July 7, 2018
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ALEX HALPERIN
IN OTHER WEEDWEEK NEWS:

Did you catch last week's podcast?

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


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With T-minus 14 weeks until legalization, WeedWeek Canada scribe Jesse Staniforth discusses everything happening north of the border. Plus: Portland writer and cannabis scenester Courtney Eldridge rants about the Goop/ MedMen partnership.

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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.

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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
Despite a record number of bills before Congress, federal marijuana reform is at a standstill , MJBizDaily reports.

Rolling Stone reports on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s pro-CBD stance .
Newly released emails show Trump Administration officials considered pushing the VA on MED access .

The FDA has denied a request from an anti-drug group to put marijuana on a list of substances not “generally recognized as safe and effective.”

Following new rules on testing and packaging, some California dispensaries saw supply shortages . Wired explains how California is destroying “mountains” of non-compliant weed. With new rules in place, California is preparing to crack down on businesses which don’t follow them.

Six months into the REC market, California consumers are complaining about shortages and high prices.

Los Angeles will begin its long-awaited licensing process for growers and manufacturers on August 1.

A Sacramento Bee editorial blames the city’s three black city council members for tanking the city’s attempt to create a cannabis equity program.

With the July 1 deadline passed, no one knows when REC will be available in Massachusetts , but there has been some progress. One in five adults in the state have consumed within the past month. The state’s illicit market is booming.

REC, but not a commercial industry, is now legal in Vermont . (I wrote a story for Herb about the home grow debate .)

NJ.com has five reasons New Jersey is still waiting for legal weed . State senate president Steve Sweeney (D) hopes for a vote this summer , even though there’s not yet a bill.

Wealthy Florida activist and lawyer John Morgan is pushing for a state REC vote in 2020.

Ohio’s first cultivator got the green light .

With Michigan poised to vote on REC, the No’s appear to have a slight edge .

Colorado named Dominique Mendiola as its top marijuana regulator .

Opponents of Utah’s November MED vote dropped a lawsuit to keep it off the ballot. In Arizona, an initiative to get REC on the November ballot fell short.

Emboldened by their MED win, Oklahoma cannabis activists want to legalize REC . Southern Baptists are very wary of MED’s “dangerous foothold” in Oklahoma. Sen. James Lankford (R-Ok.), is also a strong critic .

In the Washington Post, anti-cannabis conservative J.J. McCullough calls Canadian legalization a “ giant fraud .” He suspects laws won't be enforced.

Legalization in Canada could stop the US from dictating other countries’ drug policy , Maia Szalavitz writes in Vice.

Mexico’s new left-wing president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has proposed replacing the country’s violent drug war with negotiations with the cartels .

U.K. Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn called locking people up for low level pot offenses “not a particularly good idea,” but has not endorsed legal REC.

Andrew Boff, a Tory party candidate for mayor of London, wants to legalize REC .

CARICOM , the group of 15 Caribbean Nations, is considering dismantling cannabis prohibition across member states.
BUSINESS
Alcohol company Constellation Brands says its investment in Canada’s Canopy Growth has already paid off to the tune of $700M .
Cannabis Now highlights #BoycottUline . Uline is a packing and supply company which supplies many cannabis businesses. It’s founders Liz and Dick Uihlein are major donors to right wing causes .


Canna Law Blog warns about individuals who say they’ll help your company raise money for a fee .

At least four active cases highlight local corruption as a problem for California businesses trying to win licenses.

The California State Bar is considering a rule change to protect cannabis lawyers .

Even though REC is now legal, California cannabis festivals are having a harder time securing permits .

In the L.A. Taco, Hayley Fox looks at the city’s cannabis industry by the numbers .

SoCal’s first legal pot cafe is coming to Palm Springs.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer visits some of Ohio’s ancillary marijuana businesses , including extraction machine manufacturer Apeks Supercritical , GIE Media (Cannabis Business Times), Fluence (Lighting) and Scotts Miracle-Gro ,

Denver will strip 26 licenses from Sweet Leaf , a company found to have engaged in an illegal “looping” scheme. More than a dozen budtenders were charged and three cases remain active. There’s an active criminal investigation into management but no one has been charged.

