Cannabis News

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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.  

Thank You to WeedWeek’s First Sustaining Member:

Spencer Vodnoy

CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA

Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association

www.cb1labs.com

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.

alexhalperin.com

All rights reserved.

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
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.
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 $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

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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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

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Jeff Sessions on the Brink

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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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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.

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All rights reserved.

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WeedWeek, July 15, 2017: Growing Pains in Nevada

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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.

alexhalperin.com

All rights reserved.

 

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.
 
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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 decriminalization of drugs, sex work and consensual sexual activity.
The Cannabist looks into the hemp industry’s high-stakes lawsuit against the DEA.
Philly legalization activist and journalist Chris Goldstein says Pennsylvania’s “no-smoke” law means MED will be unaffordable. John Morgan, a wealthy Florida personal injury lawyer and cannabis activist, is suing the state to allow smokable MED.
The N.Y. Times has an interesting piece on California’s sparsely populated, heavily Republican northeast,which feels underrepresented in Sacramento. The story misses an opportunity to discuss prevalent views on cannabis.
There’s a fight in South Australia over whether MED patients should be allowed to drive.

Greece legalized MED.

I recommend “Trump’s Voter Suppression Efforts Have Begun,” an important N.Y. Times Op-Ed by Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voter Suppression Project.

Business

The L.A. Times has a fascinating and informative piece about the state of cannabis banking in California. It includes an interview with an anonymous credit union executive detailing the terms offered to cannabis companies and recounts a mutilation worthy of Quentin Tarantino. Go here for a harrowing L.A. Times account of the referenced 2012 kidnapping and torture case.

Over the Counter Markets notified social media app MassRoots of activity promoting its stock. MassRoots denied any knowledge of the activity. Paying to promote one’s own stock must be reported.

REC sales in Nevada are off to a roaring start. For more see here.

One hundred and eighty five businesses applied for Ohio’s 24 grow licenses. New Cannabis Ventures finds that applicants include several multi-state companies. The site also notes that cannabis oil sales are way up in Canada.

I wrote up notable June deals for Blunt Network.

Some Alaska dispensaries saw their Facebook pages shut down.

Colorado’s solid economy has some employers abandoning drug tests.

Colorado awarded its first transporter licenses.

Case Western Reserve Law Professor Craig Nard looks into the upcoming fights over pot patents.

Newsweek on cannabis jobs. A New Jersey man with Marfan syndrome is suing the glass manufacturerwhich fired him for MED use.

Canna Law Blog examines the issues surrounding cannabusiness reverse mergers.

L.A. Weekly profiles Jessica Assaf, CEO of focus group and networking company Cannabis Feminist. The paper also previews the upcoming female empowerment summit in L.A.

A Czech entrepreneur who lost three fingers in a printing press accident has a popular line of CBD topicals in the U.K.

Wal-Mart is selling a $299 machine for making cannabis concentrates at home. The decision was apparently motivated by Amazon selling the same thing.

The U.N. says Morocco is the world’s largest hash exporter.

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Health and Science

Scientists have mapped CB1, the human receptor that binds with cannabis, Wired reports:

“For a long time, scientists thought CB1 receptors worked like lock and key with THC and its                       chemical cousins—one size fits one. However, new research shows that CB1 receptors are                       actually quite malleable, stretching to fit a wider range of molecules. That could be useful                           knowledge as researchers try to synthesize chemicals that mimic the desirable effects of cannabis           (such as pain relief) without the side effects (such as anxiety, weight gain, addiction, or federal                   prosecution).”

Scientists called out the web site Salon.com for publishing a misleading article on cannabis. The article, which originally appeared at the cannabis site The Fresh Toast, claimed a study by Oregon Health and Science University researchers found cannabis users to have lower body mass index (BMI) than non-users.

The researchers were actually studying the relationship between cannabis use and bone mineral density and said the BMI data was taken out of context in the headline “Science: Regular consumption of marijuana keeps you thin fit and active.” The researchers found no correlation between cannabis use and bone mineral density. (Disclosure: I used to work for Salon.)

Almost a year after the DEA said it would make MED research easier, a facility at the University of Mississippi remains the only federally permitted grow.

