WeedWeek
Politics
   

REC Gains Mo in New York

After years of wariness, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called on the state to legalize REC. Cuomo, long seen as a potential presidential candidate, couched the goal in the language of social justice.
NY Times

“The fact is we have had two criminal justice systems: one for the wealthy and the well off, and one for everyone else,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Hemp is Legal

President Trump signed the farm bill, legalizing industrial hemp. Brookings' John Hudak has an explainer on what it means for CBD, and more.
Axios

Industry Plans Aggressive D.C. Agenda

With Democrats about to take control of the House, the industry is preparing an aggressive pro-cannabis agenda.
The Hill

Quick Hits

  1. To boost tax revenue, San Diego is auditing its dozen dispensaries. 🌴For more, subscribe to WeedWeek California.
    LA Time
    s
  2. Well connected Sacramento fixer Jason Kinney is under scrutiny for his ties to Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and the cannabis industry.
    CALmatters
  3. Legalization activists want Nebraska to vote on MED in 2020.
    NY Times
  4. Massachusetts towns continue to bicker over who will allow pot shops.
    Boston Globe
  5. Alaska is set to become the first state to allow onsite consumption at dispensaries.
    USA Today
  6. West Hollywood will allow consumption lounges to open next year.
    Eater
  7. Lots of Michigan communities are already banning pot shops.
    Detroit Free Press
  8. In a complex and closely watched case, a Florida appeals court put on hold a ruling that the state's 2016 MED law had been violated by legislators and the state health department.
    Orlando Sentinel
  1. Canada released its long awaited edibles rules, and they're strict. No more than 10 mg of THC will be allowed in a package, compared to 10 doses of 10 mg each in Colorado and California. 🍁Lots more in WeedWeek Canada!
    @MikePHage
    r, CT
    V
  2. New Zealand plans to hold a referendum on REC in 2020.
    Sydney Morning Herald

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Business
   

John Kinder Labatt doesn't know what to make of the future

Big Deals for Tilray

Canadian MED company Tilray landed the industry's first global pharmaceutical partnership. Sandoz AG, a division of the Swiss drug giant Novartis, will sell non-smokeable Tilray products in legal jurisdictions worldwide.
Bloomberg

  • The deal builds on an existing partnership with Sandoz Canada.

Tilray also announced a $100M partnership with AB InBev, the world's largest brewer, to develop cannabis-infused beverages for Canada.
Reuters

  • The aim is to have products ready when Canada is expected to legalize edibles in October 2019.
  • InBev is the parent company of Budweiser and Canada's Labatt.

Terra Tech Hit With Fraud Suit

The co-owner of a Blüm dispensary in Reno has filed a lawsuit accusing business partner, California-based Terra Tech of skimming millions in profits.
Reno Gazette-Journal

  • The lawsuit includes 50 claims of fraud, conspiracy and elder abuse and accuses Terra Tech of diverting the dispensaries profits to other failing ventures.
  • Terra Tech calls the suit "meritless."
  • In the most recent quarter Terra Tech reported cannabis income of $5.8M down 19% from Q2 and 33% year over year.
    New Cannabis Ventures

Quick Hits

  1. Canadian producer Aleafia Health said it would acquire competitor Emblem in a $173M all stock deal. Emblem was founded by John H. Stewart, a former executive at opioid maker Purdue Pharma. WeedWeek has the details.
  2. MJBiz says brand development and scale are the factors driving deals.
  1. A handful of companies received more than half of Nevada's new dispensary licenses.
    Las Vegas Now
  2. Canna Law Blog discusses why 2018 was a tough year for the California industry.
  3. In Forbes, a few executives make predictions for 2019.
  4. Maryland ruled politically-connect MED grower ForwardGro will be fined $125,000 and face two-years probation after it used a prohibited pesticide.
    Baltimore Sun
  5. Retail workers tested positive for illegal drugs at the highest rate of all industries, according to a new study from lab giant Quest Diagnostics.
    USA Today
  6. I wrote Quartz's guide to the cannabis industry. (Paywall)
  7. Boss Ladies of Cannabis (BLOC) is asking about womens' #MeToo moments in the weed world.
  1. A handful of companies received more than half of Nevada's new dispensary licenses.
    Las Vegas Now
  2. In Forbes, a few executives make predictions for 2019.
  3. Maryland ruled politically-connect MED grower ForwardGro will be fined $125,000 and face two-years probation after it used a prohibited pesticide.
    Baltimore Sun
  4. Retail workers tested positive for illegal drugs at the highest rate of all industries, according to a new study from lab giant Quest Diagnostics.
    USA Today
  5. I wrote Quartz's guide to the cannabis industry. (Paywall)
  6. Boss Ladies of Cannabis (BLOC) is asking about womens' #MeToo moments in the weed world.

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Health and Science
   

Study: THC Modifies Sperm Genetics

Duke University researchers found that THC alters the genetics of sperm cells, but they don't yet know if it's a problem.
Inverse

Quick Hits

  1. Another study found youth use hasn't increased with legalization.
    Marijuana Moment
  2. A 91-year old Canadian scientist, who spent his life studying farms weeds, now has a site he maintains called weedscanada.ca. But now some visitors are being blocked.
    Ottawa Citizen
  3. Wired looks at the science of cannabis dependence which affects about 9% of users.
  4. Researchers at Johns Hopkins identified a genetic trait which may explain why cannabis damages the brains of some teenagers.
    EurekaAlert
  5. California issued recalls for 29 companies caught up in the Sequoia Labs testing imbroglio.
    MJBiz
  6. In the Washington Post, researchers discussed why men favor legalization more than women, and use more cannabis than women.
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Justice and the Law
   


Trump Signs First Step Act

Trump signed the bipartisan First Step Act, which will increase prison rehabilitation efforts and give judges more discretion in sentencing drug offenders.
Al-Jazeera

  • Supporters included the conservative Koch Brothers network, the liberal Center for American Progress and the Fraternal order of Police.
  • The included reforms are less sweeping than progressives had hoped.
  • Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) failed in an attempt to tack cannabis reform onto the measure.
    Denver Post
  • The Washington Post discusses how Republicans became more amenable to criminal justice reform.

Quick Hits

  1. A new report from the libertarian Cato INstitute suggests legalizing marijuana would be a more effective way to reduce drug smuggling than a wall on the border with Mexico.
    Big Think
  2. Rev. Al Sharpton called for equity in the cannabis industry.
    NBC
Culture
   

NBA Evolving on Cannabis

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver discussed the nuances of his thinking on cannabis use by players. The league continues to discuss the issue with the players association.
Bleacher Report

We should follow the science," Silver said. "This is not an ethical issue for me. It's not a moral issue for me. I obviously see what's happening in states around America."

Quick Hits

  1. Cannabis Air, Canada's first pot hotel, is in Toronto, and a bit of a fiasco.
    Leafly
  2. Look up this year's Emerald Cup winners in the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.
  3. In the Guardian, I wrote a stoner's guide to Christmas.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

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