Michigan Seeks Comment on Tax Treatment of Marijuana Sales

Michigan Seeks Comment on Tax Treatment of Marijuana Sales

Michigan Seeks Comment on Tax Treatment of Marijuana Sales

The Michigan Department of Treasury (the “Department”) recently released a draft Revenue Administrative Bulletin (“RAB”) entitled Marihuana Provisioning Center Tax and Sales and Use Tax Treatment of Marihuana. An RAB is a directive issued by the Bureau of Tax Policy. The following is an excerpt from the Department’s website describing RABs, generally:

Its purpose is to promote uniform application of tax laws throughout the State by the Bureau of Tax Policy personnel and provide information and guidance to taxpayers. A Revenue Administrative Bulletin states the official position of the Department, has the status of precedent in the disposition of cases unless and until revoked or modified, and may be relied on by taxpayers in situations where the facts, circumstances and issues presented are substantially similar to those set forth in the Bulletin. A taxpayer must consider the effects of subsequent legislation, regulations, court decisions and Bulletins when relying on a Revenue Administrative Bulletin. See RAB 1989-34 for further information.

The draft RAB explains the marihuana provisioning center tax imposed by the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (the “MMFLA”) and the sales and use tax treatment of marihuana and marihuana-derived products under both the MMFLA and the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (“MMMA”). While the draft RAB makes conclusions (discussed below) regarding significant marihuana tax issues, it has not been finalized and thus should not yet be relied upon by taxpayers. The draft RAB is open for review and comment to the general public until November 6, 2017.     

The draft RAB makes conclusions on the following three issues: (i) a provisioning center tax, (ii) return and remittance requirements, and (iii) sales and use tax.

Provisioning Center Tax

The MMFLA imposes a tax on gross retail receipts of a provisioning center (dispensary) at a rate of 3 percent. Because the tax applies to all gross receipts, the Department concludes that the provisioning center tax is not limited to marihuana-derived products. Rather, the tax also includes non-marihuana sales such as paraphernalia, clothing, food and other tangible personal property or service. In essence, under the Department’s interpretation, all retail sales made by licensed provisioning centers are subject to the provisioning center tax.

Return and Remittance Requirements and Procedures

The MMFLA requires provisioning centers to remit the provisioning center tax to the Department by 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter for the preceding calendar quarter. The draft RAB states that the remittance must be accompanied by a form prescribed by the Department. The form will require a disclosure of the provisioning center’s gross quarterly retail receipts as well as the amount of provisioning center tax due.

The Department is proposing that the return and remittance of tax will be required to be submitted electronically through Michigan Treasury Online. One significant issue not addressed in the draft RAB is how unbanked businesses are supposed to make payments if the only means the State allows is an online system.

Sales and Use Tax

Under current law, the General Sales Tax Act (the “GSTA”) imposes a 6 percent sales tax on the gross proceeds of all persons engaged in the business of making sales at retail. Similarly, the Use Tax Act (the “UTA”) imposes a 6 percent tax for the privilege of using, storing or consuming tangible personal property in Michigan, if no sales tax has been paid on that property.

The draft RAB states that all retail sales of marihuana and marihuana derived products by a provisioning center will be subject to sales tax. Further, a registered caregiver under the MMMA “may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marihuana.” Under the MMMA, the compensation received by the caregiver does not constitute the sale of controlled substances. Accordingly, a caregiver’s service is a non-taxable service and not subject to sales tax. The Department, however, is taking the position that a patient who receives marihuana from a caregiver will be subject to a use tax at a rate of 6 percent of the purchase price of the marihuana. The use tax is supposed to be remitted and reported annually on the patient’s Michigan Individual Income Tax Return.

Finally, the draft RAB states that marihuana-infused products (i.e., edible substances, beverages, etc.) are not eligible for the sale/use of food exemptions under the GSTA and the UTA because they are consumed for their medicinal value rather than nutritional purposes.

When it comes to calculating the amount of sales and use tax, the draft RAB states that the sales and use tax bases include the 3 percent provisioning center tax. By way of example, the draft RAB sets forth the following illustration:

“ABC, Inc. is a provisioning center. ABC sells marihuana to Customer for a sales price of $100. ABC is liable for $3 in tax under the MMFLA (i.e., provisioning center tax). ABC also is liable for sales tax based on 6 percent of $103, which amounts to a sales tax liability of $6.18.”

