Cannabis News

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!”

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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 talked about being black in an overwhelmingly white industry.

 

Rev. Al Sharpton, who doesn’t consume, called for more diversity in the industry.

 

Louisiana State University picked a Nevada company to run its MED grow.

 

In a bid to prevent money laundering, the Wynn casino in Las Vegas banned MassRoots CEO Isaac Dietrich.

 

The 2017 Associated Press Stylebook for journalists advises against using nouns like “alcoholic, addict, user and abuser.” Instead it recommends phrases like “he was addicted,” and “people with heroin addiction.” I will likely continue referring to cannabis users since in WeedWeek it doesn’t have a negative connotation.

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Health and Science

The U.S. Senate may soon pass a sweeping health care bill without public hearings and before it gets any airing before the public. The best guess available is that it will leave 23 million more Americans uninsured. Vox found that eight Republicans who plan to vote for it can’t coherently defend it. Want to learn what you can do? Go here.

 

Utah is the only state to allow cannabis research before legalizing MED, but the approach seems doomed to fail.

 

Sessions anti-pot stance could set back research and MED access for veterans.

 

A group called Friends of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which has anti-pot activist Kevin Sabet on its board, wants to ease restrictions on cannabis research.

 

More users are seeking voluntary treatment for cannabis abuse.

 

In Kentucky, a lawsuit challenges the state’s MED ban.

 

National Geographic sees more interest in growing cannabis by organic standards.

 

A study from industry data firm BDS Analytics found that cannabis consumers make more money, are more satisfied and like the outdoors better than abstainers.

 

The U.K.’s first MED research facility opens this summer.

 

An Australian dad was convicted of growing MED for his epileptic daughter.

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Criminal Justice

A Minnesota jury acquitted cop Jeronimo Yanez of all charges related to his fatally shooting black man Philando Castile. Smelling pot led Yanez to believe Castile was an imminent threat, Yanez’s lawyer said. Castile’s mother responded. After the verdict, Yanez was fired.

 

A study found that legalization hurts cartels and has led to lower crime in border states.

 

Forbes says the war on cannabis is heating up.

 

A Montana MED dispensary owner was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. The Argus Leader profiles a Sioux Falls, S.D. man returning to life on the outside after 11 years in prison on drug and other charges.

 

Former Colorado marijuana enforcement officer and pot entrepreneur Scott Pack has been indicted in connection with an alleged pot trafficking ring. AG Sessions cited the case as justification for a crackdown.

 

The Better Business Bureau is investigating two Colorado businesses for sending pot through the mail. An Oregon state employee was arrested for allegedly stealing tax payments from a dispensary.

 

Incarceration is way-up in rural America.

 

A Louisiana man was granted a reprieve after serving six years of a 17-year sentence for possessing half an ounce.

 

A British Columbia court ended mandatory minimums for growers.

 

ProPublica looks into how the DEA actions led to a massacre in Allende, Mexico.

 

The DEA recently published a lexicon of American drug slang. One heretofore unknown term for weed is “Smoochy Woochy Poochy.”

 

The N.Y. Times reports that dealers in Asia are using the dark web to sell powerful synthetic opioids to Americans. A interactive graph quiz in the paper shows how bad the opioid epidemic is. A bill proposed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) would give AG Sessions new powers to prosecute crimes involving synthetic opioids.

 

A 49-year old Texas woman granted clemency by President Obama for a non-violent drug crime is going back to prison for violating the terms of her supervised release. A Texas inmate charged with possession committed suicide in jail.

 

Samantha Bee took on Jeff Sessions’ drug policies.

Product reviews:

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Culture

Cannabis personality Cheryl Shuman says she’s selling diamond encrusted vapes, — “pens formerly owned by Russian czars” — for $150,000 in Beverly Hills. If you have purchased such an item, or come across one in the wild, I want to hear about it.

 

Iowa State University lost its second appeal to ban a pro-pot T-shirt with the university’s logo.

 

Snoop Dogg held his first fashion show.

 

Miley Cyrus talked more about quitting pot. She was spending too much time with her pet pig.

 

Urban Daddy says weed has been Whole Foods-ified.

 

The U.K.’s Sun visits a £2million-a-year grow in a former nuclear bunker.

 

Dope Magazine checks out Sri Lanka’s 2,500 year-old MED industry.

 

A company is trying to create a Cannabis Literary Society.

 

High Times listed 11 of its favorite stoner dads.

 

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.

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CBD As an Aid for Mental Health

 

The brain is vastly improved by CBD. CBD does this in an important and complex manner. CBD has no psychoactive effect attached to it. This is because signaling does not originate from the CB2 and CB1 receptors directly. CBD is different from THC which has psychoactive effects attached to it. For many years now THC had monopolized the news but now more and more chose a hybrid and buy marijuana seeds that grow plants of higher percentages of CBD The following are ways by which CBD can help with mental health.

 

 

It has antipsychotic effects

CBD can be used as an antipsychotic medication. It can be used the same way as amisulpride. This makes it perfect for those that suffer from schizophrenia. CBD is preferred by so many people because it has fewer side effects than amisulpride. The effect CBD has on anandamide gives it the antipsychotic effects it possesses. The availability of cannabinoids increases anandamide in the brain.

 

 

It helps to treat depression

There is a serotonin receptor relating directly to depression symptoms that interact with CBD. It has also been discovered that CBD calms those regions that get very active during an anxiety disorder. This is done when CBD reduces the flow of blood to the hypothalamus and other regions of the brain that are connected to anxiety. After treatment with CBD, neurochemical and behavioral studies were conducted on OBX mice that were modified surgically. It was discovered that CBD reversed the inability to feel pleasure which is anhedonia and OBX induced hyperactivity.

 

 

It is used to treat addictions

It was found by Morgan and some other researchers that smokers that were treated with CBD reduced the total number of cigarettes they smoked by 40%. The placebo group had no change in the total number of cigarettes smoked. The capability of CBD to decrease the need for opioids was discovered during preclinical research. But there is still a need to carry out more research on the use of CBD as a cure for addictions.

 

Top 10 Marijuana Discoveries in 2017 by Kurt Darrell

 cannabisjobs.us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A recent Gallup poll found that roughly 60 percent of U.S. citizens support the legalization of marijuana. As the highest percentage in 47 years, it reveals the popularity of cannabis in the United States. Despite its newfound support, there are still many detractors of marijuana usage; some calling it “harmful,” while others consider it a “gateway drug.” So what is the truth?

 

As the drug continues to gain popularity in American society, new research is being conducted every day that can inform users and keep them up-to-date with new findings on the benefits, and potential side-effects, of using marijuana. Here are 10 of the top marijuana discoveries from 2017 so far.

 

  1. Marijuana Actually Does Relieve Stress

 

While many marijuana users have claimed the drug helps them feel more relaxed and lowers their stress levels, there has not been actual clinical proof that supports these their claims until recently.

 

A new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, THC, does reduce stress — although it is in a highly dose-dependent manner. While higher doses of marijuana can potentially lead to increased anxiety, lower level doses were found to reduce stress and prevent  the jittery feelings that many experience before public speaking or being in crowded, or unknown, areas.

 

  1. Marijuana Compounds Can Reduce Seizures

 cannabisjobs.us

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research published in The New England Journal of Medicine presented findings that showed children with Dravet syndrome — a severe form of epilepsy — experienced fewer seizures after ingesting a cannabis compound called “cannabidiol.” Unlike actual marijuana, cannabidiol does not have psychoactive properties.

 

Over a 14 week trial, participants with Dravet syndrome saw monthly seizures drop from an average of 12.4 to an average of 5.9 — a 52 percent decrease. More amazingly, in five percent of patients exposed to the compound, seizures stopped altogether during the study.

 

  1. Marijuana Can Increase Alcohol Use

 

The Research Society on Alcoholism studied any correlation between alcohol use and cannabis use. Their studies concluded that the use of marijuana often increased the likelihood of alcohol users’ transition from one stage of potential alcoholism to the next.

 

While other factors — including “trauma exposures” or “use of marijuana by offspring” — were also linked to transitions, the RSA suggested further research must be conducted on the connection between marijuana and AUDs due to the increased use of cannabis in the United States.

 

  1. Marijuana Found to be Linked to Schizophrenia

 

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have found evidence that shows cannabis may be a trigger for mental issues in adolescents. Their research concluded that while marijuana does not necessarily make users schizophrenic, it could serve as a catalyst for schizophrenia in younger users whose genetics already make them susceptible to the disorder.

 

  1. Marijuana Can Calm Your Gut

 cannabisjobs.us

 

According to new research, marijuana has been found to have much in common with chili peppers. Among the many similarities, both were found to interact with the same receptors in the human stomach, which can keep your gut in balance. These findings could lead to new treatments and therapies for things like diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and colitis.

 

  1. Cannabis Helps with PTSD

 

PTSD affects about 7.7 million American adults, many of whom are American veterans that struggle to find treatment. A new study has received a $2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to study the effectiveness of marijuana used to manage PTSD symptoms. With several different levels of potency and over 50 veteran participants, smoking marijuana may be a big step forward in the mental care of America’s veterans.

 

  1. Marijuana Could Cure Heroin Addiction

 

Cannabinoids — extracts derived from medical marijuana — are now believed to have the ability to help heroin users reduce their cravings and ease their withdrawal symptoms from the opioid. Essentially, the cannabinoids were found to communicate with similiar neurons in the brain that opioids communicate with, just with a much stronger impact. The extracts could provide a more therapeutic alternative without the risk of overdose.

 

  1. Marijuana Could be Good for Your Pets

 

 cannabisjobs.us

2017 may be remembered as the “Year of Animal Cannabis” because more and more pet owners are reporting that they have used marijuana extracts, as well as pet-safe edibles and ointments, to treat their pets’ cancer, seizures, arthritis, and anxiety, with positive results.

