The Scuttlebutt Featuring Articles About California Agency Continues To Target Illegal Cannabis Activity, Cannabis Farms Infectious Pathogen and More

In the days of the Armada, a fleet of warships, the scuttlebutt was the rumor or gossip that would spread throughout the ship. Today, Armada Law Corp presents The Scuttlebutt, a daily summery of news articles that people within the cannabis, hemp and plant medicine industries are chatting about along with links to the full articles.

In today’s news:

#californiacannabis – “The California Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce (UCETF) recently announced its progress on “aggressively” combating the illegal cannabis market.

Between Jan. 1 and March 30, UCETF shared that there was a 43% gain in the number of plants eradicated (52,529 plants in Q1 2023 compared to 29,687 in Q4 2022). The agency also served 21 warrants in the first quarter of the year, compared to 30 in the previous quarter (a 30% decrease).

The agency eradicated 31,912 pounds of cannabis, which is a 43% increase from Q4 plant eradication of 29,687 plants. Between the two most recent quarters, there was a 39% increase in terms of retail value for cannabis products seized ($32 million vs. $52.6 million). UCETF’s most recent seizures earlier this year also netted an 87% increase in money seized on size during the searches, with $95,646 in Q1 2023 compared to just $12,602 in Q4 2022.”


#californiacannabis – “An infectious pathogen inside California’s pot farms is attacking cannabis plants and growing invisibly for months only to spoil a crop just as a farmer is ready to harvest. Scientists believe that it’s in nearly every pot farm in the state and could be causing billions of dollars in damages to the national weed economy.
Hop-latent viroid, or HLVd, shrivels pot plants and reduce how much weight they produce by as much as 30%. It also destroys the amount of THC, pot’s most common active compound, that a plant produces, greatly reducing the value of affected plants.”

#cannabisindustry – “Minnesota state agencies are setting a target for a year from now to begin issuing retail licenses for legal marijuana sales.

A request for vendors offers the timeline for a program buildout after the Legislature approved a bill allowing adults at least 21 years old to possess and buy cannabis. Gov. Tim Walz has said he plans to sign the bill into law, making Minnesota the 23rd state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

The state is seeking a software vendor to manage applications and information around retail licenses. The bid package says the project would start in July and license applications would start in May 2024. The estimated start of marijuana sales from dispensaries is listed as January of 2025, although that could shift.”

#cannabisnews – “The Michigan Civil Service Commission earlier this month proposed a rule change that would drop pre-employment drug testing for cannabis. The proposal would not change the requirements for safety-sensitive jobs, such as state police or commercial vehicle drivers.
“If approved, they would not impact current testing policies applicable to test-designated positions or those applicable to employees, nor would they change current prohibitions on an employee’s use of drugs while on duty or reporting for or being on duty with a prohibited level of drugs present in the employee’s bodily fluids.” — Michigan Civil Service Commission, in a statement, via Click on Detroit “

#psychedelics – “Ravers have been ‘candyflipping’ — taking MDMA and LSD together — since the former hit the party scene in the 1980s, and in June last year a company patented it.

MindMed was allowed to patent its single dose combination of MDMA and any psychedelic (as opposed to fumbling around under a strobe light to drop a tab and then a pill), at a specific measure, and specifically as a medicine rather than “a single session of substance abuse”.

The US Patent Office found that, under those parameters, MindMed’s idea was a patent-worthy invention, to the horror of journalists and patent lawyers in the US who fear a replication of the kind of behaviour that has helped to keep drug prices artificially high in their country.

But as the psychedelic medicine gold rush accelerates, there are many ways to game the system and some companies are testing the limits of patent law.”

#cannabislaw – “An arbitrator must settle a dispute between a pair of Washington cannabis companies over a soured asset-purchase deal that involved trade secrets, a state appeals court said Thursday, ruling that the enforceability of a contract with an agreement to arbitrate is a question for the arbitrator, not the court.
A three-judge panel found a trial court erred when it denied Blue Roots LLC’s renewed motion to compel arbitration after the company’s attempt to buy the assets of Biochron Inc. failed, setting off more than a year of litigation between the two parties. The companies signed a memorandum of understanding that outlined the terms of the sale, including to arbitrate any disputes related to the deal, the judges said.
“In general, a court may only decide whether the agreement to arbitrate exists in a record and whether the arbitration clause can be fairly read to encompass the scope of the dispute,” acting Chief Judge Robert Lawrence-Berrey wrote for the majority in a published opinion. “Here, we decide both questions in favor of arbitration. We further conclude that Biochron is unable to meet its heavy burden to show that Blue Roots waived its right to arbitrate.””

Judges Say Cannabis Cos. Must Arbitrate Asset Sales Dispute:

#cannabislicensing – “Last week New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (“OCM”) released revised Adult Use Cannabis Regulations (the “Revised Regulations”). The Revised Regulations do not make any major changes, however, the Revised Regulations do clarify the application procedures and some potential limitations on the licenses. Specifically, Parts 120.1(b) and (c) of the Revised Regulations now read:

(b) Licensing applications shall be accepted during specific license type application periods, which shall be announced no less than thirty (30) days before the application period opens for that specific license type, as established by the Board.

(c) Limitations may be imposed on the acceptance of licensing applications, including, but not limited to, the total number of licenses; location or authorized region of operation; size of operation or output; limitations associated with true party of interest; eligibility criteria; and operating conditions, such as sustainability, public health and safety, and social and economic equity factors.”

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