Cannabis News

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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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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.”

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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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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.
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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.

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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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Business
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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Product reviews:

*

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.

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Alex
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Power of the pot business

Posted by | April 19, 2017 | Cannabis News

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Power of the pot business

“Cannabis is the next great American industry,” says Troy Dayton. As CEO of Arcview Group, Dayton works with over 650 high-net-worth investors who have poured more than $100 million into cannabis-related startups since 2010.

He calls early investors in the burgeoning marijuana industry “pioneers” who are hoping to stake their claims in the Green Rush.

Revenues from the U.S. marijuana industry are expected to mushroom from $6.7 billion in 2016 to over $21 billion by 2021, according to Arcview Group research. Dayton predicts that explosive growth will happen, whether or not President Trump cracks down on legalized marijuana.

“[A crackdown] may impact valuations of some companies, and it may affect who invests in those companies, but states will continue to give out licenses, and there will be a line of people outside those facilities looking to purchase [the product].”

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form.

Next year is expected to be a particularly big year for the weed business because at least eight of the 11 states that passed medical or recreational cannabis laws in 2016 will begin selling it. So, in 2018, one in five Americans will live in an area where it’s legal to get high.

In addition, Canada is expected to legalize marijuana for recreational use on July 1, 2018. That’s expected to result in tens of billions of dollars in additional annual revenue for the cannabis sector, creating jobs and more business opportunities.

It appears there will be plenty of investors wanting in on the action. In an exclusive Yahoo News/Marist Poll, nearly three in 10 Americans (28%) say if cannabis were legal, they would like to invest in the marijuana business, including 21% of nonusers.

The poll also finds a majority of Americans approve of their bank (52%) or retirement fund (51%) investing in the marijuana industry.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the survey also finds there is a “generational divide” when it comes to people’s attitudes about investing in the cannabis sector. Overall, younger respondents feel more comfortable investing in the space. The poll shows 38% of millennials, 35% of Gen X, 21% of baby boomers, and only 6% of those 70 and older would be open to investing in the marijuana sector.

But Dayton tells Yahoo Finance that he sees a softening of this generation gap in his own business. “We see a lot of father-son, daughter-mother type matchups where the children have gotten the parents excited about the business side of marijuana, even though [the kids] were getting in trouble for smoking it just a few years ago.”

Banking on weed

While most large, mainstream banks still don’t do business with cannabis companies, they do recognize that their clients are interested in exploring weed as a viable investment opportunity.

In March, Bank of America held a panel about investing in cannabis as part of its annual Global Research Consumer Conference. Forty institutional investors attended the panel, though the bank declined to name the attendees.

And the brokerage firm Cowen & Co. held an event in January for its institutional investors interested in exploring opportunities in the marijuana space. Cowen also released an extensive report on the cannabis industry, suggesting the U.S. recreational market could grow to $50 billion in annual revenues by 2026.

Overall, however, the financial industry has yet to catch up with marijuana’s increasing popularity. The fact that the drug is federally illegal in the U.S. has many large banks and corporations keeping their distance.

Just over 300 smaller, regional banks, including Safe Harbor bank in Colorado, are currently doing business with the cannabis industry. That’s less than 3% of the nation’s 11,954 federally regulated banks and credit unions.

“We have to end federal prohibition of marijuana,” says Dayton. Once that happens, he says, bank resources and venture capital funds will flood the market.

The Green Rush

Dayton equates the legalization of marijuana to pivotal events in world history, such as President Richard Nixon normalizing relations with Communist China and the fall of the Berlin Wall. As with those historic events, Dayton says, “The desire to do business was already there, but laws were the impediments.”

In the meantime, many large companies are choosing to wager on the marijuana boom from afar. They are investing in ancillary industries, such as agriculture or consumption paraphernalia.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. saw its stock climb 48% last year. The fertilizer company also sells lighting and other supplies for hydroponics, an indoor method of growing cannabis.

Dayton describes investor events at Arcview Group as the “Shark Tank” of the cannabis industry. He adds that the Green Rush appears to cross party lines, with people from the right and the left interested in weed.

