Inside Cannabis - July 25th, 2019

Inside Cannabis (Jul 25th, 2019)

CannTrust Scandal / CA Expungement Snags / Biden Decrim Reax

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1. Internal documents have shown that senior CannTrust executives knew they were growing illegal marijuana. The scandal began in early July, when Canadian cultivator CannTrust was found to be operating five unlicensed, illegal grow facilities. But a bombshell report in Wednesday’s Globe and Mail showed that both the CEO and board chairman knew the facilities were unlicensed (subscription required) but kept growing there anyway. The Financial Post even found the CEO appeared in a promotional video shot at the illegal site. CannTrust stock was down 24 percent Wednesday, and yes, headline writers are having a blast making “Can’t Trust” jokes.YAHOO FINANCE

2. California’s mass expungement of cannabis convictions is underway, but hitting snags and resistance. The California Department of Justice has sent 220,000 cannabis convictions from before legalization back to local district attorneys for possible expungement, but now the hard part begins. Public defenders are calling that list inaccurate and undercounted, while one district attorney called this the “the largest unfunded state mandate” her office had ever faced. Prosecutors have until July 1, 2020, to process any changes to previous charges. — OC REGISTER

3. Throwback Thursday: “I Didn’t Inhale”

Back in 1992, an admission to smoking marijuana during one’s youth was enough to derail a presidential campaign. But then-governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton successfully triangulated on the issue with an evasion that he “didn’t inhale,” and therefore was never truly a cannabis smoker. Late-night comedians had a field day with the statement, but Clinton remained the Democratic frontrunner and went on to win the presidency.

The version of that quote we remember is slightly different than the true historical record. The actual quote was “I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it and didn’t inhale, and never tried it again.” But Clinton essentially established past cannabis use as acceptable for a presidential candidate, and several have since admitted prior use when running for president.

4. Democratic presidential candidates have dismissed Joe Biden’s decriminalization plan. The former vice president called for decriminalization of cannabis earlier this week via a less ambitious plan than a similar bill Sen. Kamala Harris introduced the same day. Sen. Cory Booker was vocal in bringing up Biden's 1994 crime bill, saying “The proud architect of a failed system is not the right person to fix it.”  — THE FRESH TOAST 

5. The “Operation Clean Sweep” raids continue across northern California. The famed “Emerald Triangle” is being swept of illegal grows, and Mendocino County sheriffs claim they’ve now seized more than 42,000 plants  — MJ BIZ DAILY 

6. A credit union official says half of all unbanked dispensaries gets burglarized. Speaking before a SAFE Banking Act hearing on Capitol Hill, Maps Credit Union chief risk officer Rachel Pross told lawmakers that without access to bank accounts, one out of every two Oregon dispensaries gets robbed or burglarized of cash. — MARKETWATCH 

7. Researchers verify that edibles do get you higher than smoking cannabis. In a lengthy thinkpiece, the Atlantic explains that edibles are processedby your liver into a compound that has stronger psychoactive effects. — THE ATLANTIC

8. More than 500 Michigan communities will opt out of recreational cannabis sales. Michigan is still preparing for recreational dispensaries in early 2020, but as of Wednesday, 522 cities, villages and townships statewide have declared they will not allow pot shops. — DETROIT NEWS 

9. Infused ice cream is a hit in Oklahoma. The medical-only state of Oklahoma has a new home-state hit, as THC-infused OK Nice Cream is being sold at nearly 70 dispensaries in the Sooner State. KSWO 

10. A very persistent bear tried - and failed - to get cannabis out of a dumpster. The Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife has some excellent Twitter video of a bear attempting to get into a dispensary dumpster, trying to drag the whole dumpster home, and ultimately giving up because the contents were too well locked.  — MARIJUANA MOMENT  

Inside Cannabis is hand-grown and cultivated by Joe Kukura, began writing Inside Cannabis last year. Joe has been the cannabis writer for SF Weekly since 2016, and his work has appeared in Thrillist, the Daily Dot, and NBC Bay Area. You can follow him on Twitter at @ExercisingDrunk.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside) and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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