Update on Volkswagen Diesel Fraud Case

We filed an action in Butte County on May 17, 2018 with the intent of having a jury decide punitive damages. We would be the first party to bring the defeat device case to jury trial.  Peer reviewed studies proved thousands of people with lung diseases died from the fraud.  


SB 94

June 19, 2017
Bill  No: SB 94

DIGEST: This bill is the cannabis trailer bill for the Budget Act of 2017. This bill establishes a single system of administration for cannabis laws  in  California.  It contains changes related to the Budget Act of 2017 that are necessary for state licensing entities to implement a regulatory framework pursuant to the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), established by AB 266 (Bonta, Chapter 689, Statutes  of 2015),  AB 243 (Wood, Chapter 688,  Statutes  of 2015), SB

643 (McGuire, Chapter 719, Statutes of 2015), and SB 837 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Chapter 32, Statutes of 2016), and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) of 2016 (Proposition 64).  This bill  conforms MCRSA and AUMA into a single system that prioritizing consumer safety, public safety and tax compliance. Among other things,  the bill  creates agricultural  cooperatives, a method for collecting  and remitting  taxes, a process for testing  and packaging,  and a process for collecting  data related  to driving  under  the influence.
Assembly Amendments delete the Senate version of the bill and insert the current language.

ANALYSIS: Specifically, this bill creates one regulatory system for commercial cannabis activity - the "Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act" – by doing the following:

1) General  provisions:

a) Technical Changes – Makes various changes throughout multiple code sections to replace references to “marijuana” with “cannabis” and delete code sections that are no longer required due to the integration of the medicinal  and adult use systems.

b) Definitions - Adds, amends, or deletes  multiple   definitions.

c) Bureau of Cannabis Control – Recasts the section creating the Bureau of Cannabis  Control (bureau)  within  the Department  of Consumer Affairs.

d) Emergency Regulation Authority - Deletes existing provision granting emergency regulation authority and adds a new one that also provides authority to re-adopt emergency regulations (one time),  specifies that adopted or re-adopted emergency regulations remain in effect for no more than 180 days.

2) Incorporates various  components of MCRSA, including:

a) Public Protection - Specifies that protection of the public shall be the highest  priority  for all  licensing authorities.

b) Property Owner Protection  - Provides protection for property owners who lease or rent  a property to a licensee  from asset forfeiture.

c) Patient Exemption - Specifies that a qualified patient that is not engaged in commercial activity is exempt from the licensure requirements of MCRSA. Applies  the same standards to a primary  caregiver.

d) Licensing - Clarifies that all commercial cannabis activity can only be conducted between licensees.

e) Distribution License Transportation Requirements – Requires that distribution drivers be directly employed by the licensee. Clarifies that all state laws and regulations governing commercial transport apply to those transporting cannabis  or cannabis products.

f) Retail Security Measures - Outlines  security measures for retailers  and requires notification to licensing authorities and local law enforcement when inventory  discrepancies  or criminal  activities  are found.

g) Testing Laboratories – Includes requirements for laboratories that were in MCRSA and are not in conflict with AUMA. These include: 1) use of a standard operating  procedure to  confirm or refute  bad results,  2) requiring the destruction of the  remains  of samples, 3)  notification  to  the bureau within one day of any change in accreditation, and 4) establishing a standard operating procedure for chain of custody controls for samples.
h) Cannabis Studyon Motor Skills - Requires the bureau to contract with the California Marijuana Research Program, known as the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, to develop a study that identifies the impact  of cannabis on motor skills.

i) Local Control - Clarifies that this division does not limit the authority or remedies of a city, county, or city and county under any provision of law, including,  Section 7 of Article  XI  of the California  Constitution.

j) Pesticide Intent Language – Adds the following intent language: The use of pesticides is  not adequately  regulated  due to the omissions in  federal law,  and cannabis cultivated in  California  for California  patients  can and often does contain pesticide residues. Lawful California medical cannabis growers and caregivers urge the Department of Pesticide Regulation to provide guidance, in absence of federal guidance, on whether the pesticides currently used at most cannabis cultivation sites are safe for use on cannabis intended for human  consumption.

3) Contains  additional  public  and consumer protection provisions, including:

a) Exit Packaging – Requires that all cannabis and cannabis products purchased by a consumer cannot leave a retail premises unless they are placed in  an opaque packaging.

b) Advertisement - Requires that a technology platform and outdoor advertising company ensure that a licensee include their license number on any advertisements.

c) Driving Underthe Influence of Drugs(DUID) Task Force - Creates a DUID Task Force with  a balanced  membership  to make  recommendations regarding prevention of impaired driving,  means  of identifying  impaired driving,  and responses to impaired  driving  that  reduce reoccurrence.

d) Open Container Standard - Creates a new infraction if a person has opened cannabis or cannabis products in the car. Creates an exemption  for a  qualified patient who is  carrying  either  a state medical identification  (ID) card or a physician’s  recommendation.

