Legal Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJanuary 22, 2020
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5min390

The NERA Economic Consulting (www.nera.com) recently published a report that noted a trend in cannabis class action lawsuits being filed for 2019. The report wrote, “Between July and December 2019, six cases were filed on behalf of investors in the cannabis industry alleging either (1) failure to disclose weak demand for the product or the expected decline in revenue and profits or (2) misrepresentations related to quality of the product, the status of inventory, or markup on biological assets.”

These are the companies in which cases were filed in the 2nd Circuit Court:

India Globalization Capital, Inc.     Filed on: 02 Nov 18 Pending
CannTrust Holdings Inc.                 Filed on: 10 Jul 19 Pending
Sundial Growers Inc.                         Filed on: 25 Sep 19 Pending
HEXO Corp.                                       Filed on: 26 Nov 19 Pending
Trulieve Cannabis Corp.                  Filed on: 30 Dec 19 Pending

In the 3rd Circuit Court were:

Canopy Growth Corporation          Filed on: 20 Nov 19 Pending
Aurora Cannabis Inc.                       Filed on: 21 Nov 19 Pending

In addition to the suite that NERA mentioned, Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc. and Infinite Product Co. are both dealing with proposed consumer class suits in California. These cases are alleging the companies improperly marketed products made from CBD. The suits were sparked by Warning Letters published by the FDA in November. They allege that products made by both Charlotte’s Web and Infinite did not abide by the FDA regulations and, as such, violate California law.

The cases are Dasilva v. Infinite Product Co., C.D. Cal., No. 2:19-cv-10148, complaint 11/27/19; McCarthy v. Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc., N.D. Cal., No. 5:19-cv-07836, complaint 11/30/19.

Charlottes Web had labeled their products as dietary supplements, which seems to be what the FDA took issue with. The FDA has written, “Based on available evidence, FDA has concluded that THC and CBD products are excluded from the dietary supplement definition under section 201(ff)(3)(B) of the FD&C Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(ff)(3)(B)]. Under that provision, if a substance (such as THC or CBD) is an active ingredient in a drug product that has been approved under section 505 of the FD&C Act [21 U.S.C. § 355], or has been authorized for investigation as a new drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted and for which the existence of such investigations has been made public, then products containing that substance are excluded from the definition of a dietary supplement.”

The Infinite Products situation is a little different. That company included marketing statements like “CBD can alleviate some symptoms of autism, that cannabinoids have been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and that, because of opiods’ addictiveness and painful withdrawal symptoms, people have moved to using CBD.”

According to NERA, in all class action cases, the median settlement value was $12.4 million, the highest since 2012, indicating that more cases are settling for higher values than in previous years. “The Aggregate NERA-defined Investor Losses for filed cases decreased from 2018’s record high of $929 billion to $519 billion, largely due to a decline in cases with Investor Losses of $5 billion or more. However, aggregate Investor Losses for cases with losses of $5 billion or less was $173 billion, the highest this decade.”

 

 


Sean HockingSean HockingJanuary 21, 2020
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19min1100

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AUTHOR: Glenn Johnson

PUBLISHER: CANNABIS LAW REPORT

 

THE EVOLUTION OF FARM TO TABLE FOR CANNABIS & HEMP

 

Niko Uman Borrero is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Green Bee Farms, a holistic based cannabis consultant agency that specializes in helping cattle ranchers change their hayfields into hempfields and manage their cattle using high-intensity grazing practices. His mission is to “run a biodynamic farm that offers a variety of beneficial products to the community and helps teach people about the benefits of holistic sustainable living.”

 

I spoke to him to hear more about where he saw the industry heading. “My goals,” he explains, “are to bring regenerative cannabis to the market, to bring true medicine to the people where organic is organic. Where our fertilizers and our feeds are sourced within 250 miles from the farm, and to make our brand known as a truly holistic company.” 

 

Starting at a young age, Niko has always found himself in the garden. As high school came around he was first placed into a horticulture class where he wanted more from the program, progressing onto a school/work program that helped build one of the first carbon-neutral aquaponic facilities in the U.S.

I asked Niko, what do you want the consumer’s overall experience to be over the next 5 years with hemp, what trends are you seeing today?

 

“Hemp is a super plant, with all of its uses and possibilities, there’s no wonder it’s gaining traction quickly.  I want to see houses made using its fiber, bio-decomposable plastics in the packaging field, and fewer chemicals being used in the textile industry.” 

 

“If you take a look at the sustainable food market, it is already occurring, more people are choosing forks over knives, asking their supermarket for “natural alternatives” towards personal care products, consumables and the cutlery to eat said products. Even popular media channels like Netflix are delivering documentaries based on the need for a new culture. By living and working towards sustainability we can truly create a green future. Hemp will be one of the key materials to get us there.”

 

“We have the opportunity to leapfrog over cannabis,” he continued “once the market understands regenerative agriculture, and it may take a little bit, but once it gets going, with the proper application of sustainable practices, it becomes so much more than medicinal, the fabrications and myriad of applications for hemp that excites me. Consistently changing the way we create a symbiosis with  agriculture, one step at a time.”

 

According to the USDA Farm Agency 146,065 acres of Hemp were planted in 2019. This country in fact has a long history in Hemp pre-prohibition. Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, designed it to run on vegetable and seed oils like hemp. Henry Ford constructed a car of resin stiffened hemp fiber, and even ran the car on ethanol made from hemp. Not only was the Mayflower equipped with hemp fiber products durable to make the fateful crossing, but it was also equipped with a supply of hemp seeds to be grown at the Pilgrims new home. 

 

Niko sees a future filled with Hemp products once again, “it’s the new categories that excite me: Plastics, hempcrete, paper in general…textiles there’s so many things you can do with it. Once Iowa grows it like they do corn then we’ll see bio-degenerative plastic, livestock feeds, and composite boards really hitting the market.”

 

“When talking about consumables, much like the wine industry and its focus on the uniqueness of terroir, and even French Appellations, we aim to mimic the wine model in hemp farming. Like growing hops for beer or corn for whiskey, we’re taking regional insights and applying them to hemp at many levels. In Vermont, for example, we’re ahead of the game, all organic sun grown, no foliar sprays of any kind, running 3.5 acres, it’s a lot of work that goes into it and we only have 3 people,” says Niko.

 

“The markets are changing and we aim to change with them. Survival of the most willing to adapt you could say. We’re working with a cattle farmer, and the milk market is terrible right now, he teamed up with us as a way to supplement his income and keep his cows on the farm. By teaming with us we had a direct supply to fertilizer, tractors, and someone who really knew there land. Together we can focus on quality and create a complete  full spectrum plant because we took such care from seed to sale. I want to bring in a high quality product, super high grade to the market.”

