February 17, 2018
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ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:
This week on the podcast, Hayley and I talked to Anja Charbonneau, founder of Broccoli, a fashion-forward cannabis magazine for women. Among much else, Anja talks about the global cannabis community, finding a place for cutting edge design in the cannabis world, and a favorite weed inspired song. The episode drops Monday at 4:20 p.m. Pacific.

You can rate us five stars on iTunes whenever you like.

Previous episodes feature:
-Episode 4 Cannabis Business attorney  Ariel Clark on what cannabis entrepreneurs need to know
-Episode 3 Congressman and longtime legalization supporter Earl Blumenauer
-Episode 2  Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The rise and fall and rise of marijuana in America, on the history of legalization

Comments or feedback? Don't be shy.

Our producer is Katie Long.

Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact here.
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Recommended: The N.Y.Times' Dan Barry wrote a powerful piece on this week's massacre in Parkland, Fla. 

The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are coming. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to vote here.
So much news.
POLITICS
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) partially lifted his hold (Reuters) on Justice Department confirmations “as a show of good faith for continued positive conversations,” with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on protecting state legal cannabis businesses from federal prosecution.

Gardner said the Justice Department had “moved more and more” toward agreeing (Denver Post) to unspecified “concrete protections in Colorado for our state’s voters when it comes to decisions they made related to marijuana.”

Gardner backed down days after Sessions, in prepared remarks (Forbes), implied Gardner was endangering national security. Sessions added, "I cannot and will not pretend that a duly enacted law of this country -- like the federal ban on marijuana -- does not exist. Marijuana is illegal in the United States -- even in Colorado, California, and everywhere else in America."
Politifact says there are limited privacy protections for legal cannabis customers.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) announced her support for Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) REC legalization bill. Both are considered contenders in 2020. Vice predicts the next Democratic president will legalize REC .

Rolling Stone says California is blocking Native American tribes from entering the industry.

A Florida lawsuit argues the state’s strict MED program -- only 10 commercial grow licenses -- violates the spirit of the 2016 ballot initiative. Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R) has become known as a die-hard supporter of 1) President Trump and 2)Cannabis reform .

More than 60% of Florida voters support legal REC.

In New Jersey, a bi-partisan group of lawmakers prefers decriminalization to legalization , for now. Pro-legalization governor Phil Murphy (D) discussed legalization .

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, (R) who opposed REC, criticized proposed regulations (Boston Globe), which would allow delivery services and social use, as too permissive. He also wants to set energy-use standards (MassLive) for the industry. For more see WWLP .

Detroit placed a moratorium on new MED business permits.

Ohio offered to “pause” its much criticized MED approval process.

Utah lawmakers are taking “baby steps” to legalize MED for the terminally ill.

In Canada, the Senate reached a REC legalization timeline , with a vote to be held by June 7 and sales delayed until at least August. And don’t expect legalization to replace the grey market .

Israel’s ultra-orthodox deputy health minister has reversed himself and now opposes MED exports.

The cannabis community celebrated President Obama’s official presidential portrait with its botanical theme.

During Denver shows the Pod Save America crew talked to dispensary owner Wanda James , and cannabis writer and Cannabist founding editor Ricardo Baca . Baca also talked to WestWord about cannabis media and his content business Grasslands.
BUSINESS
Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify will handle online and in-store sales in for Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. Seeking Alpha likes the deal for Shopify.

The province of Quebec has inked supply agreements with six MED producers.

Al-Jazeera visits Canopy Growth , one of Canada’s largest producers. The Canadian industry has its sights on global conquest. CBC looks at the Canadian edibles market .

Legalization is a nightmare for Canadian landlords .

Publicly-traded Kush Bottles received a $6M investment from Maryland-based cannabis fund Merida Capital.

The Cannifornian explains the state’s 35% cannabis tax . An L.A. Times Op-Ed says a proposed public bank in California could do more than serve cannabis businesses. “At a time when California has so many pressing needs, from transportation to water delivery, a public bank could help stretch scarce dollars and rebuild the state.”

California biotech company Librede won a $1.5M NIH grant to develop its “yeast-based cannabinoid production platform.”

TheStreet suggests the best ways to invest in cannabis . Hint: It’s mainly “weed-adjacent” companies.

