WeedWeek edition / October 04, 2020
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1 CALIFORNIA LEGALIZES CANNABIS BANKING

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill that removes penalties for banks that work with cannabis companies. While national banks are unlikely to flood in, and federal law still applies, operators still see several benefits.
WeedWeek

  • More state chartered banks may get in on the action, forcing them to lower the often exorbitant fees they charge cannabis clients.
  • With a place to store their cash, dispensaries and other businesses could become less attractive targets for burglaries.
  • Some say passing the law in the country's largest market could accelerate national reform.
  • Cannabis banking reform passed the House for the third time this week as part of a pandemic-related stimulus. Some think it has a better chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate this time.
    WeedWeek
  • Gov. Newsom also signed bills that would create regional appellations to designate where weed comes from. (No more calling a product "Humboldt" if it's not from Humboldt.)
    WeedWeek 
  • Other bills signed by the governor froze pot taxes and gave edibles makers a little wiggle room if their product tests about the state-mandated limits of 10 mg of THC per morsel.
  • 🌴WW California has more.

Quick Hit

  1. New Cannabis Ventures says the Golden State's market has "kicked into growth mode." 🔒Business Insider concurs.
  2. A lawsuit takes aim at the "fatally flawed" licensing process in Chula Vista, Calif.
    WeedWeek
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2 WEEDWEEK ENDORSES JOE BIDEN

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(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WeedWeek endorses Joe Biden for President:

"The former vice president wasn’t the Democrat cannabis wanted. He’s one of relatively few prominent figures in the party who hasn’t endorsed legalization. However, he supports policies that would benefit the industry, help to mitigate the injustices of the war on drugs and accelerate MED research. These goals have largely gone ignored under the Trump administration."

Read the whole thing.

Related: Before President Trump announced his Covid diagnosis, prominent cannabis attorney Tom Zuber theorized -- without any inside information --President Trump could legalize weed to save his campaign.
WeedWeek

3 FIVE STATES COULD LEGALIZE MED AND/OR REC ON ELECTION DAY

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On November 3, five states are set to vote on legalizing MED or REC with billions in potential revenue on the line.
MJBiz

  • The most closely watching initiatives are probably Arizona and New Jersey, both of which appear likely to pass and open major new REC markets. If New Jersey legalizes, some believe it could set off a REC "domino effect" across the northeast.
    MJBiz
  • Additionally, Montana is voting on REC, Mississippi on MED and South Dakota on both. If both pass it would be the first state to simultaneously legalize.
  • A post at the non-partisan Tax Foundation looks at the revenues each state stands to gain from legalizing.

Quick Hit

  1. About 250,000 Americans work in the legal cannabis industry and the number is rapidly growing, according to a new report from Leafly.
    Julie Weed -- Forbes
  2. It's still not clear whether Vermont Gov. Phil Scott will sign the bill creating a state REC industry.

4 CBD BIZ RELIEVED AS USDA EXTENDS PILOT PROGRAM

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States will have another year to develop their hemp programs as the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended its pilot program for the now federally legal crop.
WeedWeek

  • The 2018 farm bill which legalized hemp gave states until October 31, 2020 to submit hemp regulations. If they didn't growers in those states would be governed by USDA rules, which some in the industry consider too restrictive.
  • About 30 states have not submitted plans. Some of the delays no doubt owe to the pandemic.
  • The USDA's flexibility is a sharp contrast to the U.S. DEA's approach to CBD. A new rule from that agency has set off alarms in the CBD and hemp worlds.
    WeedWeek

Quick Hit

  1. Dr. Sue Sisley, the Arizona psychiatrist who's been trying for many years to study MED as a treatment for PTSD, filed a brief in federal court challenging marijuana's schedule I status.
    WeedWeek
  2. Hemp Industry Daily formed a data partnership with analytics company Nielsen.

