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

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!

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'Us': Illicit Market Gains
Amid Licensing Debacle

California marijuana businesses continue to fall into illicit status at an alarming rate. Lapsing licenses, and the notion that legalization is a ruse to ruin cannabis culture, may be peaking right as the 420 holiday arrives.
A quick remedy is on deck in Sacramento. Senate Bill 76 would extend temporary licenses for growers who have already applied. Without it, almost 10,000 licenses will expire by April's end.
The Aggie

  • “I do believe the state will get our license approved in time,” said Wendy Kornberg, CEO of Sunnabis, a cultivator in southern Humboldt County. “I have to believe that, otherwise we lose everything. I would lose my home. I would lose my land. I would lose my farm. We would have nothing left."
  • State senator Mike McClure's bill contains an urgency clause that would send the temporary license extensions into effect immediately after signing.
  • “The bottom line is this: This bill is going to protect thousands of cannabis farmers, in particular, who did the right thing and applied for a state license ," said McClure.

L.A. Alleges Fungicide Use, Hits Illicit Dispensary with Lawsuit

Courtesy of Getty Images

On Wednesday morning, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer took to Instagram to tease a coming development in the "ongoing criminal enforcement against unlicensed pot shops."

By lunchtime, Feuer announced the first-ever municipal lawsuit against a dispensary. The suit alleges unlicensed business Kush Club 20 sold cannabis containing a fungicide not allowed for cannabis.
Los Angeles Times

  • The fungicide, paclobutrazol, is typically used on golf courses. The EPA classifies it as a toxic chemical.
  • L.A.'s suit asks that the South L.A. business shut down. The court is also being asked to award a $20,000 civil penalty for each day Kush Club 20 operated illegally.
  • "Customers patronize illegal shops at their peril, and undermine businesses who play by the rules — and whose product is tested to protect buyers' health," Feuer said. Los Angeles reportedly has shut down 113 illegal dispensaries

In SLO, the Scent of Success
Is Slow in Arriving

Photo by Matteo Paganelli on Unsplash

While its southern sister Santa Barbara functions as a model of legal weed, San Luis Obispo continues to struggle in establishing rapport with residents, whom are presently exercising their power of rejection in both preemptive and reactive ways. County Supervisors relieved grower CFAM, the county's largest farm, of its license this week.

Fify miles north, Creston residents this week gathered to make known their opposition to a marijuana farm just outside its city limits. The indoor facility, the people feared, would unleash a bad smell.
San Luis Obispo Tribune / KSBY

  • The CFAM action comes after residents appealed its license. At Tuesday's meeting, multiple code violations were cited. CFAM was forced to cease operations immediately. Supervisor Lynn Compton said the business had “nauseous smells” and unpermitted structures.
  • In Creston, Daniel Maldonado is trying to develop land to grow, process and package. In addition to residents odor concerns, there's Maldanado's business location. The land sits 1,200 feet from an elementary school. The allowable distance from a school is 1,000 feet. The Atascadero School District is opposing the grow.
  • In good grow news from the north, Sonoma County approved its first large farm, despite neighbors strongly protesting the possibility of crime and, yes, potential odors.


  1. As if trying to prove that bringing litigation is a cannabis trend right up there with dabbing, dozens of Nevada companies are suing the state's tax department. over secrecy. The litigants call Nevada's licensing process opaque.
    NEWS3 Las Vegas
  2. The State Water Resources Control Board this week updated its Cannabis Cultivation Policy The changes go to practices that might alter the course of streams, creeks, rivers or lakes)
    Cannabis Industry Journal
  3. The River City's Chief of Cannabis Policy writes that Sacramento has fewer illicit operators than many cities because the local regulators developed a "comprehensive framework to regulate each part of the industry and created a functioning marketplace that supports the transition of the cannabis industry, while also implementing enforcement strategies to reduce the illicit market." Devlin says Sactown legal weed has generated 1,000 new jobs and will add more than $7M in taxes to the city’s General Fund.
    Sacramento News & Review
  4. An assembly bill would call for local municipalities to issue one cannabis license for every four liquor licenses. And that seems fine, for now.

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Which Culinary Indulgence
Does More for 420?

Courtesy of Getty Images

Drink and food are coming on so fierce in the cannabis sphere that one wonders whether someday the annual celebration will be about archaic forebears who mindlessly smoked. Carl's Jr. and Ben & Jerry have wrapped themselves up in weed on the cannabis nation's most patriotic weekend.
CNN / Forbes

  • When we think of the progressive industry envisioned by some pot pioneers, the late Carl Karcher isn't a name that comes to mind. But in 2019 his Carpentaria-headquartered CKE Enterprises is adding CBD to the sauce of its Rocky Mountain High Burger. The item is available only in Denver, only today.
  • The Rocky Mountain High burger comes as a follow-up to this winter's introduction of the plant-based sandwich Beyond Beef. The product is aimed at "future Carl's Jr. customers that are younger," said brand marketing VP Patty Trevino. "They are more open to different flavors of products." CKE might even get another burger out of this.
  • With an assist from San Jose-based Caliva, the ice cream brand's 420 offering performs the nifty trick of doing more for marijuana than CJ's CBD burger without even touching the plant. While supplies last, Caliva delivery orders placed today and yesterday are being accompanied by a free pint of Half Baked, with 4.20% of holiday proceeds going to the Bay Area non-profit Code for America , in support of the Clear My Record expungement project.

