Cannabis News

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Here’s the news:
Politics
GOP Congressional leadership will block a House vote on continuing the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment (previously Rohrabacher-Farr), which prevents the Justice Department from going after state-legal MED businesses. A failure to renew the amendment would be a major victory for anti-cannabis Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R).
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) wrote a Washington Post op-ed to support his amendment and pleaded for a vote in committee.
Trump confidant Roger Stone threatened to sue the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition for $1M, after it dropped him as a speaker during an upcoming Los Angeles event. The Minority Cannabis Business Association and other groups were boycotting the event on account of Stone’s history of racially charged remarks. For more see here.
L. A. city councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson is calling on the city to recruit minority cannabis entrepreneurs, create cannabis business incubators for them and do more to promote people of color in the industry.
California may allow growers and sellers to pool their licenses and operate at the same location. A California effort to ban pot advertising on clothing fell short. A group of California’s Native American tribes is signalling interest in the green rush. New Cannabis Ventures hosted a California cannabusiness roundtable on where things are headed..
The new Massachusetts cannabis commissioner, businessman Steven Hoffman, sought to convince critics that he supports REC. Four of the five Massachusetts commissioners opposed last year’s REC vote. It’s not clear if the commission has enough money to carry out its mission.
Boston mayor Marty Walsh (D), who opposed the REC vote, is welcoming dispensaries into the city.
Ontario dispensaries will be run by the province, the way liquor stores are in several Canadian provinces.
Candidates in Tennessee’s 2018 gubernatorial race have differing views on legalization. Liberal candidates in Minnesota’s 2018 gubernatorial race mostly favor legal REC.
Cannabis professionals are running for seats in the Illinois and California legislatures and the New York City Council, among other posts.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) said he won’t legalize pot or casino gambling to close the state’s $40 billion pension debt.
Clark County banned pot possession and advertising at the Las Vegas airport. Las Vegas suburb Henderson, Nevada’s second largest city, allowed REC dispensaries.
Alaska has three upcoming local elections on banning cannabis businesses.
German chancellor candidate Martin Schulz, head of the liberal Social Democrat party, said he favors a national referendum on legalization, but did not say how if he would vote. In the polls, he trails incumbent conservative Angela Merkel.
Business
Canadian MED companies are plotting “global domination.”
Canopy Growth, Canada’s largest producer, is doubling production. Toronto-based MED producer Cronos Group has a new partnership to grow cannabis on a kibbutz in Israel for export. British Columbia-based Tilray will invest C$30M to build a grow in northern Portugal and export product across the European Union.
Toronto’s Globe and Mail spoke to Canadian edible companies.
The Baltimore Sun meets some Maryland cannabis companies.
New Cannabis Ventures says the existing cannabis stock funds are “poorly structured” which helps account for their poor performance. The site also finds Sunset Island Group insiders made $3M off an $11,000 investment through a stock sale. NCV had previously expressed concerns about the company.
Following its acquisition of High Times, Oreva Publishing acquired Here Publishing which owns gay-oriented publications Out and The Advocate. The company, which is rebranding itself Pride Media, and has plans to go public, wants to acquire brands that have “strong emotional ties with a community.”
Denver-based cannabis law firm Hoban Law Group, is claiming the first nationally-run tv ad for a cannabis related service.
A industry study is bullish on concentrates and vapes in California, but predicts a contraction in the flower market.
A Washington broker seeks to bundle a dozen dispensaries in the state and sell them for $70M.
An anonymous survey conducted by Marijuana Business Daily found 17% of cannabis executives are racial minorities. [Editor’s note: After three years covering this industry I’d estimate the figure is more like 2% or 3%.]
Detroit dispensary Buds R Us received a trademark infringement letter from Toys R Us. I wrote about the Gorilla Glue infringement case for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Stanford psychiatry professor Keith Humphreys explains why legalization has sent cannabis prices plunging.
Some in the Dallas business community are interested in cannabis. Meanwhile, Texas’ CBD oil law may be unworkable.
Colorado-based edibles brand Incredibles is expanding to Puerto Rico.
All four cities The New York Times named as the most likely to win Amazon’s new second headquarters — Denver, Boston, Portland and D.C. — have legal REC.
Rolling Stone meets six women shaping the industry.
Alaska’s “Made in Alaska” promotional campaign will allow cannabis businesses to use its logo.
Health and Science
A study by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy found youth use has not increased since REC legalization. The federal National Survey on Drug Use and Health found last month pot use among 12 to 17s at 6.5% the lowest rate since 1994. The data landed hours after GOP house leaders blocked the floor vote on the Rohrabacher amendment.
Freshman Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.) proposed a budget amendment to protect MED researchfrom AG Sessions.
President Trump nominated Congressman Tom Marino as drug czar after dropping the nomination. Marino is known for his support of the opioid industry and his believe in forced commitment for cannabis users.
A report out of the State University of New York calls pot’s reputation as a gateway drug a persistent “fallacy.”
A Vermont court will decide whether MED patients should be allowed to drive.
A study in adolescent mice suggests cannabis containing CBD may be less dangerous than cannabis which contains only THC.
Healthline looks into why more seniors have taken up cannabis for their aches and pains.
Banned pesticides from illegal pot farms have seeped into the water in northern California.
New Mexico’s MED program wants to improve its physician outreach.
An Irish mom organized a festival to mark her son’s 300th straight day without a seizure, since he began CBD treatment.
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
A lawsuit alleges the U.S. Justice Department is investigating Colorado cannabis businesses in the guise of IRS audits. The IRS dismissed the allegation as nonsense.
Arizona Attorney General is suing Insys Therapeutics over deceptive marketing of its fentanyl spray. The opioid maker donated to oppose REC in the state.
Paolo Duterte, son of Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte, denied as “baseless” involvement in a $125M shipment of methamphetamine from China. Duterte, whose father has encouraged extrajudicial killings of thousands of supposed drug dealers, declined to disclose a tattoo that allegedly links him to a crime syndicate. The younger Duterte, who is the vice mayor of Davao city, also declined to discuss his bank accounts, which he called “irrelevant.” President Duterte’s son-in-law has also been implicated and denied wrongdoing. For more see here.
Maine legalization activist Paul McCarrier was denied entry to Canada. The U.S. reserves the right to ban entry for life to foreigners who admit to ever using marijuana.
ProPublica explains how AG Sessions misrepresented President Trump’s expansion of police access to military grade weaponry.
Las Vegas burglars are targeting dispensaries, the NBC affiliate reports.
Vox finds numerous states responding to the opioid crisis with tougher criminal penalties.
Over two years, Tennessee authorities improperly spent $100,000 in asset forfeiture funds on banquets.
A Missouri NORML activist is in trouble after comparing police to the KKK.
Product reviews:
                              