Some psychiatrists consider pot a psychoactive.

The number of U.S. opioid prescriptions declined slightly between 2012 and 2015, a “glimmer of hope” in efforts against the crisis.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is under pressure from veterans groups to add PTSD as a qualifying condition for MED.

Canadian MED producer Canopy Growth is funding a MED research program at the Canadian AIDS society.

An anti-drug and gang group in Carlsbad, New Mexico objects to dispensaries using the word “pharmaceutical” in their name.


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Criminal Justice

Politico finds Palm Beach, Florida, near President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate, to be a center of predatory “sober homes.” These unregulated businesses present themselves as recovery centers to people who use opioids from around the country. In fact, they allow rampant heroin use and “body broker” the patients to nearby outpatient centers.

Jawara McIntosh, a musician, cannabis activist, and son of Reggae icon Peter Tosh, is in a coma after being beaten in jail by a fellow inmate. McIntosh is serving a one year sentence in New Jersey for marijuana possession. Rolling Stone has the inside story.

Violence among Mexican drug gangs is escalating in the power vacuum left by kingpin El Chapo, who is in U.S. custody awaiting trial.

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Culture

The streets of Boston smell like marijuana. Same in Washington D.C., where the smell is, “Everywhere, all the time.” In the D.C. story, academic librarian Stephen Sears uses a great phrase for the lingering odors in the street: “Ghost weed.”

Northern Nevada Business Weekly dives into the “cannabis” vs. “marijuana” debate.

Restaurants are thrilled at the end of Utah’s “Zion Curtain” law. Some bars will now be able to tear down the frosted glass blocking drinkers’ view of the bartender and bottles on the wall. The law was designed to avoid making alcohol glamorous to kids.

I told the stories behind six L.A. strains.

Twelve racing greyhounds in Florida have tested positive for cocaine in what’s being called the “biggest greyhound drug case in American history.”

A couple got married at a Nevada grow house.

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.

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 just $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!
 
Here’s the news:
Politics

In Nevada fashion, REC went on sale at 12:01 a.m. last night. Restocking may be a concern for dispensaries due to an ongoing legal battle: Liquor dealers have exclusive distribution rights, a judge ruled, but none of the five companies that applied for a distribution license is ready.

 

The Vegas market is expected to be lucrative and acclimate tourists to legal weed. Cannabis is at as far a remove from the gaming industry as is possible in Vegas

 

The AP answers your FAQ. The knick-knack makers were ready.

Massachusetts is still struggling to develop REC rules.

 

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed the state’s $125 billion budget which includes the cannabis regulations known as the trailer bill.

 

New regulations in Washington appear designed to protect the state’s industry from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

 

Oregon is among the more restrictive states on cannabis data sharing. Ohio wouldn’t reveal the list of MED license applicants to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

 

Rhode Island lawmakers have given up on REC for now and instead want a 19-member commission to study the issue. Maine passed an emergency law to keep growers more than 500-feet from schools.

 

The conservative National Review says legalization will lead to more marijuana consumption.

 

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and gubernatorial candidate held a $500 a plate fundraiser for the cannabis industry.

 

Anti-legalization New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) dismissed state REC hearings as a “dog and pony show.”

 

There was a complicated spat over whether pro-legalization Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) were dealt a defeat with the omission of language protecting state legal MED from the current version of a federal spending bill. Whether the language will ultimately be included is not yet clear.

 

Read pro-legalization activist Tom Angell’s take here, and anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet’s take here. Angell calls the anti-legalization side “increasingly desperate.” Sabet says the Congressmen are “funded by illegal marijuana operations selling pot candies to kids.” Sabet adds that REC setbacks in Vermont and Rhode Island suggest the industry is losing momentum.

 

Rep. Blumenauer tweeted, “SAM’s [Sabet’s group] complete misrepresentation of the legislative process is entirely consistent with their repeated falsehoods about marijuana.”

 

Unprompted, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry defended states’ rights on cannabis.

 

A bill in California would ban cannabis businesses from advertising on branded swag.

 

The LDS (Mormon) Church opposes Utah’s 2018 MED initiative.

 

Catalonia, Spain, the region which includes Barcelona, legalized REC.

