Horse vs. pot. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Colorado horse farm can sue a neighboring cannabis grow over “noxious odors” under federal racketeering laws. While the law was crafted in the ’70s to fight organized crime, the three-judge panel wrote that the horse farm owners have at least one racketeering claim. The Associated Press Legal experts say the case could hurt the fledgling cannabis industry by opening the door to property owners suing cannabis businesses under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). An attorney for the marijuana growers say they will “vigorously fight this case” in district court. “My clients did not complain when odors of manure wafted onto their delicious marijuana crop.” The Cannabist
Activist trying to get seized marijuana back. Jessica Laycock, one of the seven protestors arrested in Washington D.C. at a 4/20 demonstration, saw charges against her dropped. Now she’s trying to get her pot back. Her attorney is currently trying to figure what led the Capitol Police to arrest her. He says he might file a lawsuit on behalf of Laycock to get officials to return her property. “The circumstances of her case highlight the clash between federal pot laws and looser local regulations in a city where small amounts of marijuana are allowed.” The Washington Post
Veteran reaches plea agreement for cannabis. Kris Lewandowski, a Marine veteran who was facing life in prison for growing six pot plants, will plead guilty to a deferred felony charge for marijuana cultivation and avoid serving any further jail time. He used cannabis to treat PTSD from a decade of serving in active combat zones in the Middle East. “Tens of thousands of people around the country who have remained steadfast in supporting Kris throughout this ordeal have shown we can make progress even in states like Oklahoma that have not yet recognized the many medical benefits of cannabis,” said his attorney. OC Weekly
Med-West case shows pitfalls of “legal weed.” In a move seen by industry observers as retaliation, the San Diego district attorney’s office charged six individuals affiliated with Med-West with 12 felony counts. The charges came down less than two weeks after a judge ordered the D.A.’s office to return assets it had seized in the case. “We did everything 100 percent legit… We had the best lawyers, the best CPAs. We were a model for the good actors in the business,” said its CEO James Slatic. “They made it my personal mission to fight this until the day I die.” Leafly
Cannabis industry will drive up industrial rents. Rent prices in cities like Los Angeles and Boston are already high, but will be driven even higher by demand from the cannabis industry. Voters in California and Massachusetts legalized adult-use last November, and cannabis startups are snapping up space. Industrial real estate prices in cities with legal recreational use (including Denver, Seattle, and Portland) have all grown faster than cities without adult-use laws. The trend is expected to continue as new markets come online in 2018. Bloomberg
Study: Cannabinoids boost effectiveness of chemotherapy. We already know that medical marijuana can provide relief for cancer patients from the side effects of chemotherapy. New research out of the University of London found that THC and CBD increased the effectiveness of chemotherapy when it came to killing blood cancer cells. Men’s Health
The Cannabis Certification Council. That’s the name of the new organization created from a merger of the Organic Cannabis Association and the Ethical Cannabis Alliance. The new group will work to independently certify organic and ethically produced cannabis products. Marijuana Business Daily Organic soap company Dr. Bronner’s will provide $125,000 in seed funding for the organization. Denverite
Medical marijuana in New Zealand. A number of political parties in the country are backing legislation that would allow certain patients to grow and use medical marijuana. Qualifying conditions are broad: “Any terminal illness, any severe chronic disorder of the immune or nervous system, chronic back or other pain, and any other condition a medical practitioner certifies may benefit from cannabis.” New Zealand Herald
Cannabiz in Canada. Industry insiders are criticizing the lack of gender diversity in the country’s cannabis industry. In Canada, women hold 12 percent of corporate board seats. In the cannabis industry, women hold only 5 percent of board seats at publicly traded medical marijuana companies. Women leaders in the industry often find themselves alone in a group of men, where they’re subject to “a bit of condescension.” The Canadian Press The stock price of MedReleaf, one of the largest medical marijuana producers in the country, plunged 28 percent in its trading debut on Wednesday. “Valuations in the sector have dropped considerably over the past several weeks, and the MedReleaf IPO was priced under a different market environment,” said one industry observer. Business Insider
Two tales of innocence. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee takes a look at the practice of drug field-testing kits and how they often turn up false-positives for common household items. The segment shows what happened to two individuals who got caught up in false positive drug-field tests. Ross (a well-off, white male) was able to afford a lawyer, post bail, and avoid being charged. Barry (a less privileged, black male) couldn’t afford to post bail and pleaded guilty to possession to avoid spending more time in jail. It took a year for the lab report to come back showing Barry’s field test was wrong. It took five years to exonerate him. During that time, he was unable to receive food stamps and other public assistance due to his record. “It’s not that I’m unlucky. This is part of a black man’s life.” YouTube / Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Word on the States
- In Florida, the governor added medical marijuana to the agenda of the special session.
- In New York, a look at the legal battle between MMJ firms and the health department. An NYC mayoral candidate works for a marijuana lab under federal investigation for fraud.
- In Colorado, the governor declines to sign a marijuana research bill due to a one-word mistake in the text. Police struggle with storing seized pot plants.
- In Massachusetts, advocates rally against lawmakers changing the voter-approved legalization law.
- In Connecticut, the Board of Physicians recommended adding three new conditions to the medical marijuana program.
- In California, Los Angeles extends a ban on cannabis in unincorporated areas.
- In Oregon, projections of cannabis sales are high but an economist cautions that they are “highly uncertain.”
- In Arizona, a former health department official says he has changed his mind about medical marijuana.
Word for Word
“Oblivious to cocaine’s addictive properties, [Sigmund] Freud prescribed cocaine to his friend and teacher, Ernst von Fleischl-Marxow. His friend was a morphine addict, and Freud thought cocaine could cure his addiction. Fleischl-Marxow temporarily replaced his morphine addiction with a cocaine addiction, and displayed no symptoms of morphine withdrawal. ‘Triumph,’ Freud wrote. ‘Rejoice for me. Through cocaine we achieved something beautiful.'” – Nicholas Lord for Narratively