Comments Off on WeedWeek, 11/25/17: More Layoffs at Privateer; More Fighting at MassRoots

WeedWeek, 11/25/17: More Layoffs at Privateer; More Fighting at MassRoots

Posted by | November 25, 2017 | Cannabis News, Weed Week News by Alex Halperin

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Editorial
President Trump’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to end net neutrality. As John Oliver put it, net neutrality prevents internet providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from engaging “in any sort of fuckery that limits or manipulates the choices you make online.
In an L.A. Times, Op-Ed, net neutrality supporter and FCC member Jessica Rosenworcel (D) writes:
“Net neutrality is the right to go where you want and do what you want on the internet without your broadband provider getting in the way. It means your broadband provider can’t block websites, throttle services or charge you premiums if you want to reach certain online content.”
The end of net neutrality could also make life more difficult for a federally illegal industry like cannabis.
To learn more about net neutrality and what you can do to preserve it, Go to Battleforthenet.com.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
Rob Kampia, a longtime leader of the legalization movement, is stepping aside as director of Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which he co-founded in 1995. He will transition into a newly created strategic role.
Leafly’s Bruce Barcott asks whether past sexual harassment allegations explain Kampia’s abrupt move. A 2010 article in Washington (D.C.) City Paper headlined “The Breast Massage Will Happen” enumerated complaints of suggestive behavior several weeks after he had taken a leave of absence for therapy.
I just think I’m hypersexualized,” Kampia told the Washington Post at the time. Since the 2010 City Paper article, “there have been no allegations of inappropriate behavior against Rob or anyone else at MPP that I’m aware of.” a MPP spokesperson wrote to Leafly.
Canada’s Liberal Party government released proposed rules for the cannabis industry. For more see here and here. Legalization still faces opposition from conservative lawmakers.
Massachusetts plans to release a draft of its REC rules by year end.
Colorado’s new rules, including a path to create public-private MED research partnerships, take effect January 1.
A Los Angeles City Council committee approved rules on licensing, operations and other topics. Following industry concerns, the rules would allow provisional licenses for existing growers and manufacturers during the licensing period.
A new appropriations bill would lift the ban on a cannabis industry in D.C., where voters approved REC in 2014. But House Republicans continue to block the national industry from accessing banks.
Caregivers in Maine say new rules aren’t as bad as they expected.
Reuters profiles Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), a REC supporter who’s challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in 2018. Arizona voters oppose REC, according to a new poll.
In a speech, Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen (D), said, “When you put DEA agents and justice department officials to work on people who are selling marijuana; you are taking them away from people who are selling meth, crack, cocaine and heroin — opioids,” Cohen also criticized U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his hardline stance on cannabis.
Sessions’ Justice Department is ending the Obama administration’s practice of changing policy through “guidance memos.” Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand said the department would “proactively work to rescind existing guidance documents that go too far.” It wasn’t clear what this means for the 2013 “Cole Memo,” which enabled state legal marijuana industries to grow without fear of prosecution.
Dominic Corva, a scholar of cannabis and social policy, discussed equity programswith S.F. Weekly.
A bill in India proposes REC legalization.
BUSINESS
Privateer Holdings, parent company of web site Leafly, cannabis brand Marley Natural and Canadian MED producer Tilray, announced some layoffs, a few weeks after Leafly laid off 13 percent of its staff.
Privateer also called a lawsuit filed against the company by Master P “nonsense.” The suit alleges Privateer backed out of an agreement to distribute the rapper’s cannabis brand.
Ousted MassRoots CEO Isaac Dietrich is waging a proxy fight to remove three of the company’s directors — including Tripp Keber, CEO of edibles company Dixie, and Ean Seeb, co-founder of consulting firm Denver Relief — and the interim CEO. Dietrich, 25, remains the company’s largest shareholder. Dietrich told the Cannabist that he was “extorted based upon false and misleading information into giving up the company.”
LeafLink, an online commerce platform for dispensaries, raised $10M from investors including Nosara Capital, Snoop Dogg’s firm Casa Verde, and tech investor Lerer Hippeau Ventures.
Canada’s Aurora Cannabis launched a hostile takeover bid for fellow MED producer CanniMed.
Canada will calculate legalization’s economic impact using this equation, Bloomberg reports.
The Motley Fool says cannabis stocks are “destroying shareholder value.
Civilized suggests the industry is becoming less friendly to female executives, a phenomenon known as the “grass ceiling.” “Nobody cared when the dispensaries owned by the women in Colorado who started this industry were worth $2 million,” Wanda James, the first black dispensary owner in Colorado said. “But now that they’re 15- or 20-million dollar companies, a lot of the board members – i.e. men – are saying, ‘You can’t handle it from here on in.”
The industry is excited about Michigan, where more than 250,000 patients hold recommendations, second only to California. The state could vote on REC next year. But MED enforcement in the state remains “hazy.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at challenges the industry faces in Pennsylvania.
Cannabis is becoming a more important cash crop in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.
All but one of the Florida MED office’s 35 hirees are processing patient ID cards. The state MED czar’s office blamed lawsuits for delays in implementing MED laws.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
A study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions found heart failure patients who used cannabis were less likely to die in the hospital than abstainers. The researchers had hypothesized the opposite. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.
The Journal of the American Medical Association calls inadequate blinding of placebo controlled trials “the Achilles Heel of MED research.
The DEA is finalizing schedule II status for a synthetic THC drug called Syndros. The drug was developed by Arizona pharmaceutical firm Insys Therapeutics which opposed REC in the state. Last month, Insys’ billionaire founder John Kapoor was charged with racketeering and fraud related to the company’s marketing of a fentanyl oral spray.
The Conversation explains how science and technology assist with cannabis growing.
GQ calls CBD, “the drug you can do at work.
California’s fish and wildlife department will award $1.3M to four sites cleaning up illegal cannabis grows.
Pennsylvania released a list of doctors eligible to prescribe MED.
Podcast Science Vs. asks whether ecstasy is a “scary drug or promising therapy.
A Swedish court ruled a man paralyzed from the chest down can’t grow his own MED. Ireland issued its first MED license for treating pain.
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