California Suspends Hundreds of Cannabis Business Licenses, Massachusetts Issues Quarantine on Vapes: Week in Review

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This week, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) suspended hundreds of cannabis business licenses for businesses lagging in compliance with the state’s track-and-trace training requirements. Elsewhere, in Massachusetts, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) implemented a quarantine on “all vaporizer products” less than a week after a judge ruled to exclude medical cannabis vape products from Gov. Charlie Baker’s four-month ban on all vaping product sales.

Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.

  • Federal: In honor of Veterans Day Nov. 11, presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg released plans to increase veterans’ access to medical cannabis. “As a nation, we have a moral obligation to provide the best quality care to those who put their lives on the line to defend us,” Sanders wrote in his announcement. Read more
  • Connecticut: Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions (CTPharma), a medical cannabis producer in Connecticut, announced “groundbreaking” Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved clinical studies this week to study stress and pain relief in human patients. The study will be the first of its type on human subjects, according to CTPharma: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study using medical marijuana with an FDA-approved protocol. Read more
  • Nevada: A state audit has determined that Nevada’s most recent cannabis dispensary licensing process is fair, despite the flurry of lawsuits and allegations of corruption that ensued following the state’s issuance of new licenses late last year. “We concluded that this process, while not perfect, was adequate, and conditional licenses were granted to more qualified applicants,” Saranjeet Bains, executive branch auditor, told state officials during a Nov. 7 audit committee meeting. Read more
  • New York: Under new regulations in New York, state-licensed medical cannabis companies will be able to use the hemp and related extracts that are produced by the state’s hemp growers. The rules, announced Nov. 6 by the Department of Health, would allow the state’s 10 licensed medical cannabis operators to purchase hemp and related extracts from hemp cultivators operating under the state’s Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program, which launched in 2015. Read more
  • Florida: Sen. Janet Cruz and Rep. Adam Hattersley have introduced a bill that would allow veterans to obtain and renew their medical cannabis cards at no cost. The legislation aims to offer veterans an alternative to opioids, and would be the first discount on medical cannabis in Florida. Read more
  • Michigan: Regulators are expected to issue the state’s first adult-use cannabis business licenses by the end of the month. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency received 58 applications for pre-qualification and 43 for operating license applications in the week after the state opened its licensing process on Nov. 1. Read more
  • California: The BCC suspended hundreds of business licenses this month, citing missed deadlines in the state’s mandate to get everyone on board with track-and-trace training. The plan was to have the BCC’s 2,630 licensed businesses credentialed in the state system by the end of October, and the suspensions are in place for those businesses still lagging in compliance. Read more
  • Georgia: Gov. Brian Kemp, House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan appointed seven members to the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission Nov. 12 in a move that kickstarts the state’s medical cannabis program seven months after Kemp signed a law allowing patients to access medical cannabis oil in the state. The commission is responsible for overseeing Georgia’s medical cannabis program, which Kemp signed into law in April. Read more
  • Illinois: The state has issued 14 “same-site” adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses to existing medical cannabis retailers in the state, which will be the first businesses to serve the adult-use market when it launches Jan. 1, 2020. These licensees are also permitted to open a second adult-use dispensary at a separate location. Read more
  • Massachusetts: Less than a week after a Massachusetts judge ruled to exclude medical cannabis vape products from Gov. Charlie Baker administration’s four-month ban on all vaping product sales, the CCC has stepped in and implemented a quarantine on “all vaporizer products.” According to the order signed by CCC Executive Director Shawn Collins, the CCC directs “All licensed Marijuana Establishments and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers … to quarantine vaporizer products based on [the executive director’s] determination that these products pose an immediate or serious threat to the public health, safety or welfare and the quarantine is necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare.” Read more
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