Sequoia Labs Fraud Fallout Rips Business Statewide

Courtesy of Getty Images

Bureau of Cannabis Control recall notices have gone out to the 29 retailers who received the more than 850 marijuana batches fraudulently passed through testing procedures by Sacramento's Sequoia Analytical Labs.

  • The BCC acted after discovering that a Sequoia director Marc Foster was faking test results, marking batches undetected for 22 of the 66 pesticides required to be tested. Foster has since been fired and may face criminal charges.
  • Emerald Grown Chairman Hezekiah Allen, called the recall "yet another cut in the death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts scenario that is playing out for so many producers in the state.”
  • The state will begin testing batches for metal contents next week, a development that should clarify whether the statewide improvement in testing performance -- edibles and tinctures are flagged most often -- is bonafide.
Courtesy of Getty Images

More than Growing Pains

A year's closing days are packed with forecasts and looks back. The most prescient acknowledge the Golden State's growing pains. Yet, in 2018's bullish environs, one senses punches being pulled. What cannabis is going through ain't mere growing pains.

For casual consumers and would-be investors, pot's future looks gloriously uncomplicated. Meanwhile California's newly-legal industry ground out the months cash-poor -- lawyers and accountants aside. Sounds long and complex, as a reconciling explanation. But the reason for 2018's tumult can all be summed up in a few words: We were waiting for Hilary.

  • Preparing for a Clinton presidency, state administrators, growers, and entreprenuers were blindsided and reeling after the ascent of Jeff Sessions. Gone in the same election that passed Prop. 64 was the prospect of pot losing its Schedule 1 status. And with that went the necessity of banking. Then the government was the government, as governments will do.
  • The resulting regulatory morass has been the stuff of epic horror, especially in Los Angeles. Experienced operators struggle to comply, and as governmental delays have stacked up, the illicit market thrives. “It turns into this ‘Hunger Games‘ to try and get a license,” said Sky Siegel, General Manager of the San Fernando Valley’s Perennial Holistic Wellness Center.
  • Ours is a simple tale of a storied market getting knee-capped for 12 straight months while: China solidified its status as the planet's hemp superpower. Israel gained a path to medical marijuana's leadership. Canada and Mexico moved away from prohbition, and the country between them's only clear-cut win has been a belated post-Sessions go-ahead on hemp and CBD in the just-signed farm bill. (Maybe.)

Quick Hits

  1. U.S. Tax Court declines to penalize Harborside with 280E case fines, giving marijuana businesses a win.
  1. California entrepreneurs not interested in touching the product can look to Colorado, where ancillary industry growth is popping.
  2. Among many prognosticators, Dr. Jonathan Rothbard, CEO of Palo Alto's Katexco Pharmaceuticals is look for pharma to revisit marijuana.
  1. Finalization of October's MedMen and Pharma-Cann all-stock merger means the company will be licensed for 76 retail national stores and 16 cultivation and production facilities.

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Farm Bill 'Win' Now Qualified as FDA Clamps Down on CBD

The gleeful aftermath of seeing a signed, pro-cannibus farm bill signed was tempered soon after as the Food and Drug Administration said CBD cannot be added to food and beverages. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb reasserted the agency’s stance that CBD is a drug and illegal to put in food or health products, unless agency approval is acquired.

  • Companies making health claims for the non-pscycho-active ingredient have received warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Hemp farming lobbyist Courtney Moran characterized the development as an, "opportunity for industry to educate the FDA."
  • As with all cannabis-based products, research is stagnant, in part because the stuff in federally approved testing labs is unreliable crap.

Quick Hits

  1. The lofty aim of a bank for marijuana took a hit this week, with the release of a report on the complete unfeasibility of one under the present federal prohibition. California State Treasurer John Chiang used the report to attack the Trump administration for cracking down on pot despite its popularity nationwide.
  1. CPC Compassion just received one of Santa Monica's two marijuana business permits. The city of 100,000 has an average of 9 million tourist visits yearly.
  2. Fresno City Councilman-elect Miguel Arias comes out strong against the city's present legalization plan, saying that it lacks social equity provisions.

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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. 
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Find us at cannabisincolor.com and Instagram

Pamela Hadfield
Co-Founder, HelloMD
HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumersHelloMD on InstagramFacebookSpencer VodnoyCEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CAAffiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers AssociationCritical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!criticalmindinc.com

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!

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Is Legal Mary Jane Our
Best Border Security?

Photo by LexScope on Unsplash

A new Cato Institute study tells us the average Border Patrol agent working between ports of entry nabbed 78 percent less marijuana in 2018 than it did in 2013. Since that year, the average value of all drugs seized has fallen by 70 percent.

  • The revelations come after decades of non-productive policing of the illicit drug smugglers at America's southern border.
  • According to the think tank. "Without marijuana coming in between ports of entry, drug smuggling activity now primarily occurs at ports of entry, where a border wall would have no effect."
  • The findincing suggests that increased hiring of officders at ports, national marijuana legalization, and increased legal migration channels would offer a more effective approach to stopping both drug smugglers and human traffickers.

Quick Hits

  1. Elon Musk has unofficially beaten out Sequoia Labs' Marc Foster as California's Marijuana Twit o' the Year.
  2. In case you missed the Emerald Cup, here's one last take on what made the event dope.
  3. None of our business pairs made this list of marijuana power couples. Doesn't anyone love us anymore?

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