WeedWeek
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Politics
   
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Yukinori Hasumi

New York REC Fight Underway

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), a recent convert to REC legalization, is at odds with senior state lawmakers over how it should be done.
Buffalo News

What's Happening in Florida?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis still wants to eliminate the state's ban on smokeable MED, but has walked back his criticism of vertical integration in the state industry, which he previously called a "cartel."

A pre-existing requirement limited growers licenses to nurseries which had operated for at least 30 years, which DeSantis said "really restricted" who could join the industry. The requirement has been ended but new license applicants haven't been able to apply yet.
CBS-Local

Florida's Agriculture Department is hiring a cannabis director. Salary is $120,000.
Sun-Sentinel

Quick Hits

  1. Oregon's secretary of state released a damning audit of the state's cannabis regulatory program. For more see here.
    Oregonian, CBS - Local
  2. This week on the WeedWeek podcast: The Republican case for legalization.
  3. A proposal in Iowa would raise the permissible THC level in MED to 13%, up from 3% now.
    WeAreIowa

New Podcast Episode

WeedWeek Podcast
52. Buck Angel: From Porn Star to “Tranpa”

This week Alex and Donnell sit down with LGBTQ activist and cannabis entrepreneur Buck Angel to talk about the queer community's role in cannabis legalization, Buck's experience being the first trans man in LA to have hormone replacement therapy, and how he made his way from porn star to public figure. Plus, CBD is on the rise.

Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud

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For sponsorship opportunities contact ellen@weedweek.net and john@weedweek.net

Business
   
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Chuanchai Pundej / EyeEm

Weed Has Markets Seeing Green

US-affiliated companies accounted for two-thirds of the $3 Billion raised by the sector on Canadian stock exchanges last year. All other industries combined raised $920M.
MJBiz Daily

Some of the largest US money managers, firms with more than $100 Billion under management, are exploring loans to Canadian producers, to learn the business. BNN Bloomberg

Business Insider talked to cannabis VCs about where they plan to put their money in 2019.

Canopy Rivers President Narbe Alexandrian says: "Wave number one was cultivation, wave two is ancillary technology, wave three is CPG [consumer packaged goods], wave four is pharma, and wave five is mass-market, where you have your Coke and Pepsi-type oligopolies in play."

Right now is wave three.

Global pot stocks climbed 44.2% in January. Cannaccord Genuity published a list of their favorite pot stocks.
New Cannabis Ventures, CNBC


In a survey, Canada's Aurora topped Apple as millenials' favorite stock.
Business Insider

Weekend Unlimited's stock soared after it won the lottery for Canada's POT ticker symbol. It has been trading as YOLO.
The Growth Op

MedMen Sued Again

Former MedMen CFO James Parker has sued the L.A.-based retailer alleging he was pressured to "choose between complying with his fiduciary duty to the company and its shareholders or turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to improper and unlawful behavior."
MJBiz Daily

  • The suit also alleges a work place filled with “racial, homophobic and misogynistic epithets and slurs, drug and alcohol abuse, personal humiliation … (and) profligate spending by both the CEO and president.”
  • A MedMen spokesman said the suit makes "wild allegations that have no basis in fact."
  • In January MedMen was sued by an investor group which alleges breach of fiduciary duties. MedMen has called the suit frivolous.
  • The It also faces a potential class action suit which alleges labor law violations. MedMen declined to comment on the suit at the time it was filed.

Quick Hits

  1. California lawmakers want to cut REC taxes to support the legal market. 🏖️Donnell has more at WeedWeek California.
    L.A.Time
    s
  2. A leaked internal document has raised questions of mismanagement at the California Growers Association under previous leader Hezekiah Allen. The group's interim chairman called it inaccurate. 🏖️Donnell has more at WeedWeek California.
    MJBiz Dail
    y
  3. Vertically integrated Bay Area operator Norcal raised $27M. 🏖️Donnell has more at WeedWeek California.
    New Cannabis Venture
    s
  4. Proposed California legislation could allow Hemp CBD in foods.
    Canna Law Blog
  5. An economist proposes a fix for the the industry's "absurd" banking situation.
    L.A. Times
  6. Unionizing weed workers are reinvigorating the labor movement, Hayley Fox reports in Vice.
  7. Washington state businesses are complaining about a dearth of industry data since the state adapted a new track and trace system from MJFreeway, a year ago. MJFreeway says more data will be available soon.
    MJBiz Daily
  8. MJBiz Daily published a list of women to watch in 2019.
  9. Flowr, a high-end Canadian producer, is getting a lot of attention for its plan to start selling clones. 🍁Jesse has more at WeedWeek Canada.
    BNN Bloomberg
  10. The new Nevada brand BMK (Black Market Killer) is sun-grown to reduce costs and undermine the illegal market.
    N.Y.Post
  11. A Kentucky company says it can make hemp containing zero THC.
    Courier-Journal
  12. European MED products have outperformed expectations.
    Bloomberg
  1. California lawmakers want to cut REC taxes to support the legal market. 🏖️Donnell has more at WeedWeek California.
    L.A.Time
    s
  2. A leaked internal document has raised questions of mismanagement at the California Growers Association under previous leader Hezekiah Allen. The group's interim chairman called it inaccurate. 🏖️Donnell has more at WeedWeek California.
    MJBiz Dail
    y
  3. Vertically integrated Bay Area operator Norcal raised $27M. 🏖️Donnell has more at WeedWeek California.
    New Cannabis Venture
    s
  4. Flowr, a high-end Canadian producer, is getting a lot of attention for its plan to start selling clones. 🍁Jesse has more at WeedWeek Canada.
    BNN Bloomberg
  5. A Kentucky company says it can make hemp containing zero THC.
    Courier-Journal