As noted above, the draft RAB is open for review and comment to the public until November 6, 2017. Anyone wishing to offer comments to the Department should email the Department’s tax policy division at treas_tax_policy@michigan.gov .       

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

(Why?)

Published at Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

3 Digital Marketing Trends for Cannabis Business

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3 Digital Marketing Trends for Cannabis Business

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

cannabis business

The cannabis industry is unique. When it comes to establishing a cannabis business or brand, you can’t follow the typical strategies. The usual advertising channels are either unavailable or forbidden due to complex regulations.

As a cannabis entrepreneur, you need to think differently. For this reason, we’ve written this article to help you leverage the digital marketing trends for your cannabis business.

Cannabis Business Marketing Trends

Go Mobile

Make sure that your website is mobile friendly. By this, we mean you need to ensure that it suits the needs of your potential audience.

When you prepare your cannabis website for a “mobile first index” it assumes that Google will rank desktop versions of the sites based on how good they are on mobile. The consequences of this can be severe. For example, if you have content on the desktop version that doesn’t display on mobile, your  search engines ranking will suffer.

With today’s technologies, there’s no excuse to only have a desktop version. Did you know that at least 40% of a website’s traffic comes from mobile devices or tablets? That’s a significant chunk of your audience that you’re ignoring! Let’s not forget the fact that people use mobile devices for research or when they’re close to making a purchase.

Some of the most common questions on mobile devices are the location of dispensaries, the hours they’re open and what strains they have in stock. These are questions your audience needs answering. So, ignore mobile at your own peril!

Multi-Channel Marketing

Modern consumers are bombarded by marketing messages every day. People have become inured against traditional advertising and marketing efforts.

As a cannabis business owner, you can’t afford to focus solely on a single marketing channel. Instead, we’ve seen a rise in multi-channel marketing for cannabis brands or services. Deploying methods like affiliate and content marketing, influencers, displays and ecommerce can boost your visibility and improve sales.

The key to success here is to never forget to measure.Every channel you employ needs to be constantly evaluated for results. When you use data collection, you can easily determine what works and more importantly, why it works. This will allow you to make changes on the fly and maximize your chances of success.

Websites for Humans

Effective web design goes beyond using fancy animations or beautiful stock pictures. It should be both interesting and friendly for actual human use!

Did you know that you can easily increase the rate of conversion by simply having a website that is easy to use? Visitors shouldn’t have to engage in multiple clicks to get the information that they want. A good cannabis website should guide visitors to what they’re looking for. It should also have a clear call to action. For example, they should tell potential customers how to add products to their shopping cart or how to sign up for coupons.

Make sure your cannabis site is optimized for desktop and mobile. Since you don’t know what platform visitors are using, you should do your best to not alienate them. Ensure your contact information is clearly visible and up to date. All of your information should be easily understood and easy to navigate. And don’t forget to create, curate and distribute content that is relevant to your target demographic.  Everything you post should engage, entertain and educate your cannabis audience!

Conclusion

As the cannabis industry evolves, new marketing trends will emerge and overtake the market. Did you find any of these trends useful? Is there a trend that you’ve spotted and would like us to cover?

Let us know in the comments!

Oh, and don’t keep this information to yourself. Be sure to share this with your family and friends.

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 24 Oct 2017 08:33:00 +0000

Honest Blunts: Honestly Great Pre Rolled Blunts!

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Honest Blunts: Honestly Great Pre Rolled Blunts!

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

honest blunts

From Honest Marijuana Co.

Honest Blunts are the world’s first organic, hemp-wrapped, whole-flower, machine-rolled blunts. Yeah, we know, that’s a lot of hyphens. But what it boils down to is that Honest Blunts provide the highest quality cannabis and the most consistent smoking experience available on the market today. Sound like a bold claim? It is! But we’re ready to stand behind each and every Honest Blunt we sell. What gives us so much confidence? We grow every piece of the Honest Blunt—from seed to sealed product—and we know everything that goes into our blunts…and everything that doesn’t.

My Expierience With These Honestly Great Organic Blunts

Blunts

What do you get?

My first expierience with Honest Blunts was a great one for sure. First, they come packed in nitrogen for freshness. A very nice touch indeed. The blunts come in a very nice and compact tin. The tin is about the size of a can of mints. These blunts are %100 cannabis. Thats Right! At first glance the blunts look like they are wrapped in cigar paper. However they are wrapped in organic hemp paper. Six come in a tin and depending on your tolorance to THC and the amount you smoke, they can last you the day or the week.

