- Co-founded by longtime entrepreneur and political operator Jason Beck, the group will study lawmakers voting records to determine who to support and who to oppose.
- Beck, who has worked with Republicans and Democrats in the past, says the group's decisions are based solely on candidates' relationship to the plant, not their political party. “We don’t see red, we don’t see blue – we only see green.”
- It aims to be active during the 2022 midterm election cycle.
- The group is also working on plans to support interstate commerce.
This week in the People Mover: Hirings, Promotions and More: Vireo Health and Allay Consulting.
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New Jersey is the most populous market which could legalize on Election Day. Observers say its strategic location between New York and Pennsylvania, means a legal Garden State could accelerate legalization on the East Coast.
- Polls suggest the REC measure will pass by a comfortable margin. It also has support from Gov. Phil Murphy (D).
- “We’ve got to make sure this passes,” Murphy said. “It will transform our state.”
- Criminal justice reform is another major driver of support for the measure.
New York Times
In other election news:
- REC legalization in Arizona might not create many new business opportunities.
- In Minnesota, Democrats say several candidates calling for legalization are actually "Republicans in weed clothing" trying to siphon Democratic votes.
- New Cannabis Ventures suggests the election could boost pot stocks.
- Pot stocks jumped after vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris said a Biden administration would federally decriminalize. 🔒Business Insider has more.
- Canna Law Blog looks at Mississippi's upcoming MED vote.
- Cal Cunningham, the Democratic Senate candidate in North Carolina, acknowledged sexting with a staffer at cannabis PR firm Potnt. Cunningham and his opponent Sen. Thom Tillis (R), both acknowledged trying cannabis when they were younger. Only Cunningham supports legalization.
News & Observer
- Ads in Oregon urge voters to legalize psilocybin therapy, Measure 109. The Oregonian did not endorse Measure 109 but it supports Measure 110, which would decriminalize possession of all drugs and set aside pot tax revenue for treatment. Mark Zuckerberg's charity gave $500,000 to support Measure 110.
Marijuana Moment, Willamette Week
- A study anticipates public interest in cannabis will spike prior to the election.
Journal of Cannabis Research
The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing whether to hear Washington vs. Barr, a case challenging marijuana's federal illegality.
- Plaintiffs, including juvenile and veteran MED patients, and former NFL player Marvin Washington, are appealing a lower court ruling that they must exhaust their appeals to the DEA before challenging federal illegality in court. Plaintiffs argue the DEA has shown itself incapable of providing the requested relief and that federal illegality violates their Constitutional right to life-saving medicine.
- “We’re not asking the court to change society,” the plaintiff's lead attorney Michael Hiller said. “We’re asking the court to recognize how society has advanced, and how understanding of cannabis has advanced, and to simply take the foot off our necks, if you will, when it comes to the law.”
- The high court only accepts about 3% of similar appeals. A decision on whether to hear the case is expected this week.
More legal news:
- The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear ancillary company Helix Technologies' appeal arguing federal employment law doesn't apply to cannabis companies.
- An investor asked a federal judge to impose sanctions on CBD company CV Sciences.
- The Florida Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to mandatory vertical integration for MED license holders.
- A court filing accuses MSO Trulieve of "doctoring" evidence in an employment-related lawsuit. The company did not respond to a request for comment.
- Edibles maker Bhang reached a settlement in a suit accusing it of misrepresenting product potency.
The world's largest metropolitan cannabis market is set to begin accepting license applications again after a years-long process marred by lawsuits and recriminations.
- It "comes after a turbulent year that saw [the Department of Cannabis Regulation] face allegations of corruption and a lawsuit from a group of disgruntled applicants accusing it of bumbling the rollout of its social equity program. That lawsuit led to an overhaul this summer of DCR’s licensing process. A different group of applicants sued the agency last month alleging that the changes favored some applicants over others."
Also in California, the wildfires have cast a long shadow over the industry:
- SFist says the "entire west coast crop is threatened by fire smoke and ash."
- CNN looks into the devastation.
- The fallout is highlighting the difficulty and expense potco's face to obtain insurance.
- 🌴WW California has more.
Instagram celeb Dan Bilzerian CEO of "still nascent and still-inchoate" cannabis brand Ignite got some more bad news: Canadian distributor CannMart ended its relationship with the brand and the company has had three presidents since June. One of them is suing Ignite.
In other biz news:
- Pabst Blue Ribbon launched a cannabis-infused seltzer. 🌴WW California has more.
Food & Wine
- Consumers stand to benefit from the glut of CBD brands, a report found.
- Companies are racing to synthetically produce rare cannabinoids.
- MSOs finances may benefit from asset sales and improving market conditions.
- Marijuana Business Daily's annual MJBiz Con event will be an "entirely digital experience" after the Las Vegas Convention Center said it couldn't host on account of the pandemic.
- Subversive Real Estate announced $182M in transactions.
Recently, WeedWeek looked at how unsuccessful retail license hopefuls would have a chance to revise their applications. Now successful finalists are suing the state to move forward with the process.
- "The process has to be followed," a lawyer for one plaintiff said. "Delay is incredibly costly."
- The Chicago Tribune has more.
In other state news:
- Vermont became the 11th state to legalize a REC market. Gov. Phil Scott will allow a legislature-passed bill to become law without his signature. Vermont legalized REC in 2018 but not a licensing program.
- REC went on sale in Maine.
CBS -- Local
Since 2019 when Marlboro parent company Altria invested $1.8B in Canadian cannabis player Cronos Group, the company appears to be "quietly trying to claim a long-term stake in the marijuana industry by patenting cannabis technology," Chris Roberts reports for Forbes:
- "The Altria cannabis devices have temperature controls meant to allow consumers to vaporize THC or CBD."
- While the company's plans for cannabis remain unclear, a patent attorney describes its actions: “I don’t see anything here other than, here’s a big business, they made a big investment, and now they’re pursuing it as they would any other business...Once you drop $1.8 billion, you’d be silly not to protect your IP position as much as you can.”
A story in Cannabis Now says cannabis and tobacco are "inexorably intertwined."
- "The first thing that will happen is that no Mexican will die or go to jail because of this plant," a businessman said. No small thing in a country long plagued by violent drug cartels.
- The next thing that could happen is big business, with Canadian and U.S. firms already jostling for position.
- France detailed plans for a 3,000 patient MED program to begin in March.
Amid the pandemic, a New York Times story suggests more parents are turning to alcohol, pot and other drugs:
- The increase of substance use among parents is “just kind of understandable,” said Jonathan Metzl, the director of the department of medicine, health and society at Vanderbilt University. “This is an incredible, once-in-an-epoch stressful situation, and the kinds of outlets people usually have in their lives are just not available.”
- “My hobby is doom scrolling and learning the science of Covid and smoking weed and sitting on the toilet staring at the wall,” said one mother of two children. “I just hide in my bathroom and vape.”
WeedWeek columnist Ngaio Bealum sounds off on the joys of the "smokey-pokey":
"You don’t need to be hella high. No one is trying to have sex with an anxiety-riddled paranoiac, unless that’s your thing. A toke or two should do. In fact, you don’t even have to smoke. A small dose of edibles also work well, but don’t overdo it. Stupors aren’t sexy."
- Get ready for "Super High," a "superhero comedy where smoking special weed gives you super powers." Andy Samberg, Craig Robinson and Common are attached.