California edition / October 16, 2020
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1 WITH EQUITY COMMITMENT, SACTOWN MAKES HISTORIC DISPENSARY LEAP

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Photo by Hence the Boom on UnSplash

The number of storefronts in Sacramento will jump from 30 from 40 following the City Council's Tuesday approval of new retail operations. All will come from the city's Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity program.

The development is critical for a city where a third of dispensaries are owned by a cadre of entrepreneurs.
Sacramento Bee

  • Getting a permit will likely help the applicants attract investors, says Councilmember Jay Schenirer.
  • CORE is an equity program open to residents who earn a low income, live in specific zip codes most impacted by the drug war, or have a cannabis bust. As of late August the program had 159 graduates. Most lacked dispensary permits.
  • Malaki Amen, CEO of the California Urban Partnership, expressed disappointment, pointing out that CORE's policy goal was 50% of dispensary licenses, not 25%.

Quick Hits

  1. The ongoing outrageousness that is the Genius Fund post-mortem took a turn on October 8 when a military vet told a judge that defendants in his suit against the company have moved $3M in assets frozen by the U.S. District Court
    WeedWeek
  2. The 30,000-square-foot Las Vegas super-dispensary Planet 13 is putting in a non-cannabis retail store, offering weekend getaway sundries. A nightclub and consumption lounge are in planning stages, for when regulations allow.
    Green Market Report
  3. America might not have all of the electoral answers by Nov. 3, but explanations of the vote's impact on our wildfire, hemp, and COVID-19 issues will be part of MJ BizCon's California conference.
    Twitter
  4. Next time your delivery comes and the tax you've paid is harshing your mellow, be glad your dealer isn't a violent weed-gang leader named Hitler.
    CBS Local
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2 SOME GOV’TS AND FIRMS ARE WORKING D.C. REPS EARLY

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Photo by Harold Mendoza on Unsplash

In 2020, Desert Hot Springs has spent $20,000 on a D.C. lobbyist, in part to work on legalization issues. Joining the Riverside County town in trying to swing legislation their way in the nation's capital are the city of Emeryville, Humboldt and Solano counties, and Weedmaps and Eaze

The spending will play as frugality born of forethought if Democrats take over the Senate next month and the legalization issue truly goes live. 
MJ Biz Daily

  • Eaze's $40,000 in lobbyist expenditures pales by comparison to Curaleaf, which has spent $390,00 to amplify its voice in Washington. 
  • Among trade organizations, the Cannabis Trade Federation leads the way with $575,000. Right behind is the Global Cannabis Alliance, which reported $500K in lobbying expenditures. In total, the industry has spent more than $3M on lobbying. 
  • "If the Democrats take the Senate, then (cannabis reform) really has the potential for being a live issue, and once it’s a live issue, there are all kinds of groups and industries that will have an interest in how it turns out," says Steve Fox, strategic adviser at the Cannabis Trade Federation.

Quick Hits

  1. The Department of Food and Agriculture said state regulators aren’t collecting data on the number of licensed cannabis businesses that have lost crops.
    PEW Stateline
  2. The year's been a lot, it's documented, but one more significant 2020 mindpluck is about to hit: The end of spreadsheets as we've known them
    Cannabis Industry Journal

3 MEXICANS LOOK FOR CRITICAL ANSWERS AS LEGALIZATION NEARS

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Photo by Sebastian Estrada on UnSplash

Because of cartels' deadly presence, legalization in Mexico concerns much more than natural rights. As its Senate's Dec. 15 suggested date for ending prohibition nears, advocates are seeking answers to who should control the market: How simply can consumers buy and consume cannabis? And as internationalism blooms as an industry facet, how should the 200,000 families currently growing cannabis be protected?
DOPE 

  • Concerns remain over the early drafts of the Senate legislation, particularly regulatory sections that are friendly to big business. 
  • Activists would like to see their nation avoid the seed-to-stem government-control system popular in the U.S.

Quick Hit

  1. In the latest Cannabitch column, Jackie Bryant wakes up in Mendocino County and learns that where there's fire there's smoke.
    WeedWeek

4 A LANDMARK WEEK FOR STIIIZY-SAN FRANCISCO

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The City's first Latina dispensary owner opened a shop in Union Square. It's a Stiiizy store. Meanwhile, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union announced the ratification of "an industry leading union contract with 100% of workers voting yes." That happened at Stiiizy's s store in the Mission District.
KTVU/MJ Biz Daily

  • Salary increases averaging $3 per hour over the life of the contract is the agreement's highlight. Also included: A "pathway to full-time work," employer-provided healthcare, and a retirement savings account, sponsored by employers. UFCW 5 represents hundreds of Bay Area legal weed workers. 
  • Cindy De La Vega grew up in San Francisco's Sunnyvale housing projects, according to the video report. She said she hopes fulfilling this "lifelong dream" can inspire other women. 