Business

Maryland regulators moved to revoke a license awarded to an affiliate of Minnesota MED producer Vireo because two former Vireo employees face charges for allegedly driving 12 pounds of cannabis oil, worth about $500,000, in an armored vehicle from Minnesota to New York to meet a production deadline. Prosecutors said there were also fraudulent records in Minnesota indicating the oil had been destroyed.

 

A Vireo affiliate has been awarded a license in Pennsylvania. The company said it would appeal in Maryland.

 

A rural Oregon couple filed a racketeering (RICO) lawsuit against 43 cannabis-involved defendants. Canna Law Blog explains why RICO suits, originally intended to fight organized crime, pose an existential threat to the industry. “By its very design, RICO is intended to be ruinous to organizations caught in its crosshairs.”

 

A federal appeals court decision gives new hope to Fourth Corner Credit Union, a Denver group seeking to provide banking to cannabis companies. The 10th circuit court’s decision would allow Fourth Corner to reapply for the “master account” it needs to operate, from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

 

Patient data was stolen in cyberattack on delivery app Eaze. TechCrunch reports that the perpetrator is ransoming the data for $70M.

 

Congress may be warming to a cannabis banking law.

 

The newly announced National Association of Cannabis Businesses wants the industry to self-regulateon issues like advertising, packaging, labeling and accounting practices.

 

With REC legalization 12 months away, Canada is facing a weed shortage. In the side video, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau says they country hasn’t focussed on making money from legalization.

 

Buzzfeed examines prospects for pot cafes in Denver and nationwide and advises: “Adjust your expectations.” Denver released final rules for social use and plans to start accepting applications this summer.

 

A survey conducted by Eaze (the app), found that more women, and moms, are using cannabis.  See the study on modern cannabis consumers here.

 

I wrote about cannabis big-data firm Headset for L.A. Weekly.

 

Financial analyst Alan Brochstein looks at the best online brokers for trading cannabis stocks.

 

About 200,000 Americans work full or part time in cannabis, more than dental hygienists, slightly less than telemarketers.

 

The Wall Street Journals finds that working in “edgy” industries like cannabis and sex toys can hurt executives who later want jobs at mainstream companies. Cannabis experience “is not something that would be in our (management) assortment anytime soon,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said.

 

In another setback for MED in Hawaii, an insurer said it would stop providing legally required worker’s comp. insurance to seven of the state’s eight dispensaries. The insurer said the decision reflected potential exposure to criminal liability, not a value judgement about MED.

OSHA’s California division decided existing workplace protections adequately cover cannabis.

 

A few pharmaceutical companies are developing cannabis-based painkillers that they hope could replace opioids.

 

Canadian MED producer Tilray is packaging product to look like generic pharmaceuticals.

 

The Montana Department of Agriculture refuted a federal decision to deny water to a Montana hemp farmer. The department said the farmer is in full compliance with state and federal law.

 

Hemp crops are doing well in North Dakota, despite a drought.

 

Weedon, a town in Quebec, wants to join the green rush.

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Health and Science

EPA chief Scott Pruitt (R) rejected California’s request to approve four pesticides for use on cannabis. All four pesticides are already approved for use on other crops.

 

Efforts to sway Congress on national CBD legalization are underway, The Cannabist finds. The story is part of a special report called “CBD, TBD.”

 

In preparation for legalization, Canada released “Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines.” Canadian cannabis activist Dana Larsen says the recommendations are “biased against cannabis,” compared to the government’s recommendations for alcohol.  WeedWeek isn’t aware of any legal state that has issued an equivalent document.

 

A study found that cannabinoids may prevent migraine, but have more limited benefits for cluster headache.

 

A survey by HelloMD, in collaboration with UC Berkeley, of almost 3,000 people in HelloMD’s patient database suggests a strong willingness to replace opioids with cannabis. (HelloMD has advertised in WeedWeek.) For the results see here.

 

FiveThirtyEight says data shortcomings may be exacerbating the opioids crisis.

 

A new study says the terms “hard drugs” and “soft drugs” are unhelpful.

