California edition / March 02, 2020
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1 CCIA CHASTENED FOR ANTI-UNION WHITE PAPER

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After circulating an anti-union white paper amongst its membership, the California Cannabis Industry Association is experiencing major Capitol backlash. Both the California Labor Federation and state’s International Brotherhood of Teamsters have asked state Dems not to work with the organization.

“When I saw this white paper from CCIA, I was very disappointed and frankly worried about what the future holds,” said Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), a force in weed policy.
Los Angeles Times

  • According to the labor organizations’ letter, the CCIA, which represents 500 companies, including ancillary businesses, published a document that undermines the legal requirement that licensed businesses with more than 20 employees enter into a “labor peace agreement” which gives employees the opportunity to organize.
  • The circulated document, called “Tips for Cannabis Business Owners negotiating a Labor Peace,” includes ideas for interfering with the state’s labor peace component and alleges that unionized shops limit flexibility and drive up costs.

CCIA executive director Lindsay Robinson called sending the document a mistake and said the white paper has been retracted.

 


Quick Hits

  1. Kern County has three measures on Tuesday’s ballot, two of which are competing MED measures. The local media outlet of record has endorsed Measure E which prevents all traditional market dispensaries from reopening and relegates dispensaries to industrial zones. Very Bakersfield. Bakersfield.com
  2. If growing cannabis based on the moon’s cycles intrigues you, have a look inside the Merced farm run by the inimitable Sister Kate. In addition to unusual cultivation processes, this  Sister of the Valley has status as guest on the greatest WeedWeek podcast episode you’ve most likely never heard. Tuff Gong
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2 WEED AROMA PROVOKES SUIT

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A Santa Barbara attorney on Thursday filed a class-action lawsuit against multiple Carpinteria cultivators, alleging that Carpentaria residents are being harmed by fumes wafting from the area’s outdoor REC farms. Allergies and worsened asthma are said to be resulting from the smell. 

“Burning eyes, a lot of respiratory issues,” have resulted from the smell, according to plaintiff Greg Gandrud. “My spouse has asthma that’s been made much, much worse. Sore throats, headaches, coughing. I have difficulty breathing, sometimes.” KEYT

  • That litigants say Santa Barbara County Supervisors have approved laws that are too lenient, and are unresponsive when laws are broken. Their suit demands that cultivators use “carbon-based filtration methods” and seal their greenhouses.
  • The suit comes as Supervisor Das Williams faces heightened criticism from challenger Laura Capp that he’s too cozy with cannabis. Williams and Capp face off at the polls on Tuesday.

And the Weedy goes to...

 

On February 28, WeedWeek hosted the first annual Weedy awards at the London Hotel in West Hollywood. Here are the honorees:

Female Run Company:

Kikoko

Grow:

Bloom Farms

Person of Color Run Company:

Viola

Consumption Device:

Puffco

Socially Responsible Company:

Eaze

Delivery Company:

SAVA

Environmentally Responsible Company:

Sana Packaging

Dispensary:

The High Note and Harborside (tie)

Edibles:

Kiva

Thanks again to our sponsors!

Jupiter Research, Armanino, Chil, Eaze, Dama Financial, Rove, Wana Brands, Weden, CrushCrush Promos, Stone Road, Futurola, MedMen, Cannabis Now, Simon & Schuster, Willow Industries, Pure Extracts, Social K, Kind Pen and Jeff The 420 Chef

 

And to Ellen Bollinger, John Bollinger and Catherine Eng for putting together a terrific event!

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3 TANG BILL WOULD STREAMLINE LICENSING

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Oregon has a dispensary for every 5,500 adult residents. Colorado has one for every 4,200. And how many retail outlets does the Worldwide Leader in Weed offer its grown-up citizens? A single retailer for every 35,000 adults 21 years old and older.

Many reasons keep California’s tangle of licensing rules borderline unnavigable. On Wednesday, San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting introduced a bill that would simplify the licensing process. San Francisco Chronicle

  • Assembly Bill 2456 would have the Bureau of Cannabis Control develop an ordinance model for cities and counties to follow.
  • The elder-care union, United Domestic Workers of America, supports the bill, saying thousands of their patients are being harmed by legal weed’s statewide scarcity.

4 EAZE GETS DOUGH, OPENS 2ND ACT

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Six weeks after a report strongly implied Eaze is on the ropes, the San Francisco company confirmed  that it has secured $15M in bridge-round funding, along with another $20 million as part of a Series D round of funding. The funds are to enable the non-plant touching delivery tech company’s transition into a plant-touching company.

“Verticalization is Eaze’s second act,” said CEO Ro Choy.
TechCrunch

  • An entity called Founders JT LLC led the Series D funding. Previous investors Rose Capital and DCM led the bridge round.
  • In recent months, Eaze has changed key execs and experienced layoffs. Last month TechCrunch reported that the company was nearly out of cash. The company says the pivot will capitalize on the customer base they have built. 
  • The first brand to be sold by Eaze will be Hometown Heart, with whom the company has had an eventful relationship.