 

Shortly after legalization, Niko studied Agricultural Business and Organic Gardening at Colorado State University with an emphasis on hemp and cannabis. Because of federal guidelines, much of what he wanted to do was unavailable within the College, so he left to work for Way To Grow, Boulder. Here he talked with a variety of grow managers and was able to analyze specific soil and fertilizer “recipes” that companies manufactured and grow managers preferred. By being at the forefront of the legalization movement, it was a very free environment where people shared their tips and tricks on how they grew.

 

Realizing that most of the products listed as “organic” weren’t always organic, or cheap, Niko knew there had to be another way. It was during this time that he went down to Colombia to work for his uncle’s cattle ranch where they ran 400 head of cattle and roughly 20,000 tilapia.

 

It was here where basic things such as tape measures, drills and duct tape were not available and the most sophisticated tool they had was slow internet and a scale to measure the fish. This is the true reality for most farms in rural third world communities. So the question for him became, “how do we make fertilizers for the farm, on the farm?” This led Niko to books by Allan Savory, biodynamic tips by Rudolf Steiner, and Korean Natural Farming techniques being taught on Youtube by Erik Weinart and Chris Trump.

 

“With new ideas and collaborations, we can help the world by creating farms that are run by farms. We believe through mimicry there still is a lot to learn, from the way you move cattle, to the way you fertilize a plant. Mimicry is everywhere.”

 

Now that Niko has returned to Vermont he is currently helping dairy farmers progress there certified organic fields into Hemp. Using Soil tests, companion planting, local ingredients, and fermentations, he hopes to make Green Bee Farms a farm for the future with a copyable method that improves organic matter within the soil and changes the way commercial agriculture is run.

“With Indoor vs outdoor your yields are higher quality, and we need to build the capital for greenhouses, so we go slow and grow accordingly. We’ve bootstrapped most of this off of college funds, and we’re playing this for the long game. By showing people the power of regenerative agriculture and the symbiosis in nature, we can change the world for the better and create a greener future for everyone.”

 

I ended my conversation with him to ask — If you had three wishes for the industry, including the consumer in them—what three wishes would you make?

 

  1. There’s still a lot of education we have to do for consumers to have more of an understanding of how “every dollar counts” when they make day to day purchasing decisions. Think about it, you vote 3 times a day based on the food you eat, if you choose organic, grass-fed, biodynamic foods, more farmers will grow sustainably. In the larger sense, this is also tied into Congress and where farmer subsidies go. By giving subsidies for local farmers who regenerate the land,you are supporting a vibrant, robust, sustainable eco-system for the natural surroundings. And at the same time an educated consumer is getting healthier food, providing a true localized Economy that becomes self sufficient. 

  2. For the overall farming industry, there’s a lot of education and sharing to be done too. I would like more farmers to understand how their inputs affect their outputs. If you consistently feed a synthetic crop to your soil, you aren’t feeding the “soul” you are going directly to the crop and missing out on microbes, fungi, and the symbiosis held within the soil. We have to work on sustainability and process, share our knowledge and create systems that better everything around us.

  3. My third wish would be for more innovation, I wake up every day with the thought that each day is a blessing, and a new day to learn. If more people lived that way we would have a lot more Leonardo DaVinci’s and a lot less Paris Hiltons. 

 

To learn more About Niko and Green Bee Farms, including valuable resource lists, links and downloads of precious data on growing, visit https://greenbeefarms.org/ For the products he helps grow, you can visit https://greenbeepharms.com and give him a follow on https://www.instagram.com/greenbeepharms/

 

About Glenn Johnson

I am a Marketing, Branding and Communications Consultant w/ experience in high-touch luxury consumer marketing in the travel/hospitality, wine/spirits, fashion/beauty/grooming and Cannabis categories. My talents include Branding & Brand development, Business Building, Strategy and Brand Storytelling. I excel in working with Founders, funders, start-ups, and small brands and enjoy meeting and networking with interesting folks in the business.

 

CONTACT ME via email at: glenn.johnson@gmail.com

Connect with me on LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glenn-johnson-8018944/


Gretchen GaileyGretchen GaileyJanuary 15, 2020
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3min1670

Editor’s Note: This is an opinion guest post. 

In my last post, I promised a whole other can of worms on how impeachment will impact cannabis and I am a woman of my word. As I stated before, once the trial begins in the Senate, all Senators must be in their seats for the duration of the trial to hear the entirety of the case. This means that several the pro-cannabis Democratic candidates are going to be sitting on the sidelines for the earliest races in the primary calendar which often decides who is going to be the presidential nominee.

Four of the remaining candidates and a few frontrunners, Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, and Amy Klobuchar, will not be able to campaign and participate in the Iowa Caucus or the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries because they will be sitting in their seats listening to arguments on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 

While all those races could be cause for concern, we truly need to just look at Iowa to determine the possible fate of cannabis.  Iowa has been a strong indicator of who will be the Democratic nominee and it will be impacted by the upcoming hearing. The latest Real Clear Politics poll has the race neck and neck between former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Senator Elizabeth Warren. 

If Senators Warren and Sanders are unable to campaign in Iowa then that leaves the door open for Biden and Buttigieg to pick up the momentum they need for the win. Buttigieg had not said much on the cannabis issue, which I’m sure is tactical given his hopes of winning over more conservative voters in the Midwest. Time will tell with his campaign.

Meanwhile, Biden is by far the worst possible nominee for the cannabis movement. He has been a staunch opponent to legalization for years and helped to create the Office of National Drug Control Policy and drafted the legislation, The Violent Crime Control, and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 which has led to massive numbers of incarcerations, not to mention that the term “gateway drug” is still in his vocabulary.

According to polling site FiveThirtyEight, Biden will take Iowa and if that’s the case, then that’s the federal ballgame for cannabis – if Biden beats Trump.  If Trump comes back around for another term, that’s a whole case of worms for cannabis.

 


Gretchen GaileyGretchen GaileyJanuary 7, 2020
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3min7231

With the start of a new legislative session kicking off this week, cannabis enthusiasts are hopeful for a year of progress on cannabis bills like the SAFE Act to jumpstart the industry out of its current lull and bring more legitimacy to its legalization movement. Well, keep waiting.

Despite Congress’ holiday break, President Donald J. Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives and the Senate is going to have to act at some point, leaving cannabis and every other possible issue on the back burner. I take that back, cannabis won’t be on the back burner, it won’t even be in the kitchen.

When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s stops stonewalling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and turns over the Articles of Impeachment, which many expect will happen this week, Senate rules state that the trial must commence the next day by 1 pm and all Senators must be in their seats for the entirety of the trial. Meaning – all other legislative business in the Senate comes to a standstill and cannabis is an afterthought.

