Canopy Details Acreage Moves
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Vol. 6, No. 43 --  June 28, 2019 - Edited by Dr Lloyd Covens
SHERIFFS BACK MOVING MJ OFF SCHEDULE 1-- US sheriffs gathered for their national meeting in Louisville, KY this week passed a resolution calling for cannabis to be moved to schedule 2 of the CSA.  Nonetheless, the National Sheriff's Association(like the two fictional members above) said its' key concern was for significant research taken up into MJ safety.  In the groups membership survey, 74% said local sheriffs in legalized states needed more money for crime enforcement, and 64 percent said they saw increased MJ impaired driving in their jurisdictions.
McConnell Pushes FDA for CBD Clarity; USDA Guidance Soon
US Senator Mitch McConnell urged acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless to have his agency move to clear up CBD policies in a meeting, June 27.  As reported by Washington hemp-advocates, VOTE HEMP, the Kentucky senator told Sharpless of the  "need for a regulatory framework for CBD .....and urgency in clearing up FDA's  continuing review of  CBD food and dietary supplement products {which} remain in a gray area without clarification from the FDA."   Senator McConnell  told Sharpless, “Congress’ intent was clear with the passage of the Farm Bill that these products should be legal, and our farmers, producers and manufacturers need clarity as well as a workable pathway forward regarding the Agency’s enforcement and potential regulatory plans for certain CBD products. "  McConnell added, " I appreciate Acting Commissioner Sharpless meeting with me today to discuss this important issue. Like my constituents, I am anxious to know the FDA’s plans to ensure public access to safe CBD products.”

      Moving up 2018 Farm Bill implementation language, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (Specialty Crops)  expects to issue an "interim final rule" for policies surrounding the planting, testing and disposal  of industrial hemp.  "No final products" will be addressed in the rule-making, which is set to issue formal rules based upon passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.   If a typical 30 to 60 day public comment period follows the "interim rule" issuance,  much greater clarity to the 44 hemp-legal states(all currently operating under the 2014--not 2018-- Farm Bill provisions) would be expedited for early 2020 planning by the agricultural (and investment) community.   Upon completion of the federal policies, states which are submitting their own hemp rules could begin to see a 60-day review completed before year's end.  Hemp industry leaders were generally heartened by the USDA's movement to install 2018 Farm Bill clarity. 

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the new hemp bill into law, making the possession of CBD legal statewide, and allowing the department of agriculture to begin setting rules for the 2020 hemp growing season.   On signing, DeSantis vowed he would not allow Florida to become a RMJ state while still governor.  But the 2016 statewide vote to approve medical MJ in the state passed with more than 72 percent approval.  A full RMJ measure is expected to be on Florida's ballot for the November, 2020 general election.    In California, Assembly bill 228 is heading to the full Senate floor, where a yes vote is anticipated.  The bill overrides the state's Health department which last year said that CBD could not be combined in foods, beverages or cosmetics until some regulatory approval at the FDA occurred.   

     For both returning farmers—and the new hemp farmers in Wisconsin, So. Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Kansas, Illinois and Michigan—unresolved issues on crop insurance, banking/loan challenges, and a major learning curve for farmers have all brought great uncertainty.  But the  difficult choice between reaching for a bigger pay-day from CBD versus waiting for all the new USDA policies to be confirmed-- means thousands are likely to go ahead with a 2019 gamble.
“This hemp industry has grown organically,” says Portland hemp veteran Jon Thomas of JMT Enterprises, but now “the government is trying to step in and set rules for a crop they don’t fully understand.”  As overgrowth of cannabis in Oregon explodes (reports say the state has more than 6.5million pounds of un-sold MJ), Thomas sees hundreds of former marijuana growers moving into the hemp sector.   “We have a bad situation where the Farm Bill has called hemp-CBD totally legal,” notes Thomas, but the FDA has thrown cold-water on full implementation for a myriad of consumer products for human and animal consumption, and pain and skincare topicals.

