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Newsletter #193

Kamala Harris talks weed

Senator Kamala Harris wants to be the next president of the U.S., and she seems to realize that she must be pro-pot to have any chance of becoming the Democratic nominee. Harris was opposed to recreational cannabis in the past, but in a recent interview, she said she supports legalization. In fact, she admitted to smoking a joint in college. Harris added, “I think it gives a lot of people joy. We need more joy in the world.”

Marijuana banking bill

It’s widely known that cannabis businesses struggle to access basic financial services. A group of lawmakers wants to change that, so they introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The bill’s goal is to protect financial institutions and make banks more inclined to serve the marijuana industry. If passed, this would be a major win for cannabis businesses nationwide.

Deluxe cannabis accessories

There’s a market for high-end cannabis products, and plenty of retailers are happy to oblige. While many stores sell beauty products that contain CBD, Barney’s is going one step further. Its Beverly Hills store has plans to open a cannabis-themed shop with specialty items like grinder necklaces and gold rolling papers. Fun, fancy and unnecessary.

Lamar Odom’s vape pen line

Former NBA star Lamar Odom used marijuana and CBD to help him recover from the strokes and heart attacks brought on by his 2015 drug overdose. Because of this, Odom wanted to help others experience the benefits of cannabinoids. Thus, his line of CBD vape pens was born. Get more info about this endeavor here.

$1 billion in retail cannabis taxes

The marijuana industry has reached another milestone. In 2018, taxes collected from retail sales of cannabis exceeded $1 billion. This is a massive increase from 2017. Seems like California joining the other recreational marijuana states was a good idea.

Newsletter #192

California’s tribal nations and the marijuana industry

California’s cannabis industry is often talked about, but there’s one topic that rarely makes headlines: The state’s tribal nations are not permitted to participate in the regulated market. Native American tribes are not allowed to obtain the required licenses. Consequently, they cannot participate in the California cannabis industry. Learn more about this legal situation and the obstacles tribal nations are facing here.

WHO recommends cannabis rescheduling

The United Nations’ World Health Organization is recommending that member countries reschedule marijuana from its current status under international treaties. The recommendation is for whole-plant cannabis and cannabis concentrates to be rescheduled into the least restrictive category. It’s not clear if this will make waves, but it’s nice to see the effort, right?

The POT stock

Marijuana stocks are big, which is why Canadian cannabis companies have been fighting over the “POT” stock ticker symbol. In fact, the competition was so intense that the Canadian Securities Exchange held its first random lottery to pick a winner. Weekend Unlimited was the victor, and they’re stoked. The company’s current symbol? YOLO.

Marijuana and sperm count

A group of scientists found that a history of smoking cannabis correlates to greater fertility in men. Researchers originally predicted that marijuana use would negatively impact sperm count. In contrast, participants who had used cannabis in the past had higher sperm counts than non-users. Fun fact.

UC Berkeley’s cannabis research center

The University of California at Berkeley is the latest higher education institution to make marijuana news. The university is planning to create a research center that will focus on California’s cannabis industry. Get more details about this endeavor here.

Newsletter #191

Is there lead in your vape cartridge?

Spoiler alert: Yes, there is probably lead in your vape cartridge. In California, new lab testing requirements for marijuana products went into effect at the beginning of 2019. This includes testing for heavy metals. Unfortunately, it seems that nearly every vape cartridge on the market is testing positive for lead. The majority of cartridges are shipped in from China, which has more lax restrictions on lead than the U.S. does. Lead in cartridges can leach into the cannabis oil, and consumers certainly don’t want to be vaping lead. Scary stuff.

Israel approves cannabis exports

Israel’s cabinet approved a law that permits the export of medical marijuana to countries that allow its use. Advocates are excited for the anticipated economic boost, while critics are concerned an increase in cultivation will lead to more recreational cannabis use. Learn more about the new law here.

Minnesota introduces recreational marijuana bills

Both the Minnesota House and Senate recently introduced legislation to legalize recreational cannabis. Additionally, there’s a proposal to allow Minnesotans to vote on the subject in 2020. Will Minnesota be the next state to legalize adult-use marijuana?

CBD can enhance your high

Many believe that CBD can diminish the high caused by THC. However, a new study shows that this might not always be the case. In fact, it seems that low doses of CBD may actually enhance the psychoactive effects of THC. Good to know.

