California edition / June 26, 2020
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1 L.A.’S DRAMATIC MOVES TOWARD MARKETPLACE BALANCE

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On Tuesday the City Council of Los Angeles will vote on a series of dramatic recommendations by the Department of Cannabis Regulation. The proposals essentially would reboot the city's licensing structure, transforming the effort to achieve social equity. 
MJ Biz Daily

  • The June 16 recommendations would approve all current social-equity applicants. On Tuesday the Council also will vote to limit all new storefront retail licenses and delivery licenses to equity applicants until 2025. 
  • Also on the agenda is a proposal designed to minimize predatory practices in the social-equity program. The recommendation comes as the prominent social-equity company 4thMVMT is weathering allegations that its partnership contracts are “predatory.” Critics claim the DCR inadequately reviewed the company's contracts with program applicants.
    Los Angeles Times

Quick Hits

  1. Following up on Cannaclusive's release of the callout database, The Accountability List, co-founder Mary Pryor texted a call to action of more than a thousand words.
    Forbes
  2. The accused killers of Santa Cruz exec Tushar Atre's were to be arraigned on Friday. The four were arrested five weeks ago in coordinated actions in Burbank, Lancaster and St. Clair Shores, Michigan. 
    Iosco County News-Herald
  3. Nineteen people were arrested and more than $1M confiscated from properties in Hemet, San Jacinto, El Monte, Rialto, Rosemead, Arcadia and Calexico. Two tons of bud were also confiscated from what law- enforcement is calling a Chinese ring.
    Mercury News
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2 INDUSTRY HIRING CONTINUES TO CLIMB

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The staffing company FlowerHire reports a cannabis job surge, notable for an industry already creating positions at a record rate.
WeedWeek

  • FlowerHire CEO David Belsky says companies—emboldened by legal weed's new essential status—recently have returned to pre-COVID levels of interviewing for more senior positions. 
  • Among those in demand—beyond folks with the always-welcome skills of finance and accounting—are people with supply chain, demand-planning and forecasting experience.
  •  In 2019, the U.S. had 340,000 legal-market jobs. According to New Frontier Data, the total could grow to 743,000 by 2025. If federal legalization happens, it could be more than twice that.

3 FORMER S.D. MED FIGURE BUSTED IN MISSOURI

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A former adviser to the San Diego City Council, Adela Wisdom, is facing charges in Columbia, Missouri. Police allege that on June 18 she and her husband, Aaron Wisdom, were about to be served with a search warrant when they began “rapidly removing marijuana plants from the ground.” Her husband allegedly began lighting plants on fire.

Adela Wisdom is campaigning to represent Missouri's Third Congressional District, while Aaron is a Republican candidate for Missouri Lieutenant Governor.
KRCG

  • Adela and Aaron Wisdom were formally charged with Manufacture of a Controlled Substance, a felony, and misdemeanor Tampering With Physical Evidence in Felony Prosecution. 
  • In a Facebook post the following day, Adela Wisdom said, “No-one belongs in jail for a plant!”

Quick Hit

  1. In D.C. and around the country the validity of pot-industry contracts has been challenged. Here are some tips on the enforceability of contracts and how to protect your agreements.
    Cannabis Industry Journal

4 FROM FLOYD PROTESTS, NEW NCIA SCHOLARSHIP EMERGES

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The National Cannabis Industry Association this week launched its social- equity Scholarship Program. Among the program's benefits for applicants and license holders is a free year-long membership. 
Cannabis Dispensary Magazine

  • Says Aaron Smith, NCIA executive director: “The tragic deaths of George Floyd and so many others at the hands of police have caused a national reckoning about systemic racism and inequality in all facets of life, including the cannabis industry.” 
  • In addition to the membership, scholars will receive as many as four complimentary tickets to NCIA trade shows and a 25% discount on NCIA digital sponsorship products. Perhaps the most intriguing program component is access to the organization's monthly “mentor meetings.”
  • Applications are here
  • The announcement drew a bit of industry ire. NCIA's social media manager tweeted, “So many racist people in the cannabis industry are waking up angry and that makes me know I'm doing my job well today.”
    Twitter

Quick Hit

  1. Angela Dawson was a food writer, then she started Forty Acre Cooperative, the network of Black and socially disadvantaged farmers, envisioning that hemp could reverse the long decline of Black farming.
    Hemp Industry Daily
     

5 NEW VIDEO SERIES FOCUSES ON THE INCARCERATED

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California is far and away America's leader in expungement of cannabis convictions. But never forget that all over America people remain locked away for so-called marijuana crimes. The opening video in the Prisoners of Prohibition series will refresh your memory.
Merry Jane

  • The 16-minute premier features lawyers, activists and family members fighting the incarceration of nonviolent marijuana offenders. In the opening moments, Lauren Cesal looks into the camera and asks for the release of her father Craig Cesal, who is serving life without parole. “Fourteen years without my dad. Being 28, that's half my life,” Lauren Cesal says.

