June 30, 2018
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ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:

Did you catch last week's podcast?

Ryan Jennemann, lead cultivator at THC Design in L.A.dishes on what it's like running a grow in L.A. right now. Plus his secret weapons for an ecologically sound grow. Hint: They live in aquariums.


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Beth Schechter, executive director of The Open Cannabis Project, on the group's work to protect cannabis from aggressive utility patents and the monoculture business model.

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WeedWeek Canada is a Saturday morning newsletter for professionals in the world's largest fully-legal cannabis market. It's the best way to keep up with the Canadian green rush.

In this week's issue:
-New regulations from Health Canada
-Lots of skepticism about legalization
-Landlords remain especially wary

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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
Heavily Republican Oklahoma voters approved a permissive MED initiative . “ This feels like a tipping point, ” a CNN analysis said. It’s the 31st state to legalize MED.

A MED clinic opened in Tulsa before the vote was certified. Oklahomans will have to choose between MED access and their guns .

Next door in Texas, legalization is more popular with women than men . More than half of the state’s registered voters want to legalize REC .
The US Senate passed the Farm Bill which would legalize hemp . Fortune says hemp’s revival owes to red state politicians .

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) released his decriminalization bill , which would set aside tax money to support companies run by women and members of economically disadvantaged groups.

The Senate also passed a bill, not for the first time, which would enable veterans to access MED .

Colorado’s gubernatorial race will be between Jared Polis (D), an openly-gay, pro-cannabis Congressman who represents Boulder, and Walker Stapleton (R), a conservative, two-term state treasurer who’s no fan of legalization but doesn’t consider repeal a realistic option. The New York Times finds single-issue cannabis voters in Colorado. I first met a single issue cannabis voter in 2014.

The Maine legislature passed an overhaul of state MED laws . If signed by Gov. Paul LePage, caregivers would be allowed to expand their operations and open storefronts.

The newly rebooted publication Cannabis Wire found executives from MedMen, CO-based Medicine Man, Columbia Care (Patriot Care), LivWell and PalliaTech contributed to an anti-immigration PAC founded by Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R). A quote from MedMen suggests the company, which just signed a big deal in Florida , is more pro-Curbelo --  “a champion of cannabis reform” -- than anti-immigrant.

Massachusetts will miss the July 1 deadline for opening REC shops. Early fall looks like the earliest possible open, as the state waits, among other things, for a testing lab to apply for a license. The state unveiled a program to mentor and support entrepreneurs from disadvantaged groups.

MED shops in Michigan are still waiting for final approval to open. In Detroit, MED shops continue to operate without state approval, and have been served with cease and desist letters.

Nevada REC taxes exceeded state projections for the first year, two months early. Las Vegas could become the second US city to allow pot cafes.

Wealthy Florida cannabis activist and lawyer John Morgan wants the state to vote on REC in 2020. The Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel editorializes that Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s opposition to legalization could be a factor in the 2020 presidential race.

REC legalization has stalled in New Jersey .

LA County may ask voters in November whether to open a public bank to support dispensaries and affordable housing. It would be the first new US public bank in more than a century.

An Arizona court ruled the state’s MED law doesn’t cover hash .

An Arkansas MED license winner appears to have plagiarized its application , the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.


Policy professor Mark A.R. Kleiman offers legalization lessons for Canada from the US.

Russia criticized Canada for legalizing . “ We expect Canada’s partners in the G7 to respond to its “high-handedness,” the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist former mayor of Mexico City who is expected to win Mexico’s presidential election tomorrow, has proposed a drug war amnesty .
BUSINESS
Alison Ettel, CEO of SF-based cannabis company TreatWell Health, resigned after a video of her threatening to call the cops on a 8-year-old African-American girl went viral.

The girl was selling water without a permit to fund a trip to Disneyland. The video earned Ettel the Internet nickname #PermitPatty, and she resigned to protect the brand from boycotts.
A legislative defeat for an industry banking bill has left leaders pessimistic about a short-term fix.

The Wall Street Journal meets the National Association of Cannabis Businesses, which seeks to create national regulatory standards for the industry.

Aurora has lined up a C$250M debt financing deal with bank BMO. Aurora claims it’s the industry’s biggest debt deal yet. 🍁For more sign up for a FREE four-week trial subscription to WeedWeek Canada!

