California edition / November 13, 2020
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1 ALAS LOCAL CORRUPTION, WE’VE KNOWN YE WELL

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Subscribers to this newsletter know that the Oct. 28 FBI searches of LA-area politicians are the tip of our state's ultra-sketchy iceberg. Over the past year, we've shown you corruption investigations in the Capital, in locales infamous for corruption and in new rural weed hubs.

All of that before we get to that local politician who's not with us anymore.
Los Angeles Times 

  • California counties where bribery charges have been filed include Alameda, San Bernardino, Humboldt and Siskiyou counties.
  • The offices of Baldwin Park's city attorney were raided. Officials have expressed surprise. "Everything that’s done in the city of Baldwin Park, including by me, is aboveboard," said Mayor Manuel Lozano.
  • Baldwin Park bans retail sales of cannabis but allows local manufacturing, distribution and laboratory testing of the drug. 

Quick Hits

  1. The California Delivery Association, the messenger and courier trade association, thinks the League of Cities lawsuit to stop cannabis delivery is troubling.
    Sacramento Business Journal
  2. As of Friday, 10 days after the election, the vote on whether to allow cannabis sales in Encinitas—population 62,000—somehow remained too close to call
    Coast News Group
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2 DOGGED ADVOCATES IN MEXICO LOOK TO FINESSE CANNA LAW

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Photo by Dennis Schrader on Unsplash

Mexican activists have maintained an eagle-eyed focus on getting a progressive cannabis law into place, despite repeated Senate delays. Now, about one month out from seeing a final draft, their tenacity is being further tested
Washington Post/WeedWeek

  • "The truth is we’re just a few weeks away from the vote and we don’t know what’s going to happen," said Julio Salazar, an advocate with Mexico United Against Crime.
  • As presently written, the law would limit the number of plants an individual can own to six. Retail consumers would have to get licensed, a requirement critics insist might fuel an illicit market.
  • Too: Presently, Mexico's rule requires that operators follow a track-and-trace program like our own. Advocates say this would create hardship for  rural growers.

Quick Hit

  1. In December San Francisco's Board of Supervisors Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee will vote on whether to ban cigarette and pot smoke from apartments. This brilliant notion comes courtesy of termed-out District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee.
    SFist

3 WILDFIRE VICTIMS FORCED TO COPE WITHOUT COVERAGE

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Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

In August the small, family-owned Sweet Creek Farm was badly damaged in the Walbridge Fire. The Russian River grow is just one of the devastated operations being asked to bounce back without the benefit of insurance.
Cronkite News

  • Part of the LNU Lightning Complex fires, the Walbridge fire burned 70% of Sweet Creek Farm's crop and a house on the property. 
  • Cannabis growers suffer from putting disproportionate capital into licensing and compliance when crop insurance and access to banking services is what's needed.
  • Only 5% of hemp crops are insured.

4 LOOK FOR A MORE ACT VOTE BEFORE BIDEN TAKES OFFICE

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Courtesy of Getty Images

The MORE Act is set for a vote during Congress's lame duck period. Among many fixes, the bill would remove weed from the Controlled Substances Act's schedules and expunge related criminal convictions. Make America Like California Again!

In July, while still the junior senator from California, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris introduced the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. If Harris wasn't on the Presidential ticket, the upcoming vote might not be a conversation.

Praise Jah for constructive cops. 
WeedWeek

  • On Monday Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) announced the bill would be brought to the floor of Congress. Hoyer didn't offer a specific timeline for voting.
  • In addition to de-scheduling weed and expunging records, it would allocate tax revenue to help disadvantaged communities, as well as open  cannabis research avenues, and it would allow Veterans Administration physicians to recommend MED.
  • A vote had been planned for September but was shelved so Congress  could focus on COVID relief. There is, at press time, no COVID relief bill.

Quick Hit

  1. Tommy Chong insists the Trump storyline cannot avoid a prison setting. Hear him out; dude's been ahead of the curve on so many things. 
    Celeb Stoner

5 U.S. REGULATORS TO COMBINE LIKE A BUREAUCRATIC JUSTICE LEAGUE

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

The Cannabis Regulators Association is a group of regulators from 19 states who on Thursday announced they have come together to promote regulatory certainty, identify and develop best practices, and "create model policies that safeguard public health and safety."
WeedWeek

  • The organization formed after five new markets approved legalization measures on Nov. 3. Norman Birenbaum, New York's Director of Cannabis Programs is CANNRA’s inaugural president, for reasons as of yet unexplained.
  • Original member regulators represent Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington. California isn't a CANNRA member.

