Cannabis News

Comments Off on WeedWeek: Michigan Could Go REC This Week PLUS: MedMen Goes Public

WeedWeek: Michigan Could Go REC This Week PLUS: MedMen Goes Public

Posted by | June 7, 2018 | Cannabis News, Weed Week News by Alex Halperin

HIS IS WEEDWEEK.
BECAUSE CANNABIS NEWS MATTERS.
DID YOU KNOW? You can list your conferences, festivals and parties for FREE on the site.
Check out those upcoming events here.
Would you appreciate a WeedWeek supplement with more news from California? Or more news about hemp? Sign up at the appropriate link.
If you consider WeedWeek a valuable resource, consider supporting us with a monthly contribution on Patreon.
Swag and discounts start at $2 a month..
Brandbuilding opportunities to appear in the newsletter with your links and social media handles start at only $50 a month.
LIKE US.
FOLLOW US:
ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
The CBD Episode
This week, Hayley and Alex delve into the often misunderstood cannabinoid CBD, and don’t come away with any easy answers. First they talk to Julie Winter of topicals maker CBD for Life. Then for a different perspective they chat with cannabis physicianDr. Jordan Tishler, of Inhale MD, near Boston, who’s more bullish on THC as medicine,
The episode lands Monday by 4:20 p.m. Pacific.
Don’t forget to  rate us five stars on iTunes  !
Previous episodes:
-Episode 20 Dominatrix and cannabis entrepreneur Mistress Matisse talks sex workers’ rights and her canna-lube brand Velvet Swing.
-Episode 19 Janice Hardoon, of L.A.’s KTown Collective on surviving legalization.
-Episode 18 Alan Brochstein, founder of New Cannabis Ventures, on how to get rich investing in pot stocks.
-Episode 17 Oakland veterinarian Dr. Gary Richter on pot for pets
-Episide 16 Jennifer Lujan, director of social impact at Eaze.
-Episode 15 Combat veteran and IHeartJane CEO Socrates Rosenfeld.
-Episode 14 Chef   Holden Jagger of SoCal caterer  Altered Plates discusses the alchemy of cooking with cannabis
-Episode 12 Cannabis attorney   Hilary Bricken on what’s not working in the California market.  A must listen for professionals!
Comments or feedback? Don’t be shy.
Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Of course you are! Contact here.
WeedWeek Canada is a Saturday morning newsletter for professionals in the world’s largest fully-legal cannabis market. It’s the best way to keep up with the vast Canadian green rush.
In today’s issue:
-Key last-minute legalization amendments
-Much ado about home values
And much more!
Sign up today for a FREE ONE MONTH trial subscription.
Subscriptions are US$15 for one month, US$72 for six months and US$120 for a year. That’s as low as $10/month.
Contact Adrienne Nascimento for corporate rates.
*
The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are coming. And the primaries are already here. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to register here.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
President Trump signed the “right-to-try” bill, which makes it easier for seriously ill patients to access experimental drugs and MED. The mechanism for patients to access MED in illegal states is not clear.
Michigan lawmakers could legalize REC this week. Some Republicans favor the legislative approach since they fear the expected ballot initiative in November will boost liberal turnout.
The California Senate passed a bill to create a state-chartered cannabis bank. It now heads to the state assembly.
Marijuana Moment looks at where California gubernatorial candidates stand on weed. Democratic favorite Gavin Newsom was an early advocate for legalization. Primary voting is on Tuesday.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) said “the world changes,” when asked why she has dropped her opposition to REC. She faces a primary from the left on Tuesday.
California lawmakers gave up on a bill which would have provided employment protection to MED patients. East Bay Express runs through what else is happening, cannabis-wise, in the California legislature.
Colorado now regulates hemp products like food products.
After a judge ruled to allow it, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) said he supports access to smokeable MED, putting him at odds with Gov. Rick Scott (R), Nelson’s likely opponent this year.
Ohio may miss the September 8 deadline for its MED program to be operational.
Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford (R) says legalizing MED would be harmful to Oklahoma’s social fabric. The state votes on June 26.
Legalization supporter Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.) won’t run for re-election, citing alcoholism.
The Houston Chronicle editorialized for more MED access in Texas.
After a year of fighting, a Montana hemp farmer won access to federally controlled water. The Senate Appropriations Committee directed $500,000 to start an industrial hemp seed bank.
Pacific Standard says hemp could be a lifeline for struggling farmers.
A Canadian Senate committee passed 40 amendments related to the legalization bill. The committee rejected a national home grow ban, but will allow provinces to impose bans. It also recommended THC-potency limits, though did not determine an exact percentage. 🍁For more, sign up for FREE MONTH of WeedWeek Canada!
In Canada, applications for cultivation licenses are way up, but a supply shortage still looms. 🍁For more, sign up for FREE MONTH of WeedWeek Canada!
For the first time, a World Health Organization committee is studying marijuana’s status under international law.
Latin America should consider legalizing drugs to reduce violence in the region, a UN official said.
BUSINESS
L.A.-based retailer MedMen debuted on the Canadian Securities Exchange with a C$2 billion+ valuation based on fundraising of C$143 million. MJBizDaily has an FAQ. 🍁For more, sign up for FREE MONTH of WeedWeek Canada!
MJBiz Daily says the industry’s economic impact could approach $80 billion by 2022, with dispensary sales accounting for about 25%.
Licensed businesses in California have a strong incentive to snitch on unlicensed shops, which can undercut them on price. L.A. brought charges against 142 people representing more than 30 unlicensed businesses.
California wineries expect cannabis could attract their key customers.
Oregon growers are scaling back production, to address the glutted market.
Attorney Hilary Bricken warns of cannabis banking scams.
Distribution platform MainStem raised a $2.2M series B led by Merida Capital Partners.
Colorado CBD company Phoenix Tears is sticking with its announcement that its product will be available in 7-Eleven stores, despite the convenience store company’s denial. The discrepancy involves what franchised outlets can stock.
Denver rejected a social use application from an aspiring cannabis spa, citing its proximity to a child care center. Denver suburb Wheat Ridge suspended the license of Break the Stigma Fitness, a 420-friendly gym.
Rev. Al Sharpton writes that with legalization, “minorities still get shafted.”
Leafly profiles Oakland’s Hood Incubator which helps minority entrepreneurs join the industry.
Snoop Dogg approves of Canada’s “Let’s make it happen,” approach to legalization.
Wary of declines in REC states, Canadian brewers want higher pot taxes🍁For more, sign up for FREE MONTH of WeedWeek Canada!
Southern Africa attracted more investments from Canadian growers. 🍁For more, sign up for FREE MONTH of WeedWeek Canada!
Japan approved its first billboard for a CBD product.
A Santa Rosa, (Calif.) dispensary
Comments Off on WeedWeek, Maj. Leader McConnell Calls to Legalize Hemp; PLUS: Real Marijuana Beer

WeedWeek, Maj. Leader McConnell Calls to Legalize Hemp; PLUS: Real Marijuana Beer

