Inside | Real news, curated by real humans
Inside Cannabis

Inside Cannabis (Aug 27th, 2019)

1. Counterfeit cannabis products are mocking up fake versions of California’s most popular pot products. A Los Angeles Times investigation has found a widespread outbreak of look-alike, counterfeit marijuana products that mimic the appearance of popular items from edible brands Korova and Kushy Punch, and vape cartridge makers Stiizy and Loudpack Farms. The counterfeits are generally being sold at at unlicensed dispensaries. Loudpack Farms says it has redesigned its packaging to fight the knockoffs, only to see the counterfeiters replicate the changes. Vape product manufacturers see a link between the counterfeits and the outbreak of a mystery lung illness, though this connection is unproven. — LOS ANGELES TIMES 

2. Constellation Brands will lose nearly $55 million this quarter on its Canopy Growth investment. The beer maker of Corona and Negra Modelo now owns 38 percent of Canadian giant Canopy Growth, but its investment has not yielded much return yet. Constellation Brands disclosed the loss in a Monday filing and said it would write down a similar loss next quarter too. Alcohol brands have had terrible luck in the cannabis space so far; Constellation’s investment in Canopy Growth has gone south since CEO Bruce Linton was fired in July over massive financial losses, and wholesaler Breakthru Beverage Group dropped nearly $10 million into CannTrust before that company’s illegal grow scandal blew up. — CHICAGO TRIBUNE  

3. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has vetoed an expungement bill and will offer his own version instead. Murphy rejected the bill that could have sealed and expunged cannabis convictions involving an ounce or less, feeling it didn’t go far enough. He’s introducing a competing version that would automatically expunge all such convictions, at no legal cost. Expungements in New Jersey currently cost $600-$1,000. — LEAFLY 

4. The California state assembly has approved a bill to allow medical cannabis at K-12 schools. Any form of cannabis is banned within 1,000 feet of California schools, but a bill passed the California assembly Monday allowing parents (not teachers) to administer medical cannabis to their own child on school grounds. The bill would give the final say on the matter to local school boards, and would not be the law statewide. The measure now goes to the state senate, where a previous version passed last year but was vetoed by then-governor Jerry Brown. — KGO 

5. A Nevada judge has halted the approval of all new dispensaries statewide. The judge sided with rejected dispensary applicants who claim the approval process was corrupt and riddled with mistakes, in a decision likely to be appealed to the state’s Supreme Court. — MJ BIZ DAILY 

6. The owner of Michigan dispensary chain Hydroworld is off to federal prison. Dispensary chain owner Danny Trevino was found guilty of massively exceeding “caregiver” laws to grow thousands of plants when his legal limit was 12 plants, and feds say the entire chain was an illegal racket. He surrendered to authorities and faces 11 years in prison. — MLIVE

7. A rabbi has submitted plans to open the east coast’s first kosher edibles company. Lynn, Pennsylvania city council will consider the permit request for Essence Labs, whose manager and CTO Rabbi Aaron Balkany claims would be the only kosher edible company west of the Mississippi. The rabbi notes there is one kosher brand in New York but “he doesn’t even produce it in New York. He’s doing it in Colorado,” which, if true, would be a violation of federal law prohibiting interstate cannabis distribution. — THE DAILY ITEM 

8. Another ‘marijuana breathalyzer’ startup has pulled a $30 million round of funding. Hound Labs claims to have the “first” breathalyzer that can detect traces of cannabis smoke (though there are others who’ve introduced a similar product) and its latest round of funding brings the total VC investment to $65 million. — BUSINESS INSIDER 

9. The Canntrust investor lawsuits are on the way. Class-action lawsuit chasing Schall Law Firm is soliciting investors who lost $100,000 or more in the Canntrust illegal grow scandal, even offering an online plaintiff registration form.  — YAHOO FINANCE  

10. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is selling pot-themed gear on his website. The longshot Dem hopeful has self-promoting ballcaps, t-shirts, and stickers with marijuana leaf logos, though Yang himself claims he’s never used cannabis. — FORBES 

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).

Subscribe to Inside Cannabis