 

While many veterinarians do not support this practice, due to a lack of scientific research into the effects of marijuana on animals, many people are discovering that the drug is helping treat their furry friends’ wide range of ailments. This has even led some companies to begin selling cannabis tinctures that can be added to pet foods or administered orally to treat pet illnesses.

 

  1. Marijuana Can Help Cure Cancer

 

In a major medical breakthrough announcement, British company GW Pharmaceuticals has stated that cannabis does, in fact, kill cancer cells.

While the company has been testing medical marijuana’s connection to cancer for years, it only recently released clinical evidence that linked the drug to a reduced mortality rate for people with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) — a form of brain cancer that can kill patients within two years.

 

The U.S. National Cancer Institute, as well as the FDA, have released similar statements that point to synthetic THC as a possible treatment for leukemia and other cancers.

 

  1. Marijuana Could Treat Multiple Sclerosis

 

A study performed at the Canadian University of Manitoba is researching whether cannabinoid treatments can have positive impacts on neuropathic pain caused by multiple sclerosis (MS). The results of the study could help provide support for clinical testing of cannabinoid oil products for MS patients who experience chronic pain. While the research is not a full-blown discovery yet, its potential effects could be wide-ranging and help the more than 2.5 million people around the world who suffer from MS.

 

Going Forward

 cannabisjobs.us

 

With the tremendous rise in popularity of marijuana, and the legalization of it in several states, the need for research into the health benefits — and potential negative effects — of cannabis has never been more important. As scientists discover more uses for the drug, it may not be long before marijuana becomes more than just legal — it could soon become a prime treatment for many illnesses.

 

Images:

 

  1. https://media.defense.gov/2012/Oct/18/2000104778/670/394/0/120926-F-EW478-671.JPG
  2. https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS0poNwv45XRRgX6kH7PXV0sOl6C2onzM1mCztHlgaO-TYXlVchDA
  3. https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2805/11064976153_b869ccdd31.jpg
  4. http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Summer-Puppy-Cute-Animals-Dog-Rottweiler-Pet-1535961
  5. https://pixabay.com/en/marijuana-cannabis-medical-marijuana-1114713/

Author Bio:

Kurt Darrell is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. He’s been an avid advocate for medical marijuana usage for years and enjoys educating others about its various benefits and uses. When he’s not writing, he’s usually tending to his plants.

Cannabis LAB Broward / W Palm Beach – June 15th, from 6-9pm

Cannabis LAB Broward / W Palm Beach continues its year of programming this month at Truluck’s Ft. Lauderdale. As always, the 3rd Thursdays are our day to think, drink and socialize. This month, on June 15th, from 6-9pm, we invite you to join us for a moderated discussion with our thought leader Dr. Michelle Weiner, DO, MPH.

Presenter:

 

 

Dr. Michelle Weiner, is an Interventional Pain Management Physician board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation who is one of the Physicians for Spine and Wellness Centers of America. She completed her residency and fellowship training at the University of Miami. Her specialty is focused on prevention, treatment, reversal of health deterioration, increasing function and managing pain. Dr. Weiner focuses on diagnosing and treating spine and musculoskeletal pain as well as chronic migraines. She believes in a holistic approach emphasizing wellness. She is an advocate for medical marijuana. She is passionate about educating other medical professionals about the evidence supporting its benefits for a multitude of different medical conditions through monthly webinars and seminars. Dr. Weiner individualizes medical cannabis treatments based on patient specific factors with the goal of maximizing quality of life. She believes medical cannabis is an excellent option for seniors to help decrease overall pharmaceutical use and minimize medication side effects. Dr. Weiner focuses on decreasing opioid consumption and manages pain with alternative methods. Cannabis is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, analgesic and has neuroprotective qualities. Dr. Weiner believes the use of medical cannabis in her patients especially the elderly will improve mood, sleep, pain allowing them to enjoy life with less oral medications.

We invite you to join us for an open, moderated discussion on:

 

The Business of Becoming a Qualified Physician for Medical Marijuana

The state maintains a list of physicians that they consider to be qualified to write a prescription for medical marijuana. These physicians have completed a special training course and have met several other state requirements. You can see the current list at the Office of Compassionate Use website. This month Dr. Weiner, will discuss and explore the business concerns related to becoming a qualified physician.

The format will be one hour of education immediately followed by networking ad drinks. Also, as always guests will be treated to two (2) drinks and light appetizers. For members of cLAB the program is free with RSVP and for non members the fee is $50.

Please register now as space is limited.

SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please register now as space is limited.

A recording of the event will be available for registered attendees and members.

Contact us to be a sponsor of Cannabis LAB!

Have questions about Cannabis LAB Broward/W Palm – The Business of Becoming a Qualified Physician for Medical Marijuana? Contact Legal Learning Series

Harvard Study: Smoking Cannabis Actually Improves Brain Function

Preliminary findings from McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Tufts University indicate that pot actually improves cognitive performance.

Credit: Marijuana Stocks

Don’t believe the hype – cannabis is not a gateway drug, it is a medicine. From helping people naturally relieve their anxiety to literally curing cancer (over 100 studies have validated this), the plant is incredibly therapeutic. Because it is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, however, marijuana is still illegal in many U.S. states.

Fortunately, new findings from a study published in Frontiers In Pharmacology seem to support arguments for its decriminalization. Preliminary investigations by medical researchers from McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Tufts University indicate that pot actually improves cognitive performance.

For the study, entitled “Splendor in the Grass? A Pilot Study Assessing the Impact of Medical Marijuana on Executive Function,” behavioral scientists tracked 24 certified medical marijuana patients over a three-month dosing period. The patients were repeatedly measured for cognitive proficiency through a series of intelligence tests, including the STrrop Color Word Test and Trail Making Test.

Lead researcher, Staci Gruber, is the director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) program at McLean Hospital. As KINDLAND reports, her initial report is positive. The first benefit reported is that medical marijuana led to patients excelling at brainteasers with enhanced speed and accuracy.

Says the McLean Hospital report:

“After three months of medical marijuana treatment, patients actually performed better, in terms of their ability to perform certain cognitive tasks, specifically those mediated by the frontal cortex,” explained Gruber.

Study participants also reported improvements in their specific clinical conditions, sleep, and overall health as well as a decreased use of conventional medications, particularly opiates.

“We saw a 42 percent reduction in opioid use,” reported Gruber. “This is significant, particularly for those of us in Massachusetts and other areas of the country where the opioid epidemic is ravaging so many. This preliminary finding certainly warrants deeper and broader investigation.”

Credit: Counter Current News

The preliminary findings from the McLean Hospital’s pilot study indicates that humans do receive benefits from smoking cannabis that exceed a temporary reduction of pain and/or anxiety. Considering one of the most common arguments against legalizing cannabis for recreational use is that it makes people lazy and stupid, this data has profound implications.

“People are going to use it,” Gruber concluded. “It’s up to us to figure out the very best and safest ways in which they can do that.”

Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com/harvard-study-smoking-cannabis-actually-improves-brain-function/

Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com/harvard-study-smoking-cannabis-actually-improves-brain-function/

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I loved Five Came Back, a Netflix miniseries about great Hollywood directors whose propaganda films  supported the allied war effort during World War II.
Here’s the news:
Politics

President Trump called Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte to praise Duterte’s war on drugs. “I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump told Duterte, according to a transcript obtained by The Intercept.  Duterte has attracted international condemnation for the conflict’s thousands of extrajudicial killings.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) vetoed the REC bill that had passed the legislature. Scott sent it back with concerns about road safety and access for kids. A revised bill could pass during next month’s session. If so, Vermont would be the first state to legalize REC through the legislature. The Burlington Free Press explains.

On Twitter, anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet claimed some of the credit for the veto.

U.S. House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) apologized to pro-cannabis Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) after a 2016 recording caught McCarthy saying he thinks Russian president Vladimir Putin pays Rohrabacher and then candidate Donald Trump. Rohrabacher denied accepting money from Putin.

Canada wants to maintain the “spirit” of its international treaty commitments, while legalizing REC, which violates the letter of those commitments.

The L.A. Times looks at how states are moving to protect their cannabis industries in the event of a federal crackdown. The paper also learns that product testing in California is likely to be delayed by months.

Trump’s proposed budget included massive cuts to most discretionary programs, but not the drug czar’s office, despite earlier threats. Lawmakers worried that zero-ing out the office would exacerbate the opioid crisis.

Boston mayor and legalization opponent Marty Walsh (D), blasted the suburbs that have banned pot shops. “If they voted for it, they should have a pot shop in their neighborhood, they shouldn’t have to drive to Boston for it,” he said.

Cleveland is reconsidering its ban on MED grows.

Both houses of Oregon’s legislature have voted to strengthen MED tracking rules in a bid to keep U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions at bay.

Miami New Times discovers that the Miami city attorney who compared MED to pedophilia has a history of sexual harassment.

After the state legislature couldn’t reach a deal, the Florida Health department released a framework for MED regulation. In other news, Gov. Rick Scott (R)  vetoed a much debated bill that would allow liquor sales at Wal-Mart and other big box stores.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) vetoed industrial hemp growing. In addition, a state study contradicted Ducey’s assertion that legalizing REC last year would have drained state coffers.

It’s hard to be a MED activist in Utah.

Conservative veterans group The American Legion wants the Trump administration to reschedule cannabis to enable medical research.

Embattled Trump advisor Roger Stone will be a keynote speaker at a cannabis conference in New York. Stone tweeted: “I will reveal my plans to convince @realDonaldTrump to reaffirm his support for State’s Rights when it comes to marijuana on June 16.” (The conference declined to comment to WeedWeek on whether it was paying Stone. Stone did not respond to a Twitter message.)