Culture
Princeton Review lists the most weed friendly colleges.
The N.Y. Times’ Frugal Traveler columnist gets high in Portland.
Singer Olivia Newton-John says MED is helping her beat cancer.
The founder of Indianapolis’ First Church of Cannabis claims his pet peacock was murdered. He is also mourning the unexpected death of one of his goats.
An LSD “microdosing coach” charges $97 for a 30-minute Skype session.
*
Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.
I’ve also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.
Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com for details.
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Bye,
Alex
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Cannabisjobs.us
This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news matters.
Like WeedWeek on Facebookfollow it on Instagram and Twitter and share it with the link weedweek.net. Subscribers’ names and contact info are confidential. You can also follow me on Twitter.
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.
Want to advertise in WeedWeek? Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com.
The newsletter will remain free, but small contributions will enable readers to participate in WeedWeek’s mission to share credible, well-informed cannabis journalism.
Starting at $2 a month, we’re offering some fun perks and swag.
At $25 a month you can join me on a monthly Google Hangout to talk all things green rush.
Starting at $100 a month you can promote yourself and your organization’s brand in the body of the newsletter every week.
Check it out. Thanks!
For a break from the weed beat, I contributed to a radio piece about “The Scariest Place in L.A.
Here’s the news:
Politics
Political trickster and Trump-supporter Roger Stone said he will “not be silenced” by liberal cannabis activists opposed his upcoming talk at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo in L.A.
Stone, who has a long history of incendiary remarks on race and sex, claims he is being unfairly smeared. Jesce Horton, chairman of the Minority Cannabis Business Association said, “The idea that cannabis business owners and activists can’t assess for ourselves his deplorable rhetoric and his camp’s self-serving intentions in the cannabis industry is sad.”
CWBExpo founder Dan Humiston was previously in the tanning industry. A Charge.org petition calls for the event to #disownStone. Politico has more.
In a long piece, Buzzfeed explains why a national pot crackdown would be a political and legal nightmare for the Trump administration, a “hydra.”
Defying Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R), Congress appears poised to renew the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, protecting state-legal MED from federal prosecution.
A Gallup poll found 45% of Americans have tried marijuana, an all time record, up from 4% in 1969.
The site entrepreneur says study Arizona to better understand the forces shaping legalization.
Washington state officials think AG Sessions is wrong about weed. Sessions also cited incorrect dataabout Oregon’s program.
The California legislature has lots to do on cannabis regulation before the REC market opens January 1. The state is hiring at least 175 to assist with regulation.
A restrictive cannabis packaging bill passed both houses of California’s state legislature. A California bill to ban cannabis companies from advertising with branded merchandise such as T-shirts and hats advanced as well.
Mendocino County government is challenging raids by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which local officials call unhelpful to regulation.
Cannabis activist and personal injury lawyer John Morgan added three patients to his lawsuit against the state for not allowing smokeable MED.
A Democratic Massachusetts state senator who opposed Massachusetts’ REC vote, was the first of five members named by Gov. Charlie Baker (R) to the state’s cannabis regulatory board.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said the state won’t legalize REC on his watch.
More than 100 plan to apply for MED business licenses in North Dakota. Arkansas received its first MED business application.
Denver’s first in the nation social use law is accepting applications from bars and other businesses. A social use proposal in Alaska entered a comment period.
Centrist organization Third Way published an extensive report on the state of cannabis in the U.S.
Conservative veterans group American Legion adopted a resolution supporting legal MED.
The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators called for legalizing REC. It’s the first major Latino group to do so.
In the Philippines, the killing of 17-year old Kian Loyd delos Santos has energized opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
Dog-bites-man award: Colorado journalist Peter Marcus is ditching the site he foundedColoradoPolitics.com, to flack for growing dispensary chain Terrapin Care Station. Cannabis is more secure and more lucrative than journalism, Marcus said.
Business
Seattle-based Privateer Holdings raised $58M. Privateer is parent company to Leafly, cannabis brand Marley Natural and Canadian MED producer Tilray. After a $75M raise in 2015, Privateer was valued around $500M. It did not update the valuation or name its new investors.
Silicon Valley eminence Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund participated in Privateer’s 2015 raise. Geoff Lewis, the Founders Fund partner who led the Privateer investment recently departed Founders to start a new fund.
Big American banks said they wouldn’t work with cannabis businesses in Uruguay, potentially complicating Canadian legalization next year.
Canadian stock exchanges are trying to figure out a patch for listing companies with U.S. ties.
In GQ, Amanda Chicago Lewis searches for an elusive billionaire who may be trying to patent every cannabis strain.
Edibles maker Dixie issued a voluntary six product recall in Colorado over potentially unsafe essential oils.
MJBizDaily dives deep into troubles at networking company Women Grow. Among other issues, the company left a bad taste with local leaders when it told at least 31 chapters that they were responsible for $36,000 in annual royalty payments to the the national chapter, far more than most could generate from sales.
The company still has support from some powerful women in the industry and is confident about its future. For more see here.
The number of female cannabis executives has fallen to 27%, still higher than most U.S. industries.
Until it’s federally illegal, the Nevada Gaming Commission said casinos should have nothing to do with cannabis.
The Boston Globe looks at barriers to minorities who seek to enter the industry.
The L.A. Times has more on why desert outpost Nipton, Calif. Is unlikely to become a cannabis resort.
Social media app MassRoots acquired legal company CannaRegs in a $12M stock deal. MassRoots is still in a tough financial situation.
Ohio awarded a $1.3M track and trace contract to Franwell (METRC).
The Next Web says cannabis could be Silicon Valley’s “Billion-dollar cash crop.
Cheaply grown outdoor cannabis from southern Colorado could flood the Colorado market in coming months. Analysts say the risk of a price crash is low.
Taylor West, a former National Cannabis Industry Association executive who’s joining the industry, says the future of cannabis is old people and office workers.
A study by financial firm Cowen & Co. found beer sales have fallen about 4% in legal REC states. Beer company Lagunitas (owned by Heineken) released a beer containing cannabis extracts, but not THC.
New Cannabis Ventures sees “red flags” for OTC cannabis stock Sunset Group.
Westword visits a “pot infused fantasy factory.
A study predicts CBD will be a $1 billion market within three years.
NBC affiliate KCRA asks about California’s unregulated edibles market.
I found five L.A. cannatech companies for L.A. Weekly.
Health and Science
The number of drivers in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for pot has risen sharply each year since 2013, The Denver Post reports. The paper also looks into the murky science of testing for impairment.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson is concerned about cannabis use lowering IQs. NORML says his concern is unfounded.
The nation’s first federally approved MED trial for hospice patients is beginning in Connecticut.
A bipartisan group of Congresspeople asked AG Sessions to allow more MED research. Rolling Stone visits Israel where MED research is racing ahead.
Florida MED patients have access issues.
The BBC looks at the science of high potency cannabis.
The group Cannabis Clinicians Colorado will hold an event near Denver tomorrow to educate consumers on cannabis impairment and the inadequacy of current technology to measure it.
Hallucinogenic mushrooms may have evolved that way to fend off hungry insects.
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
Maryland, where no blacks won MED licenses and are eight times more likely to be arrested for weed, illustrates “institutional racism” a columnist writes in the Washington Post.
As Hurricane Harvey approached Texas, President Trump pardoned former Maricopa County (Phoenix) sheriff Joe Arpaio. During his 24 year tenure, Arpaio was best known for his vicious and cruel treatment of Hispanics as he pursued undocumented immigrants. Arpaio was convicted last month of criminal contempt of court. To read more about Arpaio see this 2009 story from the New Yorker and this thread by Phoenix New Times.
A third Montana dispensary employee has been sentenced following a 2016 DEA raid.
A new video game highlights problems with the bail system.
Product reviews:
                              
Culture
The NFL is fighting with the players union over opioids and MED.
The Guardian goes to a weed wedding.
Netflix dispensary sitcom “Disjointed,” gets lousy reviews from the N.Y. Times and Vogue. The latter found an internet commenter who said “…aaand smoking weed just became uncool.” Star Kathy Bates talked about her own cannabis use. Sitcom wizard Chuck Lorre (“The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men”) created the show.
Leafly recommends a few Reno dispensaries where you can stock up en route to Burning Man. Federal, state and local laws are all in effect at Burning Man. For more see here.
D.C. blogger Joe Tierney helps residents find REC.
*
Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.
I’ve also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.
Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at

Pot prices reach all time high

Written by Abby Theodros

LAS VEGAS 

The cost of “trim,” the part of the marijuana plant used to make edibles and oils is at a record high, according to industry experts.

Redwood Cultivation Facility chief executive officer and president Paul Schloss said the fair market value of trim has gone up from about $250 dollars to $650 since the start of recreational sales.

“It’s about supply and demand,” Schoss said. “Consumers are choosing oils, edibles, concentrates, and topical which is in very high demand in Las Vegas.”

Schloss said consumers gravitate towards more discreet products like gummies and lotions as opposed the traditional marijuana flower because it’s more discreet.

The shortage also impacts the price tag consumers see at the dispensary.

“There’s limited inventory,” Cannacopia Dispensary Managing Consultant Robert Casillas said. “We don’t know when we’re going to get [inventory] in so we have a high demand. We’d be in an empty store with no customers and laying off employees if we didn’t raise the price to slow down the demand.”

Why Trump Can’t Beat Cannabis

Posted by | August 26, 2017 | Cannabis News

Why Trump Can’t Beat Cannabis

Donald Trump said three times while campaigning that cannabis legalization should be left “up to the states.” But after five weeks in the White House, his former press secretary, Sean Spicer, announced that recreational marijuana — which was legalized by eight states without resulting in a crackdown by the Obama administration — has zero leeway under federal law. “I do believe you’ll see greater enforcement of it,” Spicer told the press corps.

Since then, lots of conventional wisdom says the White House can — and probably will — try to shut down America’s pot experiment.

That wisdom looked particularly valid given that Trump’s chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has sharpened the attacks. He said in February that distributing pot remains illegal “whether a state legalizes it or not,” and turned the screws in March by warning federal prohibition “applies in states where they may have repealed their own anti-marijuana laws.”

“If the Trump administration wanted to shut down our industry, he could say the word and have every dispensary door kicked in simultaneously,” Travis Nelson, president of the Colorado Cannabis Growers Association, told BuzzFeed News. The press has heeded the threats, too: The Washington Post​ ​said the stern warnings Sessions sent to several governors this month show he “might begin​ ​prosecutions,” while​ ​​Slate​ predicted he ​“will​ ​probably crack​ ​down.”

How, exactly, the Trump administration will approach this is TBD. The Justice Department is currently considering its options.

At any time, though, Sessions and Trump could begin raids in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington state — where thousands of state-licensed cannabis businesses are already operating in the open. The administration could then argue in court that even issuing pot licenses is superseded by federal law.

Raiding farms and stores may seem simple, at first, but unlike federal pot busts in past years, targeting regulated state systems would present new legal disputes over states’ rights.

BuzzFeed News’ interviews with law enforcement, former federal prosecutors, state officials, and conservative leaders show a crackdown would give rise to a hydra that pulls Trump into logistical, political, and legal traps — replicating his most humiliating setbacks like the travel ban (legal) and Obamacare (political).

Not only is legalization unprecedentedly popular, a crackdown has grown even more unpopular — and Trump would be destroying jobs in rural districts that voted for him. Possibly most damaging for Trump, though, is that he can’t fully win, because state decriminalization of cannabis cannot be completely stopped.

