Cannabis State of the Union 2018

Posted by Shay Digenan on February 15, 2018

Even to the layman, it’s no secret that the cannabis industry is ever-changing - often so quickly that it can be tough to keep up. With each state making independent moves, the path to understanding the unique rules, application processes, and timelines becomes even more convoluted. To help make sense of it all, we’ve pieced together a trend report on states that have seen increased activity in the past year, as well as a preview of what’s coming up in cannabis across the country in 2018.

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Topics: Cannabis, Cannabis Regulations, MAUCRSA, Adult Use

What The Sessions Memo Means For You and Your Cannabis Business

Posted by Mitchell Colbert on February 8, 2018

This article first appeared in print in the February issue of Reno Tahoe Tonight Magazine, on pages 92-93.

January 4th, 2018, will be a day long remembered by the cannabis industry, but it is too early to tell if it will be remembered as the day the federal crackdown on legal cannabis began, or as the last straw that motivated a hesitant Congress to finally act on cannabis. On this date, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a new memo providing guidance to all US attorneys. His memo rescinded Obama-era guidance on cannabis; not just 2013’s Cole Memo, but also 2009’s Ogden Memo, 2014’s Wilkinson Memo about cannabis on tribal lands, and 2014’s Banking Secrecy Act guidance. Sessions was in such a rush to rescind those memos that he didn’t bother to alert the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which, Reuters reports, was drowning in “a flood of phone calls” as people wondered if FinCEN’s 2014 guidance regarding the banking of cannabis businesses was still in place.

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Topics: Cannabis, Jeff Sessions, FINCEN, Cole Memo, Wilkinson Memo

California Cultivation Applications: A Door Left Open to Big Cannabis

Posted by Mitchell Colbert on February 1, 2018

This post is our final installment in our series profiling the process of getting a cannabis business license in California, and focuses on cultivation licenses from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Our first post covered licensing by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), who licenses the end of supply chain businesses (finished product handlers). The second post addressed the mid-supply chain manufacturers handled by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Now, we have worked our way backwards to the cultivators, where the entire supply chain begins.

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Topics: California Cannabis, Cultivation, Environment, Compliance, Start a Cannabis Business, MAUCRSA

How to Become a Cannabis Manufacturer in California

Posted by Mitchell Colbert on January 17, 2018


Our last blog on California licensing covered the several licenses available from the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC). The licenses issued by the BCC are all end-of-supply-chain license types that deal exclusively with finished, packaged products (except in the unique case of the Type 12 microbusiness license which can embody an entire supply chain in one license). This blog will focus on the mid-supply chain licenses that the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issues to would-be manufacturers, packagers, and soon, shared facilities for manufacturing.

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Topics: California Cannabis, Medical Cannabis, MAUCRSA

2018: Cannabis BOOM OR BUST?

Posted by Rebecca Gasca on January 4, 2018

What began as an exciting new year with California kicking off recreational marijuana sales has quickly morphed into calculated risk-assessments within the marijuana industry. And unfortunately, it is even worse than initial reports.

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Topics: Cannabis, Jeff Sessions, Tribal Sovereignty, Cole Memo, Wilkinson Memo

Navigating California Licensing from the Bureau of Cannabis Control

Posted by Mitchell Colbert on January 2, 2018


Nearly a month has passed since December 8th, when applications for temporary and annual licensing were released by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC). The BCC has made it clear they plan to move fast in issuing licenses and they have already issued over 400 licenses, and continue to issue them as quickly as their staff can process them. Other than Type 8 licenses for testing laboratories, all license types from all issuing agencies will be available in either A (adult use) or M (medicinal) markets; testing labs will be able to service both markets. If a business wants to engage in both the adult use and medicinal markets they will need to apply for both A and M licenses for all activities they intend to engage in for those markets.

