Vol. 6, No. 41 -- June 14, 2019 -- Edited by Dr. Lloyd Covens, DBA
INDUSTRY PIONEER HARBORSIDE GOES CORPORATE AS HBOR--The 10-year struggle of Steve DeAngelo (and brother Andrew behind him) to fight asset forefeiture and bad federal tax policy has given way to the California/Oregon operator of 18 licenses(as the largest Calif retailer) joining about 165 other cannabis firms on the Canadian Stock Exchange. While no direct fundraising occurred in the reverse takeover with Lineage Grow, HBOR will now have access to millions in capital, and enters the publicly-held space with 2018 annual sales of $39Mil. In his book, The Cannabis Manifesto, DeAngelo wrote "No matter the country or its laws, religions or current understanding about cannabis, access to the cannabis plant is a human right--like access to all healing botanicals." The first 4 days saw the stock open at $6, but close down to $4.50, resulting in a market cap of about $63.6Mil.
NY RMJ Bill Hangs On, As SAM and Moderate Dems Try to Kill It
Two votes. Or maybe three. That is the presumed margin of support needed in the State Senate for New York to become the 12th legal cannabis state later this month. The bill is assured of passage in the House, and while a nay-sayer on potential passage, Gov. Mario Cuomo has said he will sign an RMJ bill if it gets to his desk. With the end of session slated for June 19th, the only clear signal is that the progressive wing of the Democratic party(New York metro) wants the bill, and certain moderate Senators from upstate and Long Island seem willing to kill the bill.
Or is a grand bargain still possible? As the session swirls to a close, the newly-re-elected governor has pushed for passage of his entire “progressive group” of bills. Controversial changes to the rent control act, a raise in the minimum wage, allowance of New York issuing drivers licenses to immigrants—and also, the legalized adult-use measure, sponsored by Manhattan House representative Liz Krueger, and powerful State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers, both Democrats.
This week, the state’s Farm Bureau sent out a memo offered strong support for the bill, especially as a way to prop up the state’s ailing agricultural segment. ““For a successful implementation of a cannabis program in New York State, if legalized, farmers must to have an active role in the growth and production, as well as development and implementation of the recreational cannabis program in the state. Farmers encourage the establishment of an advisory board which the bill creates, however, New York Farm Bureau recommends a set number of seats to be reserved for farmers to provide local grower input into the program,” said the Farm Bureau letter. New York agriculture leaders have worked tirelessly to get the state’s industrial hemp program kick-started, but the profit potential for hemp versus much-higher marijuana crops is not lost of the farm sector.
The nation’s number one anti-MJ lobby, SAM(Smart Alternative to Marijuana) countered the argument made by the Farm Bureau. “"The Farm Bureau has fallen prey to one of the biggest lies pushed by Big Marijuana - that commercial pot will help New York's flagging economy," said Kevin Sabet, SAM's president. "This industry isn't about helping small family farms. It's about investors, backed by Big Tobacco, Wall Street and the alcohol industry, getting rich off high-potency THC products like waxes, gummy bears and edibles." SAM’s strong anti-pot message is intended to spread fear about increased teen use, highway fatalities driven up by stoned drivers, and a general attack on hoped-for increased taxation for state programs. Sabet has been spotted in Albany, pushing heavily to defeat the RMJ bills, especially in light of the groups’ big loss to new adult-use legislation passing in Illinois last month. But the Illinois passage—not un-noticed by New York lawmakers—may be a key reason to go ahead and pass out the New York measure.
And a recent Sienna College poll of state voters shows an increase in overall support since April to early June, when the new survey was taken. Overall, support rose from 52 to 55% in favor of legalization. For Independents the rise from April was 4%, from 53 to 57 favorable, for Democrats from 62 to 61%, and for Republicans an increased support from 33% to 40% in June. In both the New York Senate and Assembly, Democratic majorities would be able to pass the bills without the help of a single GOP member vote.
In the New York debate, the true mood of Gov. Cuomo on legal marijuana remains ambiguous. Earlier this week he said there are not enough votes for passage, adding anyone not in favor of his progressive group of bills “should be primaried.” Cuomo has the power to call back, or to keep the legislature in session beyond the June 19th – forcing additional days of debate on the fate of marijuana and the other measures. Cuomo has said all along he would sign an RMJ bill, but observers also note he has committed not to get involved in the final push to get the bill the handful of Senate votes still needed for passage. And Cuomo remains livid at many progressive State Senators who he believes help kill his much-hyped corporate co-location plan for giant Amazon in Queens.
Five years, and nearly one billion dollars in statewide marijuana taxes has produced a major impact on funding for Colorado state programs. In this chart above, Vicente Sederberg researchers have complied the tax allocations to various state priorities. The 42% shown for schools above were principally consisting of actual school construction of new buildings and facilities, or the expansion and repair of schools.
CANNABIS NEWS ... The world's biggest supermarket giant is jumping into sales of (non-ingestible) CBD topicals, leaving the door open to eventually adding other CBD goods through its 940-plus U.S. locations. While not releasing chosen brands, it is believed that Charlotte's Web(CWEB), Elixinol and CV Sciences(PlusCBD) may be named, according to sources. Walgreens, CVS and GNC have joined Lucky's Market (partially owned by Kroger) in beginning retail sales of CBD topicals. Cincinnati-based Kroger reported fiscal 2018 sales of $121.2 billion, and operating stores under names including Kroger, King Soopers, Ralph’s, Dillon’s, City Market, Fry’s, QFC, Mariano’s, Fred Meyer and Harris Teeter. Kroger also is a leading seller of healthy lifestyles products – it’s sales of natural and organic products alone exceeded $16 billion in 2017.
If you were unable to attend the live May 31 FDA hearing on CBD and cannabis as a food ingredient, the agency would still like your comments. The FDA is accepting public comments on their website until July 2. Specifically, the FDA is asking for feedback on specific areas, including: 1) Health and Safety Risks, 2) Manufacturing and Product Quality, and 3) Marketing/Labeling/Sales. ASA has prepared guidelines to make it easy to submit comments that make a difference. Read the American for Safe Access blog here: https://www.safeaccessnow.org/fda_comments_blo
Oregon's governor has signed a bill aimed at allowing the state to allow interstate MJ trade with contiguous states, providing the federal government signs off. .... Nevada''s governor approved a bill which sets u a new commission to oversee MJ regulation, and places a two year moratorium on licensing social consumption lounges in the state. --- A California Assembly committee has approved a bill which allows the addition of CBD in any food, beverage or pet products, directly contra-verting the current FDA position. The bill will also allow licensed cannabis retailers to begin selling CBD products, now opposed by the Bureau of Cannabis Control. -- Herban has sued California MJ delivery giant, EAZE, claiming the delivery service has illegally used numerous credit card accounts. .
Link-of-the-Week -- Here is the report that tells you how to become an impressive anti-pot guru. As mentioned above, the Smart Alernatives to Marijuanayou have produced https://learnaboutsam.org/comprehensive-report-on-impact-of-
..,.,.. Talk about the wrong place: The day before Illinois voted to officially approve adult use, an Illinois cancer sufferer was sentenced to twelve years in prison for illegally ordering a large quantity of edibles to cope with his condition. Thomas J. Franzen says he ordered 430 marijuana-infused chocolate bars from a California dispensary in 2014 in order to abate some of his symptoms, such as nausea. He pleaded guilty on May 30 to possession of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis, which carries a prison term of four to 14 years. Prosecutors dropped the more serious charge of trafficking more than 5,000 grams of cannabis, which could have put Franzen behind bars for up to 60 years.
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