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BUSINESS
   
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24 Percent Leap Quells Sales Fears

  • Recreational dispensary sales revenues improved by an average of $50,000 over Q2. The state also saw a 10 percent increase in the number of licensed dispensaries.
  • Further good news comes in the form of collected excise tax. California had predicted $100M would be collected over the first two quarters, but actually collected only $84M. The total jumped to S$52M in Q3.
  • Increased demand is primarily responsible for MedMen's revenue growing 44% over Q2.

Business
   
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Musk's Podcast Weed Stunt Brings NASA Probe

In September, when Elon Musk smoked a joint on the The Joe Rogan's Experience, it was at once landmark podcasting and a guaranteed dust-up. Now, NASA plans workplace safety investigations of SpaceX.

  • The federal agency's "cultural assessment study" will include Boeing, also a NASA contractor, and require hundreds of interviews.
  • NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said, "We need to show the American public that when we put an astronaut on a rocket, they'll be safe."
  • Launches of SpaceX and Boeing vehicles are set to be launched in 2019. (The Verge)

New Podcast Episode

WeedWeek Podcast
65. A Very Canadian Pot Scandal with Jesse Staniforth

Jesse Staniforth, Editor of WeedWeek Canada, updates Alex and Donnell on breaking Canadian stories. There is no lack of scandal: Cannabis giant Canopy Growth fired founder and CEO Bruce Linton and CannTrust, a major licensed producer, is estimated to lose C$350 Million for ignoring the law. New regulations limiting THC in edibles exacerbate the over-packaging crisis. The country continues to battle the illicit market which is now also available online and is known by the cool name "MOMS" (mail order marijuana sites). Plus, Alex and Donnell discuss Jay-Z's partnership with Caliva.

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Business
   

Harborside Raises $26M, Looks to Expand

Oakland megadispensary Harborside announced completion of a $26M Series B financing. The company will use the funds to step up its vertical integration.

  • Navy Capital led the investment in the former non-profit, with Salveo Capital, Tidal Royalty, and other investors contributing.
  • "We are focused on capturing market share," Harborside CEO Andrew Berman told WeedWeek on Wednesday.
  • The corporation entered into an agreement in August which will allow Harborside to be listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, pending approvals.

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POLITICS
   

Political Leapfrog in Calaveras County

Legal marijuana business opportunities in the rural northeastern California county leapt from nil to promising when two candidates upset prohibition-minded incumbents and Nevada County Supervisors a pro-pot majority.
Challengers Merita Callaway and Benjamin Stopper upset Supervisors Clyde Clapp and Michael Oliveira, who enabled the county's June ban. (MJ Biz Daily)

  • Challengers Merita Callaway and Benjamin Stopper upset Supervisors Clyde Clapp and Michael Oliveira, who enabled the county's January ban.
  • One estimate, based on 2016 medical marijuana growers registration, put the number of potential farms at 750.
  • Sitting Supervisor Jack Garamenendi said a vote could take place in 2019.

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POLITICS
   

Midterm Vote Taxation Trends Take Shape

  • The state's patchwork of laws makes compliance particularly difficult for companies with multiple locations and multiple leases, as well as delivery services.
  • Oakland was among the only jurisdictions opting to lower its tax rate. Oakland voters--who pay a 10% REC tax and 5% MED tax -- easily passed Measure V, which gives the City Council the authority to lower the city’s cannabis tax rates.
  • Riverbank, a town in the Central Valley county of Stanislaus, won't allow cannabis businesses to operate without obtaining a city permit and making a deal with town on how much revenue the city would take. However, voters approved a measure authorizing Riverbank to impose a business license gross receipts tax of up to 10% on cannabis businesses -- should the city allow them and guaranteeing Riverbank a cut of any illegal cannabis business earnings. (Cannabis Industry Journal)

POLITICS
   
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In Diversity Chase, Capitol May Lift Retail Cap

The Sacramento City Council said last week that it will consider raising its dispensary cap to broaden who benefits from the legal marijuana industry. (Sacramento Bee)

  • The number of legal dispenaries within the city limits has remained 30 since 2014. None of the dispensary owners are black.
  • In August, Sacramento started CORE, the Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity program, which waives permit fees on equity elligible dispensaries.
  • Mayor Darrell Steinberg (D) said the city could give preference to a CORE applicant if an existing dispensary closes. No vote on expanding the cap is expected before 2020.
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CULTURE
   

...And Now for the Good Part

  • In September, the legislature approved a bill which earmarks $10 million in funding for loans, fee waivers, among other support for California's generally-stalled social equity programs.
  • Nearly 20,000 batches of cannabis products have been tested in the state's licensed labs. (Of these more than 3,000 failed, mostly due to labeling issues.)
  • The recent arrival of final regulations and annual permits augurs well for both the state's track and trace system and general certitude among industry participants.



CULTURE
   

Scrubs Creators' Late Reveal: Disney Cut MED Plot
According to Zach Braff, the media giant censored a plotline on the medical show Scrubs "about "getting MED for somebody who was having trouble with chemo and cancer" after the 2009 move from NBC to ABC. (Vulture)

  • Braff and show creator Bill Lawrence told the Vulture Festival that male sexuality also drew particular scrutiny from ABC, but the show "only shot one thing ever that Bill had to throw out."
  • Even as mainstream media outlets have become more progressive on marijuana, they still remain skittish about cannabis content, AdAge reported in April.
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