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Topics: Cannabis, California Cannabis, Distribution, MAUCRSA, Lab Testing

The Wild Fate of California’s Cannabis Legalization After the Fires

Posted by Mitchell Colbert on December 7, 2017

This article first appeared in print in the December issue of Reno Tahoe Tonight Magazine, on pages 90-92.


The smoke has finally cleared from the air in Northern California, and people are trying to resume a normal life in a community forever changed by the worst wildfires in state history. CalFire reports that, “Since the start of the October Fire Siege on Sunday, October 8, CAL FIRE responded to 250 new wildfires. At the peak of the wildfires there were 21 major wildfires that, in total, burned over 245,000 acres, 11,000 firefighters battled the destructive fires that at one time forced 100,000 to evacuate, destroyed an estimated 8,900 structures (as damage assessment continues, this is the latest count), and sadly, took the lives of 43 people.”

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Topics: Cannabis, California, MAUCRSA, wine, Fire

Tribal Cannabis: A Tricky Situation

Posted by Mitchell Colbert on November 30, 2017

Many tribal governments across the United States are considering making the jump into the cannabis industry, to try and get a piece of the projected $20.6 billion-dollar pie. Based on their authority as sovereign nations, tribes have begun to create private compacts with state governments where cannabis has been legalized. Tribes seeking to enter the cannabis space find themselves in an advantageous position due to the more lenient tax restrictions they enjoy, such as exemption from federal income tax and purview over whether to levy sales tax. They can also choose to work around stringent state licensing programs, like in Florida, where there are less than twenty licenses for the entire state.

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Topics: Cannabis, Tribal Sovereignty, Cole Memo, Wilkinson Memo

Medical Cannabis in the NFL

Posted by Auston Anderson on November 16, 2017

This article first appeared in print in the June issue of Reno Tahoe Tonight Magazine, on pages 96-97.


Wrought with multiple risks of severe and traumatic long-term injuries, professional football is one of the most dangerous sports played. Still, this great risk of injury cannot stop the headlong charge of the National Football League (NFL). A modern-day gladiator arena, the spectacle of violent clashes and possible risk draws hundreds of millions of viewers to the screen and to live games each year. While owners, coaches, players, and team physicians are aware of the inevitable injuries that often occur, the push to keep players on the field continues. Team doctors resort to prescribing very strong and highly addictive painkillers that sometimes mask the pain without addressing the cause, and frequently lead to abuse and addiction. Owners, retired and active players, and doctors have become more aware of these effects and are demanding alternatives.

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Topics: Cannabis, Football, CTE, NFL

Going Home for the Holidays: Traveling with Cannabis

Posted by Mitchell Colbert on November 7, 2017

This article first appeared in print in the November issue of Reno Tahoe Tonight Magazine, on pages 86-87.


Many medical cannabis patients and recreational users are currently preparing for the holidays, which may mean going to visit families who have much harsher views on cannabis than their own. Depending on the person and their family, “preparing” for the holidays can range anywhere from getting a big bag of cookies to munch while hidden in the bathroom, or buying a big bag of joints to give out as gifts. Depending on where they are going, this can have varying degrees of legality. If they are staying in their home state, then they don’t have to worry about breaking federal trafficking laws, but many patients have to fly or drive to another state, violating federal law and risking big fines or jail time.

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Topics: Cannabis, Nevada Cannabis, Reno Tahoe Tonight, Public Consumption, Reciprocity

Learn the Industry

Then learn where you fit in

The cannabis industry is filled with tricky regulation and compliance webs and plenty of misinformation. The Pistil + Stigma team is committed to staying up to date on the nuances of this industry to help our clients have the most accurate and pertinent information at their finger tips. 

Here on our blog you will find:

  • Cannabis News Updates
  • Regulatory Compliance Tips and Tricks 
  • Industry and Policy Analysis
  • Our Own Personal Industry Passions and Speculations

Is there something you're dying to know about the cannabis industry or a topic you think we should cover? Let us know!

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