WeedWeek, 11/11/17: Will New Jersey Go REC Next?

Posted by | November 11, 2017 | Cannabis News, Weed Week News by Alex Halperin

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IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
WeedWeek has introduced a new feature called WeedWeek Forum. Think of it as the cannabis world’s Op-Ed page. Many of you are are eager to share your thoughts and expertise. Here’s your chance to publish on the WeedWeek site.
WeedWeek publishes 400-600 word essays, arguments, observations and fact-based criticisms by outside contributors. We do not accept payment for publishing work.
Check out the first WeedWeek Forum piece “Marijuana Brands: Born in America, Made in Canada” (I forgot to include the link last week.) by Patrick O’Malley, owner of MJ Launchpad.
Interested? Check out the writer’s guidelines here.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
Phil Murphy (D), a progressive former investment banker, won the New Jersey gubernatorial race, leading to speculation that the Garden State could legalize REC by April. If so it would be the first state to fully legalize through the legislature and would make REC available across the rivers from New York City and Philadelphia respectively.
Ralph Northam (D), a physician who supports decriminalization, won Virginia’s gubernatorial race.
Detroiters passed two proposals to make life easier for dispensaries in the city. Local ballot initiatives in California fared well.
Rolling Stone reports on the transition to REC in California. Unnamed insiders called the process “Precarious.” “Disarray,” “Evolving,” “Complicated,” “Compartmentalized,” “Chaotic,” “Uncertainty,” “Clusterfuck,” “Capricious” and “a shitshow.”
S.F. Weekly discusses the transition with longtime Humboldt growers Tim Blake and Kevin Jodrey.
Two former San Francisco city supervisors are teaming up to support the city’s cannabis industry. For more see here.
In Massachusetts, the legalization movement’s social justice and pro-business oriented factions are at odds.
Reason’s Jacob Sullum weighs in on Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) veto of a state bill to regulate REC. Vermont could legalize through the legislature next year.
Maryland’s MED commissioner resigned for unspecified reasons. He’s the second to leave in two years.
President Trump will visit the Philippines this week and meet with President Rodrigo Duterte whose drug war has resulted in thousands of extra-judicial killings.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) has started a political action committee (PAC) to defeat anti-cannabis candidates. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) takes on the industry-hated 280E tax rule.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said employees in safety-sensitive positions can’t test positive for cannabis, even if it’s legally obtained.
Pew Trusts’ Stateline looks into the nowhere to consume issue.
Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein asks ‘Why no politicians are championing legalization?’ Though the assertion isn’t quite correct, he attributes it to lack of organized pressure for legalization, and lack of faith that public opinion won’t shift back against the plant.
Canada’s Senate is the last obstacle to legalizing REC nationwide next year. The New York Times looks at what Canada still has to do before REC comes online.
Ireland is still weighing MED. Luxembourg could allow MED as well.
Five years after Colorado and Washington legalized REC, Leafly asks what we’ve learned.
BUSINESS
MJBizDaily reports on the crisis at MassRoots. In recent weeks the company fired CEO and founder Isaac Dietrich for undisclosed reasons, and then saw its bid to acquire CannaRegs for $12M fall apart.
In the first half of 2017, MassRoots saw its net loss jump fivefold year over year to $19.1M while revenue plunged more than 50%, to below $300k. The stock is down 80% this year.
MJBiz expects a big turnout at this week’s convention in Vegas. If you see me there, say hi.
Software company MJ Freeway suffered another outage.
The Chicago Tribune calls booze company Constellation Brands’ investment in Canadian grower Canopy Growth “one of the year’s most intriguing business deals.” Seeking Alpha weighs in as well.
Investors applauded a proposal to tax Canadian pot at $1 a gram or 10 cents on the dollar. But Alberta objects to splitting the proceeds evenly between the provinces and the federal government. The provinces should receive more since they’re doing more work, Alberta’s Finance Minister argues.
Colorado company LivWell took a “significant” stake in Alberta producer 51st Parallel.
Bloomberg says female cannabis entrepreneurs are getting pushed aside as the industry grows.
Leafly laid off 15, about 13% of its workforce. The company also named its new CEO and promoted the previous CEO, to COO of parent company Privateer Holdings.
Seventeen Canadian companies made recommendations on cannabis branding which they say are stricter than the rules for alcohol. Canada’s Financial Post says the “suits” are taking over the industry.
MJBiz asks whether advertising on billboards makes sense for cannabis companies.
California state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate John Chiang (D) released recommendations for banking the industry.
Fortune explains why California pot taxes may be so high. The AP has more. Some California municipalities want to tax destroyed cannabis crops.
Colorado cannabis sales held strong at $136M+ in September. Sales for the first nine months of 2017 topped $1.16 billion according to the Cannabist, up 19% year over year.
An exchange traded fund shifted its focus from Latin American real estate to cannabis, annoying some investors.
The Motley Fool recommends “three cheapest marijuana stocks.”
Leafly explains why cannabis and cryptocurrency haven’t quite gelled.
Michael Llamas, the 33-year old former CEO of Medical Marijuana Inc. died in San Diego when he crashed his lime green lamborghini into a palm tree. Llamas resigned as CEO in 2012 after he was indicted in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme. Last year he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was due for sentencing next month.
L.A. grower THC Design is releasing a cannabis powder.
The new owners of newspaper L.A. Weekly include cannabis attorney David Welch, but deny any deeper ties to the industry. Brian Calle, the libertarian former editor of the Orange County Register’s opinion page, will lead editorial.
Cannabis media is growing, but in Mexico the government denied a license to cannabis magazine Cañamo. The above Columbia Journalism Review article introduced me to the site LadyBud.
Science writer Gary Robbins will lead cannabis coverage at the San Diego Union Tribune.
Snoop Dogg’s venture capital firm Casa Verde invested in Cannalysis, a testing start-up.
A massive, tribe-owned dispensary outside Vegas opened a drive-thru dispensary.
Israel wants to export MED worldwide. Australian cannabis stocks are performing well.
Cannabis science jobs pay well CNN reports, and master growers can make more than $200,000 a year.
Colorado is partnering with Lyft to reduce driving while high.
Pot companies in the state struggle to find charities who’ll accept their donations.
Oregon delivery service Briteside parodies pharmaceutical ads in a new video. “Ask your doctor if cannabis is right for you,” it concludes. “It probably is.”
HEALTH & SCIENCE
The Cannifornian reports on veterans who use MED. An American Legion survey found 22 percent of veterans do.
At least two Pennsylvania doctors who won permission to recommend MED have had their medical licenses suspended. One is in jail, charged with threatening to kill a U.S. Marshall.
A Vermont MED patient

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