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For a break from the weed beat, I contributed to a radio piece about “ The Scariest Place in L.A.

Here's the news:

Anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet said the marijuana industry is breaking the law and called on the Justice Department to shut it down. In a report, The Cole Memo: 4 Years Later Sabet’s group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) claims the industry is violating all eight guidelines for state legal marijuana such as preventing distribution to minors and preventing it from moving to illegal states.

The report argues:

“Federal ​resources ​should ​target ​the ​big ​players ​in ​the ​marijuana ​industry. ​Individual ​marijuana users ​should ​not ​be ​targeted ​or ​arrested, ​but ​large-scale ​marijuana ​businesses, ​several ​of ​which now ​boast ​of ​having ​raised ​over ​$100 ​million ​in ​capital, ​and ​their ​financial ​backers, ​should ​be ​a priority. ​These ​large ​businesses ​are ​pocketing ​millions ​by ​flouting ​federal ​law, ​deceiving Americans ​about ​the ​risks ​of ​their ​products, ​and ​targeting ​the ​most ​vulnerable. ​They ​should ​not have ​access ​to ​banks, ​where ​their ​financial ​prowess ​would ​be ​expanded ​significantly, ​nor should ​they ​be ​able ​to ​advertise ​or ​commercialize ​marijuana.”

President Trump ally and political gadfly Roger Stone made a rare apology for racially insensitive remarks after groups threatened to boycott the cannabis convention where he’s due to speak. 

California regulations are coming into focus .

In Massachusetts, a corporate executive and opponent of REC legalization, will lead the state’s Cannabis Control Commission . Steven Hoffman is a former head of consultancy Bain & Co.’s large Boston office. 

Pennsylvania ruled the individuals who scored MED license applications must be made public.

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), considered a possible 2020 presidential candidate, talked about why she supports MED .

Speaking in Denver, Colorado’s first marijuana czar, Andrew Freedman, said if he was starting it again he’d “ focus data collection and analyses efforts on problematic use. He would also rethink home-grows, go slow on edibles, fund a glut of surveys and put tax revenue dollars toward public health needs instead of school construction.” Freedman is now a consultant for states and cities developing cannabis rules.

San Francisco named city official Nicole Elliott as director of the city’s Office of Cannabis. Humboldt County wants to curtail illegal indoor grows.

Colorado cannabis executive Todd Mitchem is running for Congress as a libertarian.

MJ Biz Daily asks which states may legalize next year through their legislatures.

A dispensary has split an Alaska tourist town.

Canadians are having a national dialogue about legalization.

Ethan Sonneborn (D), a 13-year old running for governor of Vermont , supports legal REC.

MED is arriving in Tasmania .

Roads and Kingdoms visits Lebanon, where some farmers are replacing cannabis with wine .
Publicly-traded Scotts Miracle-Gro shed its European and Australian businesses to focus on hydroponics through subsidiary Hawthorne Gardening Co. CEO Jim Hagedorn said the company is on the verge of another “marquee” hydroponics acquisition.

In bad news for growers, the price of pot is dropping . According to New Leaf, the average wholesale pound sells for $1,614, down from $2,133 two years ago.

More big name tech investors are putting money to work in cannabis.

China is quietly emerging as a “ cannabis superpower.

A Maryland “pre-approved” MED license winner did not disclose that he is under federal investigation for discriminating against Hispanic workers at a carwash he owned. David Podrog’s application will be subject to further review.

Baltimore is preparing for its first 11 MED dispensaries. Phoenix says 98 MED businesses are evading taxes .

USNews discusses proposed California rules for branded products.

The secure transport business is booming in California.

The Tampa Bay Times profiles a bank which works with cannabis companies.

Fears of a widespread cannabis bank account closures appear not to have materialized after PNC Bank closed accounts associated with Marijuana Policy Project and NORML.

A New York City taxi driver who lost his license for MED use got it reinstated.

Israeli cannabis company Panaxia, which has a MED factory in New Mexico, is setting up factories in four more states .

Website Herb raised $4.1M from investors including media investor Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Liquid 2 Ventures where hall of fame quarterback Joe Montana is a general partner.

