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

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

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

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

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

Posted by | May 5, 2018 | Cannabis News

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

WeedWeek: California Weighs Lower Pot Taxes

Posted by | March 20, 2018 | Cannabis News

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

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

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

Cannabisjobs.us
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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
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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:
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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.
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Our latest post comes from , Centuria CEO Michael Brubeck who warns cannabis investors: Get ready to lose everything.
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So much news.
POLITICS
The implications of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ (R) decision to rescind the Cole Memo, which protected state legal cannabis from federal prosecution, continue to ripple through the industry and U.S. politics. Some Trump supporters say the move is the “first time they feel let down by the man they helped elect,” the AP reports.
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R), who has pledged to hold up Justice Department nominees if his state’s cannabis industry isn’t secure, got nowhere in a Wednesday meeting with Sessions. The Washington Post reports Sessions’ move could be a headache for Republicans during this year’s midterm elections.
The A.P. runs through comments from the 13 federal prosecutors presiding in REC states on whether they expect to crackdown on state-legal businesses. Of them only four are Trump appointees with Senate confirmation. Leafly lists Congresspeople who have worked to protect cannabis, and the ones who are “all talk.”
Sessions caused confusion by failing to notify the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) before his Cole Memo announcement.
Nearly 70 members of Congress signed a letter to protect state-legal cannabis in this week’s appropriations bill. At least four bills in Congress would protect state cannabis industries.
Podcast Cannabis Economy interviewed former U.S. deputy attorney general James M. Cole, who wrote the Cole Memo rescinded by Session. Cole also spoke to KQED San Francisco.
Jeff Sessions is making a cataclysmic mistake,” Trump ally Roger Stone said at an event in Orlando. “My question is, has he chimed in with his boss?”
A USAToday opinion columnist writes: If you don’t like Sessions’ decision change the law.
California’s cannabis community is largely unafraid of Sessions, Mother Jones reports.
Massachusetts has questions after U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling left the door open to prosecuting state legal businesses. Most Massachusetts dispensaries have been forced to go cash only after a payments processor stopped serving the industry. State and local police said they wouldn’t participate in a federal crackdown. The Boston Globe’s Dan Adams has more on the standoff against Sessions.
Alaska may rewrite its REC law to protect its state industry.
Conservative National Review says Sessions needs to talk to a cancer patientabout medical cannabis.
Canna Law Blog asks “Now what?
The Guardian has a piece on cannabis and other aspects of California’s revolt against the Trump administration. The N.Y. Times has a piece on the same subject.
This year is the first time cannabis taxes will be included in California’s state budget. California is also reviving a proposal to become a cannabis “sanctuary state.”
The state predicts 1M pounds of legal weed will be sold during the first budget year, worth $3.4 billion and generating $643M in taxes (roughly half of percent of the state’s budget.) The one million pounds is less than 10% of the 13.5M pounds California growers produced in 2016.
Delayed licensing has hurt Los Angeles businesses, NBC reports. And the state is testing out its legal supply pipeline.
The Economist calls California pot laws, “almost comically progressive.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval wants to protect the state’s cannabis industry from Sessions and the newly appointed federal prosecutor. Plans for social use in Vegas are now on hold.
Vermont is poised to become the first state to legalize REC through the legislature. The bill allows possession and small-scale homegrow but not an industry. Despite this substantial restriction, entrepreneurs are bullish. For moresee here. Meanwhile in Vermont, MED costs way more than prescription opioids.
Two months after rejecting it, New Hampshire’s House voted to legalize REC.
In Maine, a coalition which includes REC opponents appears to have reached a compromise on a REC law. Some lawmakers also want to protect small farms. For more see here.
A New Jersey lawmaker filed a bill to legalize REC. Governor-elect Phil Murphy (D) has promised to legalize and said Sessions’ potential crackdown won’t affect the plan.
Detroit’s new MED program is stalled at a legal impasse. A lawsuit is challenging Ohio’s diversity quota for MED growing licenses.
A bipartisan group of 28 Congresspeople dispute the DEA’s assertion that hemp should be a schedule I drug. Kentucky approved 12,000 acres for hemp this year.
Arkansas released the names and locations of MED licensees. Kansas lawmaker Steve Alford (R) resigned his leadership posts after making racist commentsabout African Americans and cannabis.
Politico investigates how President Richard Nixon and TV host Art Linklettercollaborated to launch the war on drugs.
BUSINESS
Cannabis Business Executive published Kayvan Khalatbari’s Decemberresignation email from the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) board. In the email, Khalatbari, who’s under an NDA, expressed serious concerns about Executive Director Aaron Smith. Since it’s not clear if Smith has had the chance to respond I won’t reprint it here. As Khalatbari departed in December, Smith said the group was stronger and stabler than ever before. (NCIA did not respond to WeedWeek’s Friday night request for comment.)
Anyone familiar with the situation who wants to talk on background can contact me
Cannabisjobs.us
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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 ,