Author: wnnadmin

Washington Cannabis: The Proposed Hemp Overhaul is Here

In light of the recent federal legalization of industrial hemp, Washington lawmakers are taking a hard look at the state’s hemp program. Senators Bob Hasegawa (D) of Beacon Hill, Steve Conway (D) of Tacoma, and Karen Keiser (D) of Kent recently introducing Senate Bill 5719. The stated purpose of SB 5719 is as follows:

Authorize the growing of hemp as a legal, agricultural activity in this state. Hemp is an agricultural product that may be legally grown, produced, processed, possessed, transferred, commercially sold, and traded. Hemp and hemp products produced in accordance with this chapter may be transferred and sold within the state, outside of this state, and internationally. Nothing in this chapter is intended to prevent or restrain commerce in this state involving hemp or hemp products produced lawfully under the laws of another state or country.”

The bill requires Washington comply with the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, and which provides for state-and tribe-level programs for the cultivation of industrial hemp. As such, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (“WSDA”) would need to submit a plan to US Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) pursuant to the 2018 Farm Bill. The plan must address licensing, THC testing, enforcement, and a host of other topics required under federal law.

It’s too early to tell whether SB 5719 will ultimately become law, but it’s worth keeping an eye on at this point (and will be covered in our upcoming free CBD Webinar on February 21 at 12:00 PST). Here are some of the key provisions:

Food and Hemp

SB 5719 would repeal Washington’s Industrial Hemp Research Program (RCW 15.120 et seq.) completely. This program was created under the 2014 Farm Bill, which was fairly light on details and limited to hemp cultivation for “research” purposes. Washington’s hemp program is fairly limited and has never really taken off like it has in Colorado, Kentucky, and Oregon. Washington’s hemp law is also confusing thanks to RCW 15.120.020 which prohibits the “production of any part of industrial hemp, except seed, as food, extract, oil, cake, concentrate, resin, or other preparation for topical use, oral consumption, or inhalation by humans[.]” This provision only refers to the production of hemp, not the sale of hemp products, including widely popular hemp-derived CBD (“Hemp-CBD”) products. However, it has also stunted the retail sale of hemp products intended for human consumption under the idea that if it’s illegal to produce hemp for human consumption it is also legal to sell hemp products for human consumption. This would no longer be an issue if SB 5719 passes. However, SB 5719 does come with some ambiguity.

Under, SB 5719 “CBD and CBD products derived from hemp are considered a food product that must be tested and treated in accordance with other agricultural crop derived food products for human and animal consumption.” This could lead to confusion. For example, a Hemp-CBD topical cream would still have to be “tested and treated” as food. That is inconsistent with FDA regulation which treats food and cosmetics differently. Additionally, what does it mean to “treat” something as food? I read it to refer to things like manufacturing, labeling, and storing Hemp-CBD, but I could be wrong.

Licensing and Seeds

The WSDA would issue hemp producer licenses. Current hemp licensees could transfer into Washington’s new program once it’s up and running. Hemp producers will only be allowed to use seeds listed in SB 5719 or approved by the WSDA. The bill also contains a clever provision that distinguishes seed varieties based on THC percentage. Certain seed “cultivar” (i.e., “a variation of the plant Cannabis sativa L. that has been developed through cultivation by selective breeding”) will be exempt from THC testing. WSDA will have the authority to approve seed cultivar and determine whether THC testing is required. Cultivar that were brought into Washington state before January 1, 2022 so long as “the state has planting, growth, and stability records covering at least three years.”

Even though seeds will be regulated fairly robustly, SB 5719 does not indicate the need for seed-to-sale traceability as the WSDA will not be responsible for determining whether a hemp product was derived from an approved hemp cultivar.

Regulatory Authority

Though SB 5719 is a major overhaul, WSDA would still have authority over hemp in the Evergreen State. Both marijuana and hemp are ways to describe cannabis so it’s natural to wonder what is the LCB’s role in regulating hemp under SB 5719? SB 5719 specifically states that “all rules relating to hemp, including any testing of hemp, are outside the control of the [LCB].” However, the WSDA is mandated to consult with the LCB to establish rules and policies to prevent cross pollination between marijuana and hemp crops. In the event that a documented cross-pollination erupts between two farms growing hemp or marijuana, the farm operating first will be the victor. This first-in-time law would give marijuana farmers a massive upper-hand, at least initially, as Washington’s marijuana program is older and much larger than the hemp program. The WSDA and state lawmakers will undertake a task force for determining the need for crop insurance.

Bottom line

SB 5719, if passed in its current form, would drastically change Washington’s hemp laws. Like the 2018 Farm Bill, it’s a much more commercial friendly scheme. If you agree or disagree with the current version of SB 5719, you can submit comments here.

If SB 5719 becomes law, it will take effect immediately. Given that there are several time-sensitive provisions in the bill, it makes sense to start planning now. We’ll keep an eye on this and other hemp-bills in Washington and other states.

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Study: Marijuana Consumption Linked to Increased Sperm Count

Men who have consumed marijuana have higher sperm counts than those who have never used it, according to a new study published in the February 6th issue of the journal Human Reproduction.

This longitudinal study “included 662 subfertile men enrolled at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center between 2000 and 2017.” The men “provided a total of 1143 semen samples; 317 men also provided blood samples in which we measured reproductive hormones.”

Researchers found that “Men who had ever smoked marijuana had higher sperm concentration and count and lower serum FSH [follicle stimulating hormone] concentrations than men who had never smoked marijuana; no differences were observed between current and past marijuana smokers.”