How Was The Flavor?

Awesome! Very Smooth blunts with a subtle sweetness. I enjoyed every puff. I feel the nitrogen packaging really played a roll in the flavor department for sure!

How Was The Wrap?

The blunts where wrapped well. However half of them would begin to unwrap as I would smoke them. This was not a big deal however it was kind of  bothersome. I prefer the organic hemp wrap to traditional tobacco blunt wraps. They had a very smooth enjoyable quality. The wrap burned evenly with no runs.

Wrapping Thing Up

Overall I would recommend Honest Blunts to anyone looking for a quality enjoyable smoking experience. I honestly loved my time spent with the Honest Blunt And I look forward to the day we meet again!

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 24 Oct 2017 09:45:06 +0000

Major Michigan Announcements: Licensing Checklist, Proposed Capitalization Requirements, Other Important Standards

Major Michigan Announcements: Licensing Checklist, Proposed Capitalization Requirements, Other Important Standards

Major Michigan Announcements: Licensing Checklist, Proposed Capitalization Requirements, Other Important Standards

At today’s meeting of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (Board), the State’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) unveiled a checklist for medical marihuana license applications, announced proposed capitalization requirements, and sought public input on other regulations for marihuana facilities.

All of this activity comes as LARA prepares to issue emergency rules for operators under Michigan’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). As regular readers of this blog know, the State will begin accepting applications for medical marihuana operations on December 15. LARA will be releasing emergency rules next month, and is preparing for a “road show” to provide details to the public.

One of the most hotly anticipated rule topics under the MMFLA is the level of capital LARA will mandate potential applicants to demonstrate. LARA today announced that it is recommending that all applicants be required to show access to liquid assets sufficient to cover capital requirements, fees and assessments, and some period of operational costs. While LARA has not yet defined what types of funds may be used to satisfy capital requirements, the Department will require that a CPA attest to an applicant’s ability to access funds. LARA’s recommended requirements are as follows:

  • Class A (500 plant) Grower: $150,000
  • Class B (1,000 plant) Grower: $300,000
  • Class C (1,500 plant) Grower: $500,000
  • Processor: $300,000
  • Provisioning Center (retailer): $300,000
  • Secure Transporter: $200,000
  • Safety Compliance Facility (testing lab): $200,000

The above capital requirements will be applied on a per license basis for applicants who seek multiple licenses. Thus, someone seeking to hold 5 Class C licenses would have a capital requirement of $2,500,000. Someone seeking to vertically integrate with a Class B license, processor license, and single store would have a requirement of $900,000.

Not surprisingly, LARA’s proposed numbers were the source of great controversy and debate. Board Members David LaMontaine and Vivian Pickard expressed concern that the numbers could prevent small businesses and incumbent caregivers and dispensaries from obtaining licenses. Board Members Don Bailey and Nichole Cover, however, noted that the requirements are far lower than many other states, and that the State has an interest in ensuring that licensees are viable, as struggling businesses may be more tempted to divert marijuana outside of the regulated system.

During public comment, many speakers echoed the concerns of Mr. LaMontaine. Others took issue with the concept that capitalization should be examined in reference to liquid assets. They pointed out that many existing caregivers, as well as more prepared applicants, have already made their capital expenditures for equipment and buildings. Such assets, they argued, should thus be counted toward fulfilling the State’s requirements.

In addition to capital levels, LARA also discussed proposed insurance requirements. LARA is considering requiring $100,000 in premises coverage, vehicle insurance consistent with Michigan’s no-fault requirements, and some level of insurance for professional liability and pollution. Participation in workers’ compensation insurance will also of course be required.

LARA next announced its proposal for THC limits in infused products. The Department first explained that LARA will not have any potency limits applicable to extracts or concentrates, as the State does not consider them to be infused products. Rather than having blanket THC limits, LARA will impose limits on 3 categories of infused products, as follows:

  • Edibles: 500 mg THC per container, 50 mg THC per serving.
  • “High potency” products (tinctures): 1000 mg THC per container.
  • Topicals: 6% THC by volume.

All products must test for homogeneity within +/- 10 percent.