Posted by | May 5, 2018 | Cannabis News

Cannabisjobs.us
THIS IS WEEDWEEK.
BECAUSE CANNABIS NEWS MATTERS.
DID YOU KNOW? You can list your conferences, festivals and parties for FREE on the site.
Check out those upcoming events here.
Would you appreciate a WeedWeek regional supplement with more news from California? Or more news about the opioid crisis? Sign up at the appropriate link.
Thank you to those of you who have expressed interest in WeedWeek Canada. We’ll be launching very soon as a reasonably priced newsletter with more of a focus on original reporting. Look out for an email soon!
If you consider WeedWeek a valuable resource, consider supporting us with a monthly contribution on Patreon.
Swag and discounts start at $2 a month..
Brandbuilding opportunities to appear in the newsletter with your links and social media handles start at only $50 a month.
LIKE US.
FOLLOW US:
ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
It’s the California chaos episode!
This week on the podcast, Hayley and Alex talk to superstar cannabis attorney Hilary Bricken about what’s not working in the Golden State. Professionals don’t want to miss this one.
You should also read Bricken’s posts at the excellent Canna Law Blog.
Plus, a check in with longtime Humboldt grower Kevin Jodrey about legalization in the Emerald Triangle.
The episode lands Monday by 4:20 p.m. Pacific.
Don’t forget to rate it five stars on iTunes!
Previous shows feature:
-Episode 11 Jim McAlpine founder of the 420 Games
-Episode 10 Previously incarcerated activist and entrepreneur Lukas Lucas on L.A.’s equity program
-Episode 9 Journalist David Bienenstock talks about social justice within the industry and his new podcast Great Moments in Weed
-Episode 8 Jackie Fox (Hayley’s mom) talks about becoming a MED user later in life.
-Episode 7 Dr. Peter Grinspoon, Harvard Medical School, on cannabis, opioids and the medical establishment.
-Episode 6 Anja Charbonneau, editor of design forward cannabis magazine Broccoli
-Episode 4 L.A. cannabis Business attorney Ariel Clark on what cannabis entrepreneurs need to know
-Episode 3 Congressman and longtime legalization supporter Earl Blumenauer
-Episode 2 Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The rise and fall and rise of marijuana in America, on the history of legalization
Comments or feedback? Don’t be shy. Our producer is Katie Long.
Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact here.
WeedWeek Canada is a Saturday morning newsletter for professionals in the world’s largest fully-legal cannabis market.
Today in WWCanada:
-All the details on the Aphria deal
-Legalization is on for late Summer
-Lots going on at the provincial level
And much more!
WWCanada is written by Jesse Staniforth, a freelance journalist in Montreal who has reported extensively on indigenous issues, cybersecurity, food safety, and cannabis for outlets including Leafly, ThinkProgress, The Walrus and Salon.
*
Recommended: This remarkable Washington Post report on how data firm Cambridge Analytica sent non-US citizens to work on Republican campaigns.
The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are coming. And the primaries are already here. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to vote here.
So much news.
POLITICS
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants hemp removed from the controlled substances list. McConnell called industrial hemp “really a different plant” than marijuana, even though the US government defines hemp as marijuana with lower than .3% THC content.
McConnell said he plans to explain the difference to his former Senate colleague US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The state treasurers of California, Oregon, Illinois and Pennsylvania have requested a meeting with AG Sessions to resolve the conflicts between state and federal law. It’s not clear if Sessions has responded.
Massachusetts faces a controversy around licensing so-called “dormant” dispensarieswhich received MED licenses but never opened. Bucking the Massachusetts trend, the town of Easthampton will allow REC businesses.
Michigan ordered 210 MED shops closed, mainly because they didn’t apply for licenses.
After a judge ruled Arkansas’ MED license process unconstitutional, a company which said its license was legitimate asked for permission to open. The impoverished town of Cotton Plant, Ark. has high hopes for the cannabis industry.
A Rhode Island dispensary offered the state $5M “to plug the budget hole,” if it didn’t proceed with a plan to expand the number of MED licenses.
Oakland is overwhelmed by cannabis license applications. Berkeley, Calif., cut REC taxes to better compete with the illegal market.
Conservative Colorado Springs, Colo., is unlikely to hold a referendum on REC this year.
Canada is now officially on track to legalize by the end of summer. 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada.
Jamaica’s Ministry of Health warned the public to only use approved MED which has a maximum THC content of 5%.
The N.Y. Times looks at the “Dutch pot paradox” where it’s legal to buy but not to grow.
BUSINESS
Colorado-based Ebbu has partnered with the creator of Blue Moon beer to create non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beers (Cannabist) which it says will be available in Colorado by the end of the year. The partnership will brew beer in several traditional styles and then add THC.
Michael “Dooma” Wendschuh who co-founded Ebbu with Cooper before he was fired in early 2016, has started another cannabis beer company (VICE), Province Brands, which is based in Ontario and plans to sell beer brewed from the cannabis plant. The THC will apparently derive from the plant material used for brewing, not an additive.
In 2016, I wrote a long story (Pando) about Dooma’s time at Ebbu.
The Growler offers the cannabis industry tips from the craft beer industry. Ancillary wine businesses are looking for opportunities in marijuana.
A new IRS rule could strip marijuana related trade associations of their tax-exempt status.
Arizona-based pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics, which contributed $500,000 to defeat Arizona’s 2016 REC legalization initiative, has won preliminary approval for a synthetic cannabis drug to treat side effects associated with cancer and AIDS.
Insys also faces multiple investigations for aggressively marketing the opioid fentanyl. The FBI arrested its former CEO and five other executives in December. The company is also developing a product to treat opioid overdoses.
Canadian producer Aphria agreed to buy Nuuvera for US$670M, largely for Nuuvera’s relationships in Germany, Italy and Australia. 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada.
Canadian firm CannaRoyalty acquired two California distributors, RVR and Alta Supply, and manufacturer Kaya Management. 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada.
Canadian firm Golden Leaf Holdings, which owns the Oregon dispensary chain Chalice, made a deal to franchise the brand nationally with venture capital firm BlackShire Capital. Golden Leaf CEO William Simpson predicted the company would be the “Starbucks of cannabis.” 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada.
Barron’s says Canadian pot stocks “might be a buzzkill.
Amidst shortages, Germany halted the bidding for MED growing licenses, a blow to Canadian firms🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada.
A video from The Economist summarizes the US industry.
The N.Y. Times looks at tensions between artists and marijuana companies over real estate in Oakland. City Lab finds a similar dynamic in Denver.
Licensing delays are playing havoc with the California supply chain and allowing the black market to flourish, Leafly reports. The Wall Street Journal has more.
S.F. Chronicle’s Green State says California rules have crushed small and medium-sized edibles companies.
Politico meets Oakland’s Hood Incubator, which is training minority cannabis entrepreneurs. (There was a conference on diversifying Colorado’s very-white industry.)
A woman who claims to be the biggest marijuana business landlord in California is suing San Bernardino County.
Rolling Stone looks at the perils of running an all-cash pot business in California.
Washington’s small growers are struggling.
Maryland’s Severn Bank revealed substantial involvement in the cannabis space.
Boston’s first MED dispensary, which promised to never apply for a REC license, is applying for a REC license. Patriot Care also opposed REC legalization.
.
Comments Off on WeedWeek: California Weighs Lower Pot Taxes

