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Here's the news:

Politics
Cannabis prohibitionist Jeff Sessions (R), who Senators deemed too racist for a federal judgeship in 1986, was confirmed as U.S. Attorney General. West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin was the only Democrat to vote for confirmation.

Shortly after the confirmation President Trump signed three executive orders, determined to crack down on crime, which is near historic lows.  Sessions called recent small jumps in the crime rate a “ dangerous permanent trend” despite a lack of supporting evidence.

The Cannabist talked to expert John Hudak about what Sessions might do on marijuana.

Speaking to an audience, Hudak said:

Your industry is small by any metric of American capitalism. You are a speck of dust in a clutter of dirt of American capitalism… The president is planning to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If you think that hospitals, doctors and the pharmaceutical industry are small enough to be shaken down by the president, but the cannabis industry is too big to face the same challenge from the president, once again, you’re insane.

Many in the industry are worried.

In USNews, D.C. cannabis activist Adam Eidinger urges pressure on Sessions. “Sessions' positions on marijuana are outdated and misinformed and legitimately concerning,” he writes.

The National Cannabis Industry Association, which declined to oppose Sessions, said, “ We look forward to Attorney General Sessions maintaining the current federal policy of respect for legal, regulated cannabis programs in the states.
 
Congress’s new bi-partisan “Cannabis Caucus” is moving to counter the possible Sessions threat. A bi-partisan group of lawmakers introduced the self-explanatory “ Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017.

As Tom Angell pointed out, the Cole Memo, the document that led the Justice Department to allow the state level industries, is still up on the department’s site.

During a pre-Super Bowl interview, Trump said he had no opinion on NFL players using MED, but said that "When it comes up to the level of the presidency I’ll have an opinion."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), a possible 2020 Presidential candidate, said he opposes REC legalization. Cuomo has received longstanding support from the alcohol industry.

What’s holding up MED in Florida? “ Everything.” Including a proposed 90-day waiting period between getting a recommendation and being able to access the drug. In Texas, where MED isn’t legal, the path is even more convoluted.

Colleges and universities in Maine aren’t rolling out the green carpet.
 
Los Angeles County extended its ban on cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas.

North Dakota named its MED director, a longtime state employee. Eleven MED bills went before legislative committees in Arkansas. Tennessee is trying to figure out what to do about Nashville’s decriminalization ordinance, which contradicts state law.

Social vaping could be possible in Denver, even if social smoking violates the clean air law. A pro-social use group is suing the state to allow alcohol and weed consumption in the same space.

Those favoring on-site dispensary use in Alaska keep hope alive.

Nevada is moving fast to regulate REC. A bill in New Mexico would allow all veterans to have MED access.

Vermont’s new governor Phil Scott (R), opposes a legislative measure to legalize REC, but says he may consider REC bills in the future.

MED supporters may be making progress in Wisconsin. There’s a “longshot” legislative effort to legalize REC in Minnesota.

In the N.Y. Times, Former president of Colombia César Gaviria said Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is “ repeating my mistakes.

Peru could legalize MED after a raid on a house in Lima where parents grew for their sick children. Zambia might legalize MED.

Israel is moving forward with plans to export MED. A New Zealand health official says some doctors in the country are prejudiced against MED.

Rich, liberal Marin County (Calif.) banned REC businesses.

The Boston Globe looks into the legality of flying with weed

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Business

Two former executives of Minnesota MED company Vireo Health face criminal charges, for allegedly smuggling MED from Minnesota to New York.

Executives at many public cannabis companies have been selling stock since the September rally. This week it’s General Cannabis.

MED companies are filing for lots of patents.

California delivery service Eaze released its second annual “ State of Cannabis” report: Its data shows, among other insights, that 1) flower sales are dropping, and 3) One-third of Eaze customers are women. See more here.

Scotts Miracle-Gro CEO Jim Hagedorn, which has been buying hydroponics companies, is a Trump supporter.

Marijuana Business Daily says U.S.-Canada corporate partnerships are on the rise.

Cannabis could lead the way in water conservation technology, a water treatment analyst suggests.

Colorado has issued worker safety guidelines for the industry. See the report here.

An opinion piece in the L.A. Times argues legalizing will boost American business. The Guardian says hemp could boost the economy.

Lifestyle brands Van Der Pop and Tokyo Smoke merged into a single company. (Disclosure: Van Der Pop offers WeedWeek readers a discount on one of its products and WeedWeek receives a portion of the revenue.)

I wrote about the MJFreeway cyberattack for LA Weekly.

BizBash says cannabis is changing the events industry, and not just weed-centric events.

Confident Cannabis has released what it calls the first “ cannabis wholesale pricing estimator” based on testing results and current market prices.

Louisiana State University needs contractors to grow the state’s MED. License applicants in Pennsylvania face tough competition.

Cannabis Wire co-founder Alyson Martin is Buzzfeed’s new national cannabis reporter.

Health and Science
U.K.-based GW Pharma released data from a Phase two brain cancer clinical trial indicating prolonged live expectancy for patients treated with a combination of THC and CBD. The trial was on patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain cancer. Patients who received the combined therapy survived for a median of 550 days, compared with 369 days for those on a placebo.

A long awaited clinical trial testing MED on veterans with PTSD is underway.

The federal DEA has revoked prescribing privileges for two Colorado doctors whose licenses were suspended for allowing patients to obtain large plant counts.

Doctors are wondering whether MED contaminated with fungi killed a California cancer patient.

The Rooster profiles Colorado doctor Dave Bregman who lost his license for using MED.

Only half of New York patients buy MED more than once, which the industry attributes to the state’s strict MED rules.

A Canadian study found that teens are turning to weed to “ self-medicate” for anxiety and stress.

A human rights board in Canada said an insurer must cover a patients’ MED.

Canna Law Blog has an explainer on Washington state’s cannabis research licenses.

English aristocrat Lord Monson called for legalizing after his son with a cannabis addiction committed suicide.
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Criminal Justice

New York City marijuana arrests were up about 10% in 2016 though still well below the Aughts. Of those arrested, about 85% were Black or Hispanic.

President Trump said he would “destroy” the career of a Texas state senator who opposes the controversial practice of law enforcement asset forfeiture.

Alaska has been seizing CBD products from dispensaries.

The new book “ Locked In” by John Pfaff argues that violent crime is more responsible for U.S. mass incarceration than non-violent drug crime.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch has a mixed record ruling on the legality of searches by law enforcement.

Canadian police chiefs asked the federal government to block home growing in its legalization push, saying it would burden police.                                                                   
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Culture
Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart made a bunch of pot references during a Super Bowl ad for T-Mobile.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D), a legalization opponent, said there would be “ zero tolerance” for public drinking and pot smoking during the Patriots’ victory parade.

The N.Y. Post says professionals are the biggest potheads. A Brooklyn teacher told the tabloid that if city school workers were drug tested “they’d probably have to fire about 85 % of their staff.”

Among online dating sites, there’s a new focus on cannabis users.

Daniel Ragussis has been hired to direct “Packs,” a crime thriller about the rise of “designer” marijuana. Matthew McConaughey will star in stoner comedy “ The Beach Bum” directed by Harmony Korine.

For Grammy weekend, an all-star group of musicians is rerecording Peter Tosh’s song, “ Legalize It.

High Times offers a Valentine’s Day recipe for weed-avocado lube.

There will be abundant cannabis panels at SXSW.

A decadent Super Bowl party at the “ Marijuana Mansion” in L.A. was cancelled.

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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Alex 

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