Finally, LARA announced its intention for daily purchase limits. LARA ultimately determined that the daily purchase limit should equal the possession limit under the State’s Medical Marihuana Act, which is 2.5 ounces of flower or the equivalent for infused product. Although some Board members took the position that LARA should impose weekly or monthly limits, to prevent patients from acquiring the maximum every day, the Department responded that its analysis of the law is that the State does not have the authority to set such limits.

LARA will take the feedback from today’s meeting and use it to craft final emergency rules, which we anticipate to be released next month. LARA will also incorporate recommendations from work groups formed to advise it on these rules—those recommendations will be the subject of another blog post in the immediate future.

After revealing its intent with regard to those specific rules topics, LARA announced that it has prepared a licensing checklist, which was made available at the end of today’s meeting. While not all-inclusive, and subject to change, the checklist will allow potential applicants to begin to assemble the materials needed to apply for a license. That checklist should be made available on the Department’s web site shortly.

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

(Why?)

Published at Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Michigan Seeks Comment on Tax Treatment of Marijuana Sales

Michigan Seeks Comment on Tax Treatment of Marijuana Sales

Michigan Seeks Comment on Tax Treatment of Marijuana Sales

The Michigan Department of Treasury (the “Department”) recently released a draft Revenue Administrative Bulletin (“RAB”) entitled Marihuana Provisioning Center Tax and Sales and Use Tax Treatment of Marihuana. An RAB is a directive issued by the Bureau of Tax Policy. The following is an excerpt from the Department’s website describing RABs, generally:

Its purpose is to promote uniform application of tax laws throughout the State by the Bureau of Tax Policy personnel and provide information and guidance to taxpayers. A Revenue Administrative Bulletin states the official position of the Department, has the status of precedent in the disposition of cases unless and until revoked or modified, and may be relied on by taxpayers in situations where the facts, circumstances and issues presented are substantially similar to those set forth in the Bulletin. A taxpayer must consider the effects of subsequent legislation, regulations, court decisions and Bulletins when relying on a Revenue Administrative Bulletin. See RAB 1989-34 for further information.

The draft RAB explains the marihuana provisioning center tax imposed by the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (the “MMFLA”) and the sales and use tax treatment of marihuana and marihuana-derived products under both the MMFLA and the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (“MMMA”). While the draft RAB makes conclusions (discussed below) regarding significant marihuana tax issues, it has not been finalized and thus should not yet be relied upon by taxpayers. The draft RAB is open for review and comment to the general public until November 6, 2017.     

The draft RAB makes conclusions on the following three issues: (i) a provisioning center tax, (ii) return and remittance requirements, and (iii) sales and use tax.

Provisioning Center Tax

The MMFLA imposes a tax on gross retail receipts of a provisioning center (dispensary) at a rate of 3 percent. Because the tax applies to all gross receipts, the Department concludes that the provisioning center tax is not limited to marihuana-derived products. Rather, the tax also includes non-marihuana sales such as paraphernalia, clothing, food and other tangible personal property or service. In essence, under the Department’s interpretation, all retail sales made by licensed provisioning centers are subject to the provisioning center tax.

Return and Remittance Requirements and Procedures

The MMFLA requires provisioning centers to remit the provisioning center tax to the Department by 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter for the preceding calendar quarter. The draft RAB states that the remittance must be accompanied by a form prescribed by the Department. The form will require a disclosure of the provisioning center’s gross quarterly retail receipts as well as the amount of provisioning center tax due.

The Department is proposing that the return and remittance of tax will be required to be submitted electronically through Michigan Treasury Online. One significant issue not addressed in the draft RAB is how unbanked businesses are supposed to make payments if the only means the State allows is an online system.

Sales and Use Tax

Under current law, the General Sales Tax Act (the “GSTA”) imposes a 6 percent sales tax on the gross proceeds of all persons engaged in the business of making sales at retail. Similarly, the Use Tax Act (the “UTA”) imposes a 6 percent tax for the privilege of using, storing or consuming tangible personal property in Michigan, if no sales tax has been paid on that property.

The draft RAB states that all retail sales of marihuana and marihuana derived products by a provisioning center will be subject to sales tax. Further, a registered caregiver under the MMMA “may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marihuana.” Under the MMMA, the compensation received by the caregiver does not constitute the sale of controlled substances. Accordingly, a caregiver’s service is a non-taxable service and not subject to sales tax. The Department, however, is taking the position that a patient who receives marihuana from a caregiver will be subject to a use tax at a rate of 6 percent of the purchase price of the marihuana. The use tax is supposed to be remitted and reported annually on the patient’s Michigan Individual Income Tax Return.