An essay in the Wall Street Journal argues that the return of federalism — states’ rights — on the left is good for America.

Under new president Emmanuel Macron, France is moving towards decriminalization.

Home growing MED is increasingly popular in Chile, a country considered one of the most conservative in South America. MED is also available in some Santiago pharmacies.

A leftist political party in Malta wants to legalize cannabis and decriminalize all drugs.

Business

A Florida lawyer and a California real estate entrepreneur separately announced plans to each invest $100M in cannabis. The Miami Herald profiles John Morgan. I spoke with Paul Daneshrad for L.A. Weekly.

At the other end of the economic spectrum, I wrote about L.A. budtenders, and what it’s like to have one of the newest jobs in the country.

Cannabis breathalyzer company Hound Labs raised $8.1M in a round led by blue chip venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, which is known for its investments in Uber, Dropbox, Snap and other big tech companies.

To test another breathalyzer, Washington State University researchers are looking for subjects willing to smoke weed for science.

Facebook shut down an Arizona legalization group’s page. “My heart’s like, sort of broken,” Safer Arizona chair David Wisniewski said.

Social network MassRoots said it needs to raise $5M in the next year to stay in business.

A judge suspended MED licensing in Maryland because the approval process failed to deliver racial diversity.

Wired spoke to pot start-ups about surviving in the Trump era.

Producer Vireo claims to have launched the first MED ad campaign in the New York City subway.

More companies claim to make faster acting edibles.

New Mexico Political Report finds “glaring discrepancies” in records kept by several state MED companies; at least five claim to have sold more product than they produced.

The SEC temporarily suspended trading in cannabis stocks Eco Science Solutions (ESSI) and Holy Grail Company (HGRL).

In Oregon, REC is absorbing the MED market.

A Rhode Island judge has ruled against a company that declined to hire a MED user for an internship.

The L.A. Times writes about Adelanto, a desert city that’s becoming a growing hub. At present the town’s main industry is prisons. I wrote about Adelanto last month.

Local California governments may struggle to cash in on the green rush, CALmatters says.

On Fox News, Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone said, “People use food stamps to buy marijuana, that’s illegal, or cocaine, or whatever the hell else people use to get high. How do we make sure that we don’t take a system that is well-intentioned that becomes badly abused?” (WeedWeek is not aware of any dispensaries or cocaine dealers who accept food stamps.)

L.A. Weekly profiles Bonita “Bo” Money, a businesswoman and activist who’s trying to diversify the cannabis industry. Leafly says Washington state laws impede racial equity in the industry.

Delivery services have popped up in D.C. Their legality is dubious.

Some women of retirement age are starting cannabis companies.

Following a vote, the National Cannabis Industry Association announced its new board of directors.

Whoopi Goldberg, who’s name is on a line of cannabis products aimed at women, supports a New York effort to include severe menstrual cramps as a qualifying condition for MED.


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Health and Science

The first large-scale clinical trial showed that a GW Pharmaceuticals’ CBD drug epidiolex reduced seizures in children with Dravet syndrome. Access the study in the New England Journal of Medicine here. Following successful clinical trials, the U.K. company is applying for approval to sell its cannabis derived epilepsy drug Epidiolex in the U.S.

St. Louis ER doctors are using a cream made from capsaicin, an ingredient in hot peppers, to treat cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a condition that can arise from very heavy cannabis use.

Israeli research on rats suggests cannabinoids might treat traumatic brain injury.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced a bill to facilitate MED research.

The Journal Epilepsy & Behavior devoted an entire issue to cannabinoid science.

Philadelphia librarians have grown accustomed to patrons overdosing on opioids. Two drug counselors died of overdoses at a halfway house outside Philadelphia. The latter article notes that addicts actively seek out batches of heroin that have killed people.

Colorado is using pot taxes to fund treatment for opioid addicts.

A Georgia student is suing his high school for not letting him bring his state-approved MED on campus.

A product called Carcinoblock claims to neutralize he carcinogens in bong smoke.

A study suggested using psychedelics makes people more liberal.

Criminal Justice

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been widely criticized for his drive to restore mandatory minimum sentences, but he has support from the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, a conservative bloc. For more see here.

The New Republic uncovers a memo from 1982 in which Sessions, then a U.S. attorney, called for the kinds of policies he’s enacting now. “The liberals will buzz about with agonizing whines,” Sessions wrote. “After they have come forth and identified themselves as sympathizers for drug smugglers and other assorted criminals, congregating about the bait, they should then be flattened by the President [Reagan].”

“Violent crime surged, federal drug prosecutions fell. We’re going to reverse that trend,” Sessions said this week. “There’s been too much legalization talk and not enough prevention talk.”

The N.Y. Review of Books calls Sessions “More Dangerous Than Trump.” The administration’s proposed budget includes $84M to the Justice Department “for increases in the federal detainee population.” (That link, to Mother Jones, also explains how the budget “screws everyone but the filthy rich.”)

Acting DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg reiterated his assertion that marijuana is not medicine.

More Canadians are being barred for life from entering the U.S. after saying that they have used marijuana at some point. It’s a bonanza for Canadian immigration lawyers.

Several Colorado businesses say the IRS is overstepping its authority by using Colorado state pot databases to investigate marijuana crimes unrelated to taxes.

An Arizona judge overturned a man’s misdemeanor pot conviction in ruling that being in a high crime neighborhood and with someone who ran away, wasn’t sufficient grounds for a frisking by police.

San Diego district attorney Bonnie Dumanis filed criminal charges against a cannabis entrepreneur two weeks after she was ordered to return $100,000 seized from , James Slatic. The raid in question took place in January 2016.

A South Dakota jury found out-of-state consultant Eric Hagen not guilty of charges related to his work on an aborted effort to create a pot resort on a tribal reservation.

The attorney of a West Virginia woman who pleaded guilty to second degree murder, said she had had a “substance-induced psychotic” reaction from smoking pot the night before the killing.

Most Canadians want the federal government to pardon past marijuana offenses. More than 2,500 Californians have applied for their convictions to be reduced or erased under the state’s REC law. It’s not clear how many request have been granted.

Manchester, U.K. suicide bomber Salman Abedi was an occasional cannabis user.

Here’s how Riverside, Calif, managed to close all 118 of its MED dispensaries within 10 years.

An Ohio Supreme Court judge called for the state to decriminalize.

Louisiana is the nation’s incarceration capital. Slate looks at a failed reform effort.

A man in Wyoming who told police that some of his stash was stolen was arrested for possessing the rest.

Shots were fired but no one was injured in a botched D.C. dispensary robbery.

Product reviews:

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Culture

Denver 4/20 rally organizers have been banned from Civic Center Park for three years after leaving the site in bad disrepair this April.

The ACLU is suing the Rolla, Mo. library for blocking a MED activist from hosting a meeting.

Rolling Stone attends, “The best pot party in California.

Denver artists say the cannabis industry is driving up real estate prices to unaffordable levels.

A letter writer to the Denver Post doesn’t want to smell his neighbors’ weed. A Minnesota man mistakenly donated more than 100 grams of pot to a clothing drive.

Longtime British Columbia cannabis activist Ted Smith is retiring with plans to create a line of herbal teas.

The Decemberists’ frontman Colin Meloy imagined life as a budtender.

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 find WeedWeek valuable? Forward it to someone.
Alex
Advertising policy: Advertisers 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? Sign up at the appropriate link.
If you’d like to advertise in or sponsor such a project contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com.
Here’s the news:
Politics

Conservatives criticized U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his decision to roll back Obama-era measures that shortened sentences for drug offenders.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who voted to approve Sessions, said drug use is not a “lock ‘em up and throw away the key’ problem” He supports a bipartisan bill that would counter Sessions.

The conservative Charles Koch Institute found that eight out of ten Trump voters want to see shorter drug sentences. The Federalist says Sessions “has neither the authority nor the evidence to pursue a new drug war.”

Sessions’ move, the N.Y. Times notes,  “ran so contrary to the growing bipartisan consensus coursing through Washington.”The paper also explains how Sessions’ guidance would jack up sentencesReason has more.

Despite Sessions, some states are trying to reduce penalties.

Sessions aggressive stance “creates a lot of uncertainty and that uncertainty is deeply concerning for patients and providers,” Michael Collins of the Drug Policy Alliance told the Washington Post. “We had thought medical marijuana wasn’t really in play in terms of a crackdown.” MJ Biz Daily has more. So does CNBC.

Pro-legalization Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) argued that legalization looks inevitable. “Trump is essentially irrelevant.”

In 2016, a recording caught House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif.) saying “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) is among the most pro-cannabis members of Congress. Republicans have tried to brush aside McCarthy’s remarks as a joke.

The California government is starting to collect feedback on proposed cannabis regulations.

Leafly asks why legalization pushes failed in Texas.

Montana Congressional candidate Rob Quist (D), who’s running in a May 25 special election, ducked out of an interview rather than discuss past marijuana use, that came out in a 20-year old malpractice lawsuit he had filed against a doctor. He later copped to receiving a citation in 1971.

Worried that it would undermine efforts to fight the opioid crisis, New Hampshire Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Maggie Hassan (D) oppose the Trump administration’s plan to gut the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Both sides are lobbying Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) on the REC bill passed by the state legislature. If he doesn’t sign it by Wednesday it automatically becomes law.

Florida ordered a dispensary to stop selling a product that could be smoked. Maryland approved its first MED grow. For the first time, Oregon’s economic forecast accounts for cannabis.

MJ Biz Daily interviewed Anne McLellan, who led Canada’s marijuana task force, on the road to legalization.

Colorado lawmakers haven’t passed social use because they can’t decide on the meaning of “open and public” consumption.

Iowa and Minnesota are trying to work out a way for Iowans to buy MED from Minnesota, despite interstate commerce laws. If successful it would be the first example of cannabis remaining state-legal after it crossed state lines.

