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Pamela Hadfield
Co-Founder, HelloMD HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers
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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

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BUSINESS
   

Up North, Pitched Tensions Between Wildlife Authorities and Farmers

Photo by Liam Macleod on Unsplash

The difference between a truce and a stalemate can be minute, and nowhere in the wide world of weed is this more true than behind the redwood curtain, where legal growers and their associates allege the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is retaliating against them for having been illicit market forces.
Red-Headed Blackbelt

  • Though DFW primarily manages wildlife, in 2019 its duties include marijuana grow-related environmental issues, such as stream diversion.
  • Humboldt County farmers claim DFW employees are unfairly rigorous in their site inspections. These growers suspect the department is trying to drive some of the financially troubled legal growers out of business. "They go out into the woods and find legacy issues," an anoymously quoted cultivation consultant said.
  • Over the past year and a half, CDFW employees are said to have discovered trash, banned pesticides, and even feces on Humboldt County grows, extended a helping hand to cannabis cultivators through public workshops and other outreach activities, and provided information on state licensing.
  • Joshua Grover, CDFW Cannabis Program Director, insisted this week that the department does all it can to help legal marijuana growers and pointed to its statewide outreach events and workshops as evidence.

A Quick Death for Bill
that Would Strike Down
Statewide Delivery

Courtesy of Getty Images

In Sacramento, a proposed law threatening delivery services' ability to operate in cities without REC businesses failed at the legislative committee level. A lawsuit spearheaded by the California League of Cities remains a serious threat. Twenty-five municipalities are part of litigation which was filed a year ago in Fresno Superior Court. The current policy was enacted last summer.
MJ Biz Daily

  • The legislation, AB 1530, was introduced by Assembly member Ken Cooley (D-Sacramento Co.), who can bring the proposed law back in a year. Regardless, Eaze spokeswoman Elizabeth Ashford said, "This is a great day for patients, consumers and legitimate cannabis businesses.”
  • The lawsuit hints at bigger issues that undermine California legalization. NorCal Cannabis Chief Compliance officer Anna Grabstein told WeedWeek California on Friday, "The tragic irony is that the delivery bans are propping up the illegal market."
  • About 17.6 million residents live in parts of the state where pot retail stores are banned. Grabstein, whose vertically-intergrated company delivers weed, noted that veterans spoke against the Cooley bill and called these "cannabis retail deserts" symptoms of "the new drug war." "There's a really clear solution to safe access, and that's delivery," she said.

QUICK HITS

  1. The legacy exodus has ripple effects. Listen to the true story of how a $10 million hole appeared in Sonoma Clean Power's budget. Turns out a bunch of their customers were growing pot, illicitly, and now those Sonoma folk are going out of business.
    KCBS
  2. A new Santa Monica dispensary will be Arizona company Harvest's first foray into California. The debut will be closely watched, in light of its unresolved and spellbindingly complex trademark protection lawsuit.
    Cannabis Dispensary
  3. Oregon's surplus weed could be heading our way if DC movement on pot and interstate commerce keeps up its momentum.
    Business Insider, AP
  4. Sure, people who sell pot aren't especially amped to be carrying around hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. But how do you think the tax collector feels?
    Sac Bee
  1. Illicit grows in Santa Cruz and Monterey coughed up 540 pounds of processed weed and more than $140k as sheriffs began going after hubs of illegal business.
    San Jose Mercury News

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POLITICS
   

Kern County Dispensary Owners Allege Local Officials Took Bribes

Courtesy of Getty Images

The spouse of the Antelope Valley Diamond Collective's owner said that he paid Kern's Planning and Natural Resources Director $70,000 to approve the dispensary. The accuser went on to say that some of the 2010 bribe was passed on to a County Supervisor. The allegations are included in a lawsuit brought by a group of dispensary owners and were denied by the officials.
Bakersfield Californian

  • The accuser, David Peralta, said he has no physical evidence to prove his allegation. The recollection Peralta shared is vivid. "The first thing director (Lorelei Oviatt) said was come by yourself and no cell phones with you," according to Peralta.
  • The allegations are part of a lawsuit against the county by embattled activist David Abbasi, who revealed the bribery allegations at a Bakersfield press conference on Monday.