Finally, the draft RAB states that marihuana-infused products (i.e., edible substances, beverages, etc.) are not eligible for the sale/use of food exemptions under the GSTA and the UTA because they are consumed for their medicinal value rather than nutritional purposes.

When it comes to calculating the amount of sales and use tax, the draft RAB states that the sales and use tax bases include the 3 percent provisioning center tax. By way of example, the draft RAB sets forth the following illustration:

“ABC, Inc. is a provisioning center. ABC sells marihuana to Customer for a sales price of $100. ABC is liable for $3 in tax under the MMFLA (i.e., provisioning center tax). ABC also is liable for sales tax based on 6 percent of $103, which amounts to a sales tax liability of $6.18.”

As noted above, the draft RAB is open for review and comment to the public until November 6, 2017. Anyone wishing to offer comments to the Department should email the Department’s tax policy division at treas_tax_policy@michigan.gov .       

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

(Why?)

Published at Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Are You New Vaping CBD?

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Are You New Vaping CBD?

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

vaping cbd

Vaping has moved beyond a smoking alternative and now has an industry of its own. With tons of manufacturers and products, consumers get a flood of information – information, they may not be ready for. This article is targeted at the inexperienced consumer, as an educational resource amongst the shroud of marketing campaigns. In this post, we’ll give an overview of vaping, especially as it comes to CBD.

What is Vaping?

Vaping refers to the use of personal devices, including “pens” and “mods,” that use convection or conduction to heat its contents to their “vaporization point,” a point that is cooler than the combustion point.

Vape Pens: Vape pens are the original vaping devices. They have a battery with a fillable oil cartridge. Many of these devices, like the “O” pen, don’t require a button to heat its contents; all you have to do is inhale and the device is activated and begins to vaporize.

Box Mods: Box Mods offer more power than your traditional vape pens, as well as costing more. They have a longer battery life, and be customized to the user’s preferences. A user can often customize a mod by changing voltage, wattage, and temperature. In another article, we looked at the unique profiles of VG and PG, which have different temperature points for vaporization. A mod offers more flexibility than a pen does, and will allow you to find the sweet spots for different cbd e juice and liquid.

Once a vapor is produced, the user then inhales, avoiding the toxins, carcinogens and other chemicals that come from smoking. Still, vaping allows for quick entry into your bloodstream, many times quicker than other ingestion methods. This means that individuals vaping CBD or THC will feel the effects much quicker.

How do Vaporizers Work?

While hardware may look different, the mechanics behind vaping devices are usually the same. The involve the workings of a tank, atomizer, some software, and a battery.

  • The Tank: The oil holder is typically called a tank if refillable, or a cartridge if intended for one-time use. Tanks are usually combined with atomizers to form single units. The material may be polycarbonate plastic, glass, or stainless steel.
  • The Atomizer: The atomizer is the heater within a vaping device that converts liquid into airborne droplets. They may also be called cartomizers or clearomizers.
  • Software/Sensors: Some vaporizers activate automatically when a user inhales, others require the push of a button. Sensors are built into the vaporizers to respond to either action.
  • The Battery: Vape devices need to have strong enough batteries to power them to hundreds of degrees fahrenheit in just seconds. To accomplish this, your device needs energy dense rechargeable lithium ion batteries.

Whatever vaping device you use will rely on these components to produce vapor.

Inhale IQ

While this is only an introduction, think of this article as a vaping starter kit. Smoking With Style has a number of  other informational articles about the world of vaping to help polish your understanding, including on buying cbd e liquid.  We encourage you to read more about the subject to increase your inhale IQ!

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Published at Tue, 24 Oct 2017 10:09:16 +0000

Michigan Gets Recommendations for Medical Marijuana Rules, New Advisory Panel Members

Michigan Gets Recommendations for Medical Marijuana Rules, New Advisory Panel Members

Michigan Gets Recommendations for Medical Marijuana Rules, New Advisory Panel Members

Back in August, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced the formation of “work groups” to provide input as LARA adopts emergency rules to govern activities under the State’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). Organized around the MMFLA’s five license types, those work groups met last month. At today’s meeting of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board, LARA unveiled summaries of the work groups’ recommendations.