“Cannabis is one of the few things bringing America together these days.”

Has Jeff Sessions already lost the war on medical marijuana?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to bring back the war on drugs, but on medical marijuana — which he says “has been hyped, maybe too much” — he may be too late.

Any minute now, medical marijuana will be legal in West Virginia. West Virginia! It’s a state that voted for Trump by nearly 42 points in November, and approved medical marijuana via its Republican legislature last week. Democratic Gov. Jim Justice (D) is open to signing it.

And West Virginia is on the tail end of the medical marijuana trend. Half the population of the country, spread out among some 28 states and the District of Columbia, can legally smoke some form marijuana for medical purposes. All but three states legalize some part of the drug found in the cannabis plant for medical cause (mostly the compound cannabidiol, which research suggests doesn’t get people high but can help with anxiety and pain).

Liberal, West Coast states launched the medical marijuana trend almost two decades ago. Western, redder states with a libertarian streak followed. And now, a February Quinnipiac University poll found that 93 percent of voters support medical marijuana being legally prescribed by a doctor.

In 2017, all that’s left for medical marijuana advocates to conquer is more traditional Republican states, which they’re doing. West Virginia is the third Republican-controlled state legislature in a row to pass a medical marijuana bill. In November, voters in all or mostly GOP-controlled Ohio and Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana by ballot.

“I remember 10 years ago, when I started working on theses issues, it was hard to have a conversation about limited medical use with a lot of legislatures,” said Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project. “They didn’t even want to take meetings on it. The tide has shifted dramatically — it used to feel like we were trying to push a boulder up a mountain, and it feels like we’re going downhill with the wind at our backs.”

West Virginia’s legalization path underscored how bipartisan medical marijuana has become. To bring a state Senate bill to the floor, state House Republicans revolted against their leadership with a parliamentary procedure led by state House Democrats to override reluctant leaders.

“I think we all know someone who has benefited from some application of marijuana or certainly could benefit based on the research that’s available today,” state Rep. John Schott (R) said, according to the Associated Press.

But if the battle over medical marijuana is done, we’re in the throes of a legal pot battle that states are far more reluctant to touch. Eight states have legalized recreational pot, and not one via a state legislature. (They’ve all been ballot initiatives.) Last year, Vermont lawmakers got close, but the bill fizzled.

This year, advocates have their eyes on Rhode Island, where pot advocates in the legislature are trying to race Massachusetts, whose voters legalized marijuana by in November, to the market.

Back in Washington, the federal government is still a universe away from even where West Virginia stands on pot: It’s technically illegal to buy, sell or use marijuana, including for medical use. The government puts marijuana in the same category as heroin: a Schedule 1 drug that has the “high potential for abuse and no accepted medical treatment use.”

The Obama administration decided not to enforce some of those laws as it reduced mandatory prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. But Sessions has indicated he’ll re-up those sentences and crack down on people found guilty of possessing drugs.

If Sessions decides to enforce the federal laws that ban medical marijuana, he’d have to crack down on half the country.

Congress may soon have to decide between Sessions or the states. In the recent past, a coalition of Republicans and Democrats in Congress have limited how much the Justice Department can interfere in states’ medical marijuana programs. Lawmakers have even been receptive to expanding those protections to recreational pot as well.

While the federal government decides what it wants to do, advocates are moving quickly to recreate their medical marijuana success in the legislature. Simon says he thinks once they hook their first state legislature to legalize recreational marijuana, others will quickly follow.

 That strategy worked for medical marijuana. Two decades ago, it was nearly impossible to imagine a state like West Virginia legalizing medical pot. Now, it’s barely even news.

As more US states continue to legalize cannabis – and Canada prepares to end prohibition nationwide – social attitudes are also evolving. A new Yahoo News/Marist poll posted earlier this week found that the stigmas that have shadowed cannabis for years are starting to die out. Support for medical and adult use legalization continues to climb (80% for medical, 49% for adult use), and one in four Americans are looking to invest in federally-legal cannabis companies. The poll also found some interesting behavior among cannabis consumers. 86% have used cannabis at a party or social event with friends – not exactly shocking. But did you figure 16% would consume before a religious service? 20% before a funeral? Interesting…

The Yahoo/Marist poll surveyed 1,122 adults in the United States, and was conducted in March 2017.

