Posts Tagged “Cannabis News”

Booker introduces bill to legalize marijuana nationwide

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana.

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

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

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

Marijuana legalization advocates were thrilled with Booker’s proposal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canadian provinces are trying to shape legalization.

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

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

Breaking news, primary source documents and exclusive scoops.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Struggling social media app MassRoots raised $1.2M.

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

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

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

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

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

Legalization in Nevada benefits Uber and Lyft drivers.


Health and Science

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Washington apologized for anti-marijuana billboards aimed at Hispanics. 

Criminal Justice

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

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

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

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

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

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

Violent crime has declined in Washington since REC legalization.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Product reviews:



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

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

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

A Tucson group is helping homeless veterans get MED cards.

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

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

I think this Good Mythical Morning video is rather charming.

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

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

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Rolling a Joint with Seth Rogen – from our friends at

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

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


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CBD As an Aid for Mental Health


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



It has antipsychotic effects

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



It helps to treat depression

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



It is used to treat addictions

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


Top 10 Marijuana Discoveries in 2017 by Kurt Darrell








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


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


  1. Marijuana Actually Does Relieve Stress


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


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


  1. Marijuana Compounds Can Reduce Seizures







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


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


  1. Marijuana Can Increase Alcohol Use


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


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


  1. Marijuana Found to be Linked to Schizophrenia


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


  1. Marijuana Can Calm Your Gut


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


  1. Cannabis Helps with PTSD


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


  1. Marijuana Could Cure Heroin Addiction


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


  1. Marijuana Could be Good for Your Pets

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


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


  1. Marijuana Can Help Cure Cancer


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

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


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


  1. Marijuana Could Treat Multiple Sclerosis


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


Going Forward


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





Author Bio:

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

Harvard Study: Smoking Cannabis Actually Improves Brain Function

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

Credit: Marijuana Stocks

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

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

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

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

Says the McLean Hospital report:

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

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

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

Credit: Counter Current News

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

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

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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 or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.
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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:
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.


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.                                                                  


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.


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.



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

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

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

Lots of folks have flown commercial with weed.

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

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

All rights reserved.

Canada marijuana company Aphria buying into Florida’s market

5 Tips to Help You Grow Old Cannabis Seeds

Do you have old cannabis seeds that you are uncertain what to do with? Or are you wanting to purchase cannabis seeds but aren’t sure how to grow them if they’re order? There is a simple way to go about this – germinate these seeds to grow new plants. It can seem overwhelming at first, and you may be impatient as you wait to see if they will sprout. Of course, the process is made easier if the seeds were stored properly in a refrigerator.

Getting started with the germination of old seeds may be frustrating for many people. There is a hard shell covering the seed that will not allow water to permeate at first, so it can seem as though nothing is going to happen with the seeds. However, they will swell and break open to begin the process of growing. If you take your time and follow these top 5 tips for germinating old seeds, you are sure to experience great success.

Acid Mixed with Water Is Key

Take about 33 oz. of water, and use it to dilute about one teaspoon of Fulvic acid. This is the mixture that you will place your seeds in.

It is recommended that you soak the seeds in a paper towel that has water or some mixture such as the one above, if you have seeds that are at least 3 years old. This is especially the case if you have seeds that are dry and losing their germination power. Newer seeds have cells that contain adequate water already, so they can bloat and begin to rot before germination can occur. With older seeds, there is less water in the cells so they can handle soaking in water longer without risk of this happening.

If you decide to go the paper towel route, wet 2 of them and place the seeds in between. Spray some water on them daily for 3 or 4 days. At this time, they should be starting to sprout.

Sand Paper Helps

You should take sand paper and scuff the seed’s outer shells. Place the piece of sand paper down, then shake the cannabis seeds over it. They will develop some micro abrasions, which in turn will allow them to let in more water.

An alternate way to help break down the shell is to soak the seeds in a 3 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide for about 10-20 minutes. This actually should dissolve the shell, making it an excellent solution if you want to get started fast.

Carbonated Water

One option that you can use instead of the regular water, is to put the seeds into some lightly carbonated water. The Co2 in it will make it possible for the water to penetrate the seed easier.

Seed Booster/Enzyme


A light enzyme or seed booster can be beneficial when dealing with seeds that need some extra help with germinating. It accelerates the germ cycle of the seed for a greater rate of success by restoring the germination capacity of the seeds. Some seed boosters even protect against fungi and bacteria.

