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New Cannabis Licensing Opportunities in California May be on the Horizon

  Last Thursday, Hilary Bricken, Griffen Thorne, and I put on a free webinar to answer all your California cannabis questions and while we did our best, we ran out of time to answer all of the excellent questions that were posed by attendees. One of the questions that was posed–and we get this question […]

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Last Thursday, Hilary Bricken, Griffen Thorne, and I put on a free webinar to answer all your California cannabis questions and while we did our best, we ran out of time to answer all of the excellent questions that were posed by attendees.

One of the questions that was posed–and we get this question all the time from clients and potential clients looking to enter the California market–was whether we knew of any cities or counties that are currently open for licensing (particularly retail), or whether we knew of any cities or counties currently under a ban on commercial cannabis activity that will be opening up for licensing in the imminent future. Coincidentally, Marijuana Business Daily released a perfectly-timed rundown of some of the local jurisdictions in California that may be welcoming cannabis businesses in the near future.

Currently, approximately 2/3 of the local jurisdictions in California have instituted local bans of varying degrees on commercial cannabis activity. Lack of access to safe and legal cannabis to this degree does little to undermine the existing black market, and we’re hopeful that the financial incentives, at the very least, will entice many local governments to rethink their current policies. According to Marijuana Business Daily’s rundown, below are some of the local jurisdictions that may do just that.

Anaheim, CA

Current city regulations prohibit the sale, commercial cultivation, and processing of both adult-use and medicinal cannabis. The Anaheim City Council has taken interest in changing the ordinance and putting the issue to voters and at their meeting scheduled for June 9th, “is set to consider approval of the first and second steps in a three-step process toward legalizing, taxing and regulating commercial cannabis distribution, manufacturing, cultivation, retail sales, deliveries and testing laboratories.” The proposed ordinance would limit permits for cannabis retailers, cultivators, manufacturers, and distributors to 20 in each category.

Chico, CA

Commercial cannabis activity in Chico is currently prohibited, and an ordinance introduced and given pre-approval by the City Council in February would allow for commercial cannabis activity (with the exception of cultivation and microbusinesses). The ordinance would allow up to four retail stores, and would not cap manufacturing, distribution, or testing lab licenses.

Concord, CA

The city amended its cannabis ordinance on May 26th, and will begin offering the following license types, with limits, on a first-come first-served basis as of June 25, 2020: manufacturing, distribution, testing laboratories, and microbusinesses.

Crescent City, CA

The City Council adopted an ordinance on April 6th that will regulate certain commercial cannabis activities, including storefront retail, delivery, cultivation (indoor), non-volatile manufacturing, processing, distribution, microbusinesses, and testing labs.

El Monte, CA

Licensing for retail, cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, and testing labs is currently open through June 15th, and storefront retail licenses will be capped at six.

Fresno

City Council voted in January to authorize at least 14 retail storefronts, which could be increased to 21.

King City

On February 25th the City Council adopted an ordinance to allow for a maximum of two cannabis storefront retail dispensaries. The deadline for submitting applications is July 9, 2020.

Los Angeles

Licensing is ongoing, but future licensing rounds have yet to be announced. Licensing in LA has been riddled with issues, as we have written about

Rio Vista

On May 18th, the City Council adopted an ordinance that will allow for three retailers, as well as other commercial cannabis business types, although the language of the ordinance is somewhat unclear. Microbusinesses, cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, and labs seem to be allowed.

Sacramento

In January, the city indicated that it was considering adding another ten storefront retail permits, although there are currently no concrete details.

Santa Barbara County

Although the process is currently on hold due to Covid-19, county supervisors approved up to six storefront retail licenses.

Tracy

The city will allow up to four storefront retail permits, and will not cap other license types. The licensing process has yet to begin, and no formal timeline has been established.

On the flip side, Kern County voters recently rejected two initiatives that would have allowed for commercial cannabis activity, which is currently banned. We’ve heard much hopeful speculation that as cities and counties recognize the potential benefits (particularly financial benefits in light of the current economic crisis and the state’s designation of cannabis as “essential”) of opening their doors to commercial cannabis activity, more licensing opportunities will become available for investors. And we’re hopeful that speculation turns out to be accurate.

The post New Cannabis Licensing Opportunities in California May be on the Horizon appeared first on Harris Bricken.

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Growing

How to Identify Pests in Your Cannabis Grow

Experienced and novice cannabis growers alike understand that pests can ruin a crop, no matter how well watered, fed, or tended. One of the keys to making sure that your plants grow into healthy, robust, and consumable cannabis is to keep a close eye o…

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Experienced and novice cannabis growers alike understand that pests can ruin a crop, no matter how well watered, fed, or tended. One of the keys to making sure that your plants grow into healthy, robust, and consumable cannabis is to keep a close eye on any pests that might infiltrate your grow, then take the appropriate steps to eradicate them without ruining your garden. Not only will it help keep the plants alive, thriving plants have more energy to produce trichomes and terpenes, making for better bud

Let’s take a look at some common pests found on cannabis plants, how to identify them, and lastly, get rid of them for good. With just a little maintenance and vigilance, your cannabis garden can be pest-free.

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Common Pests Found on Cannabis Plants

According to the Smithsonian Institution, there are likely more unclassified insects in the world than classified, and the running guess is somewhere between 2 million and 30 million. Thus, this is by no means a definitive list of bugs that feed on cannabis but should serve as a good starting point for most pest problems. 

Caterpillars

Before a caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly and flits away, it can be very hazardous to your cannabis plants. You know that book The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Turns out it’s a true story about how caterpillars eat everything in sight, including that tasty cannabis. Caterpillars can be very dangerous because they tend to go unnoticed, especially if they are a borer caterpillar, meaning they burrow into the plant and eat it from the inside out. But even caterpillars on the exterior will nosh away, potentially causing great damage to your plants. 