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WeedWeek: Canada Rolls Out Plan to Legalize REC, and I Call Out Vice Media

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A note to readers: Vice Media had launched a “Weed Week” promotional campaign to support its show Weediquette. Last year I applied for two WeedWeek trademarks to avoid conflicts like this and both are advancing through the approval process.

After hearing about Vice’s promotion, I approached the company. The short version is I asked for a $2,500 license fee for the use of Weed Week this year – essentially enough to cover my legal fees. Vice’s outside counsel rejected my claim and offered me a nuisance payment $2,500 to let Vice use “Weed Week” in perpetuity. I declined the offer.

I’m not sure who’d win if I took Vice to court and don’t have the resources to find out. One important factor in trademark cases is whether an ordinary person could be confused between our respective brands. Emails I have received suggest that some people were confused by Vice’s campaign. (“At first I thought maybe you were doing a thing with Viceland,” someone wrote.) What do you think?https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/weedweek/

It’s possible that this is a coincidence. It’s also possible that decision makers at Vice were aware of WeedWeek and/or my trademark application and disregarded it. They could have stumbled on it in several ways: WeedWeek frequently links to Vice’s journalism, occasionally on request, and roughly a dozen vice-dot-com email addresses receive WeedWeek every Saturday. My newsletter is the first hit if you Google WeedWeek, Weed Week or “Weed Week”. Someone at Vice could also have done a free and instant trademark search.

I admire much of what Vice does and have friends and acquaintances who’ve worked with the company. As I freelancer, I also noticed last year’s Columbia Journalism Review story called “Vice Shows How Not to Treat Freelancers.” This recognition is something of an achievement, considering how most publications treat freelancers. Following the story, Vice’s head of content Ciel Hunter reminded staff that “VICE and freelancers depend on each other.

My case is not an exact parallel, but I believe Vice’s response to me carries the same whiff of contempt for the little guy. This is not an attractive pose for a media company that considers calling out bad behavior part of its mission.

My livelihood is entwined with the trademark WeedWeek, and I’ve taken reasonable steps to protect it. Vice and WeedWeek are part of the same community and potential allies. After this week’s promotion ends I hope Vice can recognize that and use another brand.

If you find WeedWeek valuable, I’d appreciate it if you could post something like the following to Twitter, Facebook or other social media:

Hey @VICE, #weedweek is a newsletter! goo.gl/TJs7ee cc: @Weedweeknews

You can also retweet this tweet and this tweet and share this post on Facebook.

Thanks!

Here’s the news:
Politics
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau unveiled legislation to legalize marijuana nationwide. If Canada legalizes next year, as expected, it would be the second country, after Uruguay, to fully legalize. Canada expects legal REC sales to begin in mid-2018, though perhaps not on Canada Day, July 1. See the proposal here. For the press release see here.

The proposal would establish a minimum purchasing age of 18, though individual provinces could raise it. Growers would be federally licensed while provinces would regulate distribution and sales.

Criminal penalties for unsanctioned business will be strict. As it moves forward, Canada will likely be in violation of several international treaties.

Many details remain unclear. Brian Linton CEO of Canopy Growth, the country’s largest grower, expectsrules to require “really boring packaging, for sure, which we’re not necessarily in favor of.”

In preparation, the government is accelerating its business licensing process.

Legalization is expected to catalyze industry consolidation. Canada stands to take in C$675M a year in pot taxes.

Jimmy Kimmel joked that Canada is about to become “the stoner living in America’s attic.” Response from the Trump administration was muted.

An opinion piece in The Hill discusses the “sensible taxes” in Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s (D-Ore.) proposed path to federal legalization.

Blumenauer is one of 44 House members who want to extend the Feds’ current hands-off legal MED policy. He expects legislative activity to pick up after the April recess.

California lawmakers are considering dozens of cannabis bills. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) supports rules that would make it easier to start a cannabis business.

