Agroterrorism and Agro Crime to United States Cannabis Industry


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Agroterrorism and Agro Crime to United States Cannabis Industry. Discusses agrothreats from crime to terrorism to the US Cannabis Industry. Offers solutions to legislation to ensure cannabis is safe.

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  • Potential to reach levels of tobacco and alcohol, perhaps more?
    Hemp: Hemp was first cash crop grown in the colonies
    Used extensively as rope and paper
    Textiles, food, building supplies, fuel
    Used to clarify soil at Chernobyl
  • That being said, agroterrorism is unlikely at this point, maybe once population relies more on the crop
  • That being said, agroterrorism is unlikely at this point, maybe once population relies more on the crop
  • Explain Collectives
  • Paid 1.1 million but could close with aoth 400k
  • Voters have already decided it should be used recreationally
    Will create inconsistent market
    Have to go to CVS in DC, but buy at 7-11 in Colorado
    How could we regulate this?
  • Some updates in the last two weeks:
    Attorney General Eric Holder states he would be willing with the Obama to reschedule Cannabis
    Legislation introduced in CO to improve personnel reliability
  • Agroterrorism and Agro Crime to United States Cannabis Industry

    1. 1. Justin Feldstein Agrothreats to the Budding U.S. Cannabis Industry
    2. 2. Overview • New industry • Conflict of law • Many forms • Agrocrime • Agroterrorism • Plant Disease • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Unscheduled Drug • Federal Oversight • Top-down Approach • Will it work? • Other Solutions • Questions ProblemsBackground Case Studies Solutions Discussion
    3. 3. Market Background • Newest “official” agriculture market. By 2016, will reach $9B • In the 1980s, it was estimated the domestic production was $32B. In 2000s, 36B, 50% greater than corn, the next largest cash crop • Since 2006, 20 states and DC have passed laws allowing smoked marijuana to be used medicinally • Not just medical and recreational use: Hemp
    4. 4. Legal Background • The State of California under proposition 215 and SB 420 allows “medical” marijuana and home grow • Notoriously easy to obtain ID card, essentially legalizing recreational marijuana • In conflict, Federal Government asserts that marijuana is not a medicine and SCOTUS held that federal government can restrict marijuana unconditionally • Harsh criminal prosecution and fines
    5. 5. Implications of Law on Cannabis Agriculture • Declared as Schedule I Drug, No federal funds can be used to develop robust systems • No ARS, APHIS, FDA, USDA • This creates a “free-for-all”, leaving regulation to the states • Unique position not seen in any other ag. sector • Allows extreme flexibility at the state level, but is this good or bad?
    6. 6. Threats: Agrocrime • Adulteration: “bulk up” weight to increase selling price. Use lead or beads. • NEJM Leipzig Germany lead poisoning in 29 patients from adulterated black market marijuana • Salmonellosis: NEJM cites multi-state (Massachusetts to California) outbreak in early 1980s, 85 cases • Questions: how often does adulteration occur? Accidental or purposeful? At what point in production did adulteration occur?
    7. 7. Threats: Agroterrorism • In 2011, the entire 400 million base-pair genomic sequence of Cannabis Sativa was published online • Allows continued research to the medicinal effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabanoids • Could place THC production in anything • Could create mutant strain • Similar to H7N9 controversy
    8. 8. Threats: Plant Disease • For commercial Ag. Sector, strict guidelines govern the use of pesticides, no such legislation exists for the cannabis industry • Little research on pesticides and the cannabis plant, especially a substance that is smoked and not eaten • Fungi: 88 species affect cannabis: Gray Mold and Hemp Canker, leaf spot • Nematodes: roundworm • Parasitic Plants • Viruses: Hemp Streak Virus • Bacteria: Bacterial Blight • Plagues and Pests: Lice, Wasps, Flies
    9. 9. Gray Mold and Blight
    10. 10. Case Study: California • California Proposition 215; enacted, on November 5, 1996 • established MMJ program, allowed cultivation of marijuana • established collective and cooperative distribution – qualified patients and caregivers may possess 8 ounces of dried marijuana – maintain 6 mature or 12 immature marijuana plants – local governments may allow patients or caregivers to exceed these levels
    11. 11. Case Study: California • California Senate Bill 420 – clarified Prop 215 • "require[s] the Attorney General to develop and adopt guidelines to ensure the security and nondiversion of marijuana grown for medical use" • allows counties to increase plant number
    12. 12. Implications in California • relatively liberal use of marijuana as implemented • no mention of agro safety or defense – high risk of contamination, agrocrime – No testing requirements • Permits establishment of collectives – Collectives purchase from members – No tracking of plants of “seed to sale” • “Wild west of weed”
    13. 13. Case Study: Colorado • Colorado Department of Revenue, Marijuana Enforcement Division, 1 CCR 212-2 Very strict guidelines on the retail, licensing, cultivation, facility requirements • Facility Guidelines: – Established limited access area with credentialing to visitors, ID Check, Visitor Log – Building plans must be approved by state – Separates medical and recreational marijuana – Surveillance and alarm system requirements with redundancy • Direct positioning of cameras – Physical security, locks, fences
    14. 14. Case Study: Colorado • Inventory Tracking – MITS – May only sell product from licensed manufacture • Testing – Business must provide samples for testing • Personnel – No consumption on the premises
    15. 15. Case Study: Colorado Must be stored away from chemicals Packaging and labeling standards Must test samples for: • Mold, mildew, filth • Microbial • Herbicides, pesticides, fungicides • Harmful chemicals • Solvents, poisons, toxins Testing labs are separate and have own regulations • Outlines exact testing procedure • Educational requirements of lab director and technicians
    16. 16. MITS Tracking System
    17. 17. Colorado Legislation Analysis • Strengths: – Very tightly controlled – Prevents gray and black market product from entering legitimate market – Ensures marijuana is free of contaminants at the point of testing • Weaknesses: (Production, Distribution, Retail) – Potential for insider threat still exists • No regulation on training and vetting of dispensary staff • Creation of higher demand in illegal market due to high operating cost, Purchase limit counterproductive – “gray market” of caregiving growing, becoming illegal commercial operations
    18. 18. Program Audit Feb 2013 audit in Colorado found: Budgets kept MITS from working fully • Do we need “micro-level” control since growing rec cannabis is allowed under amendment 64? • 40% of business applications have not be vetted or approved • 13 of 35 applications that were approved contained “potentially disqualifying information” • licenses issued prior to results of criminal background check – Past arrest, felony robbery and menacing with a deadly weapon
    19. 19. Discussion • Clearly, Colorado is better shape than California • California is highly susceptible to contaminated crop • This will be consistent theme under current Federal Regs.
    20. 20. Solution The only way to ensure safe and protected product is using a “top-down” approach – Must be removed from Schedule I list – Must be regulated like alcohol (w/ personal cultivation limits, selling restrictions) • Alcohol model works • FDA and USDA oversight • Will ensure legislation is consistent and effective – Categorizing it as a “Drug Store” drug won’t be effective Look beyond the US, Uruguay Federal Crop, DNA Tracked
    21. 21. Solution • Not all bad – Clean Green Certified in California: Organic certification – Emerging reactive legislation about personnel in Colorado • Legislation that is put into place must be followed through on, a federal specialty, checks and balances
    22. 22. References Busse, F., Omidi, L., Leichtle, A., Windgassen, M., Kluge, E., & Stumvoll, M. (2008). Lead poisoning due to adulterated marijuana. N Engl J Med, 358(15), 1641-1642. doi:10.1056/NEJMc0707784 Chaboya-Hembree, J. (2012). Diseases of cannabis. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from DRAFT permanent rules related to the Colorado retail marijuana code, R 100 (2013). Decorte, T., Potter, G. W., & Bouchard, M. (2011). World wide weed: Global trends in cannabis cultivation and its control Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. Gorski, E. (2013, ). Audit: Serious flaws in Colorado's regulation of medical marijuana. Denver Post Office of National Drug Control Policy. (2013). Marijuana resource center: State laws related to marijuana. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from marijuana Compassionate use act of 1996, (1996). Russo MD, E. (2012). Cannabis genome uncloaked. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from Small, E., & Marcus, D. (2002). Hemp: A new crop with new uses for north america. Trends in New Crops and New Uses, , 284-326. California senate bill 420 "Medical marijuana program act", 11362.7 (2003).