California edition / June 13, 2020
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2 STATE FIRES OPENING SALVOS IN DELIVERY SUIT

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A brief filed in Fresno Superior Court on Monday hints at fireworks to come in the lawsuit aimed at overturning the policy allowing statewide marijuana deliveries. The trial, initially set for April, is set to begin July 16.
MJ Biz Daily

  • Based on hypothetical conflicts between  state and local laws, the state argues that local law enforcement powers don't "extend to the point of preventing private individuals from ordering any legal product for delivery." The state also argues that Proposition 64 and MAUCRSA condone statewide delivery.
  • Legal bud in California could come crashing down if the court sides with local jurisdictions on this matter.  

3 THE METRC ROAD TWISTS, THEN TURNS

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The era of seed-to-sale tracking (i.e., METRC) remains a difficult adjustment for many of the Emerald Empire pros whose survival once hinged on the ability to grow and sell weed on the super-mega down-low. 

Amid pandemic conditions and across the supply chain, here is what that adaptation looks like.
Redheaded Blackbelt

  • How cannabis goods legally move from one version to another would be considered comically complicated were so many local growers not drowned in this bureaucracy. A "simplified" version is covered here. Grab a coffee, it's not short.
  • Because distribution companies tend to link business transactions  better than anyone, Emerald Empire "distro" offers a pure take. Many farmers still lack compliance necessities such as printers. Antiquated and quirky, the chaos of these hold0ver approaches echo throughout the supply chain.
  • The more successful have simply “started nerding out," accepting that track-and-trace won't be splitting this season or next

    Quick Hit

    1. How does a businesswoman undertake expansion in a time of intense uphill? Ask Plantacia's Ahn Solis, as she's right in the middle of that
      Green Entrepreneur

4 IS SOCIAL JUSTICE GOOD FOR BUSINESS?

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Photo by Jon Lohne

CannaCraft co-founder Dennis Hunter plays the latter role in one of 2020's most-discussed new brands, Farmer and the Felon. Hunter explains to WeedWeek's Alex Halperin CannaCraft's partnership with The Last Prisoner Project, as well as how cultivating for three decades took him to the top of California brands. Saliently, the power player discusses whether social justice can pay.
WeedWeek

  • "We really see [the brand] as, one, being a differentiation between us who have been in the industry for 30 years and a company that sees this as a way to make a quick buck," Hunter says. "Two, we think the history is entertaining and interesting. It’s also really important for people to know the part that’s not so pretty, that so many lives have been affected by the prohibition of cannabis."

5 MUSK PUBLICLY PERPLEXED BY CONVICTIONS

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GETTY IMAGES

No need to run through the range of reasons to give Elon Musk side-eye. They are myriad. Let's set those aside, as the inventor did something important on Twitter for people with cannabis convictions.
Business Insider

  • "Selling weed literally went from a major felony to essential business (open during a pandemic) in much of America & yet many are still in prison. Doesn't make sense, isn't right," he tweeted.
  • Musk's sentiments were urged on by Joe Rogan, whose influence is top flight.

Quick Hit

  1. Hey, friends who aren't black! Coming up is Juneteenth, your new American holiday. The expansive of mind might want to join Monday evening's “Juneteenth Virtuation: Black and Brown in the Psychedelic Community." 
    Instagram

6 WHEN A GLOBAL SYMPOSIUM MOVES ONLINE

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The International Cannabis Business Conference's Virtual Global Symposium happened this week. This waylaid San Francisco event turned out a bit weird. But in a suitable way.
WeedWeek

  • For the $99 price of admission, attendees received windows on COVID-19-era canna business and leading-edge insights on the moment's social-justice imperatives. The virtual meetup had been planned as a multi-days conference and trade show in San Francisco. Instead of thousands of guests and parties and dealmaking, attendees got interviews with incisive cannabis figures. 
  • Cohost Ngaio Bealum asked Ed Rosenthal about current projects and the cultivation god said, “I’m more interested in changing people’s heads than in making them rich.” To which stock analyst and founder Alan Brochstein took issue. “I have a lot of respect for Ed. But it’s OK to make money, in my opinion.”

