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Politics
   

New Jersey REC Deal Not Done Yet

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Mario Tama, Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy promised to legalize REC within 100 days of his swearing in. It's going to be close.
Leafly

  • A compromise has been struck to tax cannabis by weight at $42 an ounce, which will theoretically protect state coffers from price swings.
  • But Murphy has been distracted by a budget fight and a #MeToo uproar in Trenton.

"That's been the frustration since Murphy's election. We've felt so close for so long that it's beginning to sound like a contradiction...And so we now we finally have an agreement in principle on tough issues like regulation and taxation...So we're closer than we've ever been. Again." Scott Rudder, President of the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association.

Mmmm, Cheese

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Jamie Squire, Getty Images

Newly elected Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) opened the discussion on MED legalization. Evers, who narrowly defeated incumbent Scott Walker last year, connected enabling MED access to mitigating a wide range of social ills.
Cannabis Wire

  • Evers proposed a plan which would decriminalize, allow doctors to recommend MED and enable expungement of cannabis related offenses.
  • The Republican controlled state legislature may give him a hard time.
  • Bordering states Illinois, Minnessota Michigan and Iowa are all moving to loosen their cannabis laws.
  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed a budget which leans on gambling and betting taxes, though neither industry is legal in the state.
    AP

Quick Hits

  1. Hard hit by the opioids crisis, New Hampshire is bucking the legalization trend. “When we are dealing with opioids as the single biggest health crisis this state has ever had, you are going to tell me legalizing more drugs is the answer?” Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said last fall. “Absolutely not.”
    N.Y. Times
  2. California generated $345.2M in 2018 pot taxes, far less than the expected $1 Billion.
    San Jose Mercury News
  1. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has called on the National Guard to combat illegal cannabis activity in the Emerald Triangle. ��WeedWeek California is on the ground in NoCal.
    MJBi
    z
  1. The Orlando Sentinel has the latest on Florida's fights over smokeable MED and how many dispensaries a business can operate.
    Orlando Sentinel
  2. There are currently about 600 cannabis related bills before state legislatures and Congress.
    Forbes (Julie Weed)
  1. And quite a few just in California.�WeedWeek California has more.
    Cannabis Wir
    e
  2. Four out of Ohio's six statewide officeholders say they've never smoked weed. All have concerns about REC legalization.
    Cincinnati.com
  3. Alaska's industry is wary of new Governor Mike Dunleavy (R), who has said he doesn't plan to change legalization.
    AP

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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Business
   

Rethinking Equity

With the first wave of equity programs struggling to prove effective, Massachusetts is rethinking how to bring entrepreneurs of color into the industry.

  • Of Massachusetts 112 licensed businesses, nine are woman-owned and two are minority-owned.
  • Ideas include government issued low or no interest loans, allowing businesses to share facilities, and accelerating the application process for entrepreneurs from under-represented groups.
  • Commissioner Shaleen Title warned there's a limited window to create equity opportunities before major companies take over the market.
  • Meanwhile cannabis businesses are struggling to hire Black and Latino workers, who remain wary of working with the plant.
    NPR

Report: Cannabis Threatens Big Booze

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A new report from BDS Analytics and a leading liquor data firm predicts cannabis could be a major threat to the alcohol industry.

  • It found a greater number of consumers, especially millenials, like booze and bud, as opposed to older folks who tend to stick to one or the other.
  • The report noted up to 40% of cannabis consumers do so in states where it's now legal.

