California edition / September 11, 2020
SHARE:

Connect with WeedWeek on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, LinkedIn and YouTube!

Are you registered to vote? Are you sure? Go here to confirm and/or request an absentee ballot.

*

Take the WeedWeek 2020 Reader Survey to help us learn more about you and how we can support your success. All responses are anonymous.

1 ORGANIZED CRIME SUSPECTED IN RIVERSIDE MURDER OF SEVEN

image

Aside from the hits appearing organized, little remains known about the seven people found shot to death inside an illegal Riverside County processing center on Monday. 
USA Today

  • A neighbor reportedly heard three volleys of gunshots at the property in Aguanga, a remote hamlet 100 miles east of Los Angeles. In addition to the dead and as-yet unidentified victims, sheriff's deputies discovered hundreds of plants, a makeshift greenhouse, a butane extraction lab, and over 1,000 pounds of processed bud worth—wait for it—a street value in the millions.
  • Reportedly all of the witnesses interviewed at the scene were Laotian.
  • "This was a very large operation, a very organized-crime type of an operation," said Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco. "This is not going to be an easy investigation."

    Quick Hits

  1. In a "legal" state that offers a single dispensary for every 35,137 adults, a peak inside the illicit market should be mandatory.
    Cannabitch/WeedWeek
  2. The San Francisco Police Department put together a virtual meeting with dispensary owners to discuss the trust ruptured by law enforcement response to protest-related break-ins.
    SF Weekly
  3. Papa & Barkley co-founder Guy Rocourt says 1) ethically responsible investors should invest in Black-owned weed and 2) ethically responsible consumers should purchase from Black-owned dispensaries and cannabis companies.
    Green Entrepreneur
  4. Keep your seat belts on in Vegas. Expedited by COVID-19, the green light for drive-through dispensaries has been given by Clark County's Board of Commissioners. 
    NBC News Las Vegas
A note from the editor

Since 2015, WeedWeek has been the best way to keep up with the Green Rush. WeedWeek’s audience includes many of the most influential figures in cannabis because we are editorially independentAdvertisers have no influence on our editorial content.

We publish original reporting and analysis daily plus two free newsletters:

1) WeedWeek by founder Alex Halperin

2) WeedWeek California by Donnell Alexander

Follow us on Google News and be the first to see new WeedWeek stories.

Tips, comments and complaints to Donnell donny@weedweek.net.

To advertise with us contact Lisa Marie Dudenhoeffer lisamarie@weedweek.net.

2 NY’S COLUMBIA CARE DROPS $69M FOR PROJECT CANNABIS

image

New York's Columbia Care operator shelled out $12M in cash and $57M in stock to purchase Los Angeles-based Project Cannabis.
Green Market Report 

  • Triple Seven and Classic are Project Cannabis brands. The company also operates a 32,000-foot cultivation facility and three REC dispensaries in LA along with a San Francisco REC dispensary that houses one of The City's few permitted consumption lounges.
  • The deal allows Columbia Care, owner of a new manufacturing and packaging site in San Diego, to significantly increase its scale throughout California. 

Quick Hits

  1. In this season of break-ins and natural crop threats, playing well with insurance brokers is as important a tricky task as any on the cannabusiness landscape. So, what do these squares find the hardest part of working with you and your ilk
    Insurance Journal
  2. Field Trip Psychedelics, Inc. legally provides ketamine therapy in their Toronto, New York and Los Angeles offices. For folks outside of those urban centers, the company is soft-launching The Trip App.
    Green Entrepreneur

3 YOUR STATEWIDE FORECAST: ORANGE SKIES & A NEW NORMAL

image
Thick orange haze above San Francisco Bay on September 9 2020 from record wildfires in Californa, daytime view of ash and smoke over the Bay Area

Up and down California forests are burning, breaking all-time records for fire devastation. Disconcertingly, some marijuana farmers are accepting the possibility that now's not an anomaly.
MJ Biz Daily

  • Insiders say the fires' ultimate impact to the supply chain is undetermined, as crops must test free of contamination by smoke, ash and fire-retardants.
  • In "preservation mode," some farmers are harvesting their crops early. That's brought up concerns over the possibility of microbial contamination resulting from flawed storage techniques.

4 UNEXPECTED REVENUE JUMP HAS S.BARBARA COUNTY SKY HIGH

image

Santa Barbara County cannabis revenues leapt massively last quarter, moving from $1.9M in the fiscal year's third quarter to $5.5M in the fourth.
San Luis Obispo Tribune

  • "The tax revenue for the fourth quarter dramatically exceeded our revenue expectations," says assistant county executive officer Barney Melekian. Some of the standout numbers result from reporting delays in the previous quarter.
  • The new numbers not only reflect revenue gained, they project future growth: 16 licenses were issued, with 59 pending. Forty-five operators—mostly cultivators and nurseries—submitted 75 license applications.

Quick Hits

  1. Un-Miss that Meeting: Caliva's Hirsh Jain moderated a discussion of local ballot measures in Jackie McGowan's latest State of Cannabis webinar. On August 26, the North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference brought leaders from Headset, BDS Analytics and CannaCraft to help demystify the future.
    You Tube/North Bay Business Journal
  2. The most secretly valuable aspect of being a legacy brand is that good memories can overpower what's happening in plain sight. That's how a headline like "How Legal Weed Destroyed a Counterculture Icon" comes to exists as our naked eyes witness a slow suicide.
    Politico

5 ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION IN A RURAL WEED HUB

image

California City is as isolated as it is remote; the Central Valley town has the third-largest land area of any city in the Golden State, to go with one of its smallest populations. The legal weed game is booming here.

