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 CuraLeaf Pays $100Mil SELECT Settlement           Open in your own browser 
Vol. 8, No. 40 --  Oct. 29,  2022 - Edited by Dr. Lloyd Covens
PROTEST DEMANDS BIDEN KEEP PRISONER RELEASE PROMISE--  More than 200 students and MJ activists gathered at the White House, Oct. 25,  hearing from former prisoners and family victims, then heading across Lafayette Park to continue speeches and take over a portion of 17th St(photo, above right.).  Top right: Arrest form from Michigan resident Sara Noon(SSDP student member from Columbia, SC), the sole arrest charged with unlawful entry onto White House grounds.  Rather than arrest other protesters, the U.S. Secret Service closed (and re-routed) traffic and allowed the protest to go on another two hours. Above:  Last Prisoner Project founder Steve DeAngelo  said another 2800 federal prisoners remain incarcerated, calling on President Biden to release atleast 420 of them by Christmas.  DeAngelo told "West420 News' that Biden's pardons were "just a fig leaf"-- claiming keeping non-violent MJ offenders in jail, while giving the impression of cannabis clemency.  Another 40,000 local and state prisoners are not affected the Biden decree.  Below right: DCMJ lays down its 50-foot "joint" across 17th St at the Executive Office building.  On Oct. 28, DCMJ activists held a "smoke-out" at the Russian embassy to protest the continued imprisonment of WNBA star Brittney Griner.  See video of protest at:  https://www.facebook.com/dcmj2014/videos/856206959084002
SSDP president Jason Ortiz also disagreed with Biden's exceptions to the "clemency" order noting:  "  if you were convicted of possessing marijuana and cocaine in a single offense, you do not qualify for pardon under the terms of President Biden’s proclamation,” also noting the policy will not free foreigners or green-card holders. 
       While running for president in 2020, during a national debate Biden promised that, if elected, he would “decriminalize cannabis use and automatically expunge prior convictions... no exceptions, everybody gets out.”

Tough FDA Veteran Woodcock May Block Re-Sked "Pathway"
Having survived countless attacks on her judgement during her 37-year tenure at the FDA, Dr Janet Woodcock failed last year to be named FDA commissioner, and now finds herself at the helm of all cannabis-regulatory oversight at the agency.

"We intend to work extensively with stakeholders" in gathering relevant data on THC formats, dosing,  testing protocols, side effects and symptom relief, which may take some additional years even as the Biden administration called for "expeditious" review of THC/CBD placement on schedule 1.  Woodcock told a Oct 27 CFCR seminar that her agency working along with National Institute of Drug Abuse(NIDA) will first need to complete it's "8-Factor Test", then send its recommendation on safety/efficacy to the DEA.  
         Repeating FDA's non-stop call for cannabis/THC safety data, Woodcock failed to acknowledge that clinical research for cannabis under a schedule 1 designation is very difficult for researchers.  Congress is considering a standalone research bill to get around the thorny schedule 1 issues.    Among the health issues still needing close examination by her group will include:

   
The Oct 27 webinar also heard from Dr. Steven Courneyer -- head of the FDA’s Cannabis Product Committee (CPC),  Without citing any time-line, Courneyer also set a "from square-one" tone on getting FDA review moving on rescheduling potential.    Industry leaders seemed generally disappointed that the Biden Directive may be substantially slowed with current FDA staff, addinig that an appeal to FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Calif-- and perhaps to Health and Human Services secretary Xavier Becerra may be needed for quicker review.

       Liberal groups have jumped into the fray as well, decrying Woodcock as an industry-friendly regulator amid a broader campaign for Biden to nominate an FDA chief who would put far more distance between the agency and the drugmakers that it oversees.     “We basically have regulatory capture at the agency, which has corrupted and undermined the decision-making process,” said Michael Carome, director of the health research group at Public Citizen, who sparred with Woodcock last year over the agency’s support of an Alzheimer’s drug that was near-unanimously rejected by an expert panel. “She’s a bad choice.”

         Woodcock also played a central role in the 2016 approval of a muscular dystrophy medicine from Sarepta despite thin data and objections from drug reviewers like Ellis Unger, who filed a formal complaint against her. Even Woodcock’s broad-based support within the scientific research community has come under scrutiny of late, with critics pointing to the drug industry funding underpinning boosters like the influential Friends of Cancer Research.  Woodcock, who has pushed the FDA to consider the drug industry a partner and not an adversary, came under intense criticism for her role in allowing Oxycontin (first in 1995) to gain greater medical acceptance as Woodcock's FDA  played a critical role "by overseeing continuous approvals of stronger and more addictive opioids and failure to see contain consumer deaths as the Sackler family's Perdue Pharma flooded the U.S. with millions of doses with little constraint.   

       In a letter to the administration, 28 groups accused Dr Janet Woodcock of presiding over “one of the worst regulatory agency failures in US history” as head of the FDA department responsible for approving new prescription opioids, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). Speaking last year at an event installing new FDA head Calif, she said “The projection of the harms and the projection of the behaviors was way off,” said Woodcock, saying the FDA’s harm and risk analysis of new drugs can be “difficult to predict” .

“In its opioid decision-making, Dr. Woodcock, and the division she supervised, consistently put the interests of opioid manufacturers ahead of public health, often overruling its own scientific advisors and ignoring the pleas of public health groups, state Attorneys General, and outraged victims of the opioid crisis,” the letter said.

Below -- Oct. 27 FDA Webinar panelists with (top) Woodcock, below CFCR's Sarah Clark, FDA's Patrick Cournoyer, and CFCR co-founder Sheri Ostrowitz.  Pathways chart below.