Quick Hits

  1. Canadian MED producer Tilray said it would acquire Manitoba Harvest, the world's largest hemp food company (Hemp Hearts) in a cash and stock deal worth up to C$419M. ��WeedWeek Canada has more.
    The Stree
    t
  2. Canada has more than 100 licensed cannabis growers, but four control about 70% of the market. �WeedWeek Canada has more.
    MJBiz Daily
  1. New Cannabis Ventures talked to CNBC host and money manager Tim Seymour about the emerging weed market.
    New Cannabis Ventures
  2. L.A. pot entrepreneurs are running out of patience and money.
    L.A. Times
  3. The industry's problems with heavy metals in vape cartridges may be just beginning.
    Cannabis Now
  4. Regulators halted REC sales until further notice at one of the closest REC shops to Boston. The shop blamed the state seed to sale system and the state blamed mismanagement at the shop.
    ABC-Local, Boston Globe
  5. Maine agreed to a three-year contract with Franwell, producer of the Metrc seed-to-sale tracking system.
    Bangor Daily News
  6. Pot-themed western sub chain Cheba Hut is going national.
    Denver Post
  1. Esquire profiles MedMen, the company's promise and its rapidly accumulating PR problems. (Disclosure: MedMen sponsored WeedWeek's Recharge event.) ��WeedWeek California has more.
    Esquire
  2. Leafly highlights some brands which give back to the community.

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Health & Science
   

Lawmakers Want Answers on CBD

A bipartisan group of congresspeople wants the FDA to "provide a legal pathway" for CBD-infused food. Recent CBD crackdowns in New York, Maine and Ohio have "spurred a tremendous amount of confusion among product manufacturers, hemp farmers, and consumers," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the agency.
Marijuana Moment

  • The FDA has refused to say whether it was involved in the recent crackdowns.
  • In Canada, CBD is regulated under the last years Cannabis Act, which legalized REC. Since edibles are not yet legal there, neither is CBD infused food, although it is a subject of intense lobbying.
    Financial Post

Quick Hits

  1. Bees like hemp, which is good news for the environment.
    Marijuana Moment
  2. A number of hash-oil related explosions suggest the industry has a lot of catching up to do on workplace safety.
    Politico
  3. Thailand legalized MED by royal decree.
    Washington Times
  4. MLive visits a cannabis science class at the University of Michigan.
    MLive

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Justice and the Law
   

SCOTUS Limits Asset Seizure

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Photo by Claire Anderson

In a unanimous decision, the US Supreme Court ruled the Constitution limits states' and municipalities' ability to practice civil asset forfeiture.
N.Y. Times

  • In the case, police confiscated the Range Rover of small-time Indiana drug dealer Tyson Timbs who pleaded guilty to selling $225 worth of heroin. Timbs had purchased the $42,000 vehicle with his father's life insurance policy.
  • In the future, authorities will not be barred from confiscating property, but there will be a question of whether the seizure was excessive.
  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for eight justices, noted that “Following the Civil War,” she wrote, “Southern states enacted Black Codes to subjugate newly freed slaves and maintain the prewar racial hierarchy. Among these laws’ provisions were draconian fines for violating broad proscriptions on ‘vagrancy’ and other dubious offenses.”

Quick Hits

  1. A new study out of the University of Colorado-Denver suggests crime rises in an area when a dispensary opens and then falls.
    Inverse
  2. In Nevada, business interests have pushed back at a bill that would ban businesses from not hiring candidates who tested positive for cannabis.
    Las Vegas Review Journal
  3. The Houston Police Department is curtailing the practice of no-knock raids after a January raid, potentially based on faulty information, which killed two civilians and left four officers shot.
    N.Y. Times
  4. Delaware's new AG Kathy Jennings said she would not prosecute pot possession.
    WHYY (Public Radio)
  5. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said his widely condemned drug war would soon get "harsher."
    ABS-CBN
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Culture
   

Cannabis Beauty is Becoming a Big Deal

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Sephora and other major make-up brands are going so big on CBD Wall Street analysts have begun to think of it as its own category: "beauty and the bong."
CNBC

  • Once the regulatory situation clears up financial firm Piper Jaffray pegs the potential total CBD market as worth up to $100 Billion annually.

Quick Hits

  1. Oscar night swag bags to the stars will be a little greener this year, and include an offer for non-cannabis related "phobia therapy."
    Vox
  2. 🌴At WeedWeek California, Donnell discusses the NBA's secret weed history.
  3. Due to new regulations, California cannabis festivals are struggling.
    OC Register