CCMA Political greenBrief
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
“Even if the lab admits it made an error, there is no way to change those results. Labs are not perfect. Mistakes get made.”Bryce Berryessa, CEO Of Treehouse Dispensary & President Of La Vida Verde, On The Continued Efforts Of Testing In CA
“The federal government should not stand in the way of collaboration that can help people live better lives. This will be the first time that a cannabis reform bill will make it through the Judiciary Committee during Republican control of the Congress, ever.”Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) On The Medical Cannabis Research Act That Is Going Up For A Congressional Vote This Week
Many California Marijuana Products Failing Safety Tests (CA – Cannabis Testing)
ABC News (September 11, 2018) Nearly 20 percent of marijuana products in California have failed tests for potency and purity since the state started requiring the checks on July 1, a failure rate some in the industry say has more to do with unrealistic standards and technical glitches than protecting consumer safety. The testing has been especially tough on cannabis-infused cookies, candies and tinctures: About one-third have been blocked from store shelves. In much smaller numbers, testing companies licensed by the state are finding unacceptable levels of pesticides, solvents and bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella, according to data provided to The Associated Press by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control.
How ‘Thousands Of Pounds’ Of California Cannabis May Be Left Out Of The Legal Supply Chain (CA – Cannabis Testing)
Marijuana Business Daily (September 11, 2018) The regulatory whirlwind that swept through California’s marijuana industry since the newly regulated market launched in January continues to fan many companies’ anxieties – especially those smaller farmers that are more focused on cultivation than mainstream business savvy. In particular, the state requirement that all growers use licensed distributors as middlemen to get their product to market has resulted in a bottleneck in many rural marijuana farming areas, especially Trinity County, which is famously remote and therefore was a perfect stomping ground for illicit cannabis growers for decades. But now, that remoteness has become a liability instead of an advantage.
California Cannabis Tech Firm Treez Closes $11.5 Million Funding Round (CA – Cannabusiness)
Marijuana Business Daily (September 10, 2018) Treez, an ancillary cannabis tech company based in Oakland, California, raised $11.5 million to help fund its expansion. The company offers a point-of-sale software system that currently serves more than 100 MJ retailers. In a news release, Treez said Monday the $11.5 million represented an “oversubscribed” Series A funding. That brings to $15 million the amount of money the company has raised in total investments. The Series A round was led by Intrinsic Capital Partners, which invested $10 million. The rest of the round was topped off by investments from AFI Capital Partners and Welcan Capital.
Marijuana Bill Scheduled For Congressional Vote This Week (USA – Cannabis Legislation)
Forbes (September 10, 2018) The U.S. House panel that oversees federal drug enforcement is scheduled to vote this week on a bill to dramatically expand opportunities for research on the medical benefits of marijuana. Sponsored by Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and 40 bipartisan cosponsors, the Medical Cannabis Research Act would require that the federal government issue more licenses to grow marijuana to be used in scientific studies, among other changes. For the past half century, a farm at the University of Mississippi has been the sole legal source of cannabis for research. But scientists have often complained that it is difficult to obtain product from the facility and that it is often of low quality.
Even Republicans Are Telling Jeff Sessions He Needs To Stop Blocking Marijuana Research (USA – Cannabis Research)
Civilized (September 10, 2018) Ever since taking office Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resisted approving applications to increase the number of organizations growing marijuana for the federal government’s research into the drug. And now even Republicans are getting tired of it. Members from Congress sent two different letters to Sessions on August 31st demanding he approve new applications to grow marijuana for research purposes. In August 2016, Sessions announced a new Department of Justice policy to increase the number of institutions growing marijuana for research purposes. However in the two years since, Sessions and the DOJ have done nothing to approve any applications, leaving the research process in limbo.
