Cannabis News

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ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
WeedWeek has introduced a new feature called WeedWeek Forum. Think of it as the cannabis world’s Op-Ed page. Many of you are are eager to share your thoughts and expertise. Here’s your chance to publish on the WeedWeek site.
WeedWeek publishes 400-600 word essays, arguments, observations and fact-based criticisms by outside contributors. We do not accept payment for publishing work.
Want to contribute? Check out the writer’s guidelines here.
WeedWeek’s Holiday Gift Guide is up featuring special offers on some great gear.
Contact Adrienne Nascimento to add an offer for your product.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
California released its hotly anticipated regulations for the REC market, while much of the industry was at MJBizCon in Las Vegas. (For more on MJBizCon see here.) The rules total nearly 300 pages and came out of theBureau of Cannabis Control as well as the state Food and Agriculture andPublic Health departments.
The new rules do not follow previous iterations which limited grows to one acre until 2023, as a way to nurture smaller businesses. California Growers Association head Hezekiah Allen, who represents many smaller growers, called the rule a “catastrophe” and has started a petition to oppose it.
Also of note: Delivery businesses will be allowed to apply for licenses; Cannabis can’t be transported by drones and self-driving cars and; Edibles will be limited to 100 mg of THC in 10 mg doses.
Canna Law Blog’s Hilary Bricken weighs in on the rules here. She also discusses what California law means for the existing collective business model.
Canna Law Blog’s Daniel Shortt says President Donald Trump “seems not to care much one way or the other about cannabis legalization.”
Republican state assemblyman and former California Highway Patrolman Tom Lackey has become a “go to Republican” on regulatory issues.
REC won’t be available in San Francisco on January 1 after a vote on regulations was delayed. San Jose will allow REC sales next year.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D), a legalization opponent, wants high pot taxes. The blog’s Daniel
The N.Y. Daily News profiles the politician who could stop REC in New Jersey.
Michigan legalization activists are submitting a petition with 360,000 signatures for a REC vote in 2018. Some Michigan gubernatorial candidatessupport it.
A New Hampshire House committee rejected a REC bill. The Arkansas National Guard warned against MED use.
Ohio Supreme Court Judge and pro-cannabis gubernatorial candidate Bill O’Neill (D) bragged about his sexual history. And told his critics to “lighten up.”
Colorado-neighbor Wyoming moved to tighten its cannabis laws.
While testifying before the House Judiciary Committee Attorney General Jeff Sessions had an opportunity to defend his 2016 comment that “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” Without apologizing he said it should be understood in the context of 1981. Sessions also clarified his belief that heroin is more dangerous than cannabis. “It’s a little odd when a guy’s anti-weed but seems to forget every conversation he’s ever had,” about Russia, Jimmy Fallon Quipped.
Changing 280E, the provision which over-taxes cannabis businesses relative to federally legal businesses, got nowhere close to the tax billHouse Republicans passed this week.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte on his human rights record. Trump declined to answer whether he brought up human rights with the strongman who has been internationally condemned for extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs.
Canada’s Justice Department calls REC regulation an “ongoing source of uncertainty.”
BUSINESS
Lawsuits!
Master P is suing Leafly-parent company Privateer Holdings for $25M, alleging it backed out of a deal to distribute his cannabis brand, Master P’s Trees. Master P alleges Privateer strung him along to gain insight “into the urban and hip-hop demographic of cannabis users.” Privateer did not respond to TMZ or WeedWeek’s requests for comment.
Two former employees have hit upscale Oregon dispensary chain Serra with a $550,000 lawsuit alleging they were fired after reporting their supervisor for packaging untracked shake, a violation of state rules. Serra declined to comment to Willamette Week.
Baker, the “Salesforce of cannabis,” which helps dispensaries maintain relationships with customers, acquired competitor Grassworks for undisclosed terms. Denver-based Baker is now in 850 dispensaries nationwide.
Cannabis prices are falling, The Economist says.
Software company BioTrackTHC provided a patch as Washington transitions to a new seed to sale system.
Canadian pot stocks have soared since alcohol company Constellation invested in producer Canopy Growth. Canadian pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart is hiring a marijuana brand manager.
Mendocino County, Calif. growers say the “firestorm of capitalism” has been worse for their genetics than the wildfires.
Canopy Growth announced a partnership with O.Pen Vape’s parent company, and Dutch Company Green House Seeds to bring those brands into the Canadian market.
Canadian producer Aurora launched a “potentially hostile” takeover bid for competitor CanniMed. The stock deal would value CanniMed at C$600M a 57% premium on its pre-news close. CanniMed didn’t announce whether it would accept the offer. Instead it said it would acquire Newstrike Resources, a company developing the Up Cannabis brand with the Tragically Hip.
(A recent WeedWeek Forum piece argues Canada has a branding problem.)
Colorado cannabis executive Todd Mitchem dropped his Libertarian Party bid for Congress.
The Verge reports “Big Vape” (e-cigarettes) is following the Big Tobacco playbook and marketing to kids.
Two Canadian former ex-senior cops, one of whom has compared marijuana to murder, are opening a cannabis business.
In Michigan, employers don’t know what to do about MED.
Greece hopes MED will boost the national economy.
Quebec will sell cannabis online through the agency which runs its booze shops.
Business Insiders 19 New York Start-Ups to watch, include indoor agriculture company Bowery.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
A medical school professor criticized New Jersey Gov. and national opioid commission chair Chris Christie (R) for warning Trump about MED. “Some experts say the commission’s fixation on marijuana was bizarre and troubling,” CNN reports.
A University of New Mexico study found access to MED may reduce opioid addiction.
Business Insider runs through the research and decides “alcohol’s effects seem markedly more extreme — and riskier — than marijuana’s.”
Three female Michigan eighth graders were hospitalized after unwittingly eating Cookie Crisp cereal doused in cannabis oil. A ninth-grader is in custody. The three patients appeared to have made full recoveries.
This week, headlines of the first fatal marijuana overdose appeared after a report on the death of a Colorado 11-month old living in an unstable situation. A causal relationship has not been established, the Washington Post reports.
Without federal guidance, testing companies may be tempted to fudge the numbers, Chemical & Engineering News reports. Growers, for example, can shop around for labs which offer generous potency scores.
A University of Florida study will examine how MED affects patients with HIV.
Canadian company RavenQuest BioMed announced a cannabis genetics study in partnership with McGill University.
A nurses group says Arizona MED access is too expensive.
Cannabisjobs.us
THIS IS WEEDWEEK.
BECAUSE CANNABIS NEWS MATTERS.
DID YOU KNOW? You can list your conferences, festivals and parties for FREE on the site.
Check out those upcoming events here.
Would you appreciate a WeedWeek regional supplement with more news from California and/or Canada? Or more news about the opioid crisis? Sign up at the appropriate link.
Do you consider WeedWeek a valuable resource? Consider supporting WeedWeek with a monthly contribution on Patreon.
Swag and discounts start at $2 a month.
For $25 a month you get five (5!) WeedWeek stickers, discounts to all future WeedWeek events, a postcard from Los Angeles, cannabis capital of the world and you get to join a monthly Google hangout with me and other WeedWeek supporters to discuss the latest news…
Brandbuilding opportunities to appear in the newsletter with your links and social media handles start at only $50 a month.
LIKE US.
FOLLOW US:
ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
WeedWeek has introduced a new feature called WeedWeek Forum. Think of it as the cannabis world’s Op-Ed page. Many of you are are eager to share your thoughts and expertise. Here’s your chance to publish on the WeedWeek site.
WeedWeek publishes 400-600 word essays, arguments, observations and fact-based criticisms by outside contributors. We do not accept payment for publishing work.
Check out the first WeedWeek Forum piece “Marijuana Brands: Born in America, Made in Canada” (I forgot to include the link last week.) by Patrick O’Malley, owner of MJ Launchpad.
Interested? Check out the writer’s guidelines here.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
Phil Murphy (D), a progressive former investment banker, won the New Jersey gubernatorial race, leading to speculation that the Garden State could legalize REC by April. If so it would be the first state to fully legalize through the legislature and would make REC available across the rivers from New York City and Philadelphia respectively.
Ralph Northam (D), a physician who supports decriminalization, won Virginia’s gubernatorial race.
Detroiters passed two proposals to make life easier for dispensaries in the city. Local ballot initiatives in California fared well.
Rolling Stone reports on the transition to REC in California. Unnamed insiders called the process “Precarious.” “Disarray,” “Evolving,” “Complicated,” “Compartmentalized,” “Chaotic,” “Uncertainty,” “Clusterfuck,” “Capricious” and “a shitshow.”
S.F. Weekly discusses the transition with longtime Humboldt growers Tim Blake and Kevin Jodrey.
Two former San Francisco city supervisors are teaming up to support the city’s cannabis industry. For more see here.
In Massachusetts, the legalization movement’s social justice and pro-business oriented factions are at odds.
Reason’s Jacob Sullum weighs in on Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) veto of a state bill to regulate REC. Vermont could legalize through the legislature next year.
Maryland’s MED commissioner resigned for unspecified reasons. He’s the second to leave in two years.
President Trump will visit the Philippines this week and meet with President Rodrigo Duterte whose drug war has resulted in thousands of extra-judicial killings.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) has started a political action committee (PAC) to defeat anti-cannabis candidates. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) takes on the industry-hated 280E tax rule.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said employees in safety-sensitive positions can’t test positive for cannabis, even if it’s legally obtained.
Pew Trusts’ Stateline looks into the nowhere to consume issue.
Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein asks ‘Why no politicians are championing legalization?’ Though the assertion isn’t quite correct, he attributes it to lack of organized pressure for legalization, and lack of faith that public opinion won’t shift back against the plant.
Canada’s Senate is the last obstacle to legalizing REC nationwide next year. The New York Times looks at what Canada still has to do before REC comes online.
Ireland is still weighing MED. Luxembourg could allow MED as well.
Five years after Colorado and Washington legalized REC, Leafly asks what we’ve learned.
BUSINESS
MJBizDaily reports on the crisis at MassRoots. In recent weeks the company fired CEO and founder Isaac Dietrich for undisclosed reasons, and then saw its bid to acquire CannaRegs for $12M fall apart.
In the first half of 2017, MassRoots saw its net loss jump fivefold year over year to $19.1M while revenue plunged more than 50%, to below $300k. The stock is down 80% this year.
MJBiz expects a big turnout at this week’s convention in Vegas. If you see me there, say hi.
Software company MJ Freeway suffered another outage.
The Chicago Tribune calls booze company Constellation Brands’ investment in Canadian grower Canopy Growth “one of the year’s most intriguing business deals.” Seeking Alpha weighs in as well.
Investors applauded a proposal to tax Canadian pot at $1 a gram or 10 cents on the dollar. But Alberta objects to splitting the proceeds evenly between the provinces and the federal government. The provinces should receive more since they’re doing more work, Alberta’s Finance Minister argues.
Colorado company LivWell took a “significant” stake in Alberta producer 51st Parallel.
Bloomberg says female cannabis entrepreneurs are getting pushed aside as the industry grows.
Leafly laid off 15, about 13% of its workforce. The company also named its new CEO and promoted the previous CEO, to COO of parent company Privateer Holdings.
Seventeen Canadian companies made recommendations on cannabis branding which they say are stricter than the rules for alcohol. Canada’s Financial Post says the “suits” are taking over the industry.
MJBiz asks whether advertising on billboards makes sense for cannabis companies.
California state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate John Chiang (D) released recommendations for banking the industry.
Fortune explains why California pot taxes may be so high. The AP has more. Some California municipalities want to tax destroyed cannabis crops.
Colorado cannabis sales held strong at $136M+ in September. Sales for the first nine months of 2017 topped $1.16 billion according to the Cannabist, up 19% year over year.
An exchange traded fund shifted its focus from Latin American real estate to cannabis, annoying some investors.
The Motley Fool recommends “three cheapest marijuana stocks.”
Leafly explains why cannabis and cryptocurrency haven’t quite gelled.
Michael Llamas, the 33-year old former CEO of Medical Marijuana Inc. died in San Diego when he crashed his lime green lamborghini into a palm tree. Llamas resigned as CEO in 2012 after he was indicted in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme. Last year he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was due for sentencing next month.
L.A. grower THC Design is releasing a cannabis powder.
The new owners of newspaper L.A. Weekly include cannabis attorney David Welch, but deny any deeper ties to the industry. Brian Calle, the libertarian former editor of the Orange County Register’s opinion page, will lead editorial.
Cannabis media is growing, but in Mexico the government denied a license to cannabis magazine Cañamo. The above Columbia Journalism Review article introduced me to the site LadyBud.
Science writer Gary Robbins will lead cannabis coverage at the San Diego Union Tribune.
Snoop Dogg’s venture capital firm Casa Verde invested in Cannalysis, a testing start-up.
A massive, tribe-owned dispensary outside Vegas opened a drive-thru dispensary.
Israel wants to export MED worldwide. Australian cannabis stocks are performing well.
Cannabis science jobs pay well CNN reports, and master growers can make more than $200,000 a year.
Colorado is partnering with Lyft to reduce driving while high.
Pot companies in the state struggle to find charities who’ll accept their donations.
Oregon delivery service Briteside parodies pharmaceutical ads in a new video. “Ask your doctor if cannabis is right for you,” it concludes. “It probably is.”
HEALTH & SCIENCE
The Cannifornian reports on veterans who use MED. An American Legion survey found 22 percent of veterans do.
At least two Pennsylvania doctors who won permission to recommend MED have had their medical licenses suspended. One is in jail, charged with threatening to kill a U.S. Marshall.
A Vermont MED patient