WeedWeek: California Weighs Lower Pot Taxes

Posted by | March 20, 2018 | Cannabis News

Cannabisjobs.us
THIS IS WEEDWEEK.
BECAUSE CANNABIS NEWS MATTERS.
DID YOU KNOW? You can list your conferences, festivals and parties for FREE on the site.
Check out those upcoming events here.
Would you appreciate a WeedWeek regional supplement with more news from California? Or more news about the opioid crisis? Sign up at the appropriate link.
Thank you to those of you who have expressed interest in WeedWeek Canada. We’ll be launching very soon as a reasonably priced newsletter with more of a focus on original reporting. Look out for an email soon!
If you consider WeedWeek a valuable resource, consider supporting us with a monthly contribution on Patreon.
Swag and discounts start at $2 a month..
Brandbuilding opportunities to appear in the newsletter with your links and social media handles start at only $50 a month.
LIKE US.
FOLLOW US:
ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
This week on the podcast, Hayley and Alex talk to Lukas Lucas, a formerly incarcerated cannabis activist and entrepreneur, about prejudice within the industry, why L.A.’s equity program will work and how legalization could benefit African Americans.
The episode lands Monday by 4:20 p.m. Pacific.
Don’t forget to rate it five stars on iTunes!
Previous shows feature:
-Episode 9 Journalist David Bienenstock talks about social justice within the industry and his new podcast Great Moments in Weed
-Episode 8 Jackie Fox (Hayley’s mom) talks about becoming a MED user later in life.
-Episode 7 Dr. Peter Grinspoon, Harvard Medical School, on cannabis, opioids and the medical establishment.
-Episode 6 Anja Charbonneau, editor of design forward cannabis magazine Broccoli
-Episode 4 L.A. cannabis Business attorney Ariel Clark on what cannabis entrepreneurs need to know
-Episode 3 Congressman and longtime legalization supporter Earl Blumenauer
-Episode 2 Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The rise and fall and rise of marijuana in America, on the history of legalization
Comments or feedback? Don’t be shy. Our producer is Katie Long.
Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact here.
WeedWeek Canada is a Saturday morning newsletter for professionals in the world’s largest fully-legal cannabis market.
Today in WWCanada:
–Economists say Canada may not be able to balance tax collection and reduced youth use while shrinking the black market
–Lots more on the fight to convert Ontario into a private market.
–Why cannabis equity investing is giving way to debt financing
And much more!
WWCanada is written by Jesse Staniforth, a freelance journalist in Montreal who has reported extensively on indigenous issues, cybersecurity, food safety, and cannabis for outlets including Leafly, ThinkProgress, The Walrus and Salon.
*
The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are coming. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to vote here.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
California may lower pot taxes (L.A.Times) to help businesses compete with the illegal market. The bipartisan legislation follows agitating by farmers. (Reuters)
Colorado unveiled a new symbol for all cannabis packaging. A new law in Washington will unclutter cannabis labels.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), said legal states aren’t worried about a federal crackdown. The Boston Globe has the FAQ on the state’s new REC rules. The state will start accepting REC business applications next month.
Activists have sued Florida claiming state MED rules benefit major players and stifle competition.
A Maryland legislative effort to support minority-owned cannabis companies,would reportedly favor existing, white-owned licensees.
WeedNews suggests legalization may have helped Democrat and MED supporter Conor Lamb win a special Congressional election in Pennsylvania by less than 1,000 votes. Republican Rick Saccone, who voted against MED, lost the district which President Trump won by 20 points.
Debts approaching $9 billion make REC legalization an increasingly attractive option in Illinois.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) includes pot taxes in his budget proposal (Tom Angell). As they contemplate legalization, state lawmakers are emphasizing what it would mean for social justice (N.Y. Times) in the state.
New Jersey voters favor REC legalization (Tom Angell), a poll found. The state isalso mulling home grow (App.).
While Denver issued the first permit, Amsterdam style smoking lounges have arrived in several San Francisco dispensaries, and may be coming to West Hollywood later this year.
The Washington Post visits Humboldt where legalization challenges outlaw growers. I recently reported on the same topic for HuffPost.
Concerns about the application process led a judge to block Arkansas’ first MED licenses from being awarded.
A Delaware task force studying legalization voted to release a controversial report on legalization.
A CBD bill passed the Indiana legislature.
The Oklahoma Senate voted to implement stricter MED rules before the question goes to voters in June.
In National Review, drug policy scholar Jonathan P. Caulkins urges caution before rushing into a for-profit cannabis industry, which would be almost impossible to unwind.
Ontario’s new conservative leader Doug Ford, brother of deceased former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, said he’d like to see a more open cannabis market in Canada’s most populous province. 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada.
Relatedly, the province released the new austere logo for the Ontario Cannabis Store to widespread ridicule. For more see Buzzfeed🍁For even more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada.
UN Secretary General António Guterres, praised decriminalization, which he enacted 20 years ago as president of Portugal.
BUSINESS
After California threatened Weedmaps with civil or criminal charges for promoting unlicensed dispensaries, Weedmaps responded that since the company isn’t a licensee the state doesn’t have the power to regulate it (MJBiz).
Weedmaps cited Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (Ars Technica) which essentially argues that the company is not responsible for the actions of its users. The same defense has been successfully deployed by Backpage, a classifieds site notorious for sex industry ads.
While Weedmaps struck a conciliatory tone (L.A.Times), it was as bold a rebuke to regulators as has been expressed by any cannabis company.
In an editorial, the Sacramento Bee criticized the company.
Alan Brochstein discusses five ways to invest in California cannabis.
Consumers are selling California-legal cannabis in Tijuana.
MJBizDaily asks if your business is ready for increased scrutiny while Jeff Sessions is attorney general.
The Seattle Times profiles edibles brand The Goodship, after it’s acquisition by Privateer Holdings, as it prepares to expand into California.
A first of its kind study determined legalization is a net economic benefit for Pueblo County, Colo. The police chief said the study didn’t take into account the homelessness and poverty his officers see. I wrote about Pueblo for the L.A.Times in 2016.
Delivery services are thriving in Florida, where it’s difficult to open a dispensary.
Snoop Dogg’s cannabis investing fund, Casa Verde Capital, raised $45M. (Snoop also released a gospel album this week, “Bible of Love.”)
Business Insider introduces the stars of cannabis finance.
Fast Company asks if MedMen will become the Starbucks of weed.
Reuters meets New Leaf Data Services which publishes wholesale price data.
Texas hasn’t legalized but entrepreneurs are preparing for the Lone Star green rush anyway.
Bloomberg profiles Hydrotherapy, Quebec’s only legal producer, which wants tofollow convenience stores’ path to global growth. 🍁For more subscribe toWeedWeek Canada.
Cannex, Washington’s largest producer,
Cannabisjobs.us
THIS IS WEEDWEEK.
BECAUSE CANNABIS NEWS MATTERS.
DID YOU KNOW? You can list your conferences, festivals and parties for FREE on the site.
Check out those upcoming events here.
Would you appreciate a WeedWeek regional supplement with more news from California? Or more news about the opioid crisis? Sign up at the appropriate link.
Thank you to those of you who have expressed interest in WeedWeek Canada. We’ll be launching very soon as a reasonably priced newsletter with more of a focus on original reporting. Look out for an email soon!
If you consider WeedWeek a valuable resource, consider supporting us with a monthly contribution on Patreon.
Swag and discounts start at $2 a month..
Brandbuilding opportunities to appear in the newsletter with your links and social media handles start at only $50 a month.
LIKE US.
FOLLOW US:
ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
This week on the podcast, Hayley and Alex talk to longtime cannabis journalist David Bienenstockabout legalization, social justice within the industry and his new podcast Great Moments in Weed History co-hosted with Abdullah Saeed, formerly of Vice’s Bong Appetit.
The episode lands Monday by 4:20 p.m. Pacific.
Don’t forget to rate it five stars on iTunes!
Previous shows feature:
-Episode 8 Jackie Fox (Hayley’s mom) talks about becoming a MED user later in life.
-Episode 7 Dr. Peter Grinspoon, Harvard Medical School, on cannabis, opioids and the medical establishment.
-Episode 6 Anja Charbonneau, editor of design forward cannabis magazine Broccoli
-Episode 4 L.A. cannabis Business attorney Ariel Clark on what cannabis entrepreneurs need to know
-Episode 3 Congressman and longtime legalization supporter Earl Blumenauer
-Episode 2 Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The rise and fall and rise of marijuana in America, on the history of legalization