Baltimore to stop prosecuting cannabis possession cases

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that Baltimore will no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases. This is regardless of the quantity of cannabis found or the individual’s criminal record. Well done.

Newsletter #190

Canopy Growth sprouts into the U.S.

Canopy Growth Corporation, a massive Canadian cannabis company, is entering the U.S. market. Specifically, Canopy Growth announced that it had acquired a license to produce hemp in New York. The company plans to use hemp sourced from American farmers to manufacture various cannabinoid products. Is this the start of a beautiful international partnership, or is this a sign of corporations taking over the hemp market? Perhaps both?

Joe Montana’s marijuana investment

Joe Montana, celebrated Hall of Fame quarterback, is investing heavily in the marijuana industry. First, Montana took part in a $4.1 million investment in Herb, a cannabis media company, back in 2017. Additionally, Montana is currently involved in a $75 million investment in Caliva, a California-based marijuana company. Everyone wants a piece of the pot pie.

Free weed for federal workers

During the government shutdown, many organizations jumped in to help out the affected federal employees. One such organization was BudTrader.com, a site that seems like Craigslist for marijuana. BudTrader offered free cannabis to federal employees who were unable to pay for medical marijuana during the shutdown. So sweet.

Using cannabis instead of pharmaceuticals

A recently-published study found that many medical cannabis patients were able to swap out their pharmaceutical drugs for marijuana. Get the details on this research here.

No marijuana ads this Super Bowl

In an unsurprising move, CBS rejected a pro-medical marijuana television ad intended to air during the Super Bowl. Maybe next year.

Newsletter #189

Recreational marijuana on the East Coast

Fully legal cannabis is on the horizon for two East Coast states. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to legalize adult-use marijuana statewide. Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island plans to do the same, although she’s pretty hesitant about it. Both governors have been opposed to recreational cannabis in the past, which makes their announcements rather unexpected. It’s always refreshing to see politicians adapt to changing times.

UConn’s cannabis class

In just a few days, students attending the University of Connecticut will be able to learn all about growing cannabis. UConn is offering a new course, titled “Horticulture of Cannabis: from Seed to Harvest,” to educate and train students in the process of marijuana cultivation. Learn more about this unique class here.

Why you shouldn’t leave your pot in an Uber

A man accidentally left two pounds of marijuana in an Uber. When he tried to link up with his driver to pick up the cannabis-filled packages, he met up with police officers instead. Maybe using Uber to transport a large quantity of marijuana was a bad idea.

Wisconsin and medical marijuana

Governor Tony Evers of Wisconsin is working on his state budget, and he plans to include a pathway for the legalization of medical cannabis. Additionally, he expressed support for legalizing recreational marijuana. Good stuff, Evers.

California’s home delivery clarification

If you’re a Californian living in a locality that has banned cannabis sales, listen up. State officials clarified that California law allows for home delivery in every single jurisdiction. Great news.

Newsletter #188

Racial disparities in Philadelphia’s marijuana arrests

Even though cannabis possession was decriminalized four years ago in Philadelphia, hundreds of people are still arrested each year for purchasing marijuana. Additionally, as is the unfortunate case in many cities, black residents are much more likely to be arrested for buying cannabis than white residents are. Quick reminder: Data shows that black and white populations consume marijuana at roughly the same rate. The racial disparity in cannabis-related arrests is glaring.

CARERS Act introduced…again

A bipartisan group of lawmakers recently introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, a bill that aims to protect states with medical cannabis programs. If the measure sounds familiar, that’s because it is extremely similar to a bill of the same name that stalled in the last Congress. Get more information about the CARERS Act here.

Pro-pot governor uses hemp paper at inauguration

While some politicians talk the marijuana industry talk, not all of them walk the walk. Governor Jared Polis of Colorado, who was just sworn in on Tuesday, does. In addition to being an advocate for cannabis reform, Polis printed his inauguration programs on hemp paper. Finally, a politician who gets us.

420 friendly bill

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act is a new bill filed by Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer. If passed, this bill will remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. Also, it’s very important to note that Blumenauer reserved the number H.R. 420 for this measure. Real smooth.

Redman’s vintage weed

This week, Rapper Redman posted a video of some decades-old dimebags discovered at his mom’s house. After the find, his mom, a true entrepreneur, suggested they sell the bud on eBay. This likely won’t happen, but maybe the dimebags will turn up at an antique store.