California lawmakers on Thursday shelved a proposal to allow the state to license private banks to handle the billions of dollars expected to be generated by the state’s legal marijuana industry amid questions about the plan’s feasibility.
Voters approved Proposition 64 in 2016 to legalize growing, possessing and selling marijuana for recreational use, but newly licensed pot shops and farms say they cannot put their money in federally chartered banks because cannabis remains illegal under federal law.
Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles) proposed that the state could license special privately financed banks that would issue checks to the businesses to pay rent and state and local taxes and fees, and to compensate vendors for goods and services provided to their businesses.
California law allows adults to buy marijuana. It allows licensed businesses to deliver marijuana to customers, and it says specifically that cities and counties cannot prevent delivery services from traveling on public roads. Yet even though cities can’t stop deliveries traveling through their jurisdiction, many cities currently ban deliveries to their jurisdiction.
California cities on Monday objected to a state proposal that would allow marijuana delivery to homes in areas where storefront pot sales have been banned locally.
The changes, which are being considered by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, “will undermine a city’s ability to effectively regulate cannabis at the local level,” Charles Harvey, a legislative representative for the League of California Cities, said in a letter to the bureau.
The cities group, which represents the state’s 482 municipalities, supports other changes to clarify the rules of Proposition 64, which was approved by voters in 2016 and allows the growing and sale of marijuana for recreational use.
Rapper and marijuana entrepreneur Louis Freese, better known as Cypress Hill frontman B-Real, plans to celebrate the grand opening of his flagship dispensary in Sylmar with a day-long bash next Wednesday.
Called Dr. Greenthumb’s – a name music fans will recognize as the title of a 1998 Cypress Hill song – the Foothill Boulevard dispensary will be heavy on strains from B-Real’s Insane brand of cannabis as well his Phuncky Feel Tips product line (glass tips designed to fit the business end of a hand-rolled joint). It will also serve as the home base for the rapper’s online BReal.TV network.
According to today’s announcement, the Wednesday event will be open to the public (though you’ll need to be at least 21 — or 18 with a medical marijuana card) and feature a line-up of BRealTV’s DJs as well as “a slew of surprise guests [making] appearances throughout the day.” A second Dr. Greenthumb’s is expected to open in Cathedral City later this year.
With general-fund revenue increases projected to taper off in coming years, the Huntington Beach Finance Commission this week recommended several potential budget-tightening and revenue-generating solutions.
Los Angeles-based cannabis media brand High Times, which launched as a print magazine in 1974, has added a streaming video service to its offerings.
Announced Thursday, the ad-supported web channel High Times TV is both a showcase for the brand’s own content (behind-the-scenes videos from its Cannabis Cup events, for example, and how-to videos for ganja guacamole) as well as a platform for an assortment of independent cannabis-content creators like the Stoner Mom (a Colorado mother with a family of six who focuses on living a “responsible cannabis lifestyle”), StrainCentral (a strain review site founded by Joshua Young) and That High Couple (Hollywood-based couple Alice and Clark who chronicle their THC-infused life via social media).
While High Times’ newest venture is hardly a unique move- there isn’t a legacy media brand out there that isn’t trying to capitalize on streaming video — it could end up being a lifeline for the independents in the stoner space who have seen their traditional social media channels (particularly YouTube) threatened, restricted or suspended in a cannabis-content crackdown that began earlier this year.