March 17, 2018
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This week on the podcast, Hayley and Alex talk to Lukas Lucas, a formerly incarcerated cannabis activist and entrepreneur, about prejudice within the industry, why L.A.'s equity program will work and how legalization could benefit African Americans.

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

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

Previous shows feature:

-Episode 9 Journalist David Bienenstock talks about social justice within the industry and his new podcast Great Moments in Weed
-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.

Today in WWCanada:
--Economists say Canada may not be able to balance tax collection and reduced youth use while shrinking the black market
--Lots more on the fight to convert Ontario into a private market.
--Why cannabis equity investing is giving way to debt financing

And much more!

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.
California may lower pot taxes (L.A.Times) to help businesses compete with the illegal market. The bipartisan legislation follows agitating by farmers . (Reuters)
Colorado unveiled a new symbol for all cannabis packaging. A new law in Washington will unclutter cannabis labels .

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), said legal states aren’t worried about a federal crackdown. The Boston Globe has the FAQ on the state’s new REC rules . The state will start accepting REC business applications next month.

Activists have sued Florida claiming state MED rules benefit major players and stifle competition.

A Maryland legislative effort to support minority-owned cannabis companies, would reportedly favor existing, white-owned licensees .

WeedNews suggests legalization may have helped Democrat and MED supporter Conor Lamb win a special Congressional election in Pennsylvania by less than 1,000 votes. Republican Rick Saccone, who voted against MED, lost the district which President Trump won by 20 points.

Debts approaching $9 billion make REC legalization an increasingly attractive option in Illinois.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) includes pot taxes in his budget proposal (Tom Angell). As they contemplate legalization, state lawmakers are emphasizing what it would mean for social justice (N.Y. Times) in the state.

New Jersey voters favor REC legalization (Tom Angell), a poll found. The state is also mulling home grow (App.).

While Denver issued the first permit, Amsterdam style smoking lounges have arrived in several San Francisco dispensaries, and may be coming to West Hollywood later this year.

The Washington Post visits Humboldt where legalization challenges outlaw growers . I recently reported on the same topic for HuffPost.

Concerns about the application process led a judge to block Arkansas’ first MED licenses from being awarded.

A Delaware task force studying legalization voted to release a controversial report on legalization .

A CBD bill passed the Indiana legislature.

The Oklahoma Senate voted to implement stricter MED rules before the question goes to voters in June.

In National Review, drug policy scholar Jonathan P. Caulkins urges caution before rushing into a for-profit cannabis industry , which would be almost impossible to unwind.

Ontario’s new conservative leader Doug Ford, brother of deceased former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford , said he’d like to see a more open cannabis market in Canada’s most populous province. 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada .

Relatedly, the province released the new austere logo for the Ontario Cannabis Store to widespread ridicule. For more see Buzzfeed . 🍁For even more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada .

UN Secretary General António Guterres, praised decriminalization , which he enacted 20 years ago as president of Portugal.
After California threatened Weedmaps with civil or criminal charges for promoting unlicensed dispensaries, Weedmaps responded that since the company isn’t a licensee the state doesn’t have the power to regulate it (MJBiz).

Weedmaps cited Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (Ars Technica) which essentially argues that the company is not responsible for the actions of its users. The same defense has been successfully deployed by Backpage, a classifieds site notorious for sex industry ads.

While Weedmaps struck a conciliatory tone (L.A.Times), it was as bold a rebuke to regulators as has been expressed by any cannabis company.  

In an editorial, the Sacramento Bee criticized the company .
Alan Brochstein discusses five ways to invest in California cannabis .

Consumers are selling California-legal cannabis in Tijuana.

MJBizDaily asks if your business is ready for increased scrutiny while Jeff Sessions is attorney general.

The Seattle Times profiles edibles brand The Goodship , after it’s acquisition by Privateer Holdings, as it prepares to expand into California.

A first of its kind study determined legalization is a net economic benefit for Pueblo County, Colo. The police chief said the study didn’t take into account the homelessness and poverty his officers see. I wrote about Pueblo for the L.A.Times in 2016.

Delivery services are thriving in Florida , where it’s difficult to open a dispensary.

Snoop Dogg’s cannabis investing fund, Casa Verde Capital, raised $45M . (Snoop also released a gospel album this week, “Bible of Love.”)

