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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.
The U.S. House Financial Services Committee advanced a cannabis banking bill by a 45-15 vote, with supporters in both parties and the banking industry. The Democrat-controlled House is expected to pass the bill within weeks, though it remains unclear whether it will pass the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate.
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New Jersey legislators cancelled a REC vote after a much-touted deal between legislators and Gov. Phil Murphy failed to attract enough votes, despite Democrats controlling all sides. Onlookers argued whether it was a minor setback or major defeat for REC in the Garden State.
Some lawmakers were unsure about how to tax marijuana sales. Others feared legalization would flood the state’s congested streets and highways with impaired drivers. Some would not be deterred from believing that marijuana was a dangerous menace to public health.
A disagreement existed among lawmakers about how far to go regarding the social justice component in the legalization bill: Fissures grew over whether it was necessary to expunge criminal records for marijuana-related offenses for those found with as much as five pounds of the drug.
Gov. Phil Murphy, a legalization supporter, told the legislature to hammer out a REC bill that can pass by May or he’ll turn his focus to expanding the state’s MED program.
Meanwhile in New York, it’s all but certain the state will miss Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Q1 deadline for legalizing REC.
A REC bill advanced in the Connecticut legislature.
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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!
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said the city is contemplating a multi-million dollar crackdown on the city’s hundreds of unlicensed dispensaries and delivery services. Spokespeople for the legal industry applauded the idea.
Retail chain MedMen was at risk of running out of money within months before it secured a credit line from Gotham Green Partners which could be worth up to $250M, CNBC reports. Though the terms are steep for the company which has seen its stock fall 60% since October.
During the last six months of 2018, MedMen lost $131 million — more than $2 for every dollar in marijuana it sold. To cover those losses and fund its expansion plans, MedMen raised almost $200 million from September through November. That money is already gone. At year-end, MedMen had around $80 million in the bank. That is four months of cash, based on how quickly it lost money last fall.
In its most recent financial report, issued on Feb. 27, it warned: “At our current operating level, we will not have sufficient funds generated from operations to cover our short-term and long-term operational needs.”
Anti-legalization reporter Alex Berenson wrote the CNBC piece.
Molson-Coors, the second largest beer maker in North America, warned that the cannabis industry could erode its profits. Last October, the company formed a joint venture with Canadian company Hexo to develop cannabis-infused beverages for sale in Canada as soon as they’re legal, which could be as soon as this fall.
MJ Biz Daily
A new report from the Brightfield Group predicts the European CBD market is on the verge of phenomenal growth. And Wall Street firm Cowen predicts the same for the US.
Rolling Stone, Business Insider
President Trump’s opioid crisis czar, Kellyanne Conway, who lacks relevant experience in public health, addiction and related fields, is spreading an urban myth about pot laced with the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.
“It's crazy that this story is coming out from our leaders,” epidemiologist Dan Ciccarone of the University of California, San Francisco, told BuzzFeed News. “It shows that concerns about fentanyl have reached the level of moral panic. Fear outweighs rational evidence. There is scant evidence for cannabis laced with fentanyl.”
As a source for Conway, the White House cited Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, who had made the claim in 2018, based on unconfirmed reports.
Cannabis can’t be certified organic, since the federal government controls what constitutes “organic.” But a number of third party certifications have popped up.
The new craze in SoCal’s collectible car culture is refurbished VW busses, eternally associated with hippies in the 1960s and 1970s. A turning point in the van’s fortunes came in 2011 when a ’63 23-Window Deluxe went for $198,000 thousand at auction after an Orange County bidding war.
Most fascinating is how hippies embraced the rust-prone, uncomfortable busses in the first place:
Volkswagen tried to pitch it as a family-friendly option for Eisenhower’s America, with little success: A 1958 ad positioned the Bus as “full of sun, full of fun Station Wagon … roomy as can be — and carefree.”
The Bus’ domestic fortune changed forever in 1959, when Volkswagen hired the Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) ad agency (rumored to have served as the inspiration for AMC drama “Mad Men”) to revamp the company’s image in the United States. DDB emphasized the Bus’ customizability to a generation about to reject conformity.
“You’re too sharp and too much of an individual to be suckered by mass-marketed images,” read one Volkswagen ad. “We just supply you the canvas, stripped bare of any pretense, and it’s up to you to put your identity into it.”
In “The Consumption of Cool,” Thomas Frank wrote with admiration that Volkswagen’s transformation of itself to “an image that was more hip than Nazi must be regarded as one of the great triumphs of American marketing.”