But troubling accusations have emerged in this cannabusiness paradise: A local news investigation alleges the municipality features an inappropriate relationship between the city and a private security company.
Hews Media Group/Los Cerritos News

  • The conflict reportedly involves California City Police Chief Eric Hurtado, his brother Eric, and Rick Jones, owner of the Fast Response Security company. Allegedly, once city council placed the police chief in charge of cannabis policy, only Fast Response qualified to be its armed-security company.
  • In the wake of Chief Hurtado's 2019 retirement, a Fast Response employee named Jon Walker became chief. The article alleges that Walker became "Cal City" top law enforcement dog without filing required annual Statement of Economic Interest.

6 UFCW RACKS UP EAST COAST ORGANIZING WINS

image

It's hardly news to hardcore followers of Golden State-approved Mary Jane that the United Food and Commercial Workers have been a powerful workplace presence. In this pivotal year, the union has upped its nationwide organizing game.
Cannabis Now

  • Last month, ag employees of Cultivate Holdings, a central-Massachusetts grow facility, voted to affiliate with the union's Local 1445. Since July roughly 60 workers at the New England Treatment Access cultivation facility and employees at Mayflower Medicinals also joined up with the local. 
  • This year marks the 10th of the UFCW organizing cannabis workers. Overall it represents 1.3M workers.

Quick Hit

  1. In November, more than two dozen municipalities and counties will vote on cannabis initiatives. Even if most of them fail, the "green rush" stress being visited upon traditional farms will not be diminished. 
    Reuters

7 A BROWN COMPANY CALLED DREAMT & A DREAM COME TRUE, SO FAR

image
Carolina Vasquez-Mitchell of Eaze partner dreamt

Last November Carolina Vazquez Mitchell's company received an inaugural $50,000 from Eaze's accelerator program for the underrepresented. Approaching the anniversary of the day "all my dreams came true," the scientist behind LA sleep brand Dreamt is negotiating its next phase as part of Eaze's social-equity efforts.
WeedWeek

  • "You need a crapload of money to make it in California cannabis," says Darius Kemp, the head of equity and community change at Eaze. In addition to funds, Dreamt execs have received mentoring and will now get platform advantages through a partnership program.
  • Eaze's tangible offerings are significant because, as Social Equity Owners & Workers Association co-founder Madison Shockley says, in legal cannabis social equity often adds up to "nothing more than a press release."

Quick Hits

  1. You know that part of the thriller in which the flawed protagonist has to face a gnarly issue from her past? Kamala Harris lives in that reel this fall.
    Marijuana Moment
  2. Just because we've expunged a bunch of records doesn't mean we can forget the impact of incarceration on mothers.
    Filter

8 MERE WEEKS LEFT FOR SECOND SHOT AT HEMP LAW REVISIONS

image

Close on the heels of USDA's reopening of public comment on its hemp program, Harris Bricken is offering a free webinar addressing this new opportunity to shape critical hemp policy, which now ends on Oct. 8.
Canna Law Blog

  • The USDA's primary concerns are Measurement of Uncertainty for Sampling; Liquid Chromatography Factor, 0.877; Disposal and Remediation of Non-Compliant Plants; Negligence; Interstate Commerce; 15-day Harvest Window; Hemp seedlings, microgreens, and clones; Hemp breeding and research; Sampling Methodology–Flower vs. Whole Plant; Sampling Methodology–Homogenous Composition, Frequency, and Volume; Sampling Agents; DEA Laboratory Registration.
  • Harris Bricken attorneys are familiar with all of that plus liquid Chromatography Factor, 0.877. 

Quick Hit

  1. Feeling unsteady talking cannabis to your children? Not to worry. Ngaio Bealum has some books that will help you out, including one from the illustrator of Go the Fuck to Sleep.
    WeedWeek

9 YOU SAY TOMATO, THEY SAY EXPLOITIVE

image

For a pure exercise in seeing what one wants to see, you could do worse than to peruse analysis of a new academic study on race and retail cannabis locations, first that of an Inland Empire daily newspaper and then by a weed-oriented media outlet.

Turns out, one person's optimal access is another's opportunistic "targeting." 
Riverside Press Enterprise/The Leaf Online

  • In dissecting this paper, which was researched through USC's Department of Preventive Medicine and Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute, the Press Enterprise focused on dispensary volume and unsanctioned Mary Jane retail in Black and Brown neighborhoods, highlighting the possibility of worsened health outcomes for minority and poor neighborhoods.  
  • TLO offered, "The data, while interesting, did not consider the public safety benefits of convenience, which reduces people’s driving time and the amount of gas used to pick up their cannabis. Nor did it consider the health benefits of easier access to medical marijuana as provided by the traditional market or the benefits of social use, such as lowering anxiety and reducing stress."

10 SEX’S LONG-AWAITED ‘CBD SOLUTION’

image

On September 22 comes the launch for Merry Jane's second installment of its CBD Solution book series. This edition was written by sex and relationship coach Ashley Manta.
Chronicle Books

  • "In The CBD Solution: Sex, Manta shares her compassionate and comprehensive knowledge, providing readers with everything they need to know (while pointing out the BS) about sex and cannabis. It's a must-read for anyone looking to use CBD for sexual health," says Sophie Saint Thomas.
  • Expect Manta to confirm the book's virtual launch party, tentatively scheduled for October 2, and Q&A session via social media.

Quick Hit

  1. This embroidered cannabis hoop art, which began as a basic gift idea, has flowered into a powerful artistic statement. 
    Cannabis Now