To figure out if caterpillars are ruining your plants, inspect the leaves weekly for holes from feeding, droppings on the leaves that look like tiny black specks, holes, and damage to the stems, and yellowing on upper leaves.

Natural enemies of caterpillars are wasps and praying mantises, and introducing those to the environment could make a difference. These options are typically easier for outdoor grows, but can also work indoors with some preparation. Other interventions include using a product like Bug Blaster spray or neem oil (which you can make at home).

Neem oil use has been controversial in some cannabis circles, as there is a belief among some that it may play a role in CHS (Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome), however, no definitive statements can be made without more research. The connection between neem oil and cannabis hyperemesis syndrome has yet to be fully explored or verified, but it’s still good to be aware and to be sure to closely follow usage directions.

Aphids

Even house plants have the occasional plague of aphids. Tiny and red, yellow, black, pale, green, or brown, these bugs can be easy to miss because they cling to the underside of leaves, reproduce quickly, and drain your plant of nutrients. Outdoor grows tend to fare a little better in the battle against aphids since natural predators are present, but indoor plants can be decimated quickly by these teensy pests. Not only do they siphon nutrients away from the plant, they leave a sweet substance called “honeydew” that attracts other insects and turns the leaves black and moldy

Aphids and their honeydew on a plant

The honeydew left behind from aphids leads to further damages to the plant by attracting even more pests. photo credit

Because that honeydew attracts other pests, if you begin to notice a lot of ants or ladybugs coming around your plants, it’s a pretty good sign that you’re well into an aphid problem. Aphids can be hard to shake, but wasps and ladybugs are natural predators. Nonetheless, you should visually inspect the underside of plant leaves at least once a week. If introducing predators doesn’t ameliorate the problem, there are a couple of natural solutions to get rid of cannabis pests to try, like garlic or tomato leaf water. 

Spider Mites

Spider mites are like the supervillains of cannabis pests: uber reproductive, zombie-like in their ability to come back from what you thought was death, capable of spinning webs while eating everything in sight then completely disappearing before turning up again – they’re nearly impossible to spot and even harder to eradicate. Spotting spider mites is difficult because they are minuscule, but doing a daily inspection of both sides of your plant leaves could help to prevent a massive infestation.

Signs of spider mites begins with speckles, then a browning or yellowing of leaves, and premature leaf death.

If any parts of your plant are covered in fine webbing, that’s a sure sign you’re in a bad spot. The best way to avoid mites is to stay vigilant with your leaf inspections. If you do notice signs of mites, try introducing a fan into the environment. Strong air currents make it difficult for mites to breed. Spider mites also prefer temperatures of 60-80 degrees, so experimenting with temperature might also slow an infestation down. Since mites are likely to come back, consider a spray like Azamax or Spinosad to get rid of them for good (again, be sure to follow use directions carefully).

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are just as hungry as caterpillars, but their gourmet meal is from the stem and roots of your plants and not the leaves. Beginning at the topsoil level, both larvae and adults will munch their way down into the root system, badly impact plant drainage, and compromise the structural stability of your plants. However, they’re nearly impossible to spot because they are dark in color, as is soil.

Fungus Gnats

Although fungus gnats are small, the damage they leave behind is mighty. photo credit

Seeing swarms of gnats near the base of your plant is one sign you’ve got a fungus gnat problem. Other symptoms are stems that weaken and simply fall over, adult plants that start to droop, wilt, spot, or yellow, or plants that stop growing altogether. 

Fungus gnats love moist conditions, so keeping the top layer of soil dry is a smart preventative measure. Some other hacks to try include placing a cloth on top of the soil to prevent female gnats from laying eggs or laying a sticky pad near the plant’s base to stick larvae. You could also mix some peroxide and water and spray it around the area of gnat infestation. A common-sense tactic for an indoor grow is to put screens on the windows and the doors closed to keep gnats out. 

Why Pests and Bugs Are Attracted to Cannabis

Something to keep in mind about pests, in general, is that they love a monoculture or a space dedicated to growing only one crop. Researchers from the University of California Davis theorize that if an insect makes itself at home in that one crop, it has a large food supply, creating an all-you-can-eat kind of scenario for the pest, making it that much harder to eradicate. As you likely don’t want to introduce other plants into a cannabis garden (for a number of reasons), this issue will always exist to some degree when dealing with weed. 

This is why, as mentioned, another option is to introduce other beneficial insects. Not only do they prey on harmful pests, but they are also an excellent chemical-free pest control option. The bugs already want to be there, you’re just bringing them to the dinner table. 

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The Wrap Up

Identifying pests should be a regular ritual, just like watering and delivering nutrients to your plants. When you keep them pest-free, all that hard growing work will hopefully pay off in healthy and efficacious plants. Once you’ve harvested, you can move on to other fun challenges like doing a proper cure for your cannabis harvest, and how to store your cannabis stash


How do you deal with pests in your cannabis grow? Share your techniques in the comments!

Photo Credit: ilovegrowingmarijuana (license)

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Connecticut

Governor of Connecticut Pushes For Legalizing Adult-Use Cannabis In Budget Address

Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont proposed legalizing recreational cannabis in his budget address this week.

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Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont proposed legalizing recreational cannabis in his budget address this week.

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News

South Dakota Governor Delays Implementation of Medical Marijuana Initiative

It seems that Governor Kristi Noem isn’t quite done derailing voter-approved cannabis initiatives.

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It seems that Governor Kristi Noem isn’t quite done derailing voter-approved cannabis initiatives.

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