Colorado marijuana sales are holding steady.

Cannabis shops across the state sold a little more than $136.6 million in flower, edibles, concentrates and accessories for September 2017, according to The Cannabist’s calculations on tax statistics released Thursday by the state Department of Revenue.

It’s the third month in a row that combined recreational and medical cannabis sales reached $136 million; there were $100.8 million in recreational sales and $35.8 million in medical, The Cannabist’s extrapolations show.

Through nine months of 2017, Colorado shops rang up $1.16 billion in transactions, according to The Cannabist’s calculations. Through September of last year, sales totaled $974.3 million.

Three-quarters through 2017, marijuana sales totals are up 19 percent from the comparable period a year prior, according to The Cannabist’s archive data. The state report does not disclose sales data.

The annual growth rates have been steadily slowing since spring 2017, sliding down from 36 percent at the end of March to 23 percent in July and, now, 19.2 percent through September.

The leveling off of monthly sales and the slowing of annual growth rates align with projections previously made by economists and analysts. Sales will moderate as the market naturally matures and other states adopt recreational cannabis measures, industry observers have said.

The latest monthly report from the state revenue department lists marijuana taxes and license fees remitted by cannabis businesses during October. The receipts largely reflect sales made in September, but there is a potential for some variance because of incomplete or late returns from prior months.

Looking at state taxes and licensing fees, nearly $185 million has been collected through September 2017.

September is the third month during which marijuana sales have been subject to a new taxing structure.

The special sales tax rate for recreational marijuana increased to 15 percent from 10 percent in July, the result of a new law that also exempted recreational marijuana products from the 2.9 percent standard state sales tax. Medical marijuana and accessories are still subject to that 2.9 percent sales tax rate.

The Cannabist’s calculations for recreational sales in July, August and September 2017 are based on tax revenue reported for the new 15 percent sales tax rate.

Cannabist digital producer Aleta Labak contributed to this report.

Cannabisjobs.us

WeedWeek, 11/4/17: Booze Giant Bets on Cannabis

 

