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Inside Cannabis

Inside Cannabis (Jul 26th, 2019)

1. CannTrust has fired its CEO, and its board chairman has resigned. The fallout continues over Canadian cultivator CannTrust’s illegal grow scandal, particularly after Wednesday’s revelation that top executives knew they were running five unlicensed grow facilities. Those top executives are now gone, as CEO Peter Aceto was fired Thursday, and board chair Eric Paul was forced to resign. CannTrust shares did jump by 16 percent Friday morning after the news, though that’s small consolation considering those shares have done a 54 percent nosedive on the year. As Market Watch notes, between CannTrust’s scandal, the firing of Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton, and Curaleaf’s FDA warning letter, it’s been a pretty terrible summer for well-funded corporate cannabis companies. — YAHOO FINANCE

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2. A Boston-area dispensary has been ransacked in what appears to be an anti-Semitic hate attack. The owner of a dispensary in Lynn, Massachusetts arrived at work Monday morning to find the place vandalized, with a noose hung from the ceiling, and sprayed with graffiti saying “[Expletive] the Jews” and “Jesus Failed.” WCVB points out that the owner is both African American converting to Judaism, and his business partner is Jewish. Police are investigating, but no arrests have been made. — BOSTON GLOBE 

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3. Follow Friday: David Downs.

The website Leafly has emerged as the go-to source for cannabis news and pop culture coverage, and its California bureau chief David Downs has a nose for the news on both his site and across the marijuana journalism ecosystem. Follow the longtime cannabis scribe for informative, plain-English unpacking of scientific marijuana research, in-depth coverage of banking and regulatory issues, and of course, his occasional jabs anti-marijuana author Alex Berenson. 

David Downs has been all over the corporate concentration of the cannabis industry, the lower-then-expected tax revenue that marijuana is generating, and the role of pot in the prediential campaign. If you want a hip voice to keep you as informed as possible on cannabis, following David Downs is a great way to keep up.

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4. San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival looks poised to get the city’s first cannabis event permit. The August 9-11 festival in Golden Gate Park will feature Paul Simon, Childish Gambino, Twenty One Pilots, and quite possibly onsite marijuana sales and consumption. The festival has confirmed it’s trying to obtain the permit, though it’s unclear whether they’ll be able to get a waiver for fans to smoke in the park, which is currently illegal. — SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE 

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5. Software glitches are causing huge supply chain disruptions in Washington. The state’s “seed-to-sale” tracking software MJ Freeway is having a meltdown that’s preventing the transport of legal cannabis, and companies are losing thousands of dollars and furloughing workers. — SAN LUIS OBISPO TRIBUNE

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6. Rep. Jerry Nadler is building a re-election campaign database off his legalization bill. We have reason to cast some shade at Rep. Nadler (D-NY) and the federal legalization bill he introduced Tuesday, as it took him all of two days to turn it into an “online petition” that is an apparent effort to harvest email addresses for his campaign. — MARIJUANA MOMENT  

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7. Several Michigan towns are initiating ballot measures to ban recreational marijuana. Michigan’s first recreational dispensaries are slated to open next year, but the cities of Allen Park, Romulus, Hudson, and Vanderbilt are all collecting signatures to get local marijuana bans on their November ballots. — DETROIT NEWS

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8. UFC is partnering with Aurora Cannabis for a CBD study. Roughly 30 athletes from the mixed martial arts fighting league have expressed interest in participating in a clinical trial that will assess whether the non-psychoactive compound CBD is an effective medical treatment for all the punches and kicks they take to the head. — CNN

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9. Georgia man tries to fly marijuana into prison with a drone, trouble ensues. The fellow who attempted to fly more than ten ounces of pot into Autry State Prison has pleaded guilty, and now faces up to five years in prison himself. — NBC NEWS

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10. An Oklahoma dispensary owner has been busted for selling meth in his shop. The east Oklahoma town of Spiro will no longer have the services of the Left Handed Okies dispensary, as the owner is accused of selling methamphetamine to undercover cops. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Joe Kukura 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.

Edited by: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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