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1

Weedmaps to Drop Unlicensed Clients

Irvine, Calif.-based Weedmaps, said it would stop listing and accepting ads from unlicensed retailers at an unspecified date later this year. The announcement was welcomed by licensed businesses who believe Weedmaps' Yelp-like service is essential to unlicensed businesses. 🌴WeedWeek California has more.
L.A. Time
s

  • The company has been under intense pressure to revise its policy, especially in California. Weedmaps has maintained that the law which immunizes tech platforms from speech shared by users protected listing illegal businesses.
  • The company also announced a social equity program.

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2

Has California Turned a Corner?

Despite still disappointing tax revenue, there are signs California's largest in the world legal REC market has begun to gain traction.
NPR

Industry figures expressed mixed feelings about the still-young tenure of Gov. Gavin Newsom. “This is not the administration that we necessarily expected,” said Josh Drayton of the California Cannabis Industry Association.
MJBiz

  • Criticisms of Newsom include that he hasn't pushed local governments to allow cannabis businesses and that taxes are still too high to compete with unlicensed businesses.
  • Newsom's industry czar Nicole Elliott touted his extension of provisional licenses, and enacting $30,000/per day fines for illegal businesses among his achievements.

It could be worse. In Oregon, tons of legal weed is rotting in garbage bags.
Vice

Quick Hit

  1. Retailer MedMen plans to offer delivery across much of California.
    Benzinga

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3

Ballot Initiatives Lining Up for 2020

Election day 2020 is shaping up as a big day for MED and REC ballot initiatives.

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4

Study: Pot Taxes Won't Save States

A study from the Pew Charitable Trusts found it remains very difficult to predict cannabis tax revenue. The biggest obstacle is lack of data: Analysts have at best a few years of receipts on which to base their forecasts.

  • Josh Lehner, an Oregon state economist said it's also difficult to forecast consumption. “Sixty percent of Oregonians say they’ve had a drink in the last month. Twenty percent say they’ve used marijuana. Does marijuana go all the way up there, where the majority of Oregonians say they’ve used it in the past month? That’s the big-picture uncertainty.”
  • Major rule changes, such as allowances for interstate trade, could also play havoc with models in the future.
  • In the more mature markets, tax revenue has started to plateau though in Colorado and Washington grew 18% and 17% respectively between 2017 and 2018.

5

Smells Like Weed Perfume

More big name lifestyle brands are getting their hands green. And their interest isn't limited to traditional cannabis products. Cannabis scented perfume is having a moment.
Bloomberg (2x)

Quick Hit

  1. Data firm (and WeedWeek advertiser) BDS Analytics said it had closed on $7M of an ongoing Series C raise. 7thirty Capital led the investment.
    Press Release

6

Vaping Crisis Worsens; First Death Reported

Illinois health officials say an individual has died of vaping-related pulmonary disease, the first fatality in an escalating crisis. Approximately 200 cases of vaping related illness, of varying severity, have been identified nationwide.

All that's known about the deceased is they were an Illinois adult who had a respiratory condition caused by or related to vaping.

TechCrunch:

"It’s unclear what the actual danger is. Is it some byproduct of the nicotine cartidges, or THC ones? Is it the vapor itself? Is it only at certain temperatures or concentrations? Is it directly affecting the lungs or entering the bloodstream? No one knows yet — all they’ve seen is an sudden uptick in respiratory or pulmonary issues where the sufferer also uses vaping products."

  • Dr. Brian King, Centers for Disease Control: “We do know that e-cigarettes do not emit a harmless aerosol,” he explained. “There’s a variety of harmful ingredients identified, including things like ultrafine particulates, heavy metals like lead and cancer causing chemicals. And flavoring used in e-cigarettes to give it a buttery flavor, diacetyl, it’s been related to severe respiratory illness.”
  • The Washington Post has a harrowing story about Alexander Mitchell, a Utah 20-year old who almost died from vaping e-cigarettes.
  • Inverse investigates Dank Vapes, a mysterious underground brand, which may have made people sick.

7

A "Major" Finding on MED and Pancreatic Cancer

A chemical found in the cannabis plant has "significant therapy potential" for treating pancreatic cancer, according to a study in mice at Harvard's Dana Farber Cancer Center. The chemical FBL-03G is a derivative of a flavonoid, which are found in cannabis and other plants.
Yahoo, Frontiers in Oncology

  • “The most significant conclusion is that tumor-targeted delivery of flavonoids, derived from cannabis, enabled both local and metastatic tumor cell kill, significantly increasing survival from pancreatic cancer,” researcher Wilfred Ngwa Ph.D. said.
  • There's likely to be more than a year more of pre-clinical studies before it can be tested in humans.
  • The flavonoid is only in cannabis in miniscule quantites, but scientists have figured out a way to genetically engineer cannabis flavonoids.
  • Pancreatic cancer only accounts for about 3% of U.S. cancer cases, but it is among the deadliest forms of the disease.
  • The chemical has the potential to treat other cancers as well, according to Ngwa.

Quick Hit

  1. Doctors warn not to use cannabis before surgery, because of how it can react with anaesthesia.
    Boston Globe

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8

The Great Seattle Pot Heist

A fascinating story in Politico recounts a series of eerily similar burglaries at Seattle-area grow sites:

"The robbers showed an uncanny sense of timing, striking just as the growers had amassed inventories of cut, cured, ready-to-sell product worth thousands, even tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"The growers began posting news of the heists on Instagram, swapping conjectures as to how the burglars knew where and when to strike. Two hypotheses emerged. The first: that an employee at a retail pot shop was either involved in the break-ins or telling the burglars whom to hit.

"But as the burglaries continued, the growers came to suspect that the criminals had found another way of getting the information they needed to target vulnerable businesses offering big payoffs..."

Washington state has some of the most liberal cannabis disclosure laws and some suspect the thieves plot their targets based on data which is publicly available, either on purpose or inadvertantly.

Read it all.

9

Cannabis Non-Profit Launches With N.Y.Times Ad

Possible Plan, a new non-profit which aims to support those hurt by cannabis prohibition, launched with an ad in the New York Times Magazine. It appeared in the 1619 Project issue dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the first slaves' arrival in America.
Adweek

  • The group is spearheaded by Select executives.

Harborside co-founder Steve DeAngelo is involved in another new "restorative justice" organization called the Last Prisoner Project.

10

Journalist: I Let My Teenage Son Smoke Weed and He's Fine

Journalist Mike Sager's parents let him smoke pot, and he let his teenage son smoke pot:
Patch

Like my own parents, when it came to my son's marijuana use — speaking now ten years later, well beyond the statute of limitations — I made what most parents would probably consider an unusual call.

Quite unlike my folks, Bev and Marv, I had more than 30 years of personal experience smoking marijuana. And there is no disputing the fact that I have thus far led a successful life and career. At the end of the day, that's been the most important thing. Stoned or not, nobody can ever say I didn't conduct myself with care.

Classic stories by Sager:

Quick Hit

  1. Actor Mr. T is suing Leafly for trademark infringement over a strain called Mr. Tusk. "We pity the absurdity of this claim," a Leafly rep said.
    TMZ

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