More Bad
Publicity for MedMen

Courtesy of Getty Images

When the reporter who the penned the infamous Lindsey Lohan profile Here is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie? reaches out to you -- and you've been hounded by negative headlines -- really, ignoring his texts is always an option. LA-based MedMen seem to have spaced when that maxim went out. The article's most memorable nuggets are no one's idea of positive P.R.
Rolling Stone

  • The company just spent $53 million for a retail license in Florida, a risky move, considering that the state that is a couple of years away from REC becoming legal. Meanwhile, Medmen's stock price has dropped from $7.57 to about $3 per share when the article went to print. “The company is far out ahead of their skis,” one marijuana player is quoted as saying. That person described the company's odds of success over the long haul as “microscopic.”
  • Details from the investor lawsuit against CEO Adam Bierman and Andrew Modlin get their largest audience yet, with the ugly “pussy bitch” and “midget Negro.” language accusations getting still more oxygen. MedMen was ejected from the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association over the allegations.
  • The author mocks Bierman's energetic approach. "Seize-the-day rhetoric is an interesting take for a company selling a product renowned for encouraging people to lay around eating leftover Chipotle while watching Saved by the Bell." Ouch. Again, Rolling Stone or not, this call did not have to be taken.


  1. Better acquainted with a different kind of extraction, the company California Gold Mining bought 5,000 pounds of seeds as it moves full-bore into the hemp business.
    IT Business Net
  2. An Arcata-based company is offering a Costco-style set-up with deep discounts for members. Pay a $79 annual fee and buy products for as low as much as half price.
  1. NorCal Cannabis Chief Compliance Officer AnnaRae Grabstein offered a full interview on the delivery dilemma. Law.com
  1. The Marijuana Company of America purchased 20% of Natural Plant Extract for $2M.
    Seeking Alpha

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The Doobie Sisters of Merced
Are Ready for their Close-Up

On the heels of its Friday premiere at the Sedona Film Festival, Breaking Habits -- the documentary on activist nuns in Merced who sell MED -- screens tonight in Hollywood. One critic writes that Breaking Habits contains "a series of turns that no novelist would dream of trying to make credible." The film is available on iTunes and it seems the whole world is watching.
Sydney Morning Herald

  • Director Robert Ryan's central conflict is between Sister Kate and Sheriff Vernon Warnke. The nun's remarkable backstory is being described as a source of inspiration. As in life, this marijuana operator is struggling to get her permitting straight.
  • Illicit market thieves are the nun's second antagonist. In spite of these impediments, the sisters' business brings in $5M per year.

Briefly, About this Holiday...

Aside from the cash infusion that holidays bring about, what's the point of 420 in 2019? Is it a post-legalization sales bonanza? Or is the holiday still about pot's activist roots? WeedWeek California is not alone in asking whether the holiday is overrated or irrelevant.

Leafly asked a panel of leading-edge cannabis types about the holiday's present-day meaning and got some thoughtful replies. Kana Flow's Amanda Reiman offered a thought that drips of honesty: "4/20 has long been used in conjunction with the 'stoner' stereotype to sell products to a certain demographic. As soon as people knew what 4/20 was on a broad scale and it had proven appeal, it was bound to be commercialized."
Leafly / Dispensary

  • Once aptly described by Hempfest's Vivian McPeak as "half celebration and half call to action," 420 is has morphed into something like cannabis Black Friday. This evolution leads many to believe, as does Jeff the 420 Chef, that "commercialization is what often brings legitimization."
  • Sure. Let's buy that premise. Maybe the old non-consumerist consciousness might be pushed into the following 24 hours. April 21 is a date that some activist would like to see dedicated to social justice.
  • With all of this in mind, let us consider the less fortunate, residents of non-legal states who risk law enforcement scrutiny and untested bud to celebrate like we fully-endowed human beings.


  1. The jounal Pet Behaviour Science published a small cannabis study. In an experiment, dogs were treated with CBD twice a day on an empty stomach. Two of three dogs' owners report that the treatment improved their dog’s condition.
    Marijuana Moment
  2. On the heels of being pegged as source material for Lindy West's tormenting boss on Hulu's Shrill, Dan Savage is bringing the Spliff film festival to San Francisco. Think of it as Hump!, but with joints where penises might be.
    SF Weekly
  3. On Thursday, Cypress Hill was given a star on the Walk of Fame, making the local legends the first Latino rap act to get one. (Sorry Gerado!) The star fittingly sits in front of the Green Leaf Restaurant.
    High Times
  1. Scientists looked beyond the name strains to learn that Nevada weed has had “extremely low chemical diversity,” amongst varieties. In other words, their research shows the state's bud varieties is largely just the same shit.

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