John Boehner could make $20 million from the $3.4 billion Acreage-Canopy deal. Medical marijuana patients in Arizona are still getting arrested for extracts. A lumber company is suing a cannabis company over a tree logo. Also: Happy 4/20 from Word on the Tree! 🌳
John Boehner could make $20 million from Canopy deal. Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth finalized a $3.4 billion deal to acquire U.S. cannabis company Acreage Holdings — on the condition that the U.S. federal government legalizes marijuana. Canopy stock jumped 8 percent on the news. CNBC Former House speaker John Boehner, who serves as an advisor to Acreage, could make $20 million from the deal. “Boehner holds 625,000 units of an Acreage subsidiary, which would grant him a $1.66 million upfront payment and, if the deal completes, Canopy stock worth a further $17.3 million at Thursday’s trading price.” Boehner opposed marijuana legalization during his two decades in Congress. Financial Times 🔒 “The non-deal deal is structured to avoid” Canopy being de-listed from the Toronto and New York Stock Exchange. Axios Related: Meanwhile, Acreage announced it is acquiring Nevada cannabis company Deep Roots for $120 million. Marijuana Business Daily
Cannabis in Congress. U.S. rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) introduced a bill that would allow those living in federally subsidized housing to use medical marijuana without fearing eviction. Currently, landlords are able to evict cannabis consumers from public housing, even if they are complying with state medical marijuana laws. Marijuana Moment A House committee has compiled a series of reports from various panels on how they plan to tackle marijuana-related legislation (among other issues). Marijuana Moment Related: 65 percent of Americans think marijuana should be legal, according to a new poll. CBS News 35 percent of Americans are interested in trying recreational marijuana if it were legal, according to another poll. Ipsos
4/20 goes mainstream. As societal attitudes towards cannabis continue to shift, an increasing number of mainstream, non-cannabis brands are embracing 4/20 marketing. Carl’s Jr. is offering a CBD burger at its Denver location for the holiday. Other brands like Lyft and Ben & Jerry’s are continuing 4/20 promotions that they have offered in recent years. Ben & Jerry’s has been a longtime supporter of marijuana reform, and is using the holiday to raise awareness for criminal justice reforms in recent years. The Associated Press 4/20, the marijuana holiday, explained. Vox
Medical marijuana patient jailed for a vape pen. Despite a pending Arizona Supreme Court decision on whether cannabis extracts are legal under its medical marijuana law, patients are still getting arrested for possessing products that they’ve purchased from state-licensed dispensaries. Noah Blackwell, who has a conceal carry permit and a medical marijuana card, was arrested for possessing a vape pen in March and spent a day in jail. He was ordered to show up in court to face five felony charges — four of them drug charges. But then, two days before his court date, he was informed not to show up because the court was waiting for a decision in a marijuana extracts case in the state Supreme Court. Phoenix New Times
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National Cannabis Festival. Our editor will be talking marijuana and media at the National Cannabis Festival in Washington D.C. on 4/20. Come learn about how journalists and advocates educate the public and policymakers about cannabis: National Cannabis Festival
Lumber company sues weed company over tree logo. Idaho lumber company Boise Cascade is suing Massachusetts marijuana dispensary New England Treatment Access in federal court, alleging that cannabis business is infringing on its trademark. Both companies’ logos feature a tree graphic inside of a circle. While the lumber company’s tree has six branches and straight lines, the dispensary’s logo has four branches and curved lines. “Boise Cascade says the two logos are similar enough that they will cause confusion [and] harm Boise Cascade’s reputation.” The lumber company hopes to stop the marijuana dispensary from using the logo, along with seeking damages and attorney’s fees. Mass Live