If the Senate trial is anything like President Clinton’s trial which went for six weeks, all of January will be sucked up and run us deep into February, (which opens a whole other can of worms for cannabis that I’ll come back to in a later post, stay tuned.) Congress will want to get back to its actual legislative priorities, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, surveillance reform, funding the government and not to mention, now a potential war with Iran. Cannabis is nowhere on this list, especially in the Senate where it needs to find support.

While it may seem that Trump and McConnell want to bring the Senate trial to a quick close and end this “witch hunt,” it’s in the President’s and the Republicans’ best interest to drag it out and use it for every ounce of PR fuel that it’s going to provide for the upcoming election. In the meantime, cannabis bills will be set aside, and their fate sealed like 96% of all other legislation introduced during a Congress – a slow, quiet, unnoticed death.

All legislative actions can be followed at no cost under the Legislation tab on the home page of the Green Market Report.


Sean HockingSean HockingDecember 27, 2019
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17min3810
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The merriment of the holiday season has not overtaken California’s cannabis industry as 2019 comes to a close. The Legislature, Governor Newsom’s office, cannabis regulatory agencies (principally BCC, CalCannabis, CDPH, and CDTFA), law enforcement agencies, and a multitude of other groups and individuals interested in this industry have been confronted with the reality of a disaster. To paraphrase my father’s recurring admonition when something I attempted went wrong, “It is your own damn fault because you did not think it through.”

 

The LA Times published an article on December 24th that begins,

 

“Two years after California began licensing pot shops, the industry remains so outmatched by the black market that a state panel recently joined some legalization supporters in calling for significant changes — perhaps turning again to voters to address the problems. 

In its annual draft report, the Cannabis Advisory Committee warned Gov. Gavin Newsom and California legislators that high taxes, overly burdensome regulations and local control issues posed debilitating obstacles to the legal marijuana market.”

With tax revenue about a third of what was expected and with only about 800 of an anticipated 6,000 licensees open for business, the panel said, officials may need to consider “revisiting the ballot initiative process.

The 22-member advisory panel — made up of industry leaders, civil rights activists, local officials, law enforcement and health experts — noted that California is expected to generate $3.1 billion in licensed pot sales in 2019, making it the largest market for legal cannabis in the world. But nearly three times as much — $8.7 billion — is expected to be spent on unlicensed sales.”

 

The premise for the LA Times article is accurate. California’s cannabis industry is in a state of chaos. Proposition 64 was seriously flawed. The Legislature exacerbated the problems created by Proposition 64 by acting as a group of politicians instead of acting as thoughtful leaders acting in the interests of the public. California’s roll-out of regulation pursuant to this Proposition has been maladroit. We have discussed many of the reasons for these issues.

 

The reasons for the chaos that are described in the LA Times article reflect a superficial analysis. Excessive tax rates, burdensome regulations, and local interference are as much symptoms as they are causes. The transition from a “light touch,” locally regulated medical cannabis industry in California to a highly regulated, legal state-wide adult-use industry that preserved medical use rights was an experiment, at best[1]. Proposition 64 was an amendment to the California Constitution. Proposition 64 wholly preserved Proposition 215. The preservation of the rights granted California residents under Proposition 215 in Proposition 64 will have legal ramifications for the next 10 years at a minimum.

 

Proposition 64 established the foundation for a “dual control” arrangement for the regulation of California’s cannabis industry. Local governmental agencies have the final say on land-use, health and safety issues, and the ability to collect tax revenues from the industry, but all local authority was subject to a framework of a comprehensive, burdensome and poorly reasoned state-wide regulation of this industry. Never before has California put so much money and expended so much effort in a futile attempt to put lipstick on a pig and call it a movie star. Never before in the history of California has so much administrative empire-building occurred with so little justification.

 

Thousands leaped into this industry in anticipation of financial rewards. Hundreds saw similar opportunities in becoming “instant experts” on various aspects of the industry. Carpetbaggers arrived in California from far and wide. Some cities and counties in California developed policies and licensing criteria based on local criteria. Others contracted out these tasks to firms such as HDL[2] that oversold processes and programs for their own purposes. Local governments adopted unrealistic procedures and structures which were coupled with costs and fees that cannot be supported[3].

 

The contention tax rates are too high is a red herring. Consumers pay the taxes on cannabis. The controversy over tax rates reflected in the LA Times article is a dispute over the sharing of revenue between taxing agencies and those seeking to profit from the industry. Cannabis businesses that are properly structured, organized and operated can minimize the impact of high tax rates. Well advised and well-run cannabis businesses can readily compete with the underground cannabis industry. Similarly, excessive regulation and local control issues are red herrings.

 

It is a fantasy to view California’s cannabis industry as a $3.1B licensed market and an $8.7B unlicensed market as described in the LA Times article. Licensed and unlicensed are not the same groups as legal and illegal. Licensed and unlicensed are also not the same as tax-compliant and tax non-compliant.   How should a cannabis business that is operating in complete compliance with local ordinances and paying all local taxes but largely ignoring state regulation be characterized?

 

California will have a substantial underground cannabis industry for the foreseeable future. [[. California is likely to always have a significant truly illicit cannabis industry. We have no idea whether these two segments are included in the $8.7B described as unlicensed sales in the LA Times article. The Legislature and commentators as well as all of the “leaders” of the cannabis industry should ignore licensed and unlicensed as categories and focus solely on that activity defined in SB 94 as “commercial cannabis activity.”

 

The issues of “licensed or unlicensed,” “legal or illegal,” “tax-compliant or tax non-compliant” become far more difficult when solely commercial cannabis activity is examined. With regard to commercial cannabis activity, we prefer to use the terms “legal” and “non-compliant” as this collection of business activities in reality is a very broad Bell Curve. Few cannabis businesses are wholly compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. Most cannabis businesses comply with some significant number of the applicable laws and regulations.

 

California will have a substantial amount of commercial cannabis activity that is non-compliant as long as the delta for the distribution costs for the movement of cannabis on a commercial scale between cultivator and consumer justify the risks associated with non-compliance. It is not that cannabis taxes are too high, or that regulatory compliance is too costly or too complex, or that the behavior of the cannabis regulatory and tax agencies is too sloth-like[4]. Rather, it is all of the preceding at a state-level. We have written extensively regarding a number of these issues[5].

 

There is no “black” market of commercial cannabis activity in California. There are several classifications of commercial cannabis activity that fall into different shades of “grey.” There is no single solution to the many problems created by Proposition 64 and the Legislature’s establishment of a single regulatory structure for medical and adult-use cannabis. Superficial analyses such as the LA Times article contribute little toward solutions. Similarly, the Report of Legislative Analyst Office recommending a different tax structure simply adds complexity instead of offering solutions to existing problems.

 

William G. Panzer, an Oakland attorney who was co-author of Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana in California, called the current licensing system a “nightmare.”