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CANNABIS News Briefs....
            Hoping to jump-start its' position in the U.S. legalized market, Canada's Canopy Growth Corp. over the past 5years has spend $800Mil.  to pay for options-to-buy WANA Brands, Acreage Holdings and Jetty Extracts.  This week, the company formed "Canopy USA" and proposed that those assets be allowed to organize a holding company which transfers these assets ahead of any other U.S. moves-- but NASDAQ objected, saying the proposed combo would face security concerns.  As majority owner, Constellation Brands (Corona/Svedka) has watched its' Canopy Growth pile up millions in losses and new debt--with the company's revenue shortfall from Canadian RMJ sales(which it is leaving) and spotty global demand---analysts have worried about the short term prospects.  TerrAscend, a U.S. and Canadian multi-state operator also has a major stake owner by Canopy Growth, however, moving its assets to the proposed new holding company is not yet planned.    Under the proposal, CSC would have created non-voting (exchangeable) Canopy USA shares--but NASDAQ has said accounting rules make the new combo "impermissible."  CSC may risk being de-listed at NASDAQ if the new plan proceeds.

       
       A Virginia mother faces a felony murder charge in connection with her 4-year olds' death following consumption of "a large quantity" of delta-8 gummies. Tanner died last May after two days in the hospital, but mother Dorothy Annette Clemens said she initially called poison control line, and said she was told he would be fine.  Some media reports cited cause of death at THC overdose, failing to make any distinction between delta 9 or delta 8.
 Spotsylvania (VA)prosecutors agreed that the poisoning death was accidental, however Clemens also told local media that the death may have been related to a heart condition which her son suffered.   ---  Industry commenter Brett Puffenbarger wrote on Linked-In opposing the " continued allowance of and production of these potentially dangerous compounds being sold under the banner of cannabis.  THC-O, HHC, D8, D10, D11, etc... They aren't natural. They aren't normal. They aren't the same as cannabis,"  reasoned Puffenbarger, noting regulated cannabis licensees have pointed to serious concerns about impurities caused in the delta-8/CBD process.  Added Puffenbarger, "the producers of these products are clearly and willfully putting their profits over the health and safety of consumers. This is (nearly) equally their fault as it is the fault of the mother." 


Link-of-the-Week--  Much more from this week's Oct 27th  FDA webinar (hosted by Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation) with Dr. Janet Woodcock (now the senior FDA agency bureaucrat over MJ/hemp) along with her Cannabis Products committee chiif scientist Dr. Patrick Courneyer.  See their 47-page presentation deck at:  FDA_slides_10.27-CFCR.pdf
 
Massachusetts-based cannabis giant Curaleaf has agreed to an $100,000 settlement in a class-action lawsuit over a manufacturing mistake from last year, in which the company sold CBD wellness drops in Oregon that actually contained THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.  Oregon Live reports "As many as 500 consumers will receive payments between $150 and $200 for the faults they suffered as a result of taking THC"...Some of the consumers suffered severe reactions, including while driving, after unknowingly ingesting the THC," Oregon Live reported.  CuraLeaf said an "unintentional human error" caused SELECT workers to switch high-potency THC drops into CBD bottles sold as non-THC containing.  In a separate lawsuit against CuraLeaf, the Oregon seller of SELECT is claiming damages of nearly $1Bill., alleging CuraLeaf executives lied to him about the value of his sales transaction.

Leave some for the rest of us:    SnoopDog is a famous cannabis consumer-- but what of 150 joints a day.  Renagade PerRana told an Australian radio program that she rolls about half a pound a day, adding Snoop never goes anywhere without a blunt in hand.  PerRanna said getting the job of Snoop's joint roller was very competitive, with two other finalists.  Consumption may be growing for the pot icon who told a 2013 Twitter Q&A that he smoked about 80 joints a day.  Since her hiring, PerRanna estimates she has rolled more than 450,000 doobies for Snoop.


Copyright ©   West420 NewsWeekly is targeted to adults 21-plus and is not a solicitation for any cannabis product or derivative.   We appreciate your comments via email to "[email protected]"  Or  use QR above  for 4-free issues. 
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MJ BizCon Expects 35K                                       Open in Your Browser for Images
HHS To Review CSA Sked-1;

AG To Run Record-Cleaning

       After years of MJ advocacy calling for a sane approach to cannabis CSA scheduling--and the equally vexing issue of low-level MJ criminal records-- history was made  Oct. 6, 2022 -- as President Joe Biden said he will direct the attorney general and the department of Health and Human Services(HHS)  to review U.S. enforcement policy.   Above, the president and his appointed HHS secretary Xavier Becerra(formerly California's pro-MJ attorney general) enjoy a laugh, but the HHS will seriously tasked "to initiate the administrative process to review expeditiously how marijuana is scheduled under federal law."  As the leading state's attorney for California, Democrat Becerra  criticized former AG Jeff Sessions' 2017 removal of the Cole Memo as DOJ guidance--and Becerra joined a suit against the town of Santa Cruz which tried to ban in-bound cannabis deliveries.

   "As I often said during my campaign for president, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana," Biden said, adding "Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit."  Less than 7000 federal offenders are estimated to be in prison over cannabis charges-- but Last Prisoner Project thinks as many as 34,000  same-class offenders are in state and local jails.   Biden said he hopes the Department of Justice will help local states with stream-lining expungement processes like issuing certificates of pardon--as well as informing MJ prisoners and past offenders on how to begin expungements.

“The Justice Department will expeditiously administer the President’s proclamation, which pardons individuals who engaged in simple possession of marijuana, restoring political, civil, and other rights to those convicted of that offense," said a DOJ statement,  "Justice Department officials will work with our colleagues at the Department of Health and Human Services as they launch a scientific review of how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.”   The full statement is found here:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/10/06/statement-from-president-biden-on-marijuana-reform

        While it is not known how long the scheduling review may take, it can be expected to be principally carried out by the Food & Drug Administration (under HHS) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (under the DOJ).    Some experts believe a change to schedule 2, or even off the CSA, can be done administratively by those two agencies,  while others claim a CSA change must be done through Congressional action.

          Since 1965, nearly 29 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana-related violations — for activities that the majority of voters no longer believe ought to be a crime," said NORML's executive director Erik Altieri.  “Moving forward, the Administration must work collaboratively with Congressional leadership to repeal America’s failed marijuana criminalization laws. Nearly half of voters now agree that legalizing marijuana ought to be a priority for Congress, and such action can only be taken by descheduling cannabis and repealing it from the US CSA," added Altieri. 