7 KEEP PRIDE PRODUCT CLOSE IN TIMES OF STRESS

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Even before 1996's Compassionate Use Act, when the advent of MED made official the relationship between queer California and cannabis, the plant widely known as marijuana has had a storied place

Supporting LGBTQ brands feels especially righteous during this Pride month.
Benzinga 

  • Two limited-edition snacks come via Aster Farms' partnership with LGBTQ-founded  ice cream brand Coolhaus and the Sweet Flower dispensary chain: An Aster Farms Rainbow Chip pre-roll paired with Coolhaus's EnjoyMINT for All frozen dessert pint. 
  • Lowell Farms has partnered with Tuff-N-Tendergrass and Ventoso Farms for its Pride 2020 Blend; Kiva will re-release its "Proud" Camino gummies, Flow Kana is releasing Purple Cupcake, a "cross between Wedding Cake and Purple Punch," among other fun and charitable projects. 

8 DOES SANTA BARBARA NEED MORE COPS?

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In Santa Barbara County, the industry is growing exponentially. As a result, neighboring non-pot farmers are complaining about the smells, and property owners are concerned over "impacts of cannabis farm clusters."

One of the county's most traditional voices just editorialized that Santa Barbara should beef up its law enforcement
Santa Maria Times

  • So-called black market cannabis has not skipped over Santa Barbara. Because the state aims to step up its security force, this county ought to do the same, goes part of the reasoning. 

Quick Hit

  • The world of advisors, consultants and lawyers has been grappling over whether cannabis companies can deduct the costs of IRAs. Here's a tax attorney who insists that, yes, they can.
    401K Specialist 

 

9 TYSON PLANNING RANCH IN ANTIGUA

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In January entrepreneur Mike Tyson reportedly met with members of Antigua's cabinet to discuss his participation in a conference. Since the Antiguan government created the Antigua and Barbuda Medicinal Cannabis authority in 2018, the Caribbean nation has fast-tracked cannabis industry development.

Initially scheduled for April and now rescheduled for September, this conference is expected to be where the pugilist's preliminarily approved wellness center will get under way. More business is expected to follow.
CBD Testers

  • "Foreign investors are not limited in how much they can own or control when investing, and are allowed to hold the entirely of their investment." Ahem.
  • Last fall, U.K.-based Eco Equity joined the interests who've been licensed for dispensaries in the West Indies nation. Foreign investors can transfer property titles in roughly 40 days.
  • Get past the many paragraphs of backstory and you'll learn that the Antigua ranch project would feature a hotel that Tyson would buy or lease.

Quick Hits

  1. Where larger California cities have begun expunging cannabis crime convictions on a mass level, Nevada governor Steve Sisolak is offering up a resolution for blanket pardons. Cannabis sales convictions wouldn't be eligible. 
    CNN 
  2. Earlier this month the City of San Jose received a grant to study its cannabis equity strategy. The nearly $150,000 state grant ought to inform how San Jose spends its 2019 award of $560,000.
    San Jose Spotlight

10 THESE NBA BLAZERS AIN’T FROM PORTLAND

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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: John Salley attends the special screening of Netflix's "Nappily Ever After" at Harmony Gold on September 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images)

Even hardcore NBA followers have been surprised to learn that Isiah Thomas is now playing in the cannabis game. No showy NBA weed leader like Al Harrington, Thomas has his son Joshua as CMO of his CBD-focused Vesl Oils.

In a sports world where respectability politics still rule and league rules put cannabis consuming jocks at extreme financial risk, an all-timer like Thomas joining Harrington and the always weed-friendly John Salley for a Benzinga Zoom meeting made for a rare mix of roundball and bud biz talk. 
Yahoo Finance

  • Thomas, who claims not to consume THC, says his and Joshua's CBD line generated $3M in revenue over the past fiscal year and has over the month been boosted by a 35% surge in e-commerce.
  • Salley explains how his daughter Tyla turned her college tuition into seed capital for Deuces22 , a lifestyle brand. Harrington moves his conversation beyond his business expansion to its social equity initiative, Viola Cares

Quick Hit

  1. On Friday, the unlikely commercial reach of Staten Island's Wu Tang Clan extended even further, as four of Method Man's strains became available in California
    New York Post