In L.A., I found that “rogue dispensaries” are a source of resentment.

Miami Deputy City Attorney Barnaby Min compared legalizing MED to legalizing pedophilia.

U.K. Prime Minister Teresa May has no intention of legalizing. She considers it a gateway drug.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte pushed back an impeachment attempt related to his war on drugs. He’s also cracking down on public tobacco use.

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Business

Cannabis executives were in D.C. this week making the case for banking and fair taxation. Quartz suggests that cannabis is just one of many industries unlikely to see its agenda advance amid the Trump administration’s scandals. Rolling Stone has more.

Vice suggests that Canadian companies’ “first mover advantage” will lead to global domination. New Cannabis Ventures says the plant is now a global investing opportunity.

A bill with bipartisan support in Congress would make banking easier for cannabis companies.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill that will enable the state to create the first market for certified organic cannabis.
Minnesota’s two MED businesses have lost $11M in two years of sales, the AP reported.

In California’s Salinas Valley, the decorative flower industry is giving way to a new kind of flower. Farther north, in cannabis friendly Santa Rosa, a housing developer doesn’t want to build apartments close to a large grow.
Media company Civilized was involved in an ill-conceived promotion which it ended.

Starbucks contacted the activist known as NJ Weedman after signage for his WeedBukx cafe resembled the coffee company’s mermaid logo.
The Alaska Grown logo that appears on state-grown produce won’t be on cannabis anytime soon.

A PayPal executive is joining cannabis enterprise software company Kind Financial.
LAist runs through 10 popular products that could become illegal under proposed California regulations, including chocolate covered espresso beans (caffeine), Ganjalato (dairy) and free samples.

The N.Y. Times visits the “largest vertical farm in the world,” in Newark, N.J.
More American workers are testing positive for cocaine, marijuana and meth.

Founding editor of The Cannabist Ricardo Baca is starting a content agency called Grasslands. He spoke to Green State.
Americans are spending more on weed than on erectile dysfunction pills. The same study thinks U.S. REC sales could surpass MED sales this year.

Brad Nattrass, CEO of urban-gro in Lafayette, Colo. is running for the National Cannabis Industry Association board. He submitted the following statement in support of his candidacy:
I am Brad Nattrass, CEO of urban-gro. Our team of nearly 30 employees, located across the country, works with large-scale cultivation facilities to provide advanced technology products and systems solutions.

Our company was honored to be awarded an inaugural Cannavation Award for Cultivation at the NCIA Seed to Sale Show earlier this year.

As a member of the NCIA board, I will be of service to NCIA and my fellow members in three ways:

·         First, bringing attention to the challenges faced by cultivators in every region of the country.

I bring the pulse of cultivators on a national scale. Because urban-gro sells to hundreds of commercial cultivation facilities in every stage of development, we have a unique opportunity to learn about the specific concerns and challenges that growers face in all regions of the country.

·         Second, bringing a network of professionals to drive NCIA membership and sponsorship.

·         Third, providing a relentless entrepreneurial drive to make a difference.

I have an incredible drive. I am an entrepreneur with an MBA, and over a decade of experience in large-scale agriculture. I am a solutions focused individual that rises to the occasion when I encounter challenges.

I believe in the important work NCIA does on behalf of the cannabis industry. I will be honored and humbled if you vote for me to join the NCIA Board of Directors.

#VoteBradNCIA

For more info on voting see here.


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Health and Science

Genetically modified weed is probably inevitable.

A Canadian study suggests cannabis can help wean crack addicts. Canada is trying to rein in the cost of MED for veterans.

Vox says the stricter sentences favored by AG Sessions could push up the HIV rate by incentivizing needle sharing.

L.A. Weekly meets the Battlefield Foundation where cannabis is part of the program for PTSD-scarred veterans.

A New Hampshire doctor was reprimanded for recommending MED to a patient with past pot convictions.

When giving an elephant LSD, make sure to calculate the correct dose.

National Geographic has a photo essay on street pharmacists in Haiti.

Criminal Justice

The National District Attorneys Association published a report on state cannabis enforcement that’s pretty vague in its recommendations on the Cole Memo and other key issues. See the report here.

In Washington, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, urged the U.S. to step up international crime-fighting efforts and reduce its focus on drugs.

Milwaukee County Sheriff, conservative pundit, and tough on crime zealot David Clarke says he’s taking a job with the Department of Homeland Security.

A consultant who helped a South Dakota Native American tribe in its aborted effort to set up a cannabis industry is going on trial. A South Dakota reporter has been subpoenaed to testify.

I was subpoenaed for my Pando story on the rise and fall of a modern weed dealer.

In one Virginia County, blacks are six times as likely as whites to be arrested for weed possession. Two deputy sheriffs in Kern County, California (Bakersfield) pled guilty to selling seized weed. “I made the decision based on Satan playing games with me and making me feel like I was prideful,” one of them said.

The Minnessota cop who fatally shot Philando Castile will stand trial for manslaughter May 30. A judge ruled that his defense can bring up Castile’s marijuana use on the day of the shooting but not Castile’s earlier use.

Mexican journalist Javier Valdez, who was known for his brave coverage of the country’s drug war, was shot dead in the state of Sinaloa.

A federal appeals court declined to rule on whether federal prisons can hold offenders who operated within state law. The case involved a California man who went to prison in 2014.

According to the FBI, a suburban Detroit man tried to bribe officials to get a dispensary license.

Cops in Bismarck, N.D. are cracking down on CBD products. (North Dakota voters legalized MED last year.)

Residents of Durango, Col., are upset about a Fox News story that they say distorted the truth to make the mountain tourist town look like a mecca for panhandlers.

The Trump administration is expanding its use of for-profit prisons to hold undocumented immigrants.

In Alaska, cops can’t own pot shops.

The New Yorker has a photo essay on the ravages of drug smuggling in the Brazilian Amazon. Jon Lee Anderson writes: “We are left with the alarming realization that destruction comes in stages—that the end of nature in the Amazon will likely not terminate with the extinction of its forests but transmute into some new murderous end-game that will carry on, long after the last tree is felled.”

Product reviews:

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Culture

Oregon Live says the NFL’s refusal to reinstate Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, for cannabis use is “simply absurd” compared to the league’s record of forgiving players who abused women and committed other violent crimes.

Buzzfeed meets pro-cannabis Christians in the deep south. Texas activist Lydia Decker named her organization Genesis 1:29 for the Bible verse that begins “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed…”

The New Yorker’s Nick Paumgarten visits a bong art show: “Delicate leaves and lace, tubes within tubes, ghouls embedded inside chambers like ships in bottles. One object widely admired by the other lampworkers was a pea-green monster truck with big black tires and flames exuding from six tailpipes—every inch of it glass. Mais oui: Ceci, c’est une pipe.”

There’s an annual todo about whether a big fake joint can be in a July 4 parade in suburban Tampa.

Hollywood legend Cary Grant turned to LSD therapy. Famed LSD chef Nicholas Sand died.

NASCAR vetoed a weed logo on a car. In 1986, four Indy 500 drivers were convicted of pot trafficking.

Willie Nelson said Jeff Sessions shouldn’t opine on drugs unless the attorney general has tried them.

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 find WeedWeek valuable? Forward it to someone.
Alex
Advertising policy: Advertisers 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

WeedWeek: Jeff Sessions escalates the drug war

This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news is everywhere.
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? Sign up at the appropriate link.
If you’d like to advertise in or sponsor such a project contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com.
I recommend New York magazine’s fascinating and scary package “Beyond Alt: The Extremely Reactionary, Burn-It-Down-Radical, New Fangled far-right.
Do you find this newsletter valuable? Forward it to someone.
Here’s the news:
Politics

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed federal prosecutors “to charge and pursue the most serious readily provable offense” in drug cases. A reversal of Obama-era policy, the move aims to increase the number of harsh mandatory minimum sentences that have fallen out of favor with Democrats and many Republicans.

Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, whose policy Sessions is reversing, called the move “unwise and ill-informed.” The Economist argues that the move is not evidence based. Libertarian leaning Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) criticized Sessions even though Paul voted to approve him in February.

As I predicted in Slate, Sessions appears to be using his authority to prosecute drug crime as a way to suppress minority voting and accelerate deportations.

On Friday May 5, Trump referred to cannabis for the first time since he became president. It came after he signed the government spending bill which extends existing protections on MED.

Activist and writer Tom Angell interpreted the remark as the government “asserting their right” to go after certain medical marijuana businesses if they choose to at a later date. Bloomberg went further saying the president has “signaled a fight” with MED.

Vermont’s legislature became the first in the country to approve REC. Gov. Phil Scott (R) has expressed concerns about legalization and has not said whether he’ll sign or veto the bill.

After years of setbacks, New Hampshire is on the path to decriminalization. It would be the last state in New England to do so.

Despite setbacks, anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet plans to keep fighting.

A MED bill with unprecedented momentum died in Texas. So did a decriminalization bill.

Florida lawmakers failed to reach a compromise on MED regulation before the legislative session ended. But the legislature could hold a special session.

Some businesses in the state are already selling MED with THC. At least one sells smokable weed, which is not allowed.

Colorado lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on social use before the legislative session ended. WestWord profiles Colorado pot lobbyist and lifelong Republican Cindy Sovine-Miller.

Proposals in California would ban animal-shaped edibles and restrict packaging to limit products’ appeal to children.

Denver will require anyone entering a social use area, at a bar for example, to sign a waiver. The city could begin accepting applications from existing businesses in July.

REC could be on the ballot next year in Arizona but supporters are riven by infighting.

Oregon has not yet started distributing revenue from pot taxes.

In Arkansas, some consider MED an economic opportunity but others are wary. Pennsylvanians want to legalize REC.