 

“There is lots of talk about it,” Panzer said of a new initiative. “I love the idea, if there is financing. You are not going to get the problems fixed through the Legislature.”

 

Panzer, a criminal defense attorney who supported Proposition 64, said he expects the industry will pressure state lawmakers to consider additional reforms when the Legislature reconvenes in January.

 

“The only people making money in the cannabis industry these days are people putting on seminars on how to make money in the cannabis industry,” he said.

 

Ding…Ding…Ding!

Mr. Panzer just hit it on the head. It is the National Cannabis Industry Association [“NCIA”]’s business model. A group that would rather continue to put on repetitive trade shows and seminars rather than expend the efforts on grass roots lobbying at the state level in California like the Cannabis Trade Federation [“CTF”] is doing at the Federal level in Washington D.C. However, California does not need another initiative. California has had far too many initiatives.

 

Well advised cannabis businesses that are properly structured and operated can compete financially with any of the non-compliant segments of California’s commercial cannabis industry. Some further tweaking by the Legislature may be appropriate, but we suggest the most significant action the Legislature can take is to insist that the various cannabis regulatory agencies make every possible effort to make it as easy as possible for cannabis businesses that desire to secure licenses to secure such licenses. The Legislature must demand these agencies eliminate or reduce all barriers to compliance with licensing requirements to the maximum extent possible. The mandate of Proposition 64 was to bring California’s existing cannabis industry into regulation rather than close out those involved in the industry and license an entirely new group consisting largely of opportunists.

 

SOURCES / REFERENCES

[1] An excellent analysis of Proposition 64 is contained in Implementing Proposition 64: Marijuana Policy in California by the Stanford Law School Law and Policy Lab.

[2] HDL, formerly known as Hinderliter, de Llamas & Associates, The firm was founded in 1983 as a firm devoted to real property tax and sales tax assessments.  The underlying business model for decades appears to have been based on conducting audits for cities and counties to assist in ensuring such local jurisdictions were collecting the taxes due.

[3] See Cantonization – California – Cannabis for further discussion of the background.

[4] Bureau of Cannabis Control [“BCC”], California Dept. of Public Health [“CDPH”]Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch [“MCSB”], California Dept. of Food and Agriculture [“CFDA”]CalCannabis, and the California Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration [“CDTFA”].

[5] Much of our content on the topics can be found in our blog repository on Cannabis Law Report.


Sean HockingSean HockingDecember 23, 2019
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5min1900
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PUBLISHER:  CANNABIS LAW REPORT

We are busy with a cross-country relocation, but we nevertheless felt compelled to make a quick comment in response to NORML’s knee-jerk December 23, 2019, post.

Tell Senator Crapo that a 2% THC cap is unacceptable and that banking reform can’t wait..

Senator Crapo is not a grinch. Senator Crapo is one of 536 politicians, or some comparable number of members of this particular species who reside in Washington, D.C. and who spend substantially all of their time pandering for votes. With respect to the SAFE Act, Senator Crapo is just developing a foundation for his political positioning.

The devil will always be found in the details of legislation such as the SAFE Act. Who knows where legislation in the United States such as the SAFE Act will go in view of the intense partisanship in Washington, D.C.? At this time Congress is being driven more by partisan political expediency than at any time in the last fifty years. Little or no consideration is given by any of those who purportedly represent the American public for the best interests of this constituency.

How long has it been since you have heard a prominent politician in Washington, D.C. say,

 

“I, and my party, have made some errors in our approach to this issue, and there is some significant merit to the approach urged by the other party, but . . . and for that reason I am going to devote my efforts to the development of the position that does the most to accomplish those changes that are in the best interests of all of the residents of this country regardless race, religion, age, sexual orientation, status, financial resources, or political power taking into account all of the relevant considerations.”

 

We agree banking reform cannot wait. The denial of access to banking to the cannabis industry – legal or illegal – is simply stupid. It always has been stupid. How can unreported income be tracked if the United States does not insist that criminals use banks? Well-advised, well-connected, financial criminals move millions of dollars around the world making it disappear untaxed. At the same time a West Los Angeles dispensary – legal or illegal – cannot open a bank account without lying, and thereby committing the financial crime of bank fraud. The justification for denying access to banking to the cannabis industry is merely one of many falsehoods perpetrated on the America public by Washington, D.C.

 

Please do not misunderstand our position. We are not supporters of the legalization of cannabis as it has been pushed forward by many of its supporters. Marijuana is a drug similar to alcohol and tobacco. The use of marijuana should be limited to adults. The use of marijuana should be regulated. We have always supported the decriminalization of the possession and use of marijuana. We have always supported the medical use of marijuana.

 

Look at Senator Crapo’s actions for what they really mean. Senator Crapo’s actions are nothing more than his political positioning to facilitate the financial interests that control most of the wealth in the United States in order to maintain control over this industry segment and the population it represents going into 2020. Senator Crapo has no moral or ethical motivation for his actions. Senator Crapo does not care whether the cannabis industry – legal or illegal – has access to banking. Senator Crapo is solely driven by what plays best politically for his interests.


AvatarHeather AllmanDecember 23, 2019
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25min6730
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Cannabis Sustainability: SCOPE and SOLUTIONS

SUSTAINABILITY SITUATION IN 2017

Over two years ago, Nora Mounce of Hello MD penned Beyond Organic: How to Shop for Sustainable Cannabis:

Cannabis can’t be certified organic, but there are third-party labels to help you pick marijuana grown safely and sustainably.

For cannabis-friendly environmentalists, it makes sense that we celebrate Earth Day just after 420. In fact, the annual celebrations, both dedicated to green living, seem to sync up more and more each year. With respect to green farmers of all stripes, here are some tips for sourcing eco-friendly cannabis this Earth Day and every day.

Cannabis Can’t Be Officially Called Organic

“For better or worse, you won’t see organic cannabis at your dispensary or offered by your delivery service any time soon. While many of California’s cultivators practice organic- style farming, the federal government holds the trademark on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Certified Organic designation. This prevents anyone from slapping an organic label on cannabis, until prohibition is lifted nationwide—and who knows when that will happen.

“Consumers want organic; they want GMO-free; they want products produced from sustainable farming methods,” says Rick Bakas, a wine industry marketing professional. Also an advocate for medical marijuana, Rick believes that success in the legal cannabis industry will hinge on sustainability practices. Yet, in order to market a business’s commitment to consumer safety and environmental integrity, these values need to be communicated—but how?”

Marijuana Sustainability Certifications to Look For

“Over the years, the media has repeatedly characterized cannabis cultivation as either energy-sucking indoor grows or backwoods farms that unleash rodenticides on wildlife. Like any industry, there are good and bad actors. But in 2018, marijuana legalization has emerged as the platform to raise environmental standards of California’s most infamous green industry.