Hundreds Crowd L.A. City Hall to Get Social Equity Clarity

Photo by Austin Censor on Unsplash

Southern California cannabis equity supporters became righteously unhinged last month upon catching reports that $5 million set to be the city's program budget would instead be diverted to cover LAPD cost overruns. It's no surprise then that a standing-room-only crowd trekked to L.A. City Hall last week to get clarity on where cannabis equity stands.
Cannabis Wire

  • The biggest news offering from Cannabis Regulation Director Cat Packer concerned personnel, not funding. By next week, the number of employess working under her will have grown from five to 16 over the past year, thereby making L.A.'s regulation mission more manageable. Packer also announced that an annual budget of $3M has been established for social equity.
  • Some advocates find the city's three-year commitment too small. Gabriel Guzmán of Latinos for Cannabis said funding should last longer than three years,” because “generational wealth cannot be created within this time frame.”

Bill for Terminal Patients
Could Bring Cannabis
Treatment to Hospitals

Photo by Elien Dumon on Unsplash

A bill initiated by the loss of a former Santee mayor's cancer-suffering son could spearhead the aboveboard arrival of marijuana in California hospitals. Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) is taking the bill to Sacramento, where next week it will be introduced to the health committee.
San Diego Union-Tribune

  • In full, Senate Bill 305 is called Ryan’s Law: Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis in Heathcare Facilities Act. The bill is named for Ryan Bartell, whose father was Santee Mayor Bartell, who's wife Elaine reached out to Hueso with the idea for the legislation. Ryan's Law would require that health care facilities allow terminally-ill patients to MED within the facility.
  • Ryan's traditional medical treatment kept him asleep. “He asked me if I would get him off those and allow him to use cannabis as an alternative,” Jim Bartell said. “The first hospital he was in wouldn’t allow it.” After Ryan was moved to one that would accept pot use, he was alert for his life's conclusion in a manner that he hadn't been on opiods.
  • Presently, having medical cannabis in a hospital would contradict the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act, which bans any institution receiving federal funds toa the use or distribution of controlled substances.

QUICK HIT

  1. On March 29, the State Water Resources Control Board announced that cannabis cultivators with water rights cannot divert surface water for cannabis cultivation activities, through October 31, unless the water diverted is from storage.
    Ukiah Daily Journal

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CULTURE
   

Which S.F. Festivals
Will Usher In
Bud Sales?

Courtesy of Getty Images

If WeedWeek California can grossly paraphrase (and probably contradict) Earl Sweatshirt, don't close your eyes to what you can't imagine. For outdoor festivals season is upon us, and we know Coachella remains in the clutches of provincialism. And county parks are off limits for imbibers in Los Angeles.

Is heading north the best fresh-air and legal option for smokily engaging our cannabinoid system? Possibly. A new pilot program in S.F. is lighting the way for more than outdoor consumption: Festival cannabis sales.
SF Evergreen

  • Though The City's Office of Cannabis Control has announced no event authorizations, Outside Lands, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, How Weird Street Faire, Clusterfest, Carnaval, S.F. Pride, and Folsom Street Fair could qualify under 2019 rules.
  • The ground-breaking event sales license could go to next month's How Weird Street Faire. “We’re interested in the possibility of having sales, and we’ve been pursuing that with the city,” said Michael Gosney, producer of the cannabis-themed Green Alley at How Weird Street Faire.

You'll Get No Oscar,
But You Will Get Lifted

Next Saturday will see celebrations in backyards and on beaches, from San Diego to Humboldt County. But only one has the enhanced sense of self to bill its festivities as "The Academy Awards of Weed."

Confidence goes well with parties, and it's easy to access when you have a virtual reality art park in which to make your party lit. The night is expected to be among the nation's top events on the twentieth night of April.
Leafly

  • Weed dignataries, including politicians, athletes, and other celebrites are expected to attend the "green tie" event. NBA legend and media personality John Salley will host, trendy local culinary brands will be in the Arts District mix, and musical guests will include James Lassiter, James Yoshizawa, and Alec King.

Quick Hit

  1. On the fringe of legality, ladies and gentlemen: 'The Cannabis Growers That Brought the Emerald Cup Back to Humboldt'

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