Cannabisjobs.us
This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news matters.
Like WeedWeek on Facebookfollow it on Instagram and Twitter and share it with the link weedweek.net. Subscribers’ names and contact info are confidential. You can also follow me on Twitter.
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.
Want to advertise in WeedWeek? Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com.
The newsletter will remain free, but small contributions will enable readers to participate in WeedWeek’s mission to share credible, well-informed cannabis journalism.
Starting at $2 a month, we’re offering some fun perks and swag.
At $25 a month you can join me on a monthly Google Hangout to talk all things green rush.
Starting at $100 a month you can promote yourself and your organization’s brand in the body of the newsletter every week.
Check it out. Thanks!
Here’s the news:
Politics
The cannabis industry spent $450,000 on lobbying in the first half of 2017, twice its expenditure during the same period in 2016. It was the highest growth rate of any industry, according to a report from the Center for Responsive Politics. Scotts Miracle-Gro., the publicly traded lawncare company making a play for the hydroponics market, accounted for more than 80% of industry lobbying.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) are pushing back on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ criticisms of their state cannabis programs. Inslee said Sessions made claims that are “outdated, incorrect, or based on incomplete information.”
To avoid a federal crackdown, legal states are trying to stop “diversion” across state lines.
Politico says legalization will be a central issue during the 2020 presidential campaign.
Maine’s REC program will be delayed until next summer at the earliest. Gov. Paul LePage (R) wants REC repealed.
A new proposal to legalize REC in Michigan would be retroactive to 1970, meaning state felony convictions since then would be expunged and state cannabis prisoners would be released. Like another proposal in the state, the ballot initiative targets a November 2018 vote.
“At this stage, [CBD oil is] as far as Texas will take” legalization, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said.
The Indiana legislature will consider a Republican-backed MED bill.
Wisconsin state lawmaker Frank Lasee (R) declined to discuss his investment in Canadian MED giant Canopy Growth.
Law professor Jonathan H. Adler writes on what legalization means for federalism.
A bipartisan group of Congresspeople want to legalize hemp.
Business
The Minority Cannabis Business Association said it would withdraw from an upcoming cannabis conference on account of keynote speaker Roger Stone, a political operative and Trump supporter known for racially-charged tactics and messaging. Cannabis Industry Journal supports MCBA’s move and briefly runs through “Stone’s Shady Past.
Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo (CWCB) said it will not revoke Stone’s invitation. “Stone has raised a lot of money. He is pushing Jeff Sessions really hard and he’s got Donald Trump’s ear,” CBCW managing partner Dan Humiston said.
Colorado Public Radio reports businesses are more concerned about their electricity bills, a sign of industry maturation. In Washington and Colorado, the piece notes, utilities are defraying the cost for grows to convert to light-emiting diodes (LED) which use less electricity than metal halide and high-pressure sodium bulbs.
Leafly deputy editor Bruce Barcott suggests hot cannabis stocks have reached the point where “Bullshit becomes monetized.” In particular he questions the proposed go-public valuation of High Times at $250M when it was recently valued at $70M. MarketWatch explains the “blank-check company” method High Times is using to go public.
Motley Fool examines pot stocks after a strong year.
Companies are moving away from strain names, as a way to identify their products. Strain names are widely considered unreliable.
Denver is considering alternate tax structures to push out the illegal market. Social use activists may sue Denver for settling on rules they consider too restrictive.
A Nevada judge expanded the business types eligible for distribution licenses.
Washington altered the rules to allow businesses to own more grow licenses. The step may increase competition, supply and merger activity.
Six of 15 pre-approved growers in Maryland missed the deadline to have their businesses running, but may be granted an extension.
Massachusetts edibles makers talked about how regulation drives innovation.
Trucking companies, which experience as high as 60% drug test failure rates, are rethinking their cannabis policies. Don’t expect change any time soon.
App Wikileaf is advertising in-flight on Virgin America.
L.A. Weekly asks if pesticide regulations will hurt the state industry.
The Alaska Dispatch News asks if the state is making money from legal cannabis.
Still no one has applied to run a MED business in Arkansas.
Canadian MED producer Tilray is investing $24M to convert a pepper farm into one of the country’s largest legal grows.
A Canadian producer with a Florida MED license is increasing its footprint in the Sunshine State. Canadian exports are booming, and executives are thinking about how to go global.
Israel will export MED. Kibbutzes want in on the Israeli green rush.
County law is another reason why the plan to convert tiny desert town Nipton, Calif. Into a cannabis resort seems unlikely.
Investing publication The Midas Letter toured a grow run by Canadian MED player Aphria.
Health and Science
Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R), the Justice Department will block the DEA’s push to increase federal grow permits, a program designed to foster MED research. The DEA was considering 25 applications but does not expect Justice to sign off on any of them.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Bronx-based Albert Einstein medical school $3.8M to conduct the first long term study to test whether MED reduces opioid use for adults with chronic pain, including those with HIV/AIDS. Subjects in the five year study will obtain MED legally in New York dispensaries.
A new University of Texas, Dallas, study found chronic cannabis use may reduce the risk of stroke by improving blood flow. For more see here.
Modern Farmer learns about the “Superfund-like” sites left behind by illegal grows in northern California.
In New Jersey, the parents of a recently deceased 22-year old man are convinced his MED caused his heart to beat erratically and then stop. Cannabis is not listed as his cause of death.
Massachusetts has a new marijuana training course for doctors.
At Leafly, Dr. Dave Hepburn says cannabis activists shouldn’t exaggerate its medical benefits.
A scientific breakthrough could enable large scale production of psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.
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
A federal judge blocked federal prosecutors from pursuing a case against two California growers who tried to act in compliance with state law. The case is the first to test the “Rohrabacher-Farr amendment.” For more see here.
A decorated special forces veteran and MED user in Colorado is suing the Denver suburb of Fountain for raiding his grow. The authorities say they had a signed warrant.
Video documentation emerged in the case of a Harris County (Houston) Texas woman suing the sheriff’s office over a vaginal cavity search conducted on her.
In an opinion piece, Jim Patterson, CEO of delivery app Eaze says the Marijuana Justice Act, the legalization bill proposed by N.J. Sen. Cory Booker (D) “legalizes marijuana the right way.
In an opinion piece, Ryan Jennemann, founder of California grower THC Design, asks if AG Sessions’ opposition to legalization is racially motivated.
The Crime Report profiles LEAR Asset Management, a private security firm that performs “Counter-Trespass Operations” against illegal grows in California’s Emerald Triangle.
San Diego cops raided two illegal dispensaries. The city says it has shuttered more than 60 since March. Voice of San Diego reports the prosecution of cannabis attorney Jessica McElfresh has sent chillsthrough the local cannabusiness community.
A disbarred Nevada lawyer is wanted in an alleged dispensary investment scam.
San Joaquin County, Calif. (Stockton) is targeting dispensaries.
Louisiana is reviewing prison sentences for 16,000 inmates who may see their sentences shortened under a new law.
A woman who tested positive for THC in Pennsylvania after a car crash that killed her two grandchildren, was not high at the time of the crash, her lawyer said. Authorities found Oxycodone pills and alcohol, but not marijuana, in the car. (THC can stay in the system for weeks after the last use.)
A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration questions the accuracy of marijuana impairment tests used by police. See the government report here.
The small South American country Paraguay, which apparently produces nine percent of the world’s marijuana, has seen a major increase in gangs and drug related violence. Paraguay is also a major cocaine producer.
Charges were dropped against D.C. cannabis activist Adam Eidinger. They stemmed from a 4/20 protest at the Capitol.
A handful of cases illustrate how diversion happens.
The New Yorker explains civil asset forfeiture, the controversial practice favored by AG Sessions.
Product reviews:
                              
Culture
Rolling Stone has a guide to good citizenship for pot smokers.
Washingtonian (D.C.) meets Fooman Zybar who reviewed street drugs in the 1960’s and is “somehow” still alive.
College football coaches are not legalization supportersThe NBA is luke warm.
Elite Canadian athletes are using and investing in cannabis, but are concerned about rules for international competition.
Tiffany Hadish of “Girls Trip” thinks the movie will be popular with stoners forever.
Singer Melissa Etheridge compared going public about cannabis use to coming out of the closet.
Anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet is taking on Seattle’s Hempfest. “They’re just off-target with everything they do and say,” Hempfest founder Vivian McPeak said.
Sabet gave an upbeat interview to Westword on his progress fighting legalization. A Florida CBS affiliate reports the evidence that legalization is advancing “at an incredible pace.
Professional dominatrix Mistress Matisse writes about her experience at the ArcView investor conference.
A new illustrated book helps growers determine “What’s Wrong with My Marijuana Plant?”
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Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.
I’ve also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.
Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at

Cannabisjobs.us
This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news matters.
Like WeedWeek on Facebookfollow it on Instagram and Twitter and share it with the link weedweek.net. Subscribers’ names and contact info are confidential. You can also follow me on Twitter.
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Note to readers: WeedWeek is now on Patreon.
 
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Here’s the news:
Politics

States are confused after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent letters to Washington and Colorado expressing “serious concerns” about legal pot. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said “I think we can work together.”

Canna Law Blog asks “How harmful is Jeff Sessions?”

Slate says a crackdown may still be coming. In February, I argued in Slate that a crackdown on state-legal weed is unlikely.

Sixty-one percent of Americans favor legal REC and 94% favor legal MED, both all time highs, according to a Quinnipiac poll.

The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators endorsed legalizing REC.

Following an outcry, Los Angeles City Council appeared to embrace full licensure for cannabis businesses. But cannabis businesses in the city still fear “harassment” from law enforcement.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) named Cat Packer of the Drug Policy Alliance to head the city’s cannabis regulatory body. In a statement she emphasized, “responsible, equitable cannabis policies that will serve as a model for the rest of America.”

Small, cash-strapped cities in L.A. County that want to allow cannabis businesses confront lots of red tape.

A Wall Street Journal opinion piece calls legalization “a bad way to promote racial equality.”

In San Francisco, disputes over dispensary locations have become very contentious.

An Illinois MED panel was disbanded. Critics say a $161,000 salary won’t attract the right person to head the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey have included cannabis reform in their platforms.

Ghana could become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to decriminalize illegal drugs.

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Business

In conjunction with a pot-themed episode of The Profit, CNBC profiles five businesses representing the future of weed.

Among them, Adrian Sedlin, CEO of California producer Canndescent, explains why his product is worth a 25% premium. And a former minister who voted against REC in California is now cashing in.

Colorado cannabis sales topped $750M for the first half of 2017, up 25% from 2016.

A report found the global market could reach $140 billion within 15 years.

New Cannabis Ventures reports American Green, the Arizona company that said it would buy the town of Nipton, Calif., for $5M and turn it into a cannabis resort, doesn’t have enough money.

Illinois-based Green Thumb Industries (GTI) raised $50M for expansion into new states.

GG Strains, a company based on the popular strain Gorilla Glue #4, is being sued for trademark infringement by the maker of Gorilla Glue glue.

