WeedWeek
Politics
   

Roger Stone Arrested (Not for Weed)

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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Legalization activist and Trump ally Roger Stone was arrested in a pre-dawn raid at his Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. home as part of the Russia investigation. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Stone with seven counts of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering.
NBC, N.Y.Times

  • Stone, who relishes his reputation as a dirty trickster, said he will not testify against Trump.
  • Stone owns a Richard Nixon bong and a Nixon hash pipe, perhaps among the only such novelties in existence. Bad vibes, man.
    Heavy
  • Stone was released on $250,000 bond.
  • I wrote about Stone's September 2017 visit to L.A. after a conference cancelled his appearance after a threatened boycott. Stone took umbrage with my description of his suit.
    Fast Company

Mr. Weed Goes to Washington

With the new Democratic Congress perceived as being 420-friendlier than last sessions Republicans, pot lobbyists have arrived on Capitol Hill.
The Hill

  • With full REC legalization still considered unlikely, their priorities include access to banks, the end of industry hated tax rule 280E and more clarify on the divide in state and federal law.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) who shepherded through hemp legalization last year is not a legalization supporter.
  • Anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana released a "Marijuana Industry Donation Tracker" to follow political contributions from the industry. In 2018 the top recipient was Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D). Cannabis Wire, The Hill

Quick Hits

  1. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) is eager to start a REC industry.
    Marijuana Moment
  2. A federal judge "expressed exasperation" with industry-hated tax rule 280E.
    National Law Journal
  3. The status of Florida's smokable MED case remains undetermined.
    Orlando Weekly
  4. A poll found most New Yorkers wouldn't try REC.
    Albany Times Union
  1. Some Australian politicians are going public about their past drug use.
    Sydney Morning Herald
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New Podcast Episode

WeedWeek Podcast
48. Weed on Wall Street with Business Insider's Jeremy Berke

New York-based reporter Jeremy Berke joins Alex and Donnell to discuss how Wall Street banks are wading into the green rush. Plus, a few words on data firm Headset’s partnership with mainstream data juggernaut Nielsen and the accounting giant Deloitte.

Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud

Business
   

California Wobbles into REC Year Two

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Hubert Mousseigne

California's seed to sale tracking system is up and running. But only 14 companies are using the Metrc software, which is produced by Florida company Franwell. MJBiz

Cannabis Investing Slows

Financial firm Viridian Capital Advisors found North American cannabis firms raised $208M in the first three weeks of January, down 60% from $500M year over year.

Quick Hits

  1. Fast Company profiles Canopy Growth, one of the most formidable Canadian companies. Canadian Bank CIBC says Canopy is on its way to being the "global titan" of Cannabis.
    Ottawa Citizen
  1. Green Growth Brands formalized its hostile bid for Canadian player Aphria, which says the C$2.8 Billion all stock offer is too low. Aphria competitor Aurora said it will soon unveil ambitious US plans.
    Marketwatch, Yahoo Finance Canada
  2. CBS rejected a Super Bowl ad from multi-state operator Acreage Holdings.
    CNN
  3. Following last week's tweetstorm, Canadian journalist Deidre Olsen writes for Leafly, about the toxic work environment for women at Cannabis Culture, the Canadian company started by Marc Emery.
  4. MED costs about $500 an ounce in Ohio, twice as much as Michigan, due to limited supply and tough regulations. Apparently unique to the Buckeye state, weed sells by the tenth of an ounce.
    Cincinnati.com
  5. For the first time, the industry had a presence at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
    Financial Post
  6. 🍁Jesse has lots more north of the border business news at WeedWeek Canada.
  7. High Times bought Barcelona conference Spannabis in a $7M cash and stock deal.
    Green Market Report
  8. Meet an Alberta couple who've put their kid's education money all into pot stocks.
    Financial Post

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Health and Science
   

More Berenson Blowback

Portland's Willamette Week talked to two Oregonian Ph.Ds, an economist who studies the relationship between drugs and crime and a neuroscientist who runs a cannabis services company about Tell Your Children the new anti-pot book by former N.Y.Times reporter Alex Berenson.

  • "I wish I had known the blowback would be as intense as it has been," Berenson said. "I think some people have criticized the book without even reading it. And some people have read it looking for stuff to criticize."
  • As elsewhere, Berenson's claims that cannabis causes psychosis stood up somewhat better than his claim that cannabis leads to violence.
  • Look out for my response to the book Monday, in the Guardian.
  • Science site Undark also weighed in.

Study: Pregnant Women Don't Consider Cannabis Harmful

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Suhyeon Choi

Researchers at the University of British Columbia, found that one-third of pregnant women believe it is safe to ingest cannabis during pregnancy.
CBC

  • The results are based on combining the results from six previous US surveys.
  • Doctors warn cannabis use during pregnancy may lead to pre-mature birth, low birth weight and lower IQ scores among other problems, but relatively little research has been done.
  • A recent study found almost 70% of Colorado dispensaries (budtenders) recommend cannabis as a treatment for morning sickness.
    The Takeout

Quick Hits

  1. A study found young people in liberal states use more cannabis, but show less dependence on the drug, than young people in conservative states, regardless of legality.
    The Verge
  2. A study found legal MED reduces on the job deaths, perhaps because when people are high they take fewer risks.
    Pacific Standard
  3. Colorado NORML wants cannabis testing to be based on impairment rather than bodily fluids. It also wants to end the practice of charging new mothers who test positive for cannabis with child abuse.
    WestWord
  4. There was another MED recall in Michigan.
    Oakland Press

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Justice and the Law
   

"Time to Talk Drug War Reparations"

Quartz says it's time to start taking equity seriously. Without it, Jenni Avins writes, the green rush threatens to be "a staggering tale of hypocrisy, greed and erasure."

Quick Hits

  1. Three owners of Colorado's Sweet Leaf dispensary, which was shuttered following a looping scandal, were each sentenced to a year in prison.
    The Denver Post
  2. Rappers Jay-Z and Meek Mill have joined a group called the Reform Alliance which aims to free 1M people from the US criminal justice system in the next five years.
    Vulture
  3. Portland businesses Green Box and Green Hop received the city's first equity grants, $30,000 each.
    Willamette Week
  4. Under an upcoming system, folks caught bringing small amounts of cannabis into Canada could face fines rather than years in prison.
    CTV
Culture
   

High Maintenance is Back!

High Maintenance, received glowing reviews as it returned to HBO for a third season. The Atlantic calls the show, which follows, the Guy, a New York City pot dealer on his rounds, "a gentle work of sociology, asking who people—all sorts of people—really are, and not harshly judging the answers that it discovers."

Quick Hits

  1. Actor Michael Caine told Rolling Stone why weed didn't agree with him.
  2. Nineteen year old skateboard pro Cory Juneau, who's ranked 7th in the world, received a six-month suspension after testing positive for weed.
    Sports Illustrated
  3. American tourists in Niagara Falls are confused they can't find any weed.
    Toronto Star