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1

Indeed Finds Pot Job Explosion

Photo by Terre di Cannabis on Unsplash

The employment connections site Indeed discovered a pot jobs spike of more than 1200% between September 1, 2015 and the first of last month.
Sacramento Bee

Quick Hit

  1. “Southern Humboldt was a sorrow-filled place for the last two years,” says grower Kevin Jodrey. Not anymore. The fall phenomenon of declining pot prices resulting from harvest product influx ends this year, with righteous weather, legalization and demand, coming to create a seller’s market. 
    Leafly

2

Interest in Sactown Corruption Blows Up

Photo by Ruvim Noga on Unsplash

Two months ago, the FBI said in a podcast that, “corruption is more prevalent in western states where the licensing is decentralized—meaning the level of corruption can span from the highest to the lowest level of public officials.” Last week an indictment revealed that money men entangled in the President’s Ukranian scandal have ties to legal weed in Sacramento.

Now there’s a harsh new spotlight on corruption in California cannabis.
Sacramento Bee

  • Sacramento resident Andrey Kukushkin, who was indicted with associates of Rudy Giuliani is a Ukranian-born chief financial officer of Sacramento business THC, owned by Garib Karapetyan. A permit holder for eight local dispensaries, Karapetyan and his crew are effectively Sacramento pot royalty, with more licenses than anyone in town, by far.
    Sacramento Bee
  • The FBI’s announcement came on the heels of less exotic industry controversies in Kern County and Santa Barbara counties.
    Bakersfield.com, Santa Barbara Independent

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3

Governor's Big Bill Day Alters Face of Industry

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Last Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a pile of bills that will affect social equity, vaping and organized labor in California cannabis. He also vetoed a bill that would bring weed to hospitals.
MJ Business Daily

  • Needs-based licensing applicants will be served next year by Senate Bill 595. The new law would defer or waive their application and renewal fees.
  • Newsom also signed Assembly Bill 1529, which will require that a universal symbol no smaller than a quarter-inch in diameter be on all approved vape cartridges. It can be graved, affixed with a sticker or printed in black or white

Quick Hit 

  1. One cannot tell the story of "The Great American Cannabis Experiment," without a meaty role for California. This time, Westwood and the Central Valley are where The Golden State truly gets to shine.
    Politico

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4

Do Mass Layoffs Mean the
Weedmaps Party is Over?

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Yelp-ish ad app Weedmaps laid off 100 employees this week. As a goodbye gift, WeedMaps President Chris Beals blamed the industries slower than expected transition to legal cannabis in some states.
Orange County Register

  • The company has spent much of 2019 under fire for advertising illicit market dispensaries at a time when the legal cannabis market was getting kneecapped by illegal pot. In August, WeedMaps promised to stop supporting these businesses.
  • "Beals declined to discuss if, or how, the layoffs were connected to the financial hit that Weedmaps presumably faces if it follows through on a promise to drop hundreds of unlicensed advertisers from its site by the end of the year."

5

Yeast May Change How
We Make Pot Products

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Demetrix CEO Jeff Ubersax claims his Emeryville Company has a yeast strain that can produce cannabinoids at a lower cost than more traditional agricultural methods. 
Cannabis Wire

  • The Demetrics process is based on an understanding “the possibility of new therapies based on novel cannabinoids: the rare ones that are nearly impossible to get from the plant, or the unnatural ones, which are impossible to get from the plant."

Quick Hit

  1. Fresno has been studying ways to implement legal cannabis. For dispensary models, the city could do a lot worse than studying a beautiful Woodlake dispensary called Valley Pure. It has paid nearly $700,000 in tax contributions which have paid for two refurbished Woodlake parks (new play structures, picnic tables, arbors and barbecues) and one full-time police officer
    Fresno Bee

6

Lowell Cafe's Here.
What's Next?

Earlier this month, Lowell Farms opened its restaurant with a dispensary in West Hollywood, and its food and ambiance have been found to be as beautiful as bud itself.

The logical question is, Where will the next Lowell Cafe pop up?
USA Today

  • In the coming months, Alaska is expected to begin allowing on-site consumption. Colorado, is set to issue cannabis cafe licenses in 2020. Newly-legal states Illinois and Michigan are expected to follow.
  • On-site consumption permits are available or coming to Oakland, Alameda and Palm Springs. Cannabis lounges like Moe Greens are legal in San Francisco.

7

The Inherent Theatricality
of Cannabis Testing Labs

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

"Excessive test result variance between labs—driven in part by THC potency inflation—remains the original sin of the lab industry." Enough labs cheat on test scores that growers shop around like college students searching for an easy 'A.'
Leafly 

  • Science is so new and methodology so varied that higher lab results can be accurate, or error can cause inaccurate scores. In some instances fraud is at play.
  • Jim MacRae, a Washington State data scientist and consultant said regulators are "flying blind."

Quick Hit

  1. The industry can't advertise on Facebook and most mainstream social media, but it can use influencers as an advertising work around.
    MJ Business Journal

8

Equity Words and Wisdom from Hyphate Killer Mike

Donnell Alexander

MC-activist-Netflix series host Michael "Killer Mike" Render sat down with Massachusetts regulator Shaleen Title on the final day of last week's New West Summit. The crowd was not disappointed.
Twitter

  • The crowd gathered on the top floor of San Francisco's Westfield mall heard a simultaneously polished, folksy and profane "fireside chat" driven by an artist Title called "one of the most extraordinary people I've ever met in my life."
  • Highlights included Render crediting jazz for pushing cannabis forward, his vow that "I'll never vote for a candidate who's been a prosecutor," and this parental wisdom: "If you have three kids, sometimes you gotta smoke some weed."

9

You Paid for Elon Musk's Very Expensive Tokes

Getty Images

A $5M review of the Space X facility was demanded by NASA after founder Elon Musk seemed to smoke bud on the Joe Rogan podcast. Then the government reimbursed him.

And you thought Loud Dream cost a lot.
Politico

  • The issue has caused a dust-up among SpaceX competitors and peers who think Musk's company has received special treatment. “What we have here is an important cultural divide between what is considered appropriate behavior in the old guard in the space community and what is considered OK among Silicon Valley tech people and a growing sector of Americans,” retired space strategist Pete Garrettson said.

Quick Hit

  1. On Tuesday, Napa County's Board of Supervisors voted to extend its ban on cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas. Cannabis supporters and opponents both regard the vote as a short term fix.
    North Bay Business Journal

10

Old Soldiers Don't Die, They Just Blaze Away

Getty Images

In states like ours, soldiers are smoking enough weed that a new report from the military says, it “may be beginning to show signs of impacting Army readiness.”
Task and Purpose

  • A non-public document called The Army Crime Report for Fiscal Year 2018 reported an 18% increase between 2017 and 2018 in positive drug tests for THC. For comparison, the entire Army has seen a 5% increase.
  • According to Quest Diagnostics Analysis, positive tests in other California workplaces increased 4.4 percent over the same period, further cementing the Army that it is the branch where where you can be best.

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