John Boehner, of all people, joined the advisory board of a plant-touching cannabis company. The feds like to cut down marijuana plants but leave harmful chemicals behind. Canada’s cannabis stocks hit their lowest point so far this year. Also: Maine’s legislature finally advances adult-use marijuana regulations. 🌳
John Boehner joins marijuana company. Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner has a new gig: advisory board member of Acreage Holdings, a plant-touching cannabis company that operates in 11 U.S. states under 35 licenses. “Over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people’s attitudes have changed dramatically… I find myself in that same position,” said Boehner. He’s joined by former Massachusetts governor William Weld, also a former Republican politician. Bloomberg
The feds bust marijuana grows but leave harmful chemicals behind. A government watchdog is calling out federal agents who bust illegal marijuana growing operations but leave behind “trash and chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers,” damaging local ecosystems. While the feds seem intent on cutting down cannabis plants, they seemed unconcerned with the hazardous chemicals found on those sites. The Forest Services said it would create systems to track the cleanup process in response to the inspector general’s report. Marijuana Moment
Fixing stop-and-frisk. A federal court may have ruled that stop-and-frisk is unconstitutional — but that doesn’t mean the practice has ended in New York. Though the number of stops has declined, a persistent racial disparity remains. Complaints of racial profiling are ignored as the police department resists reforms. The New York Times Marijuana may be decriminalized, but the NYPD have arrested at least 16,000 people a year for marijuana possession since 2015. “There’s no excuse for continuing this destructive enforcement strategy,” writes an NYPD veteran who spent 21 years in uniform. The New York Daily News
The personal risks of advocacy. Adam Eidinger, the cannabis activist who spearheaded D.C.’s adult-use legalization initiative, moved to Maryland in a bid to oust a Republican lawmaker who blocked the District’s ability to tax and regulate cannabis. But the move may jeopardize his daughter’s ability to attend one of D.C.’s top public high schools. “If the city notified me and said you can’t put your kid in school here anymore, I’d go to court,” he said. Eidinger sold his stake in his Capitol Hemp business to be able to afford a second home. The Washington Post
Chronic pain sufferers turn to medical marijuana. Pain patients in Ohio aren’t waiting for the state to get its medical marijuana program up and running. Those who have tried everything to relieve their pain are turning to neighboring states like Michigan to get their medicine. WOSU Pain patients in Oregon are also turning to medical marijuana after decades of using ineffective opioids. But doctors have no guidance in figuring out the right dosage and products, leaving patients on their own to experiment. OPB A New Hampshire pediatrician says being able to recommend medical marijuana removes the liability for a doctor prescribing opioids. The doctor has noticed an uptick in recent years of parents trying to seek opioid prescriptions for themselves — through their children. NHPR
🚨 Check These Things Out 🚨
Unladylike. Our editor was featured on the latest episode of Unladylike as the “joint-loving journalist,” alongside Wanda James, the co-founder of Simply Pure dispensary in Colorado, and Maya Elisabeth, one half of the Whoopi & Maya brand of cannabis products for women. “Legal cannabis is America’s fastest-growing industry and reportedly one of its women-friendliest. Cristen and Caroline sort the hype from the hangups around women and cannabis.” Unladylike
REVEL presents Cannabis + The Consumer. Our friends at REVEL are putting on an event in NYC featuring Cy Scott of Headset, Koushi Sunder of Stemless, and Alex Fang of Sublime Canna, moderated by Sirita Wright of Estrohaze. Word on the Tree readers get 30% of tickets with the code: WORDONTHETREE18. Tickets here: Eventbrite / REVEL
Marijuana policies. Marijuana may be illegal under federal law, but a survey by a background-screening company found that 67 percent of employers have workplace drug policies that address medical marijuana. Six years ago, the same survey found that only 21 percent of employers had one. Nearly a quarter of companies identified medical marijuana as one of their biggest compliance challenges. Quartz As Canada heads towards legalization, college campuses are grappling with their own marijuana policies. The Toronto Star
In marijuana business news… Celebrities are increasingly jumping into the marijuana industry. CNN Money States with legal medical marijuana have a wide range of wholesale prices. In New Mexico, businesses are experiencing increasing demand and rising prices. But in other states, many medical marijuana businesses are contending with a drop in prices and oversupply. Marijuana Business Daily
Cannabis in Canada. As the federal government’s plan to legalize marijuana enters its home stretch, Bill Blair, the government’s pot point person, is on a town-hall tour around the country in a bid to answer Canadians’ questions about cannabis. Leafly The country’s marijuana stocks fell to their lowest level in more than four months. The drop reflects concerns about delays in marijuana legalization and restrictive regulations. Reuters
Elsewhere around the world… In the U.K., the leader of the Liberal Democrats suggested that legalizing marijuana would help reduce violent crime. LBC Two Vietnamese men who claim they were smuggled into Ireland were sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail for their work in a cannabis grow house. The Irish Times Israel is one step closer to allowing medical marijuana exports, thanks to an agreement between the ministries of finance, health, and interior. The Jerusalem Post
Blame Nixon. An alt-weekly’s “Ask A Pot Lawyer” column tackles the question: how did this drug-war craziness start, anyway? Basically, it was Richard Nixon’s fault. The Portland Mercury
Word on the States
- In Maine, the House approved new rules for the recreational marijuana market.
- In California, marijuana revenues fall short of the state’s expectations.
- In Utah, the Mormon church signaled opposition to a medical marijuana ballot initiative.
- In Nevada, unlicensed delivery services are undermining the regulated market.
- In Montana, new medical marijuana rules took effect on Tuesday.
- In Hawaii, changes could be coming to the medical marijuana program.
- In Oregon, Clatsop County considers a retail cannabis tax.
- In Iowa, state lawmakers are resistant to support medical marijuana (despite most voters supporting the issue).
- In Connecticut, the future of a legalization bill remains murky.
- In Oklahoma, advocates are gathering signatures for a medical marijuana ballot initiative.
- In Michigan, Lansing police removed cannabis activists from a city council meeting for violating rules of order.
- In South Carolina, a medical marijuana bill did not make it past a deadline.
- In Colorado, three people were arrested in connection to a home explosion believed to be caused by cannabis extraction.
- In Guam, a lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would allow medical marijuana home grow.
Word for Word
“With the sprawling conspiracy trial set to begin in September, the memo was designed to list the crimes that Mr. Guzmán was believed to have committed, but were not specifically laid out in his indictment. Those were legion, the memo said, and included murders, acts of torture, kidnappings, prison breaks and an attempt to smuggle seven tons of cocaine in cans of jalapeños.” – Alan Feuer for The New York Times
“Private prison companies can be found at every level of government, housing 9 percent of the nation’s prisoners… Despite hundreds of lawsuits, findings that private prisons save taxpayers little to no money, and evidence of repeated constitutional violations, the number of privately housed inmates has risen faster since 2000 than the overall number of prisoners. In 2016, the number rose by about 1.5 percent, according to Justice Department figures.” – Timothy Williams and Richard A. Oppel Jr. for The New York Times
“Marijuana intersects with life in so many areas: government regulation and taxation, law enforcement, politics, science and health, agriculture, business. You simply can’t tell the full story from a single vantage point… Whether they love, hate or are ambivalent about marijuana, people want to read about it” – AP marijuana beat leader Frank Baker, Editor & Publisher