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.
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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.
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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
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.
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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
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.
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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.
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…
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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.
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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.

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.
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ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
WeedWeek has introduced a new feature called WeedWeek Forum, 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.
Our latest post comes from , Centuria CEO Michael Brubeck who warns cannabis investors: Get ready to lose everything.
Want to contribute? Check out the writer’s guidelines here.
WeedWeek’s Holiday Gift Guide is still up featuring special offers on some great gear.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
The world’s largest and most important REC market opens in California on Monday.
The Financial Times surveys some California companies. The AP meets some California edibles players. The Washington Post visits the future cannabis resort of Nipton, Calif.
One small-time Mendocino grower is worried about the future.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Green State has a REC launch guide including explainers on California’s cannabis lawstaxes and one from me on why it took so long. Mother Jones ran a quick guide on how it’s all supposed to workUSA Today has more.
One prominent L.A. dispensary may be closed Monday, in deference to legal concerns. SoCal Growers are moving out to the suburbs. For Green State, I wrote about the massive grows popping up in the California desert.
Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson (D) wrote a blog post on the city’s regulatory approach. S.F. is launching a PSA campaign to warn kids about the risks of cannabis use.
In Leafly, Hayley Fox explains why California packaging rules will hit dispensaries hardest.
The Golden Gate transit authority followed S.F. to ban cannabis ads on buses and ferries.
At Rolling Stone, Amanda Chicago Lewis has industry predictions for 2018 including “the end of ‘indica’ and ‘sativa.” and the first legal consumption lounges.
The L.A. Times looks at how Congressional Republicans’ opposition has created a “wild west” distribution climate in D.C. “Nowhere is more pot sold so openly and publicly without any of the rules and regulations that elsewhere have come with legalization.” Through delivery service Trending Leafs, for example, customers buy an empty glass jar for $50 and it arrives containing “gifts.”
Eight Pennsylvania businesses can start growing MED. The Cleveland Plain Dealer editorialized that Ohio should redo its grow-license application process to correct for flaws and perceived biases.
Las Vegas’ Congresswoman Dina Titus (D) tweeted in favor of cannabis banking reform.
After the previous effort collapsed, Maine lawmakers anticipate an aggressive push to pass a REC law in 2018. New Hampshire lawmakers propose pardoning some with minor pot offenses and allowing MED patients to grow at home.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) will soon decide whether the state’s MED vote will be during the June 2018 primary or on election day in November. The Dallas Observer rounds up the Texas situation.
Nebraska Gubernatorial candidate Krystal Gabel (R) will campaign on full decriminalization, plus pardons for non-violent cannabis offenders. Gabel says Nebraska could be home to a multi-billion dollar hemp industry.
Missouri activists say they’ll have the 150,000 signatures they need for a MED initiative. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) says he’s “not there YET” on legal MED.
West Virginia’s Republican Senate Majority leader doubts legal REC would solve the state’s money woes.
Kevin Sabet’s anti-legalization group Project SAM saw a victory in that “No state legalized marijuana in 2017.” (West Virginia legalized MED in April.)
Tom Angell is offering a legislation tracking tool for cannabis laws in all 50 states. Here’s what’s on the 2018 legislative calendar.
Buzzfeed has a useful piece on everything that could go wrong with REC legalization in Canada.
A Chinese anti-drug official blamed legalization, in part, for climbing U.S. demand for synthetic opioids, many of which are manufactured in China.
BUSINESS
The lawyer for the former Chief Medical Officer of MED company Vireo Health has accused Minnesota law enforcement of evidence manipulation and witness intimidation. His client and another former employee face felony charges for allegedly smuggling $500,000 worth of cannabis oil from Minnesota to New York in an armored vehicle.
Canadian pot stocks soared in anticipation of California. Analyst Alan Brochstein warned investors that the market remains tricky.
Marijuana Policy Project founder Rob Kampia is no longer with the organization. He’s starting a new company called Marijuana Leadership Campaign. In 2010, Kampia took a leave of absence from the organization amid sexual harassment concerns. Tom Angell says a major newspaper story detailing further allegations against Kampia is in the works.