THIS IS WEEDWEEK.
BECAUSE CANNABIS NEWS MATTERS.
DID YOU KNOW? You can list your conferences, festivals and parties for FREE on the site.
Check out those upcoming events here.
Would you appreciate a WeedWeek regional supplement with more news from California and/or Canada? Or more news about the opioid crisis? Sign up at the appropriate link.
Do you consider WeedWeek a valuable resource? Consider supporting WeedWeek with a monthly contribution on Patreon.
Swag and discounts start at $2 a month.
For $25 a month you get five (5!) WeedWeek stickers, discounts to all future WeedWeek events, a postcard from Los Angeles, cannabis capital of the world and you get to join a monthly Google hangout with me and other WeedWeek supporters to discuss the latest news…
Brandbuilding opportunities to appear in the newsletter with your links and social media handles start at only $50 a month.
LIKE US.
FOLLOW US:
ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
WeedWeek has introduced a new feature called WeedWeek Forum. Think of it as the cannabis world’s Op-Ed page. Many of you are are eager to share your thoughts and expertise. Here’s your chance to publish on the WeedWeek site.
WeedWeek publishes 400-600 word essays, arguments, observations and fact-based criticisms by outside contributors. We do not accept payment for publishing work.
Check out the first WeedWeek Forum piece “Marijuana Brands: Born in America, Made in Canada” by Patrick O’Malley, owner of MJ Launchpad.
Interested? Check out the writer’s guidelines here.
In a recent interview, Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent says, “President Trump openly rages at checks on his authoritarianism.”
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
Pro-legalization Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) called out, “People that are privileged in society who smoke pot and just don’t feel like there’s any chance of consequences in their lives…Their indulging in that kind of behavior [and] not being a part of the activist community is hypocritical because there’s too many children, too many young people, too many people in my neighborhood and in my community who are suffering for doing the same thing that you’re doing.” See the whole Slate interview here.
Many California cities won’t be ready to license cannabis businesses by Jan. 1, when the state starts accepting applications.
A San Francisco panel suggested allowing consumption in dispensaries. The Chronicle looks at the city’s new equity proposal.
L.A. may allow unlicensed grows and manufacturers to continue operating while they apply for licenses. (Michigan agreed to something similar.) This week there’s a fundraiser in Downtown L.A. for growers affected by the wildfires.
Pro-cannabis congresswoman Dina Titus (D), who represents Las Vegas, said cannabis won’t be allowed in the casinos before federal legalization. With permanent legislation pending, Nevada extended emergency REC regulations.
The Atlantic explains the strict MED program in Hawaii, where cannabis is called pakalolo. Most homegrown in the state is tainted by pesticides and other contaminants, according to the lab Steep Hill Hawaii.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) vetoed the legislature’s REC bill, leaving big questions about the state’s REC rollout. The AP compares the legalization process across New England.
High Times explains the “misleading” effort to legalize REC in New York through a constitutional convention.
Florida lawmakers are tussling over smokeable MED.
A year before a likely MED vote, here’s a look at the state of cannabis in Oklahoma.
A survey by the American Legion found widespread support among veterans for cannabis legalization and research.
Trump ally and cannabis activist Roger Stone was suspended by Twitter after a series of insulting posts. He promised to sue.
According to Lift, a survey found Canada’s market may be much larger than the government expects. A bill in Ontario would legalize MED use in some hotel rooms.
Cannabis activists in the U.K. say the powerful tabloids’ anti-cannabis views are holding back legalization.
Under its newly formed government, Germany could be moving towards REC legalization. (Europe’s largest legal MED grow is in a nuclear bunker in southern Germany.)
Visiting French Guiana, French President Emmanuel Macron detected some weed and told kids it “won’t help with your school work.
BUSINESS
Beer and spirits company Constellation Brands will acquire 9.9% of Canopy Growth Corp. the world’s largest public cannabis company. The $191M deal values Ontario-based Canopy Growth at more than $1.7 billion.
Constellation CEO Rob Sands said New York-based Constellation plans to work with Canopy to develop drinks containing cannabis but not alcohol, but not sell them in the U.S. while cannabis is federally illegal. (Canada anticipates legalizing edibles in 2019.)
Canopy shares jumped on the news. The deal marks the first time a public U.S. company has invested in a plant-touching cannabis company. Canopy CEO Bruce Linton spoke to New Cannabis Ventures about the deal.
Pamela Johnston, who says she was fired from Nevada firm Electrum Partners for having cancer, has posted a video about her situation. “I think we’ve got a little of a Harvey Weinstein moment in the cannabis industry where you’ve got a lot of people willing to look the other way,” she said.
California approved Golden Bear Insurance Co., to be the state’s first insurer for cannabis businesses.
Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson (R), compared the cannabis industry to big tobacco, for targeting youth.
A new report from Fitch Ratings suggests REC taxes in California could reach 45%, pushing more consumers into the illegal market. For more see here.
Bloomberg looks at the “marijuana machine” as it rolls ahead into 2018.
National Law Review sees a trend in favor of MED users in employment cases.
California cannabusinesses looking for space face a landlord’s market. Weedmaps billboards have attracted opposition in Arizona.
The Cannabist takes us through enterprise software company MJ Freeway’s annus horribilis. Partially due to an MJFreeway delay, Washington has been operating without a seed to sale tracking system since November 1. Some question whether it’s necessary.
A Florida vendor is suing the state for choosing a competitor to produce the state’s patient ID cards. Rejected MED license applicants are suing Arkansas.
Canadian pot stocks had a good October. Alberta may be well positioned for the industry due to agricultural expertise, cheap land and the pro-business climate.
TV and cannabis personality Montel Williams is suing several Arizona companies for using his name in alleged CBD scams.
Some Nova Scotia farmers were annoyed by a talk on pot growing.
Checkpoint trays at SoCal’s Ontario airport remind travelers not to bring their stashwith them.
MJBizDaily asks if public banks can help the industry.
Sponsored Content
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“We’ve spent the last seven years on research and development prior to launching incredible Wellness,” said Bob Eschino, Founder and President of incredibles parent company Medically Correct. “Our trusted brand incredibles was founded on Medicinal products that helped those in need, and incredible Wellness will pay homage to that. We will continue to push this industry forward as the concept of legalization becomes fully normalized,” concluded Rick Scarpello, Founder and CEO.

With the introduction of these innovative wellness-oriented products,incredibles is solidifying its reputation as the nation’s most innovative and passionate cannabis brand.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
The FDA sent warning letters to four MED companies who it says claim their products cure cancer. Letter recipients included the Stanley Brothers, the Colorado company/family known for the Charlotte’s Web strain, which appeared in the CNN documentary Weed about a girl with severe seizures. For more see here. S

Licensed pot sales start soon in California. But high taxes on marijuana could mean the black market will thrive

State and local taxes on marijuana could surpass 45% in some parts of California, jeopardizing efforts to bring all growers and sellers into a state-licensed market in January, according to the global credit ratings firm Fitch Ratings.

“High tax rates raise prices in legal markets, reinforcing the price advantage of black markets,” the firm said in a report Monday. “California’s black markets for cannabis were well established long before its voters legalized cannabis in November 2016 and are expected to dominate post-legalization production.”

As the top pot-producing state in the nation, California could be on thin ice with the federal government >>

The report said that increased enforcement may blunt the illegal market, “but high taxes may complicate such efforts by diverting in-state sales to the black market.”

California is scheduled to begin issuing licenses to grow, transport and sell medical and recreational marijuana on Jan. 1 and will charge a 15% excise tax, as well as a state cultivation levy of $9.25 per ounce for cannabis flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leaves.

Hundreds applied to be on California’s pot advisory committee. Here’s who got picked >>

In addition, local business taxes have been approved by 61 cities and counties ranging from 7.75% to 9.75%.

The marijuana market is expected to provide a windfall for state and local treasuries.

“In the handful of states that legalized nonmedical cannabis prior to 2016, tax receipts have generally outpaced initial revenue estimates and have shown strong year-over-year gains,” Fitch Ratings said. But California could end up being one of the highest taxing states in the country if proposals stand.

