WeedWeek edition / November 04, 2019
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1 PLUNGING STOCKS HAVE THE MARKET IN A FUNK…

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He doesn't like it any more than you do.

Virtually everyone expects massive industry growth in coming years. But layoffs at prominent companies, difficult business conditions and sagging stock prices all point to a rough patch for the industry.

This week on the podcast
Seattle DOPE, Live with David Tran

2 …BUT THESE GUYS ARE KILLING IT

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A few players appear to be thriving:

Here's what excites Narbe Alexandrian, CEO of Canopy Rivers, Canopy Growth's $280M venture arm.
New Cannabis Ventures

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3 VAPI: THE AFTERMATH

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The vape crisis -- or at least the first wave thereof -- seems to be largely under control. But it's likely to have long term reverberations in the cannabis industry, and beyond.

The vast majority of cases involved street THC vapes, but the crisis has not dampened Americans' enthusiasm for legalization. Edibles sales have seen a bump in at least four states.
GallupMJBiz

  • President Trump appears ready to ban all vape flavors except "adult" flavors menthol and tobacco. This is despite warnings from conservatives that it could cost him re-election. It's not clear what the implications are for flavored THC vapes.
    Axios
  • In a lawsuit, a fired Juul Labs executive alleges the company knowingly shipped 1M tainted nicotine pods. The company called the allegations baseless. The suit quotes former CEO Kevin Burns regarding a proposal to put expiration dates on pods: ‘‘Half our customers are drunk and vaping like mo-fo’s, who the [expletive] is going to notice the quality of our pods.’’
    AP

In other respiratory news, a New York Times investigation found alcohol breath tests are often unreliable.

4 WHO’S THIRSTY?

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CANOPY GROWTH

Canopy Growth, one of Canada's largest producers, debuted some of the cannabis-infused drinks it could start selling by the end of the year. 🍁WeedWeek Canada has more.
Yahoo Financ
e

  • With Canadian law limiting THC to 10mg per package, some of the beverages have as little as 2.5 mg.
  • While drinks are not a major category in the U.S., several large Canadian firms have partnered with multinational beverage companies. So the stakes are high.

Several months ago Amanda Chicago Lewis expressed her skepticism about drinkable cannabis.
The Verge

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5 HEMP RULES ARRIVE, DISAPPOINT

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture released long awaited rules governing industrial hemp.
American Farm Bureau Federation

  • One key hope for farmers involves standardizing testing, since the crop cannot contain more than .3% THC. The new rules seem to leave a fair amount of ambiguity. (Surprise!)
  • In somewhat better news, the rule which would block anyone with a criminal record from joining the industry for 10 years, will only apply to "key participants;" owners and perhaps executives.

Quick Hit

  1. Of 25 randomly tested Denver dispensaries, product at 20 failed a mold test.
    WestWord

6 GREEN THUMB INDUSTRIES WORKERS UNIONIZE; COMPANY DOESN’T RESPOND

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GETTY IMAGES

Employees of Chicago-based MSO Green Thumb Industries (GTI) have formed a union in response to what they call unfair labor practices, "including unlawful intimidation, harassment and retaliation" at a facility in Rock Island, Ill.
Quad-City Times

GTI Employee Kyle Meyer:

“For months, my coworkers and I listened to complaining from managers, supervisors and coworkers about losing benefits, having promised raises unfulfilled and a general lack of organization, and that’s when we decided to form a union.”

“We ran a clean campaign and we did everything that we were supposed to. We had majority status and we asked for recognition from GTI on Oct. 10, but GTI refused to even get back to us, despite having multiple notices sent to them.”

  • GTI did not respond to the newspaper's request for comment.

Eric Casey, formerly of 4Front Ventures, is launching an effort to unionize cannabis workers in Massachusetts.
@EricCasey

Quick Hit

  1. Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson (D) called for a long-awaited licensing round to be halted for fear it had been compromised to the disadvantage of equity applicants.🌴WeedWeek California has more.
    L.A. Time
    s

7 GERMANY’S RULING PARTY CONTEMPLATES LEGALIZATION

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling, center-right Christian Democratic Union is contemplating REC legalization.
DW.com

  • It would be a major policy reversal for the party.
  • At present MED, is legal though tightly controlled.

Mexico hit pause on legalization. ��WW California has more.
Market Realis
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8 STUDY: MED DOESN’T TREAT MENTAL ILLNESS

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In a review of more than 80 studies, researchers found little evidence of cannabis as an effective treatment for mental health disorders including "depressive disorders and symptoms, anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, PTSD or psychosis."
The Lancet

A study found women self-report the benefits of cannabis for endometriosis.
Science Direct

9 L.A. REAL ESTATE DEALERS USE WEED TO SELL MANSIONS

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The Wall Street Journal reports L.A. real estate agents are hosting elaborate cannabis dinner parties as a gimmick to sell mansions.

  • The cannabis industry, thus far, is a "relatively untapped source of buyers for high-end homes."
  • Plus: Many wealthy Hollywood types are cannabis users.

Quick Hit

  1. Have you heard about people kicked off email services because of their association with cannabis? I haven't. But the dispensary finder app LeafBuyer says it has developed 420-friendly email to address the issue. MediaPost

10 “CALI SOBER” IS THE NEW “STONER”?

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New York magazine site The Cut explores the term "Cali sober:" While the exact definition varies, it basically means using more cannabis (plus sometimes psychedelics) and drinking less.

It's a good read.