Pernod-Ricard, the world’s second largest spirits company says legalization hasn’t hurt North American sales , but it is monitoring the situation.

Willamette Week (Portland) looks at the Open Cannabis Project , the open-source database “that can save the cannabis industry” from overly broad patents .

The all-cash industry is causing problems and confusion in Michigan.


A private BYOC club opened in Massachusetts telling customers they could smoke anything that’s legal in the state including tobacco. A Denver business is close to winning a social use permit .

Comedian Chelsea Handler is joini ng the industry .

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HEALTH & SCIENCE
Cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for seniors suffering from chronic pain, data published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine found. In a study of more 1,186 Israelis, after six months more than 93% of respondents reported an improvement in their condition.
Activist group Grannies for Grass has a satellite group in Australia which calls itself the Canna Nannas.

A study from the American Osteopathic Association found cannabis use can activate latent psychiatric problems .

A study found alcohol is more dangerous to the brain than cannabis. A longitudinal analysis found cannabis using “street-involved youth” have a lower rate of starting to inject drugs than their non-cannabis using counterparts.


MED patients have limited access in Florida.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports on cannabis use by seniors .

President Trump named attorney Jim Carroll as the new drug czar , though Trump’s budget would gut the office.


Canadian patients want the MED and REC sectors to remain separate .

OregonLive has a story about a family which “went rogue” and gave MED to an elderly father with dementia.

The Canadian military will spend an estimated C$170,000 on goggles which simulate the sensation of being stoned.

Even Australia’s “MED poster boy” can’t access it.

Amid concern over the opioid crisis, meth is having a resurgence . It tends to be manufactured in Mexico and smuggled in rather than cooked in domestic labs.

Neuroscientists studying psychedelic substances “ accidentally proved the self is an illusion. ” Wired meets English Countess and LSD activist Amanda Feilding .

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Five plaintiffs including a former NFL player, a veteran and a 12 year old MED patient are suing AG Sessions, the Justice Department and the DEA (AP) saying the decision to make MED a schedule I drug was irrational and motivated by politics rather than science. The judge appeared empathetic to their situation as well as the government’s position that plaintiffs can petition the government for a change.

In another important case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Hemp Industries Association vs. DEA , a case challenging CBD’s inclusion as marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. MJBizDaily offers five things to watch in the case , which won’t be decided for months.
AG Sessions opposes a bi-partisan prison sentencing reform bill . Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), a longtime supporter of the measure, was openly annoyed “because of what I’ve done for him. He had a tough nomination, a tough hearing in my committee.”

After a meeting at the White House, Polk County, Fla., Sheriff Grady Judd said, "Every person I've ever asked that has a drug addiction problem, I would ask them intentionally 'what was your drug of choice that set you on this path?' Marijuana. Every time, marijuana."

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee discussed vacating past pot convictions with The Stranger.

Virginia’s Senate passed an expungement bill . A bill in Alaska would make possession convictions confidential .

A man who says his car was improperly seized for smelling of weed , is taking his appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court.

L.A. police are closing unlicensed dispensaries, but not very quickly. D.C. cops are cracking down on the city’s cannabis “gifting” economy.

In New York City, racial disparities in cannabis arrests persist . Last year 86% of those arrested for possession were people of color.

Staff at a Maine childcare center appeared to get high on cookies dropped off for them by a parent.

Berkeley City Council voted to become a cannabis sanctuary city , possibly the first. But the phenomenon could become more widespread .

The East African nation of Tanzania is cracking down on illegal growing .
CULTURE
Cannabis oriented streaming services 420TV and Burn TV have struggled to take off.

Netflix cancelled the pot shop sitcom “Disjointed.” “In America, everything comes down to money, and there is obviously so much money to be made in this,” co-creator David Javerbaum told the Wall Street Journal. “That the stigma against it is still so strong is amazing to me.”

Forbes details the cannabis-infused wedding of Dani Green , longtime aide to Steve DeAngelo.

Travel writer Rick Steves spoke about cannabis reform on a trip to D.C.

The Portland Mercury talks about how cannabis complicates dating .

I visited an upscale Malibu dispensary for The Guardian.
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Bye,
Alex 

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