Marijuana Research

Washington State Issues First Cannabis Research License to Verda Bio Research

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) announced that it issued the first cannabis research license to to Verda Bio Research in Seattle, Washington. Verda Bio Research may use the research license to produce, process and possess marijuana for limited research purposes. According to the WSLCB bulletin, Verda Bio Research will be performing research on “cannabinoid based therapeutics.”

Congress Takes Action to Expand Cannabis Research with Medical Cannabis Act

The House Judiciary Committee took action on H.R.5634: The Medical Cannabis Act of 2018. The Medical Cannabis Act will increase the number of suppliers that can provide cannabis to researchers, including those engaged in commercial drug development. Within a year of the bill’s enactment, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be required to register at least two (2) cannabis suppliers, and at least three (3) every year thereafter. The bill also permits the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide veteran’s with information about federally approved cannabis clinical trials, and to help the veteran’s complete the required forms.


In a flurry of activity, the California Legislature passed twenty-one cannabis bills in the last weeks prior to the end of the regular session on August 31st. The Legislature has presented Governor Jerry Brown with fifteen (15) bills for him to either sign or veto.  An additional six (6) bills will be presented to the governor following the engrossment process.

The scope of the bills passed by the California Legislature in the last couple of weeks of August has been monumental.  The bills address important and meaningful issues raised by constituents.  The highlights include the state driven expungement of marijuana convictions; compassionate care programs that permit the donation of cannabis products to individuals in need; the ban of cannabis in alcoholic beverages; the protection of personal data from the federal government; the expansion in industrial hemp cultivation; restricted provisioning of marijuana to animals;  equitable expansion of the cannabis industry; and the administration of cannabis on to children on schoolsites.

The following fifteen (15) bills were presented to the governor for his signature.  The links below provide the summary article and the final bill text.

The following six (6) bills are being enrolled and will be presented to the governor shortly. The links below provide the summary article and the final bill text.


The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division has issued draft rules that implement legislation enacted in 2018. The Division will accept public comments on these draft rules until October 16, 2018.  Last Friday, the Division held a workshop to discuss the draft testing rules that implement the following legislation:

  • HB18-1259: Marijuana Samples for Quality Control and Product Development:  A medical marijuana manufacturer and retailer may provide labeled and packaged samples from each batch to up to five managers for quality control and product development purposes.  The managers and the samples must be designated in the seed-to-sale tracking system. The sample size should be one sample serving size of a medical marijuana infused product, one quarter gram of concentrate, and one half of a concentrate intended for vaping.  The law places a limit on the total samples that a manager may receive in a month,, and the sample may not be consumed on the licensed premises..

  • HB18-1422: Marijuana Testing Facility Standards:  Requires licensed medical and retail marijuana testing facilities to be certified by January 1, 2019 by an entity recognized by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation in category of testing pursuant to ISO 17025:2005 standard.  The state can provide a twelve month extension to newly licensed testing facilities.

  • SB18 - 271: Improve Funding for Marijuana Research:  Authorizes the state to develop rules that permit the co-location to a marijuana development and research licensee or a marijuana research and development cultivation licensee.

Draft Medical Marijuana Rules

Draft Retail Marijuana Rules


The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis board requested public comment on two rule proposals by October 3, 2018.  The rule proposals implement legislative changes that occurred during 2017 and 2018 sessions, and incorporate technical changes (links below).

During 2018, the Washington State legislature enacted the following laws:

  • Financial Services.  The law states that financial service providers are not violating Washington law by entering into financial transactions (i.e., deposits, extending credit, conducting funds transfers, transporting cash) with commercial cannabis businesses.  

  • Marijuana Product Container Labels - Business Information.  The law mandates the placement of labels on marijuana containers that contain the unified buisiness identifier number of the marijuana producer and processor.  

  • Use of Cannaboid Additives in Marijuana Products.  The law provides that marijuana producers and processors that use a cannaboid additive in marijuana products must obtain the cannaboid additive product from a licensed producer or processor unless the CBD product has (1) less a THC level of 0.3 percent or less on a dry weight basis, and (2) been lawfully tested for contaminants and toxins.

2018 Cannabis Legislation Implementation Rules

During 2017, the Washington State legislature enacted the following laws:

  • Marijuana Lock Boxes.  The law allows retail outlets to provide customers with a free marijuana lock box.  The retail outlet cannot use the lock box as an inducement for a sale.

  • Sanitary Processing of Edibles.  The law provides the Department of Agriculture with authority to regulate the sanitary processing of edibles.

  • Marijuana License Fee.  The law imposes a $480 additional fee to license applications and renewals. The fee is being used to pay for the traceability system.

  • Various Changes.  The law contains amendments that address privileges for research licenses, local authority notifications, the retail licensing merit-based application process, certain transfers of plants and seeds, licensing agreements and contracts, advertising, and jurisdictional requirements.

2017 Cannabis Legislation and Technical Housekeeping Rules


The California Senate passed the following bills today related to marijuana after a third reading.  

  • AB-2721: Cannabis: testing laboratories. (Vote: Yes 32 No 5)  Amends Section 26104 of the Business and Professions Code to permit a testing laboratory to receive and test samples of cannabis or cannabis products from a person over 21 years of age that the person has grown for personal use. The testing laboratory may not certify samples for resale or transfer to another person. The testing laboratory must record all tests with the name of the  person submitting the sample including the sample size.

  • AJR-27: (Vote Yes 28 No 3) A joint resolution of the two houses requesting the United States Department of Justice not to establish enforcement priorities against California’s lawful commercial cannabis industry.

  • AB-350: Cannabis: Advertisements (Vote Yes 38 No 0) Amends Section 26152 of the Business and Professions Code to prohibit a person with a suspended  licensee from publishing or disseminating advertisments or marketing of cannabis and cannabis products

  • AB-1996: The California Cannabis Research Program (Vote Yes 38 No 1).  Amends Section 2525.1 of the Business and Professions Code to (1) conform the name of the program throughout the code, (2) authorize the program to grow cannabis for research, and (3) expand the scope of the research.