Speaking to Southeastern Association of Law Schools meeting

Boca Raton, August 6, 2017

Discussion Group: Growing Cannabis Law: When Grass Becomes Cash

Cannabis a/k/a marijuana, grass, pot, weed law-reforms are sprouting throughout the country. Many states now permit restricted medicinal or recreational use, possession, sale, cultivation, and transportation, creating a cash-crop business opportunity. Yet federal law still prohibits cannabis activities Continue reading “Speaking to Southeastern Association of Law Schools meeting”

Testing Marijuana for Pesticides, continued

Here are new proposed testing regulations in California — but now I follow up on a recent post, where I said that while detecting cheating in folks who test marijuana for THC might be tricky, detecting cheating in folks who test marijuana for pesticides would be a snap. Just see if follow-up testing detected any pesticides; if so, start worrying.

But a chemist friend lets me know that there is more to it:


I differ in the pesticide opinion at the end of the article.

In science, there is no ‘zero’, there is only ‘less than’ or ‘not detected’. Continue reading “Testing Marijuana for Pesticides, continued”

Corva’s attack on cheating on marijuana plant testing

Testing companies gain customers if they can report falsely high THC in cannabis plants — and charge low prices. A friend says she quit the testing business because as an honest tester she was losing business to cheaters.

Thanks to Bob Young of the Seattle Times for brining Dr. Dominic Corva’s write-up to my attention.  (This blog doesn’t have enough readers to scoop him.)

My friend Dr. Corva looks at the cannabis testing problem in Washington.  His full write-up is here: http://cannabisandsocialpolicy.org/taming-thc-inflation-silver-bullet/.

I think Dr. Corva is a smart and conscientious advocate and thought leader, and I’m always interested in what he is thinking.

Dr. Corva’s Proposal:

“Normalize lab results by lab, and require only the percentile of each result to be listed on the package rather than a precise percentage.”

He elaborates on the problem this way: Continue reading “Corva’s attack on cheating on marijuana plant testing”

California clean-up bill does not fix tax blunder

California Board of Equalization elected Member Jerome Horton came up with an October surprise to illustrate a tax weakness in Prop 64, the California marijuana legalization initiative.  That weakness didn’t prevent its passage, but it lingers.  And a new 79-page clean-up bill does not fix it.

Member Horton alleged that a tiny, technical, last-minute drafting change in the California 2016 marijuana initiative could cost the state $50 million, starting in November. Indeed, the Board of Equalization has adopted his view and officially confirmed that the current sales tax on medical marijuana just disappears – for a while.

I don’t know how anyone would have standing to sue to reverse that ruling. So, apparently, unless the Legislature acts, the total tax on medical cannabis, over time, will be:

— 7.5%, (through the November 8 Election) then
— 0% (from certification of ballot results through 12-31-17), then
— 15% plus weight tax (starting 1-1-18).

For details, see this old post: https://newrevenue.org/2016/11/12/5032/.

Continue reading “California clean-up bill does not fix tax blunder”

Marijuana legalization grows closer with Senate tax proposal

Full article is at the link here.  Intro to new piece for thehill.com is:

Want to legalize marijuana federally? Propose sensible taxes on the drug.

That’s the tactic of a new bill from two Oregon Democrats: House Ways
and Means Committee member Earl Blumenauer and ranking Senate Finance Committee member Ron Wyden. It takes on tough questions: What should a marijuana tax measure? Should it tax medical marijuana? The Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act (MRRA) provides thoughtful answers.

What to tax?

The 64-page bill, S. 776, and House companions H.R. 1823 and 1841, starts out problematically, taxing marijuana by price for a five-year transition period, but ends up brilliantly, with sophisticated weight-based taxes for the long run. A companion bill repeals the useful current tax on advertising. Continue reading “Marijuana legalization grows closer with Senate tax proposal”

Critique of Blumenauer-Wyden marijuana tax proposals

Superseded by this (http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/327694-marijuana-legalization-grows-closer-with-senate-tax).

Congressional advocates for marijuana legalization, led by Oregon’s Congressman Blumenauer and Senator Wyden, introduced three bills to advance the process. (Dividing the package allows Committees to consider parts simultaneously, rather than one after the other. That may be wishful thinking.)

Here’s an off-the-cuff preliminary reaction to the tax parts of the package.  I’ll work to refine the analysis.

For tax, the package has strengths and weaknesses. Continue reading “Critique of Blumenauer-Wyden marijuana tax proposals”