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A Dozen US Pension Funds
Join in Pot Investment

Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash

In a signal of how much the nation’s most mainstream investors are moving toward cannabis acceptance, about a dozen public pension funds between here and Louisiana have invested in the plant via REIT, a real estate investment trust
MJ Biz Journal

  • Among the investing funds are the New York State Common Retirement fund, California State Retirement Fund, and Texas Permanent School Fun.
  • A Tennessee fund is among the investors, despite Gov. Bill Lee’s ongoing opposition to legalization.
  • "Pension funds typically invest with a long-term horizon and are viewed by many companies as ‘sticky money’ that doesn’t move in and out of stocks frequently,” said Craig Behnke, an equity research analyst.
  • “A rising investment appetite from investors with long-term outlooks could have positive benefits such as serving to de-risk early stage cannabis investing through more stable and consistent exit opportunities.”

Quick Hit

  1. A new Have a Heart dispensary is opening in Oakland its location is right next door to the Oakland PD's HQ. [Insert jokes about cops and donut munchies.]

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Joe Devlin’s Pioneering
Crossover Move

Courtesy of Getty Images

WeedWeek hasn’t checked the record books, but Sacramento’s inaugural cannabis czar has traded in public officialdom for executive employment.

Joe Devlin oversaw Sacramento’s cannabis regulations for two years. Then, in a manuever executed by thousands thousands of non-pot officials before him, took his talents to the industry he helped regulate.
Sacramento News & Review

  • Devlin was named ikanik Farms’ senior vice president of new market development earlier this month. He says he had been “burned out” for some time and that he resigned one day before the city dismissed him.
  • Sacramento’s code allows city employees to leave their positions, then move on to work in the same industry. For one year Devlin will not be allowed to go before the City Council or represent ikanic on the issues that he worked on.

Will Californians Spend Money
on Weed Mansions?

Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash

In Sherman Oaks and Hollywood last weekend, two multi-million dollar homes hosted open house parties featuring food and expert advice, along with cannabis products. They were part of the push to make homes enhanced for cannabis a thing.

Welcome to the buzz around Bel Air’s “Marijuana Mansion.”

  • A lounge that has been renamed a “cannabis conservatory” -- complete with custom lighting, an organic hydroponic cultivation gallery, full ventilation, gardening service -- is the home’s centerpiece feature. Upon completion the house is to include a speakeasy-style secret bookshelf entrance and biometric locks.
  • Several athletes, Fortune 500 execs, and celebrities have expressed interest, both in and out of state, according to the project’s developer, Ramtin “Ray” Nosrati.

Quick Hit

  • L.A.-based Ello Capital plans “one-stop” shopping as a marijuana-focused investment bank serving cannabis companies in the United States.
    MJ Biz

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Kamala Raises Social Justice Stakes with Tax Proposal

Courtesy of Getty Images

California Senator Kamala Harris is both running for President and frequently targeted for criticism for her past positions on pot. This week Harris teamed with New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler to introduce legislation that would send new tax revenue to communities disproportionately victimized by the War on Drugs.

  • In addition to decriminalizing the drug, Harris’ proposal would impose a 5% federal tax on cannabis sales as a means of funding grants.
  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), a proponent of a number of cannabis reform efforts over the years, told the media that this bill will be the “path forward” in the House to fix cannabis policy.
  • The G.O.P.-controlled Senate is not expected to support the legislation.

Quick Hit

  1. Also, 1,200 pounds of pot was seized at Cabrillo Beach this week.The authorities valued the cannabis at $450,000. Three men were taken into custody.
    Times of CBD

42,000 Mendocino Plants
Died. Here’s the Autopsy

Photo by Sam Doucette on Unsplash

The Mendocino County Sheriffs sent out a press release on July 17, concluding operation Operation Clean Sweep which destroyed 42,638 unlicensed plants. Its wrap-up tells the story in numbers.
Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Search Warrants served: 28.
  • Locations of Search Warrants: Covelo (Round Valley), Dos Rios, Woodman Creek (Laytonville), Iron Peak Road/Simmerly Road (Laytonville).
  • Marijuana/Cannabis plants removed: 42,638.
  • Independent acts of environmental based Crime(s) observed: 603
  • Independent acts impacting Water Rights: 197; California Department of Fish & Wildlife violations observed: 264.
  • “Significant Wildlife Impact(s): Foothill Yellow Legged Frog was observed in a stream that was impacted by an act of Illegal damming and water diversion. In June 2017 the California Fish and Game Commission voted to make the Foothill Yellow Legged Frog a candidate species under the California Endangered Species Act.”
  • Arrest(s): 0. Cases will be submitted to the Mendocino District Attorney’s Office later.


Kids Take Hit as State Scales Back Bud Revenue Projections

Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash

Underperforming pot revenues have left a hole in the state budget. The causes are administrators’ year-long licensing hangups, the continued dominance of the illicit market, and bans in rural communities.

California's after school programs are taking the hit.
L.A. Times/Cannabis Now

  • Prop. 64 said the programs would be first to receive funds from the legalization of marijuana. They have yet to receive a cent.

For Credit Card Purposes,
Blüm MED Is a Food Truck, Okay?

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

In Reno, a Blum dispensary is considering itself a food truck. Industry experts call it a "back-door tactic to skirt federal banking regulations and make more money" the Reno-Gazette Journal reports. It may also help the shop take credit cards.

  • Blüm representatives wouldn't comment on the story. However, calls to the company's six Nevada and Colorado dispensaries did confirm that all take credit cards, which few dispensaries do. 
  • "It's not even back door, it's more like an upper window," said Jeremy Skaff of Colorado's Journey Business Solutions.

Quick Hit

  • Courtney Shegerian met Hossein Nayeri when she was 16, He was 23. They married without her parents’ knowledge, and Shegarian’s husband convinced her to steal $150,000 or so from her parents. She testified this week that she did so to fund Nayeri’s growhouse and his “lifestyle” long before Nayeri was accused of kidnapping and sexually mutilating a local dispensary owner.
    O.C. Register

Appellation Plan Aims to Make
Local Weed Legit, Like Wine

Photo by Nacho Domínguez Argenta on Unsplash

California law allows licensed cannabis growers to get a county-of-origin designation if they grow all of their weed in one county. A bill in Sacramento would go further by explicitly prohibiting regional claims with no basis in geography.
Desert Sun

  • The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike McGuire bill also clarifies language pertaining to the state's plan to establish an organic certification program for the plant.

Know the Name
Mark Kleiman

Brian Bedder Getty Images

World-renowned drug policy scholar Mark Kleiman passed away this week. Cannabis legalization would not have become what it is without his forward-looking efforts.
UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy

  • “Mark was a rare breed in academia, a truly Renaissance mind,” said Mark Peterson, also a professor of public policy at UCLA

Seventy Companies Vying for
Four Turlock Dispensary Licenses

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash

Proving that smaller, rural parts of the state hunger for cannabusiness as much as big cities, about 70 applicants are interested in from all over applied for four forthcoming Turlock applicants came out in droves for four forthcoming retail licenses.
Turlock Journal

  • The Central Valley town is home to Caalifornia State University Campus and no nearby communities where cannabis is allowed.
  • “The volume of responses will make this an extremely competitive process and the best four proposals for retail/dispensary business operations will be chosen,” the city said in a press release.

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