A Colorado company is suing to get its hemp back (police said it was marijuana). A bid to open a cannabis cultivation facility in California pits rich and poor communities against each other. A medical marijuana patient in Canada passed an impairment test, but still had her license suspended and car impounded. Also: New research found pros and cons in microdosing psychedelics. 🌳
A Colorado company is suing to get its hemp back. Big Sky Scientific, a Colorado-based hemp company, is suing to get its hemp shipment back that Idaho police allege is marijuana. The company purchased the hemp from a registered industrial hemp farm in Oregon. Big Sky Scientific says that Idaho is violating the 2018 Farm Bill and the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Meanwhile, prosecutors say that its “arguments are flawed; Oregon, where the hemp was grown and shipped from, does not have a federally approved plan to monitor and regulate the production of hemp in the state, as required by the 2018 Farm Bill.” CNN Related: Such stories are not slowing capital raises in the U.S. hemp industry. Marijuana Business Daily Rural counties in Nevada look to hemp for an economic boost. The Nevada Independent
Marijuana sparks conflict between rich and poor. The predominantly Latino, working class city of El Monte, Calif. is looking towards the cannabis industry to help its suffering economy. But its richer neighbors in the Asian American communities of San Gabriel Valley are fighting against cannabis businesses. “You will hear helicopters overhead, people shooting in the street, maybe prostitutes walking around… It will destroy the city,” one Temple City resident said of allowing cannabis businesses. El Monte’s mayor says it must look towards non-mainstream industries for investment and jobs, “industries his city’s wealthier neighbors can afford to snub.” While many opponents of the plan are Asian Americans, the developer of the cultivation center approved by El Monte is Asian American herself. “There’s illegal shops all around… Isn’t it better to have a facility that’s regulated than letting illegal ones pop up?” she said. The Los Angeles Times
Former Israeli police chief to help cannabis firm. Former Israel Police commissioner Yohanan Danino has been appointed chairman of medical marijuana producer Together Pharma. The company grows and distributes medical marijuana, and Danino will focus on “international business development activities.” When Danino was police chief, he called on the government to reevaluate marijuana prohibition. Times of Israel Danino is just the latest former law enforcement officer to take a job at a cannabis company. In North America, plenty of former cops have joined the marijuana industry after enforcing prohibition at their old jobs. “The trend has naturally infuriated long-time cannabis activists, many of whom have faced jail thanks to the same people now championing legal joints.” The GrowthOp
Medical cannabis may be legal in the U.K… But it’s near impossible to access for patients in need. Only a handful have managed to snag cannabis prescriptions. But even with a prescription in hand, patients have no means of obtaining the drug. One two-year-old patient who got a prescription found that no pharmacies were willing to stock it or import the drug for her. Those who can afford it have gone the private route, seeking to import the medication for thousands of pounds. Even getting it through the private sector takes eight to 10 weeks due to the bureaucratic red tape involved with importation. Wired
MS patient gets car impounded, despite not being impaired. A 38-year-old medical cannabis patient in Halifax, Canada, had her driver’s license revoked and car impounded after testing positive for THC. Despite having balance and speech issues related to her MS, the woman passed an extensive sobriety test conducted by a drug recognition expert. “Although Gray was found to not be impaired, she lost her license for a week and had to pay $150 to have it reinstated and reprinted. She also had to pay $250 to get her car back, and she missed four days of work because she doesn’t live on a bus route and couldn’t get to work without her vehicle.” Vice
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The studies say… Yale researchers have identified a gene responsible for cannabis-related aggression. Aggression, you say? “It’s hard for people to believe that cannabis can make you more aggressive,” said a psychiatry professor and lead researcher on the study. But the research shows how the experience of cannabis can vary widely between individuals — and how this variation has a genetic basis. Yale Scientific A look at the research that suggests that cannabis can be a useful “exit drug.” Various studies found that cannabis can help people stop using opioids, benzodiazepines, tobacco, and alcohol. Filter
