California edition / August 10, 2019
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This week on the podcast
Shaleen Title: Cannabis Justice

1 CANNABIS GENERATES $458M, 2,500 JOBS FOR SANTA BARBARA

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PHOTO BY PATRICK FORE ON UNSPLASH

A preliminary economic impact report from UC Santa Barbara estimates the cannabis industry generates $458M annually for the county economy. The Economic Forecast Project indicates that weed's financial contributions can reach far beyond filling local tax coffers.
Coastal View

  • Growers spend $785,000 per acre on local goods and services, including consulting fees, payroll, and taxes. Yearly, Santa Barbara’s 156 acres of legal grows incur $122M million in expenses.
  • Annually, the average grow employs 16 people, each with an average salary of $65,000. The average payroll cost per acre is nearly $1M.
  • Twenty-five hundred cannabis jobs in Santa Barbara County bring $161M in employee income. Also, the industry “directly supports an additional 2,400 jobs through spending in the local economy and 1,100 indirectly.” The contributions come in the form of supplier and employer activities. 
  • Growers, according to the UC report, cover 51% of their expenses locally.

Quick Hit

  1. Qualifying patients in Berkeley can get MED for free. And marijuana card fees can be waived or even cancelled if one’s income is low enough. These are just some of ways that the poor can more easily access weed.
    WeedMaps

2 LEGALIZATION BRINGS RISE IN CALI-CANADIAN DEALS

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COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES

Since legalization hit the The Golden State and Canada, hundreds of millions of dollars have been exchanged between California companies and their analogues up north. And the numbers are growing. Until now, most of these deals have gone unannounced, we could only speculate on the volume of businesshow much business has was being done. A summer report from the Canadian Securities Exchange offers benchmark information.
MJ Biz

Until now, most of these deals have gone unannounced, we could only speculate on the volume of business. A summer report from the Canadian Securities Exchange offers benchmark information.
MJ Biz

  • In the first half of 2019, California companies landed 17% of the $878M transacted between companies listed on the the CSE and American companies. Through 19 financing deals, companies here raised $218M through June.
  • One deal of note was Toronto-based DionyMed's acquisition of cultivation, retail, manufacturing, distribution and delivery properties from MM Esparza 2. The deal paid the Southern California company $13M, plus $6M in stock. 
  • California is the market with a higher ceiling. Analysis from MGO/Ello Alliance found that this year about 20 times more venture capital is being invested in the U.S. than in Canada, $1.2B to $60.5M.
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3 MEXICANS TO COLLABORATE WITH POLS ON REFORM

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PHOTO BY ANA ROJAS ON UNSPLASH

In 2018, Mexico ruled weed prohibition unconstitutional. Next week the Senate of that nation will hold public hearings on five different facets of cannabis legalization: public health, human rights, addiction, underage consumption, and the development of medicines from the drug.  Marijuana Moment

  • More than 10 reform bills are under consideration. The legislation most widely expected to pass was introduced by Secretary of the Interior Oldga Sanchez Cordero.
  • Through Thursday citizens can register online to attend the hearings. 

5 AN EXPUNGEMENT CLINC COMES TO THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

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The National Diversity & Inclusion Cannabis Alliance (NDICA) has a free ecworkshop set for Saturday at the Canoga Park Employment Development office.
NDICA

6 NEWSOM ADVISOR GRILLED ON SAN DIEGO PODCAST

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PHOTO BY ALEX HU ON UNSPLASH

WeedWeek admires the work of senior Capitol adviser Nicole Elliott, from her broadly revered work as San Francisco’s top cannabis regulator to her willingness to face tough questions from at-best confused audiences all around the state. But last weekend an Elliott podcast session with a couple of surly and spottily-informed San Diego newspapermen made us concerned for her as well.
San Diego Union-Tribune/SoundCloud

  • The curiously-unnamed podcast team first took Elliott to task for “The Wack-a-Mole of shutting down these shops,” arguing that targeting landlords works better. She countered by outlining resources and measures the state deployed as a means to slow down illicit cannabis. “Thoughtful enforcement," she told them, is only part of a holistic plan. 
  • The nearly-21-minute interview additionally touches on Weedmaps advertising complaints and delivery services, which operate with relative freedom, despite most counties opposing marijuana sales. “Do you accept the interpretation that delivery services should be allowed to go anywhere?” As with Weedmaps, Elliott couldn’t comment in specifics. “Just because yo chosen not to participate in the regulated market doesn’t lead to a lack of unregulated activity in your jurisdiction."
  • Correction: Off-air -- and by off-air we mean on Twitter -- Elliot corrected an item in last week's newsletter that said the state's social equity grants would be awarded next May. In fact the grants may be as late as the end of June, but can go out earlier. She added that the Governor's budget for equity grants has been raised by $30M. We regret the error.

7 HOW DOES CANNABIS AFFECT WORKPLACE RIGHTS?

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PHOTO BY MIMI THIAN ON UNSPLASH

"Your Legal Rights" host Jeff Hayden, a criminal law specialist, on Tuesday had labor advisor Jonathan Judge and Danielle Lucido examine how legalization law and workplace law intersect. 
KALW

  • Hayden asked what an employees rights would be if the person attended a cannabis conference and posted non-consumption photos on Facebook, and then a co-worker reported the posting to management? Judge answered that, while each posted picture is its own thing, state labor rules on off-duty conduct ought to protect the targeted employee’s position. Whether the posting can lawfully block promotion opportunities is a more complicated question.
  • Random tests here are generally limited to workers with safety concerns. (Think construction workers and ambulance drivers.) “Outside of that, you aren’t going to get a lot of drug testing,” Judge said.

QUICK HIT

  1. Moe Greens is an old-school San Francisco space with a 21st-century twist: Only medicated food and drink is sold, but you can bring your regular old pizza and sandwiches into its Playground, Vault, and High Roller rooms. Each offers a different consumption experience.
    MG Retailer

8 COPS & TROOPS ROLL OUT HUMBOLDT’S WEEK OF WARRANTS

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COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES

Humboldt County has about 10,000 grows. Less than a third are legal. This week the county’s Marijuana Eradication Team joined up with National Guard troops as part of a continuing effort to make plants that conform the only plants in the state for sale. They went from grow to grow with search warrants.
North Coast Journal

  • In executing five searches on August 5, according to the Sheriff’s Office, the dual forces served four search warrants that led to the taking of 3,100 plants from 13 greenhouses.
  • One grower who expressed uncertainty over whether a convoy of law enforcement vehicles might be coming for his property. “We were in a gray area,” he said. “The state temp license had expired but the property has valid county permits. The state is slow."

9 PR UNRAVELING IS LATEST MEDMEN CHIN SCRATCHER

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COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES

In March, Culver-City-based multi-state operator MedMen connected with the public relations firm MWWPR about overseeing a consumer P.R. account. Despite reservations, the decades-old firm bid for Med Men’s business and was subsequently awarded the work in June. Two weeks later, the cannabis company killed the deal.  
PR Week

  • MWWPR won the account on June 12. According to PR Week, MWWPR flew staffers to L.A. for meetings with their new client’s execs, as a means of outlining plans. The cancellation followed shortly after.
  • Michael Kemper, the PR company’s CEO said, “In my 32 years of CEO of MWWPR, this was clearly one of the more dishonest and odd processes we have experienced.”
  • Azione, the Los Angeles company that previously handled Med Men’s consumer P.R., had not bid on the job. Medmen representatives didn’t respond to PR Week’s requests for comment.