This Week in Virginia Cannabis News, June 5, 2022

Virginia lawmakers OK sales of synthetic THC products

This development was part of the state budget that was passed last week, and you can read our breakdown of the various impacts that budget has on the cannabis industry.

CannabizVA’s own Dylan Bishop is quoted within the article as well, saying “It adequately addresses the legitimate public safety concern over irresponsibly packaged and labeled products without unfairly disadvantaging Virginia’s farmers, retailers and small businesses.”

Federal Appeals Court Rules Delta-8 THC Is Legal Under 2018 Farm Bill: What Does That Mean for Your Business?

This recent ruling was a huge win for the Delta-8 industry, but there does still remain some level of gray area and interpretation. Shawn Hauser, partner at Vicente Sederberg and co-chair of the firm’s Hemp and Cannabinoids Department weighs in …

“Hauser added that while businesses that produce and sell delta-8 products may rely on this ruling to support the federal legality of these products, it is important to note that to be fully federally legal, a product must also comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, and the 9th Circuit’s ruling does not address this issue.

That means those who choose to produce and sell delta-8 products are still operating under the risk of FD&C Act enforcement and the potential for different interpretations of the legality of delta-8, Hauser said.

“This will give them some comfort, at least from the derivative perspective, [that] the delta-8 ingredient … is legal under the Farm Bill, and it’s the legality of the finished products under [FD&C Act] and state law that may be more difficult for folks to justify legality on,” she added.”

State Financial Regulators Tell Congress To Pass Marijuana Banking Protections In Manufacturing Bill

We welcome news like this in hopes that the government will finally do something to reform banking within our industry.

In Suit Against Kern County, Apothio Alleges Illegitimate Investigation ‘Tips’ By Disgruntled Vendor, Fish and Wildlife Misrepresentation of FBI Findings, Sheriff Blow-Up at Government Meeting

This is an interesting case to follow because it explores the danger of uninformed, reckless, or disgruntled government officials being allowed to impact businesses and farmers within the industry.

5 Things Growers Learned Their First Year of Cultivation

With many entering cultivation for the first time, this is an interesting read of what other first-time growers learned from their experience.

Is Cannabis Now Winning the Fight Against Cervical Cancer?

Obviously it is still too early to accurately state some of the health benefits on cannabis in the fight against cancer, but promising news like this continues to surface and provides a lot of hope for future treatment and research.

Virginia Proposes Budgets Relating to the Cannabis Industry

As expected, Virginia’s money committees released their proposed biennial budget for FY2023-2024 (July 1, 2022- June 30, 2024) earlier this week. In regards to the impact on the cannabis and hemp industries, we have provided an overview of the pertinent sections below …

HEMP PRODUCTS & D8

Regulation of Hemp Products Intended for Human Consumption, i.e., SB591 “redo” (Budget Item 4-14 #5c)

This amendment revises existing provisions in the Code of Virginia related to possession of marijuana products, labeling requirements for industrial hemp products, and labeling and packaging requirements for substances with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) intended for human consumption, but, notably, without any ban on D8 products or arbitrary THC caps. This amendment also prohibits sale of substances with THC intended for human consumption to individuals under 21 years of age, with certain exceptions related to medical cannabis. The amendment prohibits such substances that are sold in certain child-friendly shapes or that are counterfeit products. It establishes a task force led by the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry to analyze and make recommendations regarding whether any statutory or regulatory modifications are necessary to ensure the safe and responsible manufacture and sale of industrial hemp extracts and other substances containing tetrahydrocannabinol that are intended for human consumption, orally or by inhalation, in the Commonwealth.

Funding for VDACS’s Regulation & Enforcement of Hemp Products Intended for Human Consumption (Budget Item 104 #1c)

This amendment provides $700,000 GF and 7.0 FTE positions each year to allow VDACS to regulate hemp products intended for human consumption.

ADULT USE MARIJUANA

Adjust Start-Up Funding for Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (Budget Item 397 #1c)

This amendment reduces by $3.6 million the first year and $10.5 million the second year from the general fund the amounts included in the introduced budget for the establishment of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. A total of $8.2 million the first year and $11.2 million the second year from the general fund is provided for establishment of the Authority, including $3.0 million the second year for low-interest loans to applicants and licensees.

