December 16, 2017
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ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
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Here's the news.
POLITICS
After Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with legalization opponents , Tom Angell asked Twitter if anyone could expand a photo of the agenda. It revealed “a concerted pitch during the meeting to convince Sessions to launch a federal crackdown on states that have ended cannabis prohibition.”

In an email, I asked attendee and anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet if he could make a political case for a crackdown. He didn’t respond.

Reminder: The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which blocks Sessions’ Justice Department from prosecuting state-legal MED businesses, expires on Friday.
Doug Jones (D), the former prosecutor who won Sessions’ former Senate seat in Alabama, has far more liberal views on criminal justice reform.

California issued its first batch of cannabis business licenses . Fast Company asks if the market is ready after a year of wildfires.

The state created a digital tool to help grey market businesses go legit. Cheech Marin promoted it in a PSA.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee died unexpectedly . As the city’s first Asian-American mayor, he faced criticism from elderly Chinese for his support for cannabis businesses . Acting mayor London Breed also supports legalization.

App looks at the path to legal REC in New Jersey . Entrepreneurs are excited about weed in the Garden State.

Vermont could legalize REC within weeks. Hawaii voters oppose legal REC .

Cook County (Chicago) may give voters a chance to legalize REC. Hartford City Council supports REC legalization in Connecticut.

For cannabis, Leafly says the end of net neutrality , “could stifle advocacy efforts, hamper small businesses, and prevent medical patients from accessing vital information.”

City regulated consumption lounges may be coming to Vegas. Massachusetts approved a social use policy . Denver received its first application for social use from a business called The Coffee Joint.

Massachusetts is considering equity provisions to support minority cannabis entrepreneurs.


Maryland released data on diversity in the state’s industry .

An Arizona state senator wants to ban MED billboards . MED patient enrollment is way up in New Mexico .

Ohio defended its license award process against critics. A scorer had ties to a company awarded one of the 12 coveted large grow licenses.

More than 70% of Georgia Republicans support legal MED .

Canadian senators may want to grill Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about legalization. And some conservatives in the body say REC legalization could be delayed past the anticipated July 1 launch. Ontario’s REC law takes effect July 1, 2018.

An opinion piece in iPolitics says it’s not a problem that Canadian legalization violates several international treaties.

Canadian provinces appear settled on a 75-25 revenue split with the federal government on pot taxes after rejecting a proposed 50-50 split. Coming soon, local governments politely ask for their share.

Provincial laws banning home grows could be overturned in court .

REC legalization appears to be working in Uruguay.

BUSINESS
Compass Pathways, a U.K. company investigating psilocybin as a treatment for depression , plans to begin clinical trials next year. Silicon Valley eminence Peter Thiel, whose Founders Fund previously invested in cannabis firm Privateer Holdings, is an investor.
As it tries to hold off a hostile takeover by Aurora, Canadian MED producer CanniMed says Aurora may have violated securities law as part of its bid.

Leafly’s Peter Hecht dives into the leadership struggle at troubled social app MassRoots . Alan Brochstein offers “ seven warning signs investors should have heeded .”

Baker, a software platform for dispensaries to retain customers, raised $8M in a round led by Poseidon Asset Management. The company says revenue is up 600% since January.

Canna Law Blog discusses what blockchain financial technology could mean for cannabis.

Bloomberg looks at the racketeering (RICO) lawsuits threatening cannabis businesses. MJBizDaily has more on this “existential threat” to the industry.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram profiles two Texan executives at Colorado-based Organa Brands (O.Pen Vape.)

After Eugene Antifa activists disclosed ties between Oregon lab OG Analytical and white supremacists, consumers have directed anger against other businesses with OG in their name .

Debit app CanPay will offer cashless payments at some Maryland dispensaries. CanPay CEO Dustin Eide discusses how the service helped Hawaii’s MED program to go cashless .

A company dropped plans for a $20M grow in Michigan.

Canadian cannabis companies raised more than $1.5 billion in 2017. Even if you think it’s a bubble, It’s difficult to short sell Canadian pot stocks.

Lovell’s Drugs became the third Canadian pharmacy chain to sign a deal to sell MED .

An opinion piece at USNews asks how NAFTA will affect marijuana markets .

Quartzy looks at upscale smoking accessories and says, “ For some cannabis-curious consumers, good design just might be the ultimate gateway drug.”

Weed and wine tours are increasingly a thing . California winery Rebel Coast released an alcohol-removed, cannabis-infused sauvignon blanc .

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HEALTH & SCIENCE
A study found THC may reduce the cognitive decline common in HIV patients. Another study found CBD can reduce symptoms in patients with psychosis .
A study found cannabis and vaping are more popular than cigarettes among teenagers . The study found teen cannabis use is largely holding steady while use of other illegal drugs has held steady or declined.

The World Health Organization said CBD doesn’t warrant international scheduling .

Pediatric healthcare workers have mixed feelings about giving MED to children , according to a survey.


Following Portugal, Norway decriminalized drug use . A Guardian longread finds Portugal’s experiment is working .

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will study the effects of MED on autistic kids .


A UC Santa Cruz ecologist says grows threaten mountain lions and other wildlife.

A pressurized tank exploded , killing one, at a grow in Detroit.

Officials in Indiana debated whether dogs can be arrested for CBD use.
Thank You to WeedWeek's Sustaining Patrons:
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Co-Founder,  HelloMD
HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers
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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!
CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Any past cannabis use can make it harder for permanent residents and green card holders to obtain U.S. citizenship.
Following a long saga, San Diego will return nearly $300,000 plus interest , to Med-West Distribution, a cannabis business raided in 2016.

A Kansas couple erroneously targeted in a 2012 raid lost their lawsuit against the county government.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune has a big project on racial disparities in Florida’s war on drugs. The Tennessean looks at how state drug laws hurt families .

In a bid to choke off contraband, U.S. prisons are increasingly ending face to face visitations .

The Trump administration has expressed interest in “drug courts” as a compassionate diversion from long prison sentences. Drug courts in Massachusetts have shown mixed results .

Denver suspended all licenses held by Sweet Leaf , one of the state’s larger vertically integrated cannabis businesses. The allegations included selling more than the legal limit of 1 ounce per customer . Federal authorities were not involved in the action.

The ACLU is asking a court to suppress evidence against 18 people charged with drug possession after a border patrol operation in northern New Hampshire.

In the U.K., racial minorities at eight times more likely than whites to be stopped by police, but less likely than whites to be found holding drugs.

Meanwhile, racial inequality is decreasing in U.S. prisons.

A Phoenix man who says a cop forced him to eat his stash or go to jail , settled with the city for $100,000.

Police in San Bernardino raided a massive illegal grow .

An American man arrested for hash, escaped from an Indonesian prison .

CULTURE
The N.Y. Times checks out L.A.’s cannabis scene including “high teas” and “ a so-called cannabis sensuality circle that seemed like something out of 1960s Esalen.” “It is our divine right to enjoy our pleasure,” a former casting producer for The Bachelor said. “No one disagreed.”
The L.A. Times went to the Emerald Cup in Sonoma County , the country’s biggest cannabis fair.

Dr. Dre’s seminal album The Chronic is 25 years old . Rolling Stone has 10 things you didn’t know about it .

Vice goes to a “ Weed prom, ” for women in cannabis.

Amsterdam is fed up with pot tourists .

Here’s a Rasta Santa from Instagram.
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Bye,
Alex 

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