Cannabisjobs.us
HIS IS WEEDWEEK.
BECAUSE CANNABIS NEWS MATTERS.
DID YOU KNOW? You can list your conferences, festivals and parties for FREE on the site.
Check out those upcoming events here.
Would you appreciate a WeedWeek regional supplement with more news from California and/or Canada? Or more news about the opioid crisis? Sign up at the appropriate link.
Do you consider WeedWeek a valuable resource? Consider supporting WeedWeek with a monthly contribution on Patreon.
Swag and discounts start at $2 a month.
For $25 a month you get five (5!) WeedWeek stickers, discounts to all future WeedWeek events, a postcard from Los Angeles, cannabis capital of the world and you get to join a monthly Google hangout with me and other WeedWeek supporters to discuss the latest news…
Brandbuilding opportunities to appear in the newsletter with your links and social media handles start at only $50 a month.
LIKE US.
FOLLOW US:
ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
WeedWeek is introducing a new feature called WeedWeek Forum. Think of it as the cannabis world’s Op-Ed page. Many of you are are eager to share your thoughts and expertise. Here’s your chance to publish on the WeedWeek site.
Starting now, WeedWeek will publish 400-600 word essays, arguments, observations and fact-based criticisms by outside contributors.
Interested? Check out the writer’s guidelines here.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
A new Gallup poll found 64% of Americans support legalizing REC, an all-time high. Data site FiveThirtyEight says it’s “one of the least polarized issues of our time.”
A recently retired top DEA narc said rescheduling is likely, though he doesn’t support it.
Special prosecutor Robert Mueller reportedly filed his first indictments in the Trump Russia investigation. Cannabis activist and Trump ally Roger Stone reacted by insulting black journalists on Twitter.
Veterans publication Task and Purpose looks at how veterans and their doctors sidestep the VA’s MED policy. Veterans groups are becoming more vocal in their support for MED. A group of 10 House Democrats called on the administration to support MED research into veterans’ afflictions.
The wildfires may further complicate California’s REC rollout in January. The L.A. Times recounts how the community of Redwood Valley in Mendocino County, fled from the wildfires. Rolling Stone has more on the devastation.
To support wildfire victims, donate here.
A San Francisco panel discussed how to create a racially equitable industry. Santa Cruz County will allow REC shops.
Massachusetts is looking into whether a little known FAA rule will allow flying pot to Martha’s Vineyard and other state islands.
With Gov. Paul LePage (R) expected to veto a bill, Maine REC supporters anticipate a long slog ahead.
Marijuana Moment says Michigan will likely vote on REC next year, and Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah will likely vote on MED. Tom Angell’s site also found tough cannabis questionsposed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D). They included “Do you stand by your recently stated view that ‘marijuana is only slightly less awful than heroin?” It’s not known when Sessions will reply.
Sessions continues to reaffirm his dislike for marijuana saying at the Heritage Foundation, “We’ve got to reestablish first a view that you should say no. People should say no to drug use…This whole country needs to be not so lackadaisical about drugs. … Much of the addiction starts with marijuana. It’s not a harmless drug.”
In an interview with anti-pot conservative Hugh Hewitt, Sessions said he believes the Justice Department has the authority to crack down on state industries but declined to comment on whether an investigation is in progress.
Trump called the opioid crisis a public health emergency but not the more dire national emergency which is what his commission recommended.
There is nothing desireable about drugs,” Trump said. “They’re bad.”
Canada’s legalization bill, C-45, is expected to return to the House of Commons this week. The country expects to spend C$546M ($426M) over the next five years to implement its REC program.
Reuters looks into the legalization situation in New Zealand.
BUSINESS
Troubled seed to sale tracking software company MJ Freeway will not be ready to begin its new Washington contract on November 1. Outgoing provider BioTrack THC offered a long explanation related to security concerns with MJ Freeway, about why it will not be able to extend its current contract by a few months.
As a result, it appears companies in the state will have to manually input their data for the next several months, among other headaches. For more see here. It’s the latest in a long run of bad news for MJ Freeway.
Washington cannabis sales topped $1.1 billion in the first nine months of 2017.
Chris Leavy, a former executive with asset management giant Blackrock, is raising the $250M MedMen Opportunity fund II with a focus on cannabis companies in L.A., New York and Las Vegas.
Cannabis brand Tokyo Smoke raised C$6M led by producer Aphria.
Eventbrite, a software platform used to sell tickets to private events has shut some cannabis companies out.
The recent fires highlight the industry’s trouble obtaining insurance. It’s easier to obtain in Colorado. Cannabis Wire talks to an expert.
Distribution has become a central part of California’s industry.
MjBizDaily looks into the intellectual property disputes beginning to roil the industry.
A ruling by a Navajo County Judge in Arizona could lead to concentrates being removed from shelves.
Canadian producer Canopy Growth entered the Jamaican market.
The Quebec government will set up a non-profit to run pot shops.
It won’t be easy for small commercial growers in Canada.
Europe could become the world’s largest cannabis market, according to a new report from Prohibition Partners. Companies are lining up for Danish MED licenses.
Following an investment in Newstrike, a Canadian producer which trades under the symbol TSX-V HIP, Canadian band The Tragically Hip announced a partnership with Newstrike brand Up Cannabis. The announcement came the day before the death of lead singer Gord Downie.
Uruguay plans to triple its hemp crop and begin CBD exports.
After last year’s 4/20 attracted criticism for its poor organization and leaving a mess, the co-owner of Denver dispensary company Euflora is camping out at the city Parks and Recreation building to secure the permit for next year’s rally.
MED license applicants in Leoni township, Mich. have been camping outside the office for days to get their licenses.
The Sacramento Bee named Brad Branan as its new weed reporter.
There’s a new cannabis/lifestyle media company called Gossamer.
The switch from hemp to marijuana farming is lots of work.
A Florida couple received 65 pounds of cannabis in their Amazon order. After complaining they received a $150 gift card but no explanation.
Leafly sees what you can get for $20, $50 and $100 at a Seattle dispensary.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
A Stanford study found cannabis users have about 20 percent more sex than abstainers. Or as reporter Barbara Goldberg puts it, “Where there’s smoke there tends to be fire.” Across all demographic groups, users prefer to consume before sex rather than after, the study found.
Marketplace has the latest on the race to develop a cannabis breathalyzer.
Boulder start-up Front Range Biosciences announced a hemp genomics research initiative at the University of California, Davis.
A new study in Colorado and Minnesota will look at how cannabis use affects twins.
A new study at University of Colorado will compare MED to opiates as a treatment for pain. The University of Florida will study the effects of MED on HIV symptoms.
Researchers are exploring whether obscure cannabis chemical cannabidivarin (CBDV) can be mass produced in yeast. The compound is thought to have promise in treating epilepsy.
Researchers at Duke University found anxiety is an important risk factor for cannabis use disorder.
Doctors at a New Jersey hospital don’t know what to tell patients about MED.
Colorado Chief Medical Officer said the state hadn’t experienced any significant medical issues tied to legalization, and advised keeping cannabis and alcohol use separate.
Denver sister dispensaries Little Brown House and Reefer Madness voluntarily recalled flower and concentrates due to potentially unsafe levels of banned pesticides.
New Jersey added five conditions for MED use. In Pennsylvania some MED patients will be asked to participate in

COLORADO BANS WEED GUMMY BEARS

Remember how we told you all that Colorado was banning weed gummy bears? Well, that new piece of cannabis legislation goes into effect this weekend. If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, or if you thought all of this talk about banning weed-infused candy was just rumor and hoax, we are about to fill you in.

THE GREAT GUMMY GLUM-FEST

Last summer, we reported that the great state of Colorado was implementing new measures regarding legal recreational cannabis. It wasn’t a new limitation on how many ounces of flower you could purchase at a time. It wasn’t an all-out elimination of the right to grow your own plants. No, what Colorado governor John Hickenlooper was gunning for was gummies.

House Bill 1436, signed into effect in June 2016, focused on THC-infused gummy candy. Specifically, it was aimed toward THC-infused gummies that looked like regular, wholesome HFCS-infused gummies. Basically, according to the bill, Governor Hickenlooper and concerned parents in the state, weed gummy candy that could potentially attract children is no bueno.

To play Devil’s Advocate, this bill is not totally baseless.

Because kids are, well, kids, they tend to be attracted to brightly colored and whimsically shaped candy. This presents a unique problem in states, like Colorado, with legal recreational cannabis. In short, kids are accidentally eating weed-infused candy and landing themselves in the emergency room because of it.

House Bill 1436 aims to combat this disturbing and dangerous trend. By banning the production and distribution of weed-infused gummies in the shape of humans, animals and fruit, the backers of the bill hope to protect children in their state.

There are some loopholes, however.

The Colorado Department of Revenue will continue to allow cannabis gummies that are made in geometric shapes, like stars and triangles. They will also allow the gummies to have a fruity flavor, as long as they don’t actually depict a fruit. Star-shaped, strawberry-flavored gummies infused with Strawberry Cough, anyone?

FINAL HIT: COLORADO BANS WEED GUMMY BEARS

House Bill 1436 will take effect this weekend, on October 1st. When it’s completely official, dispensaries will no longer be able to legally sell your favorite creature-shaped candy.

So what are you supposed to do?

If you live in Colorado, we recommend that you stock up now. Call up your dispensary and see if they’re having a “going out of business” sale on soon-to-be illicit treats. Just think of it like all the times you’ve headed over to CVS to buy an obscene amount of half-off candy the day after Halloween. And Valentine’s Day. And Easter.

If you live in Colorado and have a kid or three, we want to stress that this ban does not in any way take the place of your responsibilities as a parent. If you’re a pot-lovin’ parent (nothing wrong with that!), the onus is on you to keep your kids safe and away from your stash. Lock up your gummies and other candy in child-proof containers and keep them safely out of reach. You know, like you would do with laundry detergent pods, which kids are also strangely attracted to. In California, a similar ban on weed-infused gummy bears is also underway. We’ll keep you updated on that one.

Nevada recreational marijuana sales reach $33M in August

by Colton Lochhead Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada dispensaries sold more than $33 million in recreational marijuana and the state pulled in nearly $5 million in total taxes in August, according to numbers released by the Nevada Department of Taxation Monday.

That’s up from the $27 million in sales and $3.7 million in taxes in July, the state’s first month of recreational weed sales.

The recreational sales numbers were significantly ahead of the state’s projected $21.5 million in sales for August. In fact, the state did not project any month in the first year of recreational sales to eclipse $28 million.

Andrew Jolley, CEO of The+Source dispensaries and president of the Nevada Dispensary Association, said those projections will likely prove to be fairly conservative, and expects the market to continue to grow steadily over the next several months.

“I think it is a good indication that there was a large, pent-up demand that was being served by the black market,” Jolley said.

The August tax numbers broke down like so:

  • $3.35 million generated by the 10 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana (up from $2.71 million in July)
  • $1.51 million generated by the 15 percent wholesale tax at the cultivation level on all marijuana (up from $974,060 in July)

State Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, also known as the godfather of pot in Nevada, said he was initially a little worried that the novelty of legal marijuana could lead to a drop off in the second month of sales.

But after talking to the industry, he said it was clear that wasn’t going to be the case for August.

“Obviously there’s a demand,” Segerblom said.

And Segerblom said he doesn’t think the sales and tax numbers will level off for at least two years, and pointed to the recent opening of five dispensaries in Henderson.

Segerblom also heaped the praise onto the industry as well as the state regulators for ensuring the market got off to a smooth start.