Here are some of the third-party labels you can look for and ask about that identify cannabis products made with sustainable practices:

  • Beyond Compliant >> In lieu of a Certified Organic designation, consulting firms like Hall & Associates in Humboldt County have developed third-party certifications to communicate a cannabis farm’s environmental practices. By leveraging designations like Hollie’s Beyond Compliant certification, dispensary buyers have a clearer picture of the farm’s environmental practices. The Beyond Compliant name comes from the language of Prop 64, which requires cannabis farmers to be “on the pathway to compliance” in abiding by the state’s new environmental regulations governing marijuana cultivation.”
  • TCC Standards of Sustainability >> “With a California office in Nevada County, Colorado-based The Cannabis Conservancy also established a sustainability certification. Co-founder and President Jacob Policzer explains that its label, TCC Standards of Sustainability, supports and recognizes cultivators whose agriculture practices are “beyond organic certification.”
  • Clean Green >> Another third-party certification you can look for is called Clean Green. The designation has been around since 2014 and certifies a range of products and services based on their sustainability practices. Clean Green has a robust online business directory where you can search for certified cannabis farms, processing companies and dispensaries throughout California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington”

SUSTAINABILITY SITUATION IN 2017

In 2017, this discussion gained momentum in Cannabis & Sustainability: How Marijuana Can Go Greener by Carmen Márquez:

As the cannabis industry grows, more attention is being paid to sustainable cultivation and manufacturing practices. In fact, many anti-cannabis proponents are using the environmental impact of commercial cannabis operations as a way to sway people to their side. However, there are many cannabis companies seeking to make the industry a greener place with more sustainable practices.

Ways to Improve Sustainability in the Cannabis Industry?

There are three basic aspects to consider for sustainable cannabis growth: energy consumption, water usage, and waste management. Here are suitable sustainable alternatives:

  • LED Lighting
  • Sustainable Water Usage
  • Effective Waste Disposal:Seed to sale tracking implementation in legal markets allows cannabis companies to accurately track all aspects of their plants. And while processors, cultivators and dispensaries are disposing of waste correctly per state laws, much of that waste just ends up in landfills.”

Predictions for the Future of Cannabis Sustainability?

All in all, there are many businesses within the cannabis industry aiming to promote sustainable and green practices. And while it may take a while for these practices to be adopted on a wide scale commercial level, at least the conversation has been started. In fact, there are even advocacy groups you can join today to do your part in spreading sustainability awareness, such as the Cannabis Sustainability Workgroup.

SUSTAINABILITY SITUATION IN 2019

Yet in 2019, Cannabis Companies Struggle To Become More Sustainable. CEO and Co-Founder of KushCo Holdings Nick Kovacevich writes:

State regulations make it hard for cannabis companies to focus on sustainability. That doesn’t mean they’re not trying. Millennials are bringing that sense of responsibility for maintaining a livable planet…. But while cannabis is a business based around agriculture, there aren’t clear rules for how to make it more sustainable. Because cannabis production and consumption have been illegal for nearly a century, there is limited data to support the design of best practices for the industry.

And unlike other valuable agricultural crops, there has been virtually no publicly-funded research on how to produce cannabis most effectively and efficiently, nor which of the various cultivation methods has the smallest carbon footprint.

Many cannabis companies are doing their best to reduce their carbon footprint while continuing to meet local regulations. Some are switching to more efficient and ecologically sound methods. Another way cannabis companies are hoping to become more sustainable is through packaging changes.

Industry groups and producers are hoping technology in the form of QR codes, a type of matrix barcode which can be read by smartphones and stores URLs and other information, can help. Many legal states might soon adopt QR codes, eliminating some of the excessive plastic required to cram all the mandated information onto each package.

At the same time, cannabis industry groups are taking the lead on sustainability, recommending the creation of packaging recycling programs, which offer small discounts to customers for returning bags and containers. They’re also searching for ways to incentivize producers and processors to switch to sustainable containers, including biodegradable hemp plastic.

Trade groups such as the Cannabis Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of an ethical and sustainable cannabis industry, are working to help find and develop compostable packaging. Companies such as TerraCycle are springing up specifically to deal with recycling cannabis packaging.

As cannabis continues to grow, and emerge from prohibition in more parts of the country, the industry will continue looking for ways to decrease its carbon footprint and working toward more environmentally sound packaging from the fields to store shelves.

SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTIONS IN 2019

Solutions to reduce our collective U.S. cannabis carbon footprint in 2019 are once again being promoted and encouraged, such as Cady Drell’s September 2019 Rolling Stone article on How the Cannabis Industry Can Do Better to Fight the Climate Crisis:

Cannabis is a pretty eco-friendly plant, all things considered: It’s versatile, it’s one of the fastest-growing commercial crops, and it may even help clean up soil that’s been contaminated by other farming practices. But despite all that, not to mention its perception as an Earth-loving agro-business, the legal cannabis industry isn’t all that green.

Since the early days of legalization, weed has struggled to match its sustainable image. Between the vast amounts of energy used for indoor grows (according to a 2011 estimate, a full 1 percent of the nation’s power usage goes to cannabis operations, though that number could be higher in 2019), the water used to cultivate plants, the oil used to ship them, and the packaging needed to sell them, the waste really starts to add up. And as the industry continues to expand rapidly — spending on cannabis is projected to hit nearly $50 billion a year by 2027 — the problem will only get bigger.

One obstacle is that much of the waste is due to regulation: Few legal states allow for outdoor growing, which is far more energy conservative than indoor, and single-use packaging is mandated by child-proofing standards and the ever-changing nature of cannabis regulations in general.

Packaging regulations, like all regulations, are a shifting target,” says Ben Gelt, board chair of the Colorado-based Cannabis Certification Council, which hosts the annual Cannabis Sustainability Symposium. “With packaging, it’s very noticeable when a [regulatory body] changes a rule, because most companies have to change all of their packaging…It’s hard to invest in something not nimble or cheap, because you might have to ditch it.

Solar is an emerging option in indoor cannabis, and companies like Canndescent — which completed the industry’s first commercial-scale, solar-powered indoor production facility earlier this year — are showing how it could be done.

And then there’s the issue of packaging. About 300 million tons of plastic is produced annually, and much of it ends up in landfills or the ocean after its outgrown its use. And sometimes that use is once: Single-use plastics are de rigeur in the cannabis industry, mostly because of the aforementioned regulation.”

On July 19, 2019, Danielle Antos published Sustainable Plastic Packaging Options for Your Cannabis Products in the Cannabis Industry Journal:

Consider using different resins for plastic bottles and alternative manufacturing processes to help your business incorporate more sustainable packaging.

A large part of your company’s brand image depends on the packaging that you use for your cannabis product. The product packaging creates a critical first impression in a potential customer’s mind because it is the first thing they see. While the primary function of any cannabis packaging is to contain, protect and identify your products, it is a reflection of your company in the eyes of the consumer.

