that really just wants the ceremony to conclude so that she can get her medicine. The flower girl sits quietly in the aisle, her chemotherapy treatments have left her bald-headed and sleepy-eyed. She tugs impatiently on the dress of a nearby woman, “Do you think they’ll be done arguing soon?”

We hope so. But probably not.

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