All the news that's fit to...uhhh                                                                                                          

This is WeedWeek, the best way to keep up with the Green Rush. Like  it on Facebookfollow it on Instagram and share it with the link  weedweek.net. Subscribers’ names and contact info are confidential.

Onward:

Louisiana became the 25th state, and first in the former Confederacy, to legalize MED. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed a bill passed by the state’s Republican controlled legislature.

One quirk in the law is that Louisiana State University and Southern University will have the right of first refusal to grow the state’s crop before the private sector can compete. Both universities pursue research funding from the federal government; fear of losing such funds has likely kept many universities from touching the plant.

Congress voted to allow Veterans Affairs doctors to discuss MED with their patients in states where it is legal.

An AAA study found that the number of Washington state drivers involved in fatal crashes who had THC in their system spiked from 10% in 2010 to 17% in 2014, the first year of REC legalization. While more drivers tested positive, the number of fatal crashes and total fatalities held steady. (Read the study here.)

“The effectiveness of public health messages to prevent drugged and drunk driving may depend in part on how persuasive they are among individuals who are high,” another study determined.

Politico says Denver’s cannabis industry is waging a “ war on the poor.” “To the people living in the modest homes near the grow operations that supply the dispensaries and shops in better-off parts of town, the smell is not only an inconvenience but a reminder of their lack of political clout.” Soon companies will have to submit “good neighbor” plans and present their odor control efforts to the city

Buzzfeed’s Amanda Chicago Lewis reports that a California bill to allow drug felons to obtain marijuana licenses appears tailored “for one powerful white California entrepreneur: Steve DeAngelo,” executive director of Oakland dispensary Harborside Health Center.

“On February 19, Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) introduced a bill that would prohibit the state from denying a license to drug felons who meet three very specific criteria: First, the conviction must have occurred out of state. Second, the conviction must not have resulted in jail time. And third, the felon must also be approved by a local licensing body," Buzzfeed writes. "DeAngelo, who already has licenses to operate in Oakland, San Jose, and San Leandro, perfectly meets all three qualifications.”

DeAngelo denied that the bill was written for him. “I don’t want a Steve DeAngelo clause,” he said. Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D - Oakland) told the L.A. Times that the bill was written for DeAngelo, but that  Bonta won’t advance it.

About half the money raised to fight REC in California comes from law enforcement, according to The Intercept. With legalization, the groups are “terrified that they might lose the revenue streams to which they have become so deeply addicted.”

A new bill from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) would curtail the use of civil asset forfeiture, a controversial practice that allows law enforcement to confiscate money and property from people who have not been convicted of a crime, and in some cases not even charged.

Another bill in California could strengthen landlords’ ability to ban pot smoking in their buildings, including by legal MED users.

A former DEA-agent said reclassifying marijuana to schedule II is a real possibility.

Charges were dropped against a man who was arrested in Nebraska with $65,000 in his car. He’d planned to buy Colorado weed and sell it in Minnessota. The judge wrote that she had no jurisdiction since he had not committed a crime in Nebraska.

A MED bill has been fast-tracked in Ohio’s Republican controlled House. Lawmakers said they want to beat out a more permissive MED initiative that could appear before voters in November. Supporters of a 2016 Michigan REC initiative are scrambling to collect signatures before the deadline.

The Illinois House voted to decriminalize. Last year, Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) vetoed a looser bill; the  current one is a response to his requested changes.

Maryland’s MED program, set to be the largest on the east coast, has encountered further delays. Kentucky’s first hemp plant showed off its wares.

Donald Trump released a list of judges who he’d consider nominating to the Supreme Court. I didn’t see an analysis of their records on cannabis, but their views on other issues are far more socially conservative than Trump is generally believed to hold.

John Hudak of the Brookings Institution wrote a memo to the presidential candidates on how to think about marijuana. The RAND Institute’s Beau Kilmer editorialized that the higher consumption that accompanies legalization might not be a bad thing.

Denver manufacturer OpenVape has applied for naming rights to Denver’s Mile High Stadium, home of the Super Bowl champion Broncos. The current name sponsor, Sports Authority, has filed for bankruptcy. Naming rights could cost more than $6 annually and any deal would likely last at least five years. Openvape says it has the money. Many questions remain.

On its blog, the delivery app Meadow argues that “Batch & Lot” tracking is better for California than tracking individual plants, the norm in other states. It gets technical. 

Fast Company interviewed Colorado marijuana czar Andrew Freedman. The companies “gaining the most traction are people who are figuring out how to franchise to other states or people who are really dealing with ancillary services rather than marijuana itself,” Freedman said. “Marijuana has become much closer to a normal agricultural crop. It’s become a bit of a commodity. So the profit margins aren’t nearly as much as they are for the intellectual property or technology rights around marijuana.”

A study found that cannabis use does not hinder efforts to quit tobacco. A perinatal nurse in Washington state has taken issue with the leading expert who has said cannabis use while breastfeeding risks serious harm to the baby.

A North Carolina high school student who was suspended for smelling like marijuana saw her punishment reversed. She did not have marijuana on her person and tested negative.

Mexico approved the extradition of drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán to the U.S. Netflix and Univision are collaborating on a drama about his life.

After investors sued a dispensary that they had loaned money, a judge ruled that their contract was unenforceable because selling marijuana is federally illegal. Loaner beware.

Law firms Vicente Sederberg and Greenbridge Corporate Counsel are teaming up to develop compliance software. SF Weekly has a big piece on the arrival of cannabis venture capital.

Canada could emerge as “ America’s cannabis capital,” according to the Guardian. The country may also make heroin legally available to combat the opioid crisis. Several European countries already allow it.

Vancouver issued its first dispensary license. A crackdown appears imminent in Toronto.

Opponents of Florida’s MED initiative said it will give rise to almost 2,000 dispensaries, more stores than the Sunshine State's combined number of Walgreens and Walmarts. Politifact rated the assertion “ half true.”

Johnny Green, of The Weed Blog, went public with infighting at the site.

The Washington Post’s Maura Judkis went to a cannabis cooking class

I look forward to reading Heads: A biography of psychedelic America by Jesse Jarnow. (Fun fact: Jesse and I were playmates when we were about three.)

Actor Seth Rogan says legal marijuana is still funny.

Tips? Feedback? Write to weedweeknews@gmail.com.

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

Bye,

Alex

Advertising policy:  Advertisers have no influence on WeedWeek's editorial content or on the content of articles that I write for other publications. In an effort to replicate the separation of business and editorial operations practiced at reputable news organizations, a WeedWeek salesperson will be responsible for all contact with advertisers and will work, as much as possible, without input from me. Any future advertising queries sent to me will be referred to a salesperson. In the newsletter, all ads and other forms of paid content will be clearly marked. I will not approach potential advertisers to solicit business, and reserve the right to reject ads if they present a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest or for any other reason.

@alexhalperin
Facebook.com/weedweeknews
All rights reserved.







WeedWeek | alexhalperin@gmail.com