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Many Cities in California are Opening Cannabis Cafes, Inferior Labeling and Incorrect Strain Information May Be Negatively Impacting the Legal Marijuana Industry, and Louisiana’s Governor Signs Ten Cannabis Bills

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AP

Many Cities in California are Opening Cannabis Cafes

The next wave of legal cannabis business is rolling into California in the form of cannabis cafes. After the Covid-19 pandemic forced many of these businesses to shut their doors, they are now re-opening to the public in major cities like San Francisco and Palm Springs, among others. Some smaller cities in the state, like Ojai, are considering permitting marijuana consumption cafes in an effort to bring more tourists and increase tax revenue. While some in the industry see cannabis cafes as the “next big thing” and a way for the legal market to compete with the illicit cannabis market, not everyone in the state sees social consumption as a positive. When the state legalized cannabis in 2016, they left much of the control for the industry in the hands of local governments. As such, over half of the cities and counties in California do not allow for any type of cannabis retail market, 62 percent, to be exact. As they are largely unchartered terriutory for many legal markets, marijuana loiunges and cafes raise a new level of concern for officials.

Inferior Labeling and Incorrect Strain Information May Be Negatively Impacting the Legal Marijuana Industry

A recent study published in the journal PLOS One found that labels on marijuana “do not consistently align with the observed chemical diversity” of the actual product. The study, conducted by researchers at University of Colorado Boulder and Leafly, also found that labels on marijuana products do not adequately represent the full range of cannabinoids and terpenes present. Researchers analyzed approximately 90,000 cannabis samples from six state-legal markets. They found that the common categories for marijuana – indica, sativa, and hybrid – are overly simplistic and no longer communicate to the consumer what they are getting in their product, particularly as advanced breeding techniques have made almost all cannabis a hybrid of some form. Adding additional information about the terpenes and cannabinoids in products could be more costly for growers, but it can also create a level of transparency and trust for consumers in the legal market. 

Louisiana’s Governor Signs Ten Cannabis Bills

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed ten pieces of legislation aimed at cannabis reform for the state. Advocates in Louisiana have been pushing for adult-use cannabis legalization, but the reform bills are a step in the right direction. One of the bills that the governor signed will expand the medical marijuana program in the state by allowing medical cannabis dispensaries in the state to open satellite locations. Another measure will allow nurse practitioners to recommend medical marijuana for patients. One of the other bills signed would prohibit law enforcement from searching a residence based on the smell of marijuana alone.