When you opt to use sustainably produced plastic bottles and closures for your cannabis products, you take an important step to help ensure a viable future for the planet: Cannabis Packaging that Helps Your Business Grow.

SUSTAINABILITY SUCCESSES IN 2019

There are Companies Going Beyond Sustainable Marijuana as highlighted by Fred Hernandez in March 2019:

Cannabis consumers are growing wiser to the detrimental environmental impact outdoor and indoor cannabis grow operations can have on local ecosystems. More than ever, customers are willing to spring a little extra for sustainably-grown cannabis in an eco-friendly package. Water shortages and high electricity use plague the cannabis industry. A few cannabis companies are focused on marijuana sustainability amidst a sea of questionable products.

Stagnant since the article by Nora Mounce in 2017, due to U.S. federal cannabis prohibition, the plant is still unable to receive a USDA-approved organic certification. Despite this fact, “organic certification, third-party certifications are filling the void. Marijuana sustainability is based on a number of eco-friendly practices including the use of LED lighting, sustainable water use, eco-friendly waste disposal, and sustainable cannabis packaging, Hernandez closes.”

Yes, the cannabis industry in the United States has a long, winding road ahead if cohesion, acceptance, and adherence to solid federal GCAP and GMP standards are established. However there are some legal cannabis companies currently dedicated to sustainable, quality cannabis product in the midst of our collective national uncertainty and confusion concerning the plant.

For example, as Melissa Schiller reported on December 19, 2019, a California Nonprofit Trackles Vape Recycling Issues Through Collaboration:

Up Kindness has a lofty mission to create a kind and sustainable future for all, and the Sacramento, Calif.-based nonprofit is making strides toward achieving this goal after a Dec. 15 panel discussion that brought industry stakeholders together to discuss the environmental concerns surrounding disposable vape cartridges.

The organization partnered with cannabis brand Big Karma and product design firm Canna Co-Operative to hold the discussion with statewide experts, which included panelists such as National Stewardship Action Council Executive Director Heidi Sanborn, GAIACA Waste Revitalization Director of Services Maria Espinoza, Zuber Lawler & Del Duca Law Managing Partner Tom Zuber, Big Karma’s Michelle Dougherty and NUG’s Dante Pasquini.

Photos courtesy of Up Kindness

California law leaves most recycling plants unable to accept certain byproducts of the legal cannabis industry, Up Kindness Executive Director Shira Lane tells Cannabis Business Times. Used vape cartridges, post-extraction biomass and any form of THC were left uncategorized under the federal and state laws that govern hazardous waste.

SUSTAINABLE CANNABIS COMPANIES 2019 DIRECTORY

  1. Sungrown Packaging and Higher Standard Packaging from recyclable and compostable materials
  2. HISIERRA sustainable dispensary exit bags from renewable plant-based materials from their fossil-fuel free facility.
  3. Regenerative farming methods; many cannabis companies are going beyond sustainability using such methods.
  4. Flow Kana “beyond-organic” and sustainable cannabis; partner with veteran farmers that grow small batches of sun-grown cannabis.
  5. Eel River Organics organic and sustainable marijuana farming methods and outdoor-grown cannabis; dry farming is as close to zero-waste and biodynamic as is currently possible.
  6. L’Eagle only adult-use, indoor grown cannabis grower with a Clean Green certification.
  7. Terrapin Care Station
  8. Bird Valley Organics ancient Hugelkultur technique.
  9. Swami Select
  10. Catalyst Cannabis Co
  11. Raw Garden concentrates, labeled Clean Green.
  12. Sana Packaging
  13. Hemp Wick—exactly what the name implies; produced by many different brands and companies.
  14. Puffco—high-quality, non-toxic, long-lasting vaporizers; refill chamber for hash oil that does not come from traditional cartridges.
  15. Phuncky Feel Tips
  16. Marley Natural
  17. Sunrise Mountain Farms, a clean, sustainable approach to producing cannabis alongside naturally thriving wild elderberries (Sambucus).
  18. Papa & Barkley’s; company’s pre-existing, small-holder agricultural ecosystem (think Dr. Bronner’s) which is 100% free of the harmful pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers necessitated by Big Ag, makes the need for a Big Ag cannabis takeover in California completely obsolete,” according to CEO Michael Steinmetz, who believes the cannabis industry at large, needs to “prioritize environmentally responsible practices and source from sustainable resources.” 
  19. Canndescent; invested a combined $3.75m to retrofit its inimitable 11,000 square foot warehouse for solar and cannabis production; CFO Tom DiGiovanni reports they want “to help the ‘green’ industry to go greener” by accelerating the adoption of solar power and “green door” practices within the cannabis industry.

 


AvatarHeather AllmanDecember 23, 2019
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15min5360
If you wish to re-publish this story please do so with following accreditation
AUTHOR: Heather Allman
PUBLISHER:  CANNABIS LAW REPORT

Cannabis Sustainability: GACP and GMP

THE DISCUSSION CONCERNING SUSTAINABLE CANNABIS

On April 22, 2019, United Nations-based cannabis correspondent and global drug policy analyst Sara Brittany Somerset took advantage of our collective national climate focus to address the “cannabis carbon footprint” issue with her pertinent Earth Day Begs The Question: Is Cannabis Farming Sustainable?

Mass industrial agriculture practices are debated hotly as significant contributors to climate change. As the global cannabis industry grows exponentially, its rapidly evolving trajectory in the United States is commercial agriculture. Therefore, marijuana production is preternaturally and unequivocally contributing to climate change.

Theories abound on how to make cannabis production more sustainable. Independent farmers believe that the “marijuana Monsantos” that are muscling in are only going to make things perpetually more detrimental for the environment and the instability of the planet in the years to come. The lack of sustainability, vast amounts of water and electricity necessary for cultivation is the elephant in the room of any smoke session.

So what things factor into cannabis sustainability? Somerset answers first on cannabis agriculture and farming, specifically:

  • Types of Cultivation

Mitigating factors as to how to cultivate cannabis most ethically and sustainably are constantly in flux with the advent of new technologies, versus less harmful farming techniques. 

There are varying types of cannabis cultivation such as (a) Indoor or hydroponically grown; (b) Greenhouse potted plants using sun or sun combined with artificial lighting; or (c) Outdoor or sun-grown using just sunshine, rainwater and love.

Next, she addresses the major factors affecting the cannabis industry at large:

  • Sustainability Issues

Indoor potted cannabis cultivation consumes a massive amount of energy, due to a constant artificial daylight cycle and crop irrigation. While some outdoor, potted greenhouse cultivation can be diurnal, it also often utilizes artificial light, and consume enormous amounts of water via sprinkler systems. Sun-grown, as the name suggests, uses less artificial light and therefore takes longer to yield.

