North Bay Relaxation Industries:
More Complex than Ever

Photo by Armando Castillejos on Unsplash

Even if there had not been wildfires to bounce back from in Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma counties, this pivotal year in marijuana was topsy-turvy in ways the the pot pioneers could never have imagined.
North Bay Business Journal

  • As with cities and towns large and small, the North Bay spent 2018 awash in licensing delays. Unlike some other, literally less fortunate rural regions, it's home to heavy hitters like Francis Ford Coppola, Santa Rosa's Cannacraft, and Kana Flow. A rising tide floods the Russian River with cash, or something like that.
  • Coppola is positioned to be the quintessential lifestyle brand, wielding California wine swag as though the North Bay is the South of France of bud. The cannabis-infused beverage movement could be right in the famed director's wheelhouse.
  • Meanwhile, Cannacraft-spinoff Sonoma Sound Works made Tesla almnus Daniel Witt President and CEO. Kana Flow put $22 million into its Mendocino facilities.
  • And yet, it's still a crime to possess more than an ounce in Sonoma County. Or cultivate more than six plants. Those are just two reasons why one North Bay critic calls legalization an utter failure.

Leading Edge Pharma Inks National CBD Deal

Courtesy of Getty Images

With Friday's signing of the farm bill came a rush of financial opportunity. Among the early beneficiaries is Henderson, Nevada-based CBD maker Leading Edge Pharma, which has contracted with a network of drugstores to distribute its product nationally.
Hemp Industry Daily

  • The topical pain relief manufacturer will have its Cannavera-brand products in more than 100 Care Pharmacy stores, and in 22 states.
  • Leading Edge CEO David Chadwick said he will submit his company's CBD-infused creams, sprays and oils for FDA approval.

Quick Hits

  1. David Goldberg, CEO of Palo Alto's Potbotics predicts progress in laboratory testing and data analytics will bring an uptick in medical benefits and product consistency. These willl lead to improved reporting and testing methods, according to Goldberg. "The cannabis industry can now expect a new data driven era,” he said.
  1. A Central Valley farmer who saw his farm fortunes go sideways has partnered the University Nevada- Reno in planting "hemp where alfalfa previously grew" and found their water savings were well worth the creeping antelope menace.

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CHP Seizes Bud & $250K,
then passes it to Homeland Security; Lawsuits Ensue

Courtesy of Getty Images

When the California Highway Patrol stopped and arrested employees of the Humboldt County distribution company Wild Rivers Transport in September, the officers seized more than $257,00 and then turned it over to the US Department of Homeland Security. The arrests and seizure are the subject of a class-action lawsuit filed in San Francisco on Dec. 14.

  • The two Wild Rivers delivery employees were returning from delivery to the Los Angeles area when CHP patrolmen stopped them.
  • The lawsuit asks for a preliminary and permanent injunction to prohibit CHP “from turning over any assets seized from lawfully operating California cannabis businesses to any federal agency.”
  • In an email to WeedWeek, Wild Rivers attorney Matt Kumin said, "Taxpayers lose tax money by the seizures of the money. Patent's supply chain is endangered. Licensed cannabis operators, are in danger of having their property seized." He said a ruling could come as early as February.
  • A separate civil case has been filed in Merced County.

What Should We Think of the Governor's Inside Pot Man?

Jason Kinney, a well connected Sacramento lobbyist for the cannabis industry is working as an unpaid advisor to Gov. Elect Gavin Newsom's transition.

  • Until November Jason Kinney worked for California Strategies, a lobbying firm which collected over $1 million since Prop. 64's passage. For Newsome, California Strategies gathered more than $188,000 of the more than $500,000 that marijuana contributed to the governor's election campaign.
  • “Is [Kinney] a hired gun for the marijuana industry? Is he a public servant working on a gubernatorial transition?" asks former Los Angeles Ethics Commission President and Loyola law professor Jessica Levinson.

San Diego Audits Dispensaries,
Announces ID Crackdown

MED patients in San Diego will no longer be allowed to use a physician's note to make purchases, part of of the city's first audit of dispensaries, which is expected to conclude by month's end. Only 10 percent of the city's patients have medical marijuana IDs.

  • The audit's primary goal is to ensure that businesses are complying with San Diego's 5% cannabis sales tax requirement. The tax, which rises to 8% on July 1, is expected to easily exceed projections of $6M. San Diego also seeks to confirm identities of product providers.
  • Dispensaries are already bound by law to ask for MED IDs, according to San Diego's City Treasurer's office. The cards cost $100 per year and require several hours spent at a county facility. Twenty percent of San Diego's dispensaries are MED. Twelve of of its 13 open dispensaries have been part of the audit.
  • One dispensary attorney questioned whether the ID requirement can be enforced when San Diego's medical cannabis measure, contained no such language. "It may be something the City Council can do," said Jessica McElfresh, "but I think they may have to go back to the ballot box."

Quick Hits

  1. Despite last month's Sequoias Analytical Labs debacle, more weed than ever is surpassing test standards.
  2. Las Vegas REC businesses with pending licenses were shocked to learn that the Department of Taxation ///UNCLEAR///will no more approvals commissioners. The commissioners concluded that MED patients are being slighted.
  1. A clean industry workshop was held in Monterey. A microgrid concept and offering was discussed as part of a potential solution to long power queue times.

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Editor Note

Thank you to WeedWeek's Patreon Supporters!

Sam Cornwall
Co-Founder/Photographer, Cannabis In Color
Boutique Photo Service for the Industry, providing Custom and Stock Photos. 
Get Your Free Photo Packs
Find us at cannabisincolor.com and Instagram

Pamela Hadfield
Co-Founder, HelloMDHelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers
HelloMD on InstagramFacebook

Spencer Vodnoy
CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA
Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association
Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!


Emerald Cup-Winning
Product @ a Shop Near You?

Courtesy of Getty Images

It was the most spendy of times at this year's Emerald Cup, with designer seeds from Aficionado going for $55 per seed. It was the cheapest of times, as some growers let loose of ounces for $60. We at WeedWeek believe it's not enough to marvel over the miracles in Santa Rosa. Our readers ought to know how to cop the cream of the crop.

  • Utopia's Rasberry Macaroons took first place in the THC Edibles Lovers competition and can be purchased through dispensaries and delivery services around the state.
  • Winning the CBD Edibles Lovers was the ever-mellow Gogi Berries by Somatic. Eating too many of them is one delcious task as each berry contains just 1 gram of THC and two of CBD. They can be found at LA's Canabal City Collective.
  • Worth noting —though not widely available— is Suprize, Suprize, which swept the Shatter Batter competition. If you find it, tell us.

Quick Hits

  1. Cannabis consumption cafes are coming to West Hollywood in 2019.
  2. The founders of Dope magazine are the real heroes out there.
  3. Powerfully metaphoric Carpentaria weed aroma wafts all the way to the New York Tmes, just in time for legalization politics to get underway.

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