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CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES CONTINUE TO DEVASTATE AGRICULTURE INCLUDING CANNABIS | TRICHOMES Morning Buzz

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September 3, 2020

Today in the world of cannabis, a California bill that would have allowed hemp CBD-infused products to be sold outside of dispensaries failed, we also have an update on how the wildfires in the Golden state are devastating agriculture, including cannabis. And medical patients are furious on this Mediterranean island because the whole country is out of the sticky green stuff!

The Morning Buzz presented by TRICHOMES brings you late-breaking news that tells you what’s happening within the cannabis industry.

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First up today, a Bill has Failed in California that Would Allow Hemp CBD-Infused Products

According to Hemp Industry Daily, A California proposal to allow hemp extracts in food and beverages has again failed amid broad disagreement on how to allow cannabinoids outside licensed marijuana retailers.

The bill would have also set testing and labeling requirements for safety, and to ensure products don’t exceed 0.3% THC levels. But California legislative leaders did not schedule the bill for a vote before the session’s conclusion Monday night.

The bill’s failure leaves in place California’s 2018 policy banning CBD in foods and drinks.

The bill would have given the state’s health department the authority to license and register food manufacturing facilities for hemp-infused products.

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a national advocacy group, said in a statement it was “profoundly disappointed” the bill failed.

But many hemp producers in California worked against the measure and cheered its failure.

State lawmakers did send to the governor two major pieces of legislation important for marijuana operators. Lawmakers passed:

Senate Bill 827, which freezes the state’s ability to raise tax rates until July 2021.

And Assembly Bill 1525, which guarantees financial institutions won’t face repercussions from the state for granting services to marijuana companies.

** Next, Patients are Furious as a Mediterranean Island Runs out of Cannabis

According to Ganjapreneur, the nation of Malta has run out of cannabis – both medical and unregulated – leaving the country’s estimated 40,000 cannabis users with no options, Lovin Malta reports. This is the second medical cannabis shortage in Malta since 2018 – but two years ago the country didn’t face a shortage of illicit products.

ReLeaf activist Andrew Bonello told Malta Today that the shortage is due to a delay in renewing medical cannabis import licenses. He told Lovin Malta that products have been out of stock for “two or three weeks,” and said the illicit market has run dry too.

Bonello said “people are livid” at the situation as ReLeaf representatives are set to meet with the Medicines Authority to try and get cannabis in patients’ hands and pass reforms that would prevent future shortages.

On average, medical cannabis products in Malta cost €16 per gram (about $19). A 2 gram per day prescription runs €960 (~$1,138) per month, and many patients want to grow their own because of the cost.

** And let’s end the day with an update with the Wildfires in California that are continuing to devastate agriculture, including cannabis farms.

According to the LA Times, since mid-August, wildfires in California have burned more than a million acres of land. This is not good news for more than 5,000 licensed cannabis growers that call the state home.

For Keala Peterson, whose family runs a farmstead in the hills above Santa Rosa, the LNU Lightning Complex fires have brought swift devastation to her property, Sweet Creek Farm. Cannabis Business Times spoke with her recently and she said that some 95% of the property had been torched by the fast-moving fires.

“Historically,” she said, “cannabis culture has always been up in the hills, and now, with a multitude of factors, the wildfires are really putting the whole culture in jeopardy.”

This is a long-term crisis—not only for cannabis growers, of course, but for people and businesses alike. For those cultivating cannabis in wildfire-prone hills of California, however, the concern is acute.

Peterson offered three tips for growers hoping to guard against the oppressive force of wildfire. One is to create a defensible space which can help slow the spread of a would-be fire, rake your back hay, which she said not doing so caused damage to the farm that could have been avoided. And the last tip is burying your infrastructure. This will help for weeks and months after a fire.

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