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Inside Cannabis

Inside Cannabis (Aug 22nd, 2019)

1. Weedmaps has suddenly decided to remove illegal dispensaries and delivery services from its platform. The “Yelp for pot” website has developed a reputation for listing thousands of unlicensed California dispensaries, and has ignored cease and desist letters from state authorities. But the company announced in a Wednesday press release that its platform would work with “licensed operators exclusively,” and require a state license number on all ads. The company framed the issue as if they did this to help minority entrepreneurs, but it may be due to a new California law that could levy fines as high as $30,000 a day for the illegal listings.  MJ BIZ DAILY 

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2. A slew of celebrities have made investments in Lowell Herb Co. The maker of the high-end California flower and pre-roll brand Lowell Farms got a boost last July with a funding round from MedMen, and announced this week they’d received another round from the celebrity likes of Miley Cyrus, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman and Mark Ronson. The amount was not disclosed, just as the size of the MedMen investment was never made public. Lowell Farms has recently made headlines for their upcoming opening of the nation’s first cannabis cafe in West Hollywood. — BENZINGA

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3. Throwback Thursday: Jack Herer’s ‘The Emperor Wears No Clothes'

The strain name Jack Herer is actually named for a person. Back in the early days of zines, a Van Nuys head shop owner named Jack Herer penned the first version of the low-budget marijuana manifesto The Emperor Wears No Clothes in 1985. The book was a watershed detailing the little-known history of hemp’s industrial-use past and would remain a cult-hit underground phenomenon for more than a decade, and would be translated into seven different languages worldwide. 

Regrettably for Herer, all of those international versions were bootlegs and he never received royalties on them. His son Dan Herer recently told Inside Cannabis, “I would say he was paid for one-tenth of the copies sold.”
 

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4. A study on strain name reliability has found a Cookies strain to be the most consistent, and Durban Poison the least. It’s fair to wonder if there’s any degree of consistency across strains of the same name made by different companies, so a new Leafly Labs study analyzed pot strains to do just that. Their results find that White Tahoe Cookies and Purple Punch had the most consistent chemical profile, while Pineapple Express and Durban Poison scored poorly. — LEAFLY

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5. Tilray has struck a deal to import $3 million of cannabis to Germany. The Canadian conglomerate has a new deal with German company Cannamedical Pharma GmbH to import the raw flower, though the pot will come from Tilray’s facility in Portugal, not from Canada. — MARKETWATCH

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6. A new round of raids is targeting illegal grow sites using banned pesticides in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said Forest Watch 2 is a multi-department operation aimed at eliminating illegal marijuana farms in the area. It's a repeat of a similar operation from last year. — FRESNO BEE

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7. The Ontario Cannabis Lottery is producing geographically lopsided results. Of particular note, the very small town  of Inisfil (population 36,000) was awarded three dispensaries, while far larger cities didn’t receive any. — NARCITY

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8. California’s legal market is poised to overtake the black market, but not for several years. A forecast from BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research says that by 2024, the state’s legal sales will hit $7.2 billion, passing a projected $6.4 billion for the black market that year. — SACRAMENTO BEE

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9. An Ottawa distributor says its trucks haul $25 million in cannabis at a time, amid worries about crime. The security firm 3 Sixty Secure Corp., who deliver for more than 100 Canadian growers, describe the precautions they take when individual trucks drive through remote areas with little cell service. — YAHOO NEWS 

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10. A ‘Magic: The Gathering’ card-sorting robot, rebooted as a trimming robot, is the hit of a major investment conference. The highly touted annual Y Combinator investor demo in San Francisco has drawn a robot that separates seeds from stems, though was originally invented to sort Magic: The Gathering cards.TECHCRUNCH

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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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