WeedWeek
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Politics
   
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M Swiet Productions

New York is (Finally) Relevant in Weed

With lawmakers actively debating REC legalization, New York is suddenly talking cannabis.

Quick Hits

  1. California Sen. and presidential candidate Kamala Harris said she has smoked pot. This is a bigger deal for her than for most Democratic candidates because Harris was previously a prosecutor. 🌴WeedWeek California has more! Harris is just one of the suddenly pro-cannabis candidates who make longtime activists wary.
    Reuters, Washington Examine
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  2. The House of Representatives held its first ever hearing on the banking issue. 🌴WeedWeek California has more!
    Denver Pos
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  1. Illinois MED licensees are lobbying for a rule which would limit REC growing licenses to themselves alone.
    Crain's Chicago Business
  2. REC still looks like a long shot in New Mexico.
    Santa Fe New Mexican
  3. And less of a long shot in Mexico.
    Cannabis Wire
  4. Louisiana legalized MED in 2015 but it's still not available.
    The Daily Advertiser
  5. Acreage Holdings board member and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld said he will challenge President Trump for the 2020 GOP nomination.
    AP
  1. Illinois MED licensees are lobbying for a rule which would limit REC growing licenses to themselves.
    Crain's Chicago Business
  2. REC still looks like a long shot in New Mexico.
    Santa Fe New Mexican
  3. Louisiana legalized MED in 2015 but it's still not available.
    The Daily Advertiser

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
   
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Richard Price

Flow Kana Reaps $125M Funding

In what's being called the largest private fundraising for a cannabis company, NoCal craft distributor Flow Kana raised a $125M Series B funding.
CrunchBase

MedMen's Turn in the Barrel

MJ Biz Daily has a deep dive into the situation at L.A.-based retailer MedMen, which is facing three lawsuits and the possible loss of its West Hollywood store. The company is publicly traded in Canada and has operations in several key markets.

  • In the most recent suit, former CFO James Parker alleges CEO Adam Bierman and President Andrew Modlin used “millions of company dollars” on personal luxury items. It also alleges Bierman used homophobic and racial slurs.
  • MedMen’s board called Parker’s lawsuit “baseless” and expressed support for both executives. Biermen denied using the slurs.
  • In another suit, a group of early MedMen investors allege self-dealing by senior executives. MedMen has called it “frivolous,” and noted a procedural ruling in its favor.
  • A third suit alleges failure to pay staffers for off the clock work and other labor violations. MedMen has declined to comment.
  • Following Parker’s lawsuit, the company, which has a MED store on Fifth Ave. in Manhattan, was asked to give up its membership in the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association.
  • After falling short in a competitive bidding process, MedMen is also at risk of losing its flagship store in West Hollywood.
  • Mitch Baruchowitz, a principal at Merida Capital Partners, said the Parker lawsuit doesn’t necessarily affect MedMen’s core business, but it could cause problems anyway for the "hyper growth" retailer. “Regardless of whether the allegations are true,” Baruchowitz said, “the truth is, this a massive distraction, and it’s something that can lead investors to go, ‘I have 20 other options on the market to buy.”
  • In other MedMen news, director Spike Jonze will direct a short film for the company, starring Jesse Williams.
  • (Disclosure: MedMen was a sponsor of WeedWeek's recent Recharge event.)
    MJBiz, N.Y. Daily News, Hollywood Reporter

Quick Hits

  1. A report from US financial firm Raymond James argues the Canadian sector is way over-valued. 🦌For more check out WeedWeek Canada.
    CNB
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  2. Department store Barney's is opening a luxury head shop called the High End at its Beverly Hills location. The Atlantic has more.
    N.Y. Times
  3. Instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian has been criticized for putting scantily clad models in his cannabis brand Ignite's ads.
    Vice
  4. Green Growth Brands signed a deal to open CBD kiosks in 100 US malls.
    BNN Bloomberg
  5. The liquor industry is trying to figure out if legal weed is a friend or a frenemy.
    Law.com (Paywall)
  6. Calpers, the US's biggest pension fund, deepened its holdings of Tilray and liquor company Constellation Brands which holds a stake in Canada's Canopy Growth.
    Barron's
  7. Canna Law Blog has some straight talk about Oregon's messy market.

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Health and Science
   
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Cheese

UC Berkeley Researching Weed's Environmental Impact

The new Cannabis Research Center at UC Berkeley is studying satellite imagery of Humboldt and Mendocino counties to better understand the environmental impact of illegal cannabis growing. The hope is it will inform policy for the legal industry.
Wired

  • Among other things, it is studying water use and wildlife poisonings in the region.

“We have an army of undergraduates who look at high-resolution imagery and digitize how big the farms are, how many plants we can see,” Van Butsic, co-Director of the Cannabis Research Center

Quick Hits

  1. A Canadian study found teens and young adults who use cannabis may be at increased risk of depression and suicidal behavior. 🦌For more check out WeedWeek Canada.
    Montreal Gazett
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  2. Doctors have concluded a lollipop containing 90 mg of THC may have triggered a heart attack in a 70-year old man. 🦌For more check out WeedWeek Canada.
    LiveScienc
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  1. In the Guardian I wrote about the sensitive topic of MED for kids.
  2. A man is suing Bridgeport, Conn. for blocking him from becoming a firefighter because he has a MED card. The case could appear before the state's supreme court.
    CTPost
  3. A study found MDMA users may be more empathetic than users of other drugs.
    Inverse

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Justice and the Law
   
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MILKOVÍ

Washington, Denver Expungement Programs in Effect

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who's contemplating a run for the White House, offered pardons to thousands of low-level marijuana offenders, but so far only 13 have received them. The state legislature is now contemplating a more expansive measure, for which hundreds of thousands would be elligible.
Seattle Times, Spokesman-Review

Barr Confirmed as AG

The Senate confirmed William Barr as US Attorney General. Barr, who also held the position during the George H.W. Bush administration is no fan of cannabis, but in his confirmation hearings he said he doesn't plan to "go after" state legal businesses.
N.Y. Times, CBS

Quick Hits

  1. A proposal in Massachusetts would legalize delivery and reserve all license applications for equity candidates for five years.
    Boston Globe
  2. S.F. approved its first equity dispensary. Gov. Gavin Newsom tapped the city's top cannabis regulator, Nicole Elliot, to be his senior advisor on cannabis in the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.
    S.F. Equity Group, S.F. Examiner
  1. A jury convicted the Mexican drug lord "El Chapo" of running an industrial scale smuggling operation. The 61-year old could face decades in prison, potentially at the infamous "Alcatraz of the Rockies," in Florence, Colo.
    AP, N.Y. Times
  2. A former Baltimore cop tells the story of a man who committed suicide after he arrested him on a pot charge.
    The Appeal
  3. A Maryland student and cannabis activist expects to plead guilty to wiretapping charges, after streaming a cannabis related encounter with Rep. Andy Harris (R), without the lawmaker's permission.
    Baltimore Sun
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 Instagram

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

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

Culture
   
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Reza Rostampisheh

Frank Gehry Spent a Night in Jail for Weed

In a conversation with Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, superstar architect Frank Gehry talked about spending a night in jail after getting busted for driving with weed on his person. He also discussed a women's prison cell he saw which had six beds and one toilet for 12 women. "I think with our jails, if you're not a real criminal when you go in, when you go out, you are."
N.Y. Times

Quick Hits

  1. The Hollywood Reporter asks when cannabis will be on the red carpet.
  2. An Ontario golf course is rebranding as 420-friendly.
    Leafly
  3. Leafly also visits Michigan's first consumption lounge.