The Globe and Mail says Canadian legalization could be a bust for investors and consumers , if the rules are too restrictive. 🍁For more sign up for a FREE four-week trial subscription to WeedWeek Canada!

The IPO prospectus for Stanley Brothers Holdings, a CBD company associated with the medical strain Charlotte’s Web, revealed revenue of $40M in 2017, up 172% from 2016, and that the company is profitable.

Some business owners consider the CBD industry a threat to the THC industry.

In California, tomorrow’s switch to new rules for packaging and testing could mean $350M+ worth of cannabis products get destroyed . MJBizDaily says the transition could be an extinction event for some companies.

Before the deadline, lots of dispensaries sold steeply discounted product . One CEO said you could smell the desperation .

In Colorado, the price of wholesale weed has fallen more than $400/pound to below $1,000 this year.

Massachusetts employers can fire workers who use legal REC on their own time.

E-Cigarette maker Juul Labs, is raising $1.2 Billion at a $15 Billion valuation .

Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton told CNBC the future of cannabis is products, from beverages to sleep aids .

Lagunitas is introducing zero-calorie, THC-infused sparkling beverages in California.

Rapper The Game has been pulled into a class-action lawsuit against cannabis-crypto company Paragon.

SF-based indoor farming company Plenty, which is backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, among others, plans to open farms in China and Japan .

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her legal fight against Trump, has dabbled in SoCal’s desert cannabis grows .

Tobacco company Imperial Brands is investing in U.K. biotech company Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies to support MED research. Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital also invested.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
The FDA approved GW Pharmaceutical’s CBD drug Epidiolex , a first for a drug derived from marijuana. The drug was approved to treat two severe childhood seizure disorders. It’s likely to be available in US pharmacies later this year.

In Wired, Fred Vogelstein, who has written about his efforts to obtain CBD for his son ,  asked ‘ What’s next for GW?
Even in Colorado, giving MED to a sick child can lead to a confrontation with Child Protective Services .

A study found THC reverses brain aging in mice .

Following the confiscation of a sick boy’s CBD at Heathrow Airport, the U.K. said doctors will be allowed to prescribe MED in special cases in as soon as two weeks.

An Irish mom will climb a mountain this weekend to raise awareness about her toddler’s need for CBD.

The Washington Post looks into cannabis addiction , which doctors say is a real thing.


Public radio looks at Massachusetts’ strict energy use rules for growers . A Massachusetts  organization called the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) strives to advance evidence-based cannabis research .

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a will which will enable the state MED research program to proceed .

Louisiana’s move to add chronic pain as a qualifying condition for MED is boosting the industry. The state of Utah will grow MED for terminally ill patients , no gummies or edibles allowed.

Out tells the story of how AIDS activists kickstarted the legalization movement .

A Brazilian study found the hallucinogen ayahuasca may relieve severe depression .

Buzzfeed meets “kratom warriors” who say the drug derived from a southeast Asian plant will mitigate the opioid crisis.
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CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Deputy White House counsel Uttam Dhillon is expected to be named head of the DEA . His views on marijuana were not immediately clear.
Voice of San Diego reports misleading statistics, provided by former S.D. police chief Shelley Zimmerman about crime near dispensaries, are being used to dissuade other governments from allowing dispensaries.

As MED use catches on in Florida, Sarasota County has seen an increase in minor REC arrests . The Sheriff’s office says the number is misleading since most of the arrests are secondary offenses tied to an arrest for another charge.  


The Trump administration wants to grant clemency to more incarcerated felons and has asked for recommendations.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the civil asset forfeiture case of a man whose $42,000 Land Rover was confiscated by Indiana after he plead guilty to selling $225 worth of drugs.

A Canadian school superintendent regrets including a cannabis sponsor in its graduation program. It’s not clear whether it was illegal.
CULTURE
Dogs taken from illegal grows are straining animal shelters in Sacramento.

In the Guardian I wrote about the difference, or lack thereof , between indica and sativa.

Canada’s northern Nunavut Territory is giving cannabis the Inuktitut name “surrarnaqtuq.” It means ‘to have an effect’ and is a controvertial choice among Inuktitut speakers.

Canadian Catholic bishops say marijuana use is still a sin, because it violates the virtue of temperance .

California ghost town Cerro Gordo could become a marijuana destination .

The new Netflix cooking show “Cooking on High” shows ‘“ Just add weed’ isn’t a recipe for good television.
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Alex 

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