How to Use the Seed Booster

Shake the booster well before you use it. Place 7 drops into a litre of water. You may do this in every water supply for the seeds until they are ready for the growth phase.

The booster also can be used at the beginning of the growth phase to ensure that the cannabis seeds grow well.

Slice Them Open

It sounds harsh, but a straightforward way to get the seeds to germinate is to take an Exacto knife and slice them down the spine of the seed. Water then will be able to penetrate the shell faster and easier. This should be your last resort method to produce positive results with your old cannabis seeds.

In order to have your aged cannabis seeds start to grow, you will have to put some more work into it than you would otherwise. Before too long, you will have sprouts, and then plants that will be beautiful and in good shape.

You will benefit greatly from careful planning and evaluation of the seeds throughout. It truly is a miraculous process that you are sure to pick up on quickly and enjoy watching as these seeds germinate and grow.

Advocacy group Americans for Safe Access argued DEA’s information about marijuana directly influenced “the action — and inaction — of Congress.”


A document that put the DEA under fire for disseminating misinformation about marijuana’s health effects has disappeared from the agency’s website.

As of Monday, “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse,” a nearly 45-page publication on the various ramifications of cannabis use, no longer was available on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s website.

The document last year was at the center of a legal petition by Americans for Safe Access claiming the DEA’s publishing of “scientifically inaccurate information about the health effects of medical cannabis” directly influenced “the action — and inaction — of Congress.”

In December, the medical marijuana advocacy organization alleged that the DEA website’s inclusion of 25 false statements about marijuana violated the Data Quality Act, also known as the Information Quality Act, which is meant to ensure the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information that government agencies provide to the public.

Some of those statements — that cannabis plays a significant role in psychosis; marijuana smoking causes tumors of the head, neck and lung; and marijuana is a precursor to illicit drug use and heroin addiction — have been contradicted by the DEA’s own statements in its August 2016 Denial of Petition to Initiate Proceedings to Reschedule Marijuana, according to ASA.

Agencies have 60 days to respond to requests to correct information, ASA said in its statement.

On Monday, the group hailed the document’s absence as a victory.

“The DEA’s removal of these popular myths about cannabis from their website could mean the end of the Washington gridlock,” Steph Sherer, ASA executive director, said in a statement. “This is a victory for medical cannabis patients across the nation, who rely on cannabis to treat serious illnesses.”

DEA spokesman Russell Baer, citing pending litigation, told The Cannabist on Tuesday that he could not comment on the matter.

In its statement, ASA said “the fight is not over,” claiming that the DEA’s website continues to include false or misleading statements about marijuana.
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Here’s the news:
Cannabis prohibitionist Jeff Sessions (R), who Senators deemed too racist for a federal judgeship in 1986, was confirmed as U.S. Attorney General. West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin was the only Democrat to vote for confirmation.

Shortly after the confirmation President Trump signed three executive orders, determined to crack down on crime, which is near historic lows.  Sessions called recent small jumps in the crime rate a “dangerous permanent trend” despite a lack of supporting evidence.

The Cannabist talked to expert John Hudak about what Sessions might do on marijuana.

Speaking to an audience, Hudak said:

Your industry is small by any metric of American capitalism. You are a speck of dust in a clutter of dirt of American capitalism… The president is planning to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If you think that hospitals, doctors and the pharmaceutical industry are small enough to be shaken down by the president, but the cannabis industry is too big to face the same challenge from the president, once again, you’re insane.

Many in the industry are worried.

In USNews, D.C. cannabis activist Adam Eidinger urges pressure on Sessions. “Sessions’ positions on marijuana are outdated and misinformed and legitimately concerning,” he writes.

The National Cannabis Industry Association, which declined to oppose Sessions, said, “We look forward to Attorney General Sessions maintaining the current federal policy of respect for legal, regulated cannabis programs in the states.

Congress’s new bi-partisan “Cannabis Caucus” is moving to counter the possible Sessions threat. A bi-partisan group of lawmakers introduced the self-explanatory “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017.

As Tom Angell pointed out, the Cole Memo, the document that led the Justice Department to allow the state level industries, is still up on the department’s site.

During a pre-Super Bowl interview, Trump said he had no opinion on NFL players using MED, but said that “When it comes up to the level of the presidency I’ll have an opinion.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), a possible 2020 Presidential candidate, said he opposes REC legalization. Cuomo has received longstanding support from the alcohol industry.