The Canadian Securities Exchange said it would list companies with U.S. operations.

A Florida bank said it would work with marijuana companies.

Lots of cannabis businesses are in fundraising mode.

MED sales began in Hawaii, 17 years after legalization.

A federal judge in Connecticut ruled federal law doesn’t pre-empt a state statute that forbids firing or refusing to hire employees for MED use.

The Washington Post asks if pot growing can save West Virginia coal country.

Nevada may ban home REC delivery. The state will allow companies that are not currently liquor distributors to apply for distribution licenses.

Tourists in Vegas have nowhere to consume REC. Clark County (Las Vegas) is telling pot shops not to promote public consumption.

Canadian MED company MedReleaf completed its first shipment to Brazil.

A pot grow’s generator sparked a fire in Santa Clara County, Calif. that destroyed a dozen homes and required almost 2,000 firefighters to put out.

Stock in Zynerba Pharmaceuticals crashed after its experimental CBD gel failed a mid-stage clinical trial for epilepsy.

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Health and Science

A new study published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology found marijuana use may exacerbate hypertension and increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. The Oregonian says the study is “preliminary and comes with caveats.” For more see here.

A study in four states found restrictions on selling pot to minors are very effective, possibly more effective than alcohol restrictions.

President Trump reversed himself and  declared the opioid crisis a national emergency, freeing up funds to fight it. For more see here.

For perspective, Bloomberg studies the U.S. opiate epidemic of the 1860s and 1870s.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry (D) discussed the opioid crisis after her son died of an overdose.

Despite fears, Leafly says there are no credible reports of fentanyl-laced cannabis.

A secret supervised drug injection site has been operating somewhere in the U.S. for years.

Instead of pesticides and fertilizers, some growers use compost.

A new Massachusetts campaign aims to prevent driving while high.

Narrative.ly profiles Margarete de Santos Brito, one of three Brazilians allowed to grow MED at home. It’s for her sick daughter.

Cannabis use is up more than 250% among Americans 65 and older. They’re the fastest growing age cohort.

Bruce Barcott explains how to relieve “cannabis withdrawal syndrome.”

The DEA plans to slightly reduce its quota for federal government approved weed to about 978 pounds annually in 2018. The agency doesn’t know when additional grow sites could be confirmed to produce plants for medical research.  

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CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA

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Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!

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Criminal Justice

Right-wing pundit and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch said the gun group didn’t defend black gun owner Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by a cop, because he had marijuana on hand. The NRA itself has not commented on the killing.

The Atlantic examines how plea bargaining, including for pot offenses, has corrupted the criminal justice system.

AG Sessions wants a judge known as “Hang ‘Um High Henry Hudson on a sentencing panel. Victims of crime largely oppose tougher criminal penalties for perpetrators.

A New York Times op-ed calls the American criminal justice system “exceptional in the worst ways possible.

Vice interviews Mexican Drug Lord El Chapo’s lawyer. Jeffrey Lichtman previously represented mobster John Gotti.

Two former Kern County, Calif., (Bakersfield) sheriff’s deputies were sentenced to probation, for stealing pot from evidence lockers and selling it on the black market. The judge spared them prison time due to the “unwavering support” of their wives.

In the Philippines, fishermen said police have been ordering them to dump the bodies of murdered drug suspects in Manila Bay.

A man was shot and killed in Madera County, Calif. (near Fresno) after confronting “guerrilla” growers on his property.

In California’s national forests, toxic waste from illegal pot farms is far worse than expected.

A lawsuit claims Seneca, S.C., police have used a pot charge to intimidate a witness to not cooperate in a federal investigation of a fatal police shooting.

A federal judge dismissed a civil rights suit filed by a woman whose three dogs were shot and killed by police during a Detroit pot raid.

Seattle fined the organizer of a small, private cannabis event, and then dropped the fine when a reporter asked about it.

The sheriff of Calaveras County, Calif., is under scrutiny for using pot revenue to bust illegal grows.

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Product reviews:

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Culture

Splinter News profiles activists who want Asian Americans to smoke more weed.

Cannabist founding editor Ricardo Baca writes about learning to grow.

Physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said there’s “no reason” for cannabis to be illegal.

The Las Vegas Sun meets Nevada’s first black master grower.

Wyoming told eclipse-chasers to leave their pot at home.

Rolling Stone has been on the weed beat for 50 years.

“Freak Power” a movie about Hunter S. Thompson’s run for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colo., will be filmed in Silverton, Colo. The cast has not yet been announced.

In L.A. Weekly, I wrote about six ways to incorporate weed into your wedding.

In the Bay Area, LSD users want to rebrand the drug as an upscale, tech-y pursuit.

Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

I’ve also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.

Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com for details.

Is WeedWeek worth $2 a month to you? Contribute on Patreon.
Bye,
Alex

Advertising policy: Advertisers and contributors through Patreon have no influence on WeedWeek’s editorial content or on the content of articles that I write for other publications. In an effort to replicate the separation of business and editorial operations practiced at reputable news organizations, a WeedWeek salesperson will be responsible for all sales-related contact with advertisers and will work, as much as possible, without input from me. Any future advertising queries sent to me will be referred to a salesperson. In the newsletter, all ads and other forms of paid content will be clearly marked. I will not approach potential advertisers to solicit business, and reserve the right to reject ads if they present a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest or for any other reason.

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Cannabisjobs.us
This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news matters.
Like  it on Facebookfollow it on Instagram and Twitter and share it with the link weedweek.net. Subscribers’ names and contact info are confidential. You can also follow me on Twitter.
List your conferences, festivals and parties for free on the site.
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.
Want to advertise in WeedWeek? Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com.
Note to readers: WeedWeek is now on Patreon.
 
The newsletter will remain free, but small contributions will enable readers to participate in WeedWeek’s mission to offer credible, well-informed cannabis journalism. 

 
Starting at $2 a month, we’re offering some fun perks and swag.
 
At $25 a month you can join me on a monthly Google Hangout to talk all things green rush.
Starting at $50 a month you can promote yourself and your organization’s brand in the newsletter every week.
 
Check it out. Thanks!
In Vanity Fair, Michael Lewis writes about the Department of Energy under President Trump. The department’s responsibilities include protecting the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The story is fascinating, scary and well worth your time.
 
Here’s the news:
Politics

N.J. Sen. Cory Booker (D)  introduced a bill to legalize cannabis federally. It would entitle federal prisoners serving time for pot offenses to a sentencing hearing and incentivize similar reforms at the state level. The bill has virtually no chance of becoming law.

Booker defended the bill in an  op-ed: “The enforcement of marijuana laws have too often led to a sacrifice of our values, our safety, and the potential of millions of Americans.”

Bloomberg says Sessions also faces opposition from Republicans for his views on the plant.

Rolling Stone has more.

Colorado (in a 140-page report), Oregon (in a 19-page report) and Washington have defended their state industries to U.S. Attorney General Sessions, a legalization opponent. Sessions replied to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) with “serious questions about the efficacy of marijuana ‘regulatory structures’ in your state.” (See the letter here.)

Sessions has declined to release recommendations from his task force on marijuana enforcement. “We’ll make announcements on policy changes when we have announcements to make,” a Justice Department spokesperson told HuffPost.

According to documents obtained by the AP, the task force, “has come up with no new policy recommendations to advance the attorney general’s aggressively anti-marijuana views.” Instead the report “largely reiterates the current Justice Department policy on marijuana.”

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden (D) wants Sessions to release the recommendations.

A new Harvard-Harris poll found 57% of Americans believe legalizing REC would improve society.

Politico profiles John Morgan, a wealthy personal injury lawyer and legalization activist, who may run for governor of Florida.

Trump ally and dirty trickster Roger Stone continues to call for REC legalization.

Also at the Politicon conference, Ann Coulter claimed “Blacks were about ten times more likely to lie and say they hadn’t smoked pot,” than whites. (A study found the opposite.) “Nobody goes to prison for possession,” Coulter added to boos.

Oakland has begun accepting business licenses, including equity licenses. The Cannifornian

takes a look at where things stand. Last year, I wrote a story about Oakland’s equity program for California Sunday magazine.

A group wants ballot initiatives to legalize cannabis businesses in several San Diego County cities.
San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley neighborhood, in the city’s southeast, is fighting two proposed dispensaries.

A Massachusetts cannabis advisory board is “in a holding pattern.”

MED legalization remains a tough sell in South Carolina.

Following a Washington Post report, Maryland is looking into potential conflicts of interest between MED license applicants and application evaluators. Maryland State senators rejected calls for a special session to discuss racial bias in awarding licenses.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail editorializes that the rules are not yet clear for REC legalization, with expected implementation less than 12 months away.

A South African pair known as “the dagga couple” are trying to get REC legalized through a court process.

Business

Kanye West is suing insurance companies for refusing to pay at least $9.8M in claims after he cancelled much of his 2016 Saint Pablo tour. West’s touring company says the Lloyd’s of London affiliated insurers claim without evidence that West’s marijuana use could have contributed to the “debilitating medical condition” and invalidate his claims.

Nevada gambling regulations do not address players visibly impaired by cannabis. Casinos are now asking the Trump administration whether they must file documents known as Suspicious Activity Reportsfor players known or suspected to be supported by cannabis businesses.

Nevada’s highest court ruled MED business owners can remain anonymous. A tribe run dispensary outside Las Vegas expects to be the country’s largest dispensary by retail area when it opens next month.

Regulators are debating advertising at the Las Vegas airport.

Lawncare company Scotts Miracle-Gro wants to be the leading hydroponics supplier to hobbyists and professionals. Its stock is trading near all time highs.

New Cannabis Ventures ranks the top public cannabis companies, U.S. and international, by revenue. Canada’s financial regulator offered guidance to companies with U.S. operations.

