California edition / February 15, 2020
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1 AFTER TOUGH YEAR, CALI STAUS CANNAJOB LEADER

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PHOTO BY IAN SCHNEIDER ON UNSPLASH
America’s blooming love affair with cannabis has created 243,700 full-time-equivalent jobs  — along with Shiva knows how many illicit gigs — as of last month. According to a new report, 33,7000 of those jobs came in this tumultuous year. California remains the national cannabis employment leader, even as contraction made one in five Golden State jobs move off the legal-pot radar and into the gray. With 39,804 jobs created, according to the report, we lead the less drama-driven Colorado market by more than 5k gigs. Leafly
  • Generally optimistic in its 2020 California outlook, Leafly reminds that the sunsetting of our caregiver law moved 8,000 workers from legal status to non-legal.
  • While the Golden State is indeed tops in producing jobs, the growth signals lay beyond our young market’s borders. “Both Colorado and Washington posted strong 8% growth six years after their retail stores opened, indicating that legal stores are still drawing customers away from illicit sellers,” according to the report. Colorado cannabis employs one job per 165 residents while California residents working in the industry are one in 980.

Quick Hit

  1. Here’s what the state’s largest greenhouse looks like. It's from the Glasshouse Group. Forbes
  1. Before cannabis equity was even a thing, Crescent Alliance Self Help for Sickle Cell cofounder Sister Somayah Kambui was a racial justice pioneer. Targeted by law enforcement while helping sufferers of sickle-cell anemia, she was an activist before recognition became assured. Cannabis Now

2 MOJAVE TOWN GOES FULL CANNABIS RESORT

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In 2017, the tiny desert town of Tipton was bought by cannabis company American Green. Since then, the property-town's ownership has switched hands. Now the folks in charge of Tipton are called CannaWake Corporation. And CannaWake intends to make Tipton a one-stop, religion-based cannabis resort. KTNV 
  • The church's focus would be a "God of Ganja" with sermons on the benefits of pot from the pulpit.
  • "We hope that people that come out here respect and be considerate of their neighbors when they do consume out here. Not just to be willie-nillie about it," said Eslinger.
  • Tipton presently has no ganja dispensary.

Quick Hits

  1. What's this talk about there still being time for cannabis farming to take an alternative route from that of Big Ag? Los Angeles Times
  2. Cannabis is front and center in County Supervisors contests in Santa Barbara, where influence is the issue, and up in Humboldt, where candidates have been in damage assessment mode. Independent/Times/Standard
This week on the podcast
Amber Senter: Diary of a Superwoman

3 L.A. EXPUNGEMENT MOTION CLEARS 66,000 CONVICTIONS

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PHOTO BY PABLO PADILLA ON UNSPLASH
On Monday, Los Angeles County D.A. Jackie Lacey moved to expunge the records of 66,000 local cannabis convictions. Just sit with that thought for a moment. Leafly
  • Using the tool famously developed by Code for America, Lacey's motion allows for the instantaeous erasure of the convictions — 62,000 misdemeanors, 4,000 felonies.
  • Worth noting: Lacey's in a tight contest for re-election.

Quick Hits

  1. “Aiding and abetting” in traditional market production will get more tangibly risky if Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio's so-called landlord legislation passes. Sacramento Bee
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4 THE MISEDUCATION OF A UC PROF

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RENO LAITHIENNE ON UNSPLASH
A professor at the University of California, San Francisco might face discipline for failing to disclose a business relationship with Sacramento dispensary kingpin Andrey Kukushkin, who is looking at federal charges for campaign finance violations. The undisclosed association matters, because when you get in bed with Kukushkin you get into bed with everyone who's been there before. Sacramento Bee
  • Urology professor and federal Veteran's Administration researcher Dr. Rajvir Dahiya is also chairman of the Defense Department’s medical research program in prostate, breast and ovarian cancer.
  • A spokesperson for the university called Dahiya's investment in a Kukushkin-associated business called Oasis Venture LLC "a clear violation. "

5 PLANS TO LET THE POT-CONVICTED BECOME INSURANCE PRODUCERS

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Chief insurance regulator Ricardo Lara is out here saying that folks with cannabis-related convictions should be able to become licensed producers. The idea was only one of many forward-looking ideas presented by a Lara group in December. Insurance Journal
Quick Hit
  1. National Cannabis Risk Management Association Chairman Rocco Petrilli will talk about insurance next month in L.A. For now, hear Petrelli explain why external risks in the cannabis industry are especially complicated. Insurance Business Magazine
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6 REP. PANNETTA JOINS MORE, THE STATES’ CONTROL BILL

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Democratic Congressman Jimmy Panetta has joined as a co-sponsor on the decriminalization bill. Patch
  • The Marijuana Opportunity and Reform Act would allows for the "consideration" of a 5% sales tax on weed products to fund grant programs related to aiding people most negatively impacted by the War on Drugs, via job training and avenues such as mentoring. Too, MORE — widely expected to be defeated would provide funds for small cannabis businesses owned by residents impacted by over-policing to obtain funding for weed-related entrepreneurship, in addition to furthering expungement efforts. It is not expected to succeed.

Quick Hit

  1. Earlier this month Papa and Barkley were made members of the Humboldt County Chamber of Commerce. To understand what that means to the culture, one must understand the employer’s unlikely path to the chamber. North Coast Times Standard

7 LACK LICENSES? LOCAL CONTROL CURSE? POT PRICES FIRM ANYWAY

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Flower prices are holding steady, which would be fine if it weren't for the obvious outrageous demand. MJ Biz Daily
  • Business is trending upward, with some businesses running out of capacity and upping production.
  • While indoor and outdoor bud are holding steady, greenhouse: weed is up 30% from last year.

8 A LOOK INSIDE KERN COUNTY’S LOSING DISPENSARY GAME

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Now that Fresno has REC set to arrive this spring, Kern County is the last large California jurisdiction to not allow even MED. And of course that hasn't stopped Kern enforcement from playing Whack-a-Mole with unsanctioned dispensaries. KGET
  • Kern could finally have MED coming to town. However, the March ballot will have two MED measures on it, and they’re in conflict with each other.

Quick Hit

  1. National news, too, is interested in taking the uninitiated behind the scenes at unlicensed dispensaries. NBC 

9 CORONAVIRUS COULD DISRUPT VAPE HARDWARE SUPPLY CHAIN

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Vape companies that deal with Chinese suppliers can expect to be impacted by the interruptions in hardware availablity, due to the spreading Coronavirus. MJ Biz Daily
  • Work stoppages in China are expected to affect all sectors of the cannabis industry. This includes greenhouse structures, cultivators using LED lighting, as well as packaging and extraction equipment providers.
  • Cloudious9 CEO Richard Huang said the cannabis vape industry is at its core a hardware business and that nearly all vaporizers, vape cartridges and batteries are manufactured in China.

10 MILK LIKE WEED

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Right on the heels of Joaquin Phoenix riding hard and public for veganism, California Milk Advisory Board has mounted a P.R. effort that piggybacks on the popularity of dispensaries. And we've found a writer who's fairly seething about that. Ganjapreneur
  • "It’s clear that although the marketing agency thought through many details of this pop-up shop, their execution is beyond tone-deaf to a fledgling industry going through its own growing pains."

Quick Hit

  1. State Democrats have been asked by three major unions to exclude the California Cannabis Industry Association from future political operations. The reasons derive from an "anti-union piece of literature" circulated among the CCIA membership. MJ Biz Daily