 


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Criminal Justice

A Denver grand jury has indicted 74 following an investigation into a Colorado organization accused of shipping cannabis out of state, while bilking its investors. The organization, which had a base at a suburban Denver hydroponics store, is accused of shipping 100 pounds monthly, worth an estimated $200,000.  Ripped off investors include two former NFL players, neither of whom has been charged with a crime. The indictments represent the largest pot prosecution in Colorado since REC legalization. Most of the suspects remain at large. For more see here.

 

The law enforcement action was called Operation Toker Poker. A cannabis accessory brand called Toker Poker, is annoyed and considering legal action.

 

Workers contracted by the TSA at San Francisco and Oakland airport pleaded guilty to taking bribes in exchange for overlooking bundles of cocaine and marijuana sent through the security checkpoint.

 

Mark Holden, a leader of the Koch Brothers’ conservative political network criticized AG Jeff Sessions for trying to bring back the “harsh” sentences of the war on drugs. “You are never going to win the war on drugs. Drugs won.” The libertarian Koch Brothers have long favored criminal justice reform.

 

Sally Yates, who Trump fired as acting U.S. Attorney General in January, also rejects the Sessions approach.

 

Dan Rush, a former chair of Berkeley’s Medical Cannabis Commission pleaded guilty to three feloniesincluding money laundering after using the position to enrich himself. An attorney who Rush worked with pleaded guilty in February.

 

Armed robbers took more than $30,000 from the CBCB, a Berkeley dispensary. The shop was closed and no injuries were reported.

 

President Trump nominated Dr. Jerome Adams, an anesthesiologist and needle-exchange advocate for U.S. Surgeon General. Adams is currently Indiana’s health commissioner where he served under Vice-President Mike Pence (R) when Pence was governor.

 

Middletown, Ohio is may require overdose victims to perform community service to pay for the overdose drug Narcan. If after two opioid overdoses, an individual hasn’t performed the service, a city councilman proposes not sending out EMTs the third time. Middletown saw 532 overdoses last year and spent $11,000 on Narcan. There have been 577 overdoses so far this year and the town has spent more than $30,000 on Narcan.

 

In the Philippines, police send corpses to hospitals to cover up for extrajudicial drug killings, according to family members of the deceased and other witnesses.

 

Denver police have a system for composting confiscated weed.

 

The feds have a pop-up court at this week’s Rainbow Family Gathering a festival on federal land in Oregon. The federal Bureau of Land Management promises to be out in force drug testing drivers on their way to and from Burning Man, which takes place on federal land in Nevada.

 

The new podcast called Ear Hustle is about life in California’s San Quentin prison.

Product reviews:

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Culture

Rich, liberal Marin County, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, has a decades long history of hostility to commercial cannabis.

 

A reverend and a rabbi editorialized in favor of REC in Connecticut.

 

Cannabis cryptocurrency company PotCoin got lots of press for sponsoring Dennis Rodman’s recent trip to North Korea. (Editorial: Weird times.)

 

Not all chefs want to suppress the cannabis taste in edibles.

 

Singer John Mayer discussed replacing booze with weed. “Drinking is a fucking con,” he said.

 

Seattle’s 26-year old Hempfest is in financial trouble. A smaller version is planned for August.

 

NBC has pics from the Emerald Exchange, a cannabis farmers’ market in Malibu.

 

An Instagram of Kylie Jenner, topless, smoking a joint, accrued 3.2M+ likes.

 

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.

Cannabisjobs.us
Senators Push to Lock in State MED Rules
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, a way for your small monthly contributions to support WeedWeek and my reporting on the industry.
 
It works like NPR: The newsletter will remain free, but small contributions will enable readers to participate in our mission to offer credible, well-informed cannabis journalism. 

 
Starting at just $2 a month, we’re offering some fun perks and swag.
 
Starting at $50 a month you can promote yourself and your organization’s brand in the newsletter every week.
 
 
As with advertisers, Patreon contributors will have no influence on WeedWeek’s editorial content or on the pieces I write for other publications. 
Here’s the news:
Politics

Rolling Stone looks into the Senate’s bipartisan push to pass the CARERS Act, which would force the federal government to respect state MED laws. Sponsors include Democrats Cory Booker (N.J.), Al Franken (Minn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Republicans Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (Ak.). For more see here.