“We applaud President Biden’s bold move to wipe the slate clean for our fellow Americans who had been convicted on non-violent marijuana possession charges,” stated Jonathan Miller, General Counsel of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. “We urge Congress to follow that example and pass legislation within the 2023 Farm Bill to repeal the current drug felon ban on hemp farming. We believe that if you have paid your time, you should be able to grow a perfectly legal crop.” 

        After 11 years as a leading industry witness,  
Chris Walsh,CEO of MJBiz and MJBizCon noted “This is as strong an indication as we’ve seen from a federal perspective that we might finally be on the cusp of major reform – which could ultimately lead to immense positive change for cannabis businesses.”


           Last Prisoner Project digs into the details on the "most glaring issue centers around 'who' they define as a cannabis prisoner. Reports only speak to the number of people held in long-term confinement in state and federal facilities. They do not account for the following categories of people.
  • people incarcerated in local and county jails (a significant number, given that there were 545,602 arrests for cannabis in 2019).
  • individuals currently incarcerated in our country's (1,700+) juvenile correctional facilities, Indian county jails, immigration detention centers, etc.;
  • individuals incarcerated pre-trial and pre-sentencing;
  • individuals that have cannabis offenses treated as secondary offense;
  • individuals incarcerated in jurisdictions that don’t report their statistics to the national database (in 2021, nearly 40% of local law enforcement agencies failed to report their arrest numbers to the FBI).
  • and individuals on supervised release who have been re-incarcerated due to a marijuana-related technical parole/probation violation."
Nothing in the Biden proclamation or directive to Justice or HHS will change any cannabis laws which now are in place to fight underage consumption, change illegality of trafficking and diversion, nor will it allow cannabis marketing.  However, with the Biden change to be more open to MJ policy review, several SAFE banking act advocates feel the President will now be more open to signing that bill if it can emerge from the Senate later this year during the lame duck session.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Below:  Pennsylvania senatorial candidate John Fetterman is endorsed by Vermont senator Bernie Sanders -- two of the nation's strongest proponents for full, national cannabis legalization(decriminalization) as well as pushing for policies which will control the level of consolidation in the MJ sector-- as well as controlling future potential for pharmaceutical takeover.
More W420 Coverage on Biden Proclamation Next Monday
Year 11 -- MJ BIZ CON-- Nov. 14-18--  Las Vegas Convention Cntr 

MJBizCon’s agenda is carefully curated to deliver value for businesses and enterprises at all stages: from education to development to launch and growth and expansion. The Main Stage will feature a diverse lineup of both cannabis industry leaders and successful mainstream executives providing exclusive insights:
  • A one-on-one on-stage interview with Cookies Co-founder and CEO Berner. Berner has mastered branding and global expansion in the cannabis industry. He’ll shed light on how he has carved a sizable presence in the market and jumped many hurdles in both life and business.
  • Rhonda Kallman is a trailblazer in the alcoholic beverage industry. Kallman founded the Boston Beer Company (producers of Sam Adams) and now runs Boston Harbor Distillery. She will provide insight from decades of business, branding and marketing expertise from an industry with many parallels to cannabis.
  • A ‘Power Panel’ featuring cannabis business leaders Nancy Whiteman (Co-founder and CEO, Wana Brands), Ruben Lindo (Founder, Blak Mar Farms, LLC), Troy Datcher (CEO, The Parent Company), Toi Hutchison (President and CEO, Marijuana Policy Project) and Peter Caldini (CEO, Acreage Holdings) will address current cannabis challenges, trends, and opportunities.
  • SIX pre-show forums start on Tuesday, November 15 at the Westgate Las Vegas Hotel (next to the Convention Center): MJBizFinance Forum, MJBiz Hemp + CBD Forum, MJBiz Marketing Forum, MJBiz Science Symposium, reMind Psychedelics Business Forum, and Associations Day. (Ticketing for these sessions are each sold separately.)
 
The new expo-floor spans two floors of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall. Divided into industry sectors including: cultivation, processing, packaging & lab services, business services and retail/dispensary, exhibitors showcase new tech solutions, supplier offerings, and processing equipment.
Register at: 
https://mjbizconference.com/registration-packages-pricing/
 
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BELOW:  A replay of the NCIA webinar on upcoming 
RMJ/MMJ reform votes coming Nov. 8th --
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkUYvj3dKeQ
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CLIO NCIA Awards Next Week                                         Open in Your Browser for Images
National student action for MJ justice Oct. 24th -- Thousands of college students protest above for climate change action--but next month Students for Sensible Drug Policy(SSDP) will lead a national effort to focus on Biden Administration promises to organize its 300-plus college campus branches for pre-election protests.  Joining with advocates Last Prisoner Project, the SSDP says it will call for national "civil disobedience" demonstrations calling for Biden to "keep promises he made during the 2020 election-- especially from releasing thousands serving federal time for minor MJ offenses.  LPP and SSDP will center their Oct. 24 efforts from Washington, noting all activities will be peaceful. For more information:  https://ssdp.org/blog/ssdp-and-last-prisoner-project/

     NORML and HEADCOUNT are ready to move MJ-supporting voters to the polls with their new registration tools, ways to confirm local registration, and a comprehensive voter guide showing local, state and federal candidate MJ positions in all 50 states.  See and share these resources by clicking below.
Live Expos & Confabs for Next Month
CLIO CANNABIS AWARDS --THU.  SEPT. 29-- MGM Grand -6pm

           To reflect the combined values of NCIA, the Marketing & Advertising Committee, and the Clios Cannabis, the judging criteria are distinct from other awards: Community Impact: How did your campaign bring your community together? How did it highlight the best of the cannabis community to others? Did it support an advocacy campaign such as DEI, or sustainability?
Creativity: How creative was your overall 420 campaign? 