What’s holding up MED in Florida? “Everything.” Including a proposed 90-day waiting period between getting a recommendation and being able to access the drug. In Texas, where MED isn’t legal, the path is even more convoluted.

Colleges and universities in Maine aren’t rolling out the green carpet.

Los Angeles County extended its ban on cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas.

North Dakota named its MED director, a longtime state employee. Eleven MED bills went before legislative committees in Arkansas. Tennessee is trying to figure out what to do about Nashville’s decriminalization ordinance, which contradicts state law.

Social vaping could be possible in Denver, even if social smoking violates the clean air law. A pro-social use group is suing the state to allow alcohol and weed consumption in the same space.

Those favoring on-site dispensary use in Alaska keep hope alive.

Nevada is moving fast to regulate REC. A bill in New Mexico would allow all veterans to have MED access.

Vermont’s new governor Phil Scott (R), opposes a legislative measure to legalize REC, but says he may consider REC bills in the future.

MED supporters may be making progress in Wisconsin. There’s a “longshot” legislative effort to legalize REC in Minnesota.

In the N.Y. Times, Former president of Colombia César Gaviria said Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is “repeating my mistakes.

Peru could legalize MED after a raid on a house in Lima where parents grew for their sick children. Zambia might legalize MED.

Israel is moving forward with plans to export MED. A New Zealand health official says some doctors in the country are prejudiced against MED.

Rich, liberal Marin County (Calif.) banned REC businesses.

The Boston Globe looks into the legality of flying with weed.



Two former executives of Minnesota MED company Vireo Health face criminal charges, for allegedly smuggling MED from Minnesota to New York.

Executives at many public cannabis companies have been selling stock since the September rally. This week it’s General Cannabis.

MED companies are filing for lots of patents.

California delivery service Eaze released its second annual “State of Cannabis” report: Its data shows, among other insights, that 1) flower sales are dropping, and 3) One-third of Eaze customers are women. See more here.

Scotts Miracle-Gro CEO Jim Hagedorn, which has been buying hydroponics companies, is a Trump supporter.

Marijuana Business Daily says U.S.-Canada corporate partnerships are on the rise.

Cannabis could lead the way in water conservation technology, a water treatment analyst suggests.

Colorado has issued worker safety guidelines for the industry. See the report here.

An opinion piece in the L.A. Times argues legalizing will boost American business. The Guardian says hemp could boost the economy.

Lifestyle brands Van Der Pop and Tokyo Smoke merged into a single company. (Disclosure: Van Der Pop offers WeedWeek readers a discount on one of its products and WeedWeek receives a portion of the revenue.)

I wrote about the MJFreeway cyberattack for LA Weekly.

BizBash says cannabis is changing the events industry, and not just weed-centric events.

Confident Cannabis has released what it calls the first “cannabis wholesale pricing estimator” based on testing results and current market prices.

Louisiana State University needs contractors to grow the state’s MED. License applicants in Pennsylvania face tough competition.

Cannabis Wire co-founder Alyson Martin is Buzzfeed’s new national cannabis reporter.

Health and Science

U.K.-based GW Pharma released data from a Phase two brain cancer clinical trial indicating prolonged live expectancy for patients treated with a combination of THC and CBD. The trial was on patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain cancer. Patients who received the combined therapy survived for a median of 550 days, compared with 369 days for those on a placebo.

A long awaited clinical trial testing MED on veterans with PTSD is underway.

The federal DEA has revoked prescribing privileges for two Colorado doctors whose licenses were suspended for allowing patients to obtain large plant counts.

Doctors are wondering whether MED contaminated with fungi killed a California cancer patient.

The Rooster profiles Colorado doctor Dave Bregman who lost his license for using MED.

Only half of New York patients buy MED more than once, which the industry attributes to the state’s strict MED rules.

A Canadian study found that teens are turning to weed to “self-medicate” for anxiety and stress.

A human rights board in Canada said an insurer must cover a patients’ MED.

Canna Law Blog has an explainer on Washington state’s cannabis research licenses.

English aristocrat Lord Monson called for legalizing after his son with a cannabis addiction committed suicide.

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Criminal Justice
New York City marijuana arrests were up about 10% in 2016 though still well below the Aughts. Of those arrested, about 85% were Black or Hispanic.

President Trump said he would “destroy” the career of a Texas state senator who opposes the controversial practice of law enforcement asset forfeiture.