A bank ended its relationship with Sacramento canna-law firm Greenbridge Corporate Counsel after Greenbridge declined to provide information on its clients.
A Florida judge halted the award of a coveted Florida grow license to a black farmer, a provision of state MED law. It’s the latest twist in a complex legal case.
In the N.Y. Times, Julie Weed looks into how cannabis companies raise capital.
FiveThirtyEight says the market increasingly favors larger businesses.
Financial firm Edward Jones says Canadian pot stocks remain risky.
A new cannabis exchange traded fund started trading on NYSE Arca under the symbol MJX. Canadian MED producer Cronos Group is the fund’s largest holding. Seeking Alpha has more.
Operating company and consultancy MJardin raised $20M.
Canna Law Blog has some recommendations for protecting your business from employee malfeasance.
Privateer Holdings, parent company to Leafly, Marley Natural and Canadian MED brand Tilray, acquired Washington edibles brand The Goodship.
The Cannabist looked at 2017 in cannabis search trends on Google.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
More pregnant U.S. teenagers and young adults are smoking cannabis. Existing research suggests cannabis exposure in the womb can impair growth and neurodevelopment. For more see here, and here.
A medical review found several stroke cases in cannabis users who did not display other at-risk symptoms.
Colorado police suspect youth cannabis use has climbed since legalization, despite studies which found it has not. For more see here.
GW Pharmaceuticals has submitted its CBD epilepsy drug Epidiolex to the FDA for approval and expects a response on June 27.
Physician and Weedmaps advisor Dr. Bonni Goldstein writes about how cannabis may prevent serious illnesses.
Cannabisjobs.us

WeedWeek: How Sessions Could Crack Down, PLUS: A Hot Start-Up Collapses

 

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:
WeedWeek has introduced a new feature called WeedWeek Forum, 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.
Our latest post comes from , Centuria CEO Michael Brubeck who warns cannabis investors: Get ready to lose everything.
Want to contribute? Check out the writer’s guidelines here.
WeedWeek’s Holiday Gift Guide is up featuring special offers on some great gear.
Contact Adrienne Nascimento to add an offer for your product.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
As part of a spending measure, Congress temporarily extended the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which blocks the Justice Department from prosecuting state-legal MED businesses, until January 19.
Politico reports on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ sustained attack on the amendment and what a crackdown might look like. Marijuana Policy Project’s (MPP) Morgan Fox “worries less about SWAT team raids than the possibility the Department of Justice would quietly send letters to landlords who rented to legal marijuana businesses to threaten them with asset forfeiture.”
Reason argues that a crackdown remains unlikely. Back in February, I argued something similar in Slate.
Federal pot policy stood still in 2017, Rolling Stone writes.
California lawmakers and craft growers say the state’s new REC rules favor large growers.  New environmental regulations for cannabis grows are coming to California as well. (Grows are damaging NorCal watersheds.)
Here are the stores and cities that will be open January 1. But regulatory controls against pesticides and other contaminants won’t yet be in place.
L. A. will send inspectors to dispensaries, the way it does with restaurants. The city also said it will not start to accept license applications  until January 3.
Los Angeles magazine offers a consumer’s guide for California’s REC system. S.F. could vote on creating a city cannabis agency in June.
Ten years after legalization, Michigan, the country’s second largest MED market,released applications for MED licenses. For more see here.
Alaska regulators warn the potency labels on cannabis products may be inaccurate.
New York lawmakers will hold a hearing on REC legalization in January. The Chicago Tribune discusses why Illinois has been slow to legalize.
The “Marijuana Doomsday Didn’t Come,” an opinion piece in USNews argues.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the REC market would open next summer, not July 1 as previously expected.
Austria’s new right wing government plans to ban the sale of cannabis seeds and plants. It’s currently legal to sell non-flowering plants.
After its experiment in drug decriminalization, Portugal is considering cannabis legalization.
New Zealand released a MED legalization bill. Iceland’s “Pirate Party” proposed legalizing MED.
BUSINESS
Inc. has a juicy story on the collapse of Tradiv, a promising online cannabis marketplace with funding from Poseidon Asset Management, Anslinger Capital, Sand Hill Angels and CanopyBoulder, among others. It involves sexual harassment allegations against co-founder Geoff Doran (he broadly denies them), and another co-founder, Aeron Sullivan, who had a religious awakening while on LSD.
Tripp Keber resigned as CEO of Colorado edibles brand Dixie. Keber will take on a role with BR Brands, an affiliate of private equity firm Rose Capital, which is building a portfolio of cannabis brands. At Dixie, he’ll be replaced by longtime partner Chuck Smith.
There’s been a shake-up at the National Cannabis Industry Association. Denver activist and entrepreneur Kayvan Khalatbari resigned from the board and Genifer Murray, former CEO of defunct start-up CannLabs, was terminated as chief of staff after only two months on the job. The industry’s largest lobby said it’s in stronger shape than ever, but Khalatbari said stay tuned for more info.
Rob Kampia, the former MPP head, who had to take a leave of absence in 2010 for lewd comments, is no longer on the Students for Sensible Drug Policy advisory board. More allegations surfaced about his time at the organization. And his former chief of staff Alison Green called him a “serial sexual harasser.” In a statement Kampia cited the MPP board’s position that no harassment had taken place since 2010.
Founder Isaac Dietrich reclaimed the CEO spot at MassRoots and the troubled company was, as of Thursdayfacing eviction from its Denver office for owing almost $40,000 in rent.
In California, the battle is on between big weed and craft weed.
MJBizDaily is following dispensary Berkeley Patients Group as it transitions into the legal REC market.
Talks are underway between California, the Feds and banks on how to offer financial services to the state’s cannabis industry.
Banks are skeptical about a proposed California plan to bring banks into the industry. Former California Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) is starting a cannabis distribution business called C4 Distro.
First Green Bank, which offered banking to cannabis businesses in Florida, is exiting the business.
Nevada’s 273 cannabis businesses employ 6,700 workers. Alaska growers don’t like the state’s wholesale tax.
For the cannabis industry, CNBC says, bitcoin is an alternative to banks.
Fast Company asks if cannabis is imitating the tech industry’s lack of diversity.
KQED reports on unionizing workers. The piece focusses on Hugs Alternative Care in Sacramento, where CEO David Spradlin brought in the union in 2011. “My hope has always been that the cannabis industry doesn’t turn into 7-Eleven,” he said.
Insurer Lloyd’s of London rejects a Colorado homeowner’s claim on a house destroyed in a hash manufacturing accident.
Hawaii’s MED program needs more workers.
Snoop Dogg’s media outlet Merry Jane is partnering with Jack in the Box to offer the “Merry Munchie Meal.
Wal-Mart stopped carrying its “marijuana Christmas tree.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Critics says the available data underestimates youth cannabis use in Colorado. They also say kids get cannabis from their parents and other family members. (Denver launched a campaign to prevent youth cannabis use. It includes a social media game show called “Weeded Out.
In Oregon, the number of teens who went to the ER or called emergency services for marijuana poisoning, climbed from 40 in 2015 to 70 in 2016.
In Texas, more than 345,000 epilepsy patients won’t be able to access MED under the state’s program.
Willamette Week examines a grassroots effort to fight a secretive attempt to patent cannabis genetics.
The VA is denying a story, (first broken by Tom Angell) that it has loosened its guidelines on MED.
Colleges remain dead set against cannabis use by students, for fear of losing federal funding.
Testing cannabis for contaminants remains a challenge for states.
U.S. life expectancy declined for the second straight year in 2016, due largely to a 21 percent jump in fatal opioid overdoses. In hard-hit Pennsylvania, authorities continue to endorse tough criminal penalties
Cannabisjobs.us

WeedWeek, 12/16/17: Peter Thiel’s Magic Mushroom Play to Begin Clinical Trials

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:
WeedWeek has introduced a new feature called WeedWeek Forum, 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.
This week, Centuria CEO Michael Brubeck warns cannabis investors: Get ready to lose everything.
Want to contribute? Check out the writer’s guidelines here.
WeedWeek’s Holiday Gift Guide is up featuring special offers on some great gear.
Contact Adrienne Nascimento to add an offer for your product.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
After Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with legalization opponents, Tom Angell asked Twitter if anyone could expand a photo of the agenda. It revealed “a concerted pitch during the meeting to convince Sessions to launch a federal crackdown on states that have ended cannabis prohibition.”
In an email, I asked attendee and anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet if he could make a political case for a crackdown. He didn’t respond.
Reminder: The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which blocks Sessions’ Justice Department from prosecuting state-legal MED businesses, expires on Friday.
Doug Jones (D), the former prosecutor who won Sessions’ former Senate seat in Alabama, has far more liberal views on criminal justice reform.
California issued its first batch of cannabis business licenses. Fast Company asks if the market is ready after a year of wildfires.
The state created a digital tool to help grey market businesses go legit. Cheech Marin promoted it in a PSA.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee died unexpectedly. As the city’s first Asian-American mayor, he faced criticism from elderly Chinese for his support for cannabis businesses. Acting mayor London Breed also supports legalization.
App looks at the path to legal REC in New JerseyEntrepreneurs are excited about weed in the Garden State.
Vermont could legalize REC within weeks. Hawaii voters oppose legal REC.
Cook County (Chicago) may give voters a chance to legalize REC. Hartford City Council supports REC legalization in Connecticut.
For cannabis, Leafly says the end of net neutrality, “could stifle advocacy efforts, hamper small businesses, and prevent medical patients from accessing vital information.”
City regulated consumption lounges may be coming to Vegas. Massachusetts approved a social use policy. Denver received its first application for social use from a business called The Coffee Joint.
Massachusetts is considering equity provisions to support minority cannabis entrepreneurs.
Maryland released data on diversity in the state’s industry.
An Arizona state senator wants to ban MED billboards. MED patient enrollment is way up in New Mexico.
Ohio defended its license award process against critics. A scorer had ties to a company awarded one of the 12 coveted large grow licenses.
More than 70% of Georgia Republicans support legal MED.
Canadian senators may want to grill Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about legalization. And some conservatives in the body say REC legalization could be delayed past the anticipated July 1 launch. Ontario’s REC law takes effect July 1, 2018.
An opinion piece in iPolitics says it’s not a problem that Canadian legalization violates several international treaties.
Canadian provinces appear settled on a 75-25 revenue split with the federal government on pot taxes after rejecting a proposed 50-50 split. Coming soon, local governments politely ask for their share.
Provincial laws banning home grows could be overturned in court.
REC legalization appears to be working in Uruguay.
BUSINESS
Compass Pathways, a U.K. company investigating psilocybin as a treatment for depression, plans to begin clinical trials next year. Silicon Valley eminence Peter Thiel, whose Founders Fund previously invested in cannabis firm Privateer Holdings, is an investor.
As it tries to hold off a hostile takeover by Aurora, Canadian MED producer CanniMed says Aurora may have violated securities law as part of its bid.
Leafly’s Peter Hecht dives into the leadership struggle at troubled social app MassRoots. Alan Brochstein offers “seven warning signs investors should have heeded.”
Baker, a software platform for dispensaries to retain customers, raised $8M in a round led by Poseidon Asset Management. The company says revenue is up 600% since January.
Canna Law Blog discusses what blockchain financial technology could mean for cannabis.
Bloomberg looks at the racketeering (RICO) lawsuits threatening cannabis businesses. MJBizDaily has more on this “existential threat” to the industry.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram profiles two Texan executives at Colorado-based Organa Brands (O.Pen Vape.)
After Eugene Antifa activists disclosed ties between Oregon lab OG Analytical and white supremacists, consumers have directed anger against other businesses with OG in their name.
Debit app CanPay will offer cashless payments at some Maryland dispensaries. CanPay CEO Dustin Eide discusses how the service helped Hawaii’s MED program to go cashless.
A company dropped plans for a $20M grow in Michigan.
Canadian cannabis companies raised more than $1.5 billion in 2017. Even if you think it’s a bubble, It’s difficult to short sell Canadian pot stocks.
Lovell’s Drugs became the third Canadian pharmacy chain to sign a deal to sell MED.
An opinion piece at USNews asks how NAFTA will affect marijuana markets.
Quartzy looks at upscale smoking accessories and says, “For some cannabis-curious consumers, good design just might be the ultimate gateway drug.”
Weed and wine tours are increasingly a thing. California winery Rebel Coast released an alcohol-removed, cannabis-infused sauvignon blanc.
Sponsored Content
Introducing incredible Wellness, a line of cannabinoid health products including THC & CBD tinctures, a distillate vaporizer, 500mg THC bath salts and high milligram cannabinoid suppositories. In the wake of a study released this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association stating that a third of CBD products are mislabeled- incredible Wellness is committed to triple testing every single product and mandates the use of the highest-quality ingredients.
“Cannabis has become paramount in my healing process. After an NFL career full of injury to both my brain and body, I use CBD daily as a tool to combat inflammation. Pain can tend to get in the way of everyday activity. CBD can help take the edge off as you get through your day and address your ailments!” – Eugene Monroe, retired NFL player.
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HEALTH & SCIENCE
A study found THC may reduce the cognitive decline common in HIV patients. Another study found CBD can reduce symptoms in patients with psychosis.
A study found cannabis and vaping are more popular than cigarettes among teenagers. The study found teen cannabis use is largely holding steady while use of other illegal drugs has held steady or declined.
The World Health Organization said CBD doesn’t warrant international scheduling.
Pediatric healthcare workers have
Cannabisjobs.us

WeedWeek: MED Protections (Barely) Extended; L.A. Sets Rules

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.
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ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
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Editorial
1. President Trump’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to end net neutrality. As John Oliver put it, net neutrality prevents internet providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from engaging “in any sort of fuckery that limits or manipulates the choices you make online.
To learn more about preserving net neutrality, go to Battleforthenet.com.
So much news.
POLITICS
Congress extended the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which blocks the Justice Department from prosecuting state-legal MED businesses for two weeks, as part of the budget deal. It’s not clear whether the amendment will be re-extended.
Repeal of industry-despised tax rule 280E didn’t make it into the Senate version of the Republican tax bill, but Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) hopes to get it into the final version. A Colorado dispensary is suing the IRS claiming 280E taxed them twice.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R), held a closed-door meeting with legalization opponents yesterday. Attendees included Ronald Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese III; Kevin Sabet, head of Smart Approaches to Marijuana; Harvard Medical School professor and member of President Trump’s drug and opioid abuse commission Bertha Madras; Robert DuPont, former head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse; and David Evans, executive director of the Drug Free Schools Coalition. It’s not clear if Sessions has met with legalization supporters as attorney general.
Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to regulate California’s largest REC market. The new rules promise extra support to entrepreneurs with past drug convictions and those in areas deemed most affected by the war on drugs. But there are tight zoning restrictions as well. For more see here and here.
Activists say the lack of size caps on commercial grows in California will make it harder for small farmers to survive. For more see here.
After falling short last session, Vermont appears set to legalize REC legislatively in early 2018. Massachusetts is considering social use.
San Francisco voted in favor of a proposed Sunset District dispensary, which has faced opposition from older Chinese residents.
Seattle Weekly looks back at five years of legal REC in Washington.
Maryland named a health system CEO as head of the state’s MED regulator. The previous director, a former state trooper, was the second to resign in two years.
In Michigan, proposed MED rules leaked to the press.
The U.S. Army is issuing more waivers for recruits who have used cannabis in the past.
Anne McLellan, who led Canada’s federal task force on legalization, predicts REC will pass the conservative Senate in time to meet the government’s July implementation deadline.
Canada’s First Nations demand control of the cannabis industry in their territories.
German activists collected 50,000 signatures, forcing the Bundestag to debate REC legalization. An Irish lawmaker said legal REC is inevitable within a few years. For more see here.
The U.K. has a cocaine glut.
A dispensary owner won a city council seat in a conservative Washington town.
Washington cannabis activist JoAnna McKee, died at 74. McKee, opened Seattle’s first dispensary in 1993, five years before Washington legalized MED. McKee was a fixture at cannabis hearings in the state legislature, known for wearing colorful eye patches.
BUSINESS
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Christie vs. NCAA, a case assessing whether New Jersey can partially legalize sports gambling. Christie has implications for whether the federal government can block state efforts to legalize cannabis. The judges appeared sympathetic to the case for federalism (states rights).
Oregon-licensed testing company OG Analytical and its co-owners are mutually severing ties after Eugene Antifa alleged the co-owners have ties to neo-Nazi groups. CEO Bethany Sherman denied being a neo-Nazi and said her only “crime is a thought crime.” At least one grower, HiFi Farms, ended its relationship with the lab.
A pesticide-related lawsuit against Canadian MED producer Organigram, is expanding its scope to claim the company’s product made people ill. The company said it has not received any evidence of sickened patients.
REC demand in Canada could be 40% higher than expected, according to Colorado research firm Marijuana Policy Group.
North American legal cannabis sales will reach about $10 billion this year.
After October wildfires destroyed dozens of NorCal cannabis farms, wildfires in southern California threatened to taint cannabis grown in Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo counties.
Cannabis biotech firm, GW Pharmaceuticals plans to raise more than $250M from American depository shares.
Canna Law Blog discusses how to protect a business from bad-actor employees.
Oregon regulators launched a “Go legal!” campaign to promote the state’s industry.
Bloomberg discusses the partnerships cannabis brands use to expand across state lines.
Reuters finds top business talent going into cannabis. Lawyers are moving in as well, despite risks.
The Economist explains the industry’s cash problem. But more companies and states have figured out workarounds. Dispensaries remain skeptical about cryptocurrency, according to Green Market Report.
The U.S. Justice Department issued a reminder that cannabis businesses, including ancillary businesses, don’t have access to the U.S. bankruptcy system.
Ohio officials called for a freeze on MED licenses after it came out that a Maine cannabis consultant with a 2005 felony drug conviction evaluated license applications in the state. The consultant wouldn’t be eligible to receive an Ohio license.
Also in Ohio, a backer of the state’s failed 2015 legalization bid is threatening to sue the state.
Track and trace and advertising issues are the most common infractions by Washington cannabis businesses.
Aside from lawyer David Welch, the new owners of L.A.Weekly appear not to have ties to the cannabis industry.
OmniEarth, a start-up founded by Brigham Young University student Joseph Walker, has developed an organic fertilizer popular with cannabis growers. It’s made from nightcrawler droppings.
To save their businesses, a number of Oregon MED shops are converting to REC.
Denver’s city auditor says the cannabis regulator has improved but needs to be more transparent on how pot taxes get spent.
Leafly interviewed a cannabis packaging designer.
Canadian provinces are struggling to set cannabis prices. The idea is legal weed should be affordable enough to coax users away from the illegal market but not so cheap that younger people overconsume. Nova Scotia plans to sell REC in government liquor stores.
Colorado cannabis company MJardin has acquired a “major” stake in Ontario-based Grand River Organics, a “late-stage applicant” for a MED license. Terms were not disclosed.
Canadian producer Canopy Growth plans to build Denmark’s first legal MED grow.
New Frontier released a $149 report on the Brazilian market.
The Hemp Industries Association is suing the DEA, for classifying CBD as a controlled substance. Arguments before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals are scheduled for February.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes for Health, acknowledged a lower rate of opioid overdoses and deaths in legal cannabis states. The data, he cautions, shows correlation, not necessarily causation.
The idea that certain drugs prime users to use more drugs, known as “common liability theory,” has breathed new life into the idea of gateway drugs.
Colorado has new rules for cannabis research. Colorado researchers will study
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