e) California Highway Patrol Funding - Appropriates $3 million to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to be used to for training drug recognition experts. Program costs may include training, overtime, and backfill  of state and local law  enforcement  officers to attend  training.

f) Monopoly, Excessive Concentration – Maintains excessive concentration provisions of AUMA, applies the Cartwright Act, the Unfair Practices Act, and the Unfair Competition Law to all licensees. In addition, makes  it unlawful for any person to monopolize, or attempt to monopolize,  or  to combine or conspire with any person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce related to cannabis. Gives the Attorney General the authority  to enforce these provisions.

g) Fire and Life Safety Standards – Adds a clarification that local fire officials retain  the authority  to carry out fire  and life  safety  requirements.

h) Quality Assurance and Compliance Monitoring - Creates  a quality assurance compliance monitor, employed by the bureau to conduct random quality control inspections and verify compliance with the packaging and labeling standards. The compliance monitor will also be responsible for independent tax verification.

i) Cannabis Destruction - Clarifies that only a peace officer can seizes and destroys cannabis.

j) Volatile Substance Definition - Codifies the definition of volatile substance included  in  recently  released  draft regulations.

k) Local Verification  Process  - Require  local jurisdictions  to provide the  bureau a copy of any ordinance or regulation related to commercial cannabis activity and a contact to serve as a liaison between the state licensing entities and the local jurisdiction. Outlines a process by which locals and the state licensing  authorities   will  communicate  regarding  an applicant  for licensure.

4) Enhances  Tax and  Cash Payment  Provisions, including:

a) Cultivation and Excise Taxes:

i) Creates a methodology to implement the two taxes imposed by  Proposition 64, the cultivation tax (9.35 per dry weight ounce for flowers and $2.75 for leaves)  and excise tax (15 percent of the sales   price).

ii) Clarifies that the cultivation tax shall be imposed when the cannabis or cannabis  products enter  the commercial marketplace.

iii) Requires the distributor to collect and remit  the cultivation  tax at the time  of distribution  and create a tax liability   for the excise tax at the same   time. The excise tax is due and payable 90-days after the transfer of the products.

iv) Allows the Board of Equalization (BOE) or its successor agency to determine  refund  policies  to ensure that there is  no overpayment of  tax.

v) The bill  does not change the incidence of tax and requires  that  BOE or its successor agency determine  the  actual tax.

b) Cash Collection – Establishes that by January 1, 2018, the Secretary of Business, Consumer Services, and Housing  or his  or her  designee  work with the Legislature,   the Department  of Consumer Affairs,  the Department  of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the State Department  of Public Health,  and  any other related departments to ensure that there is a safe and viable way to collect cash payments for taxes and fees related to the regulation of cannabis activity  throughout the  state.

c) North Coast Office - Requires that by July 1, 2018, the bureau, in coordination with the Department of General Services, shall establish an office to collect fees and taxes in the County of Humboldt, County of Trinity, or County of Mendocino in order to ensure the safe payment and collection of cash for licenses  and taxes  in  those counties.

5) Environmental   clarifications  include:

a) License Conditions - Clarifies that cultivation licenses issued by CDFA shall include conditions requested by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and  the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).

b) Adverse Impacts - Specifies that if  DFW or the SWRCBfinds that  cultivation  is  causing significant  adverse impacts in  a watershed,  CDFA shall not issue new cultivation licenses or increase the total number of plant identifiers  in  that watershed.

c) Denial of License – Specifies that licensing entities can deny an application for a licensure or renewal for failure or inability to meet environmental requirements.

6) Makes  various  other changes, including:

a) Advisory Committee - Specifies that the advisory committee members must include  persons who work directly  with  racially,  ethnically,  and economically  diverse populations.

b) Appeals Panel Membership - Adds two members to the Cannabis Control Appeals Panel; one appointee each from the Senate Committee on Rules and the Speaker of the Assembly. They are in addition to three Governor’s appointees  that are  subject to Senate confirmation.

c) Cannabis Cooperatives – Specifies that certain license types may pool their resources for cannabis farming of no more than four acres total and all members of the association must be disclosed to the licensing agencies. Specifically, the cooperatives must include  three or more members (that  have not been licensed to operate a cannabis business in another state or country) and  form an association for the purpose of:

i) The cultivation, marketing, or selling of the cannabis products of its members.

ii) The growing, harvesting, curing, drying, trimming, packing, grading, storing, or handling  of any product of its  members.
iii) The manufacturing, selling, or supplying to its members of machinery, equipment,  or supplies.

d) Organics and Appellations Standards – Requires by 2021,  CDFA to develop a California  organic  designation  for cannabis  and  include  standards, practices and varietals  as part of their  appellations  program.

e) Non-Storefront Delivery - Specifies that a retailer shall have a licensed  premises which is a physical location, but, that it may be closed to the public and that they can conduct sales exclusively  by  delivery.

f) Diversifies Mutual Fund and Blind Trust - Allows “blind” investors to have financial  interest  without  requiring  background checks.

