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WeedWeek’s free 2016 Election Guide is ready! Download the PDF here.


Now the news:

Politics  
The REC initiatives in Massachusetts and three other states include measures that protect parents from losing custody of their children as a result of marijuana use. An Idaho mom has lost custody of her kids and is facing criminal charges after giving her child cannabis butter to relieve seizure-like symptoms.

The Boston Archdiocese gave $850,000 to oppose REC in Massachusetts, calling it a threat to the church community and its social programs. Supporters of the bill are still likely to outspend opponents.

Reisa Clardy, the  widow of a state trooper killed by an allegedly stoned driver and a mother of seven, has taped a video urging Massachusetts to vote no on REC. “I don’t think we would gain anything from” legalizing, she says. The driver has plead not guilty to manslaughter and other charges.

Legalization opponent Kevin Sabet and pro-cannabis groups held an awkward joint press conference in San Francisco to oppose REC in California. The pro-cannabis groups consider Prop 64 too friendly to big business.

NORML is suing after the MED question didn’t appear on some absentee ballots in Broward County, Florida. An official said the faulty ballots were tests.

Sheldon Adelson, billionaire owner of The Venetian, has contributed to anti-legalization campaigns in Nevada, Florida and Massachusetts. Vice looks at the who else is bankrolling the anti-weed campaigns.

Tech investor Scott Banister gave $200,000 to the pro-REC side in Arizona. East Valley Tribune delves into the finer points of REC in ArizonaThe OC Register  does something similar  for California and asks who’s  for and against REC  in the state. 

Arkansas will only vote on one MED initiative, after a court ruling removed the other. 

The San Diego Union Tribune endorsed REC in California. The Boston Globe “ just says yes,” in Massachusetts.

WestWord goes through how members of Colorado’s congressional delegation feel about weed.

California is putting water use rules into place for growers. SFWeekly reports on tensions between growers and environmentalists.

Columnist Joe Matthews says California needs a “ cannabis cartel,” which he defines as a legal corporate oligopoly with the size and resources necessary to control the distribution of cannabis so that our state can properly track, regulate, price and tax America’s largest marijuana market.

LAWeekly asks if legalization will benefit people of color. The LA Times meets a conscientious grower, who isn’t worried about a big business takeover.

Rolling Stone and the New York Times agree that this election is a big deal, cannabiswise. But Joe Dolce, former editor of Details Magazine and author of the new book, “ Brave New Weed,” writes that the Times piece is “ poorly reported on so many levels.

LiveScience published its voting guide. Vox explains the state votes.

Some Maine towns are moving to block pot businesses, ahead of the REC vote.
 
Authorities in The Philippines say they will put more effort into arresting public figures tied to drugs and focus less on slaughtering suspects. A mayor previously accused of ties to drugs was murdered along with nine others at a highway checkpoint. About 2,000 people have been killed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

Only a narrow plurality of Canadians favor legalizing REC.

Alaska’s first dispensary and testing lab are opening. Cleveland created a one-year moratorium on MED business permits.


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Business

Delivery service Eaze raised $13M from venture capitalists including the Winklevoss Brothers.

Cannabis has a $2.4 billion economic impact in Colorado, according to a report from the Marijuana Policy Group. It predicts that sales in the state will plateau at $1.5 billion in 2020. The industry has created 18,000 jobs in the state (not all of them directly) and is bigger than Colorado’s craft beer industry.

Colorado-based company Americann plans to build a massive 1 million square foot grow in Massachusetts. CNBC looks at the hot cannabis real estate market.

Over the counter cannabis stocks are rallying ahead of Election Day.

Texas could increase the fee for CBD dispensaries and growers from $6,000 to $1.3M. The distinction between MED and REC is disappearing in Washington state.

Canadian pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart applied to sell MED. American investors are looking north to Canada, USNews says, where the REC market could be worth $22.6 billion annually.

