Downstream Results: April 2023

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That is first of an occasional column that updates developments pertaining to articles beforehand printed by Undertaking CBD. We begin with some optimistic information from the Golden State. Then a follow-up on our investigative report about Curaleaf, the world’s largest hashish firm. And freedom of expression takes successful on the subject of hashish advocacy within the Czech Republic.

Plastic Air pollution in California

Impressed by Undertaking CBD’s expose, “Bag the Tags” (June 29, 2022), California state senator Ben Allen has launched a invoice to finish the onerous requirement to use a plastic tag to each hashish plant grown by licensed cultivators, as is presently mandated beneath the state’s track-and-trace program. Sponsored by CannaCraft, Inc., a significant hashish producer (and longtime buddy of Undertaking CBD), and supported by a number of organizations together with the Nationwide Product Stewardship Council and the California Hashish Business Affiliation, Senate Invoice 622 seeks to mitigate pointless labor and operational prices for hashish cultivators, whereas eliminating the creation of tens of millions of kilos of plastic waste that may’t be recycled.

As Undertaking CBD reported final yr: “With over 2,000 acres licensed to develop hashish, California hashish farmers put between 30 and 55 million crops within the floor yearly. The tags are the definition of ‘single use’ – they will solely be used on one plant and by no means re-used throughout subsequent rising seasons. That’s a whole lot of plastic tags for an business with inexperienced pretensions.”

The ostensible function of imposing the tag rule was to watch hashish grown in California to be sure that it could not find yourself within the illicit market inside or outdoors the state. However the factsheet summarizing SB 622 emphasizes that “particular person plant tags are utterly ineffective in stopping diversion.” Why? As a result of hashish can’t be diverted till the crops are harvested! And the tags are eliminated and discarded after they’re pulled from the bottom.

The SB 622 factsheet asserts: “In a state that prides itself on championing environmentally delicate initiatives designed to cease local weather change and enhance the surroundings, it’s antithetical and irresponsible to proceed to mandate plastic plant tagging, which does nothing to forestall diversion.”

The answer: “SB 622 replaces the person plastic plant tagging with a digital plant tag, which offers the identical stage of transparency into the variety of crops within the floor at any given time. Digital plant tagging is presently utilized by conventional farmers and has been acknowledged as an efficient different by the California Farm Bureau in addition to the U.S. Division of Agriculture.”

Curaleaf’s Grievance: Too A lot Social justice!

In February 2023, Undertaking CBD printed a narrative about Curaleaf, the scandal-ridden, multistate and multinational firm, which has achieved a number one place within the U.S. hashish business with nine-figure backing from unsavory Russian billionaires. “Small producers have lengthy been cautious of the hashish business coming beneath domination by multistate operators (MSOs) with the worst practices of company America,” we reported. “However the revelations of Russian oligarch cash within the coffers of main MSO Curaleaf seem to vindicate even essentially the most cynical observers.”

A number of states have launched investigations into Curaleaf’s enterprise practices that had been highlighted in our article, together with product security and labor violations. In April, New Jersey regulators declined to resume Curaleaf’s profitable adult-use hashish license, citing the layoffs following the closure of one in every of its cultivation services, in addition to the corporate’s conflict with unions and lack of transparency.

Issues aren’t going nicely for Curaleaf in New York, both. In keeping with a report in Inexperienced Market Report, Curaleaf CEO Boris Jordan feels social justice efforts have been “taken too far” in some states the place hashish is authorized. Particularly, Jordan was essential of the rollout of the adult-use market in New York, which has prioritized retail licenses for fairness candidates, whereas delaying participation by well-heeled MSOs that already maintain medical hashish licenses.

“They went off on these applications, and we’re going to present these belongings to felons and folks that have two heads and this sort of stuff,” Jordan fumed whereas threatening to retaliate: “We’re speaking to New York . . . In the event that they don’t play ball they usually violate the principles, we’re going to sue.”

“The business has to consolidate,” Jordan asserted. “There’s no means there’s going to be 100 hashish firms ten years from now. It’s in all probability going to be three or 4 massive operators.”

Certain sufficient, in March a lawsuit was filed by a gaggle referred to as the Coalition for Entry to Regulated & Secure Hashish,” which incorporates Curaleaf and a number of other different MSOs (Acreage Holdings, Inexperienced Thumb Industries, PharmaCann). The criticism argues that there isn’t any provision in NY’s legalization regulation that stipulates fairness candidates ought to be prioritized within the preliminary part of the adult-use retail dispensary license rollout.

A couple of months earlier, Jordan spoke at MJBizCon in Las Vegas and predicted that the marijuana business would inevitably bear huge consolidation with just a few firms controlling the worldwide provide chain — a growth he apparently favors. “The business has to consolidate,” he warned. “There’s no means there’s going to be 35 or 40 or 50 or 100 hashish firms ten years from now. It’s in all probability going to be three or 4 massive operators.” Jordan clearly assumes that Curaleaf might be one them.

The longer term hashish cartel will convey working down prices by emulating the tobacco business so as “to earn a really wholesome margin,” he defined. Huge tobacco firms “all use the identical packaging. All of them use the identical paper. All of them use the identical machines. All of them use mainly every little thing the identical, they usually have totally different manufacturers.”

However in contrast to Huge Tobacco, there are a whole bunch of hashish varietals with distinctive terpene and cannabinoid profiles, and hashish merchandise will be consumed in numerous methods — through inhalation, ingestion, or topical utility. Cartels that function to the detriment of small companies will not be conducive to a various, inclusive business or a wide selection of product decisions.

Reefer Insanity in Prague

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As Undertaking CBD reported a year-and-a-half in the past: “Of all of the post-Communist international locations in Jap Europe, the Czech Republic is seen because the one which has greatest finessed the transition to an open society.” A thriving different tradition with a vibrant hashish and psychedelic scene exists in Prague and different components of Bohemia and Moravia, the 2 areas that comprise the Czech Republic.

However in November 2021 Robert Veverka, editor-in-chief and writer of the Czech hashish journal Legalizace, was convicted by a district court docket for selling “toxicomania,” i.e., optimistic depictions of hashish. He was fined, and given a two-and-a-half yr suspended sentence.

“The largest hazard of hashish is its illegality,” Veverka instructed Undertaking CBD shortly after the decision. “We need to have hashish social golf equipment. we need to cease the battle on medication. Each grownup ought to have a proper to develop in their very own backyard.” 

Undaunted, he vowed to struggle the choice.

However final month, the Czech Courtroom of Attraction dominated in opposition to Veverka. He was ordered him to pay a effective of 250,000 Czech crowns (greater than $10,000) and he was banned from publishing his journal. In impact, the decide opined that it’s authorized to write down about hashish provided that one criticizes it. Veverka referred to as the current ruling “a relic of totalitarianism.”

© Copyright, Undertaking CBD. Might not be reprinted with out permission.

Advisable Readings

Bag the Tags! California’s Eco-Absurdity

The try to trace the motion of each hashish plant is polluting the surroundings with plastic waste.

Curaleaf Controversies

Russian oligarch cash, product security violations, and unfair labor practices at a large, scandal-ridden hashish firm.

Free Speech Under Attack in Czech Cannabis Crackdown

Editor convicted of selling THC-induced “toxicomania,” might face jail time.

The Origins of Reefer Madness

Harry Jacob Anslinger ran the Federal Bureau of Narcotics with an iron fist for over three many years.

nP6imwe Downstream Results: April 2023
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