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Starting now, WeedWeek will publish 400-600 word essays, arguments, observations and fact-based criticisms by outside contributors. 

Several outlets already publish similar work. Unfortunately their credibility suffers from the perception, if not the reality, that contributors can pay to be featured.  WeedWeek will not accept payment for publishing work.  We won't pay you either (at least at first.)

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Here's the news:

Pro-legalization Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is trying to defeat anti-legalization Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Texas). “We’re going to be putting up some billboards in Pete Sessions’s district,” Blumenauer said. “It’s going to feature a veteran and ask the question why Pete Sessions doesn’t want him to have access to his medicine.”

New Jersey Senator and possible 2020 presidential contender Cory Booker (D) discussed why legalization is his signature issue . Current enforcement, he says, "makes a mockery" of equal justice under the law. Booker says he has never smoked cannabis or drank alcohol.

Massachusetts’ top cannabis regulator will be Shawn Collins, 31, an aide to State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) proposed pushing REC sales back to 2019. The proposal would scrap rules a legislative committee has been working on for months. A pro-legalization group called those rules “ not ready for prime time.

Buzzfeed visits an L.A. growing internship for veterans . The Air Force is reconsidering its ban on hemp consumption after an officer was court martialed for eating a granola bar.

As of Wednesday, northern California wildfires had destroyed 31 pot farms and the number is expected to climb. The fires did more damage to cannabis grows than vineyards. Some growers lost cash in the blazes. Snopes extinguishes rumors that drug cartels started the fires.

Crowdfunding site YouCaring shut down a fundraising campaign to benefit northern California growers. There’s a new campaign up at Nationbuilder .

The Boston Globe asks if towns which ban dispensaries should still get their share of tax revenue. Globe reporter Dan Adams then criticized Snoop Dogg’s media company, Merry Jane, for stealing the content of his story, “like a high school plagiarist.”

S.F. Weekly has a two-part series on how to make the industry work in San Francisco. ( Part 1 , Part 2 ) Two dispensaries face pushback in the city’s Excelsior neighborhood.

The L.A. Times looks at city efforts to create a racially equitable industry .

Las Vegas could loosen rules on selling cannabis paraphernalia.

California Senate President Pro Tempore and legalization supporter Kevin de León, a Democrat from L.A., will challenge legalization opponent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) in next year’s Democratic primary. Feinstein, 84, has been in office since 1992.  

New York legalization activists are calling for a state constitutional convention .

Northern California’s Calaveras County may ban commercial grows .

On his November Asia trip, President Trump will meet with Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte who has been condemned internationally for his violent war on drugs .

Michigan MED license applicants will have to prove cash on hand of up to $500,000 . A proposed MED industrial park in Michigan would be the biggest east of the Mississippi . The Michigan House passed a bill to enable transporting MED .

Proposed new rules in New Mexico are designed to accommodate the fast-growing MED program.

Pennsylvania’s first MED crop has been planted. MED license applications have picked up in Arkansas.

New Jersey’s gubernatorial candidates disagree about legalization .

West Virginia has posted an online survey for prospective MED patients.

Administrators at an Illinois high school confiscated the school paper for covering teen marijuana use.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox called for REC legalization .

Peru’s congress passed a bill to legalize MED.

New Zealand’s new liberal Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called for a nationwide referendum on REC within the next three years. It would be the first country to hold such a vote. For more see here .

Australia’s ruling party opposes a bill to make MED access easier for terminally ill patients.
A U.N. body called Australia’s plan to drug test welfare recipients a “cheap shot.”

In Greece, a deputy agriculture minister called for REC legalization .
Social app MassRoots fired CEO Isaac Dietrich . Following the news, CannaRegs pulled out of its planned $12M acquisition by MassRoots.

According to Viridian Capital Advisors, cannabis companies raised more than $1.8 billion in the first three quarters of 2017, up from $720M last year. The average deal size also increased from $3M to $6.7M.

Simon Property Group, the U.S.’s largest mall operator, wants to stop a dispensary from opening near its Franklin Mills property in Philadelphia.

The Paiute Tribe has opened what it calls the world’s largest dispensary , just north of the Las Vegas Strip.

Forty-two percent of cannabis businesses want to expand to new states in the next 12 months.

Canada’s largest stock exchange clarified that companies which do business in the U.S. could be delisted. Public MED producer Aphria, which has had U.S. operations since 2015, criticized the move .

