WeedWeek, August 12, 2017: Business Booms as Sessions Blusters

Posted by | August 12, 2017 | Cannabis News

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Here’s the news:
Politics

States are confused after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent letters to Washington and Colorado expressing “serious concerns” about legal pot. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said “I think we can work together.”

Canna Law Blog asks “How harmful is Jeff Sessions?”

Slate says a crackdown may still be coming. In February, I argued in Slate that a crackdown on state-legal weed is unlikely.

Sixty-one percent of Americans favor legal REC and 94% favor legal MED, both all time highs, according to a Quinnipiac poll.

The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators endorsed legalizing REC.

Following an outcry, Los Angeles City Council appeared to embrace full licensure for cannabis businesses. But cannabis businesses in the city still fear “harassment” from law enforcement.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) named Cat Packer of the Drug Policy Alliance to head the city’s cannabis regulatory body. In a statement she emphasized, “responsible, equitable cannabis policies that will serve as a model for the rest of America.”

Small, cash-strapped cities in L.A. County that want to allow cannabis businesses confront lots of red tape.

A Wall Street Journal opinion piece calls legalization “a bad way to promote racial equality.”

In San Francisco, disputes over dispensary locations have become very contentious.

An Illinois MED panel was disbanded. Critics say a $161,000 salary won’t attract the right person to head the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey have included cannabis reform in their platforms.

Ghana could become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to decriminalize illegal drugs.

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Business

In conjunction with a pot-themed episode of The Profit, CNBC profiles five businesses representing the future of weed.

Among them, Adrian Sedlin, CEO of California producer Canndescent, explains why his product is worth a 25% premium. And a former minister who voted against REC in California is now cashing in.

Colorado cannabis sales topped $750M for the first half of 2017, up 25% from 2016.

A report found the global market could reach $140 billion within 15 years.

New Cannabis Ventures reports American Green, the Arizona company that said it would buy the town of Nipton, Calif., for $5M and turn it into a cannabis resort, doesn’t have enough money.

Illinois-based Green Thumb Industries (GTI) raised $50M for expansion into new states.

GG Strains, a company based on the popular strain Gorilla Glue #4, is being sued for trademark infringement by the maker of Gorilla Glue glue.

The Canadian Securities Exchange said it would list companies with U.S. operations.

A Florida bank said it would work with marijuana companies.

Lots of cannabis businesses are in fundraising mode.

MED sales began in Hawaii, 17 years after legalization.

A federal judge in Connecticut ruled federal law doesn’t pre-empt a state statute that forbids firing or refusing to hire employees for MED use.

The Washington Post asks if pot growing can save West Virginia coal country.

Nevada may ban home REC delivery. The state will allow companies that are not currently liquor distributors to apply for distribution licenses.

Tourists in Vegas have nowhere to consume REC. Clark County (Las Vegas) is telling pot shops not to promote public consumption.

Canadian MED company MedReleaf completed its first shipment to Brazil.

A pot grow’s generator sparked a fire in Santa Clara County, Calif. that destroyed a dozen homes and required almost 2,000 firefighters to put out.

Stock in Zynerba Pharmaceuticals crashed after its experimental CBD gel failed a mid-stage clinical trial for epilepsy.

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Health and Science

A new study published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology found marijuana use may exacerbate hypertension and increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. The Oregonian says the study is “preliminary and comes with caveats.” For more see here.

A study in four states found restrictions on selling pot to minors are very effective, possibly more effective than alcohol restrictions.

President Trump reversed himself and  declared the opioid crisis a national emergency, freeing up funds to fight it. For more see here.

For perspective, Bloomberg studies the U.S. opiate epidemic of the 1860s and 1870s.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry (D) discussed the opioid crisis after her son died of an overdose.

Despite fears, Leafly says there are no credible reports of fentanyl-laced cannabis.

A secret supervised drug injection site has been operating somewhere in the U.S. for years.

Instead of pesticides and fertilizers, some growers use compost.

A new Massachusetts campaign aims to prevent driving while high.

Narrative.ly profiles Margarete de Santos Brito, one of three Brazilians allowed to grow MED at home. It’s for her sick daughter.

Cannabis use is up more than 250% among Americans 65 and older. They’re the fastest growing age cohort.

Bruce Barcott explains how to relieve “cannabis withdrawal syndrome.”

The DEA plans to slightly reduce its quota for federal government approved weed to about 978 pounds annually in 2018. The agency doesn’t know when additional grow sites could be confirmed to produce plants for medical research.  

Thank You to WeedWeek’s First Sustaining Member:

Spencer Vodnoy

CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA

Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association

www.cb1labs.com

Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!

Promote your brand here with a contribution on Patreon

Criminal Justice

Right-wing pundit and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch said the gun group didn’t defend black gun owner Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by a cop, because he had marijuana on hand. The NRA itself has not commented on the killing.

The Atlantic examines how plea bargaining, including for pot offenses, has corrupted the criminal justice system.

AG Sessions wants a judge known as “Hang ‘Um High Henry Hudson on a sentencing panel. Victims of crime largely oppose tougher criminal penalties for perpetrators.

A New York Times op-ed calls the American criminal justice system “exceptional in the worst ways possible.

Vice interviews Mexican Drug Lord El Chapo’s lawyer. Jeffrey Lichtman previously represented mobster John Gotti.

Two former Kern County, Calif., (Bakersfield) sheriff’s deputies were sentenced to probation, for stealing pot from evidence lockers and selling it on the black market. The judge spared them prison time due to the “unwavering support” of their wives.

In the Philippines, fishermen said police have been ordering them to dump the bodies of murdered drug suspects in Manila Bay.

A man was shot and killed in Madera County, Calif. (near Fresno) after confronting “guerrilla” growers on his property.

In California’s national forests, toxic waste from illegal pot farms is far worse than expected.

A lawsuit claims Seneca, S.C., police have used a pot charge to intimidate a witness to not cooperate in a federal investigation of a fatal police shooting.

A federal judge dismissed a civil rights suit filed by a woman whose three dogs were shot and killed by police during a Detroit pot raid.

Seattle fined the organizer of a small, private cannabis event, and then dropped the fine when a reporter asked about it.

The sheriff of Calaveras County, Calif., is under scrutiny for using pot revenue to bust illegal grows.

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Product reviews:

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Culture

Splinter News profiles activists who want Asian Americans to smoke more weed.

Cannabist founding editor Ricardo Baca writes about learning to grow.

Physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said there’s “no reason” for cannabis to be illegal.

The Las Vegas Sun meets Nevada’s first black master grower.

Wyoming told eclipse-chasers to leave their pot at home.

Rolling Stone has been on the weed beat for 50 years.

“Freak Power” a movie about Hunter S. Thompson’s run for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colo., will be filmed in Silverton, Colo. The cast has not yet been announced.

In L.A. Weekly, I wrote about six ways to incorporate weed into your wedding.

In the Bay Area, LSD users want to rebrand the drug as an upscale, tech-y pursuit.

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

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

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

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Bye,
Alex

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