- “States require licenses to grow and sell the drug—opening the possibility for public officials to become susceptible to bribes in exchange for those licenses,” a bureau official said. “The corruption is more prevalent in western states where the licensing is decentralized—meaning the level of corruption can span from the highest to the lowest level of public officials.”
- NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said, “As awkward as it feels to sort of side with the FBI, it is imperative that states ensure the licensing for cannabis businesses is an open and fair process... “Cronyism, corruption, and corporate takeovers are not unavoidable side effects of legalizing marijuana and they should be rooted out immediately,”
- National Cannabis Industry Association spokesman Morgan Fox said, “An easy way to avoid corruption becoming an issue is to get rid of arbitrary license caps and lower the barriers of entry for the industry,” Fox said. “Not only would this make it easier for small businesses and people from marginalized communities to enter the industry, but it stops licenses from being treated as limited commodities."
Also, don’t miss this BONUS episode of the WeedWeek Podcast: Donny and I talk marijuana manners with Lizzie Post, author of the new book Higher Etiquette.
Unlike every other state to legalize REC, Illinois passed a 600+-page cannabis law at the time it legalized, and it's causing problems for some of the state's largest players.
Crain's Chicago Business
- Cannabis companies are scouting some of the most expensive real estate in Chicago, including along the Magnificent Mile.
- Chicago-based Cresco Labs plans to open 50 of its Sunnyside brand dispensaries across 11 states.
Chain Store Age
- Libertarian-leaning Reason argues cannabis businesses shouldn't have to demonstrate capital assets to win licenses, as some states require.
- High Times is starting the Clio Cannabis awards which will honor achievements in cannabis marketing.
Acreage Holdings CEO Kevin Murphy predicts Congress will pass cannabis banking reform this year.
- “Conservative Republicans are all about safety and they’re all about taking cash out of the system,” Murphy said.
- American Banker explains why key Senate Republicans aren't sold on cannabis banking.
- Former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner is on the Acreage Board. In WeedWeek I recently asked if Boehner is good for weed.
Murphy is less bullish on the States Act bill which would protect state legal cannabis businesses from federal interference. He doesn't think anything similar will pass before 2021.
Related: Bloomberg profiles Dan Murphy, a conservative cannabis lobbyist. “If we had ten Don’s, cannabis would be legal by now,” NCIA lobbyist and fellow Republican Michael Correia said.
The American Bar Association says states should be able to set their own marijuana laws.
- Canadian MED company Tilray reported a loss of $17.9M, more than analysts anticipated. While cannabis investors are increasingly concerned on profitability, Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy said, "You’d be constraining yourself if you were focused on profitability at this point.”
- One analyst called Tilray's quarter a "disaster" and advised avoiding the stock "until industry rationalization occurs."
- MarketWatch calls unprofitable early acquisitions a "time bomb" on many of the largest Canadian companies' balance sheets.
- At New Cannabis Ventures, Alan Brochstein explains why he's still not a fan of cannabis exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Thank you to our Patreon supporters!
CEO, Critical Mind Inc., Adelanto CA Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board member, Adelanto Growers Association
Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise! criticalmindinc.com
Click here to promote your brand on WeedWeek for only $100/month.
- Diamond CBD parent company Pot Network Holdings said its tests didn't turn up any abnormalities but it will continue to investigate.
- “People are taking these products in good faith, because they believe somebody is overseeing the quality of these products,” forensic toxicologist Michelle Peace said. “But there’s basically nobody.”
- Don't miss this wild story in Bloomberg Law about America's secret drug war.
Dozens of young people have been hospitalized across the country for severe respiratory problems after vaping cannabis or nicotine.
- "Most of the patients were having difficulty breathing when they arrived at the hospital. Some patients also reported chest pain, vomiting and other ailments. The cases have ranged in severity, with some patients suffering severe lung damage that required weeks of treatment in the intensive care units."
- Officials aren't sure whether vaping caused the problems and if it did what ingredient of the cartridges was involved.
- The FDA is also studying a possible link between e-cigarettes and seizures.
Illegal vape cartridges tainted with a potentially deadly lung toxin have hospitalized seven with pneumonia-like symptoms in Hanford, Calif.
- Young people who vape more are more likely to use cannabis, a study found.
Seven years after legalization, Colorado's illicit market is thriving. Suburban Denver prosecutor George Brauchler said, “I’ve only been doing this for 25 years and I have never seen the black market as robust and as complicated and as expertly cultivated as this one right now.”
In the Washington Post, my friend Maura Judkis visits West Hollywood's first cannabis restaurant.
- While various legal issues remain, Lowell Farms Cannabis Cafe, which opens soon, has "a lounge to smoke cannabis and a restaurant. Guests who order food and cannabis will receive separate bills," a plan approved by West Hollywood.
- It won't serve infused foods.
- Eater: The menu includes grilled peaches and burrata, a fried chicken sandwich, crispy Brussels sprouts, and white bean hummus with crudités. Drummer also built a massive dessert platter with candied bacon, caramel popcorn with Thai chili almonds, peanut butter cookies, sweet potato beignets, crème brûlée, homemade s’mores, and an ice cream sandwich.
Lowell CEO David Elias will join us for a taping of the WeedWeek podcast at our upcoming Recharge event. Contact Ellen@weedweek.net to request an invitation.
Scientists are studying whether MDMA in combination with psychotherapy can help patients with severe non-responsive forms of PTSD.
The story describes the treatment thus:
"Tipton was given a dose of pure MDMA. Then she lay down in a quiet room with two specially-trained psychotherapists, one woman and one man.
"They sat next to Tipton as she recalled some of her deepest traumas, like discovering her mother's body after a murder-suicide.
"In the embrace of MDMA," as she describes it, Tipton could revisit this moment without the usual terror and panic.
"I was able to find such empathy for myself. I realized how much I was thinking this was my fault," she says."
- MDMA therapy is currently in late stage clinical trials. It has been given "breakthrough therapy" status, a kind of fast track program at the FDA.
The great N.Y. Times sportswriter John Branch profiles UFC fighter Nate Diaz:
"U.F.C. brands itself as the counterculture edge of the sports world: brash, bloody and unscripted. But as mixed martial arts have bulled into the mainstream, Diaz remains a reliable mutineer. He is the pot-smoking, straight-talking, Stockton-representing renegade who, at the top of his career, had the gall to essentially disappear for three years.
"Diaz stands out in a tent of circus performers by doing nothing but being himself. That much was on display when he strolled into his open workout on Wednesday smoking a CBD joint from his own cannabis business, and proceeded to pass more out to fans. He had planned to stop smoking marijuana a couple of weeks before his fight against Anthony Pettis on Saturday at U.F.C. 241 in Anaheim, because the compound in weed that causes psychoactive effects, THC, remains a banned substance for which fighters are tested.