WeedWeek edition / December 23, 2019
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WeedWeek will not publish on December 30, 2019.

2 OH CRAPO! BANKING BILL RUNS AGROUND

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JOSHUA ROBERTS/GETTY IMAGES
The industry will yield to Senator Buzzkill

Senate Banking Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said he opposes the cannabis banking bill passed by the House. Instead he proposed changes likely to be non-starters for the industry.
Marijuana Moment

On the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue, the Trump administration proposed denying asylum to misdemeanor drug offenders, except one time offenders possessing less than 30g of marijuana.
Marijuana Moment

Quick Hit

  1. Tom Angell runs through marijuana's 10 biggest victories of 2019.
    Forbes

3 REC ARRIVES IN CHICAGO

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PHOTO BY NEAL KHARAWALA ON UNSPLASH

Illinois REC sales begin on new year's day.

The run-up to legalization has been confusing, the Chicago Tribune editorializes.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) wants to create a city-owned cannabis co-op which aspiring entrepreneurs could buy into.
Chicago Tribune

Quick Hit

  1. Ohio officials want to tighten the rules surrounding transfers in MED business ownership.
    Cincinnati.com
This week on the podcast
Candace Gingrich Steps Into the Sunlight
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4 CALIFORNIA WEIGHS POTENCY TAX

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PHOTO BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY ON UNSPLASH

With California businesses desperate for a tax cut, a plan by the Legislative Analyst's Office proposed replacing the state's current policy with a tiered system based on potency and product types.
AP

  • Though a comprehensive plan has not been developed, the industry seemed open to the idea. State Assemblyman Ron Bonta, who has long been involved in cannabis issues, said the proposal "delivers a clear message that the status quo is not working."
  • The office argued taxing more potent products at a higher rate could reduce harmful use. �WW California has more.
  • See the office's report here.

In another attempt to curtail the illicit market, California consumers can now scan a QR code to determine if a dispensary is licensed.
L.A. Times

Quick Hit

  1. San Francisco awarded its first equity licenses.
    S.F. Chronicle

5 STATE LEGALIZATION ROUND UP

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PHOTO BY ZAC NIELSON ON UNSPLASH

The list of states where REC legalization could be in play next year is shaping up. Among them:

6 INVESTORS SOUR ON POT (FOR NOW)

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PHOTO BY BECCA ON UNSPLASH
Not a happy bear

"No one wants to invest in [cannabis] now," a Canadian marketing professor told the New York Times.

While pot stocks have had a dismal year, isn't the point of investing to buy low? This would seem to be especially true when demand keeps growing. (Nothing in WeedWeek should be considered investing advice.)

  • Tilray, the Canadian MED company that was amog the hottest pot stocks of 2018, saw its shares dip below their July 2018 IPO price for the first time. The stock price is down about 90% from its high of almost $150 in September 2018.
    Business Insider
  • MED and CBD company Green Growth Brands dropped its $310M all-stock bid to acquire vertically integrated MSO Moxie Holdings.
    Hemp Industry Daily
  • A Tennessee man has hit vertically-integrated Florida company Trulieve with a federal lawsuit alleging it illegally sent unsolicited text message promotions. The company declined to comment.
    Tampa Business Journal

Business Insider asked five VCs where they see opportunity in 2020.

Quick Hits

  1. For the fifth straight year, Colorado dispensaries will almost certainly rack up record sales in 2019.
    Westword
  2. For the first time, the EPA approved pesticides for hemp in time for 2020 planting.
    Marijuana Moment
  3. AdWeek named MedMen's "The New Normal" one of the best ads of the year.

7 COULD LEAD BE THE NEXT VAPE CRISIS?

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PHOTO BY LUTHER BOTTRILL ON UNSPLASH

With THC vapes returning to store shelves in Massachusetts, regulators found a number of licensed products contained "impermissable levels of lead." And they named names.
Boston Globe

  • None of the tested samples contained vitamin E acetate, the additive linked to VAPI.

Leafly says legal vapes are 1,000% safer than illegal vapes.

8 LEGALIZATION 2.0 ARRIVES UP NORTH

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PHOTO BY MICHELLE TSANG ON UNSPLASH
Mmmm, brownies

The rollout of edibles, drinkables, vapes and other manufactured products known as Legalization 2.0 began in Canada. It will likely be months before they are widely available. 🍁WW Canada has all the deets.

Quick Hit

  1. The Washington Post found CBD products on Amazon, despite the marketplace's ban on them.

9 NEWBORN’S DEATH CAUSED BY “MARIJUANA TOXICITY”

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PHOTO BY ADITYA ROMANSA ON UNSPLASH

A study found that an 11-day old baby girl died from "acute marijuana toxicity." This is perhaps the first time a marijuana overdose has directly killed a person.
PubMed

  • Researchers concluded: "This case is unique in that other possible causes of death can be eliminated. With growing use of marijuana by pregnant women and increases in newborn drug screening of umbilical cord homogenate, more cases of neonatal death due to acute marijuana toxicity could be discovered."
  • MedPage Today examines the case.

10 HOLIDAY FUN

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I just discovered "Little Dealer Boy," a not-to-miss Christmas duet by Willie Nelson and Stephen Colbert.

Going into the 2020, Humboldt County growers will have reason to strut. They claimed 12 of the top 20 strains at the Emerald Cup.
Redheaded Blackbelt

Whatever you're celebrating, WeedWeek wishes you a happy, healthy holiday season. We'll see you in 2020.