Quick Hit

  1. The Stiiizy Mission development comes on the heels of labor wins in Illinois and Massachusetts. The UFCW has organized 10,000 American cannabis workers.
    WeedWeek

5 WHAT’S NOT TO TRUST ABOUT A CANNABIS INFLUENCER?

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Photo by Boram Kim on Unsplash

If you're a Mary Jane traditionalist—best recognized by your penchant for calling cannabis "Mary Jane"—you're most likely threatened by the new wave of influencers capitalizing on their association with the plant. The nerve!

Where was this outrage when Tommy Chong and Martha Stewart started pimpin' the plant?
East Bay Express

  • Marijuana Business Association executive director David Rheins referred to social media as "payola," calling the social media influence paradigm "a bullshit marketing thing that people pay into." 
  • While influencers such as Koala Puffs explain their work is null without authenticity, columnist Dan Mitchell points out that these new players are paid to pass along marketing messages in the manner of human billboards.

Quick Hit

  1. Dosist is one of three U.S. cannabis brands making a name for themselves on the Canadian market.
    Technical420

6 FRESNO KOSHER WEED: ISRAELI GOOD!

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Photo by Tanner Mardis on UnSplash

Rabbi Levy Zirkind runs Central California Kosher, a Fresno-based kashrut whose Cali Kosher cultivated cannabis isn't merely "Cali kosher," it's certified
The Jewish News of Northern California

  • Cali Kosher products are sold at approximately 300 California retail stores, predominately in the Bay Area. Last week the brand opened its first storefront operation in Patterson, 15 miles outside of Modesto.
  • “We comply with a strict policy of kosher laws that include some of the highest standards of purity and quality,” said Cali Kosher's Darron Silva, 36 and not Jewish. The farm is inspected by a rabbi. 

Quick Hit

  1. California operators Native Network Consulting and CannaNative are a couple of 100 Native American cannabis companies that might benefit from your support.
    Emerald

7 ALL ‘JUSTICE JOINTS’ PROCEEDS GO TO SOCIAL JUSTICE CAUSES

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Photo by Lan Nguyen on Unsplash

In something like a topsy-turvy arms race in which cannabis operations try to outdo each other's stances against social inequality, Canndescent this week announced its plans for Justice Joints

By earmarking all product proceeds for social-justice causes, the effort puts Canndescent in the social-repair conversation with vanguard leaders such as Eaze and the state
Forbes

  • In a press release, the Southern California company said all of the product's earnings will go toward "fostering the participation and ownership of BIPOC communities within the cannabis industry and to prisoner release, expungement and reentry programs for those convicted of nonviolent cannabis offenses."

Quick Hit

  1. Al Harrington's company Viola has begun an incubator. Its stated aim is to create 10,000 jobs through a foundation of sales, marketing and fundraising support.
    Benzinga

8 YOU HAVE TIL SUNDAY TO SCREEN ‘WEED & WINE’

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Rebecca Richman Cohen's intercontinental documentary Weed & Wine is screening as part of the Mill Valley Film Festival until Sunday. The director's exploration of difficulties faced by French and Emerald Empire farmers reveals shared challenges.
SF Weekly

  • Cohen intersperses the family narratives of Aurélien Thibon-Macagno, the vintner pictured above, and legendary Humboldt cultivator Kevin Jodrey.
  • While Jodrey negotiates adult-use legalization, the Thibon family faces down difficulties brought about by climate change. 

Quick Hit

  1. Educator Curt Robbins cites a number of peer-reviewed papers in his serious dive into the effects of cannabis on fibromyalgia.
    Vegas Cannabis Magazine

9 TIKTOK STAR WEIGHS IN ON WEED

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Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

Nathan Apodaca is the reason "Dreams" has reemerged in TV ads about 45 years after hitting number one and why Stevie Nicks documentaries are suddenly showing up in your Neflix queue. The TikTok sensation let everyone know his feelings about weed without an utterance on the matter.

Having said that, here are some of Apodaca's utterances on the mighty Mary Jane.
High Times

  • Social media's latest reanimator—recently paid homage by Cheech and Chong—is based in Idaho, where THC is illegal. “We are moving in the right steps, and hopefully [soon], we will become a green state,” Apodaca says. “We’re actually surrounded by green states, so I don’t see why [not]. That way, we can just color this whole map green. Hopefully in 2020 or after, we can just move forward and legalize it worldwide.”

    Quick Hit

  1. Kristen Bell, the gossip girl from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, is in a good place with her freshly launched CBD skin-care brand.
    Allure