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Washington’s Cannabis Enforcement Officers Face Stiffer Drug Use Restrictions Than Seattle Police

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Marijuana Moment

Enforcement officers at the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), the agency tasked with administering the state’s alcohol, marijuana and tobacco and laws, can freely drink a beer or smoke a cigarette without risk to their jobs. But nearly a decade after the state legalized cannabis, they’re still forbidden from using it.

The current restriction isn’t just while on the job, or even while employed with LCB. It extends back three years before they apply for an enforcement position at the agency. Candidates are drug tested and subjected to a polygraph test.

That’s the case for now, anyway, as LCB tells Marijuana Moment it is in the process of “reviewing” the cannabis use policy.

“Overarching all of this is the obvious fact that cannabis is illegal at the federal level,” LCB’s communications director, Brian Smith, explained to Marijuana Moment in an email. “This impacts all sectors of state cannabis systems from banking to traceability to commerce to employment restrictions.”

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Washington’s Cannabis Enforcement Officers Face Stiffer Drug Use Restrictions Than Seattle Police



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“Sham Unions”: Alleged Labor Law Violations Shake California’s Booming Cannabis Industry 

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Several major legal cannabis companies in California are facing allegations of violating state law by collaborating with and signing labor peace agreements with organizations claiming to be labor unions but who have failed to genuinely advocate for workers’ rights. According to California law, cannabis companies with over 20 employees are required to sign a labor peace agreement with a “bona fide labor organization”. These labor peace agreements facilitate a union’s access to employees. Labor peace agreements prevent unions from picketing or boycotting the business in exchange for the business agreeing not to disrupt union organizing efforts. However, several unions are alleging some of the largest cannabis companies in the state have attempted to skirt this law by signing labor peace agreements with an organization known as Professional Technical Union Local 33 (Pro-Tech).

The Teamsters Union filed a complaint with the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (CALRB) in March of this year, alleging that Pro-Tech was not a genuine labor organization. After conducting an investigation, the CALRB agreed with the Teamsters, finding that Pro-Tech has made no tangible efforts to organize or represent cannabis industry employees and even lacks a physical presence in the state.

At least 90 cannabis companies, including some of the largest in California, are alleged to have signed labor peace agreements with Pro-Tech and have recently had to scramble to make agreements with other labor unions. The implicated firms were provided with 180 days to establish new labor peace agreements by the California Department of Cannabis Control (CCDC).

Pro-Tech is not the only labor organization to face scrutiny. Another union, the National Agricultural Workers Union, has also recently faced similar allegations of being a “sham union” from the Teamsters.

California’s cannabis industry is significant, employing over 83,000 people in 2021. The CCDC has stated that it is working to enhance transparency regarding labor peace agreements to strengthen labor organizations’ ability to file complaints against non-compliant companies.

This news highlights the importance of having an experienced attorney review labor peace agreements that are required by CCDC. It is important to remember that the details of these agreements are subject to negotiation, and the difference between an enforceable agreement and a one-sided agreement that allows a union to engage in unfair or harassing organizational tactics can be easily overlooked. 

 



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Proposal to abolish medical cannabis tax fails to become Canadian Conservative Party policy

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A proposal to consider the abolition of tax on cannabis for medical purposes did not have a chance to become official party policy at the Conservative Party convention over the weekend.

The proposal would have called on the Conservative Party of Canada to adopt a policy that would “abolish the excise tax on medical cannabis, fostering compassionate patient care and promoting its potential as a ‘Made in Canada’ safer alternative to addictive opioids.”

Policy 1849 had passed the first stage of voting and was then heard as a regional priority from New Brunswick in a breakout session on Friday. However, the proposal did not make it past that stage. Had it passed, it would have had a chance to proceed to the convention floor for a final vote on Saturday, September 9.

Tanner Stewart, who helped bring the proposal forward, says he is disappointed the proposal didn’t make it to the floor, but feels it was still a worthwhile effort to spread awareness of the issue. Stewart is the founder of Stewart Farms, a cannabis producer in St. Stephen, New Brunswick.

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Sept 8 Alert: OHA to suspend rule requiring aspergillus testing on cannabis products

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will be filing a temporary rule suspending the requirement to test cannabis products for certain species of a mold known as Aspergillus.

The agency’s decision to suspend the Aspergillus testing requirement in Oregon Administrative Rule 333-007-0390 follows an Aug. 25 Oregon Court of Appeals stay of the rule. Representatives of the state’s cannabis industry had earlier led a legal challenge to that part of the rule.

André Ourso, administrator for the Center for Health Protection at OHA’s Public Health Division, said the agency “remains concerned about the health impacts of Aspergillus on cannabis users, including Oregon Medical Marijuana Program registrants, and will consider revisiting rulemaking in the near future.”

In the meantime, OHA will amend OAR 333-007-0390 as a temporary rule to remove the requirement for Aspergillus testing. Testing for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Salmonella species will continue to be required.

The part of OAR 333-007-0390 requiring Aspergillus testing went into effect March 31, 2022, when OHA required new tests for heavy metals, mycotoxins and microbiological contaminants on marijuana items and industrial hemp-derived vapor items. Testing for heavy metals and microbiological contaminants was required for items harvested or manufactured on or after March 1, 2023.

Microbiological contaminant testing included testing for the presence of four pathogenic species of Aspergillus: A. flavus, A. fumigatus, A. niger and A. terreus, which are known to be harmful to humans.

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Also Cultiva are hosting this

You are invited to the following event:

September Cannabis Insiders Meeting – Federal Rescheduling, Aspergillus Testing, OHA & OLCC RACs

When: 11 Sep 2023 6:30 PM, PDT
Where: Cultiva Law – 11 NE MLK Blvd, Portland, OR

Will you be attending?



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