Alaska has been seizing CBD products from dispensaries.

The new book “Locked In” by John Pfaff argues that violent crime is more responsible for U.S. mass incarceration than non-violent drug crime.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch has a mixed record ruling on the legality of searches by law enforcement.

Canadian police chiefs asked the federal government to block home growing in its legalization push, saying it would burden police.                                                                   

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart made a bunch of pot references during a Super Bowl ad for T-Mobile.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D), a legalization opponent, said there would be “zero tolerance” for public drinking and pot smoking during the Patriots’ victory parade.

The N.Y. Post says professionals are the biggest potheads. A Brooklyn teacher told the tabloid that if city school workers were drug tested “they’d probably have to fire about 85 % of their staff.”

Among online dating sites, there’s a new focus on cannabis users.

Daniel Ragussis has been hired to direct “Packs,” a crime thriller about the rise of “designer” marijuana. Matthew McConaughey will star in stoner comedy “The Beach Bum” directed by Harmony Korine.

For Grammy weekend, an all-star group of musicians is rerecording Peter Tosh’s song, “Legalize It.

High Times offers a Valentine’s Day recipe for weed-avocado lube.

There will be abundant cannabis panels at SXSW.

A decadent Super Bowl party at the “Marijuana Mansion” in L.A. was cancelled.

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 for details. 


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.
All rights reserved.

Voters take second shot at legalizing Florida medical marijuana

This year’s Amendment 2 would broaden access for diseases with symptoms other than seizures or spasms

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida voters have a second chance to approve a state amendment legalizing medical marijuana for ailments including glaucoma, AIDS and post-traumatic stress disorder, after narrowly rejecting a similar measure two years ago.

The legislature in the meantime has allowed limited use of non-smoked, low-THC pot for patients with cancer or ailments that cause chronic seizures or severe spasms, and two dispensaries have opened in the state with home deliveries allowed statewide. Delays in fully implementing the law have added to arguments in favor of legalizing medical marijuana under the state constitution.

Florida would become the 26th state along with the District of Columbia to legalize the marijuana plant for medical use. Florida is one of 16 states where only part of the marijuana plant is used.

Opponents of the measure in 2014, which failed to garner the required 60 percent of the vote, had expressed concerns that Florida would be overrun with pot shops and that children wouldn’t be adequately protected from potential bad effects of the drug.

Proponents say loopholes have been closed this time, including requiring parental written consent for underage patients and that caregivers register with the state Health Department.

This year’s Amendment 2 would broaden access for diseases with symptoms other than seizures or spasms. The measure lists 10 illnesses: cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. It also allows doctors to prescribe pot for any other similar kind of ailment.

The department will regulate how medical marijuana can be distributed along with mandating identification cards for caregivers and patients. Many rules and regulations — from how the marijuana is grown to regulations on how it can be transported for in-home delivery — already have been passed by the legislature under laws for limited use of marijuana. Those regulations also will apply to the constitutional amendment.
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Here we go::

An amendment that would have allowed VA doctors to recommend MED in legal states passed both houses of Congress but was stripped from the legislation before it reached President Obama’s desk. Supporters of the bill are blaming Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R), who said “I don’t think we have too few high veterans out there” earlier this year.

Kirk is in a tight race to keep his Senate seat against Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D), who lost both her legs when the helicopter she was co-piloting was shot down in Iraq. She has been more supportive of veterans’ access to MED.

The Washington Post finds 22 members of Congress who support legalization. Only one, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, (Calif.) is a Republican.

Pro-cannabis billionaire George Soros is a big Hillary Clinton supporter.

Responding to accusations that he was like Hitler, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said he would like to “slaughter” 3 million drug addicts. Duterte’s ongoing drug war may be contributing to the country’s spike in HIV cases.

California’s elections watchdog said it would investigate legalization opponent Kevin Sabet’s political organization SAM Action for alleged tardiness in disclosing donors and failing to account for the spending of about $150,000. (Sabet didn’t respond to an email from WeedWeek requesting comment.)

Pro-cannabis Oakland is at an impasse about the industry’s future in the city. In Portland, activists want a 3% weed tax to support minority-owned cannabusiness.

A bill in Ohio would extend “reciprocity,” to out-of-state MED card holders, as long as they’re from states that don’t allow it to be smoked or grown at home.