 

The 49-member Congressional Black Caucus declined to meet with President Trump, citing U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ efforts to “accelerate the failed war on drugs,” among other factors.

 

The Massachusetts Senate passed a bill to revise the voter-passed REC law. A journalist said cannabis activists should stop complaining and “chill out” over proposed changes, such as higher taxes. The state may also eliminate protections for people of color who want to join the industry.

 

After much back and forth, Vermont House Republicans blocked REC during a special legislative session. Gov. Phil Scott (R) said passing REC “wasn’t a priority for me.” The issue is likely to come up again in next year.

 

Nevada regulators want REC to be available July 1 despite a lawsuit from liquor wholesalers. The state’s powerful gaming industry has thus far declined to participate in the industry, but it wants to learn more.

 

Ohio Congressman Bob Gibbs (R) has repeatedly spoken up for MED but votes against it.

 

The Morning Call explains the MED situation in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia feels overlooked.

 

Dispensaries are confronting more grassroots opposition in San Francisco. Los Angeles is struggling to regulate its large market.

 

Canada is sticking to its goal to make REC available by July 2018.

 

Americans don’t mind if reporters use cannabis, according to a poll.

 

A Tampa strip club impresario and lung cancer patient is suing the state to grow his own MED.

 

Cuba says the movement toward legalization increases drug smuggling and said it would not liberalize its cannabis laws. The U.S. and Cuba are still collaborating to crack down on trafficking despite a chill in relations under President Trump.

 

In Poland, lawmakers voted to legalize MED. In Ireland, MED has run into political headwinds.

 

Seattle mayoral candidates discussed their favorite strains.

Business

MJ Freeway, a software firm for cannabis businesses, suffered its second security breach in six months, when some of its source code was posted online. MJ Freeway called it a “theft” but said its data would not be affected. In January its system suffered a minor crash which it called a criminal attack.

 

Despite these setbacks, MJ Freeway is on a good run. It recently won contracts to track inventory for the governments of Washington and Pennsylvania.

 

A new “self-regulatory” group called the National Association of Cannabis Businesses, wants to create national standards for the industry.

 

Citing fears of a Justice Department crackdown, PNC Bank said it will close pro-legalization group MPP’s 22 year old bank accounts.

 

The Guardian finds that commercial cultivation has a heavy environmental cost.

 

Louisiana State University will earn at least $3.4M over five years from a MED production deal.

 

Colorado’s cannabis producer tax has reached the historic low of 43 cents per gram.

 

Buzzfeed goes inside the race to develop a weed breathalyzer.

 

The Winklevoss twins are being sued after allegedly pledging to invest almost $500,000 in weed delivery app Eaze.

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Health and Science

Editorial: This week the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a sweeping health care bill without public hearings. The best guess available is that it will leave 23 million more Americans uninsured. In exchange it will deliver large tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. Vox found that eight Republicans who plan to vote for it can’t coherently defend it. 

 
The Senate vote comes down to 10 key states: 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.
 
In December I argued in Slate that the cannabis industry’s unique history gives it a moral obligation to oppose the nomination of then Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) to U.S. Attorney General. No one listened. The industry’s largest lobby, the National Cannabis Industry Association, took an accommodationist stance. If there was any significant dissent within the industry, I’m unaware of it. 
 
The cannabis industry’s ties to the health care issue are perhaps not as direct as they were to Sessions, but if this bill passes, it will hurt many of you and the ones you love. It will also hurt your customers, employees, colleagues, patients and friends. 
 
Some cannabis people like to say they’re building a “new kind of industry,” one that cares about the world around it. In part that’s because many involved in cannabis have fought for justice themselves and know from experience that authority can be ignorant and cruel. But for too many, doing the right thing translates into making or eating gluten-free edibles, rather than active struggle to achieve what’s decent and right.    
 

An industry effort to oppose this health care law is another opportunity for cannabis to prove that it’s a new kind of industry. And if it misses enough opportunities, it will soon become a very familiar kind of industry. 

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

To share this editorial on Facebook go here.

 

Two studies differed in their findings on whether legalization worsens road safety. One study found it did not change the number of fatalities, another study said it led to a three percent increase in crashes.

