California edition / January 25, 2020
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1 CONCERNS UP OVER WEED WHALES’ HEALTH

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Well documented in this space is that every cannabis company — legal and not — experiences peaks and valleys unlike those of other competitors in an emerging American market. Upheaval is the norm.

However, when a bombshell like last week's revelation that Silicon Valley darling Eaze is cash-strapped gets followed by MedMen's disclosure that it's trying to pay its bills in stock, both the underground and above-board parts of the weed ecosystem take note.
TechCrunch, Marketwatch

  • MedMen CEO Adam Bierman also confirmed with Green Market Report's Deborah Borchardt that his company has been late paying bills because "at the end of last year we entered into a restructuring in the business."
  • Bierman described the company's layoffs as a painful part of "exiting the hyper-growth stage of the business, and getting into sustainability."
  • Backed by about $166 million in funding and on the heels of a $15 million bridge investment, Eaze is after a $35 million Series D funding round. The company's road ahead is complicated by no longer being able to take credit cards. The app can only process payments with a debit card or an automated clearing house network.

Quick Hits

  1. Next month the federal Food and Drug Administration will begin registering veterans for the first government-approved trial studies of weed and its impact on PTSD. Vets like Oakland's Roberto Pickering would benefit.
    Vice
  2. Falcon International has requested a $50M break-up fee from MSO Harvest asking for a cash payment as part of a move to dismiss the complaint that Arizona company filed earlier this month. In its legal action, Harvest accused Falcon International of operating illegally.
    MJ Biz Daily
 

 

2 ILLICIT GAINS DRAW FOCUS TO CANNABIS SEIZURES

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Photo by bantersnaps on Unsplash

The state-sanctioned industry has agreed that illicit bud is, “without question the single most pressing issue facing the state’s legal cannabis industry.”

And that's why busts and seizures are on the rise up and down California.
Sacramento Bee

  • The state's Bureau of Cannabis Control is conducting up to four operations a week.
  • So far in 2020, agents at the California Bureau of Cannabis Control alone have seized nearly 24 tons of illegal weed. In 2018 the Highway Patrol grabbed and destroyed more than 80 tons of beautiful marijuana.
  • Most of the Bureau's activity has been down south, in L.A., Orange, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties

3 ENFORCING JO-JO’S LAW WILL BE UP TO COUNTIES

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Photo by Manuel Goche on Unsplash

Jo-Jo's Act is now law, and that means that parents and guardians can administer MED to students in public K-12 settings.
Bloomberg Law

  • Other states with similar laws include Illinois, Washington, Colorado, Florida, Maine, New Jersey, Delaware, and New Mexico.
  • Like New Mexico, California places oversight responsibilities on school districts and charter school governing bodies. The state has 1,000 districts and 1,200 charter schools.

Quick Hits

  1. Seven months after firing Joe Devlin, Sacramento has a new pot czar. The former Humboldt County counsel has a lot on her plate.
    Sacramento Bee
  2. Farmers from the Central Valley gathered at Tulare's International Agri-Center to learn about growing the hemp plant, an activity that's banned in the county until 2021.
    Visalia Times Delta
This week on the podcast
Matt Barnes & Al Harrington: NBA Weed Leaders

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4 MEXICIAN LEGALIZATION: NO APRIL FOOL’S JOKE

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Photo by Dennis Schrader on Unsplash

After numerous delays, the Mexican Senate has come forth with something close to a firm date for voting on its legalization of REC bill.
Marijuana Moment

  • The latest proposal would allow adults to have as much as 28 grams for personal use and grow up to six plants.
  • Discussion will get underway when the Senate goes into session this week. The new Mexican Cannabis Institute would be the overseeing body.

5 US LEARNS WEED INMATES ARE STILL A THING

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Getty Images

The origins and aims of the Last Prisoner Project are getting a larger audience. Forty thousand inmates locked up on weed charges couldn't be more excited about this.

"Last Prisoner Project isn’t the first group to try to get nonviolent offenders free, but it’s probably the most connected, thanks to [Steve] DeAngelo."
Esquire

  • “I was just struck by the disparity of sitting at the table with people, and we were talking about tons of legal cannabis, and nobody at that table had the slightest fear of any kind of legal intervention,” DeAngelo told the magazine. “Meanwhile, my friend Chuck is sitting in prison behind bars for a very, very tiny fraction of the amount of cannabis that we were talking about.”

6 DRUG TESTING: OUT OF THE SHADOWS & INTO THE OFFICE

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Photo by amoon ra on Unsplash

Next up in the Not Fully Legal annals, we have the fact that many California employers still require drug screening as a hiring prereq. Yet, drug testing has indeed changed, if only in terms of employer perspective.
Riverside Press Enterprise

  • On the Jan. 1, Nevada's landmark law making it illegal for an employer to discriminate against possible hires who test positive for weed went into effect. Even before that, shifting opinions were affecting test reactions. “Many employers say that, since it’s legal, they’re more reluctant to make a hiring decision based on the test,” according to Richard Paul of the San Diego law firm Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton.
A note from the editor

Since 2015, WeedWeek has been the best way to keep up with the Green Rush. WeedWeek’s audience includes many of the most influential figures in cannabis because we are editorially independentAdvertisers have no influence on our editorial content.

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7 ILLGEAL IN NV, SAN DIEGO. CANNA-BREWERY NAME IS CHANGED

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Photo by Eeshan Garg on Unsplash

Last year, San Diego's High Style Brewing set the goal of moving into Nevada.
Instead, they spent 2019 rebranding because you can't say that brand name in Nevada.
CNN

  • Nevada regulations include a provision that makes illegal the use of cannabis slang like "bud," "pot," "420," "weed," and — of course — "high." Just like with alcohol. (Kidding.)
  • High Style brainstormed brand names and came up with Outbound, which relaunched this month.
  • The company's cofounder reasoned too that he didn't want to split the brand and that he was bound to run into more laws like Nevada's down the road. Let's hope not.

9 POT CONVICTIONS NO LONGER INSURANCE SALES DEAL – BREAKER

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Getty Images

The state's Insurance Commissioner announced on Friday that having a cannabis conviction is no longer definitive grounds for an insurance license denial.
Insurance Journal

  • Ricardo Lara's decision opens up opportunties for those convicted of past pot crimes becoming an insurance agent, broker, or other licensee. Such Californians will be considered for licensure, even if the court has not yetformally reduced or dismissed the case.

Quick Hit

  1. Next week Berkeley’s City Council will consider bringing consumption lounges to town, and residents are organizing. Meanwhile, Placerville has a 50s-style diner that’s going to be a dispensary aimed at seniors.
    Facebook/Capital Public Radio

10 DOES THIS LOOK LIKE PSILOCYBIN, MUTHASNACKA?

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Photo by Merve Aydın on Unsplash

A California LLC has achieved the remarkable, a feat usually reached by the allergic and obese: By trademarking their chocolate product with the name Psilocybin, Black Panda gave us complicated feelings about chocolate.

Black Panda's product will melt in your hands, but do nothing for your mind.
Marijuana Moment 

  • According to Black Panda's mission statement is so named to “begin educating, enlightening and supporting the community in upgrading their inner vibrations in order to get everything they want of their time here on earth.”
  • Denver legalization leader Kevin Matthews described  magic mushrooms' recent insurgence as "an open-source movement" and described the Black Panda move as "lacking perspective."
  • Founder, Scarlet Ravin, said she chose the name as part of an educational effort to set the drug apart from weed, which Ravin said has been corrupted from its “true spiritual, medicinal benefit” and transformed into a corporate commodity. It's complicated.