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  • Ashley T. Martinez

Week in Review: California Cannabis Tax Revenue Update | Weedmaps | And More...

Updated: Sep 7, 2019

Here’s a quick rundown of the top cannabis related news stories for this week.

California has $317 million in cannabis revenue in 2018-19

This week, the non-partisan Legislative Analysts Office (LAO) reported that California collected an estimated $317 million in cannabis revenue in fiscal year 2018-19. The number exceeds the LAO's estimate in May that the state would receive about $10 million less for the year.

While the revenues are half of former Governor Jerry Brown's estimates in 2018, the state has seen cannabis revenues quickly rise each quarter. Many believe that the increase is tied to increased enforcement against unlicensed businesses throughout the state.

Weedmaps Announces It Will Stop Advertising Unlicensed Cannabis Retailers 'later this year'

Under pressure from state regulators, legislators and associations representing licensed cannabis business entities across the California, Weedmaps announced this week that they will stop advertising unlicensed cannabis retailers 'later this year'. The announcement comes shortly after state legislators passed Assembly Bill (AB) 97, earlier this summer, which imposes penalties of up to $30,000 per day for illegal operators.

In addition to these penalties, a bill currently moving through the legislature would give the state's attorney general ability to bring an action against a person violating the state's marijuana laws, including those aiding and abetting a person running a cannabis business without the proper licenses. Weedmaps, in the eye's of state regulators, is the most prominent source and widely used mechanism for facilitating transactions between unlicensed business and the consumer.

Unlicensed cannabis vaping products suspected in at least 21 cases of lung disease in California

On Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle highlighted an investigation by California public health authorities involving 21 cases of lung disease that appear to be connected to unlicensed vaping products. Although there have been no reported deaths, public health officials have seen a steady increase in the number of cases in recent months.

Nationwide, 153 suspected cases have been reported in 16 states since June 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. There were 59 new cases reported in the last week alone.

California's weed 'czar' ranks #43 on California Weekly's Top 100

Every year, California Weekly, a news publication that reports on major issues in California's State Capitol, releases a Top 100 that includes the most powerful people in California politics. This year, Lori Ajax, the chief at the Bureau of Cannabis Control was ranked #43 on that list. In describing Ajax's role at the Bureau, Capitol Weekly had this to say:

" California grapples with legalized weed... Ajax is at the epicenter... [S]he has warned those in the considerably large black market that the bureau will be stepping up law enforcement on those who operate outside the law."

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