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California’s Governor Might Eliminate Cannabis Cultivation Tax, The Cannabis Industry is Finally Finding Ways to Make Product Sampling Work for Them, and Congressman Urges DOT to Reconsider Cannabis Testing Policies

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AP

California’s Governor Might Eliminate Cannabis Cultivation Tax

Over the last several months, cannabis companies in California have been very vocal about their struggles. Many producers are struggling to stay in business, in large part because of the hefty taxes that they pay at the state level. Industry advocates have been calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to act, and on Friday he announced his proposal to eliminate the cannabis cultivation tax – which is currently $161 per pound of marijuana flower. To make up for the loss in revenue, he also recommends raising the retail excise tax after three years from 15 percent to 19 percent. Gov. Newsom’s proposed budget also calls for about $20 million in grant money to help municipalities reform their retail licensing programs. 

The Cannabis Industry is Finally Finding Ways to Make Product Sampling Work for Them

Sampling has long been a marketing staple for a variety of industries because it is a great way to introduce products to prospective consumers and retailers alike. But it has always been a struggle for the cannabis industry to use sampling as a marketing tactic. There are regulatory and legal hurdles, age restrictions on consumption, and restrictions on consuming cannabis products in public spaces. But the cannabis industry is finally finding ways to make sampling work for them. CBD and hemp companies have been pushing the legal envelope by providing samples, and those businesses with products that contain THC are taking notice. Some companies that make products that contain THC are creating samples using CBD instead, or with no cannabinoids at all. The idea is to give potential consumers an idea of their product’s taste. 

Congressman Urges DOT to Reconsider Cannabis Testing Policies

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D – OR) recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), citing their current cannabis testing policies as the reason thousands of otherwise qualified drivers are unable to obtain employment in commercial driving or trucking industries. Rep. Blumenauer admitted in his letter that no one wants impaired drivers on the road. However, with no available test to accurately measure THC in someone’s system, he said that drivers are unfairly disqualified because of off-duty cannabis use, which may have occurred days or even weeks before the drug screening. The Congressman said in his letter, “These disqualifications deny people the right to earn a living, reduce the workforce when drivers are desperately needed, and penalize people of color and patients who legally use medical cannabis. This crisis must be treated with urgency.”

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