The following is the method researchers used to come to this conclusion:

Use of marijuana and other drugs was self-reported at baseline. Standard protocols were followed for measuring semen quality, sex hormones and DNA integrity. We used linear mixed effect models with a random intercept to evaluate the associations of self-reported marijuana smoking at enrolment with semen parameters from subsequently collected samples, and linear regression models for sperm DNA integrity and serum reproductive hormones, while adjusting for confounders including smoking and cocaine use.
Below are the main results of the study:
Men who had ever smoked marijuana (N = 365) had significantly higher sperm concentration (62.7 (95% confidence interval: 56.0, 70.3) million/mL) than men who had never smoked marijuana (N = 297) (45.4 (38.6, 53.3) million/mL) after adjusting for potential confounders (P = 0.0003). There were no significant differences in sperm concentration between current (N = 74) (59.5 (47.3, 74.8) million/mL) and past marijuana smokers (N = 291) (63.5 (56.1, 72.0) million/mL; P = 0.60). A similar pattern was observed for total sperm count. Furthermore, the adjusted prevalence of sperm concentration and total sperm motility below WHO reference values among marijuana smokers was less than half that of never marijuana smokers. Marijuana smokers had significantly lower follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) concentrations than never marijuana smokers (−16% (−27%, −4%)) and there were no significant differences between current and past marijuana smokers (P = 0.53). Marijuana smoking was not associated with other semen parameters, with markers of sperm DNA integrity or with reproductive hormones other than FSH. Chance findings cannot be excluded due to the multiple comparisons.

For more information on this study, click here.

The post Study: Marijuana Consumption Linked to Increased Sperm Count appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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Washington Senate Committee Passes Bill to Allow Patients to Buy Medical Marijuana Tax Free

Legislation in Washington State to allow qualified medical marijuana patients to purchase their medicine tax free has been passed by the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.

Senate Bill 5234 was filed by Senator Karen Keiser (D) along with a bipartisan group of three other lawmakers. It was passed by the Labor and Commerce Committee today, sending it towards a vote by the full Senate.

The measure states that “Qualifying patients or designated providers who have been issued a recognition card, are exempt from the 37 percent excise tax on purchases of marijuana concentrates, useable marijuana, or marijuana-infused products, if the products have been identified by DOH as beneficial for medical use and are purchased from a marijuana retailer with a medical marijuana endorsement.”

Each seller making exempt sales “must maintain information establishing eligibility for the exemption in the form and manner required by the LCB.”

For the full text of the bill, click here.

The post Washington Senate Committee Passes Bill to Allow Patients to Buy Medical Marijuana Tax Free appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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Oregon Garnered Over $107 Million in Marijuana Taxes in 2018

Oregon brought in over $107 million in taxes from the legal sale of marijuana and marijuana products in 2018.

According to data released by the Oregon Department of Revenue, the state made $107,777, 721 in 2018 from marijuana taxes. This is significantly higher than the roughly $68 million made in 2017, and the $60 million garnered in 2016 (the first year of legal sales).

Of the $107 million in marijuana taxes Oregon earned in 2018, $94,226,985 came from the statewide tax on marijuana (17%). The remaining $13,550,736 came from local taxes, which vary from city to city but can exceed 3%.

Oregon’s biggest single-month marijuana tax gain in 2018 came in November, with $11.6 million garnered. The lowest-earning month was February, with $7.7 million.

In Oregon, thanks to an initiative passed in 2014, the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is legal for those 21 and older. Marijuana retail outlets, licensed by the state, are authorized to sell the plant; they first opened in 2016.

More data on Oregon’s marijuana market can be found by clicking here.

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Weekend Unlimited Wins the “Pot” Lottery

“POT” LOTTERY GENERATES GLOBAL INTEREST AND EXPOSURE FOR CANADA’S LEADERSHIP IN CANNABIS LEGALIZATION

Weekend Unlimited Inc. (“Weekend” or the “Company”) (CSE: YOLO – FSE: 0OS1) has been informed by the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE) that it has won the lottery for the trading symbol POT.

“Weekend Unlimited is thrilled to add the iconic POT trading symbol to its identity,” said Mr. Paul Chu, Weekend Unlimited President and CEO. “As a fast-growing multi-state operator, Weekend Unlimited is developing lifestyle brands around recreational and wellness to help define the future of the cannabis industry. The POT symbol is a tremendous fit with our brand identity.”

The Canadian Securities Exchange, collectively with Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”), TSX Venture Exchange, and Aequitas NEO Exchange (together the “Exchanges”) announced thelottery for the POT symbol in January 2019. With the symbol in high demand, many eligible issuers currently listed on any of the Exchanges, or applicants who have made listing applications to the Exchanges, submitted ballots for the POT symbol.

Added Mr. Chu, “There has been tremendous excitement generated globally for the POT symbol. The POT lottery served to raise the profile of Canada’s leadership in legal recreational cannabis and we believe it will also serve to raise Weekend Unlimited’s leadership profile.”

Weekend Unlimited expects to begin trading with the new symbol POT on Monday, February 4th, subject to confirmation by the CSE.

About Weekend Unlimited Inc.

Weekend Unlimited is capitalizing on its vast industry relationships to establish a lifestyle brand featuring premium products and delivering life’s highest moments.

The company aggregates and scales small to medium brands, primarily in the categories of flower, extracts and edibles. Weekend Unlimited brands have best of class operations, distribution and strong revenue trajectories, making them ideal candidates for the deployment of capital and expertise through access to technologies, infrastructure and centralized systems. Learn more at www.weekendunlimited.com

The post Weekend Unlimited Wins the “Pot” Lottery appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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