California edition / October 30, 2020
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1 DOSIST SEES MAJOR TURNING POINT IN ITS FUTURE

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Publicly traded Kentucky tobacco brand Turning Point this week announced a $15M investment in the Santa Monica company Dosist. Turning point holds an option to invest $15M more within the year.
Seeking Alpha

  • The deal features an exclusive co-development and distribution agreement for a new CBD brand. Dosist's "THC-free business unit" will be Turning Point's partner.  
  • In a press release, Turning Point said the deal gives the company the option of filling a seat on Dosist's board of directors upon legalization.

Quick Hits

  1. Gwyneth Paltrow is backing a weed beverage machine and calling cannabis a "hero ingredient." 
    CNBC
  2. Ideally your ballot is already in, but here's your comprehensive voting guide to California cannabis issues, regardless.
    California NORML
  3. Last month, seven Laotian immigrants were found dead on an illicit grow in Riverside County. Law enforcement believes a message was intended.  
    Los Angeles Times
  4. One would think we'd have better things to do than focus on how MedMen is sucking.
    Technical 420
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2 EDIBLES WRONGFUL DEATH SUIT TARGETS KUSHY PUNCH

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Le’Sharia Bre’Aun Steele was a 28-year-old flight attendant from Alabama. According to a lawsuit filed in San Diego, Steele ate a Kushy Punch Tropical Punch Hybrid gummy while in town and subsequently experienced severe psychological and physiological symptoms.

Attorneys working on behalf of her estate are suing Kushy Punch
Insurance Journal

  • The suit claims that in the hours leading up to her death, Steele experienced difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, "uncontrollable movements," and other uncharacteristic behavior.
  • The lawsuit is the latest of the popular edibles brand's legal difficulties. Last month California sued Kushy Punch for the illegal manufacture of edibles. 

Quick Hit

  1. Apotheccary Brands CEO Whitney Beatty, California Cannabis Coalition President Ryan Bacchas and Minority Cannabis Business Association board member Brandon Banks are the guest judges at Thursday's Green Quest Pitch Day.
    Event Hi

3 S.D. COPS MISTAKE HEMP FOR POT, BURN IT, GET SUED

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Photo by Hadley Jin on Unsplash

After an aerial inspection showed what they believed to be a marijuana field, local and federal officers in San Diego raided Wyoming-based Agro Dynamics' facilities. Now the company is suing law enforcement for allegedly destroying more than $3M in hemp.
Hemp Industry Daily

  • SD's suit echoes a Kern County case from last fall, in which police destroyed about 3,000 pounds of hemp worth about $3.45M. The suit alleges police were informed the product was legal, yet officers destroyed the hemp regardless.

Quick Hits

  1. Operators who want to do pot business in San Bernardino now must come up with a $200,000 bond. And if the business isn't running in a year, the city takes it.
    San Bernardino Sun
  2. A Ventura County Sheriff's investigation of illegal grows in Los Padres National Park turned up about 75,000 unregistered plants, while a Humboldt County bust unearthed 12,857  illegal plants and over 127 pounds of shake. All of which was destroyed.
    MyMotherLode/Lost Coast Outpost
  3.  

4 FOR THE KIDS, NAPA MUST BRING WEED & WINE TOGETHER

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Photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash

Privately, many winemakers support legalization, an understanding that, if local wineries intend to maintain growth, they need to get some bud up in their mix. But Napa Valley is far from weed friendly.

Millennials expect cannabis, now.
Wine Searcher

  • Napa Valley Cannabis Association President Stephanie Honig—who is both director of sales and communications for Honig Vineyard & Winery—called for diversity. "Millennials see cannabis as part of their lifestyle. If we're not offering cannabis, they'll go somewhere else."
  • A primary prohibition force is Napa Valley Vintners, a trade group whose opposition is based largely on the smell of cannabis. 

Quick Hits

  1. Chris Garcia, lead curator of Berkeley's High Fidelity dispensary, gets into the details of what it's like to run a cash business, 26 minutes into the latest SF Weekly podcast.
    SF Weekly
  2. The IRS is setting up to deploy specialized pot teams with compliance as their focus. Should operators welcome them?
    WeedWeek

5 MAKING PEACE WITH BOTH SIDES OF COOKIES’ PUSS

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Photo by Mark Daynes on Unsplash

If you live in West Hollywood, you might despise Cookies. If you're in the bud biz back East, it's a godsend. A dynamic weed model, if you will. 
MJ Biz Journal

  • Citing civic complaints about Cookies' flagship store on Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood City Manager Paul Arevalo this week asked that the company's license be revoked.
  • "In a time of a global health pandemic where city resources are strained and residents are urged to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is unacceptable that one business should be permitted to cause such disruptions and havoc to the city and its residents at home on a near daily basis," Arevalo wrote.
  • Meanwhile, Cookies is having a moment in the national sun, having expanded to Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Washington and beyond. The company has been heralded for its smart, effective out-of-state partnerships. 

