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2019 Monterey County Crop Report lists leaf lettuce in top spot, cannabis in fifth

SALINAS – The 2019 Monterey County Crop Report released Tuesday shows the overall production value of the agriculture industry in the county was up 3.5% to $4.4 billion. Leaf lettuce is the top crop followed by strawberries, head lettuce, and broccoli rounding out the top four in the main report. The Crop Report also includes, for the first time, a supplemental Cannabis Production report that shows the overall production value of Cannabis at $449,688,000 in 2019, putting it fifth in line of top crops. “It’s a historic day,” said Aaron Johnson, of Monterey County National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the Coastal Growers Association. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

Milpitas council kills cannabis sales tax measure proposal

MILPITAS — After briefly reviving the idea of potentially placing a cannabis business sales tax measure on the November ballot, the Milpitas City Council has killed the proposal. The council on Tuesday night was scheduled to consider both a cannabis business sales tax measure, as well as a general sales tax measure, but ultimately decided to put the general sales tax discussion off to a later meeting, and to ditch the cannabis sales tax idea altogether. Though the council had previously banned all cannabis businesses from operating in the city, Mayor Rich Tran late last month said he wanted to let voters decide on the sales tax issue as a way to gauge community support for cannabis. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

Milpitas City Council to again weigh cannabis sales tax ballot measure

Published: May 4, 2020, 4:35 pm • Updated: May 4, 2020, 4:37 pm By Joseph Geha MILPITAS — Despite voting in late 2018 to ban marijuana businesses in the city, the Milpitas City Council will discuss Tuesday whether it should put a marijuana business sales tax measure on the November election ballot. The issue of whether to sanction marijuana business in the city has been contentious. Mayor Rich Tran, who supported the previous ban, suggested at an April 21 meeting that the council take up the conversation on the cannabis sales tax measure, saying he wants local voters to make the choice. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

Chronic in the time of COVID-19: 4/20 goes digital

Published: Apr 20, 2020, 3:22 pm • Updated: Apr 20, 2020, 3:23 pm By Cnn.com Wire Service By Alice Wallace | CNN This year’s 4/20 was shaping up to be big. The high holiday honoring the cannabis plant was projected to draw record public celebrations and retail sales — a reflection of the grassroots movement evolution into a burgeoning US industry. Plus, at 4:20 pm on April 20, 2020, it is the year of “four 20s.” Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

California’s marijuana 4/20 celebrations go virtual as industry adjusts to new reality

This Monday — and, really, all of April 2020 — was supposed to be big in the world of cannabis. Since 1971, when a group of Northern California teens started meeting at 4:20 p.m. each day to smoke weed and hunt for an elusive marijuana patch, the figure 420 has been tied to cannabis. And so the fourth month of 2020, and the date 4/20/20 in particular, was poised to give marijuana consumers extra cause to celebrate the industry’s unofficial holiday while offering legal cannabis companies a welcome marketing hook. But shelter-at-home orders tied to the coronavirus pandemic have pumped the brakes on most 4/20 celebrations. Even in weed-friendly San Francisco, Mayor London Breed is threatening to arrest anyone who shows up for the state’s largest annual cannabis gathering at “Hippie Hill” in G...

Colorado’s marijuana businesses should be eligible for federal coronavirus aid, Polis tells Congress

Colorado’s cannabis industry is allowed to remain open to provide “critical” services during the coronavirus pandemic, but because marijuana is a federally controlled substance, dispensaries and other businesses are ineligible to receive stimulus funds to help offset the economic impacts caused by COVID-19. Many say they’re struggling. Gov. Jared Polis, however, is hoping to lend a helping hand. On Monday, Polis sent a letter to Rep. Jason Crow, D-Aurora, a member of the House Small Business Committee, urging the committee to reconsider allowing cannabis businesses to apply for federal aid. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Colorado’s marijuana businesses can remain open during pandemic, but they say they’re still struggling

