A new first for cannabis businesses recently took place, with the first initial public offering on a U.S. stock exchange by a marijuana producer. Ontario, Canada-based cannabis conglomerate Tilray went public on New York NASDAQ recently. The stock price spiked 30 percent in one day proving what we have been saying all along: cannabis is very, very good for business. According to a report from Quartz, investors rated the value of Tilray at time at $2.65 billion. Continue reading
It’s time for California to take a serious look at taxes that state and local governments are imposing on cannabis business owners. Some legislators agree, but others think the higher taxes should stand, at least for a while longer. For now, the current tax rate will remain, as an assembly bill addressing cannabis taxation failed to advance out of committee, according to an Associated Press report.
AB-3157 seeks to amend The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which currently sets the excise tax rate at 15 percent of the average market price. The new proposal would drop the excise tax rate to 11 percent and suspend the cultivation tax, with each expiring June 21, 2021. Right now, when excise and cultivation taxes are combined with sales tax, county, and city taxes the total tax rate can be almost 50 percent. Some fear this high of a tax rate is driving people to purchase marijuana on the black market, instead. There is some compelling evidence to back that claim. Continue reading
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act ensured that the State of California would begin issuing cannabis business licenses no later than January 1, 2018. The state is working feverishly to meet this deadline. Nevertheless, it is a massive undertaking which will require the coordination of hundred of employees at dozens of state agencies. These include: the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation within the Department of Consumer Affairs; CalCannabis within the Department of Food and Agriculture; the Office of Medical Cannabis Regulation within the Department of Public Health; and the California Department of Technology.
While it remains to be seen exactly when cannabis business licenses are issued, the state has taken an important step toward implementing an efficient licensing system. Government Technology reports that the state has selected software from Accela, Inc. to manage licensing for the cannabis industry. State Chief Information Officer Amy Tong says the software was chosen due to a competitive price quote, ease and flexibility of use, and its successful history within the industry and other state licensing entities. While this successful history does bode well for cannabis business licensing, it is, of course, no guarantee of success in meeting the state’s January 1 deadline. Continue reading