Today in cannabis business news… Green Thumb Industries acquires Beboe, a luxury cannabis brand in California. Forbes Standards organization ASTM International developed two categories of guidelines for the cannabis industry — one for packaging and labelling, and another for waste disposal. Marijuana Business Daily 4Front Advisors won $8.7 million in arbitration with Nevada-based CWNevada and NuVeda for breach of contract and failure to pay fees. Marijuana Business Daily
Cannabis in Canada. Canada’s cannabis stocks were lower Wednesday after Aphria rejected a takeover bid by Green Growth Brands. MarketWatch Cannabis penny stocks in Canada aren’t doing well. Bloomberg Prospective workers in Ontario’s cannabis dispensaries will be required to take four hours of online training. The Star Bank of Nova Scotia lowered its forecast of cannabis sales due to “temporary logistics issues.” BNN Bloomberg
Cannabis growth hits mining sector. Investor interest in the cannabis industry is siphoning capital away from the mining field. Miners operating in Africa have been hit the hardest. As miners turn private equity, they’re also forced “to up their game and potentially [improve] the quality of projects.” “We should be embarrassed that somebody is prepared to make a choice between [cannabis and mining],” said the CEO of one of the world’s largest gold companies. “[Mining] is just so fundamentally material to our everyday lives, whereas I can’t say the same of cannabis.” Reuters
What researchers learned about microdosing. A study on microdosing psychedelics out of Australia found some benefits in the practice, including positive boosts in mood, focus, and creativity. The researchers followed 98 microdosers over a six-week period. At the end of the period, subjects reported lower levels of depression and stress. However, subjects also reported a small increase in neuroticism. Some of the participants had such an unpleasant experience that they microdosed just once or twice before stopping altogether. “There are promising indications of possible benefits of microdosing here, but also indications of some potential negative impacts, which should be taken seriously.” The Conversation
Word on the States
- In California, 54 percent of voters think marijuana legalization has been good for the state.
- In Massachusetts, behind the Boston bill to mandate minority inclusion in the cannabis industry.
- In Michigan, another nine medical marijuana products are being recalled by state regulators. A lawmaker proposes marijuana warning labels for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
- In Florida, advocates are unhappy that the state’s first pot czar is from out of state and has limited experience in cannabis. How a bill to expand the medical marijuana program could end up hurting it.
- In Vermont, momentum to tax and regulate marijuana grows in the House (but the governor remains opposed).
- In New Jersey, is Dr. Marijuana a pioneer or did he exploit patients to make millions?
- In Pennsylvania, a look at the prospects for legalization in the legislature.
- In Connecticut, Senate Democrats are pushing for marijuana legalization. Students talk about UConn’s cannabis horticulture class.
- In Ohio, the first medical marijuana dispensary in the Cleveland area opened for business on Wednesday.
- In Maryland, lawmakers introduced marijuana legalization bills.
- In Arkansas, medical marijuana cards will take effect Feb. 15. A small town hopes a medical marijuana facility will help revitalize the town’s economy.
- In Rhode Island, regulators are considering adding opioid addiction to the medical marijuana program.
- In Kansas, a bill to legalize medical marijuana was proposed in the House on Wednesday.
- In Georgia, a Senate subcommittee considers marijuana decriminalization.
- In Tennessee, sponsors of a medical marijuana bill are optimistic about its chances.
- In New York, state police unions are opposed to marijuana legalization. A group representing teachers is opposed, too.
- In Oklahoma, a senator proposes a bill to protect gun rights of medical marijuana patients.
Word for Word
“[Analyst Michael] Lavery predicts the legalization of cannabis and products with THC may come in the next two to five years. Even as some emerging U.S. brands such as MedMen Enterprises Inc., Lowell Herb Co., and Pax Labs Inc. appear to have early traction, the market is still highly fragmented. That leaves a big hole for Canadian operators like Canopy Growth Corp. and Tilray Inc. to enter if laws change.” – Sebastian Pellejero for Bloomberg
“So Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) has a whole suite of bills… But the STATES Act is a bipartisan bill that the president said he would sign into law if it hits his desk. Based on that, that’s why we’re focused on the STATES Act. Our intel is that the STATES Act is the one game-changing piece of legislation that we can pass into law in the next Congress. Look the STATES Act is not the entire loaf—but it’s 60 percent to 70 percent. It fundamentally ends the conflict between federal and state law and it opens the door to have the conversation move from ‘Should we do this?’ to ‘How should we do this?’ The ‘How should we do this?’ piece is full social equity.” – Head of the Cannabis Trade Federation Neal Levine, Leafly