Kevin Sabet’s anti-legalization group SAM Action Inc., faces $6,000 in fines for campaign finance violations related to its work opposing November’s REC vote in California.

Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) suggested that Trump son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner would tell the president not to crack down. “How can you be 36 years old and grow up in New York City and be for having people jailed for marijuana?” Cohen asked.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) said the federal government should decriminalize marijuana.

Pro-cannabis Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Co.) is running for governor of Colorado. Current Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) will be term-limited next year and is considered a possible presidential candidate in 2020.

An anti-drug group is helping to craft Florida’s MED rules.

Oregon lawmakers passed a bill to protect pot users’ data from the feds. Rhode Island lawmakers say they have the votes to pass REC through the legislature.

Massachusetts pols are angling for a seat on the state pot Commission. More than 600 Californians have applied to be on the state Cannabis Advisory Committee.

A REC bill needs a miracle to pass the Vermont legislature, a supporter said. A bill in Nevada would blur the difference between MED and REC.

No one in the Alabama legislature is pushing for MED reform. But legalization is popular in the deep south state. The plan to grow MED at Louisiana State University has

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.
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
The governors of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington asked U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Muchin and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to let the legalization experiments continue. A reversal, they wrote,  “would divert existing marijuana product into the black market.”

And if asking nicely doesn’t work, Washington plans to fight the feds.

The DEA asked Colorado for information on marijuana prosecutions, a freedom of information request revealed. Despite jitters, Colorado authorities downplayed the note’s significance for legalization.

The Cannabist interviewed Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) on his evolution from legalization opponent to near supporter. He also discusses how he feels about it as a parent of teenagers.

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a 92-page document with recommendations on how to streamline MED and REC regulation. The response from business was generally positive. Police expressed concerns that proposed rules would make it too easy for organized crime to become involved. Read the document here.

AG Sessions said a new task force comprised of law enforcement officials will review federal marijuana policy and other criminal justice issues. He asked for recommendations by July 27.

At least 13 bills addressing various aspects of cannabis reform have been introduced in Congress and await committee hearings. It’s not clear if any have the support needed to pass. For more see here.

Nevada Republican lawmakers reached out to Sessions for guidance on REC. Rhode Island is conducting its first “census” of legal, home-grown MED plants.

Embattled Trump confidant Roger Stone called on the president to end the “War on weed.”

Four of the five candidates in France’s presidential election support cannabis reform, including centrist frontrunner Emmanuel Macron. Only far-right candidate Marine Le Pen opposes.

A strict MED bill is heading to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s (D) desk. He’s expected to sign.

Canadian officials unveiled an internal trade agreement to facilitate a national REC market. Time asks how legalization in Canada could affect the U.S.

Delegations from numerous states as well as South American and European nations have visited Washington to learn how to regulate cannabis. Many visit Colorado too.

Maryland may raise the number of MED licenses in a bid to increase minority ownership.

Cannabis supporters in North Dakota are unsatisfied with the MED rollout so far.

Maine lawmakers can’t decide how to regulate REC. Massachusetts lawmakers may strip the state treasurer of her power to regulate REC.

Canna Law Blog has an interesting post on cannabis policy in East Asia.

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Business
A federal judge awarded $47M to Grenco Science, maker of the G-Pen vaporizer, from 47 companies deemed to have violated its trademarks.

A report from Arcview says the industry will maintain double digit growth even if there’s a federal crackdown. Not everyone agrees.

Illinois cannabis companies are now clear to donate to politicians, but will they?

Robots could replace trimmers.

To facilitate tax paying, the IRS is setting up cash counting rooms for cannabis businesses in Seattle and Denver.

In the Bay Area there are tensions around unionizing the industry. The S.F. Chronicle article by Peter Fimrite is worth a read.

Companies are going public in Canada and using the proceeds to invest in the U.S. Canadian producer Aphria invested $18.6M in a licensed Florida CBD business.

A Canadian financial analyst predicts a legal market of $4.6 billion in 2019 eventually growing to exceed $10 billion.

Israeli cannabinoid-pharma company Therapix Biosciences, licensed a nasal drug delivery technology.

