West Hollywood city officials are expecting thousands of applications to flood into that city with the May 31 deadline close for eight new retailers (RMJ and MMJ), five delivery services and sixteen social consumption licenses.

Applicant business plans will be reviewed by a five-member screening committee which will examine design concepts, the security plan, applicant’s experience and the overall business plan. The screening application required a $9,880 application fee, and interested parties are able to apply for more than one license category. West Hollywood director of business development Jackie Rocco told West420 NewsWeekly that eight “smoking/vaping consumption lounges will allow indoor smoking provided that odor absorbing ventilation and exhaust systems are installed.” Another eight edible-only lounges will be approved. All sixteen lounges could be standalone in West Hollywood, or some may be adjacent to MMJ/RMJ retailers. The city of  36,700 people now has four operational combo retailers open. As for delivery, Rocco says “all cannabis delivery customers are required to be pre-registered with the delivery service prior to receiving deliveries.”  The successful applications may be able to open under the new licensing by late 2018/ early 2019, officials said.

President Trump has signed “The Right To Try” alternative medical bill into law. The measure will allow patients with end-of-life conditions to seek access to alternative medicines (including medical MJ) with the approval of a physician.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is suggesting that states be in charge of regulating CBD.  The conclusion came after some consumers of a (non-CBD) alternative medicine thought to be a synthetic cannabinoid was associated with sickness among 56 Utah citizens.

Also in Utah, petitioners to place the November MMJ ballot initiative were successful in advancing the issue. The Secretary of State said the measure will be on the ballot.

Kentucky agriculture commissioner Ryan Quarles has written his colleagues in the Republican state commissioner group, Ag America, to urge them to study and support Senator Mitch McConnell‘s measure (SB-2667) to remove industrial hemp from the CSA schedule.

Corporate press contacts at Dallas-based 7-Eleven stores says it has no plans to offer CBD at retail. Contrary to a press release making that claim by Denver’s Phoenix Tears, several media reported that 4500 of the convenience stores’ 10,000 would be selling retail CBD.

The trading launch of MedMen, using a reverse-merger with former public Canadian shell Ladera Ventures has valued the firm at $1.6 billion, but left early (pre-public) investors feeling a 20 percent decline in their earlier investment. With operations in Nevada, New York and California, MedMen has never been shy about calling itself the biggest cannabis concern in the US.  However a highly negative report from Canada’s Equity.guru which claimed CEO Adam Bierman was set to receive $1.5 million a year in pay for the next four years, plus $10 million in redeemable units. The report claims the MedMen offering documents reveal Bierman gets $26.5 million in various incentives with the next financing round. Co-founder and President Andrew Modlin gets the same deal, and Equity.guru writes, “So, of the $100 million raised in new shares going public, $53 million of it goes straight into the pockets of the big two.” With super-majority voting shares, the key co-founders will not likely ever have their current or future super-incentives rolled back.

Several bills are pending (or have died) in California as the Sacramento General Assembly faces a June 1st deadline to extend action on more than 35 cannabis-related bills. All pending bills must be voted out of either the State Senate or Assembly by June 1, to continue to the other chamber for final action before adjournment in early September.

Key bill developments include:

  • AB-3157, which would have lowered the state’s 15% wholesale excise tax to 11% (to spur legal sales) was killed in committee last week, but sponsors hope to bring the issue back in the final state budget bill.
  • Senate Bill 930, introduced by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), proposes to establish a state-run financial institution for MJ (and targeted small business/housing) banking access.
  • Assembly bill 1863, introduced by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-LA), allows IRS 280e relief permitting MJ businesses to deduct standard business expense under the state’s Personal Income Tax law.
  • Assembly bill 2020 introduced by Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), allows local approval of consumption events (beyond current county fairgrounds). A related measure was passed by the Senate which will allow a quarterly regional farmer’s market for direct “craft cannabis” sales by license holders direct to the public.
  • Still pending were measures aimed at allowing labs to test home grown MJ at the consumer’s request (AB-2721) and a bill to allow veterinarians to discuss MMJ/CBD for pets (AB-2215).
  • Already killed by committee, Senate Bill 1302, introduced by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) would have allowed MJ delivery companies the ability to deliver into counties/cities which have banned Mj retailers.

For the third year, the county of Pueblo, Colorado is awarding local high school students annual college scholarships from marijuana-derived taxes. For the 2018-2019 school year, the county will fund $624,000 to a total of 564 recipients who will receive between $500 and $5000 for college expenses, with the average grant of $1200.