Processors

  • THC limits: labels should indicate THC mg per unit versus per package; if limits are set on a per package basis, should be 1000 mg, with dose size indicated.
  • Security and safety protocols should be required.
  • Product regulation: edibles should be shelf-stable and not require refrigeration; edibles should be tested to ensure safe consumption after 90 days in storage.
  • Product remediation: if marihuana fails mold tests, the batch should be tested again; if it fails for pesticides, all of the batch should be rejected and destroyed.

Growers

  • Labs should be licensed first to avoid bottlenecks as the system comes on-line.
  • Pesticides: State should provide list of approved and unapproved pesticides.
  • State’s capital requirements should allow buildings to count toward asset requirements.
  • “Stacking” of multiple grow licenses: no consensus; some favored free market, others wanted protectionism for small growers.

Safety Compliance Facilities

  • Mold testing should be modeled on some set of national standards.
  • Quarterly quality assurance testing should be conducted.
  • On-site testing should be allowed, with lab employees going to growers.
  • Edibles should undergo long-term storage testing to establish expiration dates.
  • Action should be taken against facilities that have product repeatedly fail tests.

Provisioning Centers

  • Daily purchase limits: 2.5 ounces flower or equivalent; perhaps a monthly limit.
  • Packaging: labels should identify product, quantity, batch and lot number, allergens, expiration date, warnings and instructions. Should not be enticing to children.
  • Training for employees should be required.

Secure Transporters

  • Standards should address security and storage limits.
  • Vehicles should have 360 degree camera coverage visible inside, lockable barriers that prevent driver access to cargo, shatterproof windows, and ability to notify law enforcement of emergencies.
  • 24/7 operation should be allowed.
  • Drivers should have flexibility to alter routes.
  • The BIG debate: should drivers be allowed to carry firearms?

The recommendations above are obviously the tip of the iceberg; the work groups covered far more than was reported. LARA will now use these recommendations as the State develops emergency rules.

Going forward, it is unclear if the work groups will continue. The work groups were instituted by LARA because the MMFLA required the Governor to appoint an Advisory Panel by March 20, 2017, and Gov. Rick Snyder did not do so. At the time, the Governor’s office explained that the Panel could not be appointed because it must include representatives of different types of MMFLA licensees, and no licenses would be issued until sometime in 2018. The position of the Governor’s office changed, however, as just last week, the Governor announced appointments for the other specified categories. Those appointments include:

  • Roseville Police Chief James Berlin, representing police.
  • Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, representing sheriffs.
  • Wayne County Director of Commission Affairs Alan Helmkamp, representing counties.
  • Attorney for Michigan Townships Association Catherine Kaufman, representing townships.
  • Medical director of Doc Greens Clinic Dr. Saqib Nakadar, representing physicians.
  • Accountant Paul Samways of Cannabis Accounting, representing patients.
  • Grand Rapids Planning Director Suzanne Schulz, representing cities and villages.

In addition to the above appointees, the MMFLA provides that the Advisory Panel must include the Attorney General and the directors or designees of LARA, Michigan State Police, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

As for the representatives of the MMFLA’s license classes, Gov. Snyder stated that he will appoint those members once licenses have been issued. Whether LARA will look to work groups for industry input in the interim remains to be seen.

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

(Why?)

Published at Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Breaking Down CBD: A Guide To How Our Bodies Metabolize This Cannabinoid

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Breaking Down CBD: A Guide To How Our Bodies Metabolize This Cannabinoid

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

cannabidiol

For even committed students of CBD, many don’t understand the metabolic processes involved in its consumption. While there is plenty of literature out there with a more technical focus, there are very few resources out there to communicate that focus in a plain way. In this article, we’ll review your body’s natural metabolic processes, and how CBD is broken down specifically.

What is Metabolism, Anyway?

Metabolism is the conversion of one chemical compound into another through enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that live within your body’s cells that speed up chemical reactions.

Most of your body’s metabolism happens in the gut wall, lungs, and blood plasma.

The main enzymes in metabolism are a part of the “cytochrome P450” group, which will be of importance later.

Metabolism is divided into two phases  – 1 and 2. In phase 1 metabolism, your body goes through oxidation and sheds electrons from whatever you’ve taken. After phase 1, the drug is said to be “oxidized.”

In phase 2, the drug becomes more water soluble, making it possible to expel the drug from your system. The drug also loses pharmacological activity during this time. Think – something leaves your body and becomes less effective.