California craft brand Flow Kana raised $22M , led by Gotham Green Partners , with participation from Poseidon Asset Management and Salveo Capital .

After raising $13.4M, multi-state retailer and producer 4Front plans to go public in Canada .

Colorado brand EvoLab says it has released the state’s first Delta 8 THC product . It’s a cannabinoid like the more familiar Delta 9 THC but apparently with slightly different effects. The company is collecting user feedback .

Not everyone is thrilled to live or work near a dispensary , the N.Y. Times reports.

The Economist says Canadian cannabis firms are plotting world domination .

The Ontario government, which has a monopoly on REC retail in Canada’s largest province, is pressuring suppliers on price . 🍁For more sign up for a FREE four-week trial subscription to WeedWeek Canada!


In Canada, cannabis-free products like the new Oh Henry! 4:25 bar, have more leeway to reference cannabis in marketing than cannabis companies do. Many Canadian food companies don’t have a legalization plan.  Canada make make tobacco companies sell cigarettes in even plainer packaging than cannabis has to use, provoking complaint from the tobacco industry.


Israeli MED grower Together Pharma is moving some of its grows to an unnamed EU country , amid concerns about Israel’s willingness to host the industry.

Cannabist founding editor Ricardo Baca, who now runs content agency Grasslands , has a new podcast, Cannabis & Main .
HEALTH & SCIENCE
A major study published in U.K. medical journal The Lancet found MED provides “ no benefit for chronic pain. ” Cannabis, it also found, does not help patients replace opioids, and cannabis users appear to suffer higher levels of anxiety.
Results from a Utah study on pain have likely been delayed until after the November MED vote.

Traffic deaths fell 10% in Nevada’s first year of REC.

Charges were dropped against a Georgia couple who allowed their teenager with epilepsy to smoke marijuana.

Billy Caldwell, the 12-year old boy with epilepsy whose cannabis oil was confiscated at Heathrow Airport, is under “hospital arrest” after authorities said he can only receive cannabis at a hospital in Belfast, several hours from his home.

If teens are going to believe them, public service announcements about pot need to be credible , a Canadian researcher said.

Researchers have struggled to study legalization in Uruguay.
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CRIMINAL JUSTICE
In Las Vegas, police estimate the illegal market has tripled in size since REC legalization a year ago. Much of the unlicensed trade is through pop-up markets which tourists may believe are legal.
A 96-year old federal judge in Brooklyn said he would no longer send people back into custody for smoking marijuana.

Drug czars to presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush asked President Trump not to legalize marijuana .

Some Canadian cannabis workers have been targeted at the border for lifetime bans from the US. 🍁For more sign up for a FREE four-week trial subscription to WeedWeek Canada!

Dispensaries don’t increase crime , a RAND study found.

Andrew Lelling, the federal prosecutor for Massachusetts, said he wouldn’t target state legal REC.


A smuggler convicted of transporting weed and cocaine between Washington and BC in leased helicopters has been sentenced.

The Australian state of South Australia, which includes the city of Adelaide, is escalating a crackdown on marijuana.
CULTURE
At the Molten Art Classic, a gathering of glassmakers, a group made a very elaborate piece one commenter called “The International Dank Station.” A few weeks ago, I wrote about elite glass art for the Guardian.
College sports are slowly becoming more tolerant of weed.

The N.Y.Times profiles Lakeith Stanfield, the former grow worker who’s now “ the new symbol of Hollywood weird.

The New Yorker visits Tribeca’s hydroponic underground .

In an interview, rocker Melissa Etheridge talked cannabis and writing music for a divided America.


Internet wags said Quebec’s new cannabis logo looks like a puckered anus.
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Alex 

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