Refined cannabis cooking. Say goodbye to the pot brownie. A new crop of cookbooks takes cannabis cooking to the next level, combining art, science, and craft. For those eager to make a “weed-infused yogurt-marinated lamb [or] kale salad with coconut bacon and a creamy cannabis cilantro dressing,” be prepared to put your chemistry and math skills to the task. A new era of cannabis cooking continues the tradition of infused food and drink dating back thousands of years. One forthcoming cookbook delves into research “that humans began cultivating the crop in the Mesolithic era.” Meanwhile, the Indian cannabis drink Bhang has been “referenced in scriptures dating to 1000 B.C.” The Washington Post
Where cannabis consumers can openly smoke in Mexico. The country may not have legalized adult-use marijuana yet, but there’s a bar in Tijuana where smoking weed “has been allowed for as long as anyone can remember.” Zacaz, located in the city’s red-light district, has been operating with a “general understanding among patrons that some kind of alliance with local police and/or cartels has been reached.” Here’s a look at how the cannabis community is readying for legalization as stoners in the city increasingly buy higher quality cannabis brought down from California. San Diego City Beat
Oregon still sells the cheapest weed. An ounce of high-quality cannabis in Oregon costs $210.75, according to a study from a substance treatment center. Last year, “prices for wholesale outdoor-grown Oregon cannabis hit an all-time low of $398 per pound.” Willamette Week To deal with the oversupply problem, lawmakers in the state are considering legislation that would eventually allow marijuana exports. But the bill would only allow Oregon to enter into import-export agreements “after the federal government indicates that it would tolerate cannabis crossing state borders.” Eugene Weekly
In cannabis business news… The CEO of cannabis company Green Thumb Industries who is also an heir to the Jim Beam Bourbon fortune believes the cannabis “gold rush” won’t stop anytime soon. CNBC The CEO of Acreage believes that the U.S. will legalize marijuana on the federal level “within the next 12 months, 18 months on the far side” thanks to the firm’s “strong political connectivity.” The Financial Times 🔒 “Cannabis is the new tech” for some investors and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. KNTV
Word on the States
- In Washington, a look at the prospects of marijuana bills in the legislature.
- In Vermont, the governor says he won’t sign a marijuana bill without a saliva testing option for motorists.
- In Oklahoma, the House approved two medical marijuana regulation bills, sending them to the Senate.
- In Montana, a new group is aiming to put marijuana legalization on the 2020 ballot.
- In Wisconsin, lawmakers and advocates renew a push to legalize marijuana in the state.
- In Arizona, marijuana growers fear hemp legalization could lead to cross-pollination.
- In Louisiana, 55 percent of residents support marijuana legalization, according to a new poll.
- In New York, where to celebrate 4/20 in NYC.
- In New Jersey, what 4/20 means with legalization on the horizon.
- In Arkansas, medical cannabis sales will begin in less than a month.
- In Ohio, a medical marijuana dispensary opens in Fremont.
- In Michigan, marijuana is still illegal in national forests. Where to find 4/20 events.
- In Texas, a House committee advanced a bill to expand the state’s medical marijuana program.
- In Florida, a House panel advanced a hemp regulation bill.
- In Guam, a look at who’s on the cannabis control board.
Word for Word
“[My wife] had a horseback riding accident and she’s had just terrible back pain and she never would go on opioids for well-documented reasons. When (medical marijuana) came to Pennsylvania, it was a godsend for her. She would have days when we first married when she would seize up and we’d have to wheel her to a chiropractor just to get her comfortable. Cannabis has allowed that pain to remain in the background. It’s been wonderful for her.” – Pennsylvania lieutenant governor John Fetterman, Marijuana Business Daily
“[Ruth Wilson] Gilmore has come to understand that there are certain narratives people cling to that are not only false but that allow for policy positions aimed at minor or misdirected — rather than fundamental and meaningful — reforms. Gilmore takes apart these narratives: that a significant number of people are in prison for nonviolent drug convictions; that prison is a modified continuation of slavery, and, by extension, that most everyone in prison is black; and, as she explained in Chicago, that corporate profit motive is the primary engine of incarceration. For Gilmore, and for a growing number of scholars and activists, the idea that prisons are filled with nonviolent offenders is particularly problematic.” – Rachel Kushner for The New York Times Magazine