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.
Axios published a multi-part feature on the industry. Key takeaways:
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The New York Times assesses the Colorado market five and a half years after REC went on sale:
Reporter Jack Healy writes, "Colorado’s first-in-the-nation experiment has reshaped health, politics, rural culture and criminal justice in surprising ways that often defy both the worst warnings of critics and blue-sky rhetoric of the marijuana industry."
Westword discusses the changes, effective by the end of the year, which will make Colorado more hospitable to companies seeking investors.
Linton says he wants to build a company so big that there’s “no question who’s No. 1. [and] It’s difficult to see who’s behind us because they’re so far behind.”
Following a string of acquisitions, Canopy is no longer interested in buying cannabis producers, Reuters reports.
There's no Seeing Green column in this issue.
Next week we'll publish an exclusive WeedWeek interview with Kevin Murphy, CEO of Acreage Holdings, which Canopy plans to acquire for $3.4B upon federal legalization. (Or perhaps sooner.)
While federal authorities have not cracked down on state legal cannabis, the WSJ reports a section of the Justice Department called the U.S. Trustee Program is blocking companies and people connected to cannabis from obtaining bankruptcy protection.
Separately, a WSJ piece suggests interstate trade, should it arrive in a few years, could undermine indoor growers with high costs.
Canna Law Blog has a post warning about the five most dangerous contracts for cannabis businesses in California. By dangerous it means contracts that may not be defensible in court, or where the law remains untested or unclear.
A new study found CBD is "remarkably effective" at killing bacteria. In test tubes CBD showed promise for its ability to kill bacteria which have shown resistance to other drugs as well as staph and strp.
Stat reports the booming popularity of CBD is becoming a dilemma for doctors.
In Crain's New York Business, progressive filmmaker Jane Wells argues New York is better off for failing to pass its REC bill:
"No matter how we might have allocated tax revenue from marijuana, or incentivized people of color to become cannabusiness entrepreneurs—side issues which vexed legislators for months—legal cannabis in our state would have damaged the cause of social justice.
"The real social injustice of legalizing weed arises from how the explosive growth of the cannabis industry enables it to escape government regulation in states with legal weed, while rectifying the harms of the War on Drugs is relegated to the back burner."
A New York Times opinion piece by Jonathan Merritt discusses the Christian case for marijuana.