 

Cannabis Brand of the Year
Cannabis Advertising Agency of the Year 
HEADCOUNT: Cannabis Voter Initiative
and Special Recognition to BERNER, Founder, Cookies
Register for the MJ Awards gathering of the fall at: 
https://mjunpackedregister.com/clio-start.cgi

Free & Expert OnLine Webinars
COLORADO WORKING GROUP MONTHLY OPEN MEETING:
STANDARDS FOR INTOXICATING CANNABINOIDS
OCTOBER 5, 2022--  ZOOM MTG 875 3137 9903
Cannabis Artist/Advocate Chris Wilson Paints His Post Prison Hope- 
- Legal States Push Down "Street Sales"--
Oaksterdam's "American Pot Story" 
See the inspiring story of Chris Wilson, interviewed by House of Puff's  Christina Lopez at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcUfc4CObxA&t=2s
Above:  The first study of the impact of cities OPTING-OUT:   Leafley's  Bruce Barcott, the report’s lead author notes. “Fears surrounding local cannabis stores may prompt elected officials to prohibit cannabis companies in their towns. But adults in every community already purchase and enjoy cannabis, legal or not. The cities and counties that skip out on cannabis are essentially voting to keep their local illegal marijuana markets in business.”

“Access and taxes, those are the keys to customer migration to the legal market,” said co-author Beau Whitney,  of Portland's Whitney Economics. “And right now we’re seeing illegal cannabis sales propped up by opt-out cities and counties.”

        In addition to unintentionally supporting their town’s illegal marijuana dealers, the report found that when local leaders opt out, they also:

  • Indirectly encourage adult consumers to purchase illegal products 
  • Put public health at risk by allowing the circulation of untested products 
  • Sustain illegal sales to local teens 
  • Turn away local jobs and tax revenue 
Get the free 20-page report at:
https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/leafly-report-opt-out-towns-are-encouraging-illegal-marijuana-sales
 "AMERICAN POT STORY"-- a documentary about OAKSTERDAM University(co-founder Dale Sky Jones above) and OAKLAND's years-long fight for cannabis access.    Opening at the Fox Theatre, Sept 24, the documentary from Dan Katzir and Ravit Markus will be available for viewing online in early October.  See the preview at: https://vimeo.com/731225848
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Full Chicago Benzinga Session Replay                                  Open in Your Browser for Images
"SHOW ME STATE VOTE"-- Missouri Readies for RMJ Vote, Nov. 8th.  For the fall election, the chance for Maryland to become RMJ state 21 is trending YES.   But the fight for Missouri (St Louis' Arc above) promises to be a much closer race- as opponents have said they will launch an aggressive anti-Amendment 3 campaign.    Opponents went to the Missouri Supreme Court challenging petition numbers, but the court upheld the ballot measure.   With a low statewide sales tax of 6%, Amendment 3 will allow home grow (up to 18 plants), possession of 3 ounces, and will add 144 new RMJ licenses on top of its current medical program.
Retiring congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) has seen his SAFE Banking Act pass the House seven times, and now hopes to have a Senate vote on an expanded bill by year end.  Above, Perlmutter(right) was given a "Lifetime Legislator Award" on Sept. 14 at the NCIA's 10th Lobby Days gathering in DC.  Presenting the a award, are NCIA Washington office staffers (from left) Madeline Grant, Michelle Rutter and government affairs sr. v.p. Michael Correa.  Speakers expect the current SAFE act to be expanded with expungement funding for states,  veterans access, impaired driving parameters, loans and grants to targeted "impacted groups" and greater access to a variety of cannabis formats for research.  View the NCIA press event with SAFE co-sponsor Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) at:  https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2178679478979502

Upcoming OnLine Webinars
Live Expos & Confabs for Next Month
Chicago is Ground Zero For Benzinga Confab -- "Cautious Optimism" from MSOs, Analyst Crystal Ball-
- Natl Hispanic Cannabis' Heritage Month-
Key CEOs and Investors Gather in Chicago- Panelists and MSO CEOs pointed to tight capital and rising cost of borrowing-- but most agreed the big MSOs are most likely to survive further economic turmoil-- especially as debt restructuring in 2023 kicks in.  Above, the financial panel (from left) Owen Bennett (Jeffries), Vivien Azer (COWEN), Erin Gray (AGP), Paulo Zuanic (Cantor Fitzgerald) and moderator David Feldman(Skip Intro).  Curaleaf chairman Boris Jordan said many 2023 debt restructurings will put financial pressure on "second and third tier MSOs" who he guesses will have single digit EBITDAs, potentially not producing free cash flow to cover debt obligations. View day one (Sept. 13) and 7 hours of content at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWHFI1OQM_s

Below:  "How Brands Scale Outside the MSO Structure," with experts (from left) Madison Fiore (Matteo-Fiore), Erin Gore (Garden Society),  Luke Anderson (CANN), Nancy Whiteman (Wana Brands) and moderator Cy Scott (Headset).  Day two sessions are found at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx26rlbfNDU
A full Chicago/Benzinga schedule of all sessions and keynotes are at :
https://www.benzinga.com/events/cannabis-conference/agenda/
HISPANIC HERITAGE PROFILES FROM NHCC --  For Hispanic Heritage Month the NHCC is featuring 4 real cannabis entrepreneurs making a difference, and they are all women! For the next four weeks, NHCC shares a new video interview of their journey into cannabis.  First of 4 profiles of key Latino-ownned cannabis firms.  Above is Sue Carlton of Ranchera Familia.  See the short profile at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYtDUcROXa4
 
BELOW:  "AMERICAN POT STORY"-- a documentary about OAKSTERDAM University and OAKLAND's years-long fight for cannabis freedom.    Opening at Oakland's Fox Theatre, Sept 24, the documentary from Dan Katzir and Ravit Markus will be available for viewing online in early October.  See the preview at: https://vimeo.com/731225848
DOES THIS CANNA-PLANNA PROVIDE YOU SOME ESSENTIAL DATA?
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Founded in 2014, West420 NewsWeekly is published for the
B2B adult-use and medical community, and not an offer or 
solicitation for any cannabis product.

