2020 is Lit

In his first interview since announcing his candidacy for President, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) called for full legalization. "This is a cancer on the soul of our country," he said. "Too many of our children are being shuttled into cages."
The Hill

Elsewhere in D.C....

Quick Hits

  1. New York State Senator Diane Savino (D), a longtime supporter of cannabis reform, found a lot to like in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal for REC legalization. Cuomo wants to get a bill passed by late March, but others are dubious about it happening so quickly.
    Cannabis Wire
  2. The Conversation looks at how Americans changed their minds so quickly about legal weed.
  3. A group of professional Trumpists is exploring the possibility of a privately financed border wall made from hempcrete. "Do you understand the irony of using hempcrete to keep out marijuana?" Steve Bannon asked.
  4. Florida Republican lawmakers aren't on board with Gov. Ron DeSantis' (R)ask to allow smokeable MED.
  5. Legal experts doubt an Oregon proposal to export product out of state is possible without federal legalization.
  6. A proposal would overhaul Boston's licensing process to give priority to local businesses.
    Boston Globe
  7. In May, Denver voters will have the chance to legalize psychdelic mushrooms via ballot initiative. Wired discussed the fungi as a possible treatment for Depression and PTSD.

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Report: Wall Street Readying to Go Green

Chris Li

Wall Street faces hurdles big and small as it tries to join the green rush. CNBC reports both Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have analysts researching the industry, though neither has officially initiated coverage.

  • Goldman advised liquor company Constellation Brands on its $4 Billion investment in Canadian producer Canopy Growth. Merrill helped finance the deal.
  • A corporate firewall blocked a Goldman Sachs analyst from studying packaging company KushCo.
  • For some reputational risk remains a concern.
  • Cowen's Vivien Azer leads Wall Street's highest profile cannabis research team. She sees the US market growing to $80 Billion by 2030.

Illicit Markets Still Thrive

More than two years after it legalized REC, the illicit market still accounts for 75% of cannabis sales in Massachusetts, the Boston Globe reports. In California it's 80%.

  • One reason the illegal market continues to boom is that heavy users who account for roughly three quarters of sales are very price sensitive.
  • Prosecuting unlicensed businesses and illegal operators remains controversial as well since it seems to undercut the whole rationale for legalization.
  • California lawmakers hope to support legal businesses with bills to lower taxes, and enable access to banks.
    Sacramento Bee

Quick Hits

  1. Cannabis jobs are booming, and pay 11% more than the US median salary. 🌴For more see WeedWeek California.
  2. L.A. began its long awaited Phase 2 licensing rollout. 🌴For more see WeedWeek California.
    MJBiz Dail
  3. Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada, hit pause on social use discussions.
    Las Vegas Sun
  4. There's a race to develop cannabis beverages with an alcohol-like onset. It may not be possible.
  5. Ontario grower Green Relief says it's the only licensed facility in the world which combines a marijuana grow and a fish farm. The company, which fertilizes plants with tilapia waste, claims to use 90% less water and produce better yields than conventional grows.
  6. A Canadian money manager called all-stock pot deals "funny money going back and forth."
    BNN Bloomberg
  7. Canadian player Canopy Growth plans to invest as much as $500M in US hemp.
    Yahoo Finance
  8. Denver is hiring a "cannabis process navigator" to help businesses navigate the city's bureaucracy.
  9. We had a great time at WeedWeek Recharge. In coming days, look for videos of the program at WeedWeek.net.

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Health & Science

Arizona Extracts Fight Continues

Sumiko Scott

With the Arizona Supreme Court soon to hear the case, an Arizona prosecutor reiterated the argument that extracts do not qualify as MED.

  • Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk compared concentrates to illegally manufactured bombs. Allowing them, she said, "Would be akin to a finding that explosives produced from fertilizer are protected by laws allowing the sale of farm products.”
  • Oral arguments are scheduled for March in a case which will determine whether 180,000 patients will have access to concentrates.

Quick Hits

  1. A Colorado family featured in Acreage Holdings' rejected Super Bowl ad spoke to the Canon City Daily Record. "It makes me feel like somebody's playing a game with our son's life and so many others," Amy Bourlon-Hilterbran said about her son, who suffers from a severe seizure disorder.
  2. Chronic pain is the most common symptomtop symptom MED patients as their top reason for using
  3. The N.Y. Times Magazine's ethicist weighs in on whether a doctor can refuse to treat a cannabis user. A bill in Oregon would ensure cannabis users can receive organ transplants.
    Bradenton Herald
  4. Harvard researchers found cannabis use may increase sperm count.
  5. Israeli researchers learned cannabis may relieve symptoms of autism.
    Times of Israel
  6. Cannabis Wire met Katexco, a cannabis biotech company targetting Crohn's disease.
  7. Quebec unveiled a bizarre anti-cannabis PSA campaign. 🍁For more see WeedWeek Canada.
  8. Alcohol deaths in the UK hit a record high.
  9. The club drug ketamine could be approved next month to mitigate suicidal ideation.

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Justice and the Law

CBD: Confusion and Crack Down

Authorities in New York City and Ohio are cracking down on CBD. And a 9-ton hemp shipment stopped in Oklahoma suggests the compound's legal status will sow confusion for some time to come.
Eater, Cincinnati.com, Tulsa World

  • New York City's health department has stopped at least five restaurants from selling CBD-laced foods, citing federal guidance that it's not safe as a food additive.
  • In Ohio, authorities have "embargoed" CBD products at retailers, meaning the products can be identified, itemized and removed from shelves.
  • After a nine-ton shipment of industrial hemp was stopped in Oklahoma, two of 11 samples taken tested marginally over the 0.3% THC limit, which the federal government considers the divider betwen hemp and marijuana.
  • For reasons which aren't entirely clear, the shipment will now be sent to Colorado for extensive testing. Tulsa World writes the situation "exposed how unprepared Oklahoma -- and probably other states -- is for legal industrial hemp."
  • Canna Law Blog weighs in.

Quick Hits

  1. Buzzfeed has a disturbing story about a 23-year old California budtender who was manipulated by hackers and ended up dead in a river in the Phillippines.
  2. Massachusetts delayed implementing its social equity program.
    Boston Globe
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Cannabis Church Found Guilty

Following a two-year legal process and a four-, a jury found Steve Berke, co-founder of Denver's International Church of Cannabis, guilty of public consumption and violating the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act. He was ordered to pay $50.

  • Members of the church are known as Elevationists. According to the FAQ, "Our lifestance is that an individual’s spiritual journey, and search for meaning, is one of self-discovery that can be accelerated and deepened with ritual cannabis use."

Quick Hits

  1. By the end of the year, West Hollywood could have as many consumption lounges as the rest of the US. 🌴For more see WeedWeek California. Cannabis Now
  1. An Australian fisherman fashioned himself a bong out of a dead shark.
    Daily Mail
  2. On Instagram, @overheardla shared a #PerfectStorm L.A. moment.

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