To review, you take something, say CBD Capsules, and they enter your system. They make it to your liver, which is the processing center for the body. Two phases of chemical reactions occur and the drug loses its effect. After the end of the second metabolism phase, the CBD capsules are water soluble enough that they can be expelled from your system.

How is CBD Broken Down?

The first thing to say on CBD metabolism, is that it is very important to understand how CBD is broken down and how it interacts with other drugs in your system. As CBD moves into the liver and becomes metabolized, it is converted in a chemical compound 7-hydroxy-CBD

(7-OH-CBD), and may also be converted into 6-OH-CBD.

 cbd capsules

At this time, little is known about these metabolites, the leftovers of CBD metabolism. However, a derivative from this process, called D2 (E) Valproate, has anticonvulsant properties that might also be involved in the antiepileptic effects of CBD.

Cytochrome P450

Earlier in the article, we mentioned the importance of cytochrome P450, the group of enzymes mainly responsible for the liver’s metabolism. In CBD metabolism, CBD seems to have an inhibiting effect on these enzymes. Through this inhibitory effect, CBD prevents cytochrome P450 from metabolizing other compounds.

 blood

Now, this inhibitory effect can fluctuate with dosage, the individual, and how tightly CBD binds to cytochrome p450 before and after oxidation.

In clinical trials, as little as 25 mg of orally administered CBD, like the capsules we mentioned earlier, blocked the metabolism of an antiepileptic drug.

For consumers, this means that CBD can have potential reductive effects on other medications you may be taking. Be sure to consult your physician on the status of your individual metabolism.

The More You Know

Like many other industries, CBD is evolving. While there is much more information circulating now than ever before, there’s still much we don’t know about CBD, as evidenced by its metabolic processes. Truly, after CBD begins to metabolize within your body, we don’t know whether metabolites help or hurt its pre-metabolic effects. The more you know, the better decisions you make when it comes to your own consumption.

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(Why?)

Published at Tue, 17 Oct 2017 07:50:42 +0000

CBD E Liquid Checklist: A Newcomers Guide to Finding The Right CBD E Liquid

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CBD E Liquid Checklist: A Newcomers Guide to Finding The Right CBD E Liquid

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

CBD E Liquid

The consumer audience still has so many questions about CBD. While there is a growing demand, both for information and product, it still seems like most people are uninformed when it comes to the topic. CBD E Liquid has become a popular CBD product with two industries – Vaping and CBD – that many people have a less than perfect understanding of. The intention of this article is to help consumers make smart buying decisions when buying their next CBD E Liquid.

CBD First

While there are many ingredients in different E Liquids, any consumer looking to purchase CBD E liquid should first and foremost be concerned with the quality of CBD. Here are a few of the things you should be looking for.

Sourcing

Sure, many different companies offer “real CBD” in their products. What you should be asking is, how did the CBD get to my hand? This due diligence isn’t any different than knowing how food products are being made. Knowing whether the Hemp was raised in a clean environment without contaminants is like knowing whether your food was grown organically. Our recommendation is to research the company to identify their sourcing protocol. Most “clean” Hemp is going to come from European farms or from research facilities within the United States. If a company isn’t clear about their sourcing, it may be time to move on.

Extraction

While CBD is natural to Hemp, it needs to be extracted to be isolated and placed into products. There is more than one way to do this, but the consensus best method is something called CO2 Extraction.

CBD Extraction

In CO2 Extraction, Carbon Dioxide goes through a series of temperature and consistency changes to achieve a “supercritical state.” In this supercritical state, CO2 has both liquid and gaseous properties, and is a perfect consistency to extract CBD from Hemp. The CO2 is pushed through a circuit (like in the image above) and collects the CBD from the Hemp. Because this process involves professional equipment, it weeds out lower quality producers.

Putting the CBD in E Liquid

Because of the large scale popularity that CBD now has, companies have been finding new ways for consumer to get their doses. One of these is creating E Liquids that enriched with CBD. The theory is, vaping CBD will allow a more immediate onset of CBD-positive effects. With this development, consumers need to make sure that not only the CBD but the other ingredients are of high quality.

VG/PG

Fundamental to an understanding of liquids is VG and PG, or Vegetable Glycerine and Propylene Glycol. VG and PG are both safe, non-toxic bases that help contain the flavors in your e liquid. They are both considered safe by the FDA and are commonly used in food products.

