WeedWeek
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Politics
   

Coloradans Underwhelmed by Pot Taxes

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Five years into REC legalization Colorado has collected $160M in pot taxes for schools. It's about enough to build three high schools, but Coloradans haven't been blown away by the spending.
The Denver Post

  • Much of this owes to misconceptions about how the money is spent. There have been outlays for construction projects like upgrading electric systems and leaky roofs, but not much for teachers' salaries, books.
  • While voters in 2012 viewed pot taxes for schools as a strong incentive to legalize, they didn't necessarily understand how tax money would be distributed.
  • In the second part of the series, the Post finds legalization has often been a windfall for local governments and their public works projects.

Douthat on Pot

On The Argument podcast, N.Y. Times opinion columnists debated legalization. Social conservative Ross Douthat is wary of the cannabis industry, though leans towards decriminalization.

  • I also came across this 2013 column by Douthat comparing the spread of casinos ("straightforwardly disastrous") and pot ("a more complicated issue." It ends:

This is one reason previous societies made distinctions between liberty and license that we have become loath to draw -- because what seems like a harmless pleasure to the comfortable can devastatethe poor and weak.
Or else, with pot and slots no less than bread and circuses, it can simply distract their minds, dull their senses and make them easier to rule.

Quick Hits

  1. Massachusetts' top regulator asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren for help with access to banks.
    Boston Herald
  2. Florida's department of health has asked an appeals court to overturn a judge's ruling they say "injected confusion and uncertainty" into the state's MED program.
    Sun-Sentinel
  3. Tom Angell thinks the states most likely to legalize REC in 2019 are Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont (a legal market).
    Forbes

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.

Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud

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Business
   
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World's Largest Market in a Funk (the Bad Kind)

It hasn't been a green christmas for businesses in the world's largest REC market. Businesses following the rules struggle with high taxes, complex regulations and cities which want no part of them. Meanwhile the illegal market, which faces none of these problems, continues to thrive.
L.A.Times

"I'm not worried. One of my selling, or differentiating, points is that there's no tax on my product, and you can basically get it delivered to your door, by our drivers, no matter what time it is"
An unnamed New York City weed dealer talks to The New Yorker about REC legalization.

Quick Hits

  1. Customer facing cannabis businesses need to focus on privacy law compliance.
    Bloomberg Law
  1. Stock in Canadian producer Aphria jumped after US company Green Growth Brands approached with a hostile takeover bid. ��Jesse Staniforth has the details at WeedWeek Canada.
    Business Inside
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  2. Canadian pot retailer stocks have been "absolutely hammered."
    Seeking Alpha
  3. Marketing whiz Jeremy Goldman considers cannabis the country's most exciting industry.
    Inc.
  4. Facebook shut down a Kentucky hemp page shortly after President Trump signed the farm bill, legalizing hemp.
    Lexington Herald-Leader
  5. For credit unions, the banking issue is complicated.
    Credit Union Journal

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Health and Science
   
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Veterinarians Not Sold on CBD

An anonymous survey of more than 2,100 veterinarians published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science showed interest in CBD. But many vets felt they have not received adequate guidance on using it as a treatment.
Marijuana Moment

  • Sixty-six percent say they never prescribe CBD for dogs.
  • The compounds legal status remains a hundrance for about half of the vets interested in discussing it with their patients' (owners).
  • They want to see more research as well.
  • The survey found the most common conditions for discussing or prescribing CBD to dogs are pain, anxiety, seizures and storm and fireworks phobias.
  • Help could be a long time coming. Despite the farm bill making hemp legal, the FDA ruled CBD is still prohibited in food products and dietary supplements.
    AP

Scientists Struggle for MED Access

Despite public opinion overwhelmingly in favor of MED access and research, scientists are still struggling to get it into their labs.
Politico

  • “It’s almost a catch-22,” said Staci Gruber, a Harvard neurologist studying MED as a treatment for anxiety. “These products are widely available to the public. But as clinical researchers, we can’t administer one drop in a clinical trial.”
  • The quality of cannabis at the one federally-legal grow, at the University of Mississippi, remains a perpetual complaint. "It's brown, muddy garbage," said Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a board member of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation.

Quick Hits

  1. A columnist argues pharmaceutical MED will be bigger than REC.
    Toronto Star
  2. In a new study, Dutch researchers found high-THC marijuana to be significantly more effective at relieving pain than a CBD variety.
    Marijuana Moment
  3. In a new paper, the celebrated cannabis doctor and scientist Dr. Ethan Russo opposed referring to varieties of cannabis as strains. He prefers the term chemovar, short for "chemical variety."
    Marijuana Moment
  4. A feature in the N.Y. Times looks at how heroin hijacks the brain.
Editor Note

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Co-Founder/Photographer, Cannabis In Color Boutique Photo Service for the Industry, providing Custom and Stock Photos. 
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Pamela Hadfield
Co-Founder, HelloMD
HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers HelloMD on InstagramFacebook

Spencer Vodnoy
CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA
Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association
Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!
criticalmindinc.com

Justice and the Law
   

Southern States Warming to the Inevitable

The southeast is probably still the US region most averse to cannabis reform, but there are signs of a thaw.

Quick Hits

  1. Canna Law Blog has a post for lawyers trying to navigate the industry ethically, and with their accredidation intact.
  2. In British Columbia, some misinformed thieves were no doubt very disappointed to learn the REC they thought they stole was actually hemp.
    Vancouver Sun
Culture
   
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Tim Mielke

Survey: NFL Players Don't Mind Weed

NFL players have fairly liberal attitudes towards cannabis according to an anonymous survey of New York Jets and New York Giants players.
NJ.com

  • The survey asked players what they thought about New Jersey legalizing REC, if they thought the league should test for it, and whether they'd use it if it was legal.
  • Most responses to all three questions could be categorized as active support for legalization or benign indifference.
  • Several players said it helped them recover or expressed interest in learning more.
  • Earlier this year, recently retired tight end Martellus Bennett estimated 89% of NFL players use marijuana.
    USA Today

Quick Hit

  1. Worshippers can incorporate 'prasad' into their rituals during India's upcoming Kumbh Mela gathering. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims will descend on a Ganges River site between January and March.
    The Statesman
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WeedWeek wishes you a happy and safe new year!