Quick Hit

  1. "Are you familiar with risks of consuming illicit cannabis?" is the most thought-provoking question in the Bureau of Cannabis Control‘s new, one-page customer survey.
    Bureau of Cannabis Control

6 IN NAPA, VINTNERS SEEK TO AVOID BECOMING SANTA BARBARA

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Marvin L on Unsplash

NorCal pot columnist Dan Mitchell describes the industries of wine and bud as frenemies. The two sometimes compete for resources in agricultural regions, even as its masters chill together at backyard parties.

But with market and consumer preferences up in the air, "vintners don’t know what to make of the pot people." The annual Wine & Weed Symposium, held recently in Healdsburg, offered some insights on why the two have not evolved together.
San Jose Inside

  • Fundamentally, vintners in Napa worry cannabis could damage the regional brand.
  • Unlike Santa Barbara, Napa County has resisted cannabis, with cultivation prohibited and retail limited to just a few shops. Cory Beck, CEO and chief winemaker for The Family Coppola, says "the community feels like it just kind of got shoved on them." 

Quick Hit

  1. In Canada, cannabis is treated more as an industrial product than as agriculture, and that could be the reason Americans have three alcoholic seltzer products and no national alcohol-brew brands.
    Wine-Searcher 

7 AFTER OREGON ‘SHROOMS WIN, SKY’S THE PSYCHEDELIC LIMIT

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Having treated Election Day like Coming Out Day and just off its win in Oregon, the movement to deregulate consciousness is positioned to make psychedelics the widely available medicine Californians deserve.
Vanity Fair/Twitter

  • California State Senator Scott Weiner (D) —inspired by Oregon's vote to allow psilocybin as therapy—announced on Tuesday that he'll introduce legislation to decriminalize psychedelic drugs, once the Legislature reconvenes. 
  • Assemblymembers Evan Low(D) and Sydney Kamlager (D) will join Weiner in what he called "an important step toward a more rational, science-based, and public-health-focused approach to drugs."
  • Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, called the Oregon therapeutic approach a new quick-fix psychiatric model with parallels to orthopedics. "You go in, you replace a hip and establish functioning, and you expect the person to be enduringly better, if it works." 

Quick Hit

  1. Oregon legalized psilocybin in a therapeutic setting. California is capable of creating a better law, but the best avenue won't be a ballot initiative. 
    Sacramento Bee

8 THE NUMBERS INSIDE L.A.’S BLACK AND BROWN BUSTS

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(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

For yet another year, Blacks and Latinos sit atop the leaderboard of Angelenos getting busted over weed.
L.A. Taco

  • Three of four citizens arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department on suspicion of cannabis-related offenses were Black or Latino. Hundreds of these busts are for working in unlicensed dispensaries.
  • Also, people who smoke weed on the street get busted. Although not entirely why Black and Brown people are disproportionately busted for public consumption, public housing's smoking prohibitions are likely a factor.
    Cannabis Law Group
  • An L.A. Taco count of cannabis-related arrest revealed more than 900 over the total reported in 2019. Those unlicensed dispensary busts went uncounted.

9 S.F. STRIVING TO RECOVER ITS DISPENSARY PIONEER LUSTER

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Photo by Ramille Soares on Unsplash

MED started in San Francisco, and growth since 1996 has been comparatively stagnant. However, yields from a four-year-old ordinance have begun to spur growth.

Have the changes arrived too late?
MJ Biz Daily

  • The 2016 revamp brought a new system that both issues licenses for legacy retailers and attempts to bring in social-equity applicants and incubators.
  • San Francisco administration has been sluggish. As of last month there were 380 license applications, and only 139 processed.

Quick Hit

  1. An audit by Sacramento's mayor revealed that half of the city's storefront dispensaries have changed hands since 2009, despite a law prohibiting such movement. 
    Sacramento Bee

10 A QUICK, DEEP DIP INTO THE HISTORY OF BUD IN FILM

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Photo by Vitaly Sacred on Unsplash

Are you aware that 1934's Murder at the Vanities showed women smoking weed, two years before Reefer Madness was released and the Hays Code began controlling Hollywood content? That smoking weed subsequently wouldn't be depicted in film for about three decades? 

You really don't know these facts? Because ignorance is destroying America, consider watching this this two-and-a-half-minute video.
Merry Jane

  • Pre-Cheech and Chong's cinematic exploits, Easy Rider is considered the film that brought pot back to what once was widely known as The Big Screen.
  • Eighties films such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High and The Breakfast Club didn't judge cannabis use, but wildly distorted its effects.

Quick Hits

  1. On the latest episode of his podcast, Mike Tyson explains how he got around drug testing—with the help of a fake penis called the Whizzinator—to UFC "Health and Performance" czar Jeff Novitzky.
    Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson
  2. Jackie Bryant asks Cannabitch guest Rachel King, co-founder of San Diego's deluxe dessert creator Kaneh, whether edibles are the most regulated of all California weed products. King's answer may surprise you. But, also, it may not.
    Cannabitch (podcast)