May 5, 2018
THIS IS WEEDWEEK.
BECAUSE CANNABIS NEWS MATTERS.
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ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:

Pot for Pets

On the pod this week, Hayley and Alex talk to Oakland veterinarian Dr. Gary Richter about what cannabis does for pets and California's wildly confusing regulations on vets and CBD. (He practices in Oakland.)

PLUS: What to do if Rover gets into the edibles.


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

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

Previous episodes:
-Episide 16 Jennifer Lujan, director of social impact at Eaze.
-Episode 15 Combat veteran and IHeartJane CEO Socrates Rosenfeld.
-Episode 14 Chef   Holden Jagger of SoCal caterer  Altered Plates discusses the alchemy of cooking with cannabis
-Episode 12 Cannabis attorney   Hilary Bricken on what's not working in the California market.  A must listen for professionals!
-Episode 11  Jim McAlpine founder of the  420 Games
-Episode 10 Previously incarcerated activist and entrepreneur   Lukas Lucas on L.A.'s equity program
-Episode 9 Journalist  David Bienenstock on social justice within the industry and his new podcast  Great Moments in Weed
-Episode 8  Jackie Fox (Hayley's mom) on 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.

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The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are coming. And the primaries are already here. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to register here.
Here's the news.
POLITICS
US Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon said cannabis and ancillary businesses, including landlords, are not eligible for federal business loans.
The Colorado legislature approved the state’s first in the nation “tasting room” bill, which would allow vaping and edible consumption at dispensary locations “for the purposes of consumer education.” It’s not clear if Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) will sign.

A controversial cannabis tracking bill has also emerged in Colorado.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), one of the last national Democrats to oppose legalization, now says the feds shouldn’t interfere with California’s REC market .

California regulators are struggling to oversee California’s unwieldy market. And the industry is gaining clout in California politics.

Massachusetts regulators say the REC market will be “sparse” when it opens July 1. State regulators are divided on background checks for license applicants.

The Maine legislature overrode Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a law to organize the state REC industry. Mainers voted to legalize in 2016. 


Pro-legalization New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted he’s smoked “literally once or twice many years ago, and I don’t have any desire to partake again.” Legalization, he said, is about social justice.


To depress Democratic turnout in November, Michigan lawmakers are trying to legalize REC through the legislature by attaching a cut to the state income tax

Anti-legalization group Healthy and Productive Michigan may sue to block Michigan's November REC vote .

Ohio discovered another error in its MED application scoring process .

The Missouri House passed a MED bill . The Des Moines Register asks why a MED expansion failed in the Iowa legislature.

A MED push also failed in Idaho .


A Canadian Senate committee wants to delay legalization for a year to address the concerns of indigenous populations ignored in the lawmaking process. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said legalization will go forward this year as planned , and indigenous peoples’ concerns will be addressed. 🍁For more, sign up for THREE FREE ISSUES of WeedWeek Canada!

Leafly examines five contentious issues with B.C.’s new REC bill. 🍁For more, sign up for THREE FREE ISSUES of WeedWeek Canada!

Nova Scotians smoke the most weed in Canada , according to a government study. 🍁For more, sign up for THREE FREE ISSUES of WeedWeek Canada!

Canada exported more than $780M of weed last year , almost all of it illegal. China privately complained to Canada about illegal pot exports.

In Colombia, illegal growers want to go legit .

Zimbabwe became the second African nation, after Lesotho, to allow MED growing .
BUSINESS
A Denver hearing officer recommended that vertically integrated company Sweet Leaf should be stripped of its 26 licenses for a “looping” scheme which enabled buyers, many with out of state license plates, to make repeat visits in order to exceed maximum purchase rules.

Sweet Leaf generated at least $8.2M from looping. A final decision will be made by the city of Denver.
Disappointed by a court ruling that CBD is a Schedule I controlled substance , the hemp industry now claims it is not affected by by the ruling . Meanwhile in Colorado, activists fear a CBD bill would hand over the market to the pharmaceutical industry.

Canna Law Blog analyzes the CBD decision .

MJBizDaily asks if rising political support for legal cannabis will lead to banking access . The publication also reports on MedMen’s plans to go public in Canada .

Publicly-traded lawncare company Scotts Miracle-Gro has stumbled in its bid to lead the hydroponics market .

Ricardo Baca, founding editor of The Cannabist, has submitted a bid to buy the site for an undisclosed sum after The Denver Post fired the journalists who worked on it. The Denver Post editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett resigned after criticizing the paper’s hedge fund owner, Alden Global Capital.

NBC spoke to California growers who are sticking with the illegal market .

California landlords to cannabis businesses can now get insurance . A lawsuit takes issue with a distributor monopoly in Baldwin Park, Calif. (L.A. County).

The Massachusetts industry is forming a new trade association .

A Louisiana firm contracted to grow and process MED has threatened to sue its payor , Southern University, over a contract dispute.

Caesar’s Entertainment dropped pre-employment pot tests . Lots of other businesses don’t care either .

But even MED use with a permit remains a problem with some employers. An H.R. publication examines whether California employers can still conduct pot tests .