Canadian producer Cannabis Wheaton wants to sell in convenience stores .

Several recent California grow raids have found Chinese nationals , suggesting Chinese nationals invest in the illegal market.

Data firm Headset released information on consumer trends in Washington.

The maker of Tapatio hot sauce has sued a pot company for trademark infringement.

A Uruguayan cannabis company will start exporting to Canada and Mexico .

CNBC talks to the 24-year old entrepreneur Karson Humiston , who started the cannabis jobs site Vangsters.

Quartz has a long piece on female cannabis entrepreneurs .

The industrial hemp lobby is getting organized.

According to tax policy expert Pat Oglesby, the tax lesson of legalization thus far is alcohol taxes are too low .

Fast Company talks to black Colorado entrepreneur Wanda James .

In lieu of traditional marketing, some cannabis businesses are acquiring historic buildings .
Health and Science
In his role as chairman of President Trump’s opioid commission, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants to look into insurance plans which favor opioids over alternative treatments. A vocal legalization opponent, Christie ignored almost 8,000 submitted comments on MED as an alternative to opioids.

A study found REC legalization may have reduced opioid deaths in Colorado. But some are skeptical .

MED research is accelerating in Canada .

In testimony, Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested there should be “more competition” among growers providing MED for research . For now, the only federally legal grow is at the University of Mississippi.

A recent Massachusetts survey suggests teen cannabis and e-cigarette use is up while teen tobacco and alcohol use are down.

Tuesday’s episode of Vice’s “Weediquette” looks at the relationship between legalization and homelessness in Denver.

Pacific Standard looks at environmentalism within the industry .

Thank You to WeedWeek's Sustaining Members:

Pamela Hadfield
Co-Founder, HelloMD
HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers
HelloMD on Instagram , Facebook

Spencer Vodnoy
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!

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Criminal Justice
 Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) withdrew from consideration to be drug czar after the Washington Post and 60 Minutes revealed he steered legislation through Congress weaking the DEA’s ability to go after distributors of pharmaceutical opiates. Chris Christie and Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor Bertha Madras have been mentioned as possible replacements .

Florida attorney general and Trump ally Pam Bondi questioned whether the country needs a drug czar.

In a brief, Justice Department lawyers acknowledged it hadn’t been legal for the department to spend money prosecuting the Washington MED defendants known as the Kettle Falls Five, since December 2014, on account of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. The amendment, now known as Rohrabacher-Blumenauer, could expire in December .  

Everywhere I go all I smell is pot now ,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said.

Six delivery service drivers face misdemeanor charges after a police sting in San Diego County.

In Pennsylvania, blacks are eight times more likely than whites to be arrested for pot possession.

Increasingly, innocent witnesses have been incarcerated to compel testimony .

Rifle, Colo.’s new police dogs have been trained to ignore marijuana . Falling for an apparent hoax, a mayoral candidate in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, called from “ drug-sniffing bunnies.

There’s a new element to Massachusetts’ crime lab scandal , this time involving breathalyzers.

A Florida woman faces a first-degree murder charge after a woman she introduced to a fentanyl dealer died of an overdose.

AG Sessions said there would be a watchdog for the controversial asset forfeiture program he is reinstating.

Some Texas cities, including Houston, have adopted cannabis reforms before the state.

The Guardian has a longread about a small time Baltimore dealer who got caught up with some corrupt cops.
Product reviews:

Filmmaker Harmony Korine says he has secured 30 theaters where he can show his new pot comedy “The Beach Bum” in rooms full of marijuana smoke. Currently filming in Florida, the movie features Matthew McConaughey as a stoner named Moondog, and Snoop Dogg, also as a stoner.

Melissa Etheridge discussed her cannabis arrest driving into North Dakota from Canada. “I feel like a rock star now,” she said.

Sean Penn is trying to stop Netflix from releasing a documentary about his 2015 meeting with Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo. Penn’s lawyer said releasing it endangers the actor.

The Denver Post looked back a century on its coverage of alcohol and cannabis prohibition.

On her new show with Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart is “America’s coolest grandma,” the Washington Post says.

Meet Monica Lo , of the blog Sous Weed.

At the West Edge Design Fair in Santa Monica, I heard of Sisu Furniture, which makes a $1,300 Iconic Chronic Table “ for the discriminating marijuana user. ” With a humidor it costs an extra $100.

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