WeedWeek edition / December 02, 2019
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1 BLOOMBERG: NOT-420 FRIENDLY

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DREW ANGERER/ GETTY IMAGES
No friend of weed

Marijuana Moment dives into Michael Bloomberg's record on marijuana. The Democratic presidential candidate, former New York City Mayor and media magnate "has a long history of speaking out against marijuana law reform, and [a] record on discriminatory policing tactics."

Anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet claimed that he has spoken with the "majority of presidential candidates" and most oppose legalization despite what they say on the trail.
@KevinSabet

2 INTRODUCING THE WEEDYS!

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WeedWeek is proud to announce the first annual Weedy awards!

It's easy to enter:
1) Nominate your favorite brands here, by December 31. (One entry per person; Self-nominations are welcome.)
2) Top vote-getters will be assessed by our all-star panel of judges.
3) Winners will be announced at a West Hollywood gala on February 28.

THE JUDGES:

For sponsorship queries, contact Ellen and John Bollinger ellen@weedweek.net and john@weedweek.net

Sponsors and advertisers have no input on the results.

This week on the podcast
WeedWeek’s 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

3 FDA WARNS ON CBD

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JUSTIN AIKIN VIA UNSPLASH
To your health, or not

The Food and Drug Administration updated its stance on CBD to warn that the compound may harm users.
MarketWatch

  • The agency said CBD "can cause" liver damage and have adverse affects when mixed with other drugs such as alcohol.
  • The agency also sent warning letters to 15 companies for illegally selling the compound. The companies, it said violated rules involving interstate commerce, making unproven health claims and selling CBD as a dietary supplement.

Even so the market seems to be racing toward Peak CBD. A Slate writer binged on CBD products for two weeks.

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4 SHORT SELLERS STALK POT STOCKS

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With many pot stocks trading at or near 52 week lows, some Wall Street traders expect them to fall further. According to a report from analytics firm S3 Partners, short sellers have added $1.4 Billion in short positions on cannabis stocks this year.
Business Insider

  • Average borrow fees for pot stocks are climbing, an indication of short-seller interest, and now stand around 23%, up from under 17% in August.
  • Canada's Aurora has the highest borrow fee of any cannabis company at almost 67%. TilrayHexo and Aphria aren't far behind.

In a sign of belt-tightening, Chicago-based Cresco Labs called off its $120M acquisition of Florida's VidaCann.

California dispensary chain MedMen reported Q1 revenue of $44M, up 105% year over year. It had an adjusted EBITDA loss of $22.2M.

Quick Hit

  • With "legalization 2.0" weeks away in Canada, companies have been introducing their new edibles and drinkables. 🍁 WW Canada has more!

5 VAPE COS. LOOK TO REVIVE THEIR FORTUNES

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A new dawn?

MJBiz looks at efforts to reinvigorate vape cart sales following the VAPI crisis.

  • Companies are doing a lot of customer outreach and explaining the differences between licenced and illicit products.
  • THC vape sales continue to fall in California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington state though the fall has slowed.

Quick Hit

6 CALIFORNIA AG BACKS CANNABIZ IN COURT

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PHOTO BY CALEB GEORGE ON UNSPLASH

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) filed to join a lawsuit against Santa Cruz County which has banned deliveries by companies it has not licensed. It comes as a number of cities have sued the state for allowing delivery services to operate in areas where they are not licensed to do so.
LA Times

  • The cities suing California say state law unambiguously “[preserves] the right of local jurisdictions to regulate commercial cannabis activity at the local level.”
  • Becerra's motion may be an attempt by to move the case from conservative Fresno to liberal Santa Cruz.
  • The large number of cities and counties which don't allow licensed cannabis businesses -- and therefore enable the illegal market -- is a source of deep frustration among CA businesses.

Also in California:

An aide to LA City Councilman Jose Huizar has filed a claim against the city for $10M claiming Huizar retaliated after the aide told the feds he thought his boss was trying to extort money or bribes from cannabis companies. Huizar called the allegations "absolutely false," and said the aide had tried to secure a cannabis license while advising on the issue, a potential ethics violation.
LA Times

California regulators sent hundreds of warning letters, to landlords of unlicensed pot businesses.

7 USPTO NEGS DRAKE

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JOHN PHILLIPS/GETTY IMAGES

US Authorities rejected rapper and cannabis entrepreneur Drake's attempt to trademark a Canadian warning label for cannabis products.

Canna Law Blog explains why it matters.

8 WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?

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PHOTO BY JOSHUA EARLE ON UNSPLASH
Special delivery

UPS workers allegedly used the logistics giant's system to traffick huge amounts of drugs and vaping oils across the US/Mexico border.
Washington Post

  • Authorities say they used "standard cardboard boxes that were carefully routed through the private mail carrier’s trucking and delivery systems."
  • At least 11 people have been arrested and four UPS employees have been charged following a decade-long investigation.
  • The alleged ringleader was based at a UPS facility in Tucson. A local cop said the investigation took so long in part because the company did not cooperate more "proactively." (UPS says it is cooperating with law enforcement.)

Quick Hit

  1. Missouri legalization activist Eapen Thampy is one of nine arrested on drug trafficking charges stemming from the 2018 murder of a drug dealer in an upscale part of Columbia, Mo. None of the nine arrested have been charged with the murder.
    The Daily Beast

9 CANNABIZ JOB MARKET LOOKS FAMILIAR

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report from cannabis HR firm Vangst projects an ongoing boom in cannabis jobs, but many of the openings will be temporary and pay meagrely.

  • There was a 79% increase between 2018 and 2019 in the total number of openings.
  • An estimated 211,000 full-time workers currently make up the industry.
  • By 2020, most companies will employ roughly 40% freelancers.
  • Most common job openings include cultivation technicians, trimmers, budtenders, brand ambassadors, directors of cultivation and delivery drivers.

10 R. CRUMB ART SELLS BIG AT AUCTION

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CHRIS JACKSON, GETTY IMAGES

"Stoned Agin!" a work by famed underground comic artist R.Crumb sold for $690,000 at an auction in Dallas. The work, originally intended had disappeared for about 40 years but apparently was in the private collection of the consigner.
Benzinga

Also: Greenland Holdings announced a line of bongs inspired by the late muralist Keith Haring.