The head of Arizona’s Department of Economic Security sent an anti-REC email to thousands of employees. Arizona votes on REC next month. The Village Voice looks at the REC votes inMassachusetts and Maine.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law creating statewide standards for MED manufacturers. He also signed legislation creating a class of license for “micro-farmers” with 500 square feet or less of indoor grows and somewhat larger for outdoor grows.


I’ll be on a panel at the New West Summit in San Francisco. WeedWeek readers can receive a 50% discount.
New Mexico’s legislature could legalize REC in a special session this weekend. A poll shows that Arkansans prefer the more restrictive of the two MED initiatives they’ll decide in November.

FuturePAC, which supports Democrats in the Oregon House of Representatives, held a fundraiser at a grow.

Chelsea Clinton suggested that marijuana could cause fatal interactions with other drugs and then retracted the statement.

A ballot initiative Tuesday in Alaska could ban REC businesses in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, which is both a population center and Alaska’s most celebrated growing region. MED is on the march inIdaho, which Boise-native Russ Belville says will be the last state to legalize.

After decades of gray market cannabis, the Netherlands could legalize growing.


Social network MassRoots, defaulted on almost $1 million in debt payments and laid off about 40% of its staff, according to SEC filings. This week Chairman and CEO Isaac Dietrich, wrote an upbeat letter to shareholders that did not reference either setback. The company has raised more than $5 million.

Stock in GW Pharmaceuticals soared after the U.K. company announced more promising late stage data for its CBD childhood epilepsy drug Epidiolex.

Facebook can’t make up its mind about cannabis.

In SFWeekly, I wrote about what the Bayer/Monsanto merger means for cannabis. Vice asks ifBlockchain financial technology can solve the industry’s banking woes.

Colorado’s new edibles labeling and packaging requirements take effect today. Legal states arebefuddled by how (or if) to promote weed tourism.

Living next to an indoor grow can be a real drag. “They don’t care about the communities that they’re in, they don’t care what their building looks like, they don’t care what the community smells like, because they never are planning to bring their clients into these communities to do business,” Denver activist Candi CdeBaca said.

A second Maryland company that was denied a MED license is joining a lawsuit against the state. The process is under scrutiny for successful applicants’ lack of racial diversity.

The SEC suspended a penny stock offering from company Med-X. In February, New Cannabis Ventures called the opportunity a “very bad idea” for investors. California company Terra Tech appears to have permanently reversed an aspect of its stock structure that New Cannabis Ventures warned could dilute the holdings of common shareholders.

Alan Brochstein, the stock analyst who founded New Cannabis Ventures, offers a few thoughts on how to invest in cannabis.

KQED asks what California legalization could mean for small growers in the Emerald Triangle.

A report from GreenWave Advisors says legal REC is cannibalizing the MED market. Wholesale prices are down about 40% from this time last year, according to Boulder-based Tradiv.

The investors on “Shark Tank” weigh in on whether they’d invest in cannabis. Built in L.A. lists 15 SoCal cannabis start-ups.

Health and Science
Researchers at UCSF argue that the cannabis industry should be regulated more like tobacco than alcohol, for public health reasons. Sales should be “subject to a robust demand reduction program modeled on successful evidence-based tobacco control programs,” they write. REC sales are now treated more like alcohol, which the researchers consider more loosely controlled and easier to exploit. For example, alcohol advertising is much more widely permitted than tobacco advertising.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, attn: reveals FDA’s thought’s on rescheduling marijuana, before the DEA decided not to. If I’m reading correctly, FDA seems skeptical of both the current system and DEA’s ability to reform it.

A study found that smoking pot can increase the risk of psychosis relapse.

A bipartisan group of nine U.S. Senators has asked the DEA not to add kratom to the list of schedule I drugs. Signers included both Republican Senators from Utah, a nutraceutical industry hub. Vox explains the kratom situation here.

The University of New Mexico is establishing a MED research fund.

Criminal Justice
Charlotte police said the appearance that Keith Lamont Scott was holding a marijuana “blunt” led them to escalate the encounter, before an officer fatally shot Scott.

An audit published by the justice department found that from 2010 to 2015 the DEA distributed $237 million in payments to 9,000 informants. No one, including the DEA, has the data necessary to assess the value for money. See the audit here.

Arcan Cetin, the 20-year old charged with killing five people at a mall in Washington state, had blamed marijuana for violent and troubling incidents in his past.

U.S. marijuana possession arrests reached a two-decade low in 2015. There were around 575,000, down from a peak of almost 800,000 in 2007.