PG

PG is the more popular of the two bases, with a unique profile that sets it apart from VG. Generally speaking, you can expect PG to have:

  • A Thin Consistency – PG is thinner than VG and produces thinner clouds
  • Greater Throat Hit – it will feel heavier as you inhale it
  • Taste – has a more intense flavor than VG

CBD E Liquid PG vs VG

VG

VG is the other base used in E Liquids. You can expect VG to have:

  • A thicker consistency with a denser vapor
  • A naturally sweet taste
  • A lighter throat hit

With VG and PG, it’s more of a personal preference than anything else. Both products are safe to consumer, along with CBD. Keep in mind the vaping experience you want – do you want to blow thick clouds or leave little residue? Knowing the properties of both bases as well as an idea of your desired vaping experience will help you choose between VG and PG.

Nicotine

Many E Liquids contain nicotine in them, hence the reason why smokers turn to vaping as a way to wean off cigarettes. If an E Liquid does carry nicotine in it, it should be at least 99% pure and naturally extracted from tobacco. Low quality nicotine is known to cause bodily harm.

If you are a non-smoker, then you are going to want to find an E Liquid without nicotine in it. Non-nicotine E Liquids will typically clear visually and go down very easily, without a choking feeling or burn.

Aesthetics

There are many reasons people vape, but among them surely is the aesthetic enjoyment. By that, we don’t necessarily mean that you look cool doing it (though that too). We mean, for the sensations of vaping – the flavor, smell, and feeling of the E Liquid.

Flavor

A well-made E Liquid should taste like the thing it is intended to taste like. If you notice the flavor is “off,” it could because of an unbalanced composition. Remember that old saying? If an E Liquid tastes like shit, it’s probably a shit E liquid.

Smell

Whether based with VG or PG, without the flavoring, an E Liquid should have a mild to unnoticeable smell. This means, the only thing creating an aroma are the flavors themselves. If your E Liquid doesn’t smell like its flavoring, that’s a bad sign.

Going Down Easy

The last part of the “aesthetic experience” is how easy the E Liquid pulls. Aside from the differences between PG and VG, a user should expect a rather seamless experience from start to finish. A chunky, uneven vaping experience isn’t fun for anyone, regardless of other aesthetic considerations.

An Informed Purchase

CBD E Liquids could become one of the principle ways consumers get CBD. Their casual and fast-working nature means E Liquids are an attractive option for buyers. It is important, that these buyers become informed decision makers rather than victims of marketing campaigns. We hope to have equipped you with some sort of blueprint for your next CBD E Liquid purchase.

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Published at Tue, 10 Oct 2017 07:15:35 +0000

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Medical Marihuana Facilities License Process

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Medical Marihuana Facilities License Process

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Medical Marihuana Facilities License Process

by Hilary Vigil

Today, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) issued an Advisory Bulletin on the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation’s (BMMR) intended application process for medical marihuana facilities licenses. The Advisory Bulletin is just that—advisory—and is issued in anticipation of emergency rules that LARA plans to promulgate under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) in November.

The Advisory Bulletin lays out a two-step application process for applicants seeking a medical marihuana facility license. The two phases, prequalification and the license application, are designed to allow applicants to start the licensing process before having found the location of their proposed medical marihuana facilities, which should give applicants—and BMMR—more time to adjust to the new lay of the land. BMMR will start accepting applications on December 15 of this year, but applicants will be able to choose whether to submit both parts of the application at once or just the prequalification application first.

During the prequalification step, BMMR will conduct a full background investigation of license applicants and their affiliates, which requires fingerprinting and includes checks into criminal and financial history, regulation and taxation compliance, and business litigation history. A brief outline of required supporting documentation is provided in the Advisory Bulletin.

LARA intends to tailor the second step of the application process to the five different facility license types: growing, processing, provisioning, safety compliance, and secure transportation. This step will require more information and documentation from applicants, including approval from the municipality where the facility will be located and a copy of the municipality’s authorizing ordinance; plans for technology, staffing, marketing, inventory, security, and recordkeeping; floorplans and layouts for the facility; and proof of the facility’s insurance, bond, or securities.

LARA’s Advisory Bulletin gives applicants a good sense of what to expect from the application process, but the emergency rules that will be issued in November may change the process before the application period starts in December. As we have previously reported, LARA is hosting a series of “road shows” in early November to provide additional information and training about this process.

Check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

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Published at Wed, 11 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000