       With such confusion, business planners and investors cannot reliably get a handle on the expected per-pound price for high-quality CBD biomass this fall.  Pricing estimates from the Fall, 2018 harvest generally reported sales of $27 to $33 per pound, and certain higher sales reports of $45-$50 per-pound for early 2019.  Compared to break-even for growing cotton, corn or soybeans—farmers can look at the potential for CBD-hemp at 1000 to 2000 plants (yielding 1 pound each) at easily generating gross revenues of $35,000 to $55,000 per acre.   But the impact of unknown demand conditions—plus the inability to predict the growth of new hemp processing centers—may shake up eventual sales outcomes this fall. One estimate sees  biomass buyers basing offering prices on a per-  percentage point of tested CBD, with pricing running $2 to $4 for each percent.   Banking and credit union support for hemp despositers remain steady, but there is still no official loan help from the U.S. Farm Credit Administration.
ABOVE: NEAR-TERM CLINICAL TRIALS ON CANNABIS and CBD MEDICAL IMPACTS--  Ongoing major studies into cannabis impacts on various medical conditions reveals a major push for additional cancer data.  A variety of related studies for spasticity,  epilepsy and Parkinsons are all active, as are increased attention to anxiety, addiction and depression.  Source:
      With the official signature of  Governor J.B. Pritzker, Illinois became the 11th state passing legalization for adult cannabis consumption. With an expected eventual annual tax haul of $700Mil.-- and the hope to free 300,000 from negative low-level drug offenses-- the Illinois RMJ expansion will kick off next Jan., 1, 2020.  It is expected that the first 150 retail, grow and lab licenses will flow first to existing MMJ firms.  Then for mid-2020, the state hopes to issue new licensees, including a planned 20% of new authorizations going to minority, women, veterans and disadvantaged communities-- helped by a $30 million fund to assist in funding.  Interestingly, Illinois is the first state to base its retail taxation on the form and  percentage of THC.  For flower up to 34%(THC) the statewide tax will be ten percent;  for infused products, the statewide haul will be 20%; and for concentrates and vape products above 35%THC, the statewide tax will be 25%.

Link-of-the-Week--  The list of possible makers of synthetic cannabinoids gets longer as Cardiod Therapuetics (working with giant NORAMCO) hopes to introduce commercial versions of CBDs as early as this fall.  According to the CFN article, other synthetic lab designers like Willow BioSciences and FSD Pharma are on track to develop non-plant CBD alternatives as well.  See article at:

"Tweed & Tonic" will be the selected name of Canopy Growth's non-alcoholic, low calorie cannabis-infused beverage due out in Canada this fall.  Canopy's co- CEO Bruce Linton also shared plans to provide its' U.S. affiliate, Acreage Holdings, with tools to grow while the two wait to fully merge after a U.S. federal change in nationwide illegality.  Shareholders of Acreage last week agreed to accept a $300Mil. advance deposit on an eventual combination of the US and Canadian concerns.   In the meantime, Linton says his company will "use every tool we have" to increase the value of Acreage, including "cheap access to capital, inventions, patentable stuff" and anything else "we can lend down."  See the full interview with Linton and CNN at

         Oregon's over-abundant amount of legal cannabis is bringing action by its senior federal representatives in followup to the state's recently-passed "compact"  law aimed at opening up state-to-state MJ commerce. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced federal legislation that would protect interstate cannabis commerce from federal interference if the activity is in compliance with state laws and interstate compacts. Legal adult consumers and patients who travel between these states transporting limited amounts of cannabis would also be protected from federal prosecution.  “Like any other agricultural product, cannabis production should be able to take place in states with optimal climate conditions and exported to other legal markets across the country. This legislation is a bold step toward making that a reality,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association.
Second Half:  Major MJ/Hemp Shows & Expos
June 29-July 3- BETHESDA-Intl Cannabinoids Research

Jul 22-24: SAN JOSE – 6th NCIA Business Summit
Aug. 2-3: MIAMI -- US Cannabis Expos 
Aug 3-4: PORTLAND – 3rd IndoExpo Conference
Aug 14-16:  DENVER - 6th CBOutLook & UnLocking 1090
Aug 16-18: SEATTLE – 28th HempFest
Sep 4-7: TORONTO- 2nd MJBizCon/Global
Sep 4-6: PORTLAND Cannabis Science Conference
Sep 6-7 - NASHVILLE -- SouthEast Hemp Expo
Sep 15-16: VANCOUVER - ICBC: Intl Biz Conference
Sep 25-28: LOS ANGELES: Cannabis World Congress
Oct 8-9: LONG BEACH- Calif. Cannabis Indus Assn/NCIA
Oct. 10-11 SAN FRANCISCO - New West Summit 
Oct 23-26: BOSTON- Cannabis World Congress- Expo
Nov 1-4: CHARLOTTE (NC)– 6th Hemp Industry Assn
Nov 20-22: CALGARY: Canada Hemp Trade Alliance
Dec 5-6: SAN DIEGO: CANNABINOID-Natural Products 
Dec. 11-13 LAS VEGAS – MJ BIZ National Show
Dec. 14-15 SONOMA, CA – Emerald Cup 
West420 NewsWeekly is targeted to adults 21-plus and is not a solicitation for any cannabis product or derivative. Please share with your colleagues. Serving the cannabis professional since 2014, we appreciate you comments via email to " or for back issues, please Visit This Link

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