July 28, 2018
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ALEX HALPERIN
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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.
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Here's the news.
POLITICS
Following several high-profile incidents involving sick children, MED will be available by prescription in the U.K. by the fall, the Home Office announced. Home Secretary Sajid Javid said it will be available to those with “exceptional clinical need.”

The change is “In no way a first step to the legalization of cannabis for REC use,” he said. 
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged a states’ right to legalize , but said he would still enforce federal law. “Personally my view is that the American republic will not be better if there are marijuana sales on every street corner but states have a right to set their own laws and will do so,” Sessions said.

All sides can agree to support the bi-partisan Marijuana Data Collection bill introduced this week, write Brookings’ John Hudak and Christine Stenglein. The bill, introduced by Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) doesn’t take a position on legalization

It’s possible that the farm bill which legalizes industrial hemp will allow those with criminal records to join the industry.

California said no, for now, to bars which serve both cannabis and alcohol and to products containing both intoxicants.

Meanwhile, one in five tested batches in California has turned up contaminated or inaccurately labeled since lab testing requirements kicked in at the beginning of July.

In November, Angelenos will vote on the creation of a public bank to serve cannabis businesses and provide other services in the public interest. L.A.'s nascent equity program has attracted lots of interest.

Massachusetts priority (equity) applicants are struggling with the application process. Regulators in the state warned towns that demanding extra fees from cannabis businesses may be illegal.


No one knows when Ohio’s MED program will come online. Ohio Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), citing his youth in the 1950’s, just doesn’t like the idea of legal weed .

Ahead of Michigan’s November REC vote, neither pro- nor anti- groups have raised much money.

New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) wants to sync REC legalization with MED expansion. And he’s keeping an eye on New York.

REC is legal in Vermont but Gov. Phil Scott (R) remains skeptical of a regulated market. The state AG said “gifting” businesses are illegal in the state .

Oklahomans are debating when to implement its MED program . New draft rules got rid of some of the more controversial measures, such as requiring a pharmacist in every dispensary, the state board of health approved weeks ago.

In Texas, public opinion and political calculus is tilting towards legalization. A new ad tries to sell rural Texans on the value of MED. (Also, the DEA raided a Texas CBD shop.)

Business Insider interviewed James M. Cole , the former deputy US Attorney General who authored the Cole Memo allowing state industries to function. Cole thinks a crackdown is unlikely but discussed how it could happen.

N.Y. Times opinion columnist David Leonhardt is a legalization skeptic , citing a recent Weekly Standard deep dive reported from Colorado. In response a reader wrote in Marijuana use in America has been widespread for over 50 years. If there were any alarming social or health effects, we’d know by now.”


In South Korea, a MED bill won a poweful supporter . Except for Israel, it would be the only MED access law in Asia.

For the Guardian, I wrote about legalization around the world.
BUSINESS
US company Acreage Holdings plans to go public in Canada, after raising $119M from rich folks and family offices . It’s believed to be the largest ever cannabis raise.

Colorado-based LivWell Enlightened Health and Dixie also plan to go public in Canada. The Canadian Financial Post says it’s the “ land of opportunity ” for US companies. 🍁For more sign up for a FREE four-week trial subscription to WeedWeek Canada!

Even after a significant retreat, Canadian pot stocks are expensive relative to mainstream stocks .
In the more established state markets, edibles and concentrates have increased their market share as flower use decreases.

New Cannabis Ventures explains how insiders at cannabis company Sunset Island Group “secretly pocketed $3M.”

MedMen asked for its donation back from a PAC which has funded anti-immigration candidates.

San Diego-based CBD company CV Sciences , maker of the Plus CBD Oil brand, has applied to trade on the NASDAQ .

Vape cartridge company The Bloom Brand issued the first recall in California’s legal market.

Nevada shops notched $47M in May cannabis sales, a monthly record.


A spa which unsuccessfully tried to obtain a social use permit in Denver, is not going quietly.


