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 Mendocino Cannabis Alliance called it the “most significant policy day in Mendocino County, hands down,” in recent history. At its meeting on March 14, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to accept an offer from the State Department of Cannabis Control to help streamline applicants’ permits. On February 8, the Alliance sent a lengthy letter to the Department and Governor Gavin Newsom, documenting what it calls “a pattern of failure,” and pleading for state intervention to prevent a collapse in the county’s licensing system.

Last Monday, after hours of testimony at a Senate Committee hearing on small businesses including cannabis, Nicole Elliott, the director of the State Department of Cannabis Control, sent a letter to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, reading in part, “If the Board chooses to pursue such streamlining, the Department is prepared to collaboratively engage with the County to address longstanding challenges confronting the County’s legacy operators and California’s legal market. This includes assessing inefficiencies under existing procedures for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and identifying a way by which the Department could (with the County’s assistance) lead revitalized efforts to ensure timely compliance with CEQA for provisional license holders. Likewise, streamlining local permit decisions will provide greater clarity, sooner, to support enforcement of state and local law.”

#psychedelicspolitics – “Bolstered by a growing body of research on the use of psychedelics to treat depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions, a new political action committee seeks to elect leaders who support the therapeutic use of substances like psilocybin (in magic mushrooms), ketamine and MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy.

The founders behind the newly formed Psychedelic Medicine PAC also aim to secure federal funding to further education and research efforts at a time of increased scrutiny over the dangerous side effects of opioids, especially fentanyl, and other traditional pharmaceuticals.”

#cannabislaw – “A cannabis wholesaler is urging a federal court to preserve its suit alleging Oregon’s policy of blocking the out-of-state sale of cannabis violates the U.S. Constitution’s dormant commerce clause, saying the fact cannabis is federally illegal does not remove the clause’s protection.

In a response brief filed Friday, Jefferson Packing House LLC wrote that, rather than eliminating cannabis and its trade from protection under the dormant commerce clause, the Controlled Substances Act places them directly under the clause’s purview by authorizing the federal government to regulate the sale of cannabis, even if that regulation takes the form of prohibition.

While Congress may have sought to eliminate the interstate trade of cannabis through the CSA, it did not intend to remove its authority on the subject of interstate commerce, the company wrote, nor did Congress authorize the states to regulate the interstate trade of the substance.

#cannabiseducation – “At the risk of oversimplifying, Rule 504 allows for the sale of up to $10MM in securities to non-accredited investors, but the issuer cannot advertise the offering publicly (this is called “general solicitation”). Accredited investors can still be involved and generally do not count against any investor limitations. Accredited investors, generally, have at least $1 million in net worth or income over $200,000 (individually) or $300,000 (with spouse or partner) in each of the prior two years.

For most smaller cannabis companies trying to raise capital, their capital needs are often too small for accredited investors to be interested in or do not have access to accredited investors in the first place. Thus, Rule 504’s allowance for non-accredited investors and its relative simplicity becomes a possible solution.”

#cannabisindustry – New Jersey – “Nearly one year after the April 2022 launch of New Jersey’s adult-use market, cannabis entrepreneurs told NJBIZ they believe the CRC appears to be making moves to help the industry flourish.

As part of an effort to spur development and encourage diversity, the CRC enacted several changes in February, including letting the state’s cap on the number of cultivation licenses expire and improvements to the overall licensing process.

Additionally, the regulatory board is ending the state’s ban on certain vertically integrated businesses. It also adjusted the criteria for priority applicants to require all social equity, diversity-owned businesses and impact zone applications for annual and conversion licenses be reviewed before all others.”

Almost a year in, industry leaders take stock of adult-use cannabis business

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