Canadian MED producer Aphria participated in lifestyle brand Tokyo Smoke’s $4M fundraising.

Puerto Rico thinks MED could help alleviate the island’s economic crisis.

New York doubled the number of MED licensees to 10, making business conditions more difficult in the state.

App MassRoots is pivoting from a “Facebook for pot” to a “review and consumer loyalty” app.

TechCrunch says software company Meadow is the Amazon Web Services of weed, “powering the back end of the THC trade.” (Disclosure: Meadow has advertised in WeedWeek.)

I wrote about cannabis livestreaming app Toke.tv for L.A. Weekly.

“A lot of the upstart companies will find that this business is not easy and they will struggle,” says Neil Closner, CEO of Canadian MED producer MedReleaf.

The Tyendinga Mohawk tribe is defending their dispensaries from a crackdown in rural Ontario.

The manufacturer of game ‘Cards Against Humanity,’ supports REC legalization in Illinois.

Arizona MED company American Green purchased the tiny town of Nipton, Calif., near Vegas, with plans to make it a cannabis-friendly resort. The purchase price was about $5M.

Buzzfeed’s Alyson Martin asks if you’re “Team Pinot or Team Pot,” in a piece on the frenemy industries.

The AP joins L.A. dispensary owner Jerred Kiloh on a drive to deliver $40,131.88 in cash for a tax payment.

Washington state has suspended leading lab Peak Analytics.

Vox’s policy podcast The Weeds discusses pot taxes in Washington.

A venture in Napa, Calif. wants to dig caves for commercial cultivation. They usually build caves to use as wine cellars.

WBUR looks at how opium profits shaped 19th-century Boston.

Health and Science

A study found heavy cannabis users to be calmer under stress than non-cannabis users.

The White House opioid commission considers the crisis a national emergency, but does not recommend MED as a way to mitigate it.

A study by Brightfield Group and HelloMD found 42% of CBD users stop using traditional medications like Tylenol and Vicodin. (Disclosure: HelloMD has advertised in WeedWeek.)

Martin A. Lee, director of the non-profit Project CBD, sums up new findings presented at the International Cannabinoid Research Society conference in Montreal. Presenters included scientists from the U.K., Israel and Brazil.

With the EPA refusing to step in, states are forced to regulate cannabis pesticides.

An Indonesian man has been sentenced to eight months and fined $75,000 for growing MED for his cancer-stricken wife.

More people in the U.K. are dying from ecstasy, cocaine and heroin overdoses.

New Hampshire lawmakers took umbrage with President Trump’s description of the state as a “drug-infested den” in a conversation with Mexico’s president.


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Criminal Justice

A Minnesota judge will allow criminal trials to proceed against two former employees of MED company Vireo who are accused of driving $500,000 worth of oil to New York to meet a production deadline. The former employees have pleaded not guilty.

The war on drugs never ended, Fair Punishment Project fellow Carimah Townes argues in Slate. Townes says it’s up to state and local prosecutors to end it.

Due to delays confirming U.S. attorneys under Trump, drug prosecutions are at an all-time low.

Acting DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg criticized President Trump for endorsing police brutality.

The DEA met with malware company NSO Group, which has developed products to intercept emails, texts and calls, and scrape data from devices. It’s not clear if the agency bought anything.

Mexican drug lord El Chapo, who’s awaiting federal trial in New York, accused Mexico of improperly extraditing him. With El Chapo gone, Mexico’s drug war has become even more violent.

The AP looks at whether churches should be immune from drug prosecutions following the shooting of two California deputies at a Rastafarian pot farm in Yuba County, north of Sacramento.

A Denver man who killed a teen who raided his grow, has been convicted of murder.

An aide to former Congresswoman Janice Hahn, pleaded not guilty to accepting a bribe from a Compton, Calif., dispensary in danger of being shut down. Three family members near Detroit have been indicted for allegedly bribing officials to let them open a dispensary.

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Product reviews:

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Culture

A Today Show segment on “Marijuana Moms,” attracted criticism as “something that’s OK for white people.”

The NFL has offered the players union to spend more money on MED research. Some league watchers see a cynical motive.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said it’s a “medical issue” and an opportunity for football to lead. The league’s chief medical officer said MED research is “really important.”

The group Athletes for Care wants the NFL, NBA, NHL and ultimate fighting to make room for MED useby athletes.

In Oregon, the upcoming solar eclipse has created unprecedented demand for booze and weed.

The building housing Vermont’s Norman Rockwell Museum could become a MED dispensary.

The L.A. and Bay Area transit agencies both tweeted dueling, not very good limericks about weed.

Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

I’ve also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.

Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com for details.

Is WeedWeek worth $2 a month to you? Contribute on Patreon.
Bye,
Alex

Advertising policy: Advertisers and contributors through Patreon have no influence on WeedWeek’s editorial content or on the content of articles that I write for other publications. In an effort to replicate the separation of business and editorial operations practiced at reputable news organizations, a WeedWeek salesperson will be responsible for all sales-related contact with advertisers and will work, as much as possible, without input from me. Any future advertising queries sent to me will be referred to a salesperson. In the newsletter, all ads and other forms of paid content will be clearly marked. I will not approach potential advertisers to solicit business, and reserve the right to reject ads if they present a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest or for any other reason.

alexhalperin.com

All rights reserved.

Booker introduces bill to legalize marijuana nationwide

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker is proposing a far-reaching bill that would both legalize marijuana at the federal level and encourage states to legalize it locally through incentives.

The New Jersey Democrat’s bill, called the Marijuana Justice Act, has virtually no chance of passage in the Republican-controlled Congress and in a presidential administration that’s decidedly anti-marijuana.

“You see these marijuana arrests happening so much in our country, targeting certain communities — poor communities, minority communities — targeting people with an illness,” Booker, the former mayor of Newark, said in a Facebook Live rollout of his legislation.

The bill would legalize marijuana at the federal level and withhold federal money for building jails and prisons, along with other funds, from states whose cannabis laws are shown to disproportionately incarcerate minorities.

Under the legislation, federal convictions for marijuana use and possession would be expunged and prisoners serving time for a marijuana offense would be entitled to a sentencing hearing.

Those “aggrieved” by a disproportionate arrest or imprisonment rate would be able to sue, according to the bill. And a Community Reinvestment Fund would be established to “reinvest in communities most affected by the war on drugs” for everything from re-entry programs to public libraries.

Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana.

“They’re actually seeing positive things coming out of that experience. Now I believe the federal government should get out of the illegal marijuana business,” Booker said, adding that it “disturbs” him that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled that the federal government may take a harder line on marijuana.

Booker’s bill comes as New Jersey considers legalizing marijuana. Legislative leaders have expressed support for a bill introduced by Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Scuatri. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy — the heavy favorite to be elected governor — has said he would sign such a bill.

Gov. Chris Christie, who leaves office in January, has vowed to veto any marijuana legalization bill. The Republican governor also chairs a presidential commission on opioid addiction.

Marijuana legalization advocates were thrilled with Booker’s proposal.

“This is the single most far-reaching marijuana bill that’s ever been filed in either chamber of Congress,” Tom Angell, chairman of the group Marijuana Majority, said in a statement. More than just getting the federal government out of the way so that states can legalize without [Drug Enforcement Administration] harassment, this new proposal goes even further by actually punishing states that have bad marijuana laws.

“Polls increasingly show growing majority voter support for legalization,” he said. “So this is something that more senators should be signing onto right away.”

Canadian cannabis company pays $40 million for Florida pot grower

by: Palm Beach Post Updated: 

In the first big-dollar deal in Florida’s budding marijuana industry, a Canadian company paid $40 million for one of seven firms allowed to grow and sell cannabis in the state.

Liberty Health Sciences of Toronto this month bought Chestnut Hill Tree Farm of Alachua County, an operation that’s still very much in start-up mode.

Chestnut Hill has yet to open a retail outlet, and Liberty Health Sciences Chief Executive George Scorsis acknowledges that the company remains in a “pre-revenue” phase.

Chestnut Hill’s most valuable asset is its state license to produce medical marijuana.

However, state officials have said they’ll issue more licenses for cannabis cultivation as more patients join Florida’s medical marijuana registry, so even the license could prove a depreciating asset.

“It’s possible there could be some devaluation as the state issues more licenses, but we thought it was important for us to be one of the first entrants in the market,” Scorsis said Friday in an interview.

Pot proponents pushed medical marijuana as a safe treatment for cancer, chronic pain and other ailments.

The large sum paid for Chestnut Hill stoked concerns that the nascent industry quickly has shifted into a speculative mode.

“This is a completely immature company, and it’s going at a big dollar value,” said Ben Pollara, who led the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida.

Florida voters in November overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2, which makes marijuana available to people with cancer, epilepsy, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments.

They must get a doctor’s permission to buy cannabis.

The Canadian company’s arrival underscores just how hotly contested Florida’s marijuana market could become.

Most industry players expected half a million Floridians to sign up for the medical marijuana program, but Scorsis says the number could be higher.

“We always saw Florida as a tremendous opportunity because of the sheer population size,” Scorsis said.

Before he took over Liberty Health Sciences, Scorsis ran Mettrum Health Corp., a cannabis cultivator in Canada.

That company sold earlier this year for more than $400 million.

Liberty Health Services is an offshoot of another Canadian cannabis company, and Scorsis said its hallmark is growing marijuana cheaply compared to its competitors.

“We are the lowest-cost producer in Canada, and we also will be the lowest-cost producer in Florida,” Scorsis said. “We need to ensure that the product we produce is affordable.”

So Liberty Health Services could bring price competition to Florida, where prices have proven higher than in California and Colorado.

“Right now, there’s not much competition, and there aren’t many patients to compete for,” Pollara said.

