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Now the news:

Politics
In his inaugural address President Donald Trump referred to “the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential."

“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” he continued.

The Senate Judiciary Committee votes Tuesday on whether to send U.S. attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions to the entire Senate for a vote. Sessions, a Republican from Alabama, opposes legalization.

The Hill discusses the new administration’s options on cannabis.

After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, the lawsuit Nebraska and Oklahoma brought to undermine Colorado’s legal industry is back in court.

Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt, who brought the initial case is Trump’s nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt's career has been defined by repeated lawsuits arguing that federal environmental regulations shouldn’t apply to Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry. He’s less of a states’ rights advocate on cannabis.

D.C. activists gave out thousands of joints during the inauguration.

Lawmakers in more than a dozen states have proposed loosening cannabis restrictions.

Germany’s parliament voted to legalize MED.

California “pot czar” Lori Ajax, said the state licensing system will be in place as scheduled on January 1, 2018. Meanwhile, Arkansas, North Dakota and Maine may delay implementation of cannabis laws.

Massachusetts, which has already postponed REC dispensaries, may make the law more restrictive, including possibly raising the legal age over 21.

Anyone applying for a Pennsylvania growers license will need to demonstrate holdings of $2M. Dispensary applicants need to have $150,000.

Florida regulators released proposed MED rules that would maintain a limit of seven “dispensing organizations” in the state. Cannabis activists were not happy.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), has no interest in legalizing. While neighboring states have passed MED laws, South Dakota is probably the least cannabis friendly state.

In very sad news,  Alex Zavell, a rising star in Oakland's cannabis community died suddenly. Only 25, Zavell was a researcher at the Robert Raich law firm, and a ubiquitous presence in the Bay Area. I met him in June and we spoke several times since then. In addition to being a really nice guy, he was always well-informed and a sharp analyst of the landscape. The cannabis world needs more people like him.
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Business

North Americans spent more than $53 billion on legal and illegal marijuana last year, according to Arcview.

American Banker found that big banks are quietly working with cannabis firms, despite professions that they don’t. And Credit Union Journal says the payments industry and cannabis manage to work together.

Data firm Headset raised $2.5M. Toronto-based company Tokyo Smoke raised C$3M.

Beleaguered software company MJFreeway posted a video message to clients following a major outage. I wrote about cannabis software companies for LAWeekly.

A division of Minnesota MED producer Vireo Health agreed on a three-year contract with unionized workers.

Hemp companies are suing the DEA over a recent ruling that CBD is a schedule I controlled substance.

Colorado wholesalers are getting about $1,300 per pound, a drop of almost 50% since January 2014. For states like Colorado that generate taxes based on the price, oversupply can decrease tax revenues. It’s more secure for states to tax a fixed amount by weightper ounce or pound.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) proposed raising pot taxes to pay for education. Opponents caution it could increase illegal market activity.

Legalization doesn’t hurt beer sales, according to a report from investment firm Bernstein.

Investors are flooding into California.

The two largest dispensary companies in Washington are on sale. New Hampshire’s four MED dispensaries are losing money. New York state MED tax revenue fell short of expectations.

Parisian tobacconists are eager for legalization; pharmacists, not so much.

The NY Times profiles two retirees who started a cannabis packaging business.

Health and Science
Researchers can’t eliminate the possibility of a causal relationship between heavy cannabis use and schizophrenia.

The Marshall Project is the latest outlet to delve into stoned driving. It says the “gold standard,…a breathalyzer-like device that can measure whether someone has recently smoked and how much” is at least two years away.

The New York Times editorializes that scientists need access to cannabis for research. For example, researchers don’t know if MED benefits MS patients.

Brazil issued its first license for a cannabis-derived drug, Sativex, from U.K.-based GW Pharmaceuticals.

The Utah Medical Association says there’s no such thing as MED.

Iceland has some of the lowest teen substance abuse rates anywhere.
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Criminal Justice
Mexican drug lord El Chapo was extradited to the U.S.

On his last full day in office, President Obama commuted the sentences of 330 inmates, most of them non-violent drug offenders. Obama commuted far more sentences than any previous president. USNews writes about two supplicants serving life for non-violent cannabis offenses who didn't receive pardons.

The Trump administration will keep Chuck Rosenberg as head of the DEA for an unspecified transition period. Under President Obama, Rosenberg mocked the idea the marijuana is medicine, but allowed state legal businesses to operate.

Last week I wrote that two thirds of cops want to see pot legalized. Rather, one third want REC legalized and another third want MED legalized. I regret the error.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte threatened to declare martial law to fight drugs, reversing an earlier position.

Outside tells the story of Raymond Stansel, a Florida drug smuggler who jumped bail and became an “ environmental hero” in Australia.

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull rejected calls for a “cannabis amnesty.”

Culture
The Boston Globe asks if pot has lost its cool? The essay suggests that Snoop Dogg’s expertly marketed cannabusinees career means cannabis is no longer “the most enduring outlaw symbol in American culture.”

The New Republic takes issue with the cannabis site Civilized.  “This word— civilized—has such clearly racist overtones, to me.” The idea “mortified” the site’s founder.

Rapper Wiz Khalifa told Billboard that “eventually you’re going to be able to buy marijuana products at Whole Foods.” And musician Patrick Wimberly of Chairlift tried some oddly-shaped pipes.

Singer Alanis Morisette’s business manager admitted to embezzling almost $5M from her, which he said was to invest in marijuana grows.

Positive tests for pesticides disqualified a number of winners in last month’s Emerald Cup, a northern California festival that emphasizes environmental stewardship and “sustainable outdoor farming.” Concentrates were more likely to be affected than flower.

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.

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

Alex

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