WeedWeek, 10/7/17: Activists fight the “Wal-Mart of Weed”

Posted by | October 7, 2017 | Cannabis News

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Here’s the news:
Politics
Ahead of REC legalization, California seeks to stem the flow of pot leaving the state. California also named the 22-members of its Cannabis Advisory Committee. They include industry executives and activists, politicians, health officials and law enforcement.
L.A. may limit who can appeal to block licenses. California will host three workshops on applying for state permits.
San Francisco quashed a proposed REC dispensary in the Outer Richmond after opposition from older Chinese residents and the conservative Pacific Justice Institute. San Diego became one of the first California cities to create a fully-legal cannabis supply chain.
Growing at home remains a divisive topic Washington, where it’s not allowed. For more see here and here.
Maryland’s first MED crop is ready for testing, but it’s not clear when it may go on sale. Black state lawmakers want to ensure for black entrepreneurs have access to the industry.
Maine may require cities to opt-in to cannabis businesses. REC in Maine faces opposition from Republican lawmakers.
Alaska voters rejected proposed cannabis business bans in Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula.
A Pennsylvania business denied a MED license has dropped its lawsuit against the state. The state’s MED program appears to be on track.
Marijuana.com asks if the suit [Retired NFLer Marvin] Washington vs. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, could be the case that overturns cannabis prohibition.
In Massachusetts, Sessions said the Justice Department would continue to prosecute interstate pot trafficking, but didn’t comment on state legal businesses.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said she “used to be invited to [parties]…long, long ago, marijuana was maybe present at those parties?” She did not say she had consumed it.
Canadians support legalizing REC, but law enforcement and medical groups say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s timeline to make it happen by July is too aggressive.
John Fritchey, one of Cook County’s (Chicago) commissioners, called for legal REC. Illinois Gubernatorial candidates have starkly different views on cannabis. The race is next year.
Native American tribes continue to weigh the cannabis industry.
A former Missouri House speaker says he doesn’t know why someone would send an email purportedly from him, attacking legalization activists.
Business
Portland’s Willamette Week talks to the Craft Cannabis Alliance, a group seeking to keep corporate cannabis at bay. There’s a similar effort to oppose the “Walmart of Weed” in Massachusetts. Willamette Week also looked at a grow’s “obsessive-compulsive quest” to go carbon neutral.
Falling wholesale prices in Colorado have dragged on prices nationwide.
Utility company National Grid discussed the industry’s energy needs at a Boston conference.
A Pennsylvania company is selling its license and 47,000 square foot “turnkey” grow for $20M.
Out of state companies want Ohio MED licenses. The state released a list of applicants.
Creditors are after a closed Denver pot shop which borrowed more than $1M.
A bipartisan bill to repeal industry-hated tax rule 280E has attracted 33 sponsors in the House.
The IRS flagged non-profits associated with MED for extra scrutiny, a report found.
Cannabis billboards are coming to Massachusetts. Lack of sales continues to drag on New York state’s five MED dispensaries and high prices are pushing customers to the illegal market.
A Florida MED company wants the state to allow edibles.
L.A. may create a city-owned bank, the country’s first, to serve the cannabis industry.
Shane McMahon, son of U.S. Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon, invested $500,000 in EnviroGrow, a company making pre-fab modules resembling shipping containers, for cannabis grows.
S.F.’s Westfield mall won’t allow pot chocolatier Défoncé to open a store.
GG Strains LLC and the The Gorilla Glue Co. settled their trademark dispute over the strain Gorilla Glue #4.
Bank of Montreal and Toronto-Dominion Bank are becoming the industry’s preferred banks. Canadian MED stocks climbed following a proposed taxation regime in Ontario. For more on taxes in Canada see here.
Alberta may allow private businesses to sell cannabis. A group of 12 MED producers in the province have formed a collective which they say can operate without any help from the provincial government.
The SEC filed charges against an executive for an “insider trading scheme” with a kickback of 10 pounds of weed. Bloomberg View columnist Matt Levine doesn’t recommend trading weed for stock tips, if you’re going to sell the weed. “It’s just a little inelegant.”
According to Green Market Report, Coke is cannabis users’ favorite soft drink.
Edible maker Truffle Man, known for selling in S.F.’s Dolores Park, is going legit.
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Health and Science
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency could crack down on cannabis companies making false health claims. He cited claims about shrinking tumors as something which could come under scrutiny.
A study suggests the children of mothers who were vegetarians during pregnancy are more likely to drink and use marijuana by their 15th birthday.
A study found cannabis users may be more likely to develop an opioid use disorder.
In an update on its web site, the VA says it can’t help with access to MED. Government Executive says the agency is blocking MED research.
The American Psychological Association criticized barriers to MED research.
A Florida nursing home declined to give a patient MED because it’s federally illegal.
After 20 years, a revamped DARE anti-drug education program is back in Colorado classrooms, minus the “Just Say No” message. “The DARE brand is toxic,” former Colorado pot czar Andrew Freedman said. Colorado is also using pot tax revenue to create animated “Sims-style” videos about drug abuse.
Wildfires have tainted “untold tons” of California pot.
Pacific Standard hails a program in Kentucky for its approach to addiction care for pregnant women.
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Criminal Justice
Slate looks at the case of Jessica McElfresh, the San Diego cannabis attorney accused of being an accessory to a crime for representing raided MED business Med-West. San Diego DA Summer Stephan is the chosen successor to retired anti-pot prosecutor Bonnie Dumanis
The DEA named career agent Robert Patterson as its new acting director.
An investigation by Reveal found court-ordered rehab programs that amount to little more than slave labor at chicken processing plants and other private companies.
A bipartisan group of Senators is trying to revive criminal justice reform. Trump advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner apparently favors it.
Massachusetts crime lab scandals widened further. The state, where REC is legal, continues to arrest a disproportionate number of blacks for cannabis offenses.
In Forbes, Mona Zhang discusses cannabusiness hiring people with felony records.
California weed accounts for 75 percent of indoor plants seized nationwide.
A new law in Maryland allows some prisoners to seek reduced sentences for drug offenses.
The former police chief of Santa Ana, Calif., in Orange County has sued claiming he was forced out of his job for calling out city employees, including Mayor Miguel Pulido, for making “alleged shady deals” with dispensaries.
Local authorities seized $3.9M in illegal plants near Pueblo, Colorado, a center of legal growing.
State and local authorities arrested 18 in raids on Yuba County, Calif., cannabis farms. One of the detainees is said to be the leader of a Rastafarian church where an officer fatally shot an armed worker this summer.
Leafly takes a look at the case of a DACA recipient (the “dreamer” program) who faces deportation for possessing a gram of weed. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is trying to keep more of its data private.
Authorities in Grand Traverse County, Mich., shuttered eight dispensaries.
The sheriff of Siskiyou County, in far northern California, has asked the Sessions Justice Department for help controlling illegal grows. He has not heard back.
Washington state’s supreme court ruled random urine tests as a condition of release are unconstitutional.

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