WeedWeek, 12/30/17: Ready or Not, California Goes REC

Posted by | December 30, 2017 | Cannabis News, Weed Week News by Alex Halperin

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IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
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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.

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