To clarify a link in the October 15 issue, the Nevada Gaming Control Board said casino employees cannot turn a blind eye to illegal drug use.  

Colorado company CS Compliance Systems is having trouble accepting credit cards even though it doesn’t touch the plant.

U.K. company British Sugar will grow cannabis for GW Pharma.


Health and Science
 
A study found that cannabis users have reduced verbal recall in middle age but that it’s not directly caused by their cannabis use. Another study found that higher potency pot is more likely to cause dependence.

Oregon testing labs say the state’s weed supply is safer than its food supply. The state also issued its first warning for pesticide tainted pot.

UCSF Researcher Matt Springer discusses the implications of loosening federal restrictions on cannabis research.

A study found that cannabis use is more likely than alcohol or other drug use to cause schizophrenia in middle age. For more see here.

More pets are accidently eating pot in legal states, including Star, a sheltie in Oregon, who had to spend a night at the vet, and Nigel, a teacup pig who did a lot of “whining and oinking.”

In Switzerland high-CBD cannabis is available as a “ tobacco substitute.

Vice News reports further on documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, that discuss why the FDA does not consider marijuana medicine. The reasons include a 2000 study which found that squirrel monkeys like to get high, and appear susceptible to addiction.

Cannabis use may be good for night vision, a study found.

A study identified a biological mechanism that could contribute to cannabis withdrawal.

The celebrated Israeli cannabis researcher Raphael Mechoulam will visit Colorado in April. Scientists who study illegal drugs are trying to crowdfund their research.

Mic runs through all the ways pot affects the body.

Pennsylvania hired an “activist mom” to serve as an advocate for MED patients. A Chicago-area dispensary will offset costs for some low income patients.

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Criminal Justice
The federal government is dropping its case, against Berkeley Patients Group, the country’s oldest dispensary, which has been operating since 1999.

In several jurisdictions, including Maricopa County, Az. (Phoenix) and Harris County, Texas (Houston) prosecutors who are ostentatiously tough on pot face uphill re-election battles.

Santa Ana, Calif. paid $100,000 to a the dispensary raided by police in 2015, and agreed to drop misdemeanor charges against employees, in exchange for them agreeing not to sue. T hree officers face charges after surveillance footage recorded them mocking an amputee and playing darts during the raid. They argued that they shouldn’t be charged since they believed they had disabled all of the dispensary’s video cameras.

President Obama issued 98 more commutations to prisoners, setting a single year record. He has granted about 5.5 percent of applications.

MuckRock uses government documents to ask: Does the DEA’s cannabis eradication program have a future. For more, see here.

Alaska’s proposed background checks for cannabis workers have been criticized as too harsh.


Culture

Danny Glover, Sarah Silverman and Common are among the celebrities who’ve signed on to the “Artists for 64” initiative in California. The Washington Post calls Hollywood the drug war’s “ most enthusiastic recruit.

NiemanReports says the green rush demands good journalism.

The Cannabist spoke at length to Willie Nelson. It also looks at plans to create cannabis “ appellations,” designed to protect small farms in the Emerald Triangle. The AP speaks to Emerald Triangle growers who are not on board with REC legalization.

A man pulled a mobile home across the country in support of MED for veterans. It took 18 months.

Illegal cannabis growing thrives in Lebanon.

Former NBA player and legalization supporter Al Harrington talked to The Root.

A gory picture of a man with his head split open that circulated on social media does not document the effects of marijuana. It’s a picture of an actor from the zombie show Walking Dead. The post was a contribution to the Faces of Marijuana meme series.

Business Insider says cannabis slang is changing. Marijuana Business Daily publishes a word cloud of the most common words in cannabis business names. Farm, green and wellness are among the favorites.

The Wirecutter, the exhaustive product review site recently purchased by the New York Times, says the Grenco Science G Pen Elite is the best portable vaporizer.

 
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.

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Bye,

Alex 

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