October 6, 2018
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Legalization day is October 17

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The 2018 US midterm elections are almost here. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to register here.

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Here's the news.
POLITICS

Kevin Sabet’s anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is flush with cash and focussed on fighting Michigan’s upcoming REC vote , which polls predict will pass. The group also revealed two of its backers, the Colorado-based Anschutz Foundation , (founded by conservative billionaire Philip Anschutz) and the Achelis and Bodman Foundation . (Cannabis Wire)

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) forged a compromise to allow a limited MED program in the conservative state . Whether or not voters pass Prop 2 next month, the state legislature will meet for a special session to craft a restrictive law, likely including distribution at “cannabis pharmacies” and county health departments. (Salt Lake Tribune)

Officials from the Mormon Church met with a group of bloggers to emphasize it is not opposed to MED . (Mormon Church)

The Missouri Farm Bureau opposes legal MED . Polls suggest North Dakota’s REC bill won’t pass . (The Missouri Times, Valley News Live)
California Gov. Jerry Brown(D) has vetoed cannabis bills including a fairer tax rule and an expanded cannabis research program. (Marijuana Moment)

Massachusetts granted final approval to two dispensaries , though commissioner Shaleen Title abstained on account of the commission not reviewing the contracts between businesses and their municipalities, a source of tension in the state. (Boston Business Journal).

A new policy in Washington will effectively ban gummies and hard candy edibles.

The Trump administration confirmed the existence of a secret marijuana committee , as first reported by Buzzfeed, but denied that it is biased against the drug. (Buzzfeed)

The Farm Bill, which is expected to legalize hemp, has not yet passed due to sharp differences between the House and Senate versions. (Roll Call)

A protestor and Congressman Andy Harris (R-Md.) say they sustained minor industries at a protest outside his office. (Baltimore Sun)

MED is growing in Ohio and the first crop should be ready by the end of the year. (AP)


The Phoenix city council voted down a proposal which would have heavily taxed MED dispensaries. (AZCentral)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said legal REC is coming “ sooner than later. ” (NJ.com)

A bipartisan group of congresspeople thinks MED used for research in the US should be grown in the US. (Marijuana Moment)

The LA Times tells how legalization came to Canada .

Colombia’s new president Ivan Duque wants to crack down on drug use which could have ramifications for MED in the country. (AP)

BUSINESS
In the Guardian I reported that well-capitalized corporate refugees are dominating the legal cannabis market in California and Canada. Cannabis attorney Hilary Bricken told me she's never seen a craft brand work out.
Chicago-based grower Cresco Labs raised $100M . The company also displayed a drug vending machine in Philadelphia as a publicity stunt. ( Chicago Tribune, WHYY)

GW Pharmaceuticals , maker of FDA-approved CBD drug Epidiolex, is raising $300M through a public offering.

iHeartMedia, the country’s largest radio broadcaster, will trade about $10M in ad inventory for a 5% stake in HIgh Times . (WSJ--Paywall)


An opinion piece in MarketWatch says cannabis beverage stocks may be fizzy now but are not good long term investments .

Rob Sands, CEO of Constellation Brands , a liquor company with major stake in Canadian grower Canopy Growth , said he sees no sign cannabis is cannibalizing liquor sales (WSJ- Paywall).

Stock in Pepsi dropped after the CFO said the company has no interest in cannabis . (Bloomberg)

MJBiz talked to for California Growers Association head Hezekiah Allen about his new venture promoting cannabis co-ops, large growers collectively owned by the farmers.  

MJBiz serves up a list of factors to consider before you cash out of a cannabis business.

A fight over a 1M square foot prospective grow in Massachusetts has grown nasty . (Boston Globe)

The Albany Times Union looks at what hemp could do for New York state.

In more employee MED-use cases, judges are ruling against employers . (AP)

Canadian weed companies are trying to promote their brands without violating the stringent marketing laws.

Canadian companies have high hopes for the European market , in a few years.

Canopy Growth withdrew a trademark application for “Chronic By Dre” after it became clear it hadn’t asked rapper Dr. Dre for permission. (MarketWatch)

Canadian pot companies are becoming major lobbyists . And the country’s green rush is benefitting smaller investment banks who got in early. (BNN, WSJ--paywall)

Some Canadian employers, particularly those with dangerous equipment, are banning employee use . (The Chronicle Herald) Huffington Post talked to workplace experts about whether employers can limit or ban employee cannabis use .

At Leafly, David Downs talks to PuffCo about it’s Peak “smart rig” and the growing pains of developing, “ The world’s most coveted cannabis accessory. ”  

A company called Space Tango is developing cannabis experiments to conduct in space . They plan to study the effects of zero-gravity on hemp cultivation. (Tech Crunch)

A new pharmaceutical company called Atai Life Sciences raised $25M to develop psychedelic- based drugs . (Business Insider)

HEALTH & SCIENCE
The FDA said CBD shouldn’t be a controlled substance , but international treaties require it. (MJBizDaily)
A University of Montreal study found teenage cannabis use has a more serious and longer lasting effect on cognition than teenage alcohol use. (Science Daily)

Pot-induced psychosis is a real thing , a Canadian researcher said. (Sudbury.com)

A first in the nation MED research program began this week at eight medical schools in Pennsylvania . Two Canadian universities are struggling to hire cannabis research chairs. (Globe and Mail)  

High Times calls out the industry for creating too much plastic waste .

The Senate passed a bi-partisan opiates bill sending it to Trump for his signature.

The University of Saskatchewan will study cannabis treatment for dementia . (Global News) Canopy Growth partnered with a long term care association to develop cannabis pilot programs for seniors. (Press release)

TV doctor Dr. Oz and CNN reporter Dr. Sanjay Gupta, discussed CBD . (Marijuana Moment)

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE
The federal prosecutor for Colorado Bob Troyer, said there are too many loopholes in the Colorado system which allow for illegal activity . He is particularly concerned about how companies account for damaged product and how many plants people can grow at home.

“If somebody is licensed by this state, should they feel at increased risk of federal prosecution now?” Troyer said in an interview. “Yes. They should. We do a public safety analysis, not an analysis of whether someone has a piece of paper from the state.” (AP)
Due to inmate deaths, a Cleveland judge said he would stop sending those accused of non-violent crimes to the county jail.

In Rhode Island, police arrested the Compassion Party’s gubernatorial candidate with 48 pounds of weed. (AP)

Cannabis Now checks out the world of New York City’s bicycle delivery people .

Police in South New Jersey and Philadelphia suburbs are making more pot arrests . (Philly.com)

Across Canada, policies vary on whether police can use cannabis . (Guardian)
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CULTURE
On a Michigan radio show, conservative rocker Ted Nugent said he’s “hardcore” against legalization. He said he’d turned weed down from Jimi Hendrix and Keith Moon from The Who, among others.  "I was unhip because I wouldn't, I guess, drool and puke and then die." (MLive)
A Michigan cheerleader allegedly brought pot brownies to school to secure votes for homecoming queen. (FOX-local)

Cyclist Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France win for doping, is launching a pro-cycling team sponsored by his CBD company , Floyd’s of Leadville . (Reuters)

The new tycoon-style video game WeedCraft simulates the green rush. (Polygon)

Amsterdam wants tourists to behave better . (NY Times)

Leafly asks why weed and “Rick and Morty” go so well together.
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