DEA removes key misinformation about marijuana from website

Following a legal request by Americans for Safe Access, the DEA removed “factually inaccurate” information from their website.

The DEA’s removal of these popular myths about cannabis from their website could mean the end of the Washington gridlock.
This is a victory for medical cannabis patients across the nation, who rely on cannabis to treat serious illnesses. The federal government now admits that cannabis is not a gateway drug, and doesn’t cause long-term brain damage, or psychosis. While the fight to end stigma around cannabis is far from over, this is a big first step.

-Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access

Our Take: Although this seems like a small victory, this is big news. Legislators and the public at large use the DEA’s site as a crutch to form talking points that inform legislation and public policy. In order to continue to shift public opinion about cannabis, it’s important for the industry to debunk the myths and stigma around it.

California ABC is Actively Enforcing Credit Laws

John Hinman has an explanatory blog post and accompanying video that explain the active enforcement by the California ABC regarding credit laws. Both suppliers and retailers can face significant, escalating fines for violating the credit laws, so wineries, breweries, distilleries, importers, and retailers doing business in California should pay close attention to these developments.

The “Booze Rules” blog post does a great job of describing why the credit laws exist (suppliers are not allowed to provide a “thing of value” to retailers, and extending credit was commonly used as an incentive for retailers prior to prohibition) and what suppliers and retailers should do to make sure they’re in compliance. In short, study up on the credit laws, which exist both at the federal level and in each state where you’re doing business, and make sure your accounting and sales teams are trained and have the systems and processes in place to monitor invoices and accounts receivable.

The Dose: Michigan sued over wine shipping laws, Californians are confused about cannabis regulations

California marijuana business owners in legal fog as they await statewide rules: Californians are waiting for regulations for the new adult-use AND medical cannabis laws. Administrators are promising to be ready by Jan 1, 2018, but uncertainty abounds in the interim. Interesting quote from this article: “99.5% of California’s marketplace is either quasi-legal or illegal.”

Illinois state treasurer asks Trump for clarity on MMJ banking: State treasurers in California and Illinois put pressure on the President to clarify cannabis policies.

Denver MJ company recalls products for possible pesticides: Green Man Cannabis joins at least a dozen companies that implemented voluntary cannabis product recalls due to pesticide issues.

High-end cannabis pipe maker sues to defend trademark: Roor has filed over 200 lawsuits since 2013 to protect the trademark on its high-end bongs.

Indiana Wine Seller Disputes Michigan Shipping Ban: Michigan’s new wine shipping law, which discriminates between in-state and out-of-state retailers, gets a challenge in federal court.

Online giant Amazon will begin charging sales tax in Missouri
Amazon will collect, pay Mississippi tax on online sales
Wyoming to be taxed by Amazon
Amazon is adding 3 more states to the list of 34 where they already collect sales and use taxes. Missouri and Mississippi taxes will begin on February 1st, and Wyoming will commence on March 1st.

At Least Six States Mull Bills on Remote Sales Tax Collection: At least six, but up to TWENTY states will introduce new remote sales and use tax laws this year, putting even more pressure on Congress and the Supreme Court to clarify sales tax laws.

Hello world, and welcome

… to the Obsequium Blog. This is our very first post on Obsequium, and we’re really excited to get started. We’re starting this blog at a time when a tremendous amount of uncertainty exists in the United States. Donald Trump started his presidency this week, and we really don’t know much about what that will mean for the cannabis or the beverage alcohol industries. At the same time, both industries are booming in sales, and public opinion for medical and adult use cannabis is at an all-time high.

The cannabis industry eagerly awaits for more information from the President and his Attorney General nominee, Jeff Sessions. Sessions’ confirmation hearing did not provide much clarity on how they plan on dealing with the conundrum of marijuana being listed as a “Schedule 1” drug on the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) federally, but legal for “adult use” in eight states plus D.C. AND either decriminalized or legal for medicinal use in the majority of states, for the vast majority of the U.S. population. We’ll surely have much more to say about Sessions and federal action on cannabis in future posts.

For beverage alcohol producers and importers, it’s currently pretty darned complicated to deal with the web of federal and state regulations for alcohol production and sales, especially if you’re doing business in multiple states. Yesterday, the President said that he’d like to cut regulations by more than 75%. How will that impact the alcohol industry and its boutique federal agency, TTB? As the industry continues the trends of direct delivery, consolidation, personalization, and the growth of craft, how will the regulatory landscape adjust and keep pace?

The goal of this blog is to attempt to take a complicated, and ever changing maze of laws and regulations and distill it into insights and information that you can understand easily. We are going to focus on two industries that will certainly have a tremendous amount of overlap: cannabis and beverage alcohol. At times we’ll take a macro perspective and at times we might get in the weeds, but hopefully we’ll do both without much of an agenda. We’ll write original pieces, but also will curate news and updates from around the interwebs.

Of course, we’ll provide a legal disclaimer at all times. Nothing in this blog should be interpreted or misconstrued as legal advice.

We hope you come along with us in this journey. Comments, suggestions, feedback, and criticism are all welcome. Please let us know how to make this blog more valuable for you by commenting on the posts and contacting us with your thoughts.

%d bloggers like this: