Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


Sales Tax Slice: Will Sales Taxes Harsh the Mellow for Marijuana Cultivators?


October 26, 2018 – By Emilie Burnette, Bloomberg BNA – On Oct. 17, 2018, Canada became the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana. While the United States still criminalizes marijuana at the federal level, nine states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, according to Aaron Nicodemus in the Daily Tax Report (subscription required). Additionally, 31 states have enacted provisions allowing for some medical use of marijuana, according to Bloomberg Tax (subscription required).  Alongside the buzz around legalization, the marijuana cultivation industry has blossomed; in fact, “the regulated California cannabis market is a $4 billion-a-year industry” by itself, according to the Washington Post. However, marijuana cultivators should be aware that they may face certain sales and use tax disadvantages compared to other agricultural operations.

Augusta councilors, farmer relish food sovereignty proposal


October 25, 2018 – By Keith Edwards, Kennebec Journal – A farmer who wants to be able to sell relish and other products made from the vegetables she grows and sells at her small local farm stand urged city councilors to approve a proposal to allow farmers and other food producers to sell what they make directly to their customers, on their own premises, without being regulated or inspected by the state.

Organophosphate exposures during pregnancy and child neurodevelopment: Recommendations for essential policy reforms


October 24, 2018 – By Irva Hertz-Picciotto et al., PLOS Medicine – Widespread use of organophosphate (OP) pesticides to control insects has resulted in ubiquitous human exposures. High exposures to OP pesticides are responsible for poisonings and deaths, particularly in developing countries. Compelling evidence indicates that prenatal exposure at low levels is putting children at risk for cognitive and behavioral deficits and for neurodevelopmental disorders. The authors recommend phasing out these chemicals.

Insights into the Unified Regulatory Agendas of FDA, USDA, and EPA


October 24, 2018 – National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition – The Trump Administration recently released a snapshot of upcoming regulatory changes: the “Fall 2018 Unified Agendas of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.” Among these, the Unified Agendas of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) include major regulatory undertakings that will significantly impact the sustainable agriculture community. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has analyzed the implications of these actions, and will carefully monitor their movement in the coming weeks and months.

CU calls for pre-market safety testing and close oversight of cultured meat products


October 23, 2018 – By Michael Hansen, Consumers Union – Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration today to require pre-market safety assessments of emerging cultured meat products and to subject them to close oversight to ensure the public is protected against potential health risks. In testimony at a joint USDA-FDA meeting, the consumer group also urged the regulators to require clear labeling for meat produced from cultured animal cells so consumers can easily differentiate it from conventional meat.