Comments or feedback? Don’t be shy. Our producer is Katie Long.
Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact here.
WeedWeek Canada is a Saturday morning newsletter for professionals in the world’s largest fully-legal cannabis market. WWCanada aims to deliver key data and insights in a quick, digestible format. Plus, Reporter Jesse Staniforth is incentivized to deliver exclusive scoops.
WWCanada is written by Jesse Staniforth, a freelance journalist in Montreal who has reported extensively on indigenous issues, cybersecurity, food safety, and cannabis for outlets including Leafly, ThinkProgress, The Walrus and Salon.
*
The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are coming. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to vote here.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, a former executive at drugmaker Eli Lilly, said there’s “no such thing as medical marijuana.” He said the department The department is working on non-cannabis related ways to mitigate the opioid crisis.
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators introduced legislation to protect banks who work with cannabis companies. Tom Angell also has the latest on veterans lobbying Congress for MED access.
California has already approved more than 2,000 growers licenses, but the Lost Coast Outpost suggests allowing too many growers sets them up to fail.
Nevada put off social use until 2019 (Las Vegas Sun). Regulators also decided tokeep the cannabis and gaming industries separate (Las Vegas Review Journal).
Pennsylvania appears poised to allow smokable flower, which would cut the cost of MED. A Florida judge will hear a case to allow smokable MED.
To increase minority ownership, the Maryland House voted to raise the number of grow licenses from 15 to 20.
Florida lawmakers are withholding $1.9M from the health department because of delays in MED licensing. Also in Florida, legislation on changing how a black farmer can obtain a growing license is headed to Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) desk.
Illinois’ “cannabis candidate” Benjamin Wolf inflated his resume (Chicago Tribune) and allegedly abused women (Politico). Wolf denied any claims of abuse.
Tom Angell looks at the new politics of weed in Illinois.
Five measures to loosen cannabis laws could come before Arizona voters this year.
In Leafly, WeedWeek Podcast co-host Hayley Fox, asks whether expanding Los Angeles’ cannabis agency can boost equity ownership. Equity also got a boost in Massachusetts.
Oakland is considering legislation which would block pot companies from evicting existing tenants.
The D.C. Board of Elections blocked a ballot initiative, which it said would go against city law and Congress, to allow REC sales.
The UN drug enforcement board warned countries not to legalize marijuana🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada.
Canada’s First Nations’ (Native Canadians) want in on the REC industry🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada.
A decriminalization bill advanced in Israel.
Colorado Public Radio looks at the push to legalize psychedelic mushrooms in Denver.
BUSINESS
California’s cannabis regulatory chief Lori Ajax told Weedmaps to cease and desist stop promoting unlicensed businesses (OC Register). Lack of compliance could lead to civil or criminal penalties.
Weedmaps does not appear to have responded. (Sacramento Bee) In February, Weedmaps president Christopher Beals said, “The thing is, at the end of the day, we’re an information platform…We’re showing the same information that Google and Yelp and Craigslist and 30 other websites are showing.”
Ajax also sent letters to 900 pot shops suspected of operating without a state license.
Bloomberg says the US is giving away the $30 billion MED industry to Israel and Canada.
Delivery app Eaze’s policy team is hiring to prepare for expansion beyond California.
Business Insider’s Jeremy Berke profiles Navy Capital, a cannabis hedge fund which was up 127% in 2017. Berke also asks what the two highest valued cannabis companies, MedMen and Privateer Holdings, say about the industry.
Bloomberg reports companies are losing interest in employee pot tests.
New Women Grow Chair Chanda Macias defended the company against criticism.
Regulatory software company BioTrackTHC agreed to merge with diversified ancillary company Helix TCS to form what it claims is the industry’s largest ancillary company.
Denver restaurants reportedly can’t staff their kitchens because trimming buds pays better and is easier.
Big Think asks why cannabis companies keep losing their social media accounts.
California collectives which provided low-cost MED to the needy are struggling in the REC era (Sacramento Bee). So are smaller growers (Santa Rosa Press Democrat.).
Massachusetts growers say strict energy rules could force them to use energy efficient LEDs, which are far costlier, and produce lesser product. Read the whole piece by the Boston Globe’s Dan Adams.
Massachusetts pot lobbyists are out in force.
Modern farmer has a primer on indoor gardening.
Trade group National Cannabis Business Association, which has recently faced some tough media coveragehas a possible rival in the Western Regional Cannabis Business Alliance, which has nine state organizations and at least one lobbyist in D.C.
With a major court ruling coming soon, Canna Law Blog asks if CBD is legal.
Tattoo care could be a $1.6 billion CBD market.
Surprisingly, in 2016 Canada fell to second, behind the U.K., in legal MED production. 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada.
Canadian producer Aurora Cannabis plans to follow competitor Cronos Group(National Post) onto an international stock exchange. For more see CNBC.
Canadian producer Canopy Growth is among the bidders for Spanish pharmaceutical firm Alcaliber, a major morphine producer. 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada.
Canada granted a license to a
Cannabisjobs.us
HIS IS WEEDWEEK.
BECAUSE CANNABIS NEWS MATTERS.
DID YOU KNOW? You can list your conferences, festivals and parties for FREE on the site.
Check out those upcoming events here.
Would you appreciate a WeedWeek regional supplement with more news from California? Or more news about the opioid crisis? Sign up at the appropriate link.
Thank you to those of you who have expressed interest in WeedWeek Canada. We’ll be launching very soon as a reasonably priced newsletter with more of a focus on original reporting. Look out for an email soon!
If you consider WeedWeek a valuable resource, consider supporting us with a monthly contribution on Patreon.
Swag and discounts start at $2 a month..
Brandbuilding opportunities to appear in the newsletter with your links and social media handles start at only $50 a month.
LIKE US.
FOLLOW US:
ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
This week on the podcast, Hayley and I have a fascinating conversation with physician and Harvard Medical School instructor Dr. Peter Grinspoon. We discuss how the medical establishment thinks about MED, the opioid crisis and Grinspoon’s father, Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a hero of the legalization movement. In addition to his professional expertise, the younger Dr. Grinspoon became addicted to opioids while working as a doctor an experience he describes in his book Free Refills: A doctor confronts his addiction. The episode lands Monday at 4:20 p.m.Pacific.
You can rate us five stars on iTunes whenever you like.
Previous episodes feature:
-Episode 6 Anja Charbonneau, editor of design forward cannabis magazine Broccoli
-Episode 4 L.A. cannabis Business attorney Ariel Clark on what cannabis entrepreneurs need to know
-Episode 3 Congressman and longtime legalization supporter Earl Blumenauer
-Episode 2 Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The rise and fall and rise of marijuana in America, on the history of legalization
Comments or feedback? Don’t be shy.
Our producer is Katie Long.
Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact here.
*
The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are coming. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to vote here.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
Ohio’s state auditor said the state MED program should continue despite “multiple” flaws in the application process (AP). According to the state commerce department, public radio reports, changes were made to internal documents but it’s impossible to know by who since passwords were shared.
Six unsuccessful applicants have sued the state (Cleveland.com) in a lawsuit which alleges scoring errors, regulators who failed to follow their own rules and outside “scoring consultants” with blatant conflicts of interest.
A Trump administration aide resigned after he was told he would not received a security clearance (NYT) for smoking pot several times a few years ago, a disclosure he self-reporting it to the FBI. It followed news of senior aide Rob Porter resigning(Politico) after allegations of domestic abuse surfaced in the press.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions seeks to “sow doubt” about legalization’s viability.
Leafly says 99% of California cannabis businesses remain unlicensed. But California regulators have begun to target (MJBizDaily) unlicensed businesses. The Sacramento Bee finds unlicensed local delivery services continue to operate.
WeedWeek podcast co-host Hayley Fox reports Los Angeles’ cannabis agency is “woefully understaffed.
California’s cannabis industry is gaining political clout through campaign contributions.
Massachusetts regulators say anticipated July 1 REC sales could be delayed. They also floated the idea of a state cannabis bank.
A New Jersey lawmaker proposed creating “consumption zones” to address the social use issue. The state’s black lawmakers discussed legalization.
Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) doesn’t expect the federal government to reschedule marijuana anytime soon.
Detroit plans to challenge two voter approved initiatives which would reduce local control of the industry. Michigan released its cannabis product label.
Arizona Republican Senate candidate and Trump-ally Joe Arpaio supports MED “kind of.”
N.Y. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) criticized Big Pharma for opposing cannabis reform.
The Trump administration supports continuing restrictive hemp laws.
Colorado dispensary chain Medicine Man named a strain Jeff Sesh-ons.
BUSINESS
Oakland megadispensary Harborside stood up to Hershey’s after the confectioner called Harborside strain Jolly Meds a trademark infraction on Jolly Ranchers candy.
Hershey’s quickly caved. “We stood up to the federal Department of Justice,” Harborside founder Steve DeAngelo said, “We are certainly not going to be intimidated by a candy company.”
The SEC suspended Cherubim Interests and Victura Construction Corp., two cannabis penny stocks which tried to exploit interest in cryptocurrency.
Quebec cannabis grower Agro-Biotech agreed to merge with Vancouver-based Pivot Pharmaceuticals in a C$100M deal.
Pot grow sensor platform Braingrid raised C$2.6M ahead of going public in Canada.
California approved the first provider of surety bonds to cannabis companies.
A proposed bill in California would block employment discrimination against cannabis users. Quartz says it’s not a good idea to tell colleagues you smoke pot.
Retail prices in Oregon are as low as $2/g and still dropping 20% annually. In Washington, conditions also incentivize leakage out of state.
Meanwhile, in Massachusetts they’re worried about shortages when REC goes on sale.
Nearly 4% of Colorado electricity powers pot grows.
A lawsuit which threatened to force a new MED application process in Marylandhas been settled for undisclosed terms.
Canna Law Blog discusses the Open Cannabis Project’s fight to get pot patents right and changes to California event permit rules.
Pennsylvania’s nascent MED industry can’t keep up with demand. And the statemay soon allow flower sales.
The first Louisiana MED dispensaries could open later this year. North Dakota selected BioTrack THC for its cannabis tracking software.
Media company Freedom Leaf is in financial trouble.
Thailand, which has draconian drug laws, may try to become a MED hub.
In the Guardian, I wrote about five female cannabis entrepreneurs.
Leafly lists seven edibles which “changed the game.” The listicle dates back 3,000 years to bhang in India.
Girl Scouts won the OK to sell cookies outside dispensaries.
Sponsored Content
Fire or Ice?
Introducing our incredible line of microdosed & sugarfree Fire Cinnamon Mints and Ice Spearmints! Chill your breath and your mind with these icy spearmints, microdosed with our ultra-pure, incredible THC oil.Available in 2mg pieces for adult users and 5mg pieces for medical patients.
Prefer a fruity flavor?
Our Stimulating Mixes Fruit Tarts combine a tangy apple, lemon and grape flavors deliver a tart punch to your palate along with a microdose of our incredible oil for discreet medicating on the go. These tarts are gluten free, non-GMO, and always triple-lab tested for potency, purity and safety.
Last but not least… Watermelon CBD!
We’re already dreaming of summer! Our 1:1 THC:CBD Watermelon Tarts are bursting with flavor and always gluten free. Sweet, sour & juicy our Watermelon CBD Tarts combine the benefits of CBD with the relaxation of THC. So sit back and enjoy our “seedlesss” watermelon.
*
HEALTH & SCIENCE
U.S. House Rules Committee Chair Pete Sessions — no relation to AG Jeff — who’s among the most anti-pot legislators in Washington, said marijuana use leads to opiate addiction, a claim largely unsupported in the medical literature.
Marijuana “merchants of addiction…are making it more powerful and more powerful and more powerful,” Sessions said. “When I went to high school … in 1973, I graduated, marijuana, on average, is 300 times more powerful. That becomes an addictive element for a child to then go to the next thing.”
In 2016, the Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham wrote alcohol and tobacco are more likely to lead to opioid use than cannabis.
An Arizona House panel approved a proposal which would make it a felony for doctorsto evade state MED rules.
A paper in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association
Cannabisjobs.us
This week on the podcast, Hayley and I talked to Anja Charbonneau, founder of Broccoli, a fashion-forward cannabis magazine for women. Among much else, Anja talks about the global cannabis community, finding a place for cutting edge design in the cannabis world, and a favorite weed inspired song. The episode drops Monday at 4:20 p.m.Pacific.
You can rate us five stars on iTunes whenever you like.
Previous episodes feature:
-Episode 4 Cannabis Business attorney Ariel Clark on what cannabis entrepreneurs need to know
-Episode 3 Congressman and longtime legalization supporter Earl Blumenauer
-Episode 2 Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The rise and fall and rise of marijuana in America, on the history of legalization
Comments or feedback? Don’t be shy.
Our producer is Katie Long.
Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact here.
*
Recommended: The N.Y.Times’ Dan Barry wrote a powerful piece on this week’s massacre in Parkland, Fla.
The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are coming. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to vote here.
So much news.
POLITICS
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) partially lifted his hold (Reuters) on Justice Department confirmations “as a show of good faith for continued positive conversations,” with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on protecting state legal cannabis businesses from federal prosecution.
Gardner said the Justice Department had “moved more and more” toward agreeing(Denver Post) to unspecified “concrete protections in Colorado for our state’s voters when it comes to decisions they made related to marijuana.”
Gardner backed down days after Sessions, in prepared remarks (Forbes), implied Gardner was endangering national security. Sessions added, “I cannot and will not pretend that a duly enacted law of this country — like the federal ban on marijuana — does not exist. Marijuana is illegal in the United States — even in Colorado, California, and everywhere else in America.”
Politifact says there are limited privacy protections for legal cannabis customers.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) announced her support for Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) REC legalization bill. Both are considered contenders in 2020. Vice predicts the next Democratic president will legalize REC.
Rolling Stone says California is blocking Native American tribes from entering the industry.
A Florida lawsuit argues the state’s strict MED program — only 10 commercial grow licenses — violates the spirit of the 2016 ballot initiative. Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R) has become known as a die-hard supporter of 1) President Trump and 2)Cannabis reform.
In New Jersey, a bi-partisan group of lawmakers prefers decriminalization to legalization, for now. Pro-legalization governor Phil Murphy (D) discussed legalization.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, (R) who opposed REC, criticized proposed regulations (Boston Globe), which would allow delivery services and social use, as too permissive. He also wants to set energy-use standards (MassLive) for the industry. For more see WWLP.
Detroit placed a moratorium on new MED business permits.
Ohio offered to “pause” its much criticized MED approval process.
Utah lawmakers are taking “baby steps” to legalize MED for the terminally ill.
In Canada, the Senate reached a REC legalization timeline, with a vote to be held by June 7 and sales delayed until at least August. And don’t expect legalization to replace the grey market.
Israel’s ultra-orthodox deputy health minister has reversed himself and now opposes MED exports.
The cannabis community celebrated President Obama’s official presidential portraitwith its botanical theme.
During Denver shows the Pod Save America crew talked to dispensary owner Wanda James, and cannabis writer and Cannabist founding editor Ricardo Baca. Baca also talked to WestWord about cannabis media and his content business Grasslands.
BUSINESS
Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify will handle online and in-store sales in for Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. Seeking Alpha likes the deal for Shopify.
The province of Quebec has inked supply agreements with six MED producers.
Al-Jazeera visits Canopy Growth, one of Canada’s largest producers. The Canadian industry has its sights on global conquest. CBC looks at the Canadian edibles market.
Publicly-traded Kush Bottles received a $6M investment from Maryland-based cannabis fund Merida Capital.
The Cannifornian explains the state’s 35% cannabis tax. An L.A. Times Op-Ed says a proposed public bank in California could do more than serve cannabis businesses. “At a time when California has so many pressing needs, from transportation to water delivery, a public bank could help stretch scarce dollars and rebuild the state.”
California biotech company Librede won a $1.5M NIH grant to develop its “yeast-based cannabinoid production platform.”
TheStreet suggests the best ways to invest in cannabis. Hint: It’s mainly “weed-adjacent” companies.
Pernod-Ricard, the world’s second largest spirits company says legalization hasn’t hurt North American sales, but it is monitoring the situation.