“Everyone’s just been really been working perfectly together,” he said.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Comments Off on WeedWeek, 10/21/17: Sen. Cory Booker Calls Legalization his “Signature Issue”

WeedWeek, 10/21/17: Sen. Cory Booker Calls Legalization his “Signature Issue”

Posted by | October 21, 2017 | Cannabis News, Weed Week News by Alex Halperin

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WeedWeek is introducing a new feature called WeedWeek Forum. Think of it as the cannabis world’s Op-Ed page. Many of you are are eager to share your thoughts and expertise. Here’s your chance to publish on the WeedWeek site.
Starting now, WeedWeek will publish 400-600 word essays, arguments, observations and fact-based criticisms by outside contributors.
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Interested? Check out the writer’s guidelines here.
Here’s the news:
Politics
Pro-legalization Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is trying to defeat anti-legalization Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Texas). “We’re going to be putting up some billboards in Pete Sessions’s district,” Blumenauer said. “It’s going to feature a veteran and ask the question why Pete Sessions doesn’t want him to have access to his medicine.”
New Jersey Senator and possible 2020 presidential contender Cory Booker (D) discussed why legalization is his signature issue. Current enforcement, he says, “makes a mockery” of equal justice under the law. Booker says he has never smoked cannabis or drank alcohol.
Massachusetts’ top cannabis regulator will be Shawn Collins, 31, an aide to State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) proposed pushing REC sales back to 2019. The proposal would scrap rulesa legislative committee has been working on for months. A pro-legalization group called those rules “not ready for prime time.
Buzzfeed visits an L.A. growing internship for veterans. The Air Force is reconsidering its ban on hemp consumption after an officer was court martialed for eating a granola bar.
As of Wednesday, northern California wildfires had destroyed 31 pot farms and the number is expected to climb. The fires did more damage to cannabis grows than vineyards. Some growers lost cash in the blazes. Snopes extinguishes rumors that drug cartels started the fires.
Crowdfunding site YouCaring shut down a fundraising campaign to benefit northern California growers. There’s a new campaign up at Nationbuilder.
The Boston Globe asks if towns which ban dispensaries should still get their share of tax revenue. Globe reporter Dan Adams then criticized Snoop Dogg’s media company, Merry Jane, for stealing the content of his story, “like a high school plagiarist.”
S.F. Weekly has a two-part series on how to make the industry work in San Francisco. (Part 1Part 2Two dispensaries face pushback in the city’s Excelsior neighborhood.
The L.A. Times looks at city efforts to create a racially equitable industry.
Las Vegas could loosen rules on selling cannabis paraphernalia.
California Senate President Pro Tempore and legalization supporter Kevin de León, a Democrat from L.A., will challenge legalization opponent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) in next year’s Democratic primary. Feinstein, 84, has been in office since 1992.
New York legalization activists are calling for a state constitutional convention.
Northern California’s Calaveras County may ban commercial grows.
On his November Asia trip, President Trump will meet with Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte who has been condemned internationally for his violent war on drugs.
Michigan MED license applicants will have to prove cash on hand of up to $500,000. A proposed MED industrial park in Michigan would be the biggest east of the Mississippi. The Michigan House passed a bill to enable transporting MED.
Proposed new rules in New Mexico are designed to accommodate the fast-growing MED program.
Pennsylvania’s first MED crop has been planted. MED license applications have picked up in Arkansas.
New Jersey’s gubernatorial candidates disagree about legalization.
West Virginia has posted an online survey for prospective MED patients.
Administrators at an Illinois high school confiscated the school paper for covering teen marijuana use.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox called for REC legalization.
Peru’s congress passed a bill to legalize MED.
New Zealand’s new liberal Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called for a nationwide referendum on RECwithin the next three years. It would be the first country to hold such a vote. For more see here.
Australia’s ruling party opposes a bill to make MED access easier for terminally ill patients.
A U.N. body called Australia’s plan to drug test welfare recipients a “cheap shot.”
In Greece, a deputy agriculture minister called for REC legalization.
Business
Social app MassRoots fired CEO Isaac Dietrich. Following the news, CannaRegs pulled out of its planned $12M acquisition by MassRoots.
According to Viridian Capital Advisors, cannabis companies raised more than $1.8 billion in the first three quarters of 2017, up from $720M last year. The average deal size also increased from $3M to $6.7M.
Simon Property Group, the U.S.’s largest mall operator, wants to stop a dispensary from opening near its Franklin Mills property in Philadelphia.
The Paiute Tribe has opened what it calls the world’s largest dispensary, just north of the Las Vegas Strip.
Forty-two percent of cannabis businesses want to expand to new states in the next 12 months.
Canada’s largest stock exchange clarified that companies which do business in the U.S. could be delisted. Public MED producer Aphria, which has had U.S. operations since 2015, criticized the move.
Canadian producer Cannabis Wheaton wants to sell in convenience stores.
Several recent California grow raids have found Chinese nationals, suggesting Chinese nationals invest in the illegal market.
Data firm Headset released information on consumer trends in Washington.
The maker of Tapatio hot sauce has sued a pot company for trademark infringement.
A Uruguayan cannabis company will start exporting to Canada and Mexico.
CNBC talks to the 24-year old entrepreneur Karson Humiston, who started the cannabis jobs site Vangsters.
Quartz has a long piece on female cannabis entrepreneurs.
The industrial hemp lobby is getting organized.
According to tax policy expert Pat Oglesby, the tax lesson of legalization thus far is alcohol taxes are too low.
Fast Company talks to black Colorado entrepreneur Wanda James.
In lieu of traditional marketing, some cannabis businesses are acquiring historic buildings.
Health and Science
In his role as chairman of President Trump’s opioid commission, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants to look into insurance plans which favor opioids over alternative treatments. A vocal legalization opponent, Christie ignored almost 8,000 submitted comments on MED as an alternative to opioids.
A study found REC legalization may have reduced opioid deaths in Colorado. But some are skeptical.
MED research is accelerating in Canada.
In testimony, Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested there should be “more competition” among growers providing MED for research. For now, the only federally legal grow is at the University of Mississippi.
A recent Massachusetts survey suggests teen cannabis and e-cigarette use is up while teen tobacco and alcohol use are down.
Tuesday’s episode of Vice’s “Weediquette” looks at the relationship between legalization and homelessness in Denver.
Pacific Standard looks at environmentalism within the industry.
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Criminal Justice
Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) withdrew from consideration to be drug czar after the Washington Post and 60 Minutes revealed he steered legislation through Congress weaking the DEA’s ability to go after distributors of pharmaceutical opiates. Chris Christie and Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor Bertha Madras have been mentioned as possible replacements.
Florida attorney general and Trump ally Pam Bondi questioned whether the country needs a drug czar.
In a brief, Justice Department lawyers acknowledged it hadn’t been legal for the department to spend money prosecuting the Washington MED defendants known as the Kettle Falls Five, since December 2014, on account of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. The amendment, now known as Rohrabacher-Blumenauer, could expire in December.
Everywhere I go all I smell is pot now,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said.
Six delivery service drivers face misdemeanor charges after a police sting in San Diego County.
In Pennsylvania, blacks are eight times more likely than whites to be arrested for pot possession.
Increasingly, innocent witnesses have been incarcerated to compel testimony.
Rifle, Colo.’s new police dogs have been trained to ignore marijuana. Falling for an apparent hoax, a mayoral candidate in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, called from “drug-sniffing bunnies.
There’s a new element to Massachusetts’ crime lab scandal, this time involving breathalyzers.
A Florida woman
Comments Off on Florida cities face ‘all or nothing’ choices on medical marijuana

Florida cities face ‘all or nothing’ choices on medical marijuana

Posted by | October 20, 2017 | Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News

Florida cities face ‘all or nothing’ choices on medical marijuana

Posted By 

Florida cities and counties are in a dilemma about pot.

State lawmakers approved regulations in June that left city and county officials with a Hobson’s choice about the sale of medical marijuana in their communities.

Local governments can either impose outright bans on medical-marijuana dispensaries or allow unlimited numbers of marijuana retail outlets, under an “all or nothing” approach approved during a special legislative session.

Dozens of cities have approved or are considering temporary moratoriums on medical- marijuana dispensaries, but it’s unknown exactly how many local governments have acted on the issue, because nobody —- including state health officials —- is officially keeping track.

Marijuana operators’ search for retail space has bloomed after voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in November that legalized marijuana for a broad swath of patients with debilitating medical conditions.

The scramble for retail outlets is expected to intensify as the number of marijuana operators continues to increase, and as local governments seek ways to restrain the sales of cannabis in their communities, at least for now.

As another result of the legislation approved during the June special session, state health officials recently authorized five new medical marijuana operations, on top of the seven businesses already active in the state. Five more are supposed to come online in October.

Nearly 72 percent of voters approved the constitutional amendment last fall, making it difficult for local officials to close the door completely on the sale of medical cannabis.

But while saying they respect the will of voters, many local officials also want the power to regulate the number of dispensaries, and where the businesses can be sited, something that’s essentially off the table in the new state law, which requires local governments to treat medical marijuana distribution centers in the same way pharmacies are handled.

Most cities and counties don’t have special regulations regarding pharmacies, but instead treat them like other retail, or “light commercial,” businesses.

While some communities contemplate new zoning rules for pharmacies, a move that also could curb the development of marijuana dispensaries, others are focused on the cannabis retail outlets.

For example, St. Augustine Beach commissioners last week approved a moratorium barring medical-marijuana dispensaries from opening in the waterfront community.

“I think the main reason was just wanting to see how the situation is going to shake out and what sort of problems might occur with the sales of this stuff. There was no particular anxiety over it, but I think it’s a fear of the unknown,” said Jim Wilson, a lawyer who represents the city. “We’re a small community, and we’d rather see how this works elsewhere before we connect into it. It may work out fine later on.”

