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Vitamin E, After All

Photo by Donn Gabriel Baleva on Unsplash

Following months of doubt, the Centers for Disease Control identified vitamin E acetate in the lungs of 29 people sickened by VAPI, enough to declare the ingredient the likely cause of the condition which has sickened more than 2,000 and killed dozens.
Washington Post

  • The finding doesn't rule out the possibility of harm caused by other substances in vape oil or hardware.
  • Most of those sickened used street vape products.

In a great story, Leafly learns how an L.A. company led by a struggling actor, popularized a dilutant that was 90%-95% vitamin E acetate.

"Honey Cut took off because it made illicit vape cartridge makers a lot of money. The product fooled consumers into thinking they bought something pure. Honey Cut’s color and thickness closely resemble that of pure THC oil. It’s available online and does not affect the appearance or flavor of THC oil. As such, it fooled consumers performing what’s known as the “bubble test.”

Following the vape crisis, consultant Kimberly Dillon writes successful companies will embrace transparency.

In Massachusetts, cannabis regulators did not uphold the governor's ban on THC vape products, though that could reverse again.

Quick Hit

  1. The FDA approved sales of a new Philip Morris tobacco product called the Iqos which is somewhere between a cigarette and a an e-cigarette. It's allegedly safer than tobacco because it warms rather than burns the leaves, reducing tar intake.

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Could Impeachment Delay Banking Reform?

Photo by Suzy Turbenson on Unsplash
A metaphor for marijuana legislation

Senate Banking Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-Id.) suggested presidential impeachment hearings could delay progress of the SAFE Banking Act in the Senate.

Crapo was vague on timing for the committee to hear the bill. He also supports tightening the House-passed bill in ways opposed by the cannabis industry, such as potency limits.
Marijuana Moment

Also in D.C.: The National Cannabis Industry Association paid nearly half a million dollars to a lobbyist accused of embellishing his connections to the Trump administration. NCIA said it was happy with the lobbyist's work.
Washington Post


These 25 Start Ups Raised $2.6B

Photo by Vladimir Solomyani on Unsplash

While the funding climate remains tight, Business Insider finds 25 cannabis start-ups which have raised a combined $2.6 Billion.

  • Cannabis companies have raised more than $2 Billion this year alone, up from $17M in 2013.

In other fundraising news: Start-up Vana raised $3.5M to place cannabis ads at mainstream publications like Buzzfeed and USA Today. "We like to think of ourselves as DoubleClick meets Shopify," CEO Sheldon Owen said.
Business Insider

Quick Hit

  1. In a move enabled by Colorado's new investment law, New York-based Columbia Care agreed to buy OG Colorado chain The Green Solution for approximately $140M.
    Denver Post

Which state market is "a kind of cartel?"

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Growing Pains, And Fees, on Wall Street

Photo by Chris Li on Unsplash

Wall Street broker dealers don't know what to do about pot stocks.

  • Lack of clarity has led some Wall Street firms to block clients from investing in cannabis stocks and even turn away clients.
  • Some brokers are keeping an eye on clients whose money derives from the industry.
  • Business Insider details the policies of leading banks Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo.

Gotham Green Partners, a private equity firm co-founded by the CEO of Canadian firm Cronos Group, stands to make $120M from Cronos's $300M acquisition of California CBD brand Lord Jones.

Quick Hit

  1. Lawncare company Scotts Miracle -Gro had a good quarter at its cannabis hydroponics business.

Why does Michigan claim to have "America's Best REC law?"

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Can Drake Rescue Canada's Industry?

Rapper Drake became a rare A-lister to join the Green Rush by signing a partnership with Canopy Growth to create a new brand More Life. Structured as a joint venture, it sidesteps Canada's strict rules surrounding celebrity endorsements. 🍁 WW Canada has more.
BNN Bloomber

🍁WeedWeek Canada has so much more, eh


State Snafus

Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash

In the states this week:

An Ohio judge declared unconstitutional the state's law that 15% of licensed MED companies must be owned by economically disadvantaged groups.


What's in a Name? Maybe not Much

A rose by any other name would smell as dank

While some legalization supporters strongly prefer the word 'cannabis' to 'marijuana,' a study found most people don't care one way or the other.

Quick Hit

  1. Researchers in Canada took umbrage with a recent study in the Lancet, which found little value in MED as a treatment for mental illnesses. The Canadians say more high quality research is needed. 🍁 WW Canada has more.
  2. Non-profit Drug Policy Alliance announced a new drug education program called Safety First that it's promoting as an alternative to D.A.R.E.


Group Files to Get Shroom Legalization on CA Ballot

Photo by Harshal S. Hirve on Unsplash
Already legal

A group called Decriminalize California filed a ballot initiative to legalize and commercialize psilocybin mushrooms in California.
Marijuana Moment

  • Supporters will need to collect 623,212 signatures for the measure to appear on the 2020 ballot.
  • If approved the state would have to start issuing licenses by September 2021.
  • Decriminalize California's Ryan Munevar appeared on the WeedWeek podcast several weeks ago.


Hemp House on Market for $2M

Matthew Rufh Real Estate

Real estate agents in British Columbia are selling a luxurious modern house made of hempcrete for C$2M.

  • The Vancouver area home is located on a five acre farm.
  • The broker claims the house has a negative carbon footprint because of the building material.


"It was able to prepare us for battle."

Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

For Veteran's Day, Leafly serves up a fascinating piece on weed and the Vietnam War.

“In the naval base, when I went to Vietnam, we started smoking weed—pot, at that time we smoked pot,” he said. “The reality was that it was able to prepare us for battle and all the unknown things. We were 18 and 19-year-old kids. The things that you’d see, you’ve never even seen before. It wasn’t like watching the news.”

After coming home, many continued to use it to treat what's now called PTSD.

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