Willamette Week (Portland) looks at the Open Cannabis Project, the open-source database “that can save the cannabis industry” from overly broad patents.
The all-cash industry is causing problems and confusion in Michigan.
A private BYOC club opened in Massachusetts telling customers they could smoke anything that’s legal in the state including tobacco. A Denver business is close to winning a social use permit.
Comedian Chelsea Handler is joining the industry.
Sponsored Content
Fire or Ice?
Introducing our incredible line of microdosed & sugarfree Fire Cinnamon Mints and Ice Spearmints! Chill your breath and your mind with these icy spearmints, microdosed with our ultra-pure, incredible THC oil.Available in 2mg pieces for adult users and 5mg pieces for medical patients.
Prefer a fruity flavor?
Our Stimulating Mixes Fruit Tarts combine a tangy apple, lemon and grape flavors deliver a tart punch to your palate along with a microdose of our incredible oil for discreet medicating on the go. These tarts are gluten free, non-GMO, and always triple-lab tested for potency, purity and safety.
Last but not least… Watermelon CBD!
We’re already dreaming of summer! Our 1:1 THC:CBD Watermelon Tarts are bursting with flavor and always gluten free. Sweet, sour & juicy our Watermelon CBD Tarts combine the benefits of CBD with the relaxation of THC. So sit back and enjoy our “seedlesss” watermelon.
*
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for seniors suffering from chronic pain, data published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine found. In a study of more 1,186 Israelis, after six months more than 93% of respondents reported an improvement in their condition.
Activist group Grannies for Grass has a satellite group in Australia which calls itself the Canna Nannas.
A study from the American Osteopathic Association found cannabis use can activate latent psychiatric problems.
A study found alcohol is more dangerous to the brain than cannabis. A longitudinal analysis found cannabis using “street-involved youth” have a lower rate of starting to inject drugs than their non-cannabis using counterparts.
This week on the podcast, Hayley and I talked sex, weed and politics with Dan Savage! Among much else, Dan talks cannabis activism, his favorite brand of cannalube and what he does when he’s stoned. The episode lands Monday at 4:20 p.m. Pacific.
You can rate us five stars on iTunes whenever you like.
Previous episodes feature Congressman and longtime legalization supporter Earl Blumenauer(“So goes the country…”) ; Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The rise and fall and rise of marijuana in America (From just say no…”); and Ariel Clark a cannabis business attorney and founder of the L.A. Cannabis Task Force (“Want to start a weed business?”).
Comments or feedback? Don’t be shy.
Our producer is Katie Long.
Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact here.
*
The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are coming. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to vote here.
So much news.
POLITICS
Contrary to the available science, Attorney General Jeff Sessions blamed marijuana for the opioid crisis. “The DEA said that a huge percentage of the heroin addictions starts with prescriptions. That may be an exaggerated number — they had it as high as 80 percent — we think a lot of this is starting with marijuana and other drugs,” he said.
To alleviate the epidemic Sessions told Americans to “take some aspirin sometimes and tough it out.” He also praised White House chief of staff former Marine Gen. John Kelly for refusing opioids after a recent minor surgery.
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) has kept his word to hold up judicial nominees until Sessions adjusts his position on state legal industries. Gardner has prevented as many as 11 nominees from getting a floor vote.
Sessions’ remarks attracted criticism from veterans groups who strongly support MED access as a possible opioid exit drug.  Reason produced six studies which say Sessions is wrong. Vox piles on.
Meanwhile Democrats are calling for a hearing on Sessions’ decision to rescind the Cole Memo.
parody video about Jeff Sessions’ secret past as a weed-loving jam band musician fooled a few people. His band was called The Jeff Sessions.
The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment which protects state legal MED businesses from federal prosecution was extended until March 23 as part of the budget deal. It’s the eighth time the amendment has been extended.
Republicans blocked an amendment from Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colo.) which would have prevented federal prosecution of state-legal cannabis businesses.
The Senate Judiciary Committee could discuss legalization this year.
California has issued about 2,400 temporary cannabis licenses, but top regulator Lori Ajax anticipates ongoing supply problems. CityLab looks at equity efforts in California.
Massachusetts’ REC market is preparing to open on schedule (MassLive) onJuly 1. Gov. Charlie Baker called for a slower, two-phased roll-out (Boston Globe).
Amid criticism, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) defended the state’s efforts (Florida Politics) to implement a MED program. Christian Bax, the state’s top marijuana official, is under fire from several sides (Bradenton Herald.)
In a reversal, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D) is willing to consider legal REC to solve the state’s budget woes.
New Jersey’s Ocean and Monmouth counties formally oppose REC legalization. The state anticipates a “cutthroat” business climate.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind.) launched a petition against prohibition.
Some red state Democrats think a pro-legalization platform can help them win in November.
Tom Angell runs through the legalization initiatives on the table in Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois, Georgia and other states.
A MED bill in Missouri would be limited to terminally ill patients. To clear up confusion, several conservative states may legalize CBD. Tennessee House Speaker and gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell (R) supports a MED billdescribing it as an alternative to opioids..
Canada may not be ready for REC sales (Reuters) by the hoped for date of July 1. Liberals say conservatives are holding up debate (Globe and Mail) in the Senate. For more see CBC.
British Columbia released its new regulations.
Under pressure from Trump, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hit the brakes on MED exports. Greece is fast-tracking MED legalization.
Tiny Lesotho became the first African nation to legalize cultivation. American company Corix Bioscience stands to benefit.
The Antigua and Barbuda Parliament voted to allow possession.
A push to legalize psychedelic mushrooms moved closer to the Denver ballot.
BUSINESS
Publicly-traded, North Carolina tobacco company Alliance One said it is entering the U.S. hemp market and the Canadian cannabis market (New Cannabis Ventures.) It has acquired controlling stakes in Canadian licensed producer Canada’s Island Garden, and applicant Goldleaf Pharm. For more see MJBizDaily.
MenMen claims to be the first billion dollar US cannabis company, after receiving a $30M investment at that valuation.
Vaporizer powerhouse PAX Labs named Silicon Valley veteran Bharat Vasan as its new CEO.
Paragon, a cannabis blockchain company which raised $70M in an initial coin offering, has been sued by investors who allege the company didn’t file its offering with regulators. In a statement, founder Jessica VerSteeg, a former Miss Iowa, said the company is “dedicated to staying compliant with all applicable laws.”
AdWeek looks at the industry’s ongoing social media woes.
In what was later determined to be a hack of Washington’s new track and trace software system, computer glitches caused havoc for retailers and vendors(MJBizDaily). The new system is from Colorado-based MJFreeway which has suffered a string of embarrassing problems. The Seattle Times has more on the scramble to keep product on shelves.
After a 40-month legal battle Colorado credit union Fourth Corner won conditional approval from the Federal Reserve to offer banking services to ancillary businesses, but not plant-touching companies. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears to support bank access for cannabis businesses.
Partner Colorado Credit Union, which serves the industry, has been hit with a wrongful termination lawsuit which claims the plaintiffs witnessed CEO Sundie Seefried using cocaine. The company denied the allegations and called the suit groundless.
Colorado cannabis sales hit a record $1.5 billion in 2017.
According to ZipRecruiter, cannabis job postings climbed 445% in 2017.
A handful of companies own 30% of California’s 540 temporary licenses for “small” operations. Legalization has been tough for California’s pre-existing, unlicensed delivery services. It has also put pressure on cannabis events and festivals.
BDS Analytics/Arcview predict Florida will be a billion-dollar market.
In Oregon, state auditors found cannabis businesses can easily manipulate sales and inventory data before passing it to the state, creating potential for abuse. New Mexico wants to revoke a business’s license for submitting false audit reports.
An unsuccessful license applicant in Pennsylvania, is calling for a do-over which would halt the industry days before MED sales begin. The entity calls the state’s selection process “flawed, inequitable and unconstitutional.”
A member of Ohio’s MED advisory panel who quit said the state program plans weren’t working for patients. (Cleveland.com) (Cincinnati.com has the FAQ on Ohio’s MED industry, scheduled to open in September.)
Comments Off on WeedWeek, 1/27/18: Dealflow Heats Up As Cannabiz Ignores AG Sessions