Charlo Greene, who in 2014 quit a television reporter job on air to go into cannabis, faces 14 charges and up to 54 years in prison. The charges stem from raids and undercover purchases at her Alaska Cannabis Club following her “fuck it” sign off.

Massachusetts has to decide whether to move forward with thousands of prosecutions that a disgraced crime lab chemist worked on.

Law enforcement groups in Oregon want to uniformly make drug possession a misdemeanor, rather than a felony.

California Gov. Jerry Brown restored the voting rights of convicted felons serving in county jails and under supervised release. It does not affect those in federal or state prisons.

The Cannabist talks to Patrick Moen, a former DEA official who’s now an executive at cannabis investment firm Privateer Holdings.

A study found that people who consider the Bible the literal word of God, and those who frequently attend religious services, are less likely to support legalization.

Berkeley’s famous Amoeba Records won a dispensary permit, which it was depending on to stay open.

Willamette Week says recently renewed HBO show “High Maintenance” deserves a place in the made-up “Things to Experience Stoned Hall of Fame.”

24-karat gold rolling papers.

The new book “Brave New Weed: Adventures into the Uncharted World of Cannabis,” by former Details editor Joe Dolce, comes out this week.

A Bremerton, Wash. man was banned from local buses for six months because he smelled strongly of cannabis. “From time to time, I smell like I just smoked some marijuana probably because I just did,” he said.

High Times found 18 great weed tattoos.

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

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

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.

All rights reserved.
This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news is everywhere. Like  it on Facebookfollow it on Instagram and share it with the link Subscribers’ names and contact info are confidential. You can also list your conferences, festivals and parties for free at the site.
WeedWeek’s free 2016 Election Guide is ready! Download the PDF here.
Lot’s of news:

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is the latest high-profile Republication to show hints of evolvingon cannabis policy. He’s a cosponsor of the CARERS Act which would, Politico writes: “reclassify marijuana so that it is considered to have some medical value; permit banks to handle money from legal marijuana businesses; prevent the government from interfering with state-legal medical marijuana programs; exclude non-psychoactive marijuana extracts from the definition of marijuana; grant military veterans access to medical marijuana; and break the government’s monopoly on medical marijuana research.”

This summer Graham chaired a subcommittee hearing on how the DEA classifies the plant, a major step towards getting a vote on the bill. It had languished since introduced last year by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) is teaming up with the casino industry to oppose REC. Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson donated $1M to fight MED in Florida. He donated $5M in 2014.

Body care company Dr. Bronner’s said it will give $660,000 to support legalization in five states.

A plurality of Coloradans think legalization has benefitted the state, and a majority think it’s good for the state economy, according to a new poll. It’s more popular in Oregon.

The L.A. Times endorsed REC in California. Marijuana Business Daily games out the two MED initiatives that voters will decide in Arkansas. You can put money on which REC and MED initiatives will pass at the site PredictIt.

Three Oakland City Council members have proposed that all permitted cannabis-businesses shouldgive the city a 25% equity stake in their business and at least one board seat. “We’ll be able to use a resource that generates millions,” Council Member Noel Gallo told the San Francisco Chronicle.

One established executive called the idea a “gut punch.” State Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), lead author of California’s new MED rules, said the proposal is likely not legal. “If the city is an owner, it’s also a regulator. So it’s regulating itself.”

Colorado Springs Mayor and legalization opponent John Suthers (R) told an Arizona audience todecriminalize, don’t legalize. Colorado Springs ordered 9 consumption clubs to “cease and desist” operations.
LSU is moving forward with plans to grow Louisiana’s MED supply, a rarity for a university. A bill in New Jersey would allow convenience stores to sell pot.

Colorado’s tourism agency will start “educating” visitors about state cannabis laws. It will not promote cannabis as a reason to visit Colorado. Without information provided by the state, Cathy Ritter, head of the Colorado Tourism Office says the burden has fallen on hotel clerks to explain.

Nevada will allow patients to apply for MED cards online. They will still have to visit a doctor in person. Oregon is pushing MED shops to follow Washington state and go REC. REC will not appear on the Missouri ballot following a dispute over 23 signatures.

Nashville loosened possession penalties, but Vice says it still allows police to “decide who to arrest.”

Even in legal states, cannabis use remains risky for foreign nationals. In Alaska, soldiers can’t attendcannabis events.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lambasted the U.S. and Europe for criticizing his violent drug war.


