WeedWeek edition / February 10, 2020
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1 ONGOING CORPORATE CARNAGE

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Several stories this week indicate the pain of last year's pot stock crash is not yet over.
Bucking the trend among publicly traded companies, MSO Acreage Holdings secured a $100M credit facility that will not dilute terms of its planned acquisition by Canadian player Canopy Growth for $3.4 Billion. "Where many have struggled to find any form of capital, Acreage is secure," an MKM Partners analyst said. MarketWatch

2 CALIFORNIA: THE LAYOFFS ARE JUST THE BEGINNING

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MJBiz concluded a three part series on the California market, arguing there will be more pain in the country's largest cannabis industry.
  • “By the end of the year, we’re going to see a lot of our members I think fall out of the industry,” said Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association. “Businesses are on the verge of collapse.”
  • California Insurance Commissioner Richard Lara is spearheading how state insurance regulators will deal with the cannabis market. Insurance Journal
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3 ROOTS OF RENEWAL

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PHOTO BY JEREMY BISHOP ON UNSPLASH
Despite the misfortunes of some prominent companies, the industry remains well positioned in important respects.
Quick Hit
  1. The National Cannabis industry Association appointed new board members.
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4 COULD PRESIDENT BERNIE LEGALIZE ON DAY ONE?

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JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES
If elected, Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) has said he would use an executive order to legalize marijuana nationwide on the first day of his presidency.
Billionaire and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, whose candidacy is attracting interest as a center-left alternative to socialist Sanders, has previously called legalizing cannabis "perhaps the stupidest thing anybody has ever done."
  • He's now trying to make himself more palatable in cannabis circles. At libertarian site Reason, Jacob Sullum calls Bloomberg's pot policy "incoherent."
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5 NEW MEXICO REC PUSH

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PHOTO BY ANDREAS DRESS ON UNSPLASH
With weeks left in the legislative session, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is pushing to legalize REC. She calls it, "The next frontier" of the state's economy. Las Cruces Sun News

Quick Hit

  1. A surplus of MED shops in Oklahoma has led many to slash prices. MJBiz
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6 INDICTED BUSINESSMAN WAS WORKING ON MED DEAL WITH VA

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Andrey Kukushkin, the Ukraine born, Sacramento-based, cannabis executive who was indicted in a campaign finance scheme alongside associates of Rudy Giuliani in October, was working on a MED research deal with the federal Department of Veterans Affairs before his October indictment. Politico
  • The proposed partnership, which was to take effect in January 2020 and continue for five years with an annual budget of around $650,000, was scrapped before the indictment.

7 “WHO THOUGHT SUCKING ON A BATTERY WAS A GOOD IDEA?”

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New York magazine has an alarming deep dive into what's now being called EVALI, or "e-cigarette- or vaping associated lung injury."
  • UCSF pulmonologist Dr. Jeffrey Gotts says, “People are conducting a huge experiment on themselves about what kind of lung disease you can produce from all these different chemicals that you’re putting into the lung,”
  • The article also tells the origin story of cannabis vape giant Pax. which just named mainstream executive Michael Murphy CEO. TechCrunch
From New York: Scientists warn that EVALI may be just the beginning. Factors other than [vitamin e] acetate, they say, may have been at play in last fall’s outbreak. About 14 percent of EVALI cases are reportedly nicotine only, and the most recent FDA analysis of vaping products used by 89 patients found that in 26 percent of cases, no THC was detected at all. Officials are even more worried about a quieter, larger vaping epidemic: More than a million teenagers, many of whom might never have picked up a standard cigarette, are now addicted to nicotine and regularly sucking on the end of a battery — the long-term safety of which remains almost a total mystery. It took decades of research to prove the devastating health effects of cigarette smoking, which kills nearly half a million people each year. Widespread vaping is just a few years old and has already produced one public-health panic. It may not be the last. Read the whole thing. Related: China's coronavirus outbreak could interupt the vape hardware supply chain. MJBiz
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8 SLATE ADVISES ON TEENS AND POT

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A mother writing to Slate's parenting advice column says her husband legally bought REC for their 16 year-old daughter. Is it OK that the mom is pissed? The columnist responds: "You have every right to be pissed, and yes, your husband was wrong as hell.... Cannabis use demands a level of maturity that most kids fall short of, at least on occasion."

9 NETFLIX CENSORS CANNABIS CONTENT ON DEMAND

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Netflix says it has taken down a total of nine pieces of content around the world in response to written government demands. Of these, three were cannabis-related. Axios
Quick Hit
  1. In 2017, future WeedWeek California editor Donnell Alexander paid tribute to stoner classic "Up in Smoke." Leafly

10 LET US SMELL THE GOODS!

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"Follow your nose," is the most important rule for finding good weed, Ngaio Bealum writes in Leafly. He continues: "Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to follow this one simple rule now that cannabis is legal. Cannabis overregulation in many states has removed the time-honored tradition of opening the baggie and taking a good whiff. This has to end. We need to bring back the deli counter-style cannabis dispensary."