WeedWeek, 1/27/18: Dealflow Heats Up As Cannabiz Ignores AG Sessions

Posted by | January 27, 2018 | Cannabis News, Weed Week News by Alex Halperin

Cannabisjobs.us
THIS IS WEEDWEEK.
BECAUSE CANNABIS NEWS MATTERS.
DID YOU KNOW? You can list your conferences, festivals and parties for FREE on the site.
Check out those upcoming events here.
Would you appreciate a WeedWeek regional supplement with more news from California and/or Canada? Or more news about the opioid crisis? Sign up at the appropriate link.
If you consider WeedWeek a valuable resource, consider supporting us with a monthly contribution on Patreon.
Swag and discounts start at $2 a month.
For $25 a month you get five (5!) WeedWeek stickers, discounts to all future WeedWeek events, a postcard from Los Angeles, cannabis capital of the world and you get to join a monthly Google hangout with me and other WeedWeek supporters to discuss the latest news…
Brandbuilding opportunities to appear in the newsletter with your links and social media handles start at only $50 a month.
LIKE US.
FOLLOW US:
ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
The WeedWeek Podcast’s first two episodes are up on iTunes, and other major podcast managers. (No matter which you use, it’s especially helpful to rate us five stars in iTunes.)
Check in Monday for episode threefeaturing an exclusive interview with Congressmand Earl Blumenauer, (D-Ore.). A longtime advocate for legalization, Blumenauer discusses the mood in Congress and how 2018 candidates should talk and think about legalization
Want to pitch yourself or someone else as a guest? Let us know. Other thoughts comments or feedback? Don’t be shy.
Subscribe and rate us five stars, and the next episode will be out Monday.
Our producer is Katie Long. Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact here.
*
The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are coming. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to vote here.
So much news.
POLITICS
A bipartisan group of 52 Senators and Congresspeople has called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reinstate the Cole Memo which protects state legal cannabis businesses from federal prosecution.
States, especially the most recent to legalize, are concerned about what the Cole Memo decision will mean for pot tax revenue.
Aaron Smith, head of the embattled National Cannabis Industry Association, said lobbyists told him Sessions did not alert President Trump of his decision to rescind the Cole Memo. Sessions is “on an island,” Smith said.
The federal Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which protects state legal MED activity, was extended through February 8 as part of the federal budget deal. Subscribe to the WeedWeek podcast for our exclusive interview with Congressman Blumenauer. It drops Monday.
San Francisco will vote on a pot tax and a city cannabis commission in November. Leafly’s Peter Hecht looks at why Calaveras County, Calif.,banned commercial grows.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) discussed the Marijuana Justice Actbill with S.F. Weekly. Canna Law Blog has an update on equity programs in Oakland and S.F.
Vermont became the ninth state to legalize REC and the first to do so through the state legislature. The law takes effect July 1 but does not allow for a state industry, which is still under study. The Onion weighed in.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) wants to further delay REC sales.
John Morgan, a wealthy cannabis activist and personal injury lawyer, issuing Florida to allow smokable MED. Joe Redner, a well-known Tampa strip bar owner and cancer patient, is suing the state to grow his own.
Maryland lawmakers may reorganize the state’s cannabis commission.
Michigan REC supporters face some opposition.
The Indiana House voted to study MED legalization. Georgia lawmakersadvanced a MED bill.
Pro-legalization Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D) is running a longshot candidacy for Ted Cruz’s (R) Senate seat.
In Virginia, a House panel defeated a bill to decriminalize. A bill in Oklahoma would pre-emptively restrict MED ahead of the state’s June vote.
Mexico’s tourism minister said the country should legalize REC in tourist spots like Cancun and Los Cabos. He then walked back the remarks. With the legal U.S. market hurting cartels, The L.A. Times reports Mexico is “warming” to legalization.
Greece hopes legalizing MED will help with the country’s employment crisis.
A Russian presidential candidate and reality TV star proposed legalizing cannabis, saying it’s safer than vodka.
BUSINESS
Canada’s Aurora Cannabis agreed to buy smaller competitor CanniMed Therapeutics for C$1.1 billion ($850M) (Reuters) to form the world’s most valuable cannabis company. Aurora paid C$43 a share, up from its initial offer of C$24. Pending shareholder and regulatory approval, the deal brings 2018 cannabis deals to $1.2 billion, more than double the 2017 total. For more see the Financial Post.
Hedge fund Lakewood Capital Management revealed short positions in Aurora and Canopy Growth, the two largest Canadian MED producers. Aurora said it wasn’t concerned.
Canopy Growth meanwhile wants to open dispensaries in the Canadian provinces which allow private ownership.
Seattle-based Privateer Holdings raised $100M in Series C funding(MJBiz), a record in the industry. Privateer says proceeds, about 10% of which arrived after AG Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo, will fund overseas acquisitions. The non-disclosed donors include “ultra high net worth individuals, family offices and institutions,” (TechCrunch) from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Europe and Asia. GQ profiles Privateer investor and sometime Trump friend Peter Thiel.
Upscale California brand Canndescent raised $10M in series B growth capital. Investors included Floret Ventures and Altitude Investment Partners.
The CEO of online brokerage TD Ameritrade said interest in cannabis and bitcoin are fueling “frenetic” trading activity(CNBC), especially among Millenials. For more on “out of control” pot stocks see Reuters and Vice.
High Times plans to raise $50M in an IPO and will trade over the counter if the NASDAQ rejects its application. As of September 30, it reported assets of $3.6M and debt of $38.6M.
MedMen and other U.S. cannabis companies are looking to go public in Canada, CNBC reports.
The California Growers Association sued to block the state from allowing mega grows. The San Francisco Chronicle recounts the travails of a small business in the legal climate. MJBiz has more on California’s developing business climate.
A Baldwin Park, Calif., city councilwoman received a $4,400 campaign contribution from the CEO of cannabis company Rukli, the day after she awarded his company an exclusive cannabis transport permit in the city.
Business Insider profiles oil maker Cura Cannabis Solutions which is chasing a $1 billion valuation.
N.Y. Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo says cannabis could be big.
The Economist looks at the industry’s banking problem.
“Self-regulatory organization” the National Association of Cannabis Businesses, is proposing national packaging standards. A public comment period will begin in a few weeks. A Colorado recycling non-profit seeks toreduce industry waste.
The Asbury Park Press reports on the obstacles facing would be cannabis entrepreneurs in New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy moved to expand the state’s MED program.
With new state taxes, California customers are paying up to 40% more for weed than last year. After seeing a decline, Montana will remind MED providers to pay their taxes.
Massachusetts anticipates $63M in pot taxes during the first year of REC sales, roughly 0.15% of the state budget.
An applicant for an Oakland license defended his decision to offer a city official a trip to Spain, ostensibly to study the Iberian cannabis situation. The official declined the offer.
Colorado announced a recall of Bronnor vape pens for containing excess residual ethanol (alcohol).
Oregon increased penalties for selling to minors. After stores were busted selling to minors, the state’s top pot regulator said “your friends in government are really, really disappointed.”
Massachusetts may send “secret shoppers” into dispensaries to ensure they’re following rules.
The Associated Press is expanding its cannabis coverage.

Sunshine State cannabis advocate John Morgan will finally have his day in court, where he will argue that Florida should allow MMJ patients to smoke their legal medication.

A Leon County Circuit Court judge will hear arguments about the validity of Florida’s smokable medical marijuana ban next month, finally giving one of the Sunshine State’s most controversial legal weed regulations its day in court.

The lawsuit, first filed in July of this year by attorney and cannabis advocate John Morgan, seeks to remove a legislative amendment to Florida’s voter-approved medical marijuana law banning the sale and use of smokeable, whole-flower cannabis.

In November, 2016, Floridians passed a medical marijuana initiative that included a clause giving terminally ill patients the right to use full-strength marijuana under the “Right to Try Act,” with over 70% of the voters in favor. Before the program could be implemented, though, Sunshine State lawmakers flexed their red pens and legislative powers, amending the ballot initiative to ban smokable cannabis. That bill passed through the legislature with flying colors and support from both sides of the aisle.

For John Morgan, who wrote the successful medical marijuana initiative and has contemplated a run for Florida Governor in 2018, the post-vote changes have been a slap in the face to his ultimate goal: opening medical marijuana access to as many Floridians in need as possible.

“By redefining the constitutionally defined term ‘medical use’ to exclude smoking, the Legislature substitutes its medical judgment for that of ‘a licensed Florida physician’ and is in direct conflict with the specifically articulated Constitutional process,” the initial lawsuit filing states.

In the original MMJ legalization initiative, Morgan argues, the language allowed legislators to make decisions with regard to smoking in public places, but not as it pertains to use in private homes or for sale at licensed dispensaries.

“If something is not allowed in public, it is allowed in private,” Morgan said at a press conference announcing the lawsuit in July. “It’s as clear to all of you as it is to any first-grader taking first-grade logic.”

Now, after six months of waiting and at least one instance of regulatory action againstdispensaries selling whole-plant cannabis, Morgan and his co-plaintiffs will finally present their case to a judge.

According to the USA Herald, Circuit Judge Karen Gievers will hear arguments from Morgan’s lawyers and state regulators on January 25th.

In their arguments against smokable cannabis, Sunshine State legislators have argued that legal growth and access to whole-plant pot could create a “backdoor” to full legalization.

If Judge Gievers and the Circuit Court side with Morgan and his medical marijuana patient co-plaintiffs, Florida’s Department of Health will be responsible for crafting a new set of regulations that includes smoking.


avatar

Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.