Bloomfield Industries, one of the five licensed businesses in New York State, is facing financial difficulties.

The SEC is bringing charges against FusionPharm for “scheming investors.” The agency suspended trading in the over the counter stock in 2014.

Cannabis activist and former NFL-player Eugene Monroe is part of a company suing Maryland regulators for rejecting its permit application. Maryland lawmaker Dr. Dan K. Morhain faces an ethics investigation. He championed MED and serves as the medical advisor to a MED company.

The Denver Post profiles publicly-traded lawncare company Scotts Miracle-Gro as it makes a high-profile foray into cannabis. Arizona-based Ultra Health, is working with Native American tribes to grow.

Denverite talks to African-Americans trying to make inroads in Colorado’s industry.

If California legalizes, it could multiply the amount of venture capital going into the industry. Entrepreneur offers tips on how to succeed in the cannabis economy.

Ohio attorneys now have permission to work with cannabis business clients. There’s a complicated dispute in Puerto Rico over who which inventory tracking software company will win the government contract for the U.S. territory’s MED program.

Macleans has a big feature on the Canadian industry. Weed prices have spiked in Colombia following a major trucker strike. Irish cannabis pharma company GreenLight Medicines secured €500,000 in funding.

In Washington, Friday is the most popular day to buy.

Health and Science
Rand Corporation behavioral scientist Elizabeth J. D’Amico writes on what your kids need to know about pot, “legalized or not.” She co-authored a study that found teens exposed to marijuana advertising are more likely to use.

A study linked teenage drug and alcohol use to poor sleep habits in young men. Vice explains, “Why you don’t dream after smoking weed.”

Oregon faces a product testing crisis.

The Boston Globe speaks with patients who use MED for their chronic pain. An Illinois judge ordered the state to add post-operative chronic pain to the list of qualifying MED conditions.

The Analytical Scientist released a “mini-magazine” on cannabis science.

Fifteen percent of Portuguese 15 and 16 year olds copped to using, twice the rate as when stricter laws were in place. Across Europe, teenage cannabis use is on the rise. PRI visits Barcelona’s smoking clubs.

Criminal Justice
Two women were arrested for detaining four brothers on a California pot farm and forcing them to work for six months. In Colorado, 14 Chinese nationals were arrested at an illegal grow. Authorities are investigating whether they were “labor trafficked.”

In SFWeekly, I recommended that the industry adopt an abuse-free product certification to curtail worker exploitation.

Three Phoenix cops resigned and face criminal charges after allegedly forcing a 19-year old to eat marijuana or go to jail.

Pro-legalization activists say opponent Kevin Sabet broke the law by displaying a bag of infused gummies on a television panel in Boston. Sabet didn’t return an email requesting comment.

Mexican police discovered a 10-foot “air cannon,” that U.S. authorities said shot a 60-pound payload of cannabis into the U.S.

According to Vice, The Islamic State has “very little involvement” in the global drug trade.

Maine Public Radio looked at the “modern bootleggers” in Colorado who ship product to illegal states. Weed arrests are up in Nebraska, following legalization in Colorado, but it’s unclear why.

In Northern Ireland, a former senior cop said “the time has come to consider [decriminalizing cannabis.]”

Law enforcement charged an Australian man after he tried to dump 100 kg of stems and leaves and a recycling center.

A truck carrying 400 pounds of weed ($2.2M) crashed in Texas. Authorities seized “cannabis-related oils” from a pharmacy in Texas and are testing it for THC.

Angelina Jolie’s exhaustion with Brad Pitt’s cannabis use, reportedly contributed to her filing for divorce. The Guardian asks what that means for custody of their children. Vulture chronicles Pitt’s “battle with marijuana.”

Travel guide author and personality Rick Steves will visit Massachusetts to support the coming REC vote. He also donated $100,000.

Rolling Stone looks at the NFL’s cannabis ban. The league “ignores that just because something is federally illegal, that doesn’t mean that an employer has to test for it or punish its employees.”

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe visited Willie Nelson’s trailer during Farm Aid, raising eyebrows.

Marijuana Business Daily spoke to Matt Cohen of TriQ Systems about how to grow high-quality cannabis in a greenhouse.

Some very busy people wonder if the characters in “Lord of the Rings” got high.

In the tradition of Presidential Debate drinking games, PR firm Refined Bud has created a debatesmoking game. Representative directive: “If a candidate mentions socialism, light up another!”

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

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