WeedWeek edition / June 04, 2021
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1 AMAZON: WEED’S NEW FRENEMY

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Amazon's announcement this week that it would stop testing some employees for cannabis, and would lobby for federal legalization, led to a flood of speculation about what the e-commerce giant plans for the industry.
CNBC

"The idea of Amazon Prime drones dropping weed on America’s front porches doesn’t just scare old-time prohibitionists," Bruce Barcott writes at Leafly. "It sends shivers through cannabis retailers, too."

He argues, Amazon won't kill pot retail for the same reasons it hasn't killed liquor retail.

  • Legalization activists and the cannabiz generally applauded the announcement, especially since other companies are likely to follow its example.
    MJBiz
  • In March, a New York man sued Amazon for rescinding his warehouse job offer after he tested hot.
    AP
  • CNN asked if Amazon would catalyze pot stocks upward. (It hasn't yet.)

Quick Hit

  1. Arizona banks are warming to cannabis clients.
    Phoenix New Times

2 CONNECTICUT EQUITY ACTIVISTS OPPOSE REC BILL

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Connecticut lawmakers said they had reached a deal with Gov. Ned Lamont (D) to legalize REC. Voting has to take place before the legislative deadline on Wednesday.

While the nearly 300 page bill isn't public, equity activists pushed back at some of the details which emerged.
Marijuana Moment

  • The language at issue, first reported in CT Post,  requires equity businesses to partner with existing MED license holders to learn the business. Participating MED businesses would receive advantages in the REC market, such as lower fees, for participating in the program.
  • The Minority Cannabis Business Association is calling on lawmakers to reject the bill. "You cannot repair the damage done to minority communities by erecting a regulatory regime that hands the industry over to corporate monopolies," the group said in an email.
  • A progressive lawmaker said a special legislative session focused on legalization is on the table, though Gov. Lamont and top lawmakers oppose holding one.

Quick Hits

  1. Cultivation accounts for about 10% of industrial electricity use in Massachusetts. (MJBiz suggests "playing in the carbon markets" can have benefits for hemp farmers.)
    Worcester Business Journal
  2. The clock is ticking for New York towns seeking to opt out of pot sales.
    WSKG

3 CANNABIZ GROUP CALLS FOR DELTA-8 THC CRACKDOWN

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Industry group U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC) is calling for tighter restrictions on sales of Delta-8 THC; the intoxicating hemp derivative has become popular in states without legal REC.
Bloomberg

While the federal legality of Delta-8 remains murky, and some states have taken steps to crack down, the unregulated product is available in many smoke shops and gas stations. In April, sales were up 144% year over year according to data firm Headset.

  • USCC interim CEO Steve Hawkins is calling on the FDA and DEA to end unregulated sales of Delta-8. The group tested 16 Delta-8 products and says all but one exceeded legal THC limits, while seven exceeded limits on metals such as copper, chromium and nickel. 
  • At the same time, USCC member Curaleaf plans to release Delta-8 products and its MSO competitor Trulieve already sells them.
  • Some producers apparently make bootleg Delta-8 by mixing CBD with battery acid, a situation reminiscent of the unregulated market which led to 2019's vape crisis. 
  • Poison control is seeing more incidents related to Delta-8.
  • The lesser known Delta-10 THC exists in a similar legal gray area.
    Westword 

Quick Hit

  1. China's drug regulator banned the use of CBD in cosmetics.
    South China Morning Post

4 IN THE NEWS — 6/5/21

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