5 POT COMPLICATES WORKERS COMP.

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A report from the National Council on Compensation Insurance looked at the messy issues at the intersection of cannabis and workers' compensation.
WeedWeek

The main ones, neither of which has a clear cut answer, are:

  • Does being high on the job (or testing positive for THC) make workers ineligible for injury claims?
  • Is MED an acceptable treatment for injuries and should insurance cover it?
  • Naturally, policies vary widely across state lines.

Related: A federal judge ruled a Pennsylvania MED patient can sue her former employer for apparently firing her for MED use.
WeedWeek

6 AFTER SIX YEARS OF REC, COLORADO PARDONS LOW-LEVEL OFFENDERS

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More than six years after REC went on sale in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis (D) pardoned nearly 3,000 offenders convicted of possessing an ounce or less of cannabis.
Marijuana Moment

  • “It’s ridiculous how being written up for smoking a joint in the 1970’s has followed some Coloradans throughout their lives and gotten in the way of their success,” Polis said.

Related: In 2019, the total number of U.S. marijuana arrests declined for the first time in four years. The total was about 545,000, according to the FBI, but still exceeded the total number of arrests for violent offenses by 10%.
NORML

7 “AN EVOLUTION OF WHAT’S POSSIBLE”

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A panel at the "Psychedelic Capital" conference examined the largely uncharted terrain as the blurry boundary where psychedelics meet technology.
WeedWeek

  • "Cell phone apps, video games and artificial intelligence are helping to shape the future of a group of plants – including Psilocybin mushrooms ... – that are generating increased attention for their potential medical benefits."
  • “We absolutely should not be looking to replace the wisdom of these plants and fungi,” said Robin Arnott, CEO and founder of Andromeda Entertainment, a video game developer. “That [plant wisdom] goes beyond human intelligence and human wisdom.”

Meanwhile, cannabis law firms 🔒have an eye on the suddenly booming psychedelics industry
Business Insider/WeedWeek

Quick Hit

  1. Lucid News asks if Burning Man can be replicated in the virtual realm.

8 “ONE PERSON SAID I DESERVED TO BE BEATEN UP”

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@thealicemoon

The East Bay Express profiles cannabis influencer Alice Moon, whose suffers from cannabis hyperemesis syndrome(CHS), the gastrointestinal disorder afflicting a subset of (generally) longtime cannabis users.

  • Moon continues to professionally promote cannabis brands even as using cannabis remains impossible. "I miss it so much," she said.
  • Profiled widely, Moon has undoubtedly raised awareness about this little understood disorder.
  • At the same time, Moon has been the target of a great deal of hostility on social media from canna-trolls as well as several prominent people in the industry. "One person said I deserved to be beaten up," she said.
  • "Alice, try to get some attention for something other than throwing up" one executive tweeted before recanting.
  • Hear Alice on the WeedWeek podcast.

9 KIWIS UNENTHUSED BY LEGALIZATION VOTE

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This month New Zealand is poised to be the first country to hold a national referendum on REC legalization. But the Guardian reports it hasn't captured the public's imagination:

"Some politicians have avoided sharing their views – among them Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister and centre-left Labour party leader, who will not say how she plans to vote, but on Wednesday night did admit to having smoked marijuana in the past."

  • According to one poll, support for the measure has fallen from 43% last year to 35% today.

10 PLAYBOY POT SURVEY DOESN’T SHOCK

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Jurassic media brand Playboy partnered with delivery service Eaze on a cannabis and sex survey. The results are enlightening if not terribly surprising.

Jackie Bryant writes it up:

  • The survey found daily cannabis use increased and daily alcohol consumption decreased while sheltering in place.
  • Combining cannabis and sex is popular and 5.6% of respondents said toking up increased their number of orgasms. In general respondents seem to think their cannabis enhanced sex lives have improved under quarantine.
  • 🌴WW California has more on Playboy's newfound, or re-found, fascination with weed.

Separately, in her new Cannabitch newsletter, Bryant checks out Alaska's cannabis culture.