But Sen. Rob Bradley, who has been a key player in the creation and passage of the state’s medical-marijuana laws the past three years, said the new regulations were meant to encourage competition in the state’s burgeoning marijuana industry.

“I would encourage our local partners to see the bigger picture here. We are bringing online several new licenses over the next year-and-a-half. It’s important for the long-term future of the medical marijuana industry that we have real competition among not only the incumbents but the new license holders,” Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican and former prosecutor, said in a recent interview. “If local governments were allowed at this point in time to restrict in their communities the number of dispensaries to only one or two or three, that would provide an unacceptable advantage to the incumbents.”

Regarding local officials’ fears about what are disparagingly known as “pot shops,” Bradley said he thinks they may be uninformed.

“When I see some of the comments from local officials, I’m not sure that they’ve read the details of the law. We have strict limitations on advertising and signage, and all of these dispensaries are required to have a doctor’s office feel,” he said.

The new restrictions imposed by the Legislature, paired with a push by marijuana operators to open retail facilities, create “an awkward situation for a lot of cities,” said John Wayne Smith, a lobbyist who represents numerous cities and counties as well as the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Association of Counties.

While local governments are largely focused on budget issues during the summer, they may turn their attention to medical marijuana later in the year, Smith predicted.

Others may wait for the Legislature to revamp the state law.

“I would say that it’s probably half-baked and this is probably an issue that is going to evolve and get tweaked over the next five to 10 years,” Smith said.

But the passage of the state-imposed prohibition on local governments’ ability to limit the number of retail outlets poses a problem for cities like Lake Worth, which authorized two medical marijuana dispensaries before approving a moratorium aimed at preventing others from opening.

It’s unclear, however, whether the new state law will require the city to open its doors to more dispensaries, an issue on which municipal lawyers are divided.

“By doing a nothing or all, and because we already have two, this is what you’ve done to my city. Everyone around me has a moratorium, but you’ve now told my city it’s a free-for-all,” Lake Worth City Commissioner Andy Amoroso told The News Service of Florida.

Amoroso stressed that he supports legalization of recreational marijuana and endorses the use of medical marijuana for sick patients. But he also emphasized that the state law “jeopardizes what our cities look like.”

Lake Worth is surrounded by other communities that have banned the sales of medical marijuana, meaning that retailers will likely target his city, Amoroso maintained.

Lake Worth officials need “to be able to control” what their 7-square-mile city “looks like,” Amoroso said.

“If I have medical marijuana on every corner, I can’t do that,” he said.

But Orlando city attorney Kyle Shephard said he believes a moratorium recently passed by his commission will allow the city to stop any more medical-marijuana retail shops from opening.

“Every city attorney may answer this differently, depending on their own local situation,” Shepard told the News Service.

Orlando adopted its ordinance allowing up to seven medical marijuana dispensaries before the state law (SB 8-A) was passed, Shepard said. The city believes that means its ordinance won’t be affected by the new law.

“If you didn’t get your rules on the books before SB 8 went into effect at the end of June, then you are sort of hamstrung,” Shepard said.

Orange Park council members recently advanced an ordinance that would prohibit pharmacies from opening in “light” commercial areas —- something that wouldn’t affect any of the drug stores currently in operation, according to Mayor Scott Land.

The town council approved the new regulation in response to the state law, which the mayor called “an all or nothing, almost.”

“So instead of doing the all, a lot of people are going to probably choose the nothing,” he said. “I think it’s going to make it difficult for the dispensaries.”

Cannabisjobs.us
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Greetings from the New West Summit in Oakland where smoke from the wildfires has overwhelmed the city’s normal ambient cannabis smell.
This morning at 9:30 I’ll be on the Not Another Cannabis Media Panel, a “shark tank” situation where we’ll be sharing our first thoughts on a few brave start-ups. Stop by if you’re around.
The other panelists (last I checked) are:
Derek Riedle – Co-Founder and Publisher Civilized
Gaynell Rogers, Director Alternative Health And Wellness Division, Bond Moroch
Gretchen Gailey – EVP of Communications and Government Affairs, New Frontier
Kieve Huffman – Co-Founder | PRØHBTD Media
Kitty Morgan – Assistant Managing Editor, San Francisco Chronicle
The moderator is Ophelia Chong – Founder, Stock Pot Images
My WeedWeek colleague Adrienne Nascimento will be hosting tea ceremonies at 4:20 p.m. today and 2 p.m. tomorrow.
Here’s the news:
Politics
Wildfires ripped through 200,000 acres of northern California, including numerous vineyards and cannabis farms. Since cannabis is federally illegal, it’s difficult to insure and the head of the California Growers Association said some heavily leveraged members were likely wiped out.
Plants not destroyed by the blazes may be tainted by smoke and growers have cracked mordant jokes about calling strains “beef jerky” and “hickory kush.”  As of Fridaydozens had been confirmed dead with hundreds more missing. Thousands of homes have been destroyed. CNN has more.
Santa Rosa-business CannaCraft donated $50,000 worth of MED to victims of the fire and allowed the Red Cross to take over its facility. Two hundred female inmates are fighting the fires for $2 a day plus $1 for every hour on the fire line.
Fire warnings are still in effect. For the latest info, see here.
The L.A. Times explains the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment which could expire in December after more than three years. The amendment blocks the Justice Department from interfering with state legal MED. The piece also explains the very pro Russia Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s (R-Calif.) involvement in the administration’s Russia scandal.
In High Times, Trump ally Roger Stone expressed support for state-legal marijuana.
Rolling Stone look’s at the mad dash by California businesses and regulators to prepare for the REC market, which opens January 1. San Francisco REC dispensaries are unlikely to open on time, due to delays with regulations.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed three ant-pot bills. Some of California’s native tribes worry they’re being cut out of the industry.
The L.A. Times explains the “dumb move” L.A. is contemplating to force cannabis businesses to shut down for months while they await licenses. (L.A. County issued its first license, to a Latina-owned dispensary in Malibu.)
The Portland Mercury asks “Who’s currently in charge?” of cannabis at the federal level.
Californians and tourists need consumption lounges, the LA Times editorializes. Despite some misleading headlines, public consumption is not permitted in California. Denver has yet to receive any applicationsfrom potential social use businesses.
Obama Attorney General Eric Holder (D) said current AG Jeff Sessions (R) has an “almost obsession with marijuana.
Speaking at Colorado Christian University, anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet said the industry targets lower income and minority communities. “Of course they’re going after the weakest in society,” he said. “That’s what you do when you’re a predatory industry…This is about Wall Street and Silicon Valley.”
Coloradans have until Monday to comment on new proposed industry rules.
A survey suggests 11% of D.C.’s federal workers have bought pot.
A Maryland case arguing the state improperly awarded MED licenses, appears bound for trial.
Despite a budget shortfall, REC supporters aren’t getting far in Connecticut.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) called legalization a “sucker’s bet” and said it wouldn’t happen on his watch.  Don’t expect Idaho to legalize anytime soon either.
In need of more soldiers, the U.S. Army is making it easier to receive a marijuana use waiver.
In Cook County, Ill. (Chicago) someone suggested replacing soda taxes with pot taxes.
Reading, Pa.-mayor Wally Scott (D) walked out of a city council meeting after the body endorsed REC legalization.
Hurricane Maria did severe damage to Puerto Rico’s nascent MED program.
More than 20,000 British Columbians responded to the provincial government’s request for comment on legalization.
Ozy meets “The Dagga Couple” the middle-aged white pair whose case legalized MED in South Africa.
African nations Ghana, Morocco, Lesotho, Swaziland and Malawi are also exploring the cannabis opportunity, CNN reports.
In London, three MPs joined a cannabis tea party hosted by activists outside Parliament.
After decades of grey market sales, the Netherlands may create a legal supply chain.
Business
A New York City woman is suing Nevada cannabis consultancy Electrum Partners and its president Leslie Bosckor, claiming he fired her for having breast cancer and “because she had reported intra-company sexual activity that posed a risk to the company,” according to the suit. Bosckor declined to comment to the N.Y. Post.
The Winklevoss twins are counter-suing an investor in delivery app Eaze for “portraying them as deadbeats” after they backed out of an investment in the company.
The rate of failed drug tests has risen in coastal northern California to 3%, well above the national average.
Canada-based Canopy Growth, the world’s largest MED company, plans a major expansion into British Columbia, in partnership with an unnamed vegetable grower.
Year to date sales in Colorado topped $1 billion by the end of August. First month REC sales in Nevada far outpaced first month sales in Colorado, Washington and Oregon. Californians are on track to spend more than $2.6 billion on MED this year.
Canadian MED producer Sunniva won permission to build a huge 489,000 square foot grow in Cathedral City, Calif., in Riverside County.
WestWord recounts a failed unionization push among workers at a Pueblo, Colo., dispensary. (Check out the clever illustration.) The Alberta Federation of Labor wants a unionized dispensary workforce in the Canadian province.
The Boston Globe reports beleaguered tracking software firm MJ Freeway permanently lost much of its Spanish clients’ data.
Colorado-based supermarket chain Lucky’s Market will start selling CBD products at its 25 stores nationwide. Grocery giant Kroger has a significant stake in Lucky’s.
Mass(achusetts)Live talks to craft growers trying to survive the advent of corporate cannabis.
Vermont company Simmering Bone recalled a few containers of CBD-infused soup broth on account of a labeling mishap.
Northern Michigan University offers degrees in marijuana growing.
Florida has rejected a California bank’s proposal to serve its MED industry.
Arkansas gave accountants the green light to work green.
The Cannabist asks what GW Pharma’s attempt to win FDA approval for CBD drug Epidiolex could mean for the hemp industry.
Health and Science
Alexis Bortell, a 12-year old girl whose parents moved from Texas to Colorado to access CBD, is one of five plaintiffs suing the federal government. The suit argues that the ban on interstate trade infringes on her rights.
Speaking before a House sub-committee, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) called for the government to release its “stranglehold” on MED research.
West Virginia will use population surveys to learn users’ thinking on MED.
A group of Minnesota parents wants the state to add autism as a qualifying condition for MED.
Only two doctors have applied for permission to recommend MED in Louisiana.
Environmental site Grist tours California’s Emerald Triangle from an eco-minded perspective.
Clinton-era surgeon general Dr. Joycelyn Elders supports legalization.
Australia’s University of Newcastle received funds to establish a national MED research center.
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Co-Founder, HelloMD
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Criminal Justice
A Georgia sheriff and two deputies have been indicted following a forced search of 900 high school students. Atlanta Magazine explains the city’s new decriminalization law.
A congressional committee discussed MED access for cops.
In three years, DEA agents seized $550,000 from passengers at the Tucson airport’s baggage claim. The seizures did not result in any substantial busts.
The DEA seized 5.3 million pot plants in 2016, the highest total since 2011.
Ohio State newspaper the Lantern writes up a visit by former DEA agents who discussed chasing Pablo Escobar and the war on drugs.
A Phoenix man is suing the city after a cop allegedly forced him to eat edibles or go to jail.
Leaked documents show AG Jeff Sessions trying to reduce due process protections for those facing immigration court.
Florida could become the first state to execute fentanyl dealers.
The L.A. Times profiles prison journalist Arnulfo Garcia, who died in a car crash shortly after his release from California’s San Quentin prison after serving 16 years. His legacy can be felt in the podcast Ear Hustle, recorded within San Quentin.
Product reviews:
                              
