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Here are two important, but not cannabis-related, articles about the Trump administration:

The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency” by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker


We Lost a War” by Timothy Snyder in the N.Y. Daily News.

Now the news:


Legalization barely came up in confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch is from Colorado but has a limited record on the issue. Vice sifted through what’s there last month.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) released a bill that would let states drug test the unemployed before giving them financial assistance.

Only two of the 260 dispensaries that have applied to open in Detroit have received approval.

The Florida legislature continues to debate how to regulate MED. Floridians aren’t happy with the rollout, a poll found. (For more see here and here.)

Massachusetts lawmakers are  considering 44 bills  to alter its new REC law. (For more see  here  and  here .) 

Cannabusiness is a new-found  source of political contributions in Nevada. Florida too.

Arkansas will limit but not ban smoking MED. Louisiana’s MED program is a long way from operational.

An Arizona group wants to legalize all drugs in 2018.

The Indiana legislature is considering 11 cannabis related bills. It’s one of six states that allows no forms of cannabis, including low-THC CBD oil. Utah could vote on MED next year.

Rhode Island’s MED oversight panel will meet for the first time, eight years after it was created.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) called for federal decriminalization. Virginia Congressman Tom Garrett (R) called for the end of federal prohibition.

The Tennessee House blocked decriminalization measures in Nashville and Memphis.

Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman (R) says he disagrees with legalization but will defend it against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. California lawmakers could block local law enforcement from assisting the feds with any action against state-legal cannabis.

A bill that would legalize but not commercialize REC advanced in Vermont.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the prospect of being put on trial by the International Criminal Court for his ongoing drug war. He could face charges of crimes against humanity. Meanwhile vice president Leni Robredo could face impeachment for criticizing the country’s drug war. The country is also learning that drug wars are bad for tourism.
Former CIA director James Woolsey Jr. will speak at a hemp event.

Republican lawmakers in Minnesota are pushing for legislation that would allow the state to levy huge fines or revoke a company’s MED license. Last month, prosecutors filed charges against two former executives of MED company Vireo Health for allegedly shipping $500,000 of cannabis oil to New York to meet a product shortfall. The company is trying to distance itself.

A group of cannabis companies have banded together to start the  New Federalism Fund , a lobby to support state-legal marijuana industries. Participating organizations include Privateer Holdings, Dixie Brands and a subsidiary of gardening company Scotts Miracle-Gro.

A report from Arcview Group predicts that the industry will grow 27% annually through 2021, despite fears of a crackdown.

Dozens of vaporizer companies raised capital last year, and none of them are focused on tobacco, according to TechCrunch,

A Seattle startup uses bitcoin to allow credit card cannabis purchases.

In Sacramento, the Teamsters are facing-off against the cannabis industry and other major business groups over “independent distribution.” At issue is whether growers and manufacturers need to pay third-party distributors, which California requires for alcohol companies. The Teamsters favor independent distributors. 

Maryland may increase the number of grow licenses, part of an effort to include minority-owned businesses in the state green rush. It falls short of demands from the state legislature’s Black Caucus.

I wrote about the Southern California Coalition, a trade group, for L.A. Weekly.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch editorializes that Trump should create cannabis jobs. In case you missed it, I argued in Slate that jobs are the industry’s best defense against the Trump Administration.

Thirteen California dispensaries, some of them already shuttered, owe more than $12M in back taxes. The Financial Times asks whether pot businesses are unfairly taxed.

Australian MED company MGC Pharma raised A$10M. Australian cannabis stocks are way up.

The SEC has charged a Florida businessman with falsely claiming to have a marijuana license.

Publicly-traded Canadian company Golden Leaf Holdings agreed to buy vertically-integrated Oregon company Chalice Farms in a stock and cash deal.

Israeli cannabinoid drug biotech Therapix went public on the Nasdaq.

A student managed $3.5 million investment fund at Stetson University in Florida will consider cannabis stocks.