Defer Funding and Positions for the Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Board (Budget Item 55 #2c)

This amendment defers new positions and funding of $255,388 the first year and $459,544 the second year from the general fund designated for the Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Board, due to continuation of Senate Bill 391 of the 2022 General Assembly to the 2023 General Assembly Session.

This Week in Virginia Cannabis News, May 29, 2022

US House of Representatives Again Passes Marijuana Reform Bill

Article excerpt …

“The bill would expunge the record of those convicted of certain marijuana-related offenses, and reduce sentences for others. Through a tax on sales, it would also fund services in communities most impacted by prohibition and provide support for a more diverse and inclusive market.

Bans at the state level would not be changed, though the MORE Act sends a powerful signal about the importance of building on the wave of state-level reforms that have resulted in 18 states allowing legal access to marijuana for adult use in recent years.”

Safe Cannabis is the Key to Federally Legal Cannabis – Why the Industry Needs More Stringent Testing

We also agree that transparency and product accuracy are vital to cannabis becoming more respected both in this country and worldwide.

Leafreport Study Unveils Lack of Purity and Potency Testing by CBD Brands

And this speaks exactly to that issue.

North Carolina Senate Introduces Legislation to Permanently Remove Hemp From Controlled Substances List

If the measure does not pass before the state’s pilot program expires June 30, hemp will be outlawed in North Carolina.

Reimagining weed: what if cannabis was treated like wine?

An interesting exploration into what the landscape may look like if the cannabis industry was looked at and regulated like the wine industry.

This Week in Virginia Cannabis News, May 22, 2022

Delta-8 THC Products Are Federally Legal Just Like Hemp, Appeals Court Rules

“A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit wrote in an opinion published Thursday that products containing delta-8 THC are generally legal because federal law defines hemp as “any part of” the cannabis plant, including “all derivatives, extracts, [and] cannabinoids,” that contains less than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC by weight.”

A Stoner’s Confession – How a World of Disinformation is Slowing Down Cannabis Legalization

We continue to emphasize that informing and education our politicians, law enforcement, and general public is one of the most important tasks for organizations like ours.

Hemp and marijuana are different; WV farms face stigma

Situations like this again emphasize the need for better education in regards to our industry.

VA Rejects Veteran’s Hemp Business Certification, Saying It Could Create ‘Appearance’ Of Endorsing Marijuana

Considering the benefits of cannabis for our veterans suffering from PTSD, it would be our wish that the VA be more supportive of those veterans that are looking to start cannabis-related businesses.

Suffolk police find 49 pounds of marijuana in vehicle hit by gunfire

“When officers arrived, they found two vehicles that were struck by gunfire, but no one was inside. No injuries were reported. According to the police department, one of the vehicles was seized and found to contain 49 pounds of marijuana inside.”

This Week in Virginia Cannabis News, May 15, 2022

Virginia Beach Police educating community on current marijuana law after complaints about cannabis pop-up shops

With much of Virginia’s laws, plans, and regulations still in limbo it is important for those within the industry in Virginia to understand that many things are still illegal and carry a significant amount of risk.

3 charged with illegal sale, distribution of marijuana at 2 Virginia Beach pop-up shops

This is the incident that relates to the previous article about police educating the community.

Feds Funding Research On Role Of Cannabis In Treating Cancer

This is very promising news and we hope it creates positive results!

Delta 8 remains a legal, albeit unregulated cannabis market in Virginia

Delta 8 sales continue to remain legal in Virginia, but the entire situation is in desperate need for more standards and education. That is one of the things we continue to work toward at CannabizVA.

This Week in Virginia Cannabis Industry News, May 8, 2022

Armored car company settles suit over $1M pot sale seizures

The cannabis industry deals with a significant amount of legal and financial hurdles while simply trying to operate a legitimate industry in those states that have made it illegal. Harassment from law enforcement is a frustrating addition to these issues.

Licensed marijuana sales in 2021 eclipsed coffee giant Starbucks

As we mentioned above, our industry is poised to be a massive contributor to our national economy (if they’d just let us).

6 Reasons to Start Planning for Federal Cannabis Regulation Now

We’d love if this happened sooner than later, but it’s still important to prepare.