Culture
Legalization supporting New York City mayoral candidat
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Here’s the news:
Politics
Ahead of REC legalization, California seeks to stem the flow of pot leaving the state. California also named the 22-members of its Cannabis Advisory Committee. They include industry executives and activists, politicians, health officials and law enforcement.
L.A. may limit who can appeal to block licenses. California will host three workshops on applying for state permits.
San Francisco quashed a proposed REC dispensary in the Outer Richmond after opposition from older Chinese residents and the conservative Pacific Justice Institute. San Diego became one of the first California cities to create a fully-legal cannabis supply chain.
Growing at home remains a divisive topic Washington, where it’s not allowed. For more see here and here.
Maryland’s first MED crop is ready for testing, but it’s not clear when it may go on sale. Black state lawmakers want to ensure for black entrepreneurs have access to the industry.
Maine may require cities to opt-in to cannabis businesses. REC in Maine faces opposition from Republican lawmakers.
Alaska voters rejected proposed cannabis business bans in Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula.
A Pennsylvania business denied a MED license has dropped its lawsuit against the state. The state’s MED program appears to be on track.
Marijuana.com asks if the suit [Retired NFLer Marvin] Washington vs. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, could be the case that overturns cannabis prohibition.
In Massachusetts, Sessions said the Justice Department would continue to prosecute interstate pot trafficking, but didn’t comment on state legal businesses.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said she “used to be invited to [parties]…long, long ago, marijuana was maybe present at those parties?” She did not say she had consumed it.
Canadians support legalizing REC, but law enforcement and medical groups say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s timeline to make it happen by July is too aggressive.
John Fritchey, one of Cook County’s (Chicago) commissioners, called for legal REC. Illinois Gubernatorial candidates have starkly different views on cannabis. The race is next year.
Native American tribes continue to weigh the cannabis industry.
A former Missouri House speaker says he doesn’t know why someone would send an email purportedly from him, attacking legalization activists.
Business
Portland’s Willamette Week talks to the Craft Cannabis Alliance, a group seeking to keep corporate cannabis at bay. There’s a similar effort to oppose the “Walmart of Weed” in Massachusetts. Willamette Week also looked at a grow’s “obsessive-compulsive quest” to go carbon neutral.
Falling wholesale prices in Colorado have dragged on prices nationwide.
Utility company National Grid discussed the industry’s energy needs at a Boston conference.
A Pennsylvania company is selling its license and 47,000 square foot “turnkey” grow for $20M.
Out of state companies want Ohio MED licenses. The state released a list of applicants.
Creditors are after a closed Denver pot shop which borrowed more than $1M.
A bipartisan bill to repeal industry-hated tax rule 280E has attracted 33 sponsors in the House.
The IRS flagged non-profits associated with MED for extra scrutiny, a report found.
Cannabis billboards are coming to Massachusetts. Lack of sales continues to drag on New York state’s five MED dispensaries and high prices are pushing customers to the illegal market.
A Florida MED company wants the state to allow edibles.
L.A. may create a city-owned bank, the country’s first, to serve the cannabis industry.
Shane McMahon, son of U.S. Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon, invested $500,000 in EnviroGrow, a company making pre-fab modules resembling shipping containers, for cannabis grows.
S.F.’s Westfield mall won’t allow pot chocolatier Défoncé to open a store.
GG Strains LLC and the The Gorilla Glue Co. settled their trademark dispute over the strain Gorilla Glue #4.
Bank of Montreal and Toronto-Dominion Bank are becoming the industry’s preferred banks. Canadian MED stocks climbed following a proposed taxation regime in Ontario. For more on taxes in Canada see here.
Alberta may allow private businesses to sell cannabis. A group of 12 MED producers in the province have formed a collective which they say can operate without any help from the provincial government.
The SEC filed charges against an executive for an “insider trading scheme” with a kickback of 10 pounds of weed. Bloomberg View columnist Matt Levine doesn’t recommend trading weed for stock tips, if you’re going to sell the weed. “It’s just a little inelegant.”
According to Green Market Report, Coke is cannabis users’ favorite soft drink.
Edible maker Truffle Man, known for selling in S.F.’s Dolores Park, is going legit.
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Health and Science
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency could crack down on cannabis companies making false health claims. He cited claims about shrinking tumors as something which could come under scrutiny.
A study suggests the children of mothers who were vegetarians during pregnancy are more likely to drink and use marijuana by their 15th birthday.
A study found cannabis users may be more likely to develop an opioid use disorder.
In an update on its web site, the VA says it can’t help with access to MED. Government Executive says the agency is blocking MED research.
The American Psychological Association criticized barriers to MED research.
A Florida nursing home declined to give a patient MED because it’s federally illegal.
After 20 years, a revamped DARE anti-drug education program is back in Colorado classrooms, minus the “Just Say No” message. “The DARE brand is toxic,” former Colorado pot czar Andrew Freedman said. Colorado is also using pot tax revenue to create animated “Sims-style” videos about drug abuse.
Wildfires have tainted “untold tons” of California pot.
Pacific Standard hails a program in Kentucky for its approach to addiction care for pregnant women.
Thank You to WeedWeek’s Sustaining Members:
Pamela Hadfield
Co-Founder, HelloMD
HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers
HelloMD on InstagramFacebook
Spencer Vodnoy
CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA
Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association
Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!
Promote your brand here with a contribution on Patreon.
Criminal Justice
Slate looks at the case of Jessica McElfresh, the San Diego cannabis attorney accused of being an accessory to a crime for representing raided MED business Med-West. San Diego DA Summer Stephan is the chosen successor to retired anti-pot prosecutor Bonnie Dumanis
The DEA named career agent Robert Patterson as its new acting director.
An investigation by Reveal found court-ordered rehab programs that amount to little more than slave labor at chicken processing plants and other private companies.
A bipartisan group of Senators is trying to revive criminal justice reform. Trump advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner apparently favors it.
Massachusetts crime lab scandals widened further. The state, where REC is legal, continues to arrest a disproportionate number of blacks for cannabis offenses.
In Forbes, Mona Zhang discusses cannabusiness hiring people with felony records.
California weed accounts for 75 percent of indoor plants seized nationwide.
A new law in Maryland allows some prisoners to seek reduced sentences for drug offenses.
The former police chief of Santa Ana, Calif., in Orange County has sued claiming he was forced out of his job for calling out city employees, including Mayor Miguel Pulido, for making “alleged shady deals” with dispensaries.
Local authorities seized $3.9M in illegal plants near Pueblo, Colorado, a center of legal growing.
State and local authorities arrested 18 in raids on Yuba County, Calif., cannabis farms. One of the detainees is said to be the leader of a Rastafarian church where an officer fatally shot an armed worker this summer.
Leafly takes a look at the case of a DACA recipient (the “dreamer” program) who faces deportation for possessing a gram of weed. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is trying to keep more of its data private.
Authorities in Grand Traverse County, Mich., shuttered eight dispensaries.
The sheriff of Siskiyou County, in far northern California, has asked the Sessions Justice Department for help controlling illegal grows. He has not heard back.
Washington state’s supreme court ruled random urine tests as a condition of release are unconstitutional.
Comments Off on Nevada has massive first month of marijuana sales

Nevada has massive first month of marijuana sales

Posted by | October 5, 2017 | Cannabis News

Nevada has massive first month of marijuana sales

Nevada dispensaries raked in more than $27 million during the first month of recreational marijuana sales, generating more than $3.6 million in taxes, according to figures released Thursday by the Nevada Department of Taxation.