As the coronavirus fueled changes in regulation for Colorado’s cannabis industry, leaders at LivWell Enlightened Health knew they needed to make dramatic moves to keep the business and its workers thriving. And fast. On March 30, 18 company executives and department heads agreed to suspend their compensation for three months to avoid making cuts elsewhere, including personnel. The company employs 690 people between its cultivation sites, business administration and 18 dispensaries in Colorado and Oregon. Most are what Executive Director Dean Heizer calls “heartbeat” employees, namely, those on the front lines serving customers in marijuana dispensaries and working in its grow facilities sites to ensure there’s product to sell. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

These Silicon Valley businesses are booming in the coronavirus era

Traffic at Coursera, the Mountain View-based online learning platform with university classes for anyone, is four to five times higher than usual, with thousands of universities requesting free access to their platform. At the same time, videoconferencing app Zoom has become central to countless companies where most employees are working from home. And grocery delivery app Instacart has seen a 150 percent increase in demand, with billions of dollars worth of groceries purchased through the app in the past three weeks. The global coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on thousands of businesses large and small, shuttering restaurants, bars and many retail stores. Silicon Valley startups selling cars, homes and co-working space are struggling and starting rounds of layoffs. Already, more tha...

Colorado dispensaries say coronavirus pandemic is making case for marijuana delivery

As the coronavirus pandemic disrupts daily life and commerce in Colorado, many in the state’s marijuana industry believe it makes the case for allowing dispensaries to begin delivering to customers’ homes now. Legislators legalized cannabis delivery with the passage of House Bill 1234 in 2019. The law permits medical marijuana deliveries to start in 2020 followed by recreational cannabis deliveries in 2021, but left it to municipalities to individually decide if they will allow the services. So far just one dispensary in Colorado, The Dandelion in Boulder, has obtained a license to deliver products to patients. Shannon Gray, communications specialist for the Marijuana Enforcement Division, declined to comment on whether the timeline for recreational delivery is being reconsidered in light ...

A marijuana shop at your door: Home delivery in California surges amid outbreak

By MICHAEL R. BLOOD and HAVEN DALEY | The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO  — One company rushed to expand its delivery fleet. Another has seen sales triple. The global coronavirus pandemic has left millions of people locked out of bars, restaurants and theaters, but it’s been an unexpected boost for some U.S. pot shops. Marijuana users in the nation’s largest legal pot shop, California, and elsewhere are on a buying binge, as they stock up for potential quarantines or simply light up in search of relief during anxious times and government lockdowns. New York, San Francisco and Palm Springs, California, are among the cities labeling dispensaries “essential” businesses that can remain open during virus lockdowns, in some cases with limitations. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

Cannabis dispensaries are ‘essential’ businesses in San Jose during coronavirus lockdown, city says

Published: Mar 17, 2020, 2:00 pm • Updated: Mar 17, 2020, 2:00 pm By Fiona Kelliher, Maggie Angst SAN JOSE — Dispensaries and licensed cannabis companies can remain open through the shelter-in-place order issued by Santa Clara and six other counties, the city said Tuesday. So long as they practice social distancing measures, dispensaries are considered “essential” businesses, confirmed city spokesperson Rosario Neaves. “In our case in the city, we’re considering medical cannabis a healthcare operation, as long as they comply with the social distancing requirements,” Neaves said Tuesday. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

California passes $1 billion in cannabis tax revenue two years after launching legal market

California has raised $1 billion in cannabis tax revenue since the industry kicked into gear in January 2018, according to figures recently released by the state. The bulk of that $1.03 billion in tax money, after covering regulatory costs, has been spent on programs such as child care for low income families, cannabis research, public safety grants and cleaning up public lands harmed by illegal marijuana grows. While industry insiders and advocates are celebrating those numbers, they’re also raising a flag about stagnating revenues and ongoing layoffs. Those hurdles, many say, can be fixed if regulators make key changes, including a seemingly counter intuitive push to lower the state’s cannabis tax rate. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

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