Quick Hit

  1. More states are likely to legalize next year, due to financial pressures, along with the racial-injustice imperative to reduce unnecessary police-civilian interactions, according Karen O'Keefe of the Marijuana Policy Project.
    CNN

6 GRASS VALLEY & LEMON GROVE SET FOR REC VOTES

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Motherlode, California, United States, North America

The municipalities of Grass Valley and Lemon Grove are set vote on legalization measures this week—apparently part of a wave of towns giving cannabis a second look in the wake of corona-related budget shortfalls.
The Union/San Diego Union-Tribune 

  • Following a month of behind-the-scenes administrative prep, Grass Valley's city council on Tuesday evening approved a resolution to put on the November election ballot a motion, seeking to give the city power to tax cannabis businesses.
  • A staff report said Lemon Grove could bring in $280,000 to $350,000 in tax revenue per cannabis business each year.

Quick Hit

  1. The High Times sale will bring Harvest $61.5M in stock and cash, but it's possible the deal's logistic complexities may be the transaction's most notable feature
    Phoenix Business Journal/MJ Biz Daily

7 A ONE-CLICK SOLUTION FOR WEED’S CASH PROBLEM

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Oakland merchants' solution-provider Treez has a novel approach to the cash-handling problems of dispensaries. With Treez Pay, not only is there no dispensary ATM for customers to contend with there's no digital wallet or even an app to download.
WeedWeek

  • A “one-click operation, much like PayPal or Venmo,” Treez Pay texts customers who are checking out. Where other systems demand that users enter their checking account or routing numbers, Treez Pay asks only for the login information needed to access their banking.
  • Delivery or pick-up options are available. 

Quick Hits

  1. July 7 is when state regulators stop accepting public comment on  proposed regulations for the forthcoming organic certification program.
    MJ Biz Daily
  2. Nevada's shutdown response and the shutdown of Halo’s distillate operations hub in Cathedral City, “to curtail manufacturing to preserve working capital amidst challenging market conditions due to the vape crisis,” had Halo Labs's first-quarter revenue down 49%.
    Ganjapreneur

8 SEED ACCESS IS YOUR CALIFORNIA BIRTHRIGHT

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A cannabis seed bank can help get your growing started, but do you know how to connect with one? Fortunately for you, The Golden State is your home and obtaining and maintaining seeds is no big issue.
Benzinga

  • Some seed banks are collectively sourced, others are proprietary. Regardless, California seed banks concentrate in the cannabis-heavy Humboldt/Trinity county areas, where selections include Grower's Choice Cannabis Seeds.
  • Or you can find seeds right here

9 IT’S HEALTHY TO EXPRESS YOUR BANKING ANGER

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Unless your business has connected with one of those agile, small banks or credit unions brave enough to risk punishment under the feds' Controlled Substances Act, you're predictably upset over your payment and banking options.
Payments Journal

  • According to Experian, 70% of consumers prefer spending with a card over cash.
  • In a 2019 white paper called The Public Benefits of Banking Cannabis Businesses the American Banking association says, “Cannabis businesses are increasingly targeted by criminals due to the vast amounts of cash they handle.” Nothing in recent events has changed that take. 

10 ‘THE ART OF WEED BUTTER’ CONCERNS MORE THAN EDIBLES

In the era of Magical Butter and devices like it, a book such as Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey's The Art of Weed Butter: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Cannabutter Master” could come across as a work of nostaglia. 

Aggrey's book is not living in the past.
Green Market Report

  • "The step by step directions are better than many of the articles I find online regarding the process," the reviewer writes.
  • In addition to cooking insights, the New York-born, Northern California-residing Aggrey shares personal experiences, advocates for cannabis legalization and comments on weed's social status, and the possible health benefits of cannabis consumables in your regular diet.