I rounded up notable August deals for Blunt Network.

Marketwatch profiles delivery app Eaze which is losing $1M per month .

Edibles company Dixie is pulling out of Arizona , but hopes to come back.

Las Vegas-based airline Allegiant is accepting pot ads for its in-flight magazine.

Spokane Journal looks at Washington’s hemp crop .

Last month Alan Brochstein of New Cannabis Ventures noted cannabis stocks are “ Beginning to look like real revenue producing companies .” He also said MassRoots $12M acquisition of CannaRegs was overpriced and a “desperate” move .

Canadian MED producer Canopy Growth is moving into Canada’s underserved Atlantic provinces .

The Root visits The Hood, a cannabis incubator focussed on developing black entrepreneurs.

Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF, which trades in Canada and is the only cannabis ETF, has not performed well since its April debut.

Former Liberal B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake is joining the Quebec-based MED company Hydropothecary.
Health and Science
The National Institute on Drug Abuse moderated its language on cannabis abuse.

Canada’s veterans affairs health program will stop recommending MED for PTSD citing lack of research and fears it will do more harm than good.

In a N.Y. Times Op-Ed, a Marine Corps veteran says pot should be legal for veterans with traumatic brain injury.

The long awaited study to test MED on veterans with PTSD is on the verge of collapse. Dr. Sue Sisley who has championed the study for many years says the Veterans Affairs Department wont help her recruit subject. The VA said the study’s shortcomings are the research teams fault.

This comes shortly after the FDA said it would reschedule ecstasy as a “breakthrough therapy” for PTSD. For more on the ecstasy story see here .

The Colorado Springs Independent profiles the group Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism (MAMMA) . Founded in Texas, the group has grown to 13 chapters.

During a recent test, 80% of Bay Area weed was tainted.

The Atlantic says cannabis may be to blame for increasing “ cyclic vomiting syndrome.

Detroit Metro Times explains why most doctors don’t know much about cannabis.

In Oregon, all cannabis batches must now be tested for pesticides.

An Australian study claims cannabis users walk differently than non-users , moving their shoulders less but their elbows more.

A Veterinarians’ group wants to see cannabis rescheduled. Utah is cracking down on CBD pet products.

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Criminal Justice
President Trump reversed an Obama era ban on local police departments obtaining military caliber gear. (For more see here .) The feds are seeking data from states with MED programs.

Rolling Stone explains how anti-organized crime laws (RICO laws) could put an end to legal pot.

Despite his claims, President Trump’s border wall is unlikely to keep drugs out of the U.S. Maria McFarland S á nchez-Moreno, the new head of Drug Policy Alliance, says Trump is race-baiting on opoids .

Author and professor Kiese Laymon writes about the difference between being a white drug dealer and a black drug dealer.

The U.S. Border Patrol won’t ignore marijuana in Maine .

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) proposed manslaughter charges for drug dealers linked to fatalities.

The former head of France’s anti-drug agency faces cannabis smuggling charges .

A pair of Hmong growers in Siskiyou County, Calif. allegedly tried to bribe a sheriff $1M . Read the whole thing for a taste of what’s happening in California's far north.

Congressman Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) called on U.S. Attorney General Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to account for innocent bystanders killed by DEA operations abroad .

The Guardian published a harrowing photo essay on the war on drugs in the Philippines.

The New York Times meets incarcerated women who fight fires in California.
Product reviews:

Seth Rogen and Wiz Khalifa are developing cannabis shows. Khalifa's is said to be a cross between Jackass and American Ninja Warrior.

A student at Brown University is starting an “ educational marijuana community ” with the school’s permission.

Kitchener, Ontario-man Jeffrey Shaver has been protesting his marijuana arrests by standing out front of a police station wearing only a green speedo. One of the arrests stemmed from an altercation with a vending machine.

Netflix has partnered with a California dispensary to produce strains for some of its shows including Bojack Horseman and Orange is the New Black .

AG Sessions slammed Hollywood for its “ accommodating messages ” about drugs.

Weediquette host Krishna Andavolu says legalization is part of the resistance to President Trump.

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

I've also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.

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