To meet its plan to legalize next year, Canada has to withdraw from three international treaties by July 1. But it seems to be dragging its feet.

Australia’s One Nation party, which ran on a pro-MED platform, appears to have reversed itself, leaving patients stranded. HuffPo has more.

In the U.K., the Liberal Democrats party supports REC legalization.

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Business
The National Cannabis Industry Association is electing its board of directors. Voting ends May 22. The NCIA declined to oppose Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general.

If anyone running for the board wants to introduce themself and their ideas to WeedWeek readers, send a statement of 250 words or less to weedweeknews@gmail.com by the end of business Wednesday. I’ll share all received statements, unedited, before the vote closes.

March was the best month yet for Colorado dispensaries; they sold $131M worth of weed. In Maine caregiver MED sales, which are not tracked, appear to be outpacing dispensary growth. Maine is also struggling with REC rules.

REC sales threaten MED shops in Massachusetts.

Data firm BDS analytics compares attitudes towards cannabis in California and Colorado. In general, Coloradans have more positive and accepting views of the plant.

Producer Aphria raised C$86M, which it claims is the largest raise in Canada to date.

A new weed vending machine identifies customers with a fingerprint scan.

Canadian cannabis veteran Chuck Rifici is starting a “streaming” company that would buy a grower’s future production for cash.

A study predicted that legalization would reduce Canadian booze sales by 1%.

A $49 study from marketing firm Canna Ventures divides consumers into four categories: indies, outsiders, idealists and traditionalists.

A company called Prohibition Partners studies the business climate in Europe’s nascent legal market. Strain guide Leafly is launching a site in German.

Oregon businesses are launching the Craft Cannabis Alliance to fight corporate weed. The Sacramento Bee has more on cannabis’ incursion into wine country.

In Blunt Network, I spoke to Würk which wants to be the “ADP of cannabis.

The site Huck suggests legalizing could benefit the Greek economy.


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Health and Science

A study found that THC significantly improved cognitive function in elderly mice. The chemical slightly decreased brain function in young mice.

A study found that neither alcohol nor cannabis use benefitted high school students.

Canada plans to test whether MED benefits military members and veterans with PTSD.

Colorado launched a pot-safety hotline.

Senators worry that Trump’s proposed cuts to the drug czar’s office will exacerbate the opioid crisis. A former employee told Stat that slashing the agency’s budget would be foolish.

California may phase out MED ID cards.

At Vice, a woman who’s allergic to pot shares how legalization has become a personal hell. Being in the vicinity of a lit joint can cause her itching, stuffiness and a headache.

Pharmacies in Chile are starting to sell MED, a first in Latin America.
                                                                    Advertisement

Criminal Justice

Rolling Stone profiles Steven H. Cook, “Jeff Sessions’ right-hand drug warrior.” Tasked with reducing crime in cities, Cook is “truly committed to rolling back the bipartisan momentum on criminal justice reform.”

“After 45 years, more than $1 trillion wasted, and the creation of the world’s largest prison system, America still lacks the political will to change its failed drug policy,” Rolling Stone says.

In a wrongful death suit, an insurance company refuses to cover the manufacturer of edibles a Colorado man consumed before fatally shooting his wife.

A judge ordered the San Diego District Attorney to return $100,000+ to James Slatic whose MED business was raided in early 2016. Slatic was never charged with a crime.

The New Republic says drug testing welfare applicants is a bad idea.

Huffington Post has a story about a sober Georgia woman taken to jail because the arresting cop is a “drug recognition expert,” a controversial certification that claims to use observation to determine if someone has used drugs.  In Georgia, more than 250 cops have received the training.

Canada’s Liberal party is proposing sweeping changes to reduce drug and alcohol impaired driving. The country has also reduced the number of people charged with low-level drug offenses.

California cops are testing a roadside drug detection kit.

A former northern California drug cop was convicted for pot smuggling.

The administration is looking into the criminal records of the roughly 50,000 Haitian nationals allowed to live in the U.S. since the devastating 2010 earthquake. It’s also asking if they receive public benefits.

Canada, which plans to legalize REC next year, thinks data can help it stamp out the illegal market.

Prison drug smugglers are very creative.

California is allocating $1.5M to clean up illegal grow sites in the Emerald Triangle.

Philly writer and activist Chris Goldstein was at the Philly “smokeasy” that a SWAT team raided.

Vanity Fair excerpt’s a new book on the collapse of “dark web” drug bazaar Silk Road.

Product reviews:

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Culture

NFL team owners appear to consider MED access a bargaining chip in negotiations with the players union.

Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long tweeted about weed and was quickly summoned for a drug test.

New Jersey MED users want permission to consume on the seaside boardwalks.

Denver’s non-profit pot church pays a $10,000+ monthly retainer to a for-profit PR firm run by some of its members, according to SEC filings. And some neighbors resent the church for its lack of disclosure.

Check out these photos from the Global Marijuana March.

The N.Y. Times went to country’s “premier psychedelics conference,” hosted by MAPS.

Dispensaries are celebrating Mother’s Day.

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.
Alex
Advertising policy: Advertisers 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

WeedWeek: “Beyond Stupidity,” NJ Gov. Chris Christie rants against legal pot

This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news is everywhere.
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 list your conferences, festivals and parties for free on the site. You can also follow me on Twitter.
Would you appreciate a WeedWeek regional supplement with more news from California and/or Canada? Sign up at the appropriate link.
If you’d like to advertise in or sponsor such a project contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com.
Do you find this newsletter valuable? Forward it to someone.
Here’s the news:
Politics

In a speech caught on video, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie said legalizing pot is  “beyond stupidity.” Christie, the country’s least popular governor, added that wealthy suburbanites would never allow dispensaries in their neighborhoods.

Reason writes:

Even as he argues that advocates of marijuana legalization are pushing a principle that logically leads to heroin legalization, Christie says it’s really all about the money. “This is the part that liberals love the most: We can tax it,” Christie said. “Sweet Jesus, we can tax it! More money for us!” As he has done before, Christie referred to marijuana tax revenue as “blood money,” saying “crazy liberals” who support legalization are willing to “poison our kids” in exchange for another $300 million or so a year, which he desribed as “a rounding error” in New Jersey’s $35.5 billion budget.

President Trump’s “drug czar” nominee Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) withdrew his name from consideration, citing a family illness. Marino came under fire for supporting involuntary committal for casual drug users, and for his work supporting opioid makers. Meanwhile, the Trump administration suggested cutting the drug czar office’s budget by 95%.

Trump invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House. Duterte has become an international pariah due to a war on drugs which has resulted in thousands of extrajudicial killings. Duterte has not committed to the visit but his spokesman said that in a phone call Trump expressed “his understanding and appreciation of the challenges facing the Philippine president, especially on” drugs.

Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno of Human Rights Watch writes:

“Donald Trump hasn’t called for the killing of his own citizens, like his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly done since taking office in June 2016.

“But the two men do have at least one thing in common. Both have made a habit out of scapegoating vulnerable people to justify cruel, abusive, and counterproductive policies in the name of fighting drugs.”

Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) sponsored a bill that would restrict arms sales to the Philippines on account of human rights abuses there.

The government’s $1.1 trillion spending bill extends the requirement that federal dollars can’t block state MED programs until September. Tom Angell noted that the provision may not apply to North Dakota and Indiana. Congress “ties Jeff Sessions’ hands” on weed, Rolling Stone notes.

The Colorado House voted to let REC businesses reclassify inventory as MED in the event of a federal crackdown. Lawmakers in the state are still torn over whether smoking on your front porch constitutes “open and public” consumption which is banned in the state. They also may raise REC taxes.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) said he spoke with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about REC. “I can’t speak for the attorney general, but I advised him that it’s in our state law now,” Sandoval said. “We are moving forward.”

Pro-legalization Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.) said he’d take the fight for MED access to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

“The reason we are choosing to legalize and control marijuana is because the current system is not protecting our kids,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Bloomberg. “Right now it’s easier for an underage Canadian, a teenager, to buy a joint than it is for them to get their hands on a bottle of beer.”

In L.A. Weekly, I looked at California’s proposed regulations. Reporter Brooke Staggs also dives in.

CannaRegs co-founder Amanda Ostrowitz will give a free webinar on the topic this Monday. Law firm Harris Bricken will host a similar event June 1.

The Florida legislature is making progress on MED regulation, though a bill passed by the house bans smoking cannabis. REC launches on July 1 in Nevada and cannabis lounges are under discussion.

“Marijuana refugees” are returning to Texas to push for MED. Eighty percent of North Carolinians want to legalize MED.

A dispensary has run up against NIMBYism in S.F.’s Sunset District.

Mexico appears poised to legalize MED.

The first legal MED shipments have arrived in Australia. National Geographic suggests that hemp was a major reason why Britain colonized Australia. In the 18th century, hemp was essential for making rope and other components of ships.

Today is the Global Marijuana March against prohibition.

Last week I mistakenly said former head of Colorado marijuana regulation Andrew Freedman is now a lobbyist. He is a consultant. I regret the error.

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New York MED license holders are suing the state to block it from awarding more licenses. The NY Times learned that members of the panel that awards New York MED licenses don’t know much about MED.

Cultivation Technologies, which has promised to build a massive grow in Coachella, Calif., has been sued by an investor for “gross mismanagement of the corporation, self dealing by the individual defendants, dilution of the stock, corprorate (sic) waste, etc.”

Cannabis real estate company Innovative Industrial Properties plans to spend up to $15M in Maryland.
Tribeca Investment Partners, an Australian hedge fund that surged last year thanks to bets on cannabis and other commodities, has invested in Cann Group, an Australian cannabis company.

An Australian pot stock jumped from 1.3 cents to 41 cents in two days.
Casino gambling didn’t work out for a Native American tribe in San Diego County California. Now they want to grow weed.

Publicly-traded lawncare company Scotts Miracle-Gro is committed to the hydroponics business through its subsidiary Hawthorne Gardening.
A business thinks that by selling CBD processed from the plant’s stalk, it can sell in Idaho, which has some of the strictest CBD laws in the country.

Canadian pharmacy chain Loblaw may be interested in selling REC as well as MED. Canadian grower Tilray said it has clearance to ship MED to Cyprus.
Canadian regulators found traces of a banned pesticide at producer Hydropothecary.

An Oregon bill that would ban firing employees for cannabis use fizzled. Legal weed is really expensive in Alaska.

There was a cannabis wedding expo in the Bay Area.

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Health and Science

This week the U.S. House passed an Obamacare repeal widely described as “crueler” than the bill that failed to attract support from far-right lawmakers. The original bill would have cost 24 million Americans their health insurance according to the Congressional Budget Office. This time Republicans didn’t wait for a CBO score. As someone said on the podcast Pod Save America: “Everyone knows someone who will be screwed by this bill.” This bill is not about marijuana, but will almost certainly have implications for MED and the industry.

As the bill moves to the Senate, the key players include the more moderate Republicans and those facing tough reelection fights in 2018: Susan Collins (Maine), Sen. Dean Heller (Nevada), Jeff Flake (Arizona), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). Those of you who live in these states may want to contact them. If you don’t live in those states, MoveOn, among other groups, is raising money to defeat politicians who support Trumpcare.

The U.S. government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) noted on its site that “medical marijuana products may have a role in reducing the use of opioids needed to control pain.”

The number of pot-related ER visits to Children’s Hospital Colorado roughly quadrupled between 2005 and 2015.

In California, public schools are wary about MED access for students with epilepsy.

Leafly asked if a Washington state lab is inflating clients’ potency and purity numbers to give itself a competitive advantage. The lab denied the accusation.

Stat tells the story of an opioid salesman who was addicted to his product before finding relief with MED.

A Canadian reporter looks at how Colorado edibles companies comply with health rules.

The Cannifornian has a special report on Parenting in the Age of Legalization.

Tea trees have very large genomes.
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Criminal Justice

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was called a liar for his claim that the city is “ending arrest for low-level possession of marijuana.” Democratic rival Robert Ganji said the NYPD made more than 5,000 of these arrests in the first quarter of this year.

An insurance study linked dispensaries to an uptick in proximate property crime, though not violent crime.

Colorado’s seed to sale tracking system is leaking cannabis, though apparently not very much, into the black market. The black market is flourishing in Oregon. Despite legalization. It’s more profitable for growers.

A Louisiana Supreme Court judge called a sentence of 18-years for possessing 18 grams of marijuana “ridiculous.”

For the first time, the DEA wants its own prosecutors to go after offenders involved in the opioid crisis. Critics say the move could revive the war on drugs.

Despite falling incarceration rates, the number of Americans serving life in prison is at an all time high. Within the federal system, two thirds of lifers committed a non-violent crime.

Mexican drug lord El Chapo will go on trial in April. He’s currently in solitary confinement in New York City.

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Culture

Disney World added weed to its banned items list. Sharp-eyed journalist Ben Adlin noted that Disney Land, in California, didn’t add the restriction. In this 2011 NY Times Magazine essay John Jeremiah Sullivan finds folks who strategize online about cannabis consumption in the parks.

The NFL players union may be making progress on MED access.

Miley Cyrus hasn’t smoked weed in three weeks. “I like to surround myself with people that make me want to get better, more evolved, open,” she told Billboard. “And I was noticing, it’s not the people that are stoned. I want to be super clear and sharp, because I know exactly where I want to be.”

Broad City’s Ilana Glazer is in a show called “Time Traveling Bong.

Members only Hitman Coffee in L.A. allows guests to BYOC.

My former colleague Roben Farzad visited the International Church of Cannabis for his podcast Full Disclosure. The Outline interviews Bill Levin, who started Indiana’s First Church of Cannabis.

Leafly meets the cutest #dogsofcannabis. In an unforgiveable oversight, it omitted WeedWeek’s adorable mascot Flora, who once ate a “medicated” chocolate bar and then threw up profusely.

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.
Alex
Advertising policy: Advertisers 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

AG Jeff Sessions says legalization framework is “Not too far from good policy”

This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news is everywhere.
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 list your conferences, festivals and parties for free on the site. You can also follow me on Twitter.
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Here’s the news:
Politics

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) met with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) to discuss legalization. A Hickenlooper aide said the main takeaway was that Sessions is not especially interested in disrupting the legal cannabis industry and considers the Cole Memo, the Justice Department document that has allowed the industry to operate, “not too far from good policy.” Sessions, no-fan of legalization, also expressed interest in visiting Colorado.

California released draft regulations for growing, testing, moving and selling MED, initiating a 45-day public comment period. See the rules here.
To protect businesses from a federal crackdown, the Colorado Senate passed legislation that would enable REC businesses to reclassify inventory as MED.

In Washington state, support for legalization reached 78% at the end of 2016. State lawmakers also sent a raft of bills to the governor. If signed, it will be legal in the state to share a joint, and billboards will not be allowed to show pictures of pot.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) ordered a study of racial disparities in awarding state MED licenses. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill allowing dispensaries to give away small safes to keep kids out of customers’ supply.

Anaheim, Calif., banned marijuana businesses. Reno, Nev., backed off a moratorium on REC businesses.
The Colorado Supreme Court backed Denver-suburb Northglenn’s denial of a MED license, on grounds that it was unneeded.

Denver will allow dispensaries to stay open until 10 p.m., a three hour extension.
Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney (D) said Pennsylvania should legalize REC. Some of the candidates running to replace New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie want to legalize.

In Alaska, businesspeople carry pounds of cannabis on commercial flights with permission from airport police. (Some parts of Alaska are only accessible by plane.)
Montana lawmakers voted to overhaul the state’s MED program. A social use bill advanced in Nevada

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett (R) has emerged as one of the more vocal legalization supporters in Congress.

Canada’s Hill Times, weighs the political calculus of legalization for the country’s governing Liberal Party.
A new push to legalize is underway in Switzerland.

On 4/20, Trump advisor and political chimera Roger Stone tweeted a picture of his Richard Nixon bong. Nixon, who coined the phrase ‘war on drugs,’ is probably not a frequent subject for bong sculptors.

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The Sessions Justice Department warned federal bankruptcy officials that they can’t help with liquidating or restructuring cannabis businesses. Also from Tom Angell, a bill proposed in Congress would increase access to banking for cannabis businesses.
A bill to protect cannabis workers advanced in the California Assembly. It follows a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting on sexual assault in the state’s Emerald Triangle growing region.
In Michigan, alcohol and tobacco companies have shown interest in the state’s MED industry.

A vineyard in Oregon’s Yamhill county is suing a neighbor for growing marijuana on grounds that the odor could taint the grapes. The vineyard said the grower has already cost it a customer.
In Forbes, Julie Weed reports on growing demand for low-THC edibles. She also spoke to five entrepreneurs who think the industry is “now unstoppable.”

MED shops in Maine want a head start on REC sales. Oregon said it will start to inspect more commercial grows. MED businesses are a lobbying force in New York.
Canadian producer Emblem Cannabis recalled several batches for containing less CBD than advertised.

Last year, U.S. MED users spent three times more on cannabis than REC users, according to New Frontier Data.
There’s a forthcoming Idiot’s Guide to starting and running a marijuana business, by Debby Goldsberry of Oakland’s Magnolia Wellness dispensary.

Volte Face suggested that Britain’s future legal pot market should be online only. (The U.K. has not legalized.)

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Health and Science
The father/daughter researchers who found last year that access to MED reduces Medicare (elderly) prescriptions for opiates, antidepressants and some other drugs, have learned MED reduces the prescriptions for Medicaid (low income) patients as well.

Florida’s slow progress on MED rules is frustrating doctors. See here for more details on the state’s legislative process.

Researchers noticed similarities in how cannabinoids and capsaicin (found in hot peppers) interact with the body, with potential benefits for gastrointestinal health.

A study found that cannabis use increases the risk of heart disease in HIV-positive men aged 40 to 60.

A first of its kind study in Israel is trying to determine whether CBD benefits patients with autism.

Harvard Medical School professor Bertha Madras Ph.D. who sits on Trump’s anti-opioid commission compared opioids and marijuana “The lessons that we have learned from opioids are directly applicable or generalizable to marijuana,” she said.

Tom Marino, Trump’s nominee for drug czar, said last year that he supports forced inpatient rehab for “non-dealer, nonviolent drug abusers.” Critics say this approach with cannabis users is unnecessary and potentially harmful.

A judge approved an assisted living facility’s move to evict a Colorado man for cannabis use. (In Massachusetts, and in general, landlords still have power to ban cannabis use in their buildings.)

The AP profiles conservative Georgia lawmaker Allen Peake (R) who distributes state-legal cannabis oil to patients who have no legal way to obtain it.

Riley Hancey, 19, died after being denied a lung transplant on account of his cannabis use. Earlier this month Buzzfeed published an excellent story on Hancey’s ordeal.

In a first of its kind case, an 11-year old U.K. boy was prescribed cannabis to treat his epilepsy.

Hemp seeds have been approved for eating in Australia and New Zealand.

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Criminal Justice

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “remained largely noncommittal about plans for pardons, reparations, or even an apology to anyone convicted of marijuana charges under prohibition,” Vice reports. Last year, 5,000 Canadians faced charges for pot possession.

Canadian activist Jodie Emery writes that the country’s legalization plan “is not legalization — it is continued criminalization, with new harsher laws designed to punish even more people.”

Colorado marijuana regulator turned lobbyist Andrew Freedman said the black market won’t go away overnight. He also warned of a second black market that could arise in homegrown pot.