g) Co-Location and the Definition of Premises - Allows for the co-location of medicinal and adult use cannabis businesses, although, requires  that a licensee obtain separate licenses for each type of business. Codifies the definition of premises used in recently released draft medicinal cannabis regulations.

h) Product Testing - Authorizes a licensed cannabis operator with an in-house (non-licensed) testing laboratory to provide testing of cannabis and cannabis products obtained from third party cannabis cultivators  and manufacturers prior to those products being sent to a licensed testing laboratory pursuant to this  division  for final,  presale quality  assurance. Requires testing to of samples to be performed on the final form in which cannabis or cannabis product will  be consumed or used.

i) Temporary Event License - Authorizes the bureau to issue a state temporary event  license  at a county fair  or district  agricultural  association, where people 21 years of age or older could sample cannabis and cannabis   products. Temporary event licenses shall only be issued in local jurisdictions that  authorize  such events.

j) State Medical ID Card - Preserves the  State Medical  Cannabis  ID card.

k) Destruction of Product - Specifies individuals engaging in activity without a license  are responsible for the  cost of destroying product.

l) Temporary Licenses - Adds section allowing   licensing  entities  to issue temporary licenses if specific requirements are met (including local approval, fee), valid  for 120 days with  a possible 90  extension.



April 29, 2017
Article 1. General Provisions
§ 5000. Definitions
For the purposes of this division, the definitions in this section shall govern the construction of this division unless otherwise indicated.
“Act” means the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.

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April 29, 2017
Article 1. Definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................... 1
§ 8000. Definitions. ................................................................................................................................................................... 1
Article 2. Applications .....................

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Rio Dell Cannabis Ordinance No. 342-2016

April 2, 2017

ORDINANCE NO. 342-2016

An ordinance establishing Section 17.30.195 of Title 17 of the Rio Dell Municipal Code relating to the Commercial Cultivation, Processing, Manufacturing and Distribution of Cannabis for Medical Use.

The City Council of the City of Rio Dell ordains as follows:

WHEREAS, California Government Code Section 65850, et seq. authorizes counties and cities to regulate land use, including agriculture, and to adopt and amend zoning ordinances for such purposes, and sets forth procedu...

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California opens access to public business conducted on private devices

March 9, 2017
Communications by government officials in California who use personal devices or email accounts to conduct official business may be subject to disclosure under the California Public Record Acts.

In a unanimous decision welcomed by transparency advocates, the California Supreme Court overturned an appellate court ruling. “If public officials could evade the law simply by clicking into a different email account, or communicating through a personal device, sensitive information could routinely ...

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The IRS problem

March 7, 2017
After the state begins issuing licenses under AB 266, the legal market will be tracked from seed to sale (or clone to sale). The State will know about every plant grown and sold in the legal market. The IRS will have access to all this information. Additionally, local permits are public record and many filed appear to expose applicants to excessive taxes by the IRS. 

Many cannabis businesses are being taxed by the Feds at a rate of 80-90% because Section 280E prohibits deducting costs of goods...
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The Business of Bubbles

February 3, 2017
The first recorded financial bubble was the tulip bulb mania of 1637.  A crave over Europe drove the price of tulip bulbs to ridiculous heights. Some single bulbs sold for the modern day equivalent of millions of dollars. A traders' market resulted with speculators. Many people became wealthy overnight. But one day a single bulb failed to sale at the market, and the market collapsed in hours. Many lost everything. 

The same dynamics which created the Tulip bubble were responsible for the tech ...
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New Bill aims to Protect Branding in Humboldt

January 26, 2017

No. 175
Introduced by Senator McGuire

January 23, 2017

An act to amend Sections 19332.5 and 26063 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to marijuana.


SB 175, as introduced, McGuire. Marijuana: county of origin: marketing.
The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) provides for the licensure and regulation of medical marijuana, which responsibility is generally divided between the Bureau of Marijuana Control within the Department of Consumer Affairs,...

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Wine Industry Concerns by Fortune

January 24, 2017
The U.S. wine industry is poised for another banner year in 2017. Sales are projected to rise by as much as 6% and the total harvest in California—by far the largest wine-producing state—should climb 7% to nearly 4 million tons crushed. The coveted millennial generation is increasingly paying more attention to wines.

Those trends all imply that the wine industry is crushing it. Higher sales, mostly fueled by "premium" priced wines at $9 or higher, bode well for big producers like E&J Gallo...

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California’s marijuana czar on upcoming marijuana regulation: ‘We will not fail’

January 21, 2017

“Our goal is to make this business legitimate,” Morris told the crowd. “What we’re working for is a legitimate marketplace.”

Under both the state’s medical marijuana regulations and Proposition 64, California must be ready to issue licenses by 2018 for thousands of businesses operating in California, home of America’s largest marijuana economy.

Proposition 64 will create 19 new license categories for recreational marijuana while establishing a 15 percent excise tax on retail sales...

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