Colorado’s Nepra Foods Introduces Hemp-Based Meat

Plant-based proteins continue to explode in the food industry, and hemp-based alternates offer products with wonderful health benefits and a ton of versatility.

This week in Virginia Cannabis News, May 1, 2022

Key Congressmen Tell Leadership That Marijuana Banking Must Be A ‘Top Priority’ In Large-Scale Manufacturing Bill Heading To Conference

We keep holding on to hope that our government will FINALLY recognize the ludicrous treatment the cannabis industry receives from American banking regulations. We aren’t holding our breath, but we’re simply hoping things will eventually change

Experts Warn Against Mailing Cannabis In Light of Recent DEA Ruling

“While a recent DEA letter appeared to suggest that cannabis material containing less than 0.3% THC is federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, legal experts still caution against sending seeds, clones, and other byproducts by mail.”

Study: 60% of CBD Sleep Products Are Mislabeled

Deceptive and misleading labeling and business practices damage the reputation of our industry to both the general public and our legislators. Self-regulation needs to increase immediately!

This Week in Virginia Cannabis News, April 25, 2022

CannaBizVA member Anthony Mijares on the changing state of marijuana and hemp in Virginia

Proud to see a CannabizVA member featured to discuss the cannabis and hemp industries in Virginia …

“We’re not going to get everything at once,” Mijares told The Times-Dispatch. “I think of it as micro and macro steps. At least we have something now and I’m hopeful adult-use products are around the corner.”

Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program

NIFA’s Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on, and immersive model farm and ranch programs that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. See the link for application details.

Marijuana Legalization Tied To ‘Significant Reductions’ In Prescription Drug Use

This is why Big Pharma continues to try to put a stranglehold on their control of the medical marijuana space.

This Week in Virginia Cannabis News, April 17, 2022

Gov. Youngkin proposes banning sales of Delta 8-THC in Virginia

The issues of SB591 continue. We are still voicing our concerns with this proposed legislation and hope changes can still be made.

The History of 4/20

Ever wonder about the history of the 4/20 “holiday?” Here’s a look into its origins.

Senate Democrats Delay Cannabis Legalization Bill Until August

Plans were initially announced earlier this month, but will be pushed to August.

From the article … The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act – would remove “cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances” and “help repair our criminal justice system, ensure restorative justice, protect public health, and implement responsible taxes and regulations.” The majority leader had previously indicated the bill would have been brought “towards the end of April.”

Cannabis and pancreatic cancer: Research on the cell model reveals botanical drug kills 100% of cancer cells

Simply amazing and encouraging news!

Breaking Exclusive: Another Cannabis Company Sues the DEA

“The petition, filed by Megan Sheehan of Sheehan and Associates in Rhode Island Federal District Court, is for a “Writ of Mandamus,” or an order from a court to an inferior government official(s) to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion. The filing also contains a declaratory and injunctive relief complaint.”

This Week in Virginia Cannabis News, April 10, 2022

U.S. House of Representatives Approves Medical Marijuana Research Act

This is bipartisan legislation that would allow researchers to access cannabis from state-legal dispensaries for their studies. The bill ultimately aims to make it easier for researchers to apply for approval to study cannabis by ensuring an adequate supply and establishing deadlines for federal agencies to consider applications, according to Forbes.

Pepsi’s Hemp-Infused Energy Drink Will Cause Sailors And Marines To Test Positive For Drugs, Navy College Claims

As more edibles and infused drinks hit the mainstream market, issues like this are going to need to be addressed for the military, athletics, and employment in general.

NCAA Moves To Lower Marijuana Penalties For Student Athletes And Increase THC Threshold In Drug Tests

And here’s an example of what we just discussed in the previous article.

Feeding Cows Hemp Helps Them Chill Out, Federally Funded Study Finds

Cows just wanna chill too!

Reflecting on Ten Years in the CBD Industry

“The founders of Charlotte’s Web met Charlotte Figi, the company’s namesake, in 2012 and have since witnessed explosive growth in the industry. Now, they’re looking ahead at what’s to come for the company and industry as a whole.”

Cannabis Financing: 2021 Year in Review

Experts from Viridian Capital Advisors and SLB Capital Advisors paint a picture of the past year in cannabis, and what’s next.