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Editor Note

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PLUS: WeedWeek is creating a new opportunity for industry leaders and experienced professionals.

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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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1.
   

STATES ACT Gains Traction in D.C.

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Drew Angerer / Getty Images

A bi-partisan group of Congress members introduced a bill which would allow individual states to determine their own cannabis policy. And insiders say it could pass.
Rolling Stone

  • The bill, known as the STATES Act, would not necessarily resolve the banking issue, MED research, industry-hated tax-rule 280E the or a host of other national topics.
  • Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R), who reintroduced a companion bill with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), says President Trump would likely sign it.
    Politico
  • The Senate is seen as a bigger challenge, but legalization supporter Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is optimistic. "I think [Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is not going to want to have his members be vulnerable."

Politico says support for cannabis reform is "the new litmus test" for Democratic presidential candidates.

  • Former vice-president Joe Biden, long a proponent of tough drug laws, could be the only top tier Democrat who hasn't endorsed legalization. Biden has not officially entered the race.

Quick Hit

  1. A federal lawsuit seeks to nullify Guam's new REC law.
    Pacific Daily News

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2.
   

CA Lawmakers Step in to Save Growers

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The California Senate voted 32-4 to extend almost 7,000 temporary growing licenses, before the state can approve permanent ones. 🌴For more see WW California.
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  • The state assembly is expected to pass the bill.
  • California Cannabis Industry Association executive director Lindsay Robinson called the bill "critical" for stabilizing the state's legal market.
  • Regulators have begun sending letters to growers whose licenses have expired, warning them to cease operations.
  • Meanwhile, 24 cities which restrict cannabis businesses are suing the state for allowing delivery services to operate within their borders. The cities claim it violates Prop 64 which guaranteed local control.
    L.A. Times.

In other key REC markets:

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3.
   

REC Push Teeters in NJ

After a proposal to legalize REC failed to attract enough votes, a pro-legalization New Jersey lawmaker said the legislature could vote again as soon as next month. But it’s not yet clear if the proposal will have the votes.
NJ.com

  • State senate president Stephen Sweeney (D) has said he’ll push the vote until after November if it doesn’t pass this spring.
  • Sources have told NJ.com that REC supporters are only one or two votes shy of it passing, but it’s not clear whether the holdouts require major changes to the proposal.
  • “My gut tells me it’s more tweaking than not,” Gov. Phil Murphy (D), who wants to legalize, said. He compared making it happen to landing on the moon, in that both initiatives faced setbacks.
  • For more see here.
  • Regardless of what happens, the state will stop training police dogs to sniff out weed.
    AP
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4.
   

Legalization Roils Israeli Election

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Zehut, a far-right wing party which calls for marijuana legalization and Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza, could tilt tomorrow’s election for Prime Minister.

Polls suggest Zehut could receive between four and seven seats in the 120-seat Israeli parliament, enough to potentially decide the balance between conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and centrist Benny Gantz.

Zehut leader Moshe Feiglin says he won’t join a coalition government unless it agrees to legalize REC.
N.Y. Times

  • The liberal newspaper Haaretz editorializes: “Whoever yields to ridiculous dreams of liberty and cannabis for all will pay dearly when he is enslaved by an apartheid, halakha [Torahic law] state.”
  • A sociologist called Feiglin an “extremist,” part hippie and part clown. Feiglin’s libertarian views on cannabis and the economy have attracted support from some young people who don’t necessarily support his policies towards the Palestinians.
  • The AP: "With his skullcap, trim beard and small round-frame glasses, the 56-year-old Feiglin hardly cuts the image of an iconoclast. But he’s become an internet sensation with viral animated online hipster memes portraying him as a cool gangster with sunglasses and a joint hanging from his lips."
  • Feiglin’s wife uses MED for her Parkinson’s disease.
  • Cannabis Wire checks in on Israeli MED research.

Quick Hits

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5.
   

More Companies Go Green

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A growing array of mainstream companies are looking to cannabis to accelerate growth, Reuters reports. The opportunity appears especially robust for logistics and supply chain companies.

  • Cryogenic equipment manufacturer Chart Industries sees cannabis as a growth opportunity; some extractors use liquified carbon dioxide.
  • Other players moving in include point of sale software company Socket Mobile, and security company Brinks.
  • An analyst described asking chemical company Balchem if it was going into cannabis. “I literally watched the stock jump 2% from the time I asked the question to the time he answered it. Anything associated with cannabis today is getting an increase in market value.”

Quick Hits

  1. Stock in Canopy Growth has climbed more than 2,100% since it went public (as Tweed Inc.) on April 4, 2014. Canopy now boasts a market cap of $15 Billion.
    Bloomberg
  2. In preparation for a public listing, High Times named longtime media and entertainment exec Kraig Fox CEO.
    Variety
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Editor Note

Introducing WeedWeek Council

WeedWeek is excited to announce the formation of a new group of cannabis experts and influencers: WeedWeek Council. We are currently searching for a select group of founding members.

What does this mean and how do I become part of it?