New York VC fund Lerer Hippeau Ventures put $3M into LeafLink, an online cannabis marketplace for businesses.

After less than a year, Leah Heise, CEO of networking company Women Grow, is leaving to start a MED dispensary in Maryland. COO Kristina Neoushoff will serve as interim CEO.

A pot real estate boom is on in New England. But small farmers don’t want to be left out.

Horizons Medical Marijuana Life Sciences, the first cannabis exchange traded fund, started trading in Canada.

Canada marijuana company Aphria buying into Florida’s market

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.
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
Sen. Ron Wyden (D.-Ore.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced a package of three bills that would lead to federal regulation of cannabis and “provide certainty for state-legal marijuana businesses.” The bills would also eliminate the tax code’s 280E rule which the industry considers an unfair tax.
In addition, Rep. Jared Polis (D- Colo.) introduced the Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act and did an Ask Me Anything on Reddit. The Orange County Register summarizes how the proposed legislation would protect California consumers and businesses from federal prosecution. For more see here.
Canada expects national legalization to be in place by July 1, 2018. Former Toronto Police chief Bill Blair said legalization would reduce youth access. For more see here and here.
U.S. public support for REC legalization reached an all-time high of 57%, up from 52%  in 2014.
Lori Ajax, head of MED regulation in California, said legalization will be a turbulent process.
Texas lawmakers are weighing more than a dozen cannabis bills. West Virginia’s Senate passed a MED bill. A MED bill in South Carolina has support from conservatives.
Vermont legislators unexpectedly stopped a REC vote.
An Illinois judge ruled that the First Amendment protects the right of cannabis companies to make political contributions. MED legalization has ignited a lobbyist “feeding frenzy” in Michigan.
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), a legalization supporter and former punk rocker, said he would run for Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R) Senate seat in 2018.
Kansas City voters appear likely to decriminalize this week.
A court in South Africa’s Western Cape province, which includes Cape Town, said cannabis — “dagga” – can be used at home. Argentina’s Senate approved MED use.
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Business
As Canada moves to legalize, a group of producers are lobbying to provide MED tax-free, and for permission to brand their products. A task force recommended that cannabis be provided in plain brown wrappers, similar to Canadian rules for tobacco. “Brands allow professional companies to separate themselves from less scrupulous [i.e. illegal] competitors,” Brendan Kennedy, president of B.C.-based producer Tilray objected.
Canadian pot stocks jumped on the legalization news.
Legalization could benefit “dozens of industries,” the Boston Globe reports.
A survey found that only 13% of Canadians trust marijuana producers to do what’s best for the country, the lowest of 20 industries in the survey. Sixty two percent of Canadians trust hospitals, the highest-ranking sector.
Pot activists claimed victory after Twitter reversed a short-lived policy of censoring some weed-related posts.
More opportunities to grow outdoors and energy efficient lighting are cutting into the revenue power companies see from legalization.
Canadian pharmacy chain Loblaws and subsidiary Shoppers Drug Mart will include MED insurance – for a “narrow range of conditions” —  in its employee benefits package. The company also wants to sell MED.
Resolve Digital Health, maker of a MED system which vaporizes individually dosed and packaged “pods” raised C$5M and plans to debut its Breeze system in California.
MJBizDaily meets some of the groups bringing labor, environmental and organic standards to the industry.
The Indianapolis Star looks at what a controversial state vaping law might have to do with a state Senator’s ties to a cannabis security company.
A Massachusetts dispensary will offer statewide delivery.
In New Zealand, billionaire Richard Branson told farmers to grow weed rather than raise cattle.
The growing number of Americans who can’t pass drug tests is creating job opportunities for refugees. “In our lives, we don’t have drugs,” a Syrian refugee in Pennsylvania tells CNN. “We don’t even know what they look like or how to use them.”
The Colorado transportation department has partnered with Lyft to create the “320 movement,” a campaign to encourage ride planning before consuming.
Health and Science
A Canadian study found that methadone users who also use cannabis are much more likely to continue using opioids.