 

An Ohio coroner says he has seen cannabis mixed with the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, but the statement couldn’t be confirmed independently.

 

Science journalist Maia Szalavitz says pot addiction is real.

 

California doctors are seeing more pot-induced vomiting.

 

States remain skeptical about including opioid addiction as a qualifying condition for MED.

 

A Kentucky lawmaker says terminally-ill patients should have MED access.

 

Researcher’s at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania will study MED’s effect on autistic children.

 

On the podcast “Shaping Fire” neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo talks about medical uses for MED and psilocybin (the hallucinogen in mushrooms).

Parents worry that in the Trump era it may be harder to obtain MED to curtail children’s seizures.

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Criminal Justice

In a Washington Post op-ed, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his plan to escalate the war on drugs. Among his points, Sessions argued that locking up more drug offenders will make minority neighborhoods safer.

 

The Post published rebuttals from cannabis activist and journalist Tom Angell, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and others.

 

The Pew Charitable Trusts found no relation between a state’s drug incarceration rates and its drug problems.

 

New video looks at the shooting death of Philando Castile in Minnesota. The officer who fatally shot him after smelling pot was acquitted last week.

 

Queens New York man Carlos Cardona who pleaded guilty to a 1990 drug sale (his only conviction) and years later worked in hazardous conditions at Ground Zero faces deportation under Trump’s policies.

 

A UN report found that the global market in illegal drugs is on the rise, powered largely by cocaine and synthetics. There are about 250M illegal drug users worldwide including 183M cannabis users.

 

In Washington and Colorado, cases highlight the temptation for regulators to illegally assist cannabis businesses.

 

The Seattle Times reports on efforts to keep organized crime out of the legal industry.

 

A Colorado judge ruled that state laws don’t protect a man who caused an explosion while making hash at home.

 

In New Jersey, a group of clergy members want pot decriminalized and a notorious juvenile detention facility closed.

 

The Marshall Project says legalizing pot would reduce the number of searches during traffic stops.

 

ProPublica finds that the DEA is largely unaccountable “when its missions cost lives.

 

Drug-related violence in Mexico has increased as factions vie to replace imprisoned kingpin El Chapo.

 

Arizona’s border with Mexico sees a disproportionate number of smuggling arrests.

 

Pot dealing arrests are back up to pre-legalization levels in D.C., where REC is legal.

 

Under the auspices of President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, Philippine police are extorting families.

 

Jawara McIntosh, son of reggae icon Peter Tosh was beaten and left in a coma in a New Jersey jail where he was serving six months for pot possession.

 

Rapper Jay-Z is taking on the exploitative bail industry. Rapper Taleb Kweli discussed the war on drugs with Vox.

 

A new miniseries looks at drug war hypocrisies.

Product reviews:

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Culture

In a new music video for, “Wacky Tobaccy,” country star Toby Keith smokes with Willie Nelson.

 

Washington’s 1964 Supply Co. features packaging designed by artists after they ingest cannabis.

 

Willamette Week scoured Portland for places where tourists can get high.

 

The new hip-hop underground is powered by SoundCloud and prescription pills.

 

Marc Emery, Canada’s “prince of pot” took some guff online over a comment he posted about trans-people.

 

Pueblo County, Colo., distributed $420,000 in cannabis-funded scholarships.

 

April Pride of lifestyle brand Van der Pop talked to Playboy about weed and sex.

 

Mendocino Co. (Calif.) grower Soil Bae is Internet famous.

 

L.A. Weekly recommends five apps for stoners.

 

We live in complicated times, so watch this gorilla play in the bath.

 

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.
Do you think WeedWeek is worth $2 a month? 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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Rolling a Joint with Seth Rogen – from our friends at Merryjane.com

Rolling With Rogen is a new MERRY JANE series, produced by Seth’s own Point Grey Pictures, which gives viewers a chance to learn how to roll something and smoke something directly from someone who clearly knows what he’s talking about. Aside from his involvement with cannabis, Seth is immensely involved and dedicated to his Alzheimer’s charity, Hilarity for Charity.