Quick Hit

  1. Liquor delivery firm Saucey has merged with pot distributor Emjay to form Pacific Consolidated, which bills itself as the world's biggest vice company.
    TechCrunch

6 NEW QUIM CROWDFUNDING STRATEGY IS OUTSIDE THE BOX

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Cyo Nystrom and Rachel Washtien are CEO and COO of Quim, the Bay Area makers of celebrated, cannabis-infused lubricants. Despite winning the 2018 Arcview Pitch Competition and this year's Pitchforce and SXSW Cannabis Pitch competitions, Quim struggled to gain capital.

Through Dec. 15, Nystrom and Washtein will be offering new investors a financial stake that will turn into equity or cash should the company go public.
SF Evergreen

  • Nystrom and Washtien launched the crowdfunding campaign on Sept. 15, via Republic. Fans of the brand can invest as low as $100. 
  • The campaign has so far raised $130,542, much of which comes from investors who make $75,000 to $150,000 per year.

7 YOU MIGHT BE THE MISSING PIECE TO THIS S.F. COMMISSION

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Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Representing the full cross-section of San Francisco's industry, the Cannabis Oversight Committee is a nine-person body made up of voting and non-voting members.

A resident like you could be just what that body needs to fill one of two openings. 
SF Weekly

  • Recently, the committee figured out how to prioritize the distribution of almost $5M in social-equity grant funds. 
  • Beyond guiding San Francisco's Office of Cannabis and Board of Supes, the committee brings together a spectrum of legal-market stakeholders to share their knowledge and concerns. 

Quick Hit

  1. Jackie Bryant points out that mutual aid initiatives are emerging in and around the West Coast's wokest stomping grounds.
    WeedWeek/Cannabitch

8 FIRST-TIMERS ARE DRIVING SENIORS RELIEF TREND

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A study by University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers indicates that seniors have turned to pot for its health benefits at rates previously unseen.

The research was published Oct. 7 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
UC San Diego

  • Nearly three-fifths of participants said they were using the drug for the first time.
  • "Given the prevalence of use, it may be important to incorporate evidence-backed information about cannabis use into medical school and use screening questions about cannabis as a regular part of clinic visits," said Alison Moore, MD, senior author and chief of UCSD Med's Division of Geriatrics.

Quick Hit

  1. Fullerton's city council was prepared to vote on approving five commercial cannabis licenses on October 20. Instead it kicked the can down the road.  
    OC Register

9 MEASURE Y PASSAGE COULD BE CURE FOR SONOMA DAWDLING

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Following countless delays, in August the City of Sonoma agreed to let SPARC have the first legal, tax-generating dispensary within the city, on Highway 12. Then in October Sonoma's city council paused, leaving the city with no prospective dispensary candidate.

That's where industry-sponsored Measure Y comes in. If passed on Tuesday, it will upend Sonoma zoning rules and expand local cannabiz opportunities.  
North Bay Business Journal/Pacific Sun

  • Sonoma itself has Measure X, which would let it levy 4% in taxes on gross receipts from its first storefront. The city could attempt to reissue a permit to SPARC in the future or go with another operator.

Quick Hit

  1. Nevada regulators this week granted a 90-day extension on expiring cards for trimmers, budtenders and delivery drivers, in a regulatory snag from hell.
    Nevada Current

10 WHO’S THE BEST RAPPER WITH A WEED BRAND?

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Getty Images

Warning: Here is a borderline nonsensical top-10 list, based on any manner of criteria. We include it because former street dealers going legit form a foundational 21st-century cultural trope.

If the basis for ranking here is active rapper who's doing the most in legal weed, Berner is unquestionably number one. He's not on this list though. If we're talking greatest MC who happens to have a cannabis brand, the answer is Freddie Gibbs. He's at No. 10.
Hip Hop Wired

  • Atlanta-native 2 Chainz and The Game are the top California artists listed. The latter partnered with the Green Street Agency two years back to build his Gas brand. Ranked second, 2 Chainz should be first. 
  • Caliva crony Jay-Z, who jumped into legal weed 75 seconds ago and as of yet has released zero product, has Hip Hop Wired's number one spot. In the conversation for greatest MC ever, Jay is barely in the room for branded weed talk. A solid 5 in WeedWeek California's adjusted rankings.
  • Killer Mike is inexplicably absent, in addition to Berner and Snoop. (!) While listed, Wiz Khalifa needs to be way higher.

Quick Hit

  1. The author of The Wild Kindness, a Psilocybin Odyssey, has a few survival tips within a load of her artfully-deployed words.
    Lucid News