As of July 12, there were 23,350 patients on the state’s cannabis rolls, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Now that Scorsis has taken over Chestnut Hill’s operations, he aims to begin opening dispensaries.

Scorsis said he’s negotiating three leases in South Florida and one in Central Florida.

He said the stores will focus on explaining the effects of cannabis to patients.

“Our retail outlets will be a combination of education centers and retail outlets,” Scorsis said.

While Liberty Health Services paid a hefty sum to get into Florida’s marijuana market, Scorsis stressed the company’s altruistic bent.

“Medical cannabis is there because patients need it,” he said, “and we need to work backward from there.”

Cannabisjobs.us
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Here’s the news:
Politics

A congressional committee voted to extend protections for state legal MED against federal law enforcement. The move defies U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) who requested its removal. The extension, which has been in place since 2014, will be tacked onto the 2018 federal budget.

AG Sessions did not release the recommendations of a crime reduction task force expected to contain updates on federal marijuana enforcement. In a short statement the AG said he receives recommendations on a “rolling basis” from the task force. The statement didn’t mention marijuana. For more see here.

KKTV has more on the closed door meeting between the task force and authorities in Colorado Springs.

Sessions’ job appears to be safe for now after President Trump spent a week publicly berating the AG for recusing himself from the administration’s Russia scandal. (The Onion says Sessions peruses at minority incarceration statistics to cheer himself up.)

House Republicans blocked a committee vote on MED access for veterans. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) had made the case for it with a deeply felt speech.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a legalization opponent, signed a new REC law, a legislative adaptation of a REC initiative passed by voters in November.  It raises sales taxes from 12% to 20% (3% to the municipality). It also creates a pathway to edibles. (For more see here.)

Shaleen Title, a Boston attorney, and entrepreneur who was involved in the effort to secure stronger equity protections, calls the Massachusetts law “great law.” Title is a board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association which has published a model bill for state legalization.

The cannabis industry has contributed more than $300,000 to the California gubernatorial campaign of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), far more than any other candidate. The vote is in November 2018.

The L.A. Times calls on the city to follow the voters’ will and regulate the industry.

California needs to revert to an “emergency rulemaking process” if it’s going to start issuing licenses by the January 2 goal.

Five plaintiffs including former NFL-player have filed a federal lawsuit against AG Sessions and the DEA claiming the plant’s schedule I status is unconstitutional.

Pew’s Stateline project says legalization still faces a “rocky road.” (Mmmm, rocky road.)

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) wants the state to repeal its REC law.

Canadian provinces are trying to shape legalization.

Former drug czar William Bennett predicts the legal states will soon regret it.

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Business

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin seems sympathetic to the cannabis banking issue.

L.A. may set up a public bank for cannabis businesses. (The Santa Barbara Independent looks at how cannabis businesses deal with all the cash.)

The Toronto Stock Exchange needs to figure out a policy for listing U.S. cannabis companies since they are federally illegal in their home country.

Under its new ownership, High Times plans to go public through a special purpose acquisition company.

California growers produce eight-times as much cannabis as is consumed in the state. Hezekiah Allen, head of the California Growers Association says state licensed growers “are going to have to scale back. We are on a painful downsizing curve.”

MJ Biz Daily asks if Minnesota MED company Vireo can survive two former employees facing charges for driving product from Minnesota to New York.

Australian MED company Creso is expanding to Canada with the acquisition of MED producer Mernova Medical. A Canadian company wants an Ohio MED license.

A company called Craigsweed.com changed its name to GanjaRoad.com after a cease and desist warning from craigslist.

Struggling social media app MassRoots raised $1.2M.

Companies trying to set up pot busses for Vegas tourists have hit a legal snag.

Food and drink professionals want to set up cannabis businesses in D.C.

Raymond Sackler, an entrepreneur who introduced OxyContin, died at 97. In later live he became a celebrated philanthropist.

Anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet says legalization is a drain on the economy and needs to be stopped. Drug testing is a significant expense for companies, who struggle to find factory workers who can pass.

Sabet confirmed a recent conversation with AG Sessions to WeedWeek but declined to comment on what they discussed.

Legalization in Nevada benefits Uber and Lyft drivers.

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Health and Science

The powerful House Appropriations Committee suggested cannabis’ schedule I status impedes medical research. Despite promises, the DEA has yet to award a grow license for research purposes.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) sponsored a bill that would better enable MED research.

Florida doctors are testing cannabinoids as a treatment for concussion induced headaches, anxiety and pain.

Doctors groups are debating whether there should be drug testing for doctors following an L.A. Times report on drug use by USC medical school dean Dr. Carmen A Puliafito.

The U.K.’s MS Society says patients should have MED access as a last resort.

I recently came across an investigation by the OC Register looking into how southern California rehab centers exploit addiction.

For the first time, Denver forced a flower recall on account of mold and mite contamination.

Columbia Journalism review says politicians and the media now depict white people who are addicted to opioids more gently than previous depictions of drug crises affecting primarily minorities.

Washington apologized for anti-marijuana billboards aimed at Hispanics. 

Criminal Justice

In Time, Tessa Berenson looks at how Sessions could crack down on state legal weed, and why he might not. Some still fear a crackdown.

President Trump told an audience of police, “Don’t be too nice,” to “thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon.” The audience laughed and cheered.

Trump is also repeatedly overstating the link between undocumented immigrants and a criminal gang called MS-13.

Trump son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner reportedly supports shorter drug sentences than AG Sessions.

The New York Times discusses how more aggressive drug policing hurts women, who tend to be relegated to lower levels of the illegal trade. And, yes, the article clarifies, it is possible to obtain a warrant to search someone’s vagina.

A Washington Post opinion piece suggests police departments have become addicted to asset forfeiture revenues.

Violent crime has declined in Washington since REC legalization.

A three judge panel ruled in favor of a Kansas couple who want to sue their local sheriff’s office after a dramatic raid on their home.

The Texas Observer talks to Harris County (Houston) district attorney Kim Ogg (D), who decriminalized pot and opposes overly harsh drug sentences.

The Coast Guard said pot is illegal in boats in U.S. waters.

A Nevada D.A. rejected plea bargains for REC sales to minors. Enforcement of pot laws varies across Florida.

Marijuana arrests still account for half of drug arrests in Canada.

A U.K. judge sentenced 14 members of a major “skunk” ring to a total of 90 years.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte defended his drug war. Indonesian President Joko Widodo said drug traffickers should be shot.

Smugglers are still ingenius in their methods, the N.Y. Times reports.

*

Product reviews:

*

Culture

The L.A. Times visits longtime Mendocino County entrepreneur and grower Tim Blake, founder of the Emerald Cup festival. Blake misses the “more paranoid, more profitable” way of life that’s disappearing.

Legalization supporter and Bloomberg View columnist Virginia Postrel wishes pot smokers would “stop stinking up the sidewalks.

Noël Duan takes a long look at fashion’s infatuation with cannabis. Rihanna’s in there too.

A Tucson group is helping homeless veterans get MED cards.

The country’s first public hemp building opened in Sun Valley, Id.

The new space adventure Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” could be a stoner classic.

I think this Good Mythical Morning video is rather charming.

Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

I’ve also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.

Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com for details.

Is WeedWeek worth $2 a month to you? Contribute on Patreon.
Bye,
Alex

Advertising policy: Advertisers and contributors through Patreon have no influence on WeedWeek’s editorial content or on the content of articles that I write for other publications. In an effort to replicate the separation of business and editorial operations practiced at reputable news organizations, a WeedWeek salesperson will be responsible for all sales-related contact with advertisers and will work, as much as possible, without input from me. Any future advertising queries sent to me will be referred to a salesperson. In the newsletter, all ads and other forms of paid content will be clearly marked. I will not approach potential advertisers to solicit business, and reserve the right to reject ads if they present a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest or for any other reason.

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All rights reserved.

Trump’s New Communications Director Thinks Legal Weed Is Creating Cities Full of “Pot Zombies”

Anthony Scaramucci took the White House podium for the first time yesterday, and the internet spent the rest of the day digging up all the dirt they could find, including some reefer madness.

by Zach Harris

Sean Spicer is unemployed. The bumbling, stumbling White House Press Secretary officially resigned yesterday and was almost immediately replaced by self-described “American entrepreneur” and Trump golf buddy Anthony Scaramucci. But while “the Mooch” took the storied podium yesterday to tell the American public that Trump would be doing “a lot of winning,” everyone else was busy looking through Scaramucci’s old tweets to find out what really makes him tick.

And while Trump has been famously quick to disparage anyone who so much as looks at him funny, Scaramucci’s public opinions show that the New Yorker has tweeted in support of increased gun control, gay rights and Hillary Clinton’s competence. But while he may be a little more liberal-leaning than his predecessor, when it comes to weed, “the Mooch” is directly in line with Spicer, Sessions and the rest of the right wing’s fear mongering pot pariahs.

What they leave out is the the overuse of these drugs is creating a zombie apocalypse in their cities https://t.co/UowggluLvM

— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) October 25, 2015

In a tweet from 2015, Scaramucci quoted a story from Bloomberg News predicting Washington State’s expected cannabis sales revenue and put his own bit of reefer madness on the report of  legal weed success.

The post, in which Scaramucci claims that the “overuse” of legal weed is “creating a zombie apocalypse,” was unearthed by cannabis activist Amanda Reiman, has yet to come to fruition, with no such reports of brain eating or mindless, arm-extended wandering.

Someone should tell Anthony that Washington D.C. also has legal weed and make sure he’s been taking cover from the mindless, stoned masses since moving to the nation’s capitol.

It is not exactly clear what made Scaramucci a viable candidate for the highly visible White House position, other than his relationship with Trump, of course, but we’re gonna guess that “the Mooch” won’t be the last talking head to take the podium and speak for Donald.