5 SENATE INDICATES MEXICAN PROHIBITION’S LAST DAYS

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Getty Images

The Mexican legislature’s ruling party leader Sen. Ricardo Monreal said on Monday that four committees have begun reviewing comprehensive plans to comprehensively reform MED, REC and industrial cannabis laws.

“I think it is worth taking advantage of the political moment to be able to legislate broadly on this cannabis issue,” the senator said. Marijuana Moment

  • As currently drafted, Mexican legal weed laws would let citizens over 21 possess as much as 28 grams and grow as many as four plants. Individual Mexicans can apply to be licensed if they seek to up 28 grams, but no more than 200 grams.
  • It appears the Senate will miss its aspirational deadline of late February. This will not be the first deadline the body has missed. 

 

Quick Hit

  1. In the Shasta County town of Lakehead, state Department of Fish and Wildlife officers spotted a group of sophisticated structures on raised cinder blocks. When the CDFW entered the property, the team not only found more than 4,302 plants and 24 pounds of processed weed, CDFW scientists came across two illegal diversions: Garbage masses near a waterway; and evidence of a “registered pesticide” being used on plants, among other crimes against nature. CDFW

6 MARIN CAN FEEL A WORLD AWAY FROM SF

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Photo by Anna Goncharova on Unsplash

For San Anselmo prohibitionists, the problem with cannabis isn’t that the stuff is illegal. The rub is that marijuana is not illegal enough. On Monday the Marin municipality approved an ordinance that closed a “loophole” in San Anselmo’s ban.

The town’s Planning Director called the language in question, “almost like an encouragement for someone to apply. Marin Independent Journal

  • The provision in question had given the town the ability to make exceptions to its 2017 ban. (Two applicants were “put on hold” when the prohibition was put in place.) Commissioners stopped short of endorsing a General Plan amendment proposal that would more emphatically shut the door on weed. “I do not want to send the message loud and clear for the world to hear that we never, ever, ever, ever, ever want to see cannabis in San Anselmo,” said Commissioner Matthew Brasler. 
  • Meanwhile, Marin County may approve its third MED delivery service since July. The first two have yet to open. 

 

Quick Hit

  1. In San Francisco, a neighborhood organization has opposed the opening of a new dispensary, on the grounds that too many children live near the planned location. Potrero View

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7 REC ARRIVES IN A SMALL TOWN

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Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

When a rural California town of about 11,000 gets its first dispensary, the community feeling is different from when yet another cannabis retail outlet opens in West Hollywood or Berkeley. Having long pressed their faces up against the window of legal weed, these consumers — patients particularly — are celebrating access and a newfound ability to extract themselves from illegal transactions.  Porterville Reporter

  • Pure Valley Cannabis had its grand opening in the Tulare County town of Lindsay last Friday. Said one older customer, I’ve been waiting for this store to open for two months. I use edibles because they are easier to take. And I don’t have to worry about smoking. It really helps me with my leukemia.”
  • The dispensary is expected to bring in $300,000 for Lindsay, a city whose poverty rate is nearly 40%. (Three times the state average.)

8 EQUITY ETHOS

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Former NBA star, WeedWeek podcast guest, and L.A. staple Al Harrington (pictured here with upcoming guest Karim Webb) has launched Root and Rebound, a reentry program for those struggling with criminal justice issues. Green Entrepreneur

  • Using his L.A.-based company Viola Brands, Harrington has launched Root and Rebound to provide records for justice seekers “through public education, direct advocacy, and policy reform.”
  • West Coast legal weed social justice ethos all comes together with the news that expungement pied piper Rick Ross is hiring for his dispensary… which is also part of a reality show.

 

Quick Hit

  1. Just because you don’t want to think about it doesn’t mean there aren’t other people out here willing to go there. So, we’ll just, um, say it… Ahem: There’s potential for at least short-term commercial upside to the coronavirus for US hemp and CBD producers. Green Entrepreneur

9 MICHAEL STEINMETZ MAKES GRANDMA PROUD

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To you, Michael Steinmetz may be just another progressive power player on the California legal weed scene, but to his people the Flow Kana CEO is “The King of Weed.” Jewish News of Northern California

  • Steinmetz’s story of his grandmother, a Holocaust survivior, visiting Flow Kana’s Mendocino campus in itself justifies the time spent reading. She brought enough enough kosher food to last four days.
  • The subject, 36, is nice Jewish boy from Caracas, Venezuela, who holds an engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

10 GUILLERMO RODRIGUEZ REVEALS STONER STATUS

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In WeedWeek neighborhood news, Guillermo Rodriguez of ABC’s The Jimmy Kimmel Show mentioned offhandedly on Wednesday that he gave up weed for lent. In that moment Rodriguez leapt to the top of American’ open mainstream Mexican smokers. Jimmy Kimmel/YouTube

  • “Wheat?” Kimmel asked, when his sidekick told how Kimmel he observed the Catholic tradition. “No, I said, ‘Smoking weed’” he corrected. To which the host responded, “Oh, I didn’t even know you did that.”
  • And then the show went on.