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Here we go:

Politics

Amid protests, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) delayed implementation of the state’s REC law by six months. During the election, Baker was a vocal opponent of legalization. Anti-pot activists in Maine are fighting for a delay as well.

The Washington Post says politics, not weed, is responsible for the reticence in New England. Pew looks at why licensing cannabis businesses is so complicated for states.

Rolling Stone asks what the recent DEA extract ban means for the industry under President Trump.

Mexico’s industry is beginning to grow, in part a reflection of California.

Officials in Alaska worry that their REC advertising rules are too vague and could attract federal attention. Ohio’s MED program is beginning to take shape.

Nevada accidentally leaked the names and personal information of more than 11,000 applicants for dispensary licenses.

Two California lawmakers want to ban cannabis use while driving. PBS visited Humboldt County to see how it’s adapting to the new rules.

Portland’s Willamette Week compares REC rules in Oregon, Colorado and Washington.

In a newly released 1989 memo, an aide to then U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said cannabis is so prevalent in the U.K.’s Afro-Caribbean population that it’s given to babies.

CNN has a piece on the “ global experiment” with legalization.

Israel’s army will relax punishments for cannabis use. 
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Business


Colorado company AmeriCann, plans to build the country’s largest indoor grow – 1M square feet – in Massachusetts.

Marijuana companies raised more than $1 billion in funding in 2016.

24/7 Wall Street lists the 10 largest marijuana companies by market cap; None are U.S. MED or REC brands. They include Insys Therapeutics, the opiate maker who opposed REC in Arizona – which now has former executives facing criminal charges for exacerbating the opioid epidemic. Insys has won approval for two cannabis-based pharmaceuticals.

My friend Ricardo Baca is leaving The Cannabist after three years to pursue business opportunities. Baca led the first marijuana vertical at a mainstream newspaper, The Denver Post, and was featured in the documentary Rolling Papers.

LAWeekly asks what 2017 has in store for California’s cannabis economy. It also looks at how companies can best deal with 280E, the section of the tax code that the industry believes overtaxes it. California already produces a “ mind-boggling” amount of weed.

MarketWatch anticipates that in 2017 big business and the major sports leagues will get on board with legalization.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail profiles the cannabis magazine Civilized.

Digiday calls California edibles maker Kiva “ the gold standard in weed branding.

Health and Science

A study found that the dangers of secondhand pot smoke to children, are real. "Get it out of the house and away from your baby," a Denver pulmonologist says. "Not in the car, not in the home. If someone wants to smoke marijuana, they need to do it outside, far away from your baby or your child, because at this point we believe the adverse health effects are probably as bad as secondhand cigarette smoke."

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a rare disorder associated with heavy cannabis use, appears to be on the rise in legal states. Patients have abdominal pain and frequently treat themselves with hot showers.

An upcoming study in Connecticut will examine how MED affects the lives of hospice patients.

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Colorado teens are not more likely to use cannabis, despite legalization, a contrast with Washington state teens who were more likely to use. The Washington Post adds context.

Another study found that cannabis use is probably not helpful, for people trying to quit drinking. A third study found that traffic deaths decline in states where MED is legal, echoing a 2013 study.

A caregiver reflects on his work in the Portland Mercury.

The NY Times reviews “Dr. Feelgood: Dealer or Healer,” a documentary about a doctor who mass-prescribed opioid painkillers.

Vocativ talks to Mowgli Holmes, whose Portland (Ore.) company Phylos Bioscience has developed the “world’s largest genetic database of marijuana.”
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Criminal Justice

Calls for amnesty from criminal marijuana charges is getting louder.

The Wall Street Journal’s conservative editorial page says attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions should be asked about his views on civil forfeiture.

The Washington Post reports scammers in Maryland are offering bogus pre-approval for MED cards.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D.-W.Va.) said that a “ war on drugs” is necessary to fight the opioid crisis. Earlier this decade he was among the top recipients of campaign donations from the pharmaceutical industry.

A Florida 19-year old being treated for injuries from a car crash, allegedly texted his mother, telling her to remove marijuana and prescription drugs from the car.

Culture

The Cannabist runs through 16 trends that defined the year in cannabis.

Forbes looks at the world of ultra high-end cannabis including a $3,600 “marijuana cigar.” “A lot of work goes into rolling this product to keep it together, so it doesn't fall apart,” someone said.

At festivals, awarding prizes for the best pot is a high-stakes but procedurally suspect process. The Cannifornian learns that judges, over a weekslong process, aren’t supposed to try more than 18 samples a day. It picks up a few more valuable insights too.

There’s a new cannabis perfume. “The first three versions we made were authentic, but you could not leave the house wearing it,” perfumer Mark Crames said.

Pop star George Michael who died this week used to smoke 25 joints a day to cope with the loss of a lover.

Comedian Bill Maher warned that legalization may not survive the Trump presidency.

Salon.com co-founder Gary Kamiya writes about why he likes legal weed.

Twitter user @MaggDaddy posted a sign from a TGI Friday’s in Maryland that said it would not “ serve/seat guest [sic] with strong marijuana odor.

Police in Cheltenham, England raided a cannabis grow, and discovered a plant decorated like a Christmas tree.

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. 

Happy new year!

Alex

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