By JOE REEDY, Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida legislators are back on a path to passing a bill for enacting the state’s constitutional amendment expanding the use of medical marijuana.

Gov. Rick Scott added medical marijuana to the agenda for the special legislative session that began Wednesday after lawmakers reached a compromise on key elements. The House’s Health & Human Services Committee passed it on Wednesday night. The Senate’s Health Policy Committee will meet Thursday morning, with both chambers likely to review it later in the day.

“Both sides made significant concessions and were able to come together,” said Rep. Ray Rodrigues, who sponsored the House’s bill. “Neither one of us got everything we wanted, but we both got something we could live with.”

The amendment, approved by 71 percent of voters in November, expands legal use beyond the limited prescriptions for low-strength marijuana allowed under a 2014 law. It also expands the eligible ailments beyond the current list of cancer, epilepsy and chronic muscle spasms to include HIV and AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and similar conditions.

When the bill implementing the amendment fell apart late in the session, the Senate wanted to limit each treatment center to 15 locations with no sunset provisions and make medical marijuana subject to sales tax. The House wanted no caps and no sales tax.

Under the agreement, there will be a limit of 25 retail dispensaries per medical marijuana treatment center, which can increase by five for every 100,000 patients added to the registry. The cap would expire on April 1, 2020. The legislation also adds 10 more medical marijuana treatment centers, meaning there would be 17 statewide by October. Four additional centers would be added for every 100,000 patients.

According to the Department of Health, the state registry now has 16,614 patients. A recent state revenue impact study projects that by 2022 there will be 472,000 medical cannabis patients and $542 million in sales.

Sen. Rob Bradley, the Senate’s main sponsor of the bill, said marijuana would not be taxed because it is considered to be medicine.

Patients and caregivers say the proposed rules remain too restrictive. The bill allows patients to receive an order for three 70-day supplies during a doctor’s visit that they could then take to a medical marijuana treatment center, but it bans smoking. The smoking ban is likely to be challenged in the courts. Training for doctors would drop from eight hours to two but they would still have to stringently document patients’ conditions before prescribing marijuana.

“There’s that saying about having something done is better than perfect. People are counting on something getting done,” said John Morgan, who played a key role in getting the amendment on the ballot and passed.

Morgan has said he will sue the state for not allowing smoking, but Rodrigues said there aren’t any scientific studies to show that smoking is effective.

“If he wants to sue us, that it is his prerogative. I am confident it can be defended in front of a judge,” Rodrigues said.

For the past month, medical marijuana supporters have said it would be easier for the Legislature to establish the framework of rules instead of the Department of Health, which went through several rounds of litigation when trying to determine who would be licensed to produce and distribute pot.

The amendment requires new laws to be in place by July 3 and enacted by October. Rodrigues said he is optimistic the bill will pass, despite an ongoing feud over the state budget.

“If they were going to have an impact, I believe we would not have to an agreement in the first place,” Rodrigues said.

___

Follow Joe Reedy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/joereedy . Read more of his work at https://apnews.com/search/joe%20reedy .

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Jeff Sessions on the Brink

Posted by | July 23, 2017 | Cannabis News

Cannabisjobs.us

Jeff Sessions on the Brink

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Here’s the news:
Politics

Representatives from the Justice Department, Vice President Mike Pence’s office and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy traveled to Colorado for closed-door meetings on marijuana policy.

Members of the delegation met with with Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers (R) and the city’s chief of police. They also met with Gov. John Hickenlooper’s (D) staff, state regulators and the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“Probably most of the discussion centered around the huge black market that exists for marijuana in Colorado,” legalization opponent Suthers said.

Months ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions requested recommendations by July 27 (Thursday) on marijuana enforcement from his Justice Department task force. Sessions adamantly opposes legalization, but it’s not clear how he plans to put his beliefs into practice.

Justice official Michael Murray who’s leading the marijuana assessment was with the delegation as was a State Department official with expertise in international treaty negotiations.

A legal aid to Hickenlooper said the only question he remembers Murray asking involved 2014 guidance, from the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit.

“Immediate or future federal enforcement activities [were] not broached,” The Cannabist reports.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post learned Sessions discussed campaign related matters with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 campaign, appearing to contradict Sessions’ sworn testimony.

Trump ally Dana Rohrabacher, probably cannabis’s best Republican friend in Congress, is also “the most vociferous defender of Russian interests in Congress.” Rohrabacher, who I believe is the only member of Congress to say he has used MED, also asked a Nasa scientist about the possibility of ancient civilizations on Mars.

Trump said his Mexican border wall should be transparent to prevent people from being hit by flying sacks of drugs. The Daily Show did a segment.

Massachusetts lawmakers sent a REC implementation bill to Gov. Charlie Baker (R), who’s expected to sign. State treasurer Deborah Goldberg (D) has “no idea” if dispensaries will open as scheduled in July 2018. MJ Biz Daily has an FAQ.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage said he would veto any bill taxing REC but not MED.

New Hampshire decriminalized. The Concord Monitor has a good piece on how police are preparing. All six New England states have now decriminalized.

California may issue grow licenses early to avoid product shortages. San Francisco is setting up an Office of Cannabis.

Four Congressmen, two from each party, discussed cannabis reform on Facebook live.

Rep. Keith Ellison, (D- Minn.) wants Democrats to campaign on cannabis legalization.

Republican candidates for Colorado governor discussed marijuana policy.

D.C.’s non-voting Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton wants the capital to have a cannabis industry.

Some other Congresspeople made pot jokes.

Some of Canada’s provincial premiers — the equivalent of governors — want to see REC implementation delayed. REC is on sale in Uruguay pharmacies.

Lynwood became the first city in L.A. County to start negotiating with licensed cannabis businesses.

Oregon has a new director of legal cannabis enforcement.

In-store use could happen in Alaska.

It was a false report that said Malia Obama was fired from her internship at the U.S. Embassy in Spain for smoking pot.

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Staying updated on cannabis news is obviously important to you. For daily updates, subscribe to Marijuana Moment, a newsletter from longtime legalization activist and journalist Tom Angell.

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Business

A California bill would allow cannabis businesses to take state income tax deductions not permitted on federal taxes.

Bloomberg looks into the EPA’s refusal to license pesticides for cannabis.

New cannabis advertising restrictions take effect tomorrow in Washington.

The National Cannabis Industry Association sponsored an ice cream break at a American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference. The group writes conservative legislation to be adopted by state governments.

Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that a woman fired for MED use can sue her former employer, reversing an earlier decision.

Since REC legalization, Colorado has collected more than $500M in pot taxes.

A tobacco shop chain is the leading contributor to Michigan’s 2018 REC push.

I wrote about product distribution headaches in California for L.A. Weekly. The Onion is not concerned about pot shortages.

The CEO of Canadian producer Maricann says companies should focus on Western Europe.

A CNBC opinion piece explains what Jeff Sessions gets wrong about legalization.

The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat asks if wine and weed are friend or foe. Emerald Report finds both kinds of growers collaborating on a biodynamic pot farm.

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Health and Science

The Senate may still  vote on a replacement for Obamacare, that would cause millions to lose their health insurance. The 10 key votes come from Alaska, West Virginia, Maine, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Arkansas. All of those states have legalized MED or REC. Some have thriving industries.

To learn what you can do, go to Indivisible’s TrumpCare Ten page.

*

In D.C., veterans groups are becoming increasingly vocal in their calls for access to MED, the L.A. Times reports. The opioid epidemic is boosting their case.

A California couple is speaking out about the dangers of using butane to make concentrates.

From the Cannifornian:

[Alex] Gonzales, 25, and his girlfriend Selina Cervantes, 21, said Tuesday that they are trying to put their lives back together after the accident. Gonzales suffered major burns to much of his body, and had skin grafts over much of his right side. Cervantes was even more badly injured: She is completely covered in burns, her lips and many of her fingers were burned off and she now must use a wheelchair.

A study found frequent use of butane-extracted concentrates is associated with higher levels of dependence, academic and occupational problems and poor self-care.

In California, the future of cannabis depends on rain, Hayley Fox reports.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse wants to build an app to measure marijuana impairment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also interested in a breathalyzer and a reliable standard for measuring impairment.

Forty five percent of Americans have tried cannabis and 12% use regularly, according to a Gallup poll.

A study found cannabis has a “bidirectional effect” on sexual function. (A little can help, too much can hurt.)

A Forbes contributor learns about the cannabis course offerings available at the University of Vermont.

Chats on Reddit offer an upclose look at the opioid epidemic. A Florida 10 year old died with heroin and fentanyl in his system.

A majority of Americans support medical research into psychedelics, according to a YouGov poll.


Criminal Justice

AG Jeff Sessions reinstated the use of civil asset forfeiture a law enforcement practice enabling authorities to seize cars and other property when there’s probable cause of a crime. Often used in drug cases, the Obama administration curtailed the practice due to abuse. Sessions is reinstating the federal practice even in states where it’s banned. Trump also supports the practice.

Conservative National Review called the program a “national disgrace.” Criticism came from all sides.

Defending it, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein suggested it would help end the opioid crisis.

The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham offers a history of DARE, the anti-drug program endorsed by Sessions.

Ingraham writes:

Sessions may believe that the program saved lives, but decades of evidence-based research, including some conducted by the Justice Department he now heads, has shown the program to be ineffective — and it might even make the drug problem worse.

Ngozi Ndulue, the NAACP’s senior director of criminal justice, published a tough anti-Sessions op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle.

A New York Times editorial called for fair enforcement of marijuana laws across races.

American and European authorities shut down AlphaBay and Hansa Market, two of the largest dark net markets, online drug bazaar successors to Silk Road. AlphaBay had 40,000 vendors, and 200,000 users, the Justice Department said.