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Northeast Jersey & NY Events                                                                   Open in Your Browser for Images
"HighTide99" Malibu's VIP Customer-- Earlier in August, Melissa Cohen (bottom left in photo above) entered the HighTide99 dispensary with a Secret Service escort in tow.  Normally not a big news event,  except this South African film-maker is also the wife of "First Son" Hunter Biden.  Cohen's affinity for cannabis products won't seem to budge her father-in-law, President Joe Biden, who remains cool to the idea of federal MJ legalization.  Meanwhile, Melissa and Hunter enjoy the spectacular life in their  3000-square-foot, $20,000 per month Malibu home rental.   Below: High Tide budtenders help clean up the beach.

Upcoming Key OnLine Webinars
Live Expos & Confabs for September
Benzinga Speakers in Chicago will hear from leading MJ CEOs including: Boris Jordan (CuraLeaf), Kim Rivers (TruLieve), Brett Novey (PharmaCann), Charlie Bachtell (Cresco Labs/Columbia Care), Peter Caldini (Acreage Holdings), Gary Santo, TILT, Robert Firestone (MariMed), Paul Smithers (LLPR) and GTI board member Wendy Berger.  Boxing champ and MJ edible marketer Mike Tyson presents, along with House Reps. David Joyce(R-OH) and Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA). A Sept. 12th Awards Dinner will showcase industry execs and leading MJ innovations. Complete agenda at:  https://www.benzinga.com/events/cannabis-conference/agenda/
 Nashville SHE Gathers-- Webinars & Replay of Social Equity Panel
Hemp Sector Gathers In Nashville --  Calls for greater fiber and non-CBD  hemp development was echoed at the 4th Southeast Hemp Expo (exhibit hall above), Aug 18-20.    Speakers shared their hopes for next year's Congressional debate on the 2023 Farm Bill,  with a push for 1% THC-limit (up from 0.3%) and other farmer-friendly hemp policies from the US Dept of Agriculture. 
 
Below:  A replay of a key report suggesting upgrades to the SAFE Banking act moderator Maritza Perez(Drug Policy Alliance) and white paper co-writers/panelists:
Cat Packer(past LA Mj regulator and Ohio State U fellow);  Rafi Aliya Crockett(Washington MJ Commissioner); Dasheeda Dawson ( Portland's Cannabis Program Mgr.) and  Shaleen Title (former Mass regulator and CEO, Parabola).  Read the paper at:
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4188072
View the Webinar replay at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnLatBPdtG0
Above-Below:  SUMMER'S TOPPER AT BURNING MAN -- One of the counter-culture annual rite of passage.  Years ago, this Nevada desert gathering of 30,000-plus drew attention to issues of cannabis freedom.  Now, after bering cancelled by COVID, the mass event returns August 31 to Sept. 5th, when the man burns on Labor Day eve.  Get full details:   
https://burningman.org/event/preparation/faq/#General_Information
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Founded in 2014, West420 NewsWeekly is published for the
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Replay: Advent of Web3 for Cannabis                  Open in Your Browser for Images
Medical MJ Champion Newton-John Passes--
John Easterling (above left) helped grow special "little strains" for wife and superstar Olivia Newton-John, who succumbed to her 20- fight with cancer on Aug. 7th at her Santa Barbera(CA) ranch.  "Patients should have a right to try," said Newton-John, who first disclosed her medical MJ treatments in 2018.  As  founder of an MMJ Clinic in Melbourne(Australia), Newton-John appeared on many global media  (including the documentary above) raising the awareness of medical cannabis efficacy.  

This plant is a healing plant. I think we need to change the vision of what it is because it helped me greatly and it helps with pain and inflammation.” said the Grammy winner.   “I’m totally off painkillers, I’m totally off morphine, and I attribute that to the cannabis because it was able to take over with the pain,” she told You Magazine in March 2021.

Newton-John, helping to produce the documentary shown above, said  "it's been a total blessing... its a matter of common senses and the compassionates thing to do for people."  Watch the 7min. segment from Australia's TODAY show at   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AFgI1Giqws
Upcoming Live Expos & Conference
This August and September
Paris Hotel -- Aug. 23-25, 2022

       Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Conference, in collaboration with FOHSE – Future of Horticultural Science + Engineering, will honor five inspiring cannabis industry professionals through their Cannabis Leadership Awards, for their contribution towards the cannabis industry.

Over 50 imminent cannabis entrepreneurs and industry veterans who will offer invaluable insights into the cannabis space. The event will showcase a track dedicated to the cultivation and sale of hemp and hemp-derived products, as well as cannabis cultivation and related business operations. 

 Major August-Sept. Online 
 Big MSOs Report Results-- Industry Slowdown Examined --W3 & W33d
 New CURALEAF CEO Matt Darin(above) tells YahooFinance "there has never been more bi-partisan support" for sensible MJ reforms in DC.  In the past 3 months, Darin hired four key executives (strategy, finance, HR and global)  and noted the April 20th start of legal sales in New Jersey has been a game-changer.  As the number one MSO, CURALEAF's chairman Boris Jordan revealed the company's EMMAC European firm (as well as a new acquisition of a major German drug chain) would be ready when Germany commences adult-use sales in 2024.  Hear the Aug. 8th second-quarter earnings report replay at calling 877-344-7529 with Conference ID: 7759736 and replay ID # 4470743.  And here Darin's short interview with Yahoo at https://news.yahoo.com/cannabis-reform-never-more-bipartisan-154311158.html