Philly’s first MED dispensary has opened.

Portland Business Journal meets the five largest Oregon cannabis businesses .

Motley Fool lists 20 things you need to know before investing in cannabis.

The Canadian Real Estate Association called for a national moratorium on home growing . The lobby wants to ensure the permitted four plant grows don’t detract from property values. 🍁For more, sign up for THREE FREE ISSUES of WeedWeek Canada!

Canadian online headshop Namaste Technologies acquired AI start-up Findify for $12M. 🍁For more, sign up for THREE FREE ISSUES of WeedWeek Canada!

Since they won’t be legal until next year, Canadian edibles companies are getting a little sneaky . 🍁For more, sign up for THREE FREE ISSUES of WeedWeek Canada!

Ontario awarded a C$300,000 grant to Province Brands , a company developing a beer brewed from marijuana.

Testing company Steep Hill will expand its business to Western Europe.

A Swiss supermarket is selling CBD as an alternative to tobacco .

Mike Tyson’s cannabis brand, Tyson Holistic, will partner with a hemp grow in West Virginia.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
There’s evidence of correlation but not causation as to whether MED can reduce opioid use, Vox explains. As a remedy for the opioid epidemic, the data is stronger for needle exchanges and anti-addiction medications. Rolling Stone looks at the fight for real research on the relationship between opioids and weed.
The Boston Globe asks why, at 89, the pioneering psychiatrist and cannabis researcher Dr. Lester Grinspoon never received a full professorship at Harvard Medical School . Dr. Grinspoon’s son Dr. Peter Grinspoon, appeared on the WeedWeek podcast several weeks ago to discuss MED.

New York City said it would open safe injection sites . The DEA clarified that such sites are illegal .
Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, questioned whether marijuana is safer than other drugs . For example, if you’re a teenager, marijuana is much more dangerous than nicotine, because it is likely to interfere with the development of your brain. Marijuana dumbs you down. When you’re a teenager and your job in life is to learn, then to slow that down puts you at tremendous jeopardy.”

Anti-legalization group Friends of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, wants MED research to be easier to pursue .

USA Today reports MED legalization has spread so quickly due to users’ “emotional connection” with the plant.

Several groups of researchers plan to study treating autism with cannabis .

Florida's MED industry is attracting "troubled doctors."

Arizona will remain one of two states without required lab testing for MED.

New Jersey’s MED program is expanding rapidly . So is Montana’s.

A Florida court blocked a cancer patient from growing his own MED.

Indiana doctors called Child Protective Services on a family who treat their epileptic daughter with cannabis oil. After being switched to a prescription drug, the girl had to be hospitalized.

Some opioid users can’t afford MED because insurance doesn’t cover it.

Leafly looks into the legacy of MED use during the Vietnam war.

Canada wants to reduce youth cannabis use by 2021. 🍁For more, sign up for THREE FREE ISSUES of WeedWeek Canada!

At Healthline, a writer experiments with cannabis lube .

A pilot program in Israel will allow MED at select pharmacies .

Singapore, known for harsh drug laws, plans to research therapeutic cannabinoids.

N.Y. Magazine’s The Cut put out a guide to microdosing hallucinogens . The N.Y. Times explains how ecstasy(MDMA) could work as a treatment for PTSD .

The WSJ discusses new research into medical uses for psychedelics .
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CRIMINAL JUSTICE
A new report from the Corrections Accountability Project finds thousands of companies which profit from the American prison system. In addition to private prison companies they include major corporations in finance, construction, food services, health care, and telecoms.
In the N.Y. Times Magazine, Evan Hughes reports on Insys Therapeutics which allegedly engaged in a “kickback scheme” with doctors who prescribed the companies powerful opioids.

The Boston Review looks at how the fight over building a new federal penitentiary in an impoverished part of Kentucky captures the debate over incarceration in the Trump/Sessions era.

In the Marshall Project, a drug offender tries to start over in Alaska.

A bill in Delaware would expunge minor pot convictions.

USAToday reports on “ bodies stacked in a prison yard, ” after state budget cuts.

A Venezuelan doctor is in custody in New York accused of implanting liquid heroin in puppies for smuggling purposes.
CULTURE
In the Guardian I wrote about the rarefied world of $50,000 bongs . While the culture hasn’t been embraced by an industry increasingly focussed on wellness, collector Kyle Tracey predicts the pieces will soon be for sale at Sotheby’s.
The NFL rejected the first ever player request for a MED exemption , from free-agent running back Mike James. “My career is at great risk,” he said. The New Yorker talks to former NFL star Ricky Williams , who now has a cannabis brand and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Chinese medicine.

Aside from Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson and other famous smokers, the industry is struggling to attract A-list celebrity spokespeople.

Amanda Chicago Lewis talks to trans activist Buck Angel about bringing weed back to the queer community .


Detroit Metro News says joints are here to stay .

Sacramento approved consumption for a local High Times Cannabis Cup.

Rooster explains why the Colorado tourism office doesn’t talk about weed .

A “pop-up” dispensary in Toronto promoted the new cannabis-free Oh Henry 4:25 Bar. (Get it?)
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Bye,
Alex 

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