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Key Reforms May Have Momentum in D.C.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) said he has "pretty good confidence" Congress would enact major cannabis reforms this year. Gardner is a sponsor of the States Act which would protect state-legal industries and the Safe Banking Act which would allow cannabis companies to access financial services.
Marijuana Moment

  • Gardner said the bi-partisan support behind these bills is “a sign that it’s no longer acceptable for the status quo [to continue] and we need to actually fix this conflict in federal and state law,”
  • has had productive conversations with Senate Banking Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) among other Senators. He sees President Trump as an ally.
  • Gardner is seen as one of the most vulnerable Republican Senators up for re-election next year.
  • The banking bill advanced towards a floor vote in the House.
    Marijuana Moment

Quick Hits

  1. The House rejected a bill sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) which would have made it easier to study medical uses for psychedelics.
    Marijuana Moment
  2. DC is "one step closer" to legal REC dispensaries.

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Santa Barbara Co. Holds Nose as Cannabis Booms

Working closely with cannabis interests, Santa Barbara County has become California's legal growing capital. The world's largest (147 acres, about 130 football fields) and second largest (83 acres) pot farms will soon be producing bud in the wealthy seaside county. But the L.A. Times reports a backlash is underway.

  • Santa Barbara attracted grows by establishing relatively loose regulations, and taxing them based on revenue rather than square footage. So far, tax revenue has fallen far short of expectations.
  • Residents and vintners object to cannabis odors. And avocado farmers worry spraying their crops with pesticides could leave them liable for contaminunsellable pot crops.
  • County supervisor Das Williams, once an industry ally, said the area is "painfully divided about how to bring this industry under control."
  • Hezekiah Allen, former head of the California Growers Association, said the county's supply is "either going to leak into the informal market or rot in warehouses."
  • He estimates 1,100 acres could supply all of California. Growers in the county have applied to plant more than 1,400 acres.

🌴In the latest issue of WeedWeek California, Donny has a dispatch from Meadow's industry retreat in Mendocino County. PLUS:

�Subscribe to WeedWeek California today!🌴

Quick Hits

  1. S.F. Weekly spoke to Marisa Rodriguez, a former prosecutor who now leads the city's Office of Cannabis. In her first months on the job, equity has been her main focus. The city has yet to award any equity licenses.
  2. Two bills designed to support licensed businesses died in the California legislature.
    Cannabis Wire
  3. Canna Law Blog suggests six ways California can combat the illegal market.

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Harvest and Acreage Flex Their Muscle

Steve White, CEO of multi-state operator Harvest Health & Recreation, told investors the company controls seven permits in Pennsylvania, enough to open 21 shops. Pennsylvania limits operators to five permits.

A Philadelphia Inquirer investigation found the company is "using loopholes" to control more of the market than law allows a company to own. These loopholes include "management service agreements" which enable companies to govern and profit from licenses they do not own.

  • CEO White believes the cannabis market will be as "oligopolistic" -- run by a few companies.
  • Pennsylvania lawmakers, the piece says, weren't "prepared for creative arrangements that well-financed marijuana companies are using to control more permits than the law intended."

Quick Hits

  1. The CEOs of Acreage and Canopy Growth discussed their plans to become a global cannabis player once the companies complete their proposed merger.
    Yahoo Finance
  2. Multi-state operator stocks are under pressure. While several large mergers have been announced, the U.S. Justice Department is stepping in with anti-trust concerns.
    New Cannabis Ventures

Seeing Green: Will Brands Matter?

Business Insider recently asked venture capitalists for their favorite up and coming cannabis brands and cannabis tech companies.

In this week's Seeing Green column, I ask whether brands can compete in a market dominated by multi-state operators.

Quick Hit


Lawsuit Accuses Eaze of Payment Processing Fraud

A new lawsuit alleges California delivery app Eaze uses wire and bank fraud to process credit and debit card payments.

