Uproot Blog

Observations of the cannabis industry

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Cannabis Cooperatives A cannabis Co-op is a cannabis business that operates cooperatively.  Co-ops are based on the idea that the people who either work at, or use, the business are the owners.  The owners get the profits and they get to make decisions about how the business operates.  Co-ops follow the Seven Cooperative Principles: 1)      Voluntary and open membership 2)      Democratic member control 3)      Member economic participation 4)      Autonomy and independence 5)      Education, training and…
Patchwork of State and Federal Policies The USDA’s Interim Final Rule (IFR) on hemp production, and the individual states’ widely varying hemp policies have created a patchwork of hemp law ranging from prohibition to federally compliant to state-protectionist to arguably federally non-compliant.  For example, Idaho has not yet legalized hemp, despite federal legalization.  New Hampshire has declined to develop its own plan and its growers will apply directly to the USDA for a hemp license.…
As the number of states legalizing medical and adult-use cannabis increases, the number of athletes living, training and competing in states with legal cannabis is rapidly increasing.  What does this mean?  I remember in 1998, when a snowboarder (Rebagliati) won the Olympic gold medal, then was disqualified for testing positive for THC, then they gave the medal back because THC wasn’t actually a banned substance.  I recall being rather confused by the turn of events…
The USDA Interim Final Rule for the production of hemp was published on 10/31/2019.  There is much to say about this Rule and this blog will try to highlight issues receiving little attention in the media.    Sampling  The Sampling Guidelines have two main aspects that raise red flags in our view. Only the Flower? First, the sampling of a particular plant is to be made just underneath the flower or bud, at the top…
Yet another cannabis company lost its bid to be taxed in a reasonable and rational manner – that is, like any other state-legal, highly-regulated, licensed business instead of like an illegal drug dealer.  Tax Court Case  In Northern California Small Business Assistants, Inc., v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (October 23, 2019), the company argued, among other things, that the taxes under 280E are so excessive as to constitute a violation of the 8th Amendment’s prohibition on excessive…
Hot Hemp What is Hot Hemp?  To be legal, your hemp has to test at or below 0.3% THC.  So what if your hemp crop comes in over the limit?  Now you’ve got “hot hemp”. Which means you just grew a field of illegal marijuana.  Why did this happen?  What can you do about it? Why does your hemp have too much THC?  As you probably know, hemp is simply a variant of Cannabis that…
Social Consumption What do we talk about when we talk about social consumption?  It can mean many different things.  Often, people are imagining an Amsterdam-style cafe where patrons can order small amounts of cannabis, and consume the cannabis on the premises, perhaps with some coffee or food.  This is not a revolutionary idea – this is just a bar that serves weed instead of booze.  Despite the outward simplicity of the concept, social consumption has…
Advertising Weed in Massachusetts? Make Sure You Know The Rules: 1. Your logo cannot contain medical, marijuana, paraphernalia, or colloquial references. 2. At least 85% of your audience must be age 21+.  Fun Fact: California requires that the audience be 71.6% over 21, and all the other adult-use states only require 70%. 3. Advertising must contain numerous health and safety warnings as dictated by the regulations. 4. No claims of being safe, or of medical/therapeutic benefits. 5. No cartoons, mascots,…
What is Appellation?  An appellation is a certified designation identifying the geographical origin of a product and the culture underlying it’s production.  Appellation designations offer protection and promotion for regional and local businesses, by preventing misappropriation and misuse of regional names, and they promote consumer confidence in local products by establishing criteria and processes for certification.  Many countries have well-established appellation systems for products like wine (Champagne), cheese (Gruyere), and even meats, fruit and vegetables.…