So much of the green rush doesn’t make it into the media - it’s the scuttlebutt at the latest conference or a quiet discussion between colleagues. WeedWeek Council aims to bring readers the latest thinking from top minds and experienced professionals.

Here’s how it works: In partnership with the market research firm SoapBoxSample, WeedWeek is assembling a group of about 25-30 individuals to start, representing a diversity of location and expertise. About two times a month, they will receive a short (5-minutes or less) survey on a topic in the news. WeedWeek editors will readthe council members’ responses, and share key insights in our newsletters.

Council members will be selected through a competitive process and will receive perks. For starters:

1. Access to the raw data collected by the WW Council surveys.

2. An exclusive monthly “consumer pulse” data snapshot from SoapBoxSample.

3. Council members will be recognized and listed on the WeedWeek site, if they so choose.

4. Council members will receive an Ambassador Seal for use on your website, social and printed materials identifying yourself as a cannabis thought leader.

We will always respect council members’ privacy. Responses will be default anonymous, with the option to submit quotes on the record for publication.

Want to join WeedWeek Council? Apply here. The first council members will be notified by April 24.

6.
   

CA Bill Targets Weedmaps

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A bill in the California legislature aims to block web sites from showing ads for unlicensed dispensaries. The law, which has support from much of the industry, could undermine Weedmaps, the online dispensary locator which accepts advertising from unlicensed pot shops.
LAist

  • Licensed shops resent Weedmaps for enabling consumers find unlicensed competitors. Since the latter don't have regulatory costs, they can offer lower prices.
  • Tech platforms are "not taking any responsibility that they are emboldening an illicit market," Jerred Kiloh, a prominent SoCal dispensary owner said. Weedmaps did not respond to LAist’s request for comment.
  • Last year, Weedmaps shrugged off a cease and desist letter from regulators.
    Guardian
  • If the bill passes, each violation could cost non-compliant sites up to $2,500 per day.
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Editor Note

WeedWeek has relaunched our Patreon program with swag, gifts, and promotional opportunities for supporters.

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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

7.
   

Study: CA CBD Rife with Mislabelling and Contamination

A study conducted by California testing lab CannaSafe found that of 20 popular CBD products only three contained as much CBD as the label promised. And some of the products contained "insanely high levels" of chemical solvents, some of which are toxic when vaporized.
Business Insider

  • The study did not reveal which brands were tested.

Outgoing FDA head Dr. Scott Gottlieb released a timeline for defining CBD's federal regulatory status, including a public hearing on May 31.
Cannabis Wire

In another hemp problem: Leafly looks into whether pollination from industrial hemp farms could ruin nearby marijuana crops. Similar concerns date back (at least) three centuries to the work of German botanist Rudolf Jakob Camerarius.
Wikipedia

And a study found cannabis from the only federally legal U.S.-pot farm -- at the University of Mississippi -- has a chemical composition closer to hemp than to commercially available cannabis.

Plus, U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) want clarity on banking rules for hemp companies.
Marijuana Moment

Quick Hits

  1. FDA is investigating 35 cases of individuals, mainly teens and young adults, who suffered seizures after vaping e-cigarettes. It's not clear if there's a causal link.
    Stat News
  2. A study of street hash available in Madrid found dangerous levels of fecal matter.
    BBC
  3. In the Guardian I wrote about cannabis and the opioid crisis.
  4. Filter explores what a legal cocaine market could look like.
8.
   

Cannabis Workers Denied U.S. Citizenship

Denver has appealed to the U.S. Justice Department, after two immigrants with permanent residency status were denied citizenship for working in the cannabis industry.
ABC

  • U.S. Customs and Immigration Services says it is obligated to follow federal law.
  • In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock asked that Colorado residents not be penalized for working in the industry.
  • Now that they are known to be affiliated with cannabis, it’s not clear whether the workers can leave and re-enter the country.
  • For more see Cannabis Wire.

In Canada, Canopy Growth hired Guatemalan workers for a massive production facility in British Columbia.
Financial Post

9.
   

L.A. to Clear 50,000 Pot Convictions

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Los Angeles County said it would use an algorithm to automatically clear an estimated 50,000 cannabis convictions. San Joaquin County (Stockton) said it would clear about 4,000 more.
L.A. Times

  • The process will use an algorithm developed by non-profit Code for America which can determine which convictions are eligible for expungement.
  • In 2014, San Joaquin County attempted something similar and it took four years to process 26,000 cases. This time, the algorithm went through San Joaquin County’s data in 12 seconds, according to the district attorney.
  • In February, San Francisco said it would use the algorithm to clear 9,000 convictions dating back to 1975.

The Marshall Project explains the blurry lines distinguishing violent from non-violent offenses.

10.
   

A New Look for Influencers

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@420oldfatlesbians

Weedmaps found a pair of hot new cannabis social media influencers: Maine couple, Sue and Lee, whose Instagram account @420oldfatlesbians has racked up more than 75,000 followers in about a month.

They're looking for sponsorship opportunities.

Quick Hit

  1. Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg's Potluck Party Challenge is back on VH1.
    @MarthaStewart