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Health and Science
   
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Maria Badasian

Toxic Metal Found in Vape Cartridges

David Downs reports in Leafly that vape cartridges in California have tested positive for lead, a toxic metal Chinese factories use to manufacture the cartridges. Josh Wurzer, a founder of SC Labs says about .5% of batches they've tested have indicated lead, but he has heard of other facilities with higher failure ed tests.

The highest quality cartridges, known as CCELLs have shown results which fail California's testing limit of .5 parts per million lead, but pass Washington state's slightly looser standard. Oregon (and probably some other states doesn't require lead testing.

Lower quality cartridges may contain more lead. The problem is likely more widespread because California has the country's toughest testing standards.

The story does not specify any brands which found lead, but says California products manufactured after January 1, 2019 (look at the label) should be safe but because of the Chinese new year won't be available until the end of February. The situation in other states is less clear.


More Berenson Fallout

Mother Jones issued a big correction to its review of former N.Y.Times reporter Alex Berenson's new anti-pot book "Tell Your Children," saying that it, "overstated the connection that NASEM researchers found between marijuana, bipolar disorder, and the risk of suicide, depression, and social anxiety disorders."

Cannabis Wire talked to Ziva Cooper, director of UCLA's Cannabis Research Initiative, about what's wrong with the book's science.

I wrote about the book for the Guardian.

Quick Hits

  1. The World Health Organization recommended rescheduling cannabis.
    MJBiz Daily
  2. An L.A. doctor who prescribed MED for a four-year-old boy's temper tantrums could lose his license.
    L.A. Times
  3. With more cannabis left within easy reach, calls to pet poison control centers are way up.
    Mashable
  4. Expanding VA MED research has gained traction in Congress, but a way to make it happen remains unclear.
    Military Times
  5. Scientists used weed smokers urine to produce electricity. In addition to a power source the technology could be applied to break down harmful compounds in water.
    Marijuana Moment
  1. Cannabis Wire published a series of dispatches from the North American Cannabis Summit, a gathering of public health experts.
  2. UC Berkeley is launching a center to study the cannabis industry.
    CBS - Local

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Editor Note

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Sam Cornwall

Co-Founder/Photographer, Cannabis In Color Boutique Photo Service for the Industry, providing Custom and Stock Photos. 
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Find us at cannabisincolor.com and InstagramPamela Hadfield Co-Founder, HelloMD HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers HelloMD on InstagramFacebookSpencer 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

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

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

Justice and the Law
   

AG Nominee Confirms He Won't Target Industry

US Attorney General nominee William Barr has pledged in writing not to "go-after" state legal cannabis businesses.
Forbes - Tom Angell

"I have not closely considered or determined whether further administrative guidance would be appropriate following the Cole Memorandum and the January 2018 memorandum from Attorney General Sessions, or what such guidance might look like,"

Barr also said he wants to see more institutions allowed to grow MED for research.

After a long delay, the Trump administration released its drug strategy document.
Stat

Quick Hits

  1. Federal and local police teamed up to raid 50 illegal grow houses in the Denver area.
    Denver Post
  2. A lawsuit accuses Gwinnett County jail staff of using excessive force on a man suffering a seizure, who subsequently died. He was in jail after turning up a positive for cannabis on his probation drug test.
    Fox -- Local
  3. Baltimore cops said they'd keep making pot arrests, even though the city's top prosecutor said she won't prosecute them.
    AP
  4. Maine's Supreme Court upheld the eviction of a man who grew MED in his federally funded apartment.
    AP
  5. Filter talks to Casper, a longtime drug-dealer who wouldn't choose any other career.
  6. In Idaho there's confusion over whether an Oregon man was busted with more than three tons of cannabis or hemp.
    CBS-Local
  7. A Massachusetts MED grower busted after he appeared in a 2017 High Times article, plead guilty to federal charges.
    Telegram (Worcester, Mass.)
  8. Cops in Saskatoon, Sask. will soon start using a cannabis impairment tester which doesn't work below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures in Saskatoon are likely to drop below -30 this week.
    Star-Phoenix, Global
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Culture
   
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Erik Isakson

NFL Still a 'No' on Cannabis

About half of the NFL's 32 teams play in states with legal MED, and player interest is on the rise, but the league is keeping its no cannabis policy. WGBH (NPR, Boston)

Quick Hits

  1. High Maintenance co-creator Ben Sinclair talked food with Grub Street.
  2. Eater visits Moe Greens, S.F.'s opulent new consumption lounge. The city may also start to allow cannabis sales and consumption at events.
    S.F. Examiner
  3. The Vancouver Courier visits the city's first legal dispensary. 🍁WeedWeek Canada has a footnote on the owner's past life.
  4. I'm quoted in a piece on "mixed" relationships between cannabis users and abstainers.
    The Stranger