Cannabisjobs.us
THIS IS WEEDWEEK.
BECAUSE CANNABIS NEWS MATTERS.
DID YOU KNOW? You can list your conferences, festivals and parties for FREE on the site.
Check out those upcoming events here.
Would you appreciate a WeedWeek regional supplement with more news from California and/or Canada? Or more news about the opioid crisis? Sign up at the appropriate link.
If you consider WeedWeek a valuable resource, consider supporting us with a monthly contribution on Patreon.
Swag and discounts start at $2 a month.
For $25 a month you get five (5!) WeedWeek stickers, discounts to all future WeedWeek events, a postcard from Los Angeles, cannabis capital of the world and you get to join a monthly Google hangout with me and other WeedWeek supporters to discuss the latest news…
Brandbuilding opportunities to appear in the newsletter with your links and social media handles start at only $50 a month.
LIKE US.
FOLLOW US:
ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
The WeedWeek Podcast trailer is up on iTunes, and other major podcast managers. (No matter which you use, it’s especially helpful to rate us five stars in iTunes.)
The first two episodes land on Monday. One features a conversation with Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America.In a fascinating conversation, Dufton discusses how the U.S. almost decriminalized cannabis in the 1970’s, and the backlash which paved the way for Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No movement.
Hosted by reporters Hayley Fox and Alex Halperin, the podcast is a weekly look at the green rush focussed on Politics, Business, Health and Science, Criminal Justice and Culture.
Want to pitch yourself or someone else as a guest? Let us know. Other thoughts comments or feedback? Don’t be shy.
So, listen to the trailer, subscribe and rate us five stars, and you’ll hear from us on Monday.
Our producer is Katie Long.
Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact here.
*
Recommended: I’m late to the Amazon series Good Girls Revolt, but it’s smart and fun.
The 2018 U.S. midterm elections will be here before you know it. Register to voteand/or get the information you need to vote here.
So much news.
POLITICS
Following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to rescind the Cole memo, the government shutdown which began at midnight eastern time has opened a legal window to prosecute state legal MED and REC businesses. DEA field agents are exempt from shutdown-related furloughs.
Before the shutdown, Colorado Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis (D) fell short in his attempt to block federal prosecutions against state-legal cannabis businesses. The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which blocks federal prosecutions against state legal MED, expired when the shutdown began.
Roughly nine hours into the shutdown, there did not appear to be any reports of federal anti-cannabis actions.
Leafly looks at the last federal crackdown, between 2011 and 2013.
House Democrats introduced a bill to legalize REC federally and provide “restorative justice” for the war on drugs. It would expunge some minor federal convictions and create a fund to help former convicts enter the industry. It’s a companion to a bill introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) earlier this year.
A bipartisan group of Senators and Congresspeople urged the Treasury Department’s FinCEN unit to keep existing cannabis banking guidelines in place. For more see here.
The Cannifornian looks at how state lawmakers are fighting Attorney General Sessions. California said the two decade old collective and cooperative system, which prevailed during two decades of legal MED, will end next January.
Massachusetts regulators want to meet with Trump-appointed federal prosecutor Andrew Lelling, who has not committed to respecting state cannabis law. The state also disclosed its REC rollout timeline.
Federal prosecutor for Oregon, Trump-appointee Billy J. Williams, is convening a summit to address his “significant concerns” about Oregon’s industry.
The Colorado Springs Gazette profiles Congressman Doug Lamborn (R), the only member of Colorado’s congressional delegation to support a federal crackdown. Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) also backs Sessions.
Colorado attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Coffman (R), who opposed the 2012 REC vote, writes, “It is too late to dismantle the marijuana industry.
Some Democratic state lawmakers oppose New Jersey’s REC bill because its social justice provisions are too weak. For more on New Jersey’s REC push, see here.
Tom Angell looks at cannabis and this year’s gubernatorial races.
A report ordered by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan could facilitate legislation supporting racial minorities’ in the industry. For more see here.
A poll conducted for Kevin Sabet’s anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) found 16% of Americans favor the status quo of federal prohibition, 29% favor legalizing MED, 5% back decriminalization and 49% favor full legalization. (Among Republicans, 25% favor the status quo.) For SAM, the silver lining is with more choices, fewer Americans support full legalization than other recent polls suggest.
A Georgia poll found 50% – 46% support for legal REC.
Arizona legalization opponents are brainstorming ideas for anti-pot laws.
Politico reports Trump wants to slash the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), budget by 95%, provoking bipartisan criticism in the middle of opioid epidemic. The president hasn’t appointed a permanent “drug-czar” to run the office. A 24-year old political appointee with no relevant experience serves as the agency’s deputy chief of staff, the Washington Post reported.
To follow federal law, gun owners have to choose between their weapons and cannabis use.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) proposed studying REC legalization. The Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester) asks what legal REC would mean for the state.
Before Monday, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) expects to be the first governor to sign a REC legalization law passed by the state legislature.
If elected, Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Matt Flynn (D) said he would pardon low-level cannabis offenses.
Oklahoma narcotics officials expect the June MED vote to pass.
In Missouri, Republican lawmakers might try to pre-empt a state MED vote by passing a more restrictive law through the legislature. A Nebraska state senator introduced legislation to allow a MED ballot initiative.
Los Angeles issued its first licenses. Formerly pot-friendly Calaveras County, Calif., banned commercial farms, inviting lawsuits.
Numerous Florida cities have banned dispensaries.
A growing number of congresspeople support legal hemp.
In the Guardian, an economist argues the U.K. should legalize not decriminalize. MED legalization has a support base in Wales.
Greece appears poised to legalize MED.
BUSINESS
Cannabis Business Executive’s Rob Meagher published a letter to the National Cannabis Industry Association from Genifer Murray, who was fired as chief of staff to Executive Director Aaron Smith on Dec. 4, after less than two months on the job. As of early January, Murray said she had not received an explanation. The site previously published a resignation letter from NCIA board member Kayvan Khalatbari.
In her brief stint at NCIA, Murray alleges witnessing: employee favoritism, a legally exposed “personal intimate relationship” between executive director Smith and a current employee, a lack of accountability, poor morale, profligate spending and slow growth relative to the industry.
NCIA referred Meagher to a response to allegations in Khalatbari’s email, which NCIA put out before Murray’s letter came to light. Responding to Khalatbari it stated, “While we acknowledge the opinion published, it was formed based on incomplete information and hearsay.” It also acknowledged “innuendo” about sexual harassment at the organization, and says there are no pending cases and no cases have been filed in the past.
The NCIA site still lists Rob Kampia, the Marijuana Policy Project founder, as a board member. Kampia recently departed MPP amid past sexual harassment allegations, and rumors that more could come to light. For more see MJBizDaily.
Anyone familiar with the situation at NCIA who wants to talk on background can contact me at alex@weedweek.net.
The Western Regional Cannabis Business Alliance, representing businesses in six states, asked Congress for protection from federal prosecution.
Fort Collins, Colo.-based Sunrise Genetics said it has mapped the cannabis genome. Deepening genetic knowledge can lead to improvements in growing and the value of specific chemicals found in the plant.
Washington cannabis prices plummeted on oversupply, with some farmers accepting as little as $1 a gram wholesale. Meanwhile, local rules ban businesses in some parts of the state. Canna Law Blog has more on the oversupply problem.
CNET looks at how dispensaries market themselves since they’re banned from Facebook and Google.
Nevada growers are worried about new permanent REC rules they say favor dispensaries.
MJBiz talks to California growers adjusting to the legal market.
Troubled social app MassRoots was evicted from its Denver headquarters for owing almost $40,000 in rent.
A study in Denver suggests proximity to a dispensary boosts a home’s value.
A 32 year UPS employee is suing the company after it fired him when a drug test showed cannabis and amphetamines. The plaintiff has a MED card and an Adderall prescription.
The Colorado Springs Independent asks why so little is known about cannabis jobs.
Pro-legalization Nevada state Senator Tick Segerblom disclosed his
Cannabisjobs.us
THIS IS WEEDWEEK.
BECAUSE CANNABIS NEWS MATTERS.
DID YOU KNOW? You can list your conferences, festivals and parties for FREE on the site.
Check out those upcoming events here.
Would you appreciate a WeedWeek regional supplement with more news from California and/or Canada? Or more news about the opioid crisis? Sign up at the appropriate link.
If you consider WeedWeek a valuable resource, consider supporting us with a monthly contribution on Patreon.
Swag and discounts start at $2 a month.
For $25 a month you get five (5!) WeedWeek stickers, discounts to all future WeedWeek events, a postcard from Los Angeles, cannabis capital of the world and you get to join a monthly Google hangout with me and other WeedWeek supporters to discuss the latest news…
Brandbuilding opportunities to appear in the newsletter with your links and social media handles start at only $50 a month.
LIKE US.
FOLLOW US: