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.
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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

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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.
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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.

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.

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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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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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.
Recommended: The Guardian and New York published excerpts from the new bestselling tell-all Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff.
Here’s the news.
POLITICS
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the so-called Cole Memo, which effectively blocked federal prosecutions of state-legal marijuana businesses. U.S. attorneys will now have broader discretion to pursue cannabis related prosecutions, potentially including cases against state-legal entities. For more see Bloomberg. See Sessions’ memo here.
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) quickly rebuked Sessions, calling the move “a trampling of Colorado’s rights.” Gardner added that Sessions was breaking a personal pledge he had made to Gardner: “I would like to know from the attorney general: What changed?” For more see here. After distancing himself from Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, It’s Gardner’s second recent break from the administration.
The cannabis world’s response was furious. In the move, some Democrats saw the administration attacking California, where President Trump is unpopular.
Tom Angell rounds up an array of politicians’ reactions. Officials in many legal states issued statements saying the decision wouldn’t affect their state industries. Several U.S. Attorneys said it would not affect the cases they pursue. A few U.S. Attorneys, like Andrew Lelling, a Trump appointee in Massachusetts, issuedmore ambiguous statements.
The day before the cannabis news broke, Sessions appointed 17 new interim U.S. Attorneys. After the news broke, Brian Stretch, the Obama-appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, abruptly resigned to join a private firm. Sessions will presumably name a replacement for the district, which includes the Bay Area and the Emerald Triangle.
While Democrats widely condemned Sessions, many have mixed feelings about campaigning in 2018 on cannabis legalization. Articles in Vice and Slate say they should do it.
The Sessions news, Rolling Stone explains, highlights how weed is only “sort of” legal in California. In a video, Shango Los captured Washington AG Bob Ferguson’s (D) response to Sessions.
In Slate, I argue the cannabis industry has little to fear from Sessions. Tom Angell offers a similar perspective.
U.S. and Canadian pot stocks fell on the news. For more see McClatchy. The L.A. TImes reports some financial institutions may back away from cannabis.
Canna Law Blog has a post on what businesses need to know.
(Don’t forget: After the 2016 election, virtually the entire for-profit cannabis community chose to remain silent on the Sessions nomination rather than risk angering him.)
In the N.Y. Times, Timothy Egan called Sessions “a small, backward-looking man with even smaller, more backward-looking ideas.
Anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet said the decision would curtail cannabis investment. Before the Sessions news landed, MJBizDaily noted big name funds MedMen and Poseidon Asset Management were struggling to reach their target raises. (That story also has more MJBiz predictions for 2018.)
The National Fraternal Order of Police cheered Sessions as did the National Sheriffs Association, which also clarified that sheriffs enforce state laws.
Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert took their turns on Sessions. The U.S. Cannabis Coalition, a bipartisan group led by Trump ally Roger Stone releasedan anti-Sessions ad, before the Memo news.
The AP explains what’s going on with California’s track and trace system, which will not become mandatory until later this year. For the moment, business are “self-reporting,” often on paper.
The L.A. Times checked in on licensing in California. The state said it had licensed more than 400 businesses. L.A. city council discussed the idea of a city-run public bank.
The Washington Post reports on California’s four attempts at cannabis equity programs, in L.A., San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento.
I visited to Humboldt and wrote a HuffPost piece on how legalization hasmarginalized the industry’s pioneers.
Several articles in the conservative National Review seem open to cannabis reform.
N.Y. Times columnist Frank Bruni says lots of people are running for governor of Colorado.
Alaska regulators are concerned about product testing inconsistencies.
Strong Economy for Growth, a group which opposed REC in Massachusetts,paid a $31,000 penalty for campaign finance violations.
Hours after the Sessions news, Vermont’s House approved a REC bill allowing possession and home grow, but not an industry.
Delaware REC supporters are gearing up for a legislative push. In Florida, REC supporters want a ballot initiative in 2020.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said the state wouldn’t confiscate guns from MED patients. (In late December Philly.com noted the NRA has not commentedon the issue.)
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) set the state’s MED vote for June. Indiana’s Republican House Speaker said he’s open to considering MED.
Canadian officials discussed how they expect legalization to squeeze the black and grey markets. And officials said taxes are likely to fluctuate.
Australia wants to capture the MED export market.
I have a new column in The Guardian called High Time.
BUSINESS
Philip Morris says it hopes to eventually stop selling cigarettes, and replace them with smoke-free products.
The New York Times Magazine has a feature on Safe Harbor, a Colorado credit union offering cannabis banking services. The Federal Crimes Enforcement Network found more banks are willing to get their hands green.
Canadian MED producer Aurora agreed to buy an 18% stake in organic cannabis grower Green Organic Dutchman Holdings for C$55M. CanniMed, a producer which Aurora has targeted for a potentially hostile takeover, prefers a tie up with Newstrike.
ArcView estimates the total economic impact of legal cannabis will grow from $16 billion in 2017 to $40 billion by 2021.
New Cannabis Ventures predicts consolidation in the Canadian industry.
Troubled start-up MassRoots is starting a blockchain subsidiary. Seeking Alpha asks if it could be for real.
MedMen launched a billboard ad campaign in L.A.
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:
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
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.
Do you consider WeedWeek a valuable resource? Consider supporting WeedWeek 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. Think of it as the cannabis world’s Op-Ed page. Many of you are are eager to share your thoughts and expertise. Here’s your chance to publish on the WeedWeek site.
WeedWeek publishes 400-600 word essays, arguments, observations and fact-based criticisms by outside contributors. We do not accept payment for publishing work.
Want to contribute? Check out the writer’s guidelines here.
WeedWeek’s Holiday Gift Guide is up featuring special offers on some great gear.
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Here’s the news.
POLITICS
California released its hotly anticipated regulations for the REC market, while much of the industry was at MJBizCon in Las Vegas. (For more on MJBizCon see here.) The rules total nearly 300 pages and came out of theBureau of Cannabis Control as well as the state Food and Agriculture andPublic Health departments.
The new rules do not follow previous iterations which limited grows to one acre until 2023, as a way to nurture smaller businesses. California Growers Association head Hezekiah Allen, who represents many smaller growers, called the rule a “catastrophe” and has started a petition to oppose it.
Also of note: Delivery businesses will be allowed to apply for licenses; Cannabis can’t be transported by drones and self-driving cars and; Edibles will be limited to 100 mg of THC in 10 mg doses.
Canna Law Blog’s Hilary Bricken weighs in on the rules here. She also discusses what California law means for the existing collective business model.
Canna Law Blog’s Daniel Shortt says President Donald Trump “seems not to care much one way or the other about cannabis legalization.”
Republican state assemblyman and former California Highway Patrolman Tom Lackey has become a “go to Republican” on regulatory issues.
REC won’t be available in San Francisco on January 1 after a vote on regulations was delayed. San Jose will allow REC sales next year.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D), a legalization opponent, wants high pot taxes. The blog’s Daniel
The N.Y. Daily News profiles the politician who could stop REC in New Jersey.
Michigan legalization activists are submitting a petition with 360,000 signatures for a REC vote in 2018. Some Michigan gubernatorial candidatessupport it.
A New Hampshire House committee rejected a REC bill. The Arkansas National Guard warned against MED use.
Ohio Supreme Court Judge and pro-cannabis gubernatorial candidate Bill O’Neill (D) bragged about his sexual history. And told his critics to “lighten up.”
Colorado-neighbor Wyoming moved to tighten its cannabis laws.
While testifying before the House Judiciary Committee Attorney General Jeff Sessions had an opportunity to defend his 2016 comment that “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” Without apologizing he said it should be understood in the context of 1981. Sessions also clarified his belief that heroin is more dangerous than cannabis. “It’s a little odd when a guy’s anti-weed but seems to forget every conversation he’s ever had,” about Russia, Jimmy Fallon Quipped.
Changing 280E, the provision which over-taxes cannabis businesses relative to federally legal businesses, got nowhere close to the tax billHouse Republicans passed this week.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte on his human rights record. Trump declined to answer whether he brought up human rights with the strongman who has been internationally condemned for extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs.
Canada’s Justice Department calls REC regulation an “ongoing source of uncertainty.”
BUSINESS
Lawsuits!
Master P is suing Leafly-parent company Privateer Holdings for $25M, alleging it backed out of a deal to distribute his cannabis brand, Master P’s Trees. Master P alleges Privateer strung him along to gain insight “into the urban and hip-hop demographic of cannabis users.” Privateer did not respond to TMZ or WeedWeek’s requests for comment.
Two former employees have hit upscale Oregon dispensary chain Serra with a $550,000 lawsuit alleging they were fired after reporting their supervisor for packaging untracked shake, a violation of state rules. Serra declined to comment to Willamette Week.
Baker, the “Salesforce of cannabis,” which helps dispensaries maintain relationships with customers, acquired competitor Grassworks for undisclosed terms. Denver-based Baker is now in 850 dispensaries nationwide.
Cannabis prices are falling, The Economist says.
Software company BioTrackTHC provided a patch as Washington transitions to a new seed to sale system.
Canadian pot stocks have soared since alcohol company Constellation invested in producer Canopy Growth. Canadian pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart is hiring a marijuana brand manager.
Mendocino County, Calif. growers say the “firestorm of capitalism” has been worse for their genetics than the wildfires.
Canopy Growth announced a partnership with O.Pen Vape’s parent company, and Dutch Company Green House Seeds to bring those brands into the Canadian market.
Canadian producer Aurora launched a “potentially hostile” takeover bid for competitor CanniMed. The stock deal would value CanniMed at C$600M a 57% premium on its pre-news close. CanniMed didn’t announce whether it would accept the offer. Instead it said it would acquire Newstrike Resources, a company developing the Up Cannabis brand with the Tragically Hip.
(A recent WeedWeek Forum piece argues Canada has a branding problem.)
Colorado cannabis executive Todd Mitchem dropped his Libertarian Party bid for Congress.
The Verge reports “Big Vape” (e-cigarettes) is following the Big Tobacco playbook and marketing to kids.
Two Canadian former ex-senior cops, one of whom has compared marijuana to murder, are opening a cannabis business.
In Michigan, employers don’t know what to do about MED.
Greece hopes MED will boost the national economy.
Quebec will sell cannabis online through the agency which runs its booze shops.
Business Insiders 19 New York Start-Ups to watch, include indoor agriculture company Bowery.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
A medical school professor criticized New Jersey Gov. and national opioid commission chair Chris Christie (R) for warning Trump about MED. “Some experts say the commission’s fixation on marijuana was bizarre and troubling,” CNN reports.
A University of New Mexico study found access to MED may reduce opioid addiction.
Business Insider runs through the research and decides “alcohol’s effects seem markedly more extreme — and riskier — than marijuana’s.”
Three female Michigan eighth graders were hospitalized after unwittingly eating Cookie Crisp cereal doused in cannabis oil. A ninth-grader is in custody. The three patients appeared to have made full recoveries.
This week, headlines of the first fatal marijuana overdose appeared after a report on the death of a Colorado 11-month old living in an unstable situation. A causal relationship has not been established, the Washington Post reports.
Without federal guidance, testing companies may be tempted to fudge the numbers, Chemical & Engineering News reports. Growers, for example, can shop around for labs which offer generous potency scores.
A University of Florida study will examine how MED affects patients with HIV.
Canadian company RavenQuest BioMed announced a cannabis genetics study in partnership with McGill University.
A nurses group says Arizona MED access is too expensive.
Comments Off on Colorado marijuana shops maintain $136M pace for third straight month

Colorado marijuana shops maintain $136M pace for third straight month

Posted by | November 9, 2017 | Cannabis News

Colorado marijuana sales are holding steady.

Cannabis shops across the state sold a little more than $136.6 million in flower, edibles, concentrates and accessories for September 2017, according to The Cannabist’s calculations on tax statistics released Thursday by the state Department of Revenue.

It’s the third month in a row that combined recreational and medical cannabis sales reached $136 million; there were $100.8 million in recreational sales and $35.8 million in medical, The Cannabist’s extrapolations show.

Through nine months of 2017, Colorado shops rang up $1.16 billion in transactions, according to The Cannabist’s calculations. Through September of last year, sales totaled $974.3 million.

Three-quarters through 2017, marijuana sales totals are up 19 percent from the comparable period a year prior, according to The Cannabist’s archive data. The state report does not disclose sales data.

The annual growth rates have been steadily slowing since spring 2017, sliding down from 36 percent at the end of March to 23 percent in July and, now, 19.2 percent through September.

The leveling off of monthly sales and the slowing of annual growth rates align with projections previously made by economists and analysts. Sales will moderate as the market naturally matures and other states adopt recreational cannabis measures, industry observers have said.

The latest monthly report from the state revenue department lists marijuana taxes and license fees remitted by cannabis businesses during October. The receipts largely reflect sales made in September, but there is a potential for some variance because of incomplete or late returns from prior months.

Looking at state taxes and licensing fees, nearly $185 million has been collected through September 2017.

September is the third month during which marijuana sales have been subject to a new taxing structure.

The special sales tax rate for recreational marijuana increased to 15 percent from 10 percent in July, the result of a new law that also exempted recreational marijuana products from the 2.9 percent standard state sales tax. Medical marijuana and accessories are still subject to that 2.9 percent sales tax rate.

The Cannabist’s calculations for recreational sales in July, August and September 2017 are based on tax revenue reported for the new 15 percent sales tax rate.

Cannabist digital producer Aleta Labak contributed to this report.

State and local taxes on marijuana could surpass 45% in some parts of California, jeopardizing efforts to bring all growers and sellers into a state-licensed market in January, according to the global credit ratings firm Fitch Ratings.

“High tax rates raise prices in legal markets, reinforcing the price advantage of black markets,” the firm said in a report Monday. “California’s black markets for cannabis were well established long before its voters legalized cannabis in November 2016 and are expected to dominate post-legalization production.”

As the top pot-producing state in the nation, California could be on thin ice with the federal government >>

The report said that increased enforcement may blunt the illegal market, “but high taxes may complicate such efforts by diverting in-state sales to the black market.”

California is scheduled to begin issuing licenses to grow, transport and sell medical and recreational marijuana on Jan. 1 and will charge a 15% excise tax, as well as a state cultivation levy of $9.25 per ounce for cannabis flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leaves.

Hundreds applied to be on California’s pot advisory committee. Here’s who got picked >>

In addition, local business taxes have been approved by 61 cities and counties ranging from 7.75% to 9.75%.

The marijuana market is expected to provide a windfall for state and local treasuries.

“In the handful of states that legalized nonmedical cannabis prior to 2016, tax receipts have generally outpaced initial revenue estimates and have shown strong year-over-year gains,” Fitch Ratings said. But California could end up being one of the highest taxing states in the country if proposals stand.

COLORADO BANS WEED GUMMY BEARS

Remember how we told you all that Colorado was banning weed gummy bears? Well, that new piece of cannabis legislation goes into effect this weekend. If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, or if you thought all of this talk about banning weed-infused candy was just rumor and hoax, we are about to fill you in.

Last summer, we reported that the great state of Colorado was implementing new measures regarding legal recreational cannabis. It wasn’t a new limitation on how many ounces of flower you could purchase at a time. It wasn’t an all-out elimination of the right to grow your own plants. No, what Colorado governor John Hickenlooper was gunning for was gummies.

House Bill 1436, signed into effect in June 2016, focused on THC-infused gummy candy. Specifically, it was aimed toward THC-infused gummies that looked like regular, wholesome HFCS-infused gummies. Basically, according to the bill, Governor Hickenlooper and concerned parents in the state, weed gummy candy that could potentially attract children is no bueno.

To play Devil’s Advocate, this bill is not totally baseless.

Because kids are, well, kids, they tend to be attracted to brightly colored and whimsically shaped candy. This presents a unique problem in states, like Colorado, with legal recreational cannabis. In short, kids are accidentally eating weed-infused candy and landing themselves in the emergency room because of it.

House Bill 1436 aims to combat this disturbing and dangerous trend. By banning the production and distribution of weed-infused gummies in the shape of humans, animals and fruit, the backers of the bill hope to protect children in their state.

There are some loopholes, however.

The Colorado Department of Revenue will continue to allow cannabis gummies that are made in geometric shapes, like stars and triangles. They will also allow the gummies to have a fruity flavor, as long as they don’t actually depict a fruit. Star-shaped, strawberry-flavored gummies infused with Strawberry Cough, anyone?

FINAL HIT: COLORADO BANS WEED GUMMY BEARS

House Bill 1436 will take effect this weekend, on October 1st. When it’s completely official, dispensaries will no longer be able to legally sell your favorite creature-shaped candy.

So what are you supposed to do?

If you live in Colorado, we recommend that you stock up now. Call up your dispensary and see if they’re having a “going out of business” sale on soon-to-be illicit treats. Just think of it like all the times you’ve headed over to CVS to buy an obscene amount of half-off candy the day after Halloween. And Valentine’s Day. And Easter.

If you live in Colorado and have a kid or three, we want to stress that this ban does not in any way take the place of your responsibilities as a parent. If you’re a pot-lovin’ parent (nothing wrong with that!), the onus is on you to keep your kids safe and away from your stash. Lock up your gummies and other candy in child-proof containers and keep them safely out of reach. You know, like you would do with laundry detergent pods, which kids are also strangely attracted to. In California, a similar ban on weed-infused gummy bears is also underway. We’ll keep you updated on that one.

Comments Off on WeedWeek, 10/21/17: Sen. Cory Booker Calls Legalization his “Signature Issue”

WeedWeek, 10/21/17: Sen. Cory Booker Calls Legalization his “Signature Issue”

Posted by | October 21, 2017 | Cannabis News, Weed Week News by Alex Halperin

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Here’s the news:
Politics
Pro-legalization Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is trying to defeat anti-legalization Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Texas). “We’re going to be putting up some billboards in Pete Sessions’s district,” Blumenauer said. “It’s going to feature a veteran and ask the question why Pete Sessions doesn’t want him to have access to his medicine.”
New Jersey Senator and possible 2020 presidential contender Cory Booker (D) discussed why legalization is his signature issue. Current enforcement, he says, “makes a mockery” of equal justice under the law. Booker says he has never smoked cannabis or drank alcohol.
Massachusetts’ top cannabis regulator will be Shawn Collins, 31, an aide to State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) proposed pushing REC sales back to 2019. The proposal would scrap rulesa legislative committee has been working on for months. A pro-legalization group called those rules “not ready for prime time.
Buzzfeed visits an L.A. growing internship for veterans. The Air Force is reconsidering its ban on hemp consumption after an officer was court martialed for eating a granola bar.
As of Wednesday, northern California wildfires had destroyed 31 pot farms and the number is expected to climb. The fires did more damage to cannabis grows than vineyards. Some growers lost cash in the blazes. Snopes extinguishes rumors that drug cartels started the fires.
Crowdfunding site YouCaring shut down a fundraising campaign to benefit northern California growers. There’s a new campaign up at Nationbuilder.
The Boston Globe asks if towns which ban dispensaries should still get their share of tax revenue. Globe reporter Dan Adams then criticized Snoop Dogg’s media company, Merry Jane, for stealing the content of his story, “like a high school plagiarist.”
S.F. Weekly has a two-part series on how to make the industry work in San Francisco. (Part 1Part 2Two dispensaries face pushback in the city’s Excelsior neighborhood.
The L.A. Times looks at city efforts to create a racially equitable industry.
Las Vegas could loosen rules on selling cannabis paraphernalia.
California Senate President Pro Tempore and legalization supporter Kevin de León, a Democrat from L.A., will challenge legalization opponent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) in next year’s Democratic primary. Feinstein, 84, has been in office since 1992.
New York legalization activists are calling for a state constitutional convention.
Northern California’s Calaveras County may ban commercial grows.
On his November Asia trip, President Trump will meet with Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte who has been condemned internationally for his violent war on drugs.
Michigan MED license applicants will have to prove cash on hand of up to $500,000. A proposed MED industrial park in Michigan would be the biggest east of the Mississippi. The Michigan House passed a bill to enable transporting MED.
Proposed new rules in New Mexico are designed to accommodate the fast-growing MED program.
Pennsylvania’s first MED crop has been planted. MED license applications have picked up in Arkansas.
New Jersey’s gubernatorial candidates disagree about legalization.
West Virginia has posted an online survey for prospective MED patients.
Administrators at an Illinois high school confiscated the school paper for covering teen marijuana use.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox called for REC legalization.
Peru’s congress passed a bill to legalize MED.
New Zealand’s new liberal Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called for a nationwide referendum on RECwithin the next three years. It would be the first country to hold such a vote. For more see here.
Australia’s ruling party opposes a bill to make MED access easier for terminally ill patients.
A U.N. body called Australia’s plan to drug test welfare recipients a “cheap shot.”
In Greece, a deputy agriculture minister called for REC legalization.
Business
Social app MassRoots fired CEO Isaac Dietrich. Following the news, CannaRegs pulled out of its planned $12M acquisition by MassRoots.
According to Viridian Capital Advisors, cannabis companies raised more than $1.8 billion in the first three quarters of 2017, up from $720M last year. The average deal size also increased from $3M to $6.7M.
Simon Property Group, the U.S.’s largest mall operator, wants to stop a dispensary from opening near its Franklin Mills property in Philadelphia.
The Paiute Tribe has opened what it calls the world’s largest dispensary, just north of the Las Vegas Strip.
Forty-two percent of cannabis businesses want to expand to new states in the next 12 months.
Canada’s largest stock exchange clarified that companies which do business in the U.S. could be delisted. Public MED producer Aphria, which has had U.S. operations since 2015, criticized the move.
Canadian producer Cannabis Wheaton wants to sell in convenience stores.
Several recent California grow raids have found Chinese nationals, suggesting Chinese nationals invest in the illegal market.
Data firm Headset released information on consumer trends in Washington.
The maker of Tapatio hot sauce has sued a pot company for trademark infringement.
A Uruguayan cannabis company will start exporting to Canada and Mexico.
CNBC talks to the 24-year old entrepreneur Karson Humiston, who started the cannabis jobs site Vangsters.
Quartz has a long piece on female cannabis entrepreneurs.
The industrial hemp lobby is getting organized.
According to tax policy expert Pat Oglesby, the tax lesson of legalization thus far is alcohol taxes are too low.
Fast Company talks to black Colorado entrepreneur Wanda James.
In lieu of traditional marketing, some cannabis businesses are acquiring historic buildings.
Health and Science
In his role as chairman of President Trump’s opioid commission, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants to look into insurance plans which favor opioids over alternative treatments. A vocal legalization opponent, Christie ignored almost 8,000 submitted comments on MED as an alternative to opioids.
A study found REC legalization may have reduced opioid deaths in Colorado. But some are skeptical.
MED research is accelerating in Canada.
In testimony, Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested there should be “more competition” among growers providing MED for research. For now, the only federally legal grow is at the University of Mississippi.
A recent Massachusetts survey suggests teen cannabis and e-cigarette use is up while teen tobacco and alcohol use are down.
Tuesday’s episode of Vice’s “Weediquette” looks at the relationship between legalization and homelessness in Denver.
Pacific Standard looks at environmentalism within the industry.
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Criminal Justice
Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) withdrew from consideration to be drug czar after the Washington Post and 60 Minutes revealed he steered legislation through Congress weaking the DEA’s ability to go after distributors of pharmaceutical opiates. Chris Christie and Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor Bertha Madras have been mentioned as possible replacements.
Florida attorney general and Trump ally Pam Bondi questioned whether the country needs a drug czar.
In a brief, Justice Department lawyers acknowledged it hadn’t been legal for the department to spend money prosecuting the Washington MED defendants known as the Kettle Falls Five, since December 2014, on account of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. The amendment, now known as Rohrabacher-Blumenauer, could expire in December.
Everywhere I go all I smell is pot now,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said.
Six delivery service drivers face misdemeanor charges after a police sting in San Diego County.
In Pennsylvania, blacks are eight times more likely than whites to be arrested for pot possession.
Increasingly, innocent witnesses have been incarcerated to compel testimony.
Rifle, Colo.’s new police dogs have been trained to ignore marijuana. Falling for an apparent hoax, a mayoral candidate in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, called from “drug-sniffing bunnies.
There’s a new element to Massachusetts’ crime lab scandal, this time involving breathalyzers.
A Florida woman

Retail marijuana is spreading to California, Massachusetts and Maine

The mainstreaming of marijuana is about to get huge boost.

Recreational marijuana sales will launch in three states next year, including the biggest one of all: California.

It’s already for sale in five states, but the addition of a legal retail marijuana market in California, with its massive economy and population, will dramatically change the landscape.

California is aiming to open retail marijuana stores by January 1, Massachusetts and Maine plan to open stores next summer.

“We obviously still have a lot to do, but yes, we’re going to be ready to go on January 1,” said Alex Traverso, spokesman for the Bureau of Cannabis Control in California. “We will be issuing new regulations in November, so we’re hard at work on those at the present time.”

Among the checklist of expected regulations is new oversight on water usage — like drip irrigation and reusing waste water — that could prove expensive for marijuana businesses. Other rules will require licensing and background checks for distributors and safety and education training for consumers.

Dispensaries like Green Alternative, which has 10,000 patients in San Diego, are getting ready to add non-medical customers to their clientele.

“We are in the process of stockpiling cannabis in order to fulfill the market needs,” said Zach Lazarus, COO of the Green Alternative. “We believe there will be a huge rush. We go through two to four pounds [per day] on average, and we anticipate going through three to four times as much when we open the doors for recreational.”

This requires not only stockpiling pot, but negotiating hurdles on the state and local level, for licensing, zoning, taxation and other issues.

Erik Altieri, executive director of the pro-legalization group NORML, said it might take longer than January “to set up the regulation process and to work out how the new recreational market will exist alongside its already quite large medical market.”

Related: Marijuana businesses worry about Trump, but expect to prevail

The Bureau of Cannabis Control in California put its proposed regulations up for public review and began holding community workshop meetings in Long Beach, Fresno and Sacramento in September.

Massachusetts will implement retail marijuana sales on July 1, once state officials finalize whether certain localities will be able to maintain a marijuana ban in their respective towns, said Altieri.

“We are committed to make that deadline,” said Steven Hoffman, chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission in Boston, which held its first meeting on September 12 on developing and implementing regulations.

Maine would have the smallest market, and it’s unclear when they’ll get it off the ground. Dan Tartakoff, clerk for the Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee of state lawmakers, said draft regulations were released in September proposing a 20% tax rate.

Related: Nevada issues first marijuana delivery licenses

These states already have medical marijuana programs and dispensaries, but soon they’ll also have stores that can sell recreational marijuana to anyone 21 and older. Recreational marijuana dispensaries already exist in Colorado, which was the first to legalize adult-use pot in 2014, and also Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada, which started in July this year.

Voters in California, Massachusetts and Maine approved legalization of recreational marijuana in referendum votes in November 2016, on the same day that Donald Trump was elected president. It typically takes at least a year for state officials to set up regulations for the industry.

The addition of California could grow nationwide sales to $24.1 billion by 2025, according to New Frontier Data, which tracks the cannabis industry. That’s compared to $6.6 billion in 2016.

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana, in 1996, and sales for that market are expected to total $2.76 billion this year. Opening the retail market will expand sales dramatically, to $3.8 billion in 2018, and to $6.6 billion in 2025, according to projections from New Frontier Data.

Related: Startups race to develop a Breathalyzer for pot

It also means the entire West Coast will be a free zone for retail marijuana as the industry gains its first legal markets on the East Coast. North America is going to grow even greener next year, because Canada is getting ready to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide.

In Massachusetts, sales are expected to increase from $106 million in 2017 to $457 million in 2018, and eventually to $1.4 billion in 2025, according to New Frontier Data. The market is smaller in Maine, which is expected to increase from $83 million this year to $175 million next year, and to $434 million by 2025.

Recreational marijuana is also legal in Washington, D.C., but there is no legal retail market for it. Residents are allowed to possess, grow and consume marijuana on their own property, but not buy or sell it.

Marijuana is actually illegal according to the federal government, which equates it to heroin. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said he opposes legalization, but he hasn’t done anything to crack down on the industry.

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Here’s the news:
Politics
Ahead of REC legalization, California seeks to stem the flow of pot leaving the state. California also named the 22-members of its Cannabis Advisory Committee. They include industry executives and activists, politicians, health officials and law enforcement.
L.A. may limit who can appeal to block licenses. California will host three workshops on applying for state permits.
San Francisco quashed a proposed REC dispensary in the Outer Richmond after opposition from older Chinese residents and the conservative Pacific Justice Institute. San Diego became one of the first California cities to create a fully-legal cannabis supply chain.
Growing at home remains a divisive topic Washington, where it’s not allowed. For more see here and here.
Maryland’s first MED crop is ready for testing, but it’s not clear when it may go on sale. Black state lawmakers want to ensure for black entrepreneurs have access to the industry.
Maine may require cities to opt-in to cannabis businesses. REC in Maine faces opposition from Republican lawmakers.
Alaska voters rejected proposed cannabis business bans in Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula.
A Pennsylvania business denied a MED license has dropped its lawsuit against the state. The state’s MED program appears to be on track.
Marijuana.com asks if the suit [Retired NFLer Marvin] Washington vs. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, could be the case that overturns cannabis prohibition.
In Massachusetts, Sessions said the Justice Department would continue to prosecute interstate pot trafficking, but didn’t comment on state legal businesses.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said she “used to be invited to [parties]…long, long ago, marijuana was maybe present at those parties?” She did not say she had consumed it.
Canadians support legalizing REC, but law enforcement and medical groups say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s timeline to make it happen by July is too aggressive.
John Fritchey, one of Cook County’s (Chicago) commissioners, called for legal REC. Illinois Gubernatorial candidates have starkly different views on cannabis. The race is next year.
Native American tribes continue to weigh the cannabis industry.
A former Missouri House speaker says he doesn’t know why someone would send an email purportedly from him, attacking legalization activists.
Business
Portland’s Willamette Week talks to the Craft Cannabis Alliance, a group seeking to keep corporate cannabis at bay. There’s a similar effort to oppose the “Walmart of Weed” in Massachusetts. Willamette Week also looked at a grow’s “obsessive-compulsive quest” to go carbon neutral.
Falling wholesale prices in Colorado have dragged on prices nationwide.
Utility company National Grid discussed the industry’s energy needs at a Boston conference.
A Pennsylvania company is selling its license and 47,000 square foot “turnkey” grow for $20M.
Out of state companies want Ohio MED licenses. The state released a list of applicants.
Creditors are after a closed Denver pot shop which borrowed more than $1M.
A bipartisan bill to repeal industry-hated tax rule 280E has attracted 33 sponsors in the House.
The IRS flagged non-profits associated with MED for extra scrutiny, a report found.
Cannabis billboards are coming to Massachusetts. Lack of sales continues to drag on New York state’s five MED dispensaries and high prices are pushing customers to the illegal market.
A Florida MED company wants the state to allow edibles.
L.A. may create a city-owned bank, the country’s first, to serve the cannabis industry.
Shane McMahon, son of U.S. Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon, invested $500,000 in EnviroGrow, a company making pre-fab modules resembling shipping containers, for cannabis grows.
S.F.’s Westfield mall won’t allow pot chocolatier Défoncé to open a store.
GG Strains LLC and the The Gorilla Glue Co. settled their trademark dispute over the strain Gorilla Glue #4.
Bank of Montreal and Toronto-Dominion Bank are becoming the industry’s preferred banks. Canadian MED stocks climbed following a proposed taxation regime in Ontario. For more on taxes in Canada see here.
Alberta may allow private businesses to sell cannabis. A group of 12 MED producers in the province have formed a collective which they say can operate without any help from the provincial government.
The SEC filed charges against an executive for an “insider trading scheme” with a kickback of 10 pounds of weed. Bloomberg View columnist Matt Levine doesn’t recommend trading weed for stock tips, if you’re going to sell the weed. “It’s just a little inelegant.”
According to Green Market Report, Coke is cannabis users’ favorite soft drink.
Edible maker Truffle Man, known for selling in S.F.’s Dolores Park, is going legit.
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Health and Science
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency could crack down on cannabis companies making false health claims. He cited claims about shrinking tumors as something which could come under scrutiny.
A study suggests the children of mothers who were vegetarians during pregnancy are more likely to drink and use marijuana by their 15th birthday.
A study found cannabis users may be more likely to develop an opioid use disorder.
In an update on its web site, the VA says it can’t help with access to MED. Government Executive says the agency is blocking MED research.
The American Psychological Association criticized barriers to MED research.
A Florida nursing home declined to give a patient MED because it’s federally illegal.
After 20 years, a revamped DARE anti-drug education program is back in Colorado classrooms, minus the “Just Say No” message. “The DARE brand is toxic,” former Colorado pot czar Andrew Freedman said. Colorado is also using pot tax revenue to create animated “Sims-style” videos about drug abuse.
Wildfires have tainted “untold tons” of California pot.
Pacific Standard hails a program in Kentucky for its approach to addiction care for pregnant women.
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Criminal Justice
Slate looks at the case of Jessica McElfresh, the San Diego cannabis attorney accused of being an accessory to a crime for representing raided MED business Med-West. San Diego DA Summer Stephan is the chosen successor to retired anti-pot prosecutor Bonnie Dumanis
The DEA named career agent Robert Patterson as its new acting director.
An investigation by Reveal found court-ordered rehab programs that amount to little more than slave labor at chicken processing plants and other private companies.
A bipartisan group of Senators is trying to revive criminal justice reform. Trump advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner apparently favors it.
Massachusetts crime lab scandals widened further. The state, where REC is legal, continues to arrest a disproportionate number of blacks for cannabis offenses.
In Forbes, Mona Zhang discusses cannabusiness hiring people with felony records.
California weed accounts for 75 percent of indoor plants seized nationwide.
A new law in Maryland allows some prisoners to seek reduced sentences for drug offenses.
The former police chief of Santa Ana, Calif., in Orange County has sued claiming he was forced out of his job for calling out city employees, including Mayor Miguel Pulido, for making “alleged shady deals” with dispensaries.
Local authorities seized $3.9M in illegal plants near Pueblo, Colorado, a center of legal growing.
State and local authorities arrested 18 in raids on Yuba County, Calif., cannabis farms. One of the detainees is said to be the leader of a Rastafarian church where an officer fatally shot an armed worker this summer.
Leafly takes a look at the case of a DACA recipient (the “dreamer” program) who faces deportation for possessing a gram of weed. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is trying to keep more of its data private.
Authorities in Grand Traverse County, Mich., shuttered eight dispensaries.
The sheriff of Siskiyou County, in far northern California, has asked the Sessions Justice Department for help controlling illegal grows. He has not heard back.
Washington state’s supreme court ruled random urine tests as a condition of release are unconstitutional.
Comments Off on Nevada has massive first month of marijuana sales

Nevada has massive first month of marijuana sales

Posted by | October 5, 2017 | Cannabis News

Nevada has massive first month of marijuana sales

Nevada dispensaries raked in more than $27 million during the first month of recreational marijuana sales, generating more than $3.6 million in taxes, according to figures released Thursday by the Nevada Department of Taxation.

How does that stack up against the other states with legal marijuana?

It’s nearly double.

Colorado and Oregon each sold about $14 million in marijuana during their respective first months of sales. Washington sold $3.8 million in its first month.

“We came out of the gate like a shotgun,” said Matt Morgan, CEO of Reef Dispensaries.

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Morgan said that, even three months into recreational sales, Reef’s dispensary located behind the Fashion Show Mall has a line inside the store at nearly all times and outside about 40 percent of the time.

Nevada’s market will only grow, he said.

“I still don’t think everyone understands that it’s recreational in Nevada yet,” Morgan said.

That falls right in line with Nevada’s marijuana sales estimates, even though there were no state projections for July because of uncertainty about when stores would begin sales. State officials have projected that special sales tax will generate $63.5 million over the first two years of sales.

“Although July was not accounted for in our projections, the first month’s revenues demonstrate that the state’s structure appears to be collecting at a rate consistent with the consensus forecast.” said Mari St. Martin, spokeswoman for Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Another $974,060 came from the 15 percent wholesale tax levied on both medical and recreational marijuana when it is transferred between the grower and the seller.

That was significantly more than the $548,000 the state projected for July. If those figures stay consistent, the wholesale tax would generate about $23.4 million for the fiscal biennium.

Tax Department spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said the state expects that excise tax to grow over the next two years as more cultivators get licensed and begin to operate.

The state has also pulled in $6.5 million in marijuana license and application fees.

Those revenues will be used to cover the administrative costs to regulate the industry for the Tax Department and local governments, and all remaining funds go to the state’s public education fund.

Recreational sales started on July 1, and the state has issued 250 recreational marijuana licenses thus far, 53 of them to dispensaries.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Alaska voters reject local bans on legalized marijuana

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Voters in some parts of Alaska rejected efforts to ban commercial marijuana cultivation and retail sales, three years after the nation’s largest state passed a voter initiative legalizing the recreational use of the drug.

The votes Tuesday came during local elections in the state’s major marijuana growing areas — in and around Fairbanks and on the Kenai Peninsula southwest of Anchorage. All lost by wide margins.

“I’m happy to know that the 100 plus employees that are employed right now are going to keep their jobs, and there’s going to be many more jobs on top of that,” said Amy Jackman, campaign manager for ‘Keep Cannabis Legal’ on the Kenai Peninsula, where the ban was rejected by roughly 64 percent of voters. “And all these families down here, they’re not going to lose their savings and their livelihoods.”

The 2014 statewide initiative that legalized marijuana allows local governments to ban pot businesses within their borders.

“We’re disappointed, but at the same time our purpose for these initiatives on the ballot was to give the voters a chance to make this decision and not have it made by our local government. So in that sense, it’s a success,” said James Ostlind, chairman of the group that backed the bans with separate measures in the city of Fairbanks and the surrounding Fairbanks North Star Borough. Both measures were rejected by about 70 percent of voters.

If the bans had been successful, they would have forced retail stores and cultivation facilities to close within 90 days and that would have left a gaping hole for other retail stores across the state in need of product. Personal use and growing pot at home for that use would still be allowed.

Backers said zoning laws are too lax, letting marijuana businesses open too close to homes. Proponents fear any rollbacks will embolden other communities to institute bans or the Legislature to roll back legalization.

But Jackman said the overwhelming victory in support of the marijuana industry “encourages people to move on to something else.”

Cary Carrigan, the executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, called the victories pivotal.

