Laws pertaining to cannabis trade samples and medical marijuana donations have been recently updated in California. Marijuana businesses would be wise to review this changes with their Los Angeles cannabis lawyer to ensure their company processes and practices are aligned with the letter and intent of these laws.
Let’s start with trade samples. These are samples of cannabis plants or products that are sent to cannabis licensees by producers, processors, wholesalers, and holders of hemp certificates to create brand and product awareness. It’s considered a solid means to generate more business. Trade samples allow products to be sampled, tasted, and smelled by licensed business buyers. An example would be marijuana producers who sell immature plants to other producers. Prospective buyers may want to know what kind of strain those immature plants are going to ultimately produce. A trade sample can show them. Similarly, producers could send samples to retailers to convince them to stock their product. Other industries have engaged in this for eons, but there has been some question about how those in the California cannabis industry could not only do it lawfully, but without having to pay the hefty taxes associated with retail sales.
Now, with the passage of AB 141 (a large piece of legislation that went into effect Jan. 1, 2022), cannabis products can be designated as trade samples from one licensee to another for marketing purposes. This will allow them to bypass cannabis taxes they’d otherwise have to pay. Exempted exchanges will include all harvested cannabis that has been or will be designated as a trade sample, as well as all cannabis that is used to manufacture a cannabis product that is/will be designated as a trade sample. Furthermore, the cannabis excise tax won’t apply to product that is designated as trade and simply given to another licensee absent consideration. Continue reading