US attorney says licensed cannabis businesses should feel “at increased risk” of federal prosecution. The problem of consuming CBD products. Floyd Landis is launching a pro cycling team, sponsored by his cannabis company. Also: More people are calling for expungement ahead of marijuana legalization in Canada. 🌳
Federal prosecutor talks licensed cannabis crackdown. U.S. attorney Bob Troyer has set his sights on the legal marijuana industry. “If somebody is licensed by this state, should they feel at increased risk of federal prosecution now?” he said. “Yes. They should. We do a public safety analysis, not an analysis of whether someone has a piece of paper from the state.” Troyer went on to say that even cannabis businesses that are compliant with state laws “can do plenty of harm to the community.” He is concerned about black-market diversion, cleverly disguisable vapes, and cannabis businesses selling to pregnant women. The Associated Press
The problem with CBD… A woman whose doctor recommended that she take CBD for pain and anxiety used CBD oil for two weeks before failing a drug screening for a new job. “They expressed that I have a positive THC test… I have never consumed marijuana in my life,” she said. The label on the CBD product she was taking showed no THC, but warned consumers that it can cause positive results in drug screenings. WSB-TV Dr. Oz and CNN’s Sanjay Gupta examined problems with the CBD products that are widely available. “If you need hundreds of milligrams for it to do anything, two milligrams isn’t going to do anything and people are paying a lot of money for it,” said Gupta. Marijuana Moment
On opioids. In a rare bipartisan achievement, the Senate passed a sweeping package of legislation aimed at addressing the opioid crisis. “It creates, expands and reauthorizes programs and policies across almost every federal agency, aiming to address different aspects of the opioid epidemic, including prevention, treatment and recovery.” Public health advocates have praised the bill, which is modeled after Congress’s response to HIV/AIDS. The Washington Post A $1 fentanyl-testing strip could help curb overdoses. Knowing whether their drugs contain fentanyl helps empower users to make decisions about their use in order to avoid an overdose. A study that gave out the test strips to heroin users at a needle-exchange program found that “those who saw the positive result were five times as likely to change the way they used a drug in an effort to avoid overdosing.” The Atlantic
No investigation in medical marijuana bribery case. A state senator requested an investigation, and the governor ordered one. But after senator David Knezek requested an update, the Michigan State Police said there was no investigation. Three Detroit men were charged with trying to bribe government officials in order to get a medical marijuana permit. A federal indictment says that the men put $150,000 in an escrow account to bribe local and “unknown state officials.” “I was a bit surprised because we thought the governor ordered an investigation and an investigation was taking place,” said Knezek. “I don’t know what more information we need when it’s in writing in a federal indictment and these guys plead guilty to doing it.” Detroit Free Press
Today in law enforcement behaving badly. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s top-ranking official in South America is under investigation for allegedly directing “Colombian drivers working for the U.S. Embassy in Bogota ‘to procure sex workers.'” The agent, Richard Dobrich, categorically denied the accusations. “Prostitution is legal in Colombia, but Justice Department policy forbids DEA agents from engaging in such activity because it could lead them to be compromised by the very drug cartels they are pursuing.” The Associated Press
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Help a Reefer Dad. Longtime cannabis activist Rick Cusick is suffering from health issues and needs a liver transplant. “The infamous donor list… may not welcome a person with my personal history. I haven’t drank alcohol in 34 years and never smoked cigarettes, but my public lifestyle might kick me down the list,” he writes on his GoFundMe campaign. Cusick has raised more than $8,500 of his $15,000 fundraising goal so far. GoFundMe
Landis to launch pro cycling team sponsored by his cannabis company. American cyclist Floyd Landis, who lost his Tour de France title due to doping, announced plans to launch a pro-cycling team sponsored by his cannabis business Floyd’s of Leadville. The team will be based in Canada and will be funded in part by the settlement money he received in the Lance Armstrong doping case (Landis acted as a government whistleblower). “I understand I hurt the cycling community… Now I’d like to take all proceeds I made from the settlement and put it back where it belongs, on the development of aspiring pro cyclists,” he said in a statement. Floyd’s of Leadville is based on Colorado and sells CBD products. Reuters