Delaware has decriminalized but it’s still illegal to carry a handgun and a small amount of weed simultaneously.

Trump’s Wall Won’t Stop the Drugs,” Five Thirty Eight says. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) proposed a bill named for Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo that would use property seized from drug dealers to pay for the wall. “The government is seeking forfeiture of $14 billion but has yet to demonstrate that Mr. Guzman has any assets at all,” El Chapo’s lawyers said.

Meanwhile, El Chapo complained about conditions in his Manhattan jail cell.

Acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez (D), wants to prevent undocumented immigrants from being deported for low level offenses.

Mother Jones explains how Jeff Sessions could halt progress on forensic science.

An Oregon cannabis business has been fined $5,300 for a butane explosion last fall that sent one man to a burn unit. A criminal investigation is ongoing.

Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, who hanged himself in his prison cell, tested positive for synthetic cannabinoids.

In Massachusetts, convicted felon Sean Berte called on the state to end its ban on drug offenders working in the industry. “I’m looking to ply my trade, I’m a marijuana grower, I’m good at what I do,” he said. “I don’t want to be left out.”

Retired DEA agent Jeffrey James Higgins argued that buying illegal drugs is immoral because it supports terrorists and organized crime.

According to the DEA, teens are stashing their weed in graphing calculators, teddy bears and game consoles.

Two of the eight arrested during last week’s pot giveaway on the U.S. Capitol steps have been charged. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank looked into the legalization situation in D.C., and made a lot of bad puns, i.e. “I know to what she reefers.”

Twenty two were arrested at a Philly pot party.

Hawaii could decriminalize drug paraphernalia.

A Filipino lawyer told the ICC that President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs is a campaign of “continuing mass murder.” Duterte also told the New York Times to “stop publishing” after it criticized him.

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Culture

The New Yorker profiled Portland, Ore. cannabis chef Laurie Wolf. Stoned people enjoy frozen grapes, Wolf says.

Is cannabis the next kale? Maybe

Actress Anne Hathaway copped to being “not a little” stoner.

Outgoing Drug Policy Alliance chief Ethan Nadelmann did a Reddit Ask Me Anything.

Denver will review the “disrespectful state” of Civic Center park after 4/20. Portland, Maine’s mayor was dismayed by a 4/20 rally.

Atlas Obscura investigates the superstitions about white lighters. According to lore, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, all of whom died at 27, perished with a white lighter on their person.

L.A. Weekly profiles cannabis friendly drag queen Laganja Estranja.

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.
Alex
Advertising policy: Advertisers 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

Florida Senate starts shaping up medical marijuana plan

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More growers, access to treatment for snowbirds and greater flexibility in the relationship between patients and doctors are among the items likely to be included in a Senate proposal to carry out a constitutional amendment approved by voters in November to broadly legalize medical marijuana.

The Senate Health Policy Committee held a workshop Wednesday on the implementation of Amendment 2, which garnered the support of more than 71 percent of Florida voters, as lawmakers try to reach consensus on five pieces of legislation floating in the Senate.

The most controversial issues include how many licenses the state should award to marijuana growers, now limited to seven. Also, they include who should be deemed eligible to qualify for the treatment and whether to maintain the “vertical integration” system —- requiring medical marijuana organizations to grow, process and distribute cannabis products —- currently in use.

Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican who was instrumental in the passage of medical marijuana laws in 2014 and 2016 and is the sponsor of the chamber’s highest-profile piece of cannabis-related legislation this year, was the only senator to appear before the committee.

The 2014 law allowed non-euphoric marijuana for limited types of patients, such as children with severe seizures. The 2016 legislation allowed full-strength marijuana for terminally ill patients. But the constitutional amendment will make cannabis available to a far-broader group of Floridians.

Under Bradley’s bill (SB 406), the state would have to issue five new licenses by the end of the year and could see another 20 marijuana operators —- nearly quadruple the seven current licensed “dispensing organizations” —- once the number of patients registered for the treatment reaches 500,000. The number of licenses would go up as the number of registered patients increases.

Bradley, a former prosecutor, acknowledged that his bill was likely too restrictive but cautioned against an open market for marijuana, which he pointed out is still an illegal drug under federal law.

“I hear a lot of talk about the current system as being a cartel,” he said. “This is not the selling of lawnmowers or office supplies. In those cases, there should be unlimited markets free from government oversight. This is very different. … Mom and pop stores don’t grow and sell medication that treat your wife’s cancer.”

But Bradley stressed the importance of having “a lot of different options from different providers” to keep prices down and guarantee patient access to the once-demonized substance that is now medicine in Florida.

Bradley frequently referred to a measure sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, that would require the state to issue 10 new licenses by October, and, like Bradley’s bill, includes a component requiring more licenses as the number of patients grows.

Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Dana Young, who referenced the other Senate measures throughout the meeting, told reporters her panel will propose a bill during the first week of April, at the earliest, giving time for the House and the Senate to hash out differences before the legislative session is scheduled to end on May 5.

The final product will likely be a hybrid of the Senate measures already filed, Young indicated.

“I do think that more licenses up front and different thresholds will be something almost certainly we’ll move to. The question is how many and what thresholds,” Young told reporters after Wednesday’s meeting.

Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for the political committee that successfully promoted Amendment 2, said Wednesday he felt “pretty good about” the Senate’s approach, in contrast with a House proposal that drew Pollara’s wrath.

House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, is steering a measure (HB 1397) that would, among other things, bar all but terminally ill medical marijuana patients from using vaporizers or edibles to consume cannabis products.

Young, R-Tampa, said she has not been in negotiations with her House counterparts on the issue.

“I have not had any conversations with Leader Rodrigues or any members of the Florida House on this legislation,” Young told reporters when asked. “Obviously, we have got to pass a bill through both houses, but beyond that, no.”

 

Medical Marijuana Bill Headed to Senate Floor

It’s officially “go” time for the Florida Legislature to finally reach an agreement over the future of medical marijuana in Florida.

On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Senate’s proposal to regulate medical cannabis, green-lighting the bill with only one “no” vote, from Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg.

The bill now heads to the full Senate for approval.

SB 406, sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, is the Senate’s idea of how Florida will regulate the state’s newly expanded medical marijuana industry after nearly 72 percent of voters approved the constitutional amendment last fall.

Senators heard several amendments to Bradley’s bill on Tuesday. One of the amendments, pushed by Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach and former Sen. Frank Artiles, would add minority and veterans diversity plans for medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs).

Another amendment would require doctors to check the Compassionate Use Registry to verify patients weren’t “doctor shopping,” or seeing multiple doctors to get several prescriptions for medical marijuana.

Bradley’s bill, seen as the less restrictive measure moving through the state legislature, would grandfather in the seven current MMTCs and increase the cap on the number of marijuana dispensaries, expanding the number of businesses by five more when the state has 250,000 patients, 350,000 patients, 400,000 patients and then every 100,000 thereafter.

SB 406 would also allow eliminate the three-month waiting period and would also allow patients to increase their prescription cannabis supply from 45 to 90 days or even greater than 90 days with a doctor’s approval.

The legislation would create a coalition to research medical marijuana through Tampa’s H. Lee Moffitt Center and Research Institute, one of the top medical research centers in the state.

The goal of the coalition, according to the bill, is to conduct “rigorous scientific research,” and to “guide policy” for the adoption of a statewide policy on ordering and dosing practices for medical marijuana.

An education board, appointed by Dr. Alan List, the chief executive officer of the Moffitt Cancer Center, will adopt a plan for medical marijuana research in Florida. By Feb. 15 of each year, the board would need to report to the governor, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House on research projects, community outreach initiatives and future plans of the coalition in regards to medical marijuana.

Nonresidents would also be allowed to apply to receive medical marijuana in Florida as long as they are able to get medical marijuana in their home state and qualify in Florida.

Another amendment would require the Department of Health to have computer software system to track marijuana from “seed to sale,” following pot as it’s planted and distributed to patients statewide.

Bradley’s legislation has had a relatively easy time sailing through the Senate, but now the real negotiations begin to regulate Florida’s medical cannabis industry.

On Monday, a Florida House committee passed that chamber’s proposal to regulate medical pot and the bill has many provisions at odds with the Senate’s proposals.

Anti-drug groups like the Drug Free America Foundation have largely been behind crafting HB 1397 and say a more restrictive proposal is the correct way to prevent “abuse” of the state’s newest prescription drug.

The House measure, for example, includes the 90-day wait period for patients, bans edibles and vaping and also prohibits pregnant women from ingesting the drug even if their doctor suggest it.

In order to pass and become a law, both chambers will need to reach an agreement over what the state will and will not allow when it comes to medical pot.

Both bills are now ready to be heard by the House and Senate, but no hearing dates have been set.

 

 

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.

Releaf Launches Dispensary Partnership Program

Releaf Cannabis Tracking App

  Los Angeles—Releaf has launched a dispensary partnership to disseminate information patterns that are appearing on their app and expand their tool from the individual user to a wider audience. Releaf  is an app that allows users to detail the strain of cannabis they’re trying in real time, track their successes/failures with each strain, and share their results with other users — all while maintaining the consumers’ privacy.

 

The app was created by Franco Brockelman, partners Branden Hall and Keenan Keeling, along with the creative development and design team at Automata Studios. It all started when Brockelman’s mother began to struggle with finding and alternative to the prescription medications for pain management and other chronic ailments.

 

Medical cannabis helped Brockelman’s mother, but there wasn’t enough available information on how cannabis actually works, with most patients relying heavily on strain names to get their desired effects. “The strain names, unfortunately, don’t mean a lot,” said Brockelman. “The idea of Blue Dream being the same everywhere is a wonderful idea, but unfortunately it just isn’t the case.”  