Also reporting (Aug. 10) was TRULIEVE's 2nd quarter results reporting revenues rose 49% over the past year ($320.3Mil)-- but revenues were flat sequentially from first quarter. With some 165 retail stores (as MSO number 2) Trulieve posted a $22.5Mil loss, while wholesale and licensing fell 22% in the 2Q.  Hear CEO Kim Rivers at the archived replay (and the powerpoint deck) at https://investors.trulieve,com/events-presentations
Chart Above:  HEADSET ANALYZES MJ SLOWDOWN... 
         After massive sales gains during COVID(as MJ stores were "essential")--  2021-22's slower sales, new competition, and consumers reducing purchasing, HeadSet predicts that MJ western U.S. sales should normalize over the rest of 2022.  Key Takeways:
  • Consumer behavior re-adjusted once again as the pressures of the pandemic rescinded from day-to-day life. This resulted in a softening of cannabis demand in mature US markets and negative year over year sales growth.
  • The market is correcting to a pre-COVID growth rates, and sales should stabilize soon.
  • The good news is that long term trends still demonstrate growth across all cannabis markets, both legacy and emerging.
  • Colorado’s market has faced some of the greatest pressure in recent months. Sales declines in this state are being caused by both increased competition, lowering prices, and a slight decline in consumer engagement.   See the full free report at:   https://bit.ly/3BZImWX
 
Below Expert Replay Panel:

Web3 and W33D Replay
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSiqdb6kAw0
SIX MONTHS SINCE BRITTNEY GRINER'S RUSSIAN ARREST FOR TWO CANNABIS VAPE PENS (medically approved in Arizona) IS OUTRAGEOUS.  LET YOUR SENATOR KNOW YOUR CONCERN-- AND ASK CURALEAF TO USE ITS CONNECTIONS TO RETURN HER.
“The Marijuana Policy Project stands with the millions of Americans, including the family and loved ones of Brittney Griner, calling for her immediate release. We unequivocally condemn this imprisonment of an American athletic hero and the incarceration of anyone for consuming cannabis, which has been used as a plant-based medicine for millennia. 
       MPP vows to continue our fight to legalize cannabis and free those unfairly imprisoned for possession around the world and right here in the United States. We will not stop fighting until both the plant and the people are freed.” 
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MSO Earnings Will Reflect MJ Industry Prospects                                                  Open in Your Browser for Images
Booker To Hold July 26 Hearing on Revised CAOA -- Above: Senate leader Sen Chuck Schumer(D-NY) above left, with CAOA co-sponsors Sen. Cory Booker(D-J) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)-- took a year to collect a comprehensive set of cannabis/hemp policies in one bill.  Sen. Booker will lead a  Judiciary subcommittee hearing on July 28th (See details below).

      The massive, 296-page bill touches on social, scientific and economic elements, and "It includes rules to prevent impaired driving, prevent youth access, and prevent illegal diversion. We also robustly fund a variety of research programs to make up for lost time when it comes to cannabis research,” Schumer said.  Key provisions will re-frame cannabis and derivatives with the foundation of removing MJ from schedule 1, ending federal interferance, and allowing states to set their own path to legalization.--

NCIA and other advocacy organizations provided comprehensive feedback and the fill contains  many of the goals in the Housepassed SAFE and MORE acts.  Here are some key CAOA measures:

  • Increases the permissible THC by dry weight from the current 0.3 percent to 0.7 percent and refines the definition of “hemp,” and consequently “cannabis” by taking into account the total THC in a cannabis product, rather than just delta-9 THC.

  • Provides that a court shall automatically, after a sentencing review, expunge each federal cannabis conviction, vacate any remaining sentence, and resentence the defendant as if this law had been in place prior to the original sentencing.

  • Funds local efforts by law enforcement to conduct aggressive identification and eradication of illegal cannabis grows.
    Directs the Department of Transportation to conduct research and develop a national standard for the measurement of marijuana-effected impaired driving.

  • Establishes a new 10-year intermediary lending pilot program in which SBA would make direct loans to eligible intermediaries that in turn make small business loans to startups, businesses owned by individuals adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, and socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses.

  • Removes the requirement to maintain a bond for any cannabis business that had less than $100,000 in excise tax liability in the prior year and reasonably expects excise tax liability in the current year to be below such amount.
     

         Treats all hemp derived CBD as a dietary supplements with strict rules for safe production and FDA/ATF involvement in consumer sales
 

             Enables a noncitizen who has received a deportation order based on a cannabis-related offense to file a motion to reconsider that decision. If the motion to reconsider is filed within 30 days of the removal order, the motion may allow for the cancellation of the deportation order.   
  • Changes to the weight quantity to qualify a person for felony cannabis distribution or possession charge under the section from 10 pounds to 20 pounds.

The Senate Judiciary subcommittee on criminal justice and counterterrorism will host the Tue., Jan. 26th hearing entitled, “Decriminalizing cannabis at the federal level: Necessary steps to address past harms.”  In person, DC residents can attend at the Senate Dirksen building, room 226 or go to the live stream at:  https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/decriminalizing-cannabis-at-the-federal-level-necessary-steps-to-address-past-harms

Full text of the 296-page bill may be found here:
https://hempsupporter.com/assets/uploads/CAOA-Final-Introduction-GAI22273.pdf
 Major July-August Live Events 
CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR
JULY 15-JULY 31  -- SACRAMENTO, CA
See the 60 finalists of 300 California growers entered for Best Bud in both indoor and outdoor grows. Winners and a full slate of State Fair Cannabis events at  https://calexpostatefair.com/fair/cannabis-exhibit/ Major Award Winners:


 There won't be any consumption at the State Fair, but even so, it puts cannabis side by side with California’s lauded wines, cheeses and olive oils as a key agricultural product. It also means that weed is under the same umbrella with classic crowd-pleasing activities like rock concerts, cornhole championships, rollercoaster rides and pygmy goat shows.  Organizers at the California State Fair made it clear in creating the new competition that they wanted to “highlight the role of the cannabis industry as a vital contributor” to the state’s economy and take “another step toward normalization and destigmatization,” according to its social media.
 
