WeedWeek edition / August 16, 2020
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1 CANNABIZ CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ON KAMALA HARRIS

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(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Former Vice President Joe Biden wasn't the industry's pick to lead this year's Democratic ticket, but some insiders think the selection of California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate is an encouraging sign. 🌴WW California has more.
WeedWeek

  • Harris Bricken attorney Vincent Sliwoski notes that Harris co-sponsored the MORE Act, which would legalize REC with substantial equity provisions. Sliwoski said it would make her the presidential cabinet member with the most progressive views on cannabis in history.
  • “It’s all encouraging,” Sliwoski said. “I hope she’ll push him pretty hard.” But he warned against expecting a Biden-Harris victory to immediately lead to removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
  • Zack Ruskin looks at how Harris learned to love weed. (In his Rolling Stoned newsletter this week, Ruskin discusses cannabis' in-roads in higher-education.)
    S.F. Chronicle

Marijuana Moment dove into Harris' long, and sometimes contradictory, record on cannabis.

  • Republicans, including President Trump, quickly seized on how Harris, as a prosecutor, was tough on cannabis offenders.
    N.Y.Post

Business Insider put together a list of 🔒seven pot stocks to bet on if the Democrats win in November.

Quick Hit

  1. Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) used to oppose legalization. But now that he's challenging incumbent Senator Ed Markey, Kennedy supports legal REC and has been talking about the medical value of psychedelics.
    Marijuana Moment
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2 CURALEAF SUED FOR SPAM TEXTS

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The latest lawsuit involving Curaleaf, accuses the multi-state operator of "abusive telemarketing practices" i.e. sending unwanted texts to the plaintiff and others.
WeedWeek

  • Hilary Corrigan writes, "The industry has seen quite a few similar class actions recently. There’s a case in federal court in California against cannabis agricultural services provider Hydroponics Inc.—Route Four LLC. And reports this week lay out claims against Michigan cannabis companies over similar allegations. Other cannabis companies have faced similar cases this year and last year and in previous recent years. Attorneys continue warning cannabis companies about the issue."
  • Curaleaf didn't respond to a request for comment.

More from Hilary this week:

Green Entrepreneur looks at where else weed is on the ballot.

3 WILL POT VENDING MACHINES EVER CATCH ON?

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The hard parts about pot vending machines are getting the technology right and convincing regulators to allow them. Companies have been trying to install them for close to a decade with little success. Now a new breed of entrants, EZ-Weed and anna, think they can make it happen.
WeedWeek

  • In theory, vending machines could save dispensaries money on budtenders, and help maintain social distancing.
  • But it's not so easy. In the past, business columnist Dan Mitchell writes, "As soon as the [refrigerator-sized] boxes...showed up in dispensaries, the problems revealed themselves: authenticating IDs took as much work as it did at the counter; the machines’ software didn’t talk to the store’s inventory system, the state’s track-and-trace system or both. Plus, the devices were often glitchy, taking up the staff time they were meant to save."

Read the whole thing.

Quick Hit

  1. Quartz called WeedWeek one of the 🔒best cannabis news resources.

4 CANOPY CEO DAVID KLEIN IS BULLISH, EXTREMELY WELL PAID

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David Klein, CEO of Canadian giant Canopy Growth, gave Business Insider 🔒three reasons he's never been more bullish on cannabis. They include that no matter what happens in the November election, there will be "pressure" for cannabis reform.

5 SIGNS POINT TO CANNABIZ MOMENTUM

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Recent developments suggest that the cannabis industry is gaining steam:

For counterprogramming, a Dot.LA webinar asked if the California green rush is over.

6 POWER PLAYERS: DEEPAK ANAND ON THE EUROPEAN MARKET

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This week for Power Players I spoke to Deepak Anand, a Canadian lawyer and CEO of Materia Ventures, a multi-faceted operator active in several European countries. Among other topics, we discussed the evolution of MED on the continent, the best place in Europe to set up a CBD business, and why the Canadian market is gaining steam. He’s also a prominent voice on cannabis Twitter.

"In Germany, Medical cannabis is It's quite mainstream and quite easy to access, particularly when I compare this to Canada or the U.S., where we still don't have retail pharmacies that dispense the product. Germany is, I would say, ahead of the rest of the world."

Anand discusses Canada too.

7 CANNABIS USE DURING PREGNANCY LINKED TO AUTISM

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A study published in the journal Nature found a link between cannabis use during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder.

  • The study did a retrospective analysis of all live births in Ontario, Canada between April 2007 and March 2012 and found an autism diagnosis in 4 out of 1,000 children exposed to cannabis compared to 2.42 per 1,000 in children not exposed.
  • "The incidence of intellectual disability and learning disorders was higher among offspring of mothers who use cannabis in pregnancy, although less statistically robust."
  • It notes cannabis use during pregnancy has increased with legalization.

8 DEA EXHIBIT SKIPS HARRY ANSLINGER’S RACIST LANGUAGE

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As cannabis legalization activists tell it, Harry Anslinger, the government executive who successfully lobbied to make marijuana illegal in 1937, is one of the chief villains of prohibition. Anslinger's detractors argue his push to ban cannabis was driven largely by racism, and attribute a number of racist statements to him.

  • Now an exhibit mounted by the DEA -- once live, now virtual -- is under criticism for ignoring documented examples of Anslinger's racially inflammatory language.
    N.Y. Times
  • An Anslinger biographer said he, "was a product of his time, when that sort of language was not unusual, unfortunately.”
  • “D.E.A. has always acknowledged that the history of drug control policy and enforcement is complicated and ever-evolving,” the agency said in a statement.

Quick Hit

  1. In Massachusetts, the state's plan to reserve REC delivery licenses for equity entrepreneurs is unworkable, a potential beneficiary says.
    CommonWealth

9 ARE EDIBLES KOSHER? ASK A RABBI

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Not the rabbi Fruit Slabs contacted

Air Mail looks into the case of Fruit Slabs, which tried to get its infused vegan fruit treats certified as kosher. While it's not entirely clear from the story, it sounds like they found a rabbi, Houston's Yaakov Cohen, to sign off.

“So, how do you define recreational?,” Cohen asks. “While you can look at it all as recreational, what about the person with migraines who only gets a good night’s sleep after eating a gummy? He should be able to get it in a kosher form.”

10 IS POT A PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUG?

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WeedWeek culture columnist Ngaio Bealum wades into the tricky question of whether cannabis use can enhance athletic performance.

Cannabis also helps people “find a groove” or “get into the zone.” Plus, weed has anti-inflammatory properties, so it could help athletes to recover more quickly after a game or a training session. These things could lead one to believe that cannabis is indeed a PED, and should be banned by professional sports leagues.

However...

It is time for pro sports teams to get with the times. No one will accuse players of being bad people for wanting to use cannabis. Despite the rumblings and hurt feelings from the fuddy-duddies, pot has proved to be safer than alcohol, aspirin, and any opiate based pain reliever.

Quick Hit

  1. Would you pay $30,000 for a bong?
    Cannabitch
  2. Here's a rare WeedWeek foray into meme humor: If 2020 were a joint, it would look like this.
    @weedandgrub