March 10, 2018
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This week on the podcast, Hayley and Alex talk to longtime cannabis journalist David Bienenstock about legalization, social justice within the industry and his new podcast Great Moments in Weed History co-hosted with Abdullah Saeed, formerly of Vice's Bong Appetit.

The episode lands Monday by 4:20 p.m. Pacific.

Don't forget to rate it five stars on iTunes !

Previous shows feature:

-Episode 8 Jackie Fox (Hayley's mom) talks about becoming a MED user later in life.
-Episode 7 Dr. Peter Grinspoon, Harvard Medical School, on cannabis, opioids and the medical establishment.
-Episode 6 Anja Charbonneau, editor of design forward cannabis magazine Broccoli
-Episode 4 L.A. 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.

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WeedWeek Canada is a Saturday morning newsletter for professionals in the world's largest fully-legal cannabis market. WWCanada aims to deliver key data and insights in a quick, digestible format. Plus, Reporter Jesse Staniforth is incentivized to deliver exclusive scoops.

WWCanada is written by Jesse Staniforth, a freelance journalist in Montreal who has reported extensively on indigenous issues, cybersecurity, food safety, and cannabis for outlets including Leafly, ThinkProgress, The Walrus and Salon.
The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are coming. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to vote here.
Here's the news.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, a former executive at drugmaker Eli Lilly, said there’s “ no such thing as medical marijuana. ” He said the department The department is working on non-cannabis related ways to mitigate the opioid crisis.
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators introduced legislation to protect banks who work with cannabis companies. Tom Angell also has the latest on veterans lobbying Congress for MED access.

California has already approved more than 2,000 growers licenses, but the Lost Coast Outpost suggests allowing too many growers sets them up to fail .

Nevada put off social use until 2019 (Las Vegas Sun). Regulators also decided to keep the cannabis and gaming industries separate (Las Vegas Review Journal).

Pennsylvania appears poised to allow smokable flower , which would cut the cost of MED. A Florida judge will hear a case to allow smokable MED .

To increase minority ownership, the Maryland House voted to raise the number of grow licenses from 15 to 20.

Florida lawmakers are withholding $1.9M from the health department because of delays in MED licensing. Also in Florida, legislation on changing how a black farmer can obtain a growing license is headed to Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) desk.

Illinois’ “cannabis candidate” Benjamin Wolf inflated his resume (Chicago Tribune) and allegedly abused women (Politico). Wolf denied any claims of abuse.

Tom Angell looks at the new politics of weed in Illinois .

Five measures to loosen cannabis laws could come before Arizona voters this year.

In Leafly, WeedWeek Podcast co-host Hayley Fox, asks whether expanding Los Angeles' cannabis agency can boost equity ownership. Equity also got a boost in Massachusetts.

Oakland is considering legislation which would block pot companies from evicting existing tenants.

The D.C. Board of Elections blocked a ballot initiative , which it said would go against city law and Congress, to allow REC sales.

The UN drug enforcement board warned countries not to legalize marijuana . 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada .

Canada’s First Nations’ (Native Canadians) want in on the REC industry . 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada .

A decriminalization bill advanced in Israel .

Colorado Public Radio looks at the push to legalize psychedelic mushrooms in Denver.
California’s cannabis regulatory chief Lori Ajax told Weedmaps to cease and desist stop promoting unlicensed businesses (OC Register). Lack of compliance could lead to civil or criminal penalties.

Weedmaps does not appear to have responded . (Sacramento Bee) In February, Weedmaps president Christopher Beals said, “The thing is, at the end of the day, we’re an information platform...We’re showing the same information that Google and Yelp and Craigslist and 30 other websites are showing.”

Ajax also sent letters to 900 pot shops suspected of operating without a state license.
Bloomberg says the US is giving away the $30 billion MED industry to Israel and Canada.

Delivery app Eaze’s policy team is hiring to prepare for expansion beyond California.

Business Insider’s Jeremy Berke profiles Navy Capital, a cannabis hedge fund which was up 127% in 2017 . Berke also asks what the two highest valued cannabis companies , MedMen and Privateer Holdings, say about the industry.

Bloomberg reports companies are losing interest in employee pot tests .

New Women Grow Chair Chanda Macias defended the company against criticism.

Regulatory software company BioTrackTHC agreed to merge with diversified ancillary company Helix TCS to form what it claims is the industry’s largest ancillary company.

Denver restaurants reportedly can’t staff their kitchens because trimming buds pays better and is easier.

Big Think asks why cannabis companies keep losing their social media accounts .

California collectives which provided low-cost MED to the needy are struggling in the REC era (Sacramento Bee). So are smaller growers (Santa Rosa Press Democrat.).

Massachusetts growers say strict energy rules could force them to use energy efficient LEDs, which are far costlier, and produce lesser product. Read the whole piece by the Boston Globe’s Dan Adams.

Massachusetts pot lobbyists are out in force .

Modern farmer has a primer on indoor gardening .

Trade group National Cannabis Business Association, which has recently faced some tough media coverage , has a possible rival in the Western Regional Cannabis Business Alliance, which has nine state organizations and at least one lobbyist in D.C.  