Upcoming Webinar Virtual Events
             Above: The Colorado Senate 22-205 Task Force is intended to study intoxicating hemp products and make legislative and regulatory recommendations, this Task Force offers stakeholders a valuable opportunity to influence good policy and provide regulators with accurate information regarding hemp products. The Task Force will be comprised of 20 different stakeholders, including participants in the hemp and marijuana industry, representatives of state government, adult-use patients, and experts in hemp and marijuana regulation.  Next taskforce meets Wed. Aug. 3, 2022-All are open to the public.   Info at:  https://sbg.colorado.gov/med/205-Task-Force

ZOOM MEETING ID:  875 3137 9903 -- Call in number:  669-900-6933.  Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8751379903
Future task force meetings may be accessed with same sign-ons.  Scheduled fall meetings will occur on Sept. 7, Oct. 5, Nov. 2 and Dec. 7th after which recommendations will be summarized for potential consideration in the 2023 Colorado legislature.
AUG 23RD -- EXPERT REVIEW OF D8 & CANNABINOIDS STATUS
HOSTED BY WEST420 NEWSWEEKLY -- REGISTER AT WWW.CHEMP7.COM
MSOs Ready Earnings Reports--Live!
VS Debt Finance Replay &
ESPY  Appeal for Brittney Griner 
MSO EARNINGS WILL GAUGE MJ SECTOR TEMPERATURE -- 
With cannabis stock prospects come under fire-- supply chains, pricing, new states, inflation, CAOA-- Above"  Live quarterly earnings updates by the lead MSOs and their executive leadership.  Chart above courtesy:  New Cannabis Ventures --  
https://www.newcannabisventures.com/category/exclusives/


BELOW:  DEBT FINANCINGS FOR MJ FIRMS -- A VICENTE SEDERBERG WEBINAR  originally broadcast July 25th.  This virtual discussion examines:  - The evolving role of debt financing in the cannabis industry - Trends in debt financing terms, the bifurcation of the debt financing trends between MSOs and smaller operators, and common provisions to expect as a lender - Debt financings related to real estate such as sale-leasebacks and construction loans - The providers of debt financing such as REITs, alternative credit providers, hard money lenders, and the emergence of Nasdaq-listed debt providers - Cannabis regulatory considerations when structuring debt transactions, including state receivership provisions for license transfers.  The VS Debt Financing-- replay at   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S51LimYoFiE
The July 25 ESPYS, with host basketball great Stephen Curry--- brings attention to the plight of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who is being detained in Russia for carrying two cannabis vape pens. Curry, who won ESPYS for Best NBA Player and for Best Record-Breaking Performance, joined WNBA players Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith to address Griner's status during the show. The United States considers Griner wrongfully detained.  See their emotional appeal at:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvHEg1MWlK0
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Interview: PharmaCann CEO Brett Novey                    Open in Your Browser for Images
Germany's MMJ Success Lays Groundwork for Adult Use; And Klum Is In!--    This month's ICBC (July 19-21) conference in Berlin signals the imminent roll-out for Continental adult access with more than 5000 delegates expected from 80 countries--and an expert lineup of global cannabis speakers.  International TV host and influencer Heidi Klum (above) last month confirmed that she is planning to invest in the national cannabis sector--which to date has been only available to MMJ patients through the nation's drugstore sector.  ICBC will host the conference afterparty with  Reggae sensation Morgan Heritage with Rocker T.  Find more reporting on the German government push toward MJ access rules-- https://internationalcbc.com/the-german-cannabis-legalization-hearings/?utm_source=ICBC+Combined+List+Newsletter+and+Outreach&utm_campaign=864003916b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2022_07_05_07_36&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9d7ae5ac6c-864003916b-23547770  
BERLIN HOSTS THE EMMINENT WAVE OF EURO MJ GROWTH!
 Major July Live MJ Events 
JULY 15-JULY 31  -- SACRAMENTO, CA
 Celebrating California’s rich agricultural history, cannabis is joining the official California State Fair roster of coveted annual competitions, including wine, cheese, olive oil, and craft beer. Based on objective science, including abundance of terpenes and cannabinoids tested and certified by SC Labs, these awards honor the raw, whole cannabis plant, showcasing the innovation, craftsmanship, and leadership of California’s cultivators.  
Upcoming Webinars & Virtual Events
             Above: The Task Force is intended to study intoxicating hemp products and make legislative and regulatory recommendations, this Task Force offers stakeholders a valuable opportunity to influence good policy and provide regulators with accurate information regarding hemp products. The Task Force will be comprised of 20 different stakeholders, including participants in the hemp and marijuana industry, representatives of state government, adult-use patients, and experts in hemp and marijuana regulation.  
"Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Regulation of Mood and Responses to Stress" -- CSU/Pueblo & Jefferson University /Lambert Center for CBD
Dr Cecilia Hillard - July 14, 2022  - 3pm
(EST)

Professor Cecilia Hillard is the Director of the Neuroscience Research Center and Associate Dean for Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin. As a highly active researcher, Dr. Hillard’s laboratory primarily focuses on the pharmacology and biochemistry of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Her research focuses on cannabinoids, the receptors with which they interact, and the role of endocannabinoid.  Free registration at: https://csupueblo.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_B7M1ZxjTRO6A10iUluYl6Q

Denver's Excise and Licensing will host a industry information event Tue., July 19 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m,  in-person with an option to attend virtually. The meeting will be recorded and posted on our website for those unable to attend.  Location:  Wellington Webb Municipal Building (201 W Colfax Ave. Conference room 2.H.14) .  Timely requests for more specific details on this event may be found by emailing [email protected]
Minnesota Goes Legal-- PharmaCann CEO Novey & Cannabis Golf Sked
MINNESOTA IS HALF WAY TO LEGAL ADULT ACCESS ---  A newly-signed bill by Gov Tony Evers became effective July 1, originally written for clearing up access to delta-8 edibles, but now also increases access to THC(Delta9 too) in edible and beverage products.  For an in-depth political analysis from St. Rep. Ryan Winkler (abpve) at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOTZBUXfBmg&t=4s  or the KARE news report at youtube.com/watch?v=PUOsMR2yChI   Full RMJ legalization was introduced (but failed) under Winkler's House bill 600.