Today in cannabis business news… iHeartMedia will trade $5 to $10 million worth of advertising inventory for a roughly 5 percent stake in the cannabis publisher High Times. High Times will use the inventory to publicize its pending IPO. It’s nearly $5 million short of raising the necessary funds to list on Nasdaq. The Wall Street Journal GW Pharmaceuticals is planning to sell $300 million worth of U.S. depository shares. “The underwriters have an option to buy $45 million more shares within 30 days. A share price for the offering has not been set.” Marijuana Business Daily Space Tango, a company that provides an environment to conduct experiments in microgravity, is developing experiments to look into how conditions in space could affect cannabis cultivation. TechCrunch
Cannabis in Canada. The Kelowna-based cannabis company Doja is partnering with an advocacy group on a campaign to wipe clean hundreds of thousands of marijuana convictions. Global News A Victoria MP is planning to introduce a bill to expunge cannabis possession offenses: “I think the government of Canada, when they brought in their legalization of [the] cannabis bill, should have included, as California and other places did, the impact on people who already have a criminal record for what will be by definition no longer a crime after Oct. 17.” Global News Industry analysts predict a shortage of legal weed once legalization laws are enacted October 17. CBC Can employers bar their workers from consuming cannabis during their downtime? “Technically yes.” The Huffington Post
Elsewhere around the world… Uruguay‘s Senate defeated a proposal to extend strict regulations to tobacco packaging to cannabis. The country is considered a world leader in tobacco control and marijuana legalization. Marijuana Moment Experts say that Colombian president Iván Duque’s new policy allowing police to confiscate cannabis will not reduce cannabis consumption and will have negative impacts on medical marijuana. Panam Post India MP Dharamvira Gandhi, who advocates for drug decriminalization, is under police investigation for sowing poppy seeds in protest of the country’s drug policies. Times of India
Big money starts heading to psychedelics. Atai Life Sciences, a health-care investment firm that owns a substantial stake in a startup that is conducting clinical trials on psilocybin, has raised $25 million and is considering an IPO next year. The company is in talks to list in Canada, seeking a valuation of at least $800 million. Bloomberg The psilocybin research startup Compass Pathways is also backed by Silicon Valley tech mogul Peter Thiel, and the founders of meditation app Calm Alex Tew and Michael Action Smith. Compass has raised a total of more than $38 million. Business Insider
Word on the States
- In Utah, supporters and opponents of a MMJ ballot initiative announced a deal on cannabis policy. The LDS church hosted a discussion about medical marijuana.
- In California, state officials revoked the license of a cannabis testing lab in San Diego.
- In Colorado, the state harvested more than 550,000 pounds of cannabis in the first half of this year. Why hemp isn’t allowed at the Denver Botanical Gardens.
- In Florida, a judge blocked the state’s medical marijuana licensing process.
- In Ohio, a medical marijuana cultivator expects its first harvest in December. The NAACP and the Dayton mayor voiced their support for decriminalizing marijuana. After a spate of inmate deaths, a judge says he will stop sending those charged with non-violent crimes to jail.
- In Missouri, the state’s largest farm organization opposes medical marijuana legalization.
- In Michigan, Ted Nugent railed against marijuana legalization. A high-school cheerleader allegedly brought pot brownies to school in an effort to sway homecoming votes.
- In Connecticut, the Democratic gubernatorial wants to legalize marijuana if elected. A lawyer and landowner is challenging the state’s anti-hemp policy in court.
- In Mississippi, advocates hope to collect 86,000 signatures to get medical marijuana on the 2020 ballot.
- In Illinois, the state has seen a sharp rise in medical cannabis applications, especially among cancer patients.
- In Maine, a cannabis convention is coming to Portland.
- In Arizona, multi-state cannabis company MedMen acquired a vertically integrated MMJ business.
Word for Word
“There is a certain faction that still believes that we should just lock them up and throw away the key. And what’s so interesting to me, and we’re seeing this at the federal level too, with opponents of the federal legislation, they keep citing to these terrible anecdotes of these individuals who have gotten out of prison and done something terrible. And they’re indicting themselves because, of course, these things are happening under the current regime… Every single American family has had some sort of interaction with the justice system, and most of them believe that it needs significant transformational change.” – Former general counsel to the Kentucky Republican Party and executive director of the Justice Action Network Holly Harris, The Washington Post
“Turns out, tens of thousands of us plebeians have been Puffco’s free beta testers— unwittingly or not. It’s the modern paradigm of electronics hardware and software launches. Since March 2018, all over the world, Peak users have been using—and breaking—the revolutionary smart pipe. Our frustrations have become Puffco’s data points.” – David Downs for Leafly