With a major court ruling coming soon, Canna Law Blog asks if CBD is legal .

Tattoo care could be a $1.6 billion CBD market .

Surprisingly, in 2016 Canada fell to second , behind the U.K., in legal MED production. 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada .

Canadian producer Aurora Cannabis plans to follow competitor Cronos Group (National Post) onto an international stock exchange. For more see CNBC.

Canadian producer Canopy Growth is among the bidders for Spanish pharmaceutical firm Alcaliber, a major morphine producer. 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada .

Canada granted a license to a 1.1M square foot cannabis grow . 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada .

Canadian pot stocks had a bad February .

Despite a viral photo, a St. Louis IHOP is not refusing service to guests who smell like weed.

Magical Butter didn’t warn the attendees at a New York cryptocurrency event that the food was infused. It was a fiasco.
A criminal probe of Brazil’s best known cannabis scientist, Elisaldo Carlini, for “inciting drug crime” has led to protests calling the probe an attempt to restrict academic freedoms and defund Brazilian science. 
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a leading academic hospital, will allow doctors to prescribe MED (MJBiz). For more see the Pittsburgh Tribune-Revie w.

A Texas dad who used MED to treat his autistic daughter , may lose custody. A Georgia dad is defending his 11-year old daughter , after she was suspended for “unknowingly” eating a pot dessert.

Taylor Weyeneth, the 24-year old aide who was fired from the U.S. “drug czars” office for being unqualified, has joined the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he will focus on opioid policy.

“Weed the People,” a new documentary from tv-personality Ricki Lake makes the case for cannabis as a cancer treatment .

Libertarian writer Megan McArdle writes on the “moral hazard” of Naloxone , the drug used to save people who have overdosed on opioids.

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US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is suing California (N.Y.Times) over “sanctuary” policies which protect undocumented immigrants.

Speaking in Sacramento, he singled out Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf(D), who warning about federal ICE raids in northern California, for endangering ICE agents.

“How dare you distort the advance your racist agenda,” (The Hill) Schaaf responded, denying that she endangered ICE agents.

Schaaf is a protege of California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) who taunted Sessions, “Mueller is closing in.” (N.Y.Mag)

Some legal cannabis markets are declaring themselves cannabis sanctuaries (AP).

Sessions draft “master plan” for the justice department apparently doesn’t mention weed . (Huffpost) Other than that, it’s about what you’d expect.

Sessions is just the latest reason more women are serving more time for drug offenses.

(An aside: Several years ago, I wrote a short piece about Yolanda Burgess, a woman who had come home after years in prison on a drug offense. She’s now a real estate agent in the D.C. area. Drop her a line if you’ve got business for her.)
Vice reports the DEA took years to fix a secret program which led to “scores of civilian deaths” abroad. The Feds also have no idea how to shut down dark web drug marketplaces .

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D) said he doesn’t believe the N.Y.P.D.’s explanation (Daily News) for the lingering and wide racial disparity in pot arrests. Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the department (Politico) but said improvement is necessary.

A Buzzfeed investigation found hundreds of N.Y.P.D. cops who committed serious offenses got to keep their jobs.

Twelve were charged in a Rochester, N.Y. pot trafficking ring.

A new effort would prevent drug convictions from interfering with federal student loans.

A bill in California would allow police to test any driver under 21 for weed.

Oregon allocated $1.5M to crack down on the illegal market in rural areas.

A New Jersey bill would expunge past possession restrictions.

A Kansas bill would change a state policy which adds some minor drug offenders to public sex offender registries . A Mississippi police chief resigned after a video caught him smoking pot. A Tennessee cannabis activist was found guilty of possession .

Spain and Morocco are cracking down on the hash trade .

South Korea warned nationals not to use legal cannabis in Canada .
The lineup for Denver’s 420-festival includes Lil Wayne and Lil Jon. It will be sponsored by dispensary Euflora following an amusing legal tussle: Euflora sent representatives to camp outside the permitting office for 27 days, but were beaten inside by a guy named Smokey.
Oscar and Independent Spirit Award winning director and writer Jordan Peele said there are, “ People locked up for smoking less weed than I smoked when I wrote "Get Out.

Frances McDormand, who won her second acting Oscar, appeared on the cover of High Times in 2003.

For International Women’s Day, Jane West spotlit Pauline Sabin , a leader in the movement to repeal US alcohol prohibition.

The Texas-Wesleyan baseball coach who lost his job over a remark to a potential recruit in Colorado gave an interview .

Canopy Growth subsidiary Tweed hosted a runway show last night as part of Toronto Men’s Fashion week.

The Four Twenty Games are coming to L.A. in a few weeks.

A survey by growing-tech company Seedo declared New York the world’s most stoned city .

Someone online tried to find a white nationalist reggae band.

The New Yorker goes to an “underground” infused dinner party :

“This cake is amazing,” my husband said. We ate in silence for a few minutes. “Amazing,” he repeated. A woman sitting near us started cackling maniacally.
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