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:

#cannabisindustry – “The Molson Coors Beverage Co. is getting out of the CBD drink business in the United States and ending its U.S. Truss joint venture with Canadian cannabis producer Hexo Corp. as of Dec. 31….

Molson Coors was concerned about regulatory uncertainty surrounding marijuana products in the U.S., the company said in a Nov. 22 blog post.

The beverage maker cited “no near-term pathway to federal legalization,” adding that “some chain retailers and distributors (have been) hesitant to accept CBD beverage brands, complicating distribution and making the path to profitability a challenge.”

Molson Coors said it would consider reentering the U.S. cannabis beverage market in the event of a regulatory change at the federal level.”

#cannabisnews – “A federal agency is proposing to replace a series of job application forms for prospective workers in a way that would treat past marijuana use much more leniently than under current policy, a draft document obtained by Marijuana Moment shows.

One of the most significant changes concerns the timeline for the cannabis use questions, which would be revised such that a person would only be asked about consumption that occurred within the past 90 days, unless they used while working in a criminal justice, public safety or national security position. In those cases, the forms would ask about use that occurred at any time.

In contrast, the relevant forms that applicants are currently required to fill out ask about any marijuana usage within the past one, five or seven years, depending on the security level of the position they are applying for.”

#californiacannabis – “Given the current state of the economy, many employers are considering reductions in work hours and potential layoffs. As businesses consider taking action to save money and prevent potential closure, they must do so carefully in order to manage and reduce risk of future litigation related to its actions. This blog discusses the appropriate steps that a business must take when conducting a reduction in force (“RIF”).

From a legal perspective, not every layoff or separation of employment is a RIF. A RIF occurs when an employer eliminates a position with no intention of replacing it, resulting in a permanent cut in headcount. These reductions are usually due to economic pressures, lack of work, organizational changes, or other business necessities that require a reduction in staff.

Prior to any RIF, employers must identify the business need and goal to be accomplished so that the information is communicated in a consistent manner to employees. In addition, employers must review the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreements, individual employment agreements, and all written company documents and policies to ensure that the termination policies are being followed. If possible, employers should consider transition assistance, such as outplacement services, which greatly reduces the risk of post-layoff claims.”

#californiacannabis – “A slow but steady years-long trend of licensed marijuana companies in California not paying all of their bills might be nearing its climax, industry insiders warned, and a wave of business failures is on the way if the debt bubble explodes.

The lack of overall profitability for several years running – along with myriad other financial challenges –  has led many businesses to shuffle payments around, delay payments to vendors, or not to pay at all, industry insiders said.

The amount of overall debt carried by legal operators is hard to pin down, but one industry leader pegged it at more than $600 million.”

#cannabisindustry – “With an adverse regulatory environment, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and the always-present threat of property damage and product recalls, cannabis operators are fighting an uphill battle to stay viable in today’s environment.

According to Politico, more than 20 of the largest publicly-traded cannabis companies lost about $550 million on revenues of nearly $4.5 billion in the first half of 2022. High taxes and barriers to interstate commerce continue to challenge the industry as well, while lenders and investors are demanding more detailed proof of future profitability. Those pursuing new capital must show how they will grow financially and present their risk management strategy for insuring themselves against losses.

Higher costs for fertilizer, building materials, packaging and more, along with rising inflation are hurting the industry’s bottom line as well, but the industry is hesitant to raise prices.

These challenges are expected to continue in 2023. However, the industry’s fast pace of growth, myriad opportunities for product development and increased access to insurance capacity offers the cannabis industry every reason for optimism.”

#psychedelics – “Berkeley, California officials have advanced a proposal to decriminalize certain psychedelics—including synthetics like LSD, rather than focusing more narrowly on entheogenic “natural” plants and fungi as has been the case with similar measures approved in other cities.

The Berkeley Community Health Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the resolution, though some advocates oppose particular provisions.

The measure, which is uniquely inclusive of LSD while excluding peyote and ibogaine from the list of covered substances, will next go before the City Council for consideration.”


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