Investigators are looking into how $1M worth of weed was found in several brand-new, Mexican-made Ford Fusions at an Ohio car dealership in Ohio. “American Voices” weigh in at The Onion.

A Colorado ruled police searches require more evidence than a dog trained to smell pot.

An Oregon farmed told detailed an April five-hour ordeal when he was robbed, beaten and tortured by seven suspects in ninja turtle masks. A man who discussed investing in the farm has pleaded guilty, but is not believed to have been one of the assailants.

At least four were shot, one fatally, during a dispensary robbery in south L.A.

Denver police did a sting operation on the International Church of Cannabis.

*

Product reviews:

*

Culture

Drug Policy Alliance named Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno as its new executive director. She previously spent 13 years at Human Rights Watch. The group also released a glossary on how to talk about drugs.

NORML wants AAA to stop opposing legalization.

On a visit to Colorado, Berkshire Eagle investigations editor Larry Parnass learns that with REC Massachusetts can expect lots of visitors.

D.C. activists are planning a pot burning ceremony in a D.C. basilica during next month’s total eclipse.

Leafly explains what ‘Larf’ cannabis is.

It’s not too late for High Times’ guide on where to sneak a puff at major league ballparks.

Emerald Report found a Lord of the Rings-esque, cannabis-friendly, “magical tree house“ in Washington. It can be booked through AirBnB.

Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

I’ve also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.

Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com for details.

Is WeedWeek worth $2 a month to you? Contribute on Patreon.
Bye,
Alex

Advertising policy: Advertisers and contributors through Patreon have no influence on WeedWeek’s editorial content or on the content of articles that I write for other publications. In an effort to replicate the separation of business and editorial operations practiced at reputable news organizations, a WeedWeek salesperson will be responsible for all sales-related contact with advertisers and will work, as much as possible, without input from me. Any future advertising queries sent to me will be referred to a salesperson. In the newsletter, all ads and other forms of paid content will be clearly marked. I will not approach potential advertisers to solicit business, and reserve the right to reject ads if they present a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest or for any other reason.

alexhalperin.com

All rights reserved.

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WeedWeek, July 15, 2017: Growing Pains in Nevada

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This is WeedWeek’s second anniverary edition, arriving in 9,975 inboxes. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement. ( Now buy some ads.)
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Starting at $50 a month you can promote yourself and your organization’s brand in the newsletter every week.
 
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Here’s the news:
Politics

Nevada regulators approved emergency measures to keep the REC flowing. Dispensaries struggled to keep product on shelves amid lines out the door and a state requirement that only alcohol distributors can distribute cannabis. Despite news reports, Nevada did not declare a state of emergency.  For more see here.

On a visit to Las Vegas, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn’t mention marijuana. Speaking to the anti-drug group DARE, Sessions defended his efforts to reinstate tough drug sentences:

Now, some people today say that the solution to the problem of drug abuse is to be more accepting of the problem of drug abuse. They say marijuana use can prevent addiction. They say the answer is only treatment. They say don’t talk about enforcement. To me, that just doesn’t make any sense. In fact, I would argue that one reason that we are in such a crisis right now is that we have subscribed to this mistaken idea that drug abuse is no big deal.

He devoted most of the speech to opioids. Vox explains why Jeff Sessions loves DARE.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said the state is  close to a compromise REC law. If a deal can’t be reached, he said “at some point we’re going to have to go forward with the law as it was written.”

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) who opposed Massachusetts’ REC vote, says he expects the city to allow cannabis businesses. He’s been critical of cities that voted for REC but have banned the industry. Walsh, a problem drinker in the past, still has concerns.

Proposed legislation would legalize MED and REC in Wisconsin.

There’s an effort to legalize REC in New York through a state constitutional convention. The campaign is known as Restrict and Regulate New York (RRNY).

Hawaii will officially call it cannabis, rather than marijuana.
A new study in the journal Addiction examines what the “patchwork” of state cannabis rules means for regulation. For more, see this video.

Activists say Florida’s ban on smokable MED could lead the state to pass REC.U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue (R), a former governor of Georgia, opposes REC calling it a “

slippery slope.”  He supports efforts to grow hemp with “very tight restrictions.”

Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) is calling for a crackdown on pot growing on federal land.
Congressman Andy Harris (R-Maryland), a medical doctor, supports MED research. He’s best known for blocking cannabis regulation in D.C., which legalized REC in 2014.

Anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet opposes the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which would continue blocking the Justice Department from enforcement actions against state legal MED.
The Anchorage Assembly is pushing to allow consumption in dispensaries. Here are the cannabis laws

Oregon passed this year.

So far, no one has applied for an Arkansas MED license.
The U.K. has no intention of legalizing. However, MED may be legalized in the Channel Islands.

Business

Weedmaps was criticized for insensitivity, for a South Boston billboard saying “States that legalized marijuana had 25% fewer opioid-related deaths.”

Strong results from MED producer Aphria suggest falling MED production costs in Canada.

Monthly sales exceeding $100M is the “new normal” in Colorado. An error in state law is excluding Denver’s transit system and several arts and cultural organizations from their share of pot taxes.

Maine is trying to figure out how high it can raise pot taxes without sending buyers to the illegal market.

A Pennsylvania journalist asks if REC would fix the state’s budget woes.

In fully legal Uruguay, “The government is your pot dealer.

NPR reports on the wine and cannabis industries adjusting to each other in Northern California.

A house panel discussed, but did not vote on, a banking access amendment for cannabis businesses.

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Health and Science

The Senate may still  vote on a replacement for Obamacare, that would cause millions to lose their health insurance. The 10 key votes come from Alaska, West Virginia, Maine, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Arkansas. All of those states have legalized MED or REC. Some have thriving industries.

To learn what you can do, go to Indivisible’s TrumpCare Ten page.

A Montana man charged with vehicular homicide for killing a motorcyclist is challenging the state’s cannabis DUI law. Montana considers the legal limit to be 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter. The man charges that there’s no science to support that level equalling impairment. At the time of the accident his level was 19 ng/ML.

Dr. Lloyd Sederer, chief medical officer of New York state’s mental health office, says Canada is getting legalization right.

A judge ruled that a former sales manager with Insys Therapeutics cannot access MED while awaiting trial. He’s accused of arranging arranging kickbacks for doctors who prescribed Insys’ spray form of the powerful opioid fentanyl.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 24 to 7 to allow VA doctors to prescribe MED where legal. Veterans group American Legion supports a bill to reschedule cannabis as Schedule III, which would make it easier to study and for veterans to access.

Doctors are rethinking whether babies born addicted to opioids should be taken from their mothers.

A transient faces charges in Colorado after he showed up at an ER with more than a pound of pot.


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Criminal Justice

Two men are charged with homicide following the killing and burning of four men who sought to buy pot in wealthy Bucks County, Pa.

The House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill that would empower U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to schedule and set criminal penalties for new drugs. The legislation faces opposition from conservative groups and criminal justice reform groups. The Drug Policy Alliance notes that in late 2015 the same committee approved a bill to reduce sentences for drug crimes.

A new report commissioned by Drug Policy Alliance found New York City marijuana possession arrests continue to be “marked by extremely high racial disparities.

An L.A. study found dispensaries to reduce crime in their vicinities. See the study here.

The Toronto Star called on Canada to decriminalize and make pardons easier to obtain ahead of REC legalization next year.

Contrary to press reports, Oregon did not decriminalize all drugs, but lawmakers did vote to reduce criminal penalties for drugs.

The DEA will award patches to girl and boy scouts who take a drug free pledge and participate in anti-drug activities.

Leafly explains your rights if you’re pulled over with weed in the car.

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Product reviews:

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Culture

Pot won’t be an official part of California county fairs anytime soon.

I came across a 1981 N.Y. Times article about New Zealand-leading a pot crackdown in Antarctica.

There’s a sober rave trend in the U.K.

Willamette Week tries Leira cannabis cigars which bill themselves as “420 for the 1%.” A cigarillo sized joint sells for $110.

Flore, in the Castro District, has San Francisco’s first cannabis cocktail menu. The San Francisco Chronicle names the country’s top 10 cannabis chefs.

In Malana, an Indian village known for its hash, a Hindu deity has forbidden boarding houses from renting to backpackers.

Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

I’ve also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.

Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com for details.

Is WeedWeek worth $2 a month to you? Contribute on Patreon.
Bye,
Alex

Advertising policy: Advertisers and contributors through Patreon have no influence on WeedWeek’s editorial content or on the content of articles that I write for other publications. In an effort to replicate the separation of business and editorial operations practiced at reputable news organizations, a WeedWeek salesperson will be responsible for all sales-related contact with advertisers and will work, as much as possible, without input from me. Any future advertising queries sent to me will be referred to a salesperson. In the newsletter, all ads and other forms of paid content will be clearly marked. I will not approach potential advertisers to solicit business, and reserve the right to reject ads if they present a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest or for any other reason.

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Here’s the news:
Politics
Denver has released its first in the nation rules for existing businesses to apply for social use permits. The requirements dropped requirements for a ventilation system and for customers entering a social use area to sign a waiver. Meanwhile, Amsterdam’s coffeehouses are on the decline.
East Bay Express has a useful piece on Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) which consolidates California’s MED and REC regulations. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed it into law this week.
The S.F. Chronicle has a package on the state of the industry in the Bay Area.
In L.A. Weekly I reported that the city’s industry is worried about the regulations proposed by City Council. Their concerns include that it would extend the city’s limited immunity policy rather than offer full licenses.
Mark Ridley-Thomas, chairman of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, is “still skeptical,” about legal weed in L.A.
California growers are worried about pesticide rules.
D.C. lawmakers are pushing to give minorities priority for cannabis business licenses. Angelenos are rallying for a diverse industry as well.
In the context of ending health care discrimination, the United Nations and World Health Organization called for the