“States have a right to set their own laws, and will do so,” AG Jeff Sessions told a Boston press conference, but added, “we will enforce federal law.”
Sessions comments on July 26 followed a speech in which “Lock Her Up” anti-Hilary Clinton shouts were laughed off by Sessions, at a conservative meeting of high school activists. The next day, Sessions admitted, “perhaps I should have taken a moment to advise them of the fact that you are presumed innocent until a case is made.” Sessions was also the recipient last week of a Senatorial letter demanding the AG stop blocking new marijuana-research growers. The approvals, bottled up at the DEA, were promised earlier this year, but Sessions has now heard from key senators Sen Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to address the logjam of FDA-approved cannabis only being sourced at the Ole Miss “Pot Farm.”
California regulators at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control have issued “guidance” that forbids the combination of liquor and hemp-derived CBD, or any combination with non-CBD cannabis. Following on a similar path by the Calif Dept of Health, the ABC said, “since cannabis cannot be sold in the same premises as alcoholic beverages, any product that contains both cannabis and beverage alcohol cannot be sold at premises licensed with either an ABC license or a MAUCRSA license. Regulations issued by the California Department of Public Health prohibit the sale of “edible cannabis products” as alcoholic beverages.” See the full memo here.
U.S. Border agents on the Canadian border have begun a new policy of denying access to US-bound business persons it has deemed to have begun “assisting and abetting in illicit trafficking of drugs” due to their investments in US cannabis concerns. At airports in Edmonton and Vancouver, and at the land-crossing in Blaine(Washington/British Columbia), Canadian media sources reported several instances of detained Canadians who were extensively questioned about their plans while in the US, and then subsequently declared as “in-admissable” due to their legal US cannabis investments. One estimate says about 44% of the past years’ legal investments topping $5.7Bil have flowed to Canada, which opens national legalization on Oct. 17.
A high profile case of one San Diego cannabis attorney being charged with felonies by the San Diego district attorney has been settled. Jessica McElresh was charged with conspiracy in her actions to assist concentrate maker and client MedWest Distribution owner James Slatic. Most of the National Cannabis Bar Association had called for a united response to the charges, citing the potential for many other prosecutors to charge MJ attorneys who work with the federally-prohibited sector daily. McElfresh pleaded guilty a San Diego city ordinance violation, will perform 80 hours of community service and pay a $250 fine.
Business Deal Briefs: New York-based Acreage Holdings, the firm with former House Speaker John Boehner on their board, has raised $119Mil. in a private placement.
Dixie Brands has plans to become a Canadian public company through the acquisition of Toronto-based Academy Explorations. While it waits, Dixie is also expecting a $12-$20Mil. placement to be funded. Dixie said it has a nationwide license with Canada’s Auxly Cannabis to private label and distribute Dixie-branded products there.
San Diego-based CV Sciences (makers of the Plus-CBD line) wants to expand its access to more investors by upgrading its presence on NASDAQ, moving beyond its current “pink sheets” status. The company says it sells its CBD line to more than 2000 health-food retailers and is conducting research on combining synthetic-CBD and nicotine in an FDA-submitted medicine to fight cigarette addiction.
Denver’s Sweet Leaf has been given a reprieve in an order from the City of Denver to destroy more than $7.5Mil in retail product as it appeals its adverse decision to suspend all its Denver licenses. The City’s marijuana czar Ashley Kilroy stripped SweeLeaf of all 21 licenses after an investigation and hearing determined SweetLeaf engaged in “looping” or multiple daily sales to consumers above the Colorado daily limit rules.
Fires in northern California have destroyed one of the state’s most re-known suppliers of high-quality cannabis, Loudpack, which lost 12 greenhouses in a wildfire. More than 300 workers will be furloughed in the Monterrey-area town of Greenville, where the cause of the fire was not immediately found. Also impacted by the states’ rampant wildfires was grower DNA Genetics, which lost 5 of 8 greenhouses.
A third Denver social consumption application from “Vape&Play”, will have its city hearing Aug. 6, with hopes to open its doors in late October, according to founder Taylor Rosean. The proposed vape/dab and edible club will be located in the 1700 block of Denver’s south Broadway St., home to about 14 cannabis dispensaries within a one-mile radius. Rosean said his team organized a non-consuming mock setup at the club site, hosting several retailers and Denver cannabis professionals, July 26. Congressman Tim Ryan(D-Ohio), the co-chair of the House Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, has called for an end to federal MJ prohibition. Ryan was especially concerned with continuing incarceration for non-violent cannabis use. “After meeting with countless Ohio families and youth whose lives have been irreparably harmed by a marijuana arrest, I find the social and economic injustices of our marijuana policy too big to ignore. I firmly believe no person should be sentenced to a lifetime of hardship because of a marijuana arrest. It is morally wrong and economically nonsensical,” said Ryan, a 7-term incumbent.
After years of strict anti-cannabis policy, the British home secretary Sajid Javid has approved a change giving medical specialists the right to prescribe medical MJ — notably’s London=produced Epidiolex from GW Pharma — to their patients, especially for resistant conditions. Javid remains adamantly opposed to recreational legalization but was willing to set the new pro-MMJ policy without going through a lengthy process to pass a bill in Parliament.
Dog-lovers are screaming mad. Drug cartels in Colombia are reportedly offering a bounty of $70,000 to cut-down Sombra, a drug-sniffing German shepherd who is credited with interdicting more than 70 tons of cocaine over the past 6 years. Officials say they have moved Sombra to a safer spot near the airport, noting more than 245 arrests were assisted by the dog.