How does that stack up against the other states with legal marijuana?

It’s nearly double.

Colorado and Oregon each sold about $14 million in marijuana during their respective first months of sales. Washington sold $3.8 million in its first month.

“We came out of the gate like a shotgun,” said Matt Morgan, CEO of Reef Dispensaries.

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Morgan said that, even three months into recreational sales, Reef’s dispensary located behind the Fashion Show Mall has a line inside the store at nearly all times and outside about 40 percent of the time.

Nevada’s market will only grow, he said.

“I still don’t think everyone understands that it’s recreational in Nevada yet,” Morgan said.

That falls right in line with Nevada’s marijuana sales estimates, even though there were no state projections for July because of uncertainty about when stores would begin sales. State officials have projected that special sales tax will generate $63.5 million over the first two years of sales.

“Although July was not accounted for in our projections, the first month’s revenues demonstrate that the state’s structure appears to be collecting at a rate consistent with the consensus forecast.” said Mari St. Martin, spokeswoman for Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Another $974,060 came from the 15 percent wholesale tax levied on both medical and recreational marijuana when it is transferred between the grower and the seller.

That was significantly more than the $548,000 the state projected for July. If those figures stay consistent, the wholesale tax would generate about $23.4 million for the fiscal biennium.

Tax Department spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said the state expects that excise tax to grow over the next two years as more cultivators get licensed and begin to operate.

The state has also pulled in $6.5 million in marijuana license and application fees.

Those revenues will be used to cover the administrative costs to regulate the industry for the Tax Department and local governments, and all remaining funds go to the state’s public education fund.

Recreational sales started on July 1, and the state has issued 250 recreational marijuana licenses thus far, 53 of them to dispensaries.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Alaska voters reject local bans on legalized marijuana

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Voters in some parts of Alaska rejected efforts to ban commercial marijuana cultivation and retail sales, three years after the nation’s largest state passed a voter initiative legalizing the recreational use of the drug.

The votes Tuesday came during local elections in the state’s major marijuana growing areas — in and around Fairbanks and on the Kenai Peninsula southwest of Anchorage. All lost by wide margins.

“I’m happy to know that the 100 plus employees that are employed right now are going to keep their jobs, and there’s going to be many more jobs on top of that,” said Amy Jackman, campaign manager for ‘Keep Cannabis Legal’ on the Kenai Peninsula, where the ban was rejected by roughly 64 percent of voters. “And all these families down here, they’re not going to lose their savings and their livelihoods.”

The 2014 statewide initiative that legalized marijuana allows local governments to ban pot businesses within their borders.

“We’re disappointed, but at the same time our purpose for these initiatives on the ballot was to give the voters a chance to make this decision and not have it made by our local government. So in that sense, it’s a success,” said James Ostlind, chairman of the group that backed the bans with separate measures in the city of Fairbanks and the surrounding Fairbanks North Star Borough. Both measures were rejected by about 70 percent of voters.

If the bans had been successful, they would have forced retail stores and cultivation facilities to close within 90 days and that would have left a gaping hole for other retail stores across the state in need of product. Personal use and growing pot at home for that use would still be allowed.

Backers said zoning laws are too lax, letting marijuana businesses open too close to homes. Proponents fear any rollbacks will embolden other communities to institute bans or the Legislature to roll back legalization.

But Jackman said the overwhelming victory in support of the marijuana industry “encourages people to move on to something else.”

Cary Carrigan, the executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, called the victories pivotal.

“A lot of these prohibition votes have been driven by church congregations,” he said “They’re looking for something to demonize, and it’s not us. People accept us.”

After a failed initiative, there’s a two year hiatus before it can come back, Ostlind said. He wasn’t ready to predict another initiative attempt in 2019.

“If the marijuana industry starts to cause more damage to a community than they do good, then people will stand up and they’ll want to do something about it,” he said.

The election was held the same day the Alaska Department of Revenue released its monthly marijuana tax receipts from cultivators. The state collected nearly $700,000 in August, which was the highest monthly amount since collections began last October. Ten new cultivators began paying taxes in August, and half are from areas where votes were being held Tuesday.

Since October 2016, cultivators in the greater Fairbanks area have paid nearly $1.2 million in taxes, while those on the Kenai Peninsula have paid more than $655,000. The state doesn’t have tax figures for retails stores since those taxes are paid to local governments only.

Pot legalization in California brings a bonanza of government jobs

By: Associated Press

Scientists. Tax collectors. Typists. Analysts. Lawyers. And more scientists.

Recreational marijuana use becomes legal in California in 2018, and one of the things to blossom in the emerging industry isn’t green and leafy, it’s government jobs.

The state is on a hiring binge to fill what eventually will be hundreds of new government positions by 2019 intended to bring order to the legal pot economy, from keeping watch on what’s seeping into streams near cannabis grows to running background checks on storefront sellers who want government licenses. Thousands of additional jobs are expected to be added by local governments.

The swiftly expanding bureaucracy represents just one aspect of the complex challenge faced by California: Come January, the state will unite its longstanding medical cannabis industry with the newly legalized recreational one, creating what will be the United States’ largest legal pot economy.

Last January, just 11 full-time workers were part of what’s now known as the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the state’s chief regulatory agency overseeing the pot market. Now, it’s more than doubled, and by February the agency expects to have more than 100 staffers.

The agency is moving into new offices later this year, having outgrown its original quarters. It’s expected new satellite offices will eventually spread around the state.

There also will be scores of jobs added to issue licenses for sellers, growers, truck drivers, manufacturers and others working in the projected $7-billion industry. The state has taken to Facebook to lure applicants.

The bureau is using a video snippet of actor Jim Carrey, hammering his fingers into a computer keyboard, to catch the eye of prospective applicants online. “Get those applications in … before this guy beats you to it,” it reads.

“New job just ahead,” reads another post. “We’re hiring.”

This year’s state budget contained about $100 million to fund regulatory programs for marijuana, which includes personnel to review and issue licenses, watch over environmental conditions and carry out enforcement.

Planned hiring into 2018 covers a range of state agencies: Fifty people are bound for the Public Health Department, 65 are slated to join the Water Resources Control Board, and 60 are expected at the Food and Agriculture Department, which will oversee licensing for cultivators.

Some of the work is highly specialized.

Environmental scientists will be responsible for developing standards for pot farms near streams, to make sure fertilizer or pesticides do not taint the water or harm fish. An engineer will monitor groundwater and water being diverted to nourish plants. Lawyers are needed to help sort out complex issues involving the state’s maze of environmental laws.

Pay varies with position but can be attractive, with some scientist posts paying over $100,000 annually. Special investigators with the Consumer Affairs Department could earn in the $80,000 range.

Policing cannabis cultivation, legal and not, has been a long-running concern in the state. Recently, Republican state Sen. Ted Gaines of El Dorado urged Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in Siskiyou County because of what he called rampant illegal marijuana grows.

Gaines said criminals are treating the county as “their own illicit greenhouse” while polluting waterways with pesticides and other waste.

Meanwhile, state and local governments are rushing to enact rules to govern the new pot economy, a process that so far has produced mixed results.

The state says it will be ready to begin issuing licenses in January, albeit temporary ones.

In coastal Mendocino County, about 700 cultivators have applied for local permits, though it’s estimated thousands of people grow pot in the county north of San Francisco. The fear is that many growers and sellers will remain in the black market, undercutting legitimate sales.

“My biggest concern is that the state regulations may prove to be so onerous that it will discourage people who want to be legally compliant from coming forward,” said John McCowen, who chairs the county Board of Supervisors.

“And that will mean greater opportunity for those operating in the black market,” McCowen added.

While the state is adding jobs to oversee the marketplace, law enforcement will face new demands that come with a price tag, from keeping roads free of stoned drivers to helping weed out illegal operators.

The California Highway Patrol is expanding training for officers to identify intoxicated drivers. In cities that permit cultivation, manufacturing or sales, police duties could also include protecting legitimate operators from gangs intent on pushing them out of business.

And a key issue will be keeping legally grown pot from moving into the black market.

To combat illegal activity, whether through code enforcement or policing, “we are going to have to invest,” said Gardena Police Chief Edward Medrano, who heads the California Police Chiefs Assn.

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