       Below: New Cannabis Ventures interview PharmaCann CEO Brett Novey on plans for consolidating the company's 2022 MJ position-- with 2023 growth in New York, Pennsvylvania, Maryland and Ohio. PharmaCann spans 8 states and anticipates doubling Its Revenue in 2022.   Hear the full podcast at:
https://soundcloud.com/newcannabisventures/pharmacann-spans-8-states-and-anticipates-doubling-its-revenue-this-year
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Mace Out Polls Despite Cannabis Attacks                    Open in Your Browser for Images
SC's Mace Wins Primary; SRA Pushes On -- Attacked by her opponent for her pro-cannabis work-- first-term Congresswoman Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) survived the June 14th primary challenge, and will likely be re-elected in November.  As author of the SRA (States Reform Act) Mace fought backlash from South Carolina's Republican party, Donald Trump, and opponent Kate Arrington, who demanded that Mace "get a drug test."  But U.S. Cannabis Council executive director Steve Hawkins says the contest-- in deep-red S.C. shows "politicians who bet against reform and use cannabis as a punchline do so at their own peril,"  adding  "Arrington thought GOP primary voters would abandon Mace over cannabis reform, but that's an outdated playbook.   Cannabis reform enjoys growing and bipartisan support across the nation," said Hawkins.
         Charleston businessman and boyfriend Patrick Bryant asked Mace(who said yes) to marry him during the Spring campaign, making this her third marriage. Following up on his luxury cigar venture in S.C., Bryant is also the founder of "Shine Papers," a 24-karat gold rolling paper.  Mace says she became a champion or medicinal MJ after it helped her heal from a teenage rape.  Prospects for a Washington hearing on her SRA bill remain  elusive.  See her victory comments at:
 
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/14/us/politics/nancy-mace-south-carolina.html
 Major Live Events:  June & July
JULY 15-JULY 31  -- SACRAMENTO, CA
 Celebrating California’s rich agricultural history, cannabis is joining the official California State Fair roster of coveted annual competitions, including wine, cheese, olive oil, and craft beer. Based on objective science, including abundance of terpenes and cannabinoids tested and certified by SC Labs, these awards honor the raw, whole cannabis plant, showcasing the innovation, craftsmanship, and leadership of California’s cultivators.  Info:
Upcoming Webinar Virtual Events
CMA, AWH Abner Kurtin, and FDA's Science Board CBD Hearing 
Replays and Special Mktg Report along with FDA Science Board Slides From June 14 Meeting
Above:  More than 400 national marketing experts gathered June 7-9 for the Cannabis Marketing Summit at Denver's McNichols Event Center.  CMA and NXTeck also released results of their "Digital Marketing Survey (below) free at  https://bit.ly/39wHayl  .  CMA panelists(below) included an expert M&A discussion with (far left) Curaleaf s.v.p. for Corporate Responsibility Khadijah Tribble, Vicente Sederberg co-founder Brian Vicente, WANA Brands founder/CEO Nancy Whiteman and MJ Biz CEO Chris Walsh(right).  See the West420 conference coverage at https://bit.ly/3zDRuzf
FDA Science Board June 14, 2022
The new chair of the FDA's Cannabis Product Committee, Dr. Janet Woodcock, leads several other FDA experts as they review issues surrounding future pathways for CBD, THC and minor cannabinoids regulation, and the various clinical research sought.  While no video was made, this link provides the day's 92 powerpoint slides  https://www.fda.gov/media/159252/download
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Replays: Jim Belush, Steve DeAngelo &  Heidi Klum                                  Open in Your Browser for Images
PBS host and global travel guru Rick Steves has actively worked for MJ legalization.  Now, in his role as chairman of NORML, Steves has committed $100,000 of his own funds for a major matching fund drive.Steves wrote this week:   "Prohibitionist groups across the country are fundraising and spending money to defeat any pro-marijuana ballot initiatives and also to try to knock out our legalization-supporting allies in Congress. These regressive and reactionary forces are working to roll back civil liberties across our country. And I can’t just stand by.  So, I’m putting my money where my heart is. And we need your help too. 
       
Here’s the deal: I’ll match all donations up to $100,000 - so your donation to NORML will have double the impact in our fight to take the crime out of the marijuana equation. If you can help out too, I know we can pass legalization in several more states this fall."

        And there’s more! When you send NORML a donation of $100 or more, I’ll personally send you a copy of my newest book, On the Hippie Trail. (It’s a 180-page journal of my 1978 trip from Istanbul to Kathmandu when I was just 23)      Find the NORML donation page at:  https://bit.ly/3PWV4Ko

 Major Live Events for  June
Cannabis Marketing Assn:-- Tue June 7th- Welcome Party(4-6)
 

 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8

  • 8:00 – 8:45 am: Coffee & Networking sponsored by Lucid Green
  • 8:45 – 9:15 am: Opening Remarks featuring Lisa Buffo
  • 9:15 – 10:15 am: Session 1
  • 10:30 – 11:30 am: Session 2
  • 11:30 am – 1:00 pm: Lunch — Expo Networking @ Outdoor Lounge
  • 1:15 – 4:30 pm: Sessions 3, 4 & 5
  •  
  • 4:30 pm: Day 1 Wrap-Up: A Measured Approach to Optimized Campaigns
  • 4:30 – 6:00 pm: Expo Hall opens, Happy Hour sponsored by Dispense
  • After Party @ Tetra Lounge (MJ Consumption event) & The Walnut Room

THURSDAY, JUNE 9

  • 8:00 – 8:45 am: Coffee & Networking
  • 9:00 – 9:30 am: Keynote, Fireside Chat with Corvain Cooper
  • 9:45 – 10:45 am: Session 1
  • 11:00 – 12:00 am: Session 2
  • 12:00  – 1:30 pm: Lunch — Expo Networking @ Outdoor Lounge
  • 1:45 – 5:15 pm: Sessions 3, 4 & 5
  • 5:15 – 6:00 pm: Expo Hall opens, Happy Hour