Ohio businesses want to add a state residency requirement to own one of the planned 24 grows in the state. The state also needs to figure out testing requirements.

The L.A. Times visited a cannabis jobs fair. (“Interest is high,” get it?)

The cannabis is finding a home in California wine country.

Health and Science

A study out of Washington state found that youth use hasn’t increased with legalization.

Syndros, a synthetic THC pharmaceutical, will have Schedule II status.  

A study found that cannabis use is associated with an increased likelihood of perpetrating or being victimized by dating violence. The likelihood is higher with alcohol use than marijuana.

A study looks at the case of a 33-year old woman who  died after injecting herself with a cannabis solution.

Researchers found that “inhibiting activity in the endocannabinoid system might reduce cocaine’s rewarding and addictive effects.” Other researchers found an association between regular cannabis use and lower BMI.

MED use by the elderly remains controversial, even in San Francisco. The S.F. Chronicle recommends Bay Area dispensaries for seniors.

A New Hampshire Senate committee approved MED use for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a painful connective tissue disorder.

The Republicans’ failed American Health Care Act would have cut services available to opiate addicts.
The Economist says “ America’s opioid epidemic is worsening.”

Canada will spend almost C$10M on “ public education ” about pot.

Product reviews:


Criminal Justice looks at how Alabama locks people up for life, for non-violent pot offenses.

The N.Y. Times has a major feature on the dangers posed by “ door-busting drug raids.

Lots of illegal drugs are sent by mail.

Sixteen were indicted in Denver on charges that they ran an illegal grow ring that shipped hundreds of pounds out of state monthly. Oregon remains a major source of black market weed.

In Massachusetts, it’s possible that tens of thousands were imprisoned based on incorrect crime lab data.

Reason’s Jacob Sullum explains why U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is wrong about marijuana.

MSNBC journalist Chris Hayes recalled the time he got caught with some weed at the 2000 Republican convention in Philadelphia. He wasn’t punished.

The frontrunner to be South Carolina’s U.S. Attorney supports MED legalization.

The City of Oakland is ending hiring discrimination based on past cannabis use. And the city’s efforts to create a racially equitable cannabis industry may be lurching toward a resolution.  

U.K. magazine The Spectator published a story called “ Make Drugs Dull: Legalizing cannabis the Canadian way.” “California, like Colorado before it, is the model of how not to do it,” the author writes. “The focus in these libertarian frontier states is on freedom — and commerce.”

The New Yorker published a piece called “ Reciting Walt Whitman at a Drug Court in Alabama.

A student at Canada’s McMaster University is suing the school after it blocked her from a trip to Ghana over her MED use.

Singer John Mayer has quit drinking and is “ very thoughtfully entering cannabis life.”

Three mixed martial arts fighters tested positive for pot.

Playboy’s 2015 “Playmate of the Year” Dani Mathers is promoting a “ health-conscious cannabis pill.” Mathers last came to public notice for body shaming a naked woman on Instagram.

Retired NBA star and commentator Charles Barkley said he used cannabis a couple times while he was a pro. He didn't like it. “I didn’t get no peace,” he said.

Snopes debunked an internet rumor that Jeff Sessions said marijuana use leads to more sex and therefore more abortions. In The Onion, Jeff Sessions channeled his inner Cool Hand Luke.

Jimi Hendrix’s descendants are fighting over the use of his name and likeness on wine and vodka in addition to edibles They’ve been fighting since Jimi’s father Al died in 2002.

Rabbi-turned dispensary owner Jeffrey Kahn visited Ohio.

Woody Harrelson has quit smoking pot.

The N.Y. Post says pot is “ infiltrating New York’s most elite social circles.” Civilized attended a “ cannabis and virtual reality soiree.

A “cannabis cruise” was cancelled, but the organizer remains a Trump supporter.

Stephen Colbert wondered if there’s “ some way to mellow [Jeff Sessions] out.

Here's the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

I've also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance. 

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