“A lot of these prohibition votes have been driven by church congregations,” he said “They’re looking for something to demonize, and it’s not us. People accept us.”

After a failed initiative, there’s a two year hiatus before it can come back, Ostlind said. He wasn’t ready to predict another initiative attempt in 2019.

“If the marijuana industry starts to cause more damage to a community than they do good, then people will stand up and they’ll want to do something about it,” he said.

The election was held the same day the Alaska Department of Revenue released its monthly marijuana tax receipts from cultivators. The state collected nearly $700,000 in August, which was the highest monthly amount since collections began last October. Ten new cultivators began paying taxes in August, and half are from areas where votes were being held Tuesday.

Since October 2016, cultivators in the greater Fairbanks area have paid nearly $1.2 million in taxes, while those on the Kenai Peninsula have paid more than $655,000. The state doesn’t have tax figures for retails stores since those taxes are paid to local governments only.

Comments Off on 6 Ways Cannabis Can Help With Your Mental Health

6 Ways Cannabis Can Help With Your Mental Health

Posted by | October 1, 2017 | Marijuana News

6 Ways Cannabis Can Help With Your Mental Health

All over the world, millions of people are suffering from mental health problems, with depression and anxiety being the most common. These problems are often caused by chronic stress and by the fact that we have become accustomed to leading a hectic lifestyle. Cannabis is one of the most efficient solutions for mental health problems, as you will have the opportunity to discover in the following paragraphs. It can treat a broad range of problems, including the ones related to sexual health, stress and anxiety. And, more importantly, it can improve overall mood and help those who suffer from depression.

  1. Neurotransmitter regulation –  Often, those who suffer from depression and anxiety have a problem with neurotransmitter regulation. Cannabis targets the endocannabinoid system of the brain directly, regulating both the production and release of vital neurotransmitters. Basically, it functions similarly with depression and anxiety medication, without any of the discomforting side effects. Taken on a regular basis, it regulates the most important neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA. You will no longer feel depressed, anxious or stressed, enjoying life once again.
  2. Release and relaxation – Many who suffer from mental health problems have gone through a traumatic event. PTSD is more common than anyone might think, regardless of one’s occupation, background or culture. It can lead to anxiety and depression, with a negative impact on the overall quality of life. Cannabis can help one let go of such traumatic memories, promoting a state of relaxation and calm. It supports the healthy functioning of the endocannabinoid system, working wonders on the level of self-esteem at the same time.
  3. Sexual health – Sexual health and mental problems are intricately connected; when one feels stressed, anxious or depressed, sexual health is often affected, reinforcing the vicious circle. If you are looking for a way to enjoy sexual activity, cannabis might be the answer to your question. You might not be aware of this for a fact, but cannabis can be used to increase sperm volume as well. In turn, this can guarantee a better fertility rate and, thus, an increased chance of becoming a parent. Returning to sexual health, cannabis can help you relax and feel less pressed to perform in the bedroom. You will finally be able to enjoy a satisfying sexual experience, being able to care for your partner as well.
  4. Chronic pain –  Chronic pain can have a significant influence on a person’s quality of life, leading to depression and anxiety. The more severe the pain, the higher the risk of mental health problems is going to be. In this situation, you might want to turn to cannabis as the solution to all of your problems. Cannabis can help with the necessary pain relief, allowing you to engage in daily living activities once again. Moreover, it works to promote a state of relaxation, which is extremely beneficial for a person who suffers from a chronic condition. It helps one fight chronic fatigue and other upsetting symptoms, improving the mood and the overall level of functionality.
    1. Emotional response – When a person suffers from a mental health problem, the emotional response to certain situations might become modified (either too intense or not intense enough). Because of such changes, one might have difficulties adapting to normal-day circumstances. Experiences otherwise acceptable can become stressful, making the emotional response even worse. Cannabis can regulate the emotional response of a person who is suffering from depression, anxiety or chronic stress. It can help the brain to adapt to stressful situations, efficiently regulating emotions quickly.
    2. Fight or flight – Whenever humans are confronted with a potentially dangerous situation, the fight or flight conflict appears at the level of the brain. In a quick period of time, the brain has to decide whether it is safe to remain in that situation or not. When wrongful associations are made, the brain becomes confused and stress naturally follows. The moderate intake of cannabis could help the brain regulate the fight-or-flight response, thus reducing the anxiety and stress associated with otherwise normal situations. This is also possible because cannabis regulates the response to fear, helping one feel better about potentially-dangerous situations.

    Mental health remains a subject of research for scientists from all over the world. Solutions are sought to replace current treatments for chronic stress, anxiety and depression, as these seem to make matters worse. Cannabis is an efficient remedy for those who suffer from such problems, having a wide range of benefits to offer. As you have seen, it can regulate the production and release of neurotransmitters, promote relaxation and ensure a proper emotional response to common situations. Cannabis can be of use to those who suffer from chronic pain and derived mental health problems.

    Cannabis is beneficial for those who have been diagnosed with a mental health problem. It can also be considered an erectile dysfunction natural treatment, helping those who are suffering from unsatisfactory sexual experiences. This is an important point to consider, as these are a lot of people who deal with erectile dysfunction on a regular basis; having a natural treatment such as cannabis is great, especially if we stop for a moment and think how sexual health problems can cause mood swings, anxiety and depression.

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    This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a psychological or psychiatric condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read online. Read the full disclaimer here


    Brian Adam is a researcher and advisor with a passion for men’s health and wellness. Brian also diet, believing that the combination of exercise, a healthy diet, and a positive mindset all contribute to achieving one’s full potential. He mostly writes articles on health and  healthcare. You can connect with Brian on Twitter @brianadam884 and on Facebook. 

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