In this episode, watch and learn from the pro himself, and see how Rogen rolls his joints. If you have never been able to roll a proper missionary joint, this is your best chance. You definitely won’t be able to get it right for a while, but practice makes perfect so keep this video bookmarked in your browser and one day you’ll be able to say, “THANKS FOR TEACHING ME HOW TO ROLL A JOINT, SETH ROGEN!”

MERRY JANE
https://www.merryjane.com/

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Here’s the news:
Politics

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the cannabis industry’s legal basis, the Cole Memo, is still in effect. “Maybe there will be changes to it in the future but we’re still operating under that policy, which is an effort to balance the conflicting interests with regard to marijuana.”

The clarification came after Tom Angell broke news that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had requested Congress not to renew the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment when it expires in September.

The amendment prohibits the Justice department from spending money to block state-legal MED activity; It has been in effect since December 2014. Sessions wrote that it would be inadvisable to hamper the Justice Department, “particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic.”

Sessions took a beating in the press for conflating cannabis legalization and the opioid epidemic. Scientific American and Wired piled on.

 

In Congress, a bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced the CARERS Act, that would require the federal government to respect state marijuana laws.

 

Colorado officials responding to the Sessions letter said they like things as they are. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf promised to protect MED patients from Sessions. Oregon officials discussed the situation with the state’s U.S. attorney.

 

California attorney general Xavier Becerra (D) said a widescale crackdown is unlikely. Speaking at an industry conference, former Mexican President Vicente Fox said Sessions is “crazy.”

 

When President Trump signed a spending bill in May, he issued a signing statement essentially giving himself permission to ignore the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. Sessions letter was the latest sign that the administration wants to pick a fight with cannabis. During the 2016 campaign Trump was a relatively consistent MED supporter.

 

Sessions also testified to a Senate committee as part of ongoing investigations into the Trump administration.

 

Trump ally and Russia investigation figure Roger Stone says he’s forming a pro-legalization group to sway Trump. Pro-legalization groups like MPP and legalization appear willing to work with Stone.

 

The cannabis industry has some concerns about L.A. City Council’s proposed regulations. In L.A. Weekly I found that cannabis businesses in the world’s largest market are increasingly worried about L.A.P.D. raids.

 

California lawmakers sent new pot rules to Gov. Jerry Brown (D). For more see here.

 

Massachusetts lawmakers may miss their self-imposed deadline to regulate REC.

 

A REC deal may still be possible in Vermont.

 

Pro-pot Colorado Congressman Jared Polis (D) will run for governor.

 

Weed-oriented cryptocurrency PotCoin, which sent Dennis Rodman to North Korea, said the former NBA star deserves credit for the freeing of an American prisoner. The State Department disagrees.

 

The U.S. Senate unanimously condemned, but didn’t change, the country’s hemp laws. The Cannabist has more on the hemp industry’s potential.

 

It’s hard to get MED in New York.

 

Business Insider says Trump’s decision to take a harder line on Cuba abets cocaine smugglers.

 

Entrepreneur and pundit Scott Rasmussen scans the industry.

Business

Henry Wykowski, a lawyer representing Oakland mega-dispensary Harborside, argued against the industry-hated tax rule 280E in court, and says he expects a verdict by the end of this year.

 

Fortune says AG Sessions threatens the industry’s growth. It cites Sentieo data that 75% of public companies involved in cannabis feel Trump’s election poses enough of a threat to list it as a risk for shareholders.

But iAnthus Capital’s Hadley Ford is bullish. (He’s a cannabis investor.)

 

A partnership with MED company UltraHealth has the annual Gathering of Nations in Alberquerque debating whether Native Americans should embrace the cannabis industry.

 

More MED patients are suing after losing their jobs.

 

A big Ontario union said it would cover members’ MED.

 

Massachusetts may impose strict rules on weed ads.

 

Tobacco company Imperial Brands added a cannabis executive to its board. A lawsuit by Nevada’s liquor lobby could delay REC sales in Nevada. The plaintiffs want a piece.

 

Legal REC could be a $5 billion boost to California’s economy according to a state government study. Nationally, the legal industry could have a $70 billion economic impact by 2021.

 

Denver’s proposed rules for social use at existing businesses are restrictive and expensive enough that almost no one is interested.

 

Oregon cannabis entrepreneur Jesce Horton