California edition / July 06, 2019
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This week on the podcast
Our Psychedelic Future with DoubleBlind Magazine

1 NOW PUBLIC, HARBORSIDE LOOKS FOR TAX CASE CLOSURE

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Courtesy of Getty Images

Now headquarted in Toronto and publicly traded, Harborside will appeal its lost 280E case.
Forbes

  • Harborside's difficulty with 280E, which denies cannabis operators deductions because of a rule applied to illegal drug traffickers, applies to the period of 2001 through 2012. The IRS claims Harborside was deficient because of deductions the agency rejected.
  • It's unclear how the possibility of a multi-million dollar penalty would have on the stock's performance. Forbes' author said, "I have stopped being surprised that the resolution of even quite large tax liabilities does not seem to affect stock prices, but it would seem that Harborside might be an exception.  We'll see."

2 WEED IS GREEN, BUT IT’S MAKING A MESS

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Courtesy of Doruk Yemenici on UnSplash

The jig is up , the news is out: Legal cannabis is contributing to the environmental degredation of the planet. “The cannabis industry is a huge source of plastic waste,” according to Tim Goncharoff, Santa Cruz County’s zero waste programs manager.
Santa Cruz Good Times

  • Flying in the face of trends that have cities and counties banning single-use plastic bags and straws and such are Bureau of Cannabis Control rules that have all products packaged to be child-resistant packaging. Disposable vape pens and manufacturer waste are other considerations. Gocharoff said state could make the industry confront the problem with “extended producer responsibilities,” which would make manufacturers deal responsibly with disposal.
  • Programs such as Eureka's CannaCycle accept from dispensaries all forms of cannabis packaging waste that has been emptied. 

Quick Hit

  1. In 2017, Kristi Knoblich Palmer and Scott Palmer had their edibles in 120 stores. Today the couple has 503 dispensary customers It was legalization that lifted Kiva, as well as attention paid to customer service and market strategies.
    New Cannabis Ventures
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3 IF ALL OF TRACK-AND-TRACE DOESN’T WORK, DOES NONE OF IT WORK?

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Photo by Roman Romashov on Unsplash

Positive news on the REC implementation front can, perhaps unfairly, be tough to find. But more than six months into its implementation, California's seed-to-sale tracking system is coming online with relative eaze.

Or has it?

Dissatisfied industry voices complain that the Metrc system's incomplete contents make track- and-trace compliance a pointless government mandate, for now.
MJBiz

  • The sense of track-and-trace as merely symbolic stems from the state's licensing difficulties. Not every licensed company has started to use the systen – only those with provisional or annual licenses.
  • Terra Carver, executive director of the Humboldt County Growers Alliance, has the mic-drop description: “Track-and-trace is like going to the dentist. You don’t want to do it, but you have to."
  • Companies have hired full-time staff to navigate the system.

4 INSURERS REMAIN SUSPICIOUS OF CANNABIZ

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Courtesy of Getty Images

A Californian need not be an insider to know that banking within cannabis is a borderline non-starter. But banks have nothing on insurance, an industry which has similarly been kept out of the weed game by federal prohibitions.

As insurance companies remain on the sidelines, eyeballing the industry, "[f]rom seed to sale, cannabis businesses operating according to the law, need insurance protection," to cite Insurance Commissioner Ricaro Lara.
North Bay Journal

  • “Carriers that have entered the market are typically partnering with agencies and producers that have a better understanding of the industry and the needs of cannabis businesses,” according to an A.M. Best report, titled “Cannabis: New Opportunities for Insurers, but with Burgeoning Risks.”
  • Last August, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners developed its Cannabis Insurance Working Group in an effort identify gaps and opportunities facing the industry, as well as identify best regulatory practices.

QUICK HIT

5 HERE ARE THE FIVE CONTRACTS THAT RUIN CALI ENTREPRENEURS

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Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash

Hilary Bricken reminds us that as the legal cannabis industry continues to grow, licensee transactions are becoming more sophisticated and diverse. Some of the contracts are enormous and/or risky.

Here are the state's five most devastating agreements.
Canna Law Blog

  • We won't spoil the suprise. Number five on the list is Influencer agreements. Included "because licensees typically forget or ignore that these contracts constitute advertising, marketing, and promotion," the agreements call for detailed contracts, training and guidelines" in order not to to cross Cali's legal lines.

6 AN ILL CALI KID CHANGED IRELAND’S CANNABIS CONVERSATION

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Photo by Leighton Smith on Unsplash

Among the most convincing factors in the argument for legalization is the testimony offered by children whom cannabis has helped contend with illness. Perhaps only war veterans healed from their PTSD seem to convince skeptics more effectively than stories of children who no longer suffer from seizures.

Haborside patient Jayden David is one of the ill kids who changed weed, as news outlets all over the country covered his story. Inspired by stories like David's, Ireland launched a five-year MED pilot program.
Cannabis Now

  • Back during the first Obama Administration, David’s bout with a kind of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome gained national coverage, because cannabis helped it.
  • Jayden’s father Jason became a model for parents desperate for options and a reference point for open-minded physicians and legislators previously on the fence about the drug.

7 PSYCHEDELIC MOVEMENT LED BY ORGANIZERS, NOT SHAMEN

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Photo by Lucas Benjamin on Unsplash

After decriminalization wins in Oakland and Denver, advocates for the decriminalization of psychedelics are being mindful of messenging and have placed emphasis on the movement’s educational imperative while recognizing their practical limitations.
Filter

  • “We’re just community organizers, we’re not shamans or therapists or anything, said Joey Gallagher, President of the Denver Psychedelics Club. “We read books, watch films and share knowledge with our crowd.”

8 IS THERE A BETTER WAY TO GET ‘CROSS-FADED’?

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Photo by Shot by Cerqueira on Unsplash

Sure, anyone can pair alcohol with cannabis. How though does one optimize the experience? Ngaio Bealum has some ideas.
Sacramento News & Review

  • Citrus-flavored weeds such as Tangie and Lemon Haze fit well with lagers and IPAs. Blueberry performs strong with a Malbec. Please note that Indica and red wine together are an excellent recipe for crashing out.
  • "[A] good rule of thumb is to get stoned first or to do it at the same time."

9 PLACE EDUCATION OVER SELF-PROMOTION TO WIN AT ADS

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Courtesy of Getty Images

Television, Facebook and Google are resistant to the cannabis industry. That means, in order to navigate cannabis as a marketer, your a brand's media messaging needs to be exceptionally innovative and organic.

Yet, that's not enough. In order to break through to an audience reared on misinformation about the drug, adverstisers and marketers must priortize educating consumers even over the particulars of the brand.
Adweek

Quick Hit

  1. Kim Kardashian career-starter Ray J has invested $5M into developing a cannabis brand. William Ray LA is set to initially feature pre-rolls called Ray Jay's.
    The Source

10 WILL OUTSIDE LANDS BREAK S.F.’S FESTIVAL WEED BARRIER?

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

It seemed the delays were done, and then The City's 4/20 celebration went by without having bud products available for officially-sanctioned purchase and officially-sanctioned consumption. Then the Pride celebrations began to pass.
Outside Lands would be the next benchmark. And while it's unclear whether festival organizers have evenrequested a permit to sell weed and let attendees use it, sellers are poised and ready to pounce on the opportunity.
SF Weekly

  • Smoking is against the law in city parks. New legislation allows events to obtain smoking waivers from the Recreation and Parks Department.