With Democrats controlling the House of Representatives, and Democratic presidential candidates staking out liberal positions, cannabis is more relevant in federal politics than it has been since Colorado and Washington state legalized REC on Election Day 2012.
"All the cool presidential candidates are doing it." --Tom Angell
Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) hired former marijuana lobbyist Dan Riffle as an advisor. Riffle will focus on health care and tax reform.
Maryland MED regulators said the legislature would likely have to clarify whether state rules aim to prevent large, out-of-state companies from dominating the state industry. Last year the Baltimore Sun reported several large out-of-state operators were vying to enter the state market, possibly against state rules.
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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.
While some industries hunker down, Wall Street's top cannabis analyst, Cowen's Vivien Azer, remains bullish on the sector. Azer expects the three pot stocks she covers -- Canadian producers Canopy and Tilray and US-based KushCo (Formerly Kush Bottles) -- to outperform in 2019.
Cannabis companies raised $13.8 Billion in 2018, up from $3.5 Billion in 2017, and saw M&A activity double to more than 300 deals.
New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell asks "Is Marijuana as safe as we think?" The answer, he decides, is it's complicated:
Cannabis is not coffee. It’s somewhere [between coffee and opioids in terms of risk.] The experience of most users is relatively benign and predictable; the experience of a few, at the margins, is not. Products or behaviors that have that kind of muddled risk profile are confusing, because it is very difficult for those in the benign middle to appreciate the experiences of those at the statistical tails. Low-frequency risks also take longer and are far harder to quantify, and the lesson of “Tell Your Children” and the National Academy report is that we aren’t yet in a position to do so.
Though he admits the evidence is limited, Gladwell's piece approvingly highlights the most alarming findings from Alex Berenson's new anti-pot book "Tell Your Children,": That cannabis can cause serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, and consequently lead to violent behavior.
In the end Gladwell agrees with everyone else that more research is needed. 🌴Donnell has a harsher assessment in WeedWeek California.
And in Leafly, David Bienenstock writes, "Tell your Children' to Reject Berenson's Debunked Nonsense."
A federal lawsuit filed by Pennsylvania MED doctor and patient Dr. Matthew Roman challenges the ban on MED patients buying guns. Roman claims his Second Amendment rights were violated when he couldn't buy a gun at a Philadelphia area store after acknowledging his legal MED use.
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LitHub goes on safari and finds unexpected joy in online strain reviews, like this one, of indica Louis XIII, from Leafly:
About five minutes later I was literally having a conversation with my cat about how jealous she had been getting of all the attention my dog was getting from the family. For a while I was almost hallucinating as I talked with inanimate objects and then saw and felt the presence of people from the future I think.
My all time favorite Leafly review begins, "Pretty hard to write this on Dream Beaver."