 

In order to expand their tool from the individual user to a wider audience, Releaf has recently partnered with dispensaries, such as Takoma Wellness- (Washington DC,) and others. Partnered dispensaries are also able put their information into the app, which creates an important feedback loop for the industry.

 

“Patients at Takoma record their sessions in the app and they have a nice log of what’s working for them. We take those and roll them up for Takoma by symptom. So, if you have arthritis, here is what is working for that and here’s what isn’t,” said Brockelman.“And when we say it is local, it is about what that dispensary has. This specific Blue Dream, grown on this plot of land, with these nutrients, that has expressed itself in this way.”

 

“This partnership provides our patients with a unique experience to make informed decisions about their medicine,” said Stephanie Kahn, president of the Takoma Wellness Center. “Since cannabis use is such an individual experience, often utilizing a trial by error process that can be overwhelming, the Releaf app allows Takoma Wellness Center an excellent opportunity to emphasize the importance of patient education and an excellent and individualized tool with which to provide it.”

 

While they continue to grow their app and the resources it provides, Releaf recognizes the importance of keeping their user experience centered on the individual patient.

 

Releaf is available for download on Apple and Android operating systems, and is completely free of charge. To learn more, please visit: http://releafapp.com/. To speak with Releaf founder Franco Brockelman or to request images or samples, contact Rebecca atbecca.brandopr@gmail.com.

Cannabisjobs.us
This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news is everywhere.
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 list your conferences, festivals and parties for free on the site. You can also follow me on Twitter.
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If you’d like to advertise in or sponsor such a project contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com.
Thanks to everyone for your support this week regarding my trademark concerns. I didn’t hear from Vice but hope they’ll drop the promotion next year. If they do, I’ll loudly thank them for their noblesse oblige. If not, I’ll stand up for this newsletter as best I’m able. 
Here’s the news:
Politics
Homeland Security Secretary Gen. John Kelly said marijuana is not a “factor in the drug war.’He gave mixed signals, however, calling it “It is a potentially dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs.” He added that marijuana possession is grounds for deportation.
As a congressman, Trump drug czar pick and legalization opponent Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) collected thousands in contributions from opioid manufacturers. His “signature legislative accomplishment” was a bill to protect them.

Legalization is popular in Canada but most feel the 18 year old purchase age is too young. There’s also concern about driving becoming more dangerous.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail criticized the government for not decriminalizing before legalization takes effect next year. Canadian Justice minister defended the legalization law’s strict penalties for those who sell to minors.
Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, who’s running to lead Canada’s Conservative Party, favor’s legalization. Not all of his competitors do.

The Sacramento Bee has concerns about Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) legalization plan. So does the California Growers Association, which represents smaller businesses, Brown’s proposal, it said “will create an un-level playing field which will lead to decreased rates of participation and decreased rates of success.”
A Yahoo story suggests big business could be a bigger threat to California’s small growers than Trump. The New York Times meets some industrial scale growers.

With two weeks left in Florida’s legislative session, there are significant differences between state house and senate bills for MED regulation. Any compromise is unlikely to allow smoking MED, the Palm Beach Post reports. Here’s a rundown of all the bills in play.
West Virginia became the 30th state to legalize MED.

A key Massachusetts lawmaker wants to keep REC taxes low, to quickly eliminate the black market. New Hampshire is moving towards decriminalization.

A bill headed to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk would allow counties to levy and collect REC taxes.
Vermont’s REC push is still alive, according to Tom Angell.

A poll from CBS news found 61% support for REC legalization, the highest it had ever recorded. Vice called legalization “the last bipartisan cause in America.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer predicted federal legalization within five years. See the rest of his 4/20 ask me anything here. In an interesting package of weed stories, Yahoo looks at how Republicans and Democrats are teaming up to advance legalization.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said it’s time for a national conversation about rescheduling.
Under Trump, is 4/20 a demonstration or a party? A survey found that the stigma surrounding weed is losing its power in the U.S. Americans also consider opioids more dangerous than cannabis.

Activist Russ Bellville says 4/20 is still necessary.
Los Angeles County is struggling to close illegal pot shops.

Anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet hosted a Take Back 4/20 conference in Atlanta. “Medical marijuana is sheer poppycock,” former drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey said to applause. “We want to see a federal law against marijuana enforced,” Sabet said. “On the other hand, we don’t want a punitive war on drugs, focused on enforcement that goes around arresting users,”
Conspiracy theorist and Trump supporter Alex Jones blamed Jewish billionaire George Soros for weed becoming too strong.

Democrats, listen to the resistance, legalize weed,” Slate urges.
I wrote a story for Rolling Stone about what legalization in Canada means for the U.S. market.

A Jamaican government official worries that the MED opportunity is passing the country by.

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Business
Investment bank Cowen lowered its target price for Molson Coors stock, due to competition from marijuana.
Cannabis sales still spike on 4/20. Forbes says lots of businesses, not just pot shops, do well. But some in the industry think brands like Chipotle and Burger King should cut out their coy weed references and “grow up.”
More law firms are starting cannabis practices. But even in California, growers still struggle to access financial services.
A new TV commercial for a cannabis vaporizer doesn’t mention cannabis.
Canadian producer Aphria raised C$100M.
Canada’s financial industry is thrilled about legalization. “How often do you have a chance to create an industry around something that already has demand?” a banker asked. The country’s pharmaceutical distributors also want a piece.
Bay Area company Flow Kana is converting a major Mendocino County winery into a processing and packaging facility for locally grown weed. The New York Times suggests that weed and wine are becoming “companion” industries.
LA Weekly reports that hackers are holding cannabis Instagram profiles hostage for thousands of dollars.
Americans bought an estimated $688M in hemp products last year. It’s also a way for cannabis companies to stretch their brands.
Yahoo has a feature on African Americans joining the industry following the drug war.\
In a video, Rep. Jared Huffman discussed the industry’s environmental impact.
Enform, a group responsible for safety in the Canadian oil and gas industry, is concerned about legalization.

Conglomerate 3M released a report on worker safety in the industry.

Engadget says concentrates have a bright future.

In Pennsylvania, MJFreeway won the $10M state contract to do seed to sale tracking. The news comes after the company suffered a major outage in January, which it says was the result of a cyberattack.
New Cannabis Ventures called Axim Biotechnologies’ stock “extremely overvalued.” It also warned readers about Agora Financial’s “penny stock scheme.

The only MED dispensary in the Bronx is struggling. Colorado’s first drive-thru dispensary opened.
Cell phone network T-Mobile called its competitor VerHIGHzon. Zing!
Trump FDA chief nominee Scott Gottlieb has a stake in vaping company Kure Corp. that could hold up his Senate confirmation.Correction: Last week I incorrectly called Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth Brian Linton. I regret the error.                                                                  

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Health and Science

A study found that daily cannabis users “may be especially vulnerable” to feelings of “perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness” that can lead to suicidal ideation.

Scientific American casts doubt on the entourage effect, the belief that various cannabinoids in combination will produce unique REC or MED effects.Weed related DUI’s dropped a third in the first quarter of 2017.

The Weed For Warriors Project published emails in an effort to explain why Johns Hopkins University withdrew from a study to test MED on veterans with PTSD. Short version, the school felt the study wasn’t rigorous enough to produce reliable results.

The journal Nature found that federally grown marijuana is less potent and less chemically diverse than what’s available in legal states.

A survey found more than three quarters of opioid patients reduced their use after starting to use MED. The results were less impressive for for anti-depressent and alcohol users.

Medicaid chief medical officer Andrey Ostrovsky is interested to see more data on whether MED can curtail opioid use.

More students are using cannabis for the first time in college.

A study found that young people find smoking cigarettes with cannabis less pleasurable than smoking cigarettes with alcohol.

Pro-legalization group Drug Policy Alliance is calling for evidence-based drug policy as part of today’s March for Science. Find your nearest march here.

A Sacramento woman became the country’s first state-certified budtender.

Almost half of cannabis users in Colorado and California get high alone. Reason has a report on anti-drug group D.A.R.E.’s history of getting kids to narc on their parents.

Marijuana saved my pregnancy,” a woman writes at Yahoo.

Former teachers in Colorado have developed a pot-based science curriculum for high school students.

Personal care company Dr. Bronner’s pledged $5M to win FDA approval for MDMA (ecstasy) to treat PTSD.

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Criminal Justice

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned nine “sanctuary city” jurisdictions, including the state of California, that failure to cooperate with federal efforts to deport undocumented immigrants could result in the loss of federal grants. The Justice Department also warned that failure to comply with federal laws, including marijuana laws, could similarly result in lost funds.

The Washington Post says Sessions has a tough fight ahead if he wants to restore prohibition. I made a similar case in Slate recently.

The Guardian says Trump is “embracing” the war on drug’s racism. Rolling Stone discusses cannabis prohibition’s racist origins.
Massachusetts AG Maura Healey (D), who opposed the state’s REC law, said Sessions is “obsessed” with marijuana. The opioid crisis, she said, is a much more serious concern.
Legalization in Canada is not expected to include blanket amnesty for those with past cannabis convictions.
Nine activists were arrested for giving out joints on Capitol Hill in D.C.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a law to protecting cannabis consumers’ information from federal authorities.
Maryland eased restrictions on past cannabis use by police applicants. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund applauded the move.

Following a 15 year legal battle, a jury will decide whether Ecuadorean coca farmers deserve compensation for years of harmful pesticide spraying. The spraying was part of the American war on drugs effort.

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Culture

The NFL players’ union wants a less punitive approach to marijuana, but does “not necessarily” want it removed from the banned substance list.

A Colorado bill to ban cannabis use in churches failed. It was designed to oppose the non-denominational International Church of Cannabis which opened this week.

Vice sent a joint into space.
Former Drug Policy Alliance head Ethan Nadelmann may start a podcast.

Lots of folks have flown commercial with weed.

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.
Alex
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