57. Gov. Newsom Adviser Nicole Elliott: Live from WeedWeek’s Recharge Event
This week we bring you an episode recorded live at WeedWeek's Recharge event. Alex and Donnell interview Nicole Elliott, senior advisor on cannabis to Governor Newsom, in the office of business and economic development. She talks with us about her experience ushering in legal cannabis in San Francisco, the challenges of California regulation, social equity and Governor Newsom's vision for the future of cannabis in California.
Though Prop. 64 promised that plants would be tracked from the time seeds are planted until their resulting products are purchased by consumers, none of that is even close to happening.
About 627 licensed retail shops sell cannabis in the state. Through April, only nine were participating in the "seed-to-sale" system that has a $60M deal to track -- as well as trace -- all of our legal weed. Of the more than 1,000 manufacturers in the sector, just 93 are participating. Only 254 of 4,000 growers are taking part.
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Thirty-eight U.S. attorneys general this week urged Congress to pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE), legislation that would allow cannabis companies to access federally-insured banks. AGs from Republican outposts like Utah and North Dakota joined California Attorney General Xavier Beccera and the other AGs in articulating the harm presented to industry operators by classifying cannabis with banned narcotics.
Due to underperformance in the legal cannabis industry, the budget put forth by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Thursday scaled back cannabis revenue projections through 2020 by $223M.
John Kagia of New Frontier Data, called the move"a pragmatic confession."
San Bernardino Sun
If you're like most Californians, you only know legal weed from the far side of the dispensary counter. (Judging from illicit market sales figures, most people in Cali are unfamiliar with even the general insides of dispensaries.)
A fresh piece of writing on Santa Rosa's second Hall of Flowers event takes you to the other side of the counter to the brand-centric deals that don't resemble the old and iconic ones.
Or in alleys. Weed tourism in the vein of winery tastings is the next big Green Rush cash cow, and that's awesome. Probably.
Yet, as we move to the part where Mary Jane's inarguably wonderful attributes are celebrated en masse, let's not get so effervescent in extolling usage upticks that we forget: One New York-minute ago, this clean industry was associated with people of color, whom law enforcement targeted.