The suit was filed by Canadian firm DionyMed on behalf of its American subsitiary Herban Industries which has a competing platform called Chill. Eaze called the allegations "false" and said the suit was an attempt to generate business for Chill and prop up its parent company's stock price.

  • The suit claims Eaze processes payments through European shell companies disguising them as legal goods, which gives Eaze an edge in the market.
  • It asks for an injunction forcing Eaze to abandon the practices.
  • Eaze says the retail partners for whom it facilitates transactions handle payment processing.
  • San Francisco attorney (and WeedWeek Council member) Katy Young said the suit is "dangerous" for the industry.
  • “There’s going to be wide-reaching repercussions, where a lot of [Eaze's partners] records that are not involved in the fight between Eaze and DionyMed, they’re all going to get dragged in,” through the discovery process, Young said.

Quick Hit

  1. In a press release, MedMen crowed that a lawsuit filed against it by early investors has been dropped. The L.A.-based retailer still faces a lawsuit filed by its former CFO and a class action suit filed by former employees over its labor practices.
  2. Rolling Stone meets the most powerful U.S. cannabis union.

New York's Hail Mary REC Push

New York state lawmakers are making a last ditch effort to legalize REC by Wednesday, the end of the legislative season.
N.Y. Post

  • While a majority of New Yorkers favor legalization, suburban lawmakers, especially those from Long Island, have been hard to convince.
  • On Sunday, a well-connected legalization supporter put the odds at 60-40 in favor of legalization.
    N.Y. Post

Did Canada Blow It?

Speaking to Bloomberg, a Canadian investorlost its chance to lead the global cannabis economy.

  • Neil Selfe, founder and CEO of Infor Financial Group, says Canada's near-total ban on advertising and confusing provincial regulations have left Canada in the dust.
  • Of Canada's 100+ LP's, Selfe considers only Canopy Growth a global leader.
  • Harborside became the latest U.S. company to go public in Canada.

🍁In the latest issue of WeedWeek Canada, Jesse has everything you need to know about the long awaited rules for edibles and concentrates, expected to go on sale by the end of the year.

🍁Subscribe to WeedWeek Canada today!🍁

Quick Hits

  1. The Church of England said its $10.4B wealth fund is willing to consider MED investments.
    ABC News
  2. In the Guardian, I argue the U.K. Green Rush is a long way off.
  3. In Germany, the fastest growing MED program in Europe, they care about whether the MED benefits patients.

Study: MED Won't Solve the Opioids Crisis

Opioid deaths climbed 23% in states which introduced MED laws between 2010 and 2017, according to a new study. It dampened hope after A previous study conducted with the same methods had found opioid deaths decreased in states which introduced MED laws between 1999 and 2010.
The Atlantic

  • The earlier study primarilylooked at primarily Western states where the opioid epidemic has not been as devastating as in Appalachia and the Northeast.
  • The crisis has also deepened in recent years as more opioid users turn from prescription drugs to heroin and fentanyl.

Quick Hit


Cannabis in Prison? Not Really

A California appeals court ruled inmates in state prisons can possess up to an ounce of cannabis, but they're not allowed to use it. 🌴WW California has more.
N.Y. Time

  • It's unclear whether the ruling will have any real world consequences.

Quick Hit

  1. Colorado's federal prosecutor Jason Dunn, discussed the cannabis market with Colorado Public Radio. Dunn has heard the state's illegal market, produced almost entirely for out of state export, is larger than Colorado's legal market.

Behold, the Vapegasm

A writer at The Stranger (Seattle) thinks a device called a Vapegasm may be the worst cannabis product of the year, so far.

  • Its makers describe the bluetooth device as a "Technology Solution Pairing Vaping with Sexual Stimulation."
  • Through an app users can apparently sync their vaping with a vibrator.

Investigate further in the U.K.'s Mirror.

Quick Hits

  1. I shared my thoughts with Javier Hasse for his Forbes story on 10 things that dissuade cannabis reporters from writing about your company. A lively dialogue followed on Twitter.
  2. In the N.Y. Times, three authors discuss LSD literature.

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