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Inside Cannabis (Sep 5th, 2019)

1. Another victim has died from the mystery lung illness, and this person had used cannabis vape products. The ongoing and still-unexplained mystery lung disease has claimed its second life in the last two weeks. What’s particularly disturbing for the cannabis industry is that this Oregon victim had vaped a cannabis cartridge from a legal dispensary, though it is unknown whether the unnamed victim had also vaped nicotine products. This feels like a worst-case scenario for legal cannabis, but it’s even worse for the tobacco vape industry, as one 18-year-old victim is directly blaming Juul for his illness. — CBS NEWS

2. The Wall Street Journal has a thorough explainer of marijuana policies at U.S. airports. The quick version of the Journal’s rundown of airport cannabis policies is that Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle airports do allow possession in those legal states. Denver and Las Vegas airports do not, despite their states’ respective legality. Hilariously, Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport offers “green amnesty boxes” for travelers to throw away their pot before boarding. It is never legal to cross state lines with cannabis, though legal states generally allow you to carry marijuana on in-state flights. The Journal’s article is free to read for non-subscribers on the first click, but will require a subscription for any subsequent views. — WALL STREET JOURNAL 

3. Throwback Thursday: The NFL’s “All-Weed Team” 

NFL kicks off tonight, and for those keeping tabs on players currently suspended for marijuana, New England Patriots receiver Josh Gordon is back from his suspension, while the Cleveland Browns’ Antonio Callaway and Kansas City Chiefs’ De’Anthony Thomas are both suspended for testing positive for marijuana. But the tradition of pot in the NFL goes way back, and in the early 2000s, the now-defunct ESPN Page 2 put together a delightful NFL All-Weed Team.

Topping the list was of course was Ricky Williams, the running back who famously retired in 2004 solely so he could continue smoking marijuana. Oakland Raiders 1991 draft bust Todd Marinovich was such a stoner he earned the nickname “Todd Marijuanavich.”  And Hall of Famers Warren Sapp and Randy Moss both fell in the NFL Draft because they tested positive for weed. 
 

4. Curaleaf, Surterra, and Canndescent are the biggest-spending cannabis company lobbyists in Washington D.C. A full breakdown of the $2 million spent in federal marijuana lobbying this year shows that the Cannabis Trade Federation is the biggest spender at $483,000. But Curaleaf (of FDA warning letter fame) is right behind at $400,000, while multistate dispensary operator Surterra Wellness dropped $240,000 on lobbying, and California producer Canndescent spent $140,000. — MJ BIZ DAILY 

5. Federal prosecutors are holding a closed-door summit today with cannabis businesses and a prohibition group. A number of U.S. attorneys and regulators are meeting behind closed doors in Portland today to discuss “threats and trends,” and troublingly, the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) will be represented on one of the panels. — MARIJUANA MOMENT

6. Angry Oregon winegrowers are suing cannabis farmers for racketeering. In what could be a big precedent, a U.S. Senior District Judge gave the green light to a lawsuit where wingrape growers say the small of nearby marijuana farms ruined their grapes. Since cannabis is federally illegal, the vintners claim this is racketeering. — CAPITAL PRESS

7. Industry advocates question whether the Trump administration will allow promised federal research. Though the DEA announced in late August it would approve some cannabis farms for federal research purposes, industry groups National Cannabis Industry Association and National Cannabis Roundtable both suspect the agency has no intention to follow through. — THE HILL 

8. America’s first ‘cannabis cafe’ has an opening date. West Hollywood’s Lowell Farms Cannabis Cafe will open September 24, and will be the first coffee shop in the U.S. to sell and allow consumption of marijuana products. — LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE 

9. The founder of a cannabis church is running for governor of Indiana. There is indeed a  First Church of Cannabis in Indiana, and its founder Bill Levin is running for governor on the 2020 Libertarian ticket. — LEAFLY

10. A television helicopter covering a bicycle race broadcast a rooftop marijuana farm. TV footage of the Spanish Vuelta a España cycle race captured a marijuana grow on top of a Catalonia roof. Police seized 40 plants, but have made no arrests. — THE GUARDIAN 

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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