Cannabis And Crypto: Equal Beneficiaries In The Fight To Hit The Mainstream (USA – Cannabis Industry)
Coin Telegraph (September 11, 2018) Cryptocurrency caught mainstream attention when the industry’s total market cap hit $600 billion at the end of last year. The highly anticipated cannabis industry in the United States is similarly being pushed into the spotlight by a “green rush” of investors flooding Wall Street, who expect the industry to be worth $75 billion by 2030. Aside from attracting high volumes of bold new investors, the cannabis and cryptocurrency industries in the U.S. also share some major issues: Both are high-risk, legally uncertain and have government regulators breathing down their neck. The potential uses of cryptocurrency and blockchain align with the demands of the developing cannabis market, and through a coordinated effort, the unexpected pair can propel themselves to legitimacy in the dynamic modern economy.
Feds Should Be ‘Banging The Drum The Loudest’ For Cannabis Industry Banking (USA – Cannabis Banking)
The National Law Journal (September 11, 2018) Federal prosecutors should be “banging the drum the loudest” to get banks more involved in the nascent cannabis industry, providing visibility and transparency that would help expose any illicit activity, said a former U.S. Justice Department lawyer who’d helped draft guidance for financial crimes related to state legalization of marijuana. The integration of marijuana businesses into the mainstream financial system would effectively deputize banks to help sniff out money laundering and other illegal activity within the industry, said John Vardaman, now the general counsel to Hypur, an Arizona-based electronic payments and banking compliance software company that helps financial institutions serve state-legal marijuana businesses.
Medical Cannabis Conditions Differ Among States (USA – State Laws)
Post Bulletin (September 10, 2018) Medical marijuana, also called medical cannabis, can be helpful in treating a variety of conditions. The specific disorders it can legally be used to treat vary from state to state. To date, it appears to be most effective for treating muscle spasms, chronic pain and nausea. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a form of medical cannabis to treat severe childhood epilepsy. There is no convincing evidence that cannabis used to treat medical conditions leads to cannabis dependence. Marijuana comes from the Cannabis plant. In its leaves and buds are substances called cannabinoids. The plant contains more than 100 cannabinoids.
Cannabis Stocks Are On Fire After A $220 Million M&A Deal (Canada – Cannabis Investments)
Quartz (September 10, 2018) Canadian weed producer Aurora Cannabis has gained a new foothold in South America by acquiring ICC Labs, another Canada-based company, which has a competitive advantage in the region. The deal, worth C$290 million ($220 million), has sent weed stocks soaring. The takeover is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Aurora, which has gobbled up at least 10 companies in the last two years in the rapidly consolidating industry. Aurora shares rose as much as 4.1%, and ICC added 5.6%. Vancouver-based ICC currently holds licenses to produce medical marijuana in Colombia, and an agreement to export cannabidiol, or CBD, products to Mexico. The company also has a more than 70% market share in Uruguay, which became the first country to fully legalize recreational cannabis in 2017.
4 Niche Marijuana Stocks With Massive Market Share (Canada – Cannabis Investments)
The Motley Fool (September 11, 2018) The big day is nearly here. In 36 days, the green flag will officially wave in Canada, opening licensed dispensaries’ doors to legal recreational marijuana sales. When the industry is fully operational, it could add up to $5 billion a year in sales, atop what it’s already generating from domestic medical weed sales and via exports. But moving forward, it’s probably going to be a lot harder for marijuana stock investors to make money. That’s because the time for promises has ended now that Wall Street will be looking for tangible results. This means pot stocks that offer competitive advantages might prove attractive to investors. Throughout the industry, there are four such niche pot stocks that bring massive market share potential to the table.
Jimmy Buffett Signs Licensing Deal With Medical Marijuana Firm (FL – Medicinal Cannabis)
My Palm Beach Post (September 11, 2018) Jimmy Buffett, the singer, entrepreneur and Palm Beach resident who urged Florida residents to legalize medical marijuana, is getting into the weed business himself. Buffett will license his Coral Reefer brand to Surterra Holdings Inc. for a line of cannabis products including vape pens, gel caps, edibles and lotions, the companies said Tuesday. Buffett is the second prominent Palm Beach County figure to go into business with Surterra, an Atlanta-based pot producer that operates 10 dispensaries in Florida. William “Beau” Wrigley said in August that he led a $65 million investment in Surterra and joined the company’s board.