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1

2020 Dems Vie to be 420-Friendliest

Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Top-tier Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) released his REC legalization plan: The self-proclaimed socialist said he would legalize via executive order within his first hundred days in office.

Sanders would urge state and federal authorities to expunge old cannabis convictions, and use REC taxes to support entrepreneurs from historically disadvantaged groups.
Vox

  • Sanders also wants to take steps to prevent the industry from becoming predatory: He would incentivize cannabis companies to structure themselves as non-profits, set market share caps and block certain industries, such as tobacco, from going into marijuana.

Surging candidate Pete Buttigieg toured a Las Vegas dispensary.
Las Vegas Sun

  • Currently the mayor of South Bend Indiana, Buttigieg said he wants REC to be legalized through Congress, rather than by executive action, to ensure the law has staying power.
  • He's open to insurance covering MED in certain cases.
  • Buttigieg acknowledges having tried cannabis, but didn't buy anything.

Canna Law Blog graded the candidates on pot policy. President Trump gets a D.

2

Federal Judge Upholds Cannabis Contract

California delivery app (and WeedWeek advertiser) Eaze won a court victory which could help solidify the standing of cannabis business contracts.

A federal district court judge dismissed a class action lawsuit which alleged the app had violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending unsolicited text messages.
MJBiz

  • The judge ruled that because the customer had agreed to Eaze's terms of service -- which require arbitration to decide any disputes -- the suit had to be heard in arbitration rather than court.
  • Eaze Chief Risk Officer Andrea Lobato said a ruling for the plaintiff could have invalidated cannabis contracts in California and nationwide.

Quick Hit

  1. MJBiz co-founder Cassandra Farrington is stepping down as CEO and will transition to board chair. She'll be replaced by founding editor and president Chris Walsh.

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3

Report: An MSO Mess in Ohio

Michael Barera

An investigation by the Cincinnati Enquirer found multi-state operators(MSOs) have moved to acquire or created partnerships with 25 out of 129 Ohio MED licensees. State law requires changes in ownership to be approved by regulators. As yet, none of these deals have received such an approval.

The MSOs which have made deals in Ohio-- according to their public statements, securities filings and similar documents -- include big names like MedMen (since dropped), Sea Hunter Therapeutics (part of Tilt Holdings), Curaleaf and Harvest. The deals are not yet finalized and could still potentially be held up by regulators.

The New York Times looks into Russian influence and money in the cannabiz. Curaleaf, it notes, "is led by one of Russia's most influential financiers and backed by another, allowing the company to pursue rapid expansion and hefty acquisitions."

In other MSO news: Charges were dropped against two former executives at Vireo Health who were accused of driving $500,000 of MED oil from Minnessota to New York in an armored car.
LoHud

  • The exonerated defendants will perform community service.
  • The prosecutor explained the "uniquely lenient outcome of a criminal case" to the defendent's lack of criminal records, and that Minnesota's judicial system "hadn't previously addressed interstate MED smuggling."

4

Vape Crisis: Is the Worst Over?

The number of new VAPI cases "appears to be leveling off or even declining," according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Warnings from health officials and actions by authorities may be partly responsible.
CNBC

  • More than 1,600 probable cases have been reported and the number of confirmed fatalities is 34.
  • The cause remains undetermined and there could be more than one, but researchers are focussed on both chemicals in vaping oil and the hardware used to heat it.
  • Most of the fatalities used illegal THC vapes.
    Washington Post

According to a new Gallup poll, the vape crisis appears not to have dampened public support for REC legalization.
Tom Angell--Forbes

Related: Leafly found contaminated vapes to be rampant in illegal California shops.🌴WeedWeek California has more!

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5

That Toddlin' Town

With REC going on sale in January, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is lowering expectations for pot tax revenue. However, she recently backed down from a proposal to ban dispensaries in much of downtown. Under the new proposal dispensaries will be able to open much closer to Michigan Avenue's Magnificent Mile.
Chicago Sun-Times

Quick Hit

  1. 60 Minutes looked at the factors holding back California cannabis businesses. 🌴For lots more subscribe to WeedWeek California.
  2. Maryland is planning an investigation into its license awarding process.
    Baltimore Sun

6

Does Weed Have a Sexual Predator Problem?

Just about every Halloween there are alarmist stories about candy spiked with illegal drugs. This week on LinkedIn a well-known figure in SoCal cannabis circles shared a more plausible-- in the generic sense* -- story about edibles spiked with date rape drugs.

On LinkedIn, Kristen Yoder recounted a situation at an illicit L.A. session, which she learned about on Instagram:

"A woman was roofied via edible, directly from the edible manufacturer, as was her friend. She woke up hours later in the backseat of her car without her shorts or underwear and obvious signs of rape. Her drug test came back positive for Rohypnol."

Yoder added:

"If you’re at an underground/illicit cannabis event, be especially wary. Not only are they getting raided by the police often, the vendors are selling untested, unregulated products, and the “security guards” are usually nonexistent or incompetent(or criminals!)."

*I was not able to read the text in screenshots Yoder posted and don't know if they identify any individuals or companies.

Quick Hit

  1. The Guardian looks at the awful lives of workers in illegal U.K. pot farms. Many are Vietnamese teenagers who were trafficked and enslaved.

7

Running a Pot Business: Still Not Easy

He's not going anywhere

While virtually all projections for the cannabis industry are optimistic, the path remains challenging for even established companies:

8

So Many Studies...

Some interesting new research:

Meanwhile, MED using students are starting to challenge college drug policies.
AP

9

Air Force Investigates Pot Smoking by Nuke Watchers

Dude

The U.S. Air Force is investigating whether an airman smoked pot while assigned to oversee nuclear intercontinental missiles. News of the allegations first became public on a social media post.
Task and Purpose

The sky didn't fall. Amirite people?

10

NYC's Bygone Pot Eradication Program

No weed here

Leafly revisits New York City's attempts to eradicate wild pot plants. Quoting an earlier article in NPR it says:

"Weed grew everywhere, with seven-foot high plants sprouting in fields from Williamsburg to Cobble Hill to East New York. In 1951 alone, a division of the Department of Sanitation called the ‘White Wing Squad’ confiscated and destroyed 41,000 pounds of the plant.”

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