A dichotomy exists between patient adherents of organic farming principles and industrial agriculture’s shareholder-driven penchant for speeding up productivity.

  • Water Consumption & Carbon Dioxide Issues

Indoor cultivators can lessen the need for water and pesticides, two crucial detractors to farming cannabis outdoors.

Growing cannabis indoors allow control of the variables that the plant needs, which reduces water usage and controls how much water is pulled from the environment.

  • Pesticide Issues

Growing cannabis outdoors on residual pesticide-contaminated soil is a serious problem. Authorized cannabis companies offer non-competitive prices citing herb that is lab tested to be free of contaminants, including pesticides and heavy metals.

  • Craft Cannabis Vs. Big Ag

Given the rampant corruption in producing cannabis, the safest way to proceed as a consumer seems to be to eschew products from Big Ag, similarly to how farmer’s market produce is seemingly healthier than Big Ag produced crops. If DIY home-grown cannabis is unavailable, “Craft” cannabis is the farm-to-table equivalent to more robust, safer consumption.

The concept of a recent grassroots movement is to support these ideals by provoking cannabis consumers to think about who grows their cannabis, where it originates from, and its aforementioned impact on the environment.

Obviouly, the sustainable-cannabis conversation is not new to 2019, but let’s start at the beginning, so to speak.

SUSTAINABLE CANNABIS, GACP, GMP EXPLANATION 

According to WinRich’s GACP and the Cannabis Industry:

GACP (Good Agricultural and Collection Practices) is a set of guidelines covering areas of cultivation (from seeds and propagation material), collection, harvest, processing, packaging, personnel, equipment, documentation and others for the sake of satisfying the minimum required quality assurance in plant cultivation. Together with GMP these guidelines completely define the entire process from seed to sale of all plants with Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) to which cannabis belongs to.

In simple terms GACP states that the personnel should be adequately trained, that cultivated plants should be grown observing all local regulations on fertilizing, storage, handling, packaging etc and that the whole process should be transparent and documented. The ultimate goal is bringing a product to the market that is consistent and safe for consumption.

In addition, the World Health Organization, weighs in with their own Guidelines on Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP) for Medicinal Plants

Cannabis GxP’s New Standards For Cannabis Products Quality Assurance outlines detailed steps for sustainability success in GACP in the Cannabis cultivation facility:

GACP stands for Good Agriculture and Collection Practices. The main challenge of the GACP is that the cultivation and post harvest facilities will be designed properly to minimize risks from the outer environment, to enable a correct personnel and material flow.

We want to avoid contamination of any kind, to improve the yield, to achieve the desired cannabinoid content, to optimize and control cultivation parameters and to meet the target market regulatory requirements.

Recognizable worldwide, the ISPE or the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering offers further insight on GMP in the Cannabis Industry:

Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. It is designed to minimize the risks involved in any pharmaceutical production that cannot be eliminated through testing the final product.

GMP covers all aspects of production from the starting materials, premises, and equipment to the training and personal hygiene of staff. Detailed written procedures are essential for each process that could affect the quality of the finished product. There must be systems to provide documented proof that correct procedures are consistently followed at each step in the manufacturing process – every time a product is made.

Available GMP Resources 

GMP Guidelines, as well as the following discussion of GMP and GACP certification implications for the cannabis industry:

Medicinal market targets treating various diseases which range from chronic pain to alleviating side-effects of chemotherapy for cancer patients. Using cannabis in medicine means its cultivation must abide strict quality standards such as the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) and the GACP (Good Agricultural and Collection Practices), either already or in the near future. These outline minimum requirements for growers so that they create high quality, consistent products which will later pass authorization by agencies that are in charge of licensing the manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products.

The requirements of GMP concern handling of the products, cleaning of the machinery used to make it, packaging, quality assurance etc. while the GACP requirements outline guidelines for cultivation practices. 

Is GMP Certification required for the cannabis industry?

It is not yet enforced in all countries where cannabis cultivation is legal but it seems that it will become the norm. This is due to the fact that cannabis is considered a drug and thus must abide the same regulations that govern the pharmaceutical industry, GMP certification being one of them.

What does GMP mean in requirement and technical terms? The ISPE clarifies GMP/GACP for each of the following crucial cannabis areas:

  • Staff

The staff of the cultivation facility should be adequately educated for the jobs they are performing as well as trained in GMP requirements.

  • Equipment 

Equipment used to produce cannabis such as benches, lighting, irrigation systems, HVAC systems, containers for harvested product etc. should be made of materials that can withstand sterilization by various chemicals.

  • Sterilization

A sanitation program is to be developed which will be available to all staff members involved in the handling of the product. The sanitation program outlines the frequency and methodology of cleaning and it is part of the grow’s SOPs (standard operating procedures). The cleaning should disinfect the production areas and the equipment.

  • Cannabis Lighting

All the regulation regarding equipment explained above refers to the lighting supplier of a cannabis grow. In essence it means that luminaires need to be easily cleanable made from non-toxic materials the spectrum must of be of high quality so that yields and cannabinoid profiles are consistent, the luminaires must be of high quality so that their light output does not decay quickly and dramatically, affecting the yields, disqualifying HPS lamps from being used in GMP / GACP compliant cannabis grows.

What about the pounds of packaging? Here is the ISPE’s offering of Good Cannabis Packaging Requirements:

Packaging is the number one issue that is impacting the environment on the consumer side of cannabis. Many state regulations require cannabis be sealed in childproof packaging at the processing level. This mandate ensures proper labeling prior to distribution, and that your product has not been tampered with. It also helps speed up sales in high-traffic shops by removing the need to weigh individual products.

Eco-Friendly Cannabis Packaging Design is the Way of the Future, comprised of these four qualities:

  • Recyclable
  • Reusable
  • Durable
  • Efficient

And yes, Responsible Cannabis Framework Models Do Exist, along with these additional resources:

  1. The Global Cannabis Partnerships collaborated with members to develop a Responsible Cannabis Framework (RCF), which will act as a roadmap for members to help them go beyond what is compliant and has the potential to set an example for corporate social responsibility within the cannabis industry and beyond:
  2. Read the Responsible Cannabis Framework
  3. Fact sheet: Responsible Cannabis Framework

 


Sean HockingSean HockingDecember 17, 2019
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5min2040


Sean HockingSean HockingDecember 17, 2019
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16min13501

Our Wall St contact tells us this report is a big topic of discussion on the street today. Published by Siegfried Eggert of Geoinvesting the report alleges a list of wrongdoings so egregious that it’s impossible to know where to start. Suffice to say that the precis reads like a crime novel plot, “Trulieve and its insiders are deeply involved in ongoing FBI investigations. CEO Kim Rivers and companies affiliated with her are mentioned in FBI subpoenas. Kim River’s husband, JT Burnette, is currently indicted for serious charges such as racketeering. Kim and her husband seem to be at the very center of a political crime ring in North Florida, that dealt in political favors and allegedly obfuscated government funds.”