For now, some cannatech companies are relieved they don’t have to compete with big tech.

An upcoming study found consumers are willing to pay a little more to shop on the regulated market.

Cannabis co-working spaces are attracting interest.

Canadian company Aurora won permission to open the first cannabis grow in Malta .

French tobacconists are eager for cannabis legalization .

After canceling a tender, Germany has once again asked companies to apply for MED licenses.

Business Insider looks at Compass Pathways, the U.K. medical psilocybin company backed by Peter Thiel.

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WeedWeek: RECHARGE 2018 will include a special live-streamed event, “Recharged: Back from the Brink.”
This 80-minute afternoon session will feature stories from cannabis leaders on the toughest challenges they’ve faced. 

Do you have a Back From The Brink story you want to share? Tell us about it!

The ideal stories will focus on one crucial episode, and how you overcame it with smart thinking and innovative problem solving. 

To be considered, apply through our site,   BACK FROM THE BRINK

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HEALTH & SCIENCE
Despite promises two years ago, the DEA has not granted additional licenses to grow MED for research purposes.
A New York company wants to use ”molecular DNA tags” to track product.

The N.Y. Times talks to veterans about how they get their MED.

Americans believe cannabis is less harmful than tobacco. A new institute at UC Merced will study cannabis and nicotine.


A bad experience from smoking pot could be a sign of mental illness , researchers found.

Canadian scientists found a synthetic cannabinoid called nabilone may have a calming effect on Alzheimer’s patients.

In the Guardian, I wrote about a study which found Americans think marijuana is healthier than science can prove.

A prominent Canadian neurologist has called out cannabis clinic company CanHeal for approaching migraine support groups when there is no proof cannabis helps with migraines.

Clinical psychologist Jonathan Stea, who specializes in treating cannabis addiction, writes that while, “Cannabis addiction is not heroin addiction. That doesn’t make it any less real.”

Frequent cannabis use can hinder long-term planning, a study found.

A Santa Rosa, Calif. girl who uses MED to treat her seizures can’t go to kindergarten .

The science isn’t conclusive on whether vaping helps users quit smoking .

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Michigan state police are investigating whether cannabis businesses have bribed state officials.
Charges have been dropped against Jessica McElfresh, a San Diego lawyer who defended a cannabis business.

Anyone arrested for pot in New York City, almost certainly isn’t white, the Daily News reports.

Of the 244 charges resulting from the Colorado Hoppz Cropz conspiracy case, 175 have been dismissed and ten of those charged have pleaded guilty to minor offenses.

The district attorney said two Lane County, Ore. sheriff’s deputies were justified in the fatal shooting of an armed cannabis worker during an encounter on company property. 

A California man who kidnapped and tortured a dispensary owner was sentenced to life in prison.


L.A. Weekly looks at how unlicensed pot businesses harm their community. Leafly looks at how much money California cities which don’t allow cannabis businesses are leaving on the table.

Past cannabis use will no longer stop you from becoming a Chicago cop.

A Canadian cannabis investor has been banned for life from the US, worrying other Canadians.

Florida gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine (D) called on Attorney General Pam Bondi to decriminalize cannabis until at least the midterm elections.

In the N.Y. Times, Emily Yoffe has zero tolerance for “zero tolerance” public policy, whether it’s about drugs, immigration or another field.

Legalizing drugs would put $100 Billion into government budgets , a study determined.

Boston public radio gave the outgoing police commissioner a bong . "I can tell you everywhere I go, all I smell is pot now, I hate to say it," William Evans, who opposed legalization, said.
CULTURE
In the N.Y.Times Magazine, Taffy Brodesser-Akner profiles Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow, queen of the wellness industry and the “most hated celebrity in the world,” according to Star magazine. Goop has a partnership with MedMen.
Ryan Reynolds’ next movie will be a riff on Home Alone called Stoned Alone .
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Alex 

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