Business Insider introduces the stars of cannabis finance .

Fast Company asks if MedMen will become the Starbucks of weed .

Reuters meets New Leaf Data Services which publishes wholesale price data .

Texas hasn’t legalized but entrepreneurs are preparing for the Lone Star green rush anyway .

Bloomberg profiles Hydrotherapy, Quebec’s only legal producer, which wants to follow convenience stores’ path to global growth. 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada .

Cannex, Washington’s largest producer, went public in Canada . The company’s COO said it’s “virtually impossible” to raise money in the U.S.

Canadian producer Aurora Cannabis completed its acquisition of CanniMed. 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada .

Following Wal-Mart and Amazon, retailer Home Depot partnered with ancillary American Cannabis Company.

Nearly 500 Canadian companies have applied for MED growing licenses (MJBiz) . British Columbia has rejected (MJBiz) the most applications. Another Canadian MED company, CannTrust, invested in Denmark .(MJBiz) 🍁For more subscribe to WeedWeek Canada .

Thanks to GW Pharma, the U.K. is a leading MED grower , The Economist reports. The company prefers to call it “cannabis-based medicine.”

In the Guardian, I wrote about brands’ early efforts to woo celebrity clients .

Oregon-based BioMauris won the seed to sale tracking contract for Iowa’s low-THC MED program.

The Denver Post looks at CBD companies’ efforts to go mainstream . A California company wants its CBD products next to the cash register in gas stations. (MJBiz) A CBD shop’s health claims have unsettled doctors in Missouri. (News-Leader)
A study found coffee decreases endocannabinoid levels raised by cannabis consumption.
The CDC warned trimming weed can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Americans for Safe Access released its annual report on state by state MED access.

Researchers at the University of Colorado use a mobile lab , a van, to study cannabis while remaining compliant with state law.

Israel approved a MED vaporizer , and may be the first country to have done so. The country will allow MED patients to drive three hours after smoking .

“Weed the People,” a new documentary by Ricki Lake, argues high-doses of cannabinoids, used in conjunction with chemotherapy, can shrink or eliminate tumors . [Editorial: Consult a physician.]

Australian doctors are fighting over MED’s value for patients .
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Trump called again for drug dealers to be executed (Rolling Stone) and included the idea in a new plan for the opioid crisis (Politico) .

Apparently taking cues from Trump, Singapore has resumed the practice .
Trump is reportedly considering replacing Jeff Sessions with Environmental Protection Agency head Bruce Pruitt(R), another legalization opponent who sued Colorado for allowing the industry, when he was Oklahoma attorney general. Business Insider says it probably won’t happen .

AG Sessions said the Justice Department wouldn’t prioritize “small” cannabis cases . (CBS) He also said he wants to increase the prison population.

Canna Law Blog asks if Sessions’ immigration crackdown will precede a cannabis crackdown .

Michigan shut down 40 dispensaries which hadn’t applied for licenses. Hundreds more closures are expected.

N.Y.P.D. Commissioner James O’Neill defended racial disparities in low level pot arrests.

The Washington Post’s Radley Balko asks why police still use problematic field drug tests.

In a case which could resonate nationally, a federal judge determined 13 Chicago-area drug stings by the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were “tinged with racial overtones” but not outright biased.   

An Arizona judge ruled a California man’s MED card was enough to dismiss a possession charge.

A U.K. cannabis activist known as Gypsy Nirvana, faces extradition to the US for seed distribution.

Congressional Democrats want to know more about drug trafficking and money laundering at a Panama hotel which until last month was affiliated with the Trump Organization.

After the International Criminal Court (ICC) began to investigate extrajudicial killings in Phillipine President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, Duterte withdrew the country from the ICC .
Penny stock American Green lacks the capital to turn all-but abandoned Nipton, Calif. into a cannabis resort , New Cannabis Ventures reports.
French casual fashion label Sandro has licensed Bob Marley’s name and likeness for a new collection.

In the New York Times, Leslie Jamison asks if being in recovery kills great writing .

GQ has suggestions for planning a weed date . One idea: Go to the aquarium.

You’ve probably heard of cannabis yoga. Beer yoga is now a thing , the Wall Street Journal reports.
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