Here are the report’s key points.

Our on the ground due diligence including drone footage suggest that the majority of the company’s cultivation space comes from hoop houses that produce low quality output that is prone to infestation and weather damage.

• We found extensive ties between Trulieve and ongoing FBI investigations into corruption in North Florida.

• Trulieve’s initial license approval stinks of corruption and involved multiple undisclosed conflicts of interest.

• CEO Kim Rivers’ husband, JT Burnette is at the very center of the FBI probe, he is the right-hand man of disgraced politician Scott Maddox, and an integral part to the criminal enterprise accused of charges ranging from racketeering to falsifying statements.

More On Kim Rivers – Click on Image

And hubby JT Burnette at Reddit

• Our research indicates that Burnette is Trulieve’s key construction partner. Burnette’s construction firms were also called out in the subpoena and are involved in scandals involving public funds in North Florida.

• There are several undisclosed related party transactions, where Burnette affiliated companies sold real estate to Trulieve at a huge profit. • Trulieve lies about the nature of its lenders, and depicts some of them as third parties that we could trace back to insiders. Also, all but one lender used shell entities that show no other activities.

• Given the opaque set up and lies Trulieve told about its financing sources we are deeply worried what Trulieve is hiding. Inkbridge, a lender of Trulieve that is controlled by Kim Rivers, is known for using government funds to finance ventures. There are also reports of shady foreign individuals trying to get a foothold in Florida’s medical marijuana industry. We ask: Where did the money really come from?

• The company’s portrayed profitability relies on mark-ups on their grown product, which we believe to be highly suspect in-light of our findings. Also, the company takes out tiny loans from insiders when it is supposedly swimming in cash.

• Trulieve is facing several economic headwinds, such as increasing competition. With the low-quality production facilities we uncovered, we believe Trulieve will not be able to compete.

Trulieve-Report-

The report is authored by investment analyst

Siegfried (Siggy) Eggert, Special Situations Equity Analyst (Visit Siggy’s Blog)

Siegfried Eggert joined the GeoInvesting Team as an analyst in the summer of 2016 as an Equity Analyst. He is responsible for generating and analyzing long/short special situation investment ideas, including spin-offs, tender offers, M&A, and bankruptcy proceedings. Siegfried has over five years of practical experience investing in small- and micro-cap companies and managing portfolios.

Before coming to the United States, Siggy was born and raised in Germany, and studied International Business in the Netherlands, Hanze University of Groningen, where he received his Bachelor of Arts with Honors, majoring in Finance and Accounting. Siegfried also spent seven months studying in Beijing at Beijing Technology and Business University, after which he received a minor in Asian Business.

Meet The GeoInvesting Team

Trulieve have already issued a press release response

Trulieve Responds to Short-Seller Report

| Source: Trulieve Cannabis Corp.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Dec. 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (“Trulieve” or the “Company”) (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF), a leading and top-performing cannabis company in the United States, today announced that it is aware of a short-seller report (the “Report”) released earlier today which contains several false, slanderous and misleading statements about Trulieve. Trulieve’s successful and profitable business model is supported by several respected and reputable analyst firms, and as a publicly traded company its financial activity is communicated regularly and accurately to the investment community.  The quality of Trulieve’s products and production facilities has never been in question, as evidenced by more than 230,000 satisfied customers in the Florida market. It appears today’s report is a disingenuous attempt to manipulate Trulieve’s stock price, and the Company is planning to pursue legal action against this outlet, which has no history or credibility in assessing cannabis companies.

Kim Rivers, the Chief Executive Officer of Trulieve, remarked, “We ask that our investors be aware that the Report reflects the opinions of an acknowledged short seller, whose sole interest is in profiting from a decline in the price of the Company’s shares. I have full confidence in our management team and their abilities to continue to serve our customers without being distracted by these baseless allegations. Trulieve reserves all of its rights to take appropriate legal action against those responsible for the Report.”

Rivers continued, “Trulieve sells high quality flower, cultivated in our indoor facilities, and was recently recognized by an award from the Cannabis Business Association of having the best flower in Florida. We stand behind the quality of our products and have a long-standing no-questions-asked return policy.  Trulieve set a record for flower sales in Florida just last week, capturing over 51% of the market.”

About Trulieve

Trulieve is a vertically integrated “seed-to-sale” company and is the first and largest fully licensed medical cannabis company in the State of Florida. Trulieve cultivates and produces all of its products in-house and distributes those products to Trulieve-branded stores (dispensaries) throughout the State of Florida, as well as directly to patients via home delivery. Trulieve also operates in California, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Trulieve is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol TRUL and trades on the OTCQX Best Market under the symbol TCNNF.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes forward-looking information and statements, which may include, but ‎are not limited to, information and statements regarding or inferring the future business, ‎operations, financial performance, prospects, and other plans, intentions, expectations, estimates, ‎and beliefs of the Company and statements with regard to the Report and the Company’s response thereto. Words such as “expects”, ‎‎“continue”, “will”, “anticipates” and “intends” or similar expressions are intended to identify ‎forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s ‎current projections and expectations about future events and financial trends that management ‎believes might affect its financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial ‎needs, and on certain assumptions and analysis made by the Company in light of the experience ‎and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments and ‎other factors management believes are appropriate. Forward-looking information and statements ‎involve and are subject to assumptions and known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other ‎factors which may cause actual events, results, performance, or achievements of the Company ‎to be materially different from future events, results, performance, and achievements expressed ‎or implied by forward-looking information and statements herein. Although the Company ‎believes that any forward-looking information and statements herein are reasonable, in light of ‎the use of assumptions and the significant risks and uncertainties inherent in such information ‎and statements, there can be no assurance that any such forward-looking information and ‎statements will prove to be accurate, and accordingly readers are advised to rely on their own ‎evaluation of such risks and uncertainties and should not place undue reliance upon such ‎forward-looking information and statements. Any forward-looking information and statements ‎herein are made as of the date hereof, and except as required by applicable laws, the Company ‎assumes no obligation and disclaims any intention to update or revise any forward-looking ‎information and statements herein or to update the reasons that actual events or results could or ‎do differ from those projected in any forward looking information and statements herein, whether ‎as a result of new information, future events or results, or otherwise, except as required by ‎applicable laws.‎

The Canadian Securities Exchange has not reviewed, approved or disapproved the ‎content of this news release.‎

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Lynn Ricci
Director, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
850-480-7955
IR@trulieve.com

MEDIA CONTACT:
Ryan Ferguson
InkHouse
781-966-4100
trulieve@inkhouse.com



About Us

The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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