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Here's the news:

Politics
 
The DEA confirmed that marijuana extracts containing CBD are illegal. The agency explained that the notice, published in the Federal Register, does not change its enforcement priorities.

Cannabis attorney Bob Hoban responded, “The sky is not falling; however, this is a very concerning move by the DEA…What it purports to do is give the DEA control of all cannabinoids as a controlled substance.”

More than 30% of cannabis businesses are very concerned about Trump’s presidency, according to a Marijuana Business Daily Poll. In particular, they’re worried about the U.S. attorney general nomination of prohibitionist Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R).

In Slate, I wrote that the industry is cowardly, hypocritical and stupid for not fighting the Sessions nomination. Legalization activist and journalist Tom Angell tweeted that I’m “ WAY off base” and then got into an interesting Twitter exchange with Bill Piper of Drug Policy Alliance, which is opposing the nomination.

The U.S. Senate extended the Rohrbacher-Farr amendment, which prohibits the federal government from interrupting state MED programs, until April 28. Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R- Calif.) said he’s confident that it will be extended again. He also wants it to be expanded to include state REC programs.

Rohrbacher and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) are forming a “ cannabis caucus” in Congress. Congress also announced that it will perform a comprehensive review of the war on drugs in search of alternative policies in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, called for changes in U.S. drug policy, as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.

A long awaited task force report in Canada recommended 18 as the legal buying age. For more see here and here. The country plans to legalize REC next year.

Mexico’s Senate passed a MED bill, amid a new wave of drug violence.

U.S. teenagers find it harder to buy weed than they have for 24 years, according to an annual survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The same study found that teen drug use is declining nationally.

Humboldt County’s growing areas voted against REC, but the cities voted for it.

Maine’s REC recount has been suspended until the new year. With 30% of the votes counted, yes remains ahead. After Montana’s MED vote, state laws need to be rewritten.

REC businesses in Portland, Oregon, are struggling to obtain licenses. And the head of the state’s lab accrediting agency is stepping down.

Florida lawmakers are thinking about how to regulate MED. For more see here. A proposal in Ohio would allow 40 MED dispensaries in the state.

Tennessee Republicans are considering a MED program.

Radio Free Asia reports that Chinese visitors to North Korea buy pot by the kilogram and sell it for a healthy mark-up in China.

Australian economists say legalizing REC would be good for the Queensland economy.


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Business

Colorado cannabis sales topped $1 billion in the first 10 months of this year. Last year Colorado sales barely missed the $1 billion mark.

Stanford Medical School professor and tobacco advertising expert Dr. Robert K. Jackler editorializes that “If nationwide legalization happens, it is essential that the tobacco industry is banned from the marijuana market.”

L.A. Weekly profiles Seventh Point LLC, a cannabis private equity firm focused on Los Angeles. The firm expects L.A., the world’s largest cannabis market, to be the “Silicon Valley” of weed. The city’s cannabis community is uniting to legalize dispensaries.

Mic put out an update on the state of cannabis investing.

Keith McCarty, CEO of delivery app Eaze, is stepping down, shortly after the company secured $13M in funding. He’ll be replaced by Jim Patterson, who, like McCarty was a senior executive at Yammer, a workplace social network which sold to Microsoft for more than $1 billion.

A Connecticut MED user is suing Amazon and a staffing company for refusing to hire him.

Social network MassRoots acquired online ordering platform Whaxy.
 
Health and Science
Colorado is awarding $2.35M in research grants to study driving while high and the effects of dabbing, among other topics. The Cannabist says DUI is a pressing issue.

A Johns Hopkins study found that cannabis legalization reduces opioid overdose deaths by as much as 25%.

The synthetic marijuana that sent 18 people in Brooklyn to the hospital in a “zombie” like state, was 85 times as powerful as marijuana.

Doctors remain skeptical of marijuana’s medical value.

Colorado is about to raise the allowances for residual solvents in concentrates. Leafly investigates how much of these chemicals is unhealthy.

A doctor tell’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s site Goop that cannabis can help with PMS.

Illegal grows in California are sickening and killing wildlife.
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Product reviews by Carolyn Lipka:
   
PAX 2 Vaporizer
Product Type: Loose Leaf Vaporizer
Approx. Price: $199.99

At first glance the PAX 2 Vaporizer seems to be as efficient and effective as the branding suggests: The exterior is smooth and sleek and comes in an array of colors like an iPod Nano but for weed. The product itself is easy to use and self-explanatory. Unfortunately, this is about everything good I can say about the PAX 2. The mouthpiece heats up to an almost unbearable temperature, especially for a device that requires a rather strong pull. As easy as it is to clean, I’m certainly not looking to do so after every three uses, which is what the PAX requires. You’re better off investing in a piece that doesn’t burn your mouth, even if it is really pretty.

Wilton Treatology Flavor Kit
Product Type: Flavor Extract for Bong Water
Approx. Price: $22.49 
Includes: Eight flavor extract bottles 

This is one of my favorite “hacks” to enhance smoking from a bong. Even though I doubt this is the original intention of this product, the Flavor kit is perfect for tempering your bong water to make the experience more enjoyable and less harsh on your lungs. They’re really easy to use: after you fill the bong you just put two or three drops into the water and it’s ready for use. This small amount goes a long way to mellowing out a bong hit, and gives it more of a hookah smoking experience. I love the intersection of the culinary and weed world, and this product lends itself to this alternative use. 


Got anything you think Carolyn should try? Send it to:
 
Carolyn Lipka
WeedWeek
3154 Glendale Blvd #122
Los Angeles CA 90039
                                                                          ****

Criminal Justice

Lawyers for Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile last summer say Yanez should be pardoned in part because Castile was high.

Though the practice is not widely understood, 84% of Americans oppose civil asset forfeiture, once it’s explained to them, according to a Cato Institute/YouGov survey. It defined the practice as “taking a person’s money or property that is suspected to have been involved in a drug crime, before the person is convicted of a crime,”

With pot now legal in Massachusetts, some police dogs are “ overqualified.
 
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who wants to advise President-elect Trump on drug policy, says that as mayor of Davao he used to personally hunt drug suspects down on his motorcycle and kill them, in order to encourage constituents to do the same.

A court ruled that finding evidence of marijuana use in someone’s trash is not alone grounds to search the house. A law professor disagrees.

In Michigan, MED patient fees fund marijuana enforcement including raid equipment.

Bernard Noble, a Louisiana man serving 13 years for possessing two joints had his sentence reduced to eight years. He may be out in two.

Outgoing Vermont governor Peter Shumlin (D) offered to pardon anyone convicted for possessing up to an ounce. 

Culture
In Rolling Stone, the activist and rapper Killer Mike writes on how to bring more African-Americans into the industry. For more, see my story in California Sunday.

The NFL may be warming to MED. Switzerland too may be loosening up.

Ozy talks to a combat veteran who now grows cannabis. A dispensary in Massachusetts is giving away free seeds.

Joe Dolce’s new book “ Brave New Weed” gets a fond review by Matt Taibbi in the New York Times.

Boulder Weekly published a piece called “ Marijuana and the Thinking Teenager.

Canadian dispensary chain Cannabis Culture opened an illegal store in Montreal and gave away “ free nugs” to an approving crowd.

The L.A. Times went to the Emerald Cup in Sonoma County.

Some parents are upset that Amazon is sells children’s pot-leaf leggings. (I recently saw a pair, for adults, on sale in Aspen for $75.)

Now there’s CBD-infused water.

Here's the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the new list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at  weedweekads@gmail.com  for details. 

Bye,

Alex 

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