The N.Y. Times takes a look at cannabis’s alleged potential to help opioid addicts. The article mentions a January National Academy of Sciences report which “found no evidence to support or refute the conclusion that cannabinoids are an effective treatment” for addiction.
However, MED states have seen a significant drop in hospitalizations for opioid abuse and overdoses.
Johns Hopkins University backed out of a clinical trial to determine if cannabis helps veterans with PTSD.
The Trump administration named Richard Baum acting drug czar. Obama drug czar Michael Botticelli will join Johns Hopkins’ public health school as a policy scholar.
Illinois rejected autism and intractable pain as qualifying conditions for MED. Gov. Bruce Rauner (R)  isn’t optimistic about MED but is keeping an open mind.
Canadian researchers identified 30 genes responsible for cannabis’ odor.
Tufts public health professor Margie Skeer says, “Say no to bad drug policy.
In Germany there’s a movement to take away young children’s toys as a way to prevent future drug addiction. The idea is controversial and unproven.
A proposed bill in Maine would stop discrimination against MED users who await organ donations. The bill is named for Mainer Garry Godfrey who needs a kidney. “I should have never had to choose between a lifesaving organ transplant and a lifesaving medicine,” he said. Officially his hospital bumped him from the list because MED use raises the risk of a fungal infection.
Cannabis figures prominently in ancient Chinese medical texts.
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Criminal Justice
The U.S. can forbid non-citizens, including green-card holders, from entering the country if they’ve ever used cannabis. Leafly suggests that enforcement is increasing under the Trump Administration. If the rule applied to Americans, more than 40% would be unable to enter the country.
The WSJ suggests that President Trump’s drug policy has a “split-personality.” “Tension is growing between a treatment-focused approach, embodied in a new commission on opioids headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), and the aggressive prosecution of drug crimes promised by Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R).” During the 2016 Republican primaries, Christie was the candidate most vocally opposed to marijuana legalization.
Libertarian pub Reason says Christie is “not the worst choice in a Trumpian world,” but notes that the panel is “stacked with prosecutors and 12-steppers.”
Eight of the 16 arrested for running a multi-state weed-ring out of Denver had current or expired state licenses.
Leafly says more police departments are staging raids armed with cease and desist letters and clipboards instead of submachine guns and battering rams.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to sign a bill that would enable MED patients to access the drug after posting bond and awaiting trial. Colorado already allows MED users on probation to consume. See upcoming cannabis legislation in Colorado here.
A bill proposed in the U.S. Senate would impose extra penalties on criminals who sell drugs designed to appeal to children. A report mentioned, for example, candies laced with MDMA or THC. Such fears tend to be overblown.
Most experts disagree with Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the recent jump in crime represents a “permanent trend.” In 2016, federal criminal prosecutions fell to the lowest level in almost 20 years.
Sessions’ home-state paper, the Tuscaloosa (Alabama) News said he “clings to failed drug policies.
A government report found that since 2007 the DEA has confiscated $3.2 billion from individuals not charged with a crime.
The U.K.’s slavery watchdog is criticizing police for not stopping cannabis-related slavery at grows in the country.
Trump advisor and son in law Jared Kushner has been meeting with members of Congress about criminal justice reform.
The Montana Supreme Court declined to hear the case of a man who faces charges but claims the pot in his possession wasn’t dry and therefore wasn’t usable.
Proposed legislation in the Philippines would give President Rodrigo Duterte control over tens of thousands of local village councils is being justified as part of his war on drugs.
Edgar Veytia, attorney general of Mexico’s Nayarit state was arrested at the U.S. border for drug trafficking.
Culture
National Geographic encounters pygmies in the Democratic Republic of Congo who have resorted to selling cannabis. Don’t miss the photographs.
For the first time, San Francisco’s 4/20 festival will have a permit from the city.
A company is selling weed flower crowns for Coachella. Weedmaps will host a cannabis “oasis” near the southern California music festival.
Proposed budget cuts from President Trump would undermine community gardens in New York City.
Rapper Wiz Khalifa has been criticized for posting a picture of himself smoking a joint at Pablo Escobar’s grave.
Model Nyima Ward says he’d be just as happy as a pot farmer.

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