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Inside Cannabis

Inside Cannabis (Sep 16th, 2019)

1. The House of Representatives will vote on the landmark cannabis banking bill this month. Senate Banking Committee chair Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) last week said that he was planning a senate vote on allowing cannabis companies to have bank accounts, and on Friday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) confirmed to CNN that his chamber would hold a full vote on the SAFE Banking Act. The bill was introduced by Colorado Rep. Earl Perlmutter, and would provide protections to banks to work with marijuana companies that handle the federally illegal substance. Marijauna Moment notes the bill could be introduced under a “suspension of the rules” procedure that would require a two-thirds majority for passage, but the bill easily had that majority when it passed the House Financial Committee in May. — MARIJUANA MOMENT 

2. An Israeli-based generic pharmaceutical giant has inked a cannabis distribution deal. Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is considered by some analysts to be the world’s largest generic drug manufacturer. Now they’re in the Israeli cannabis game too, announcing Friday that they’d closed a deal to distribute medical cannabis to hospitals and pharmacies for producer Canndoc (distribution requires a different license than growing or manufacturing cannabis). The deal may boost Teva’s sagging stock, which has been down over opioid lawsuit concerns and a price-gouging scandal. — FORBES 

3. Federal cannabis lobbying in the first half of 2019 has already exceeded the full year of 2018. Members of congress accepted $305,675 from cannabis trade groups and companies in the first half of 2019, compared to $248,504 all of last year. The information comes from the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), but is backed up by  Federal Election Commission filings. — THE HILL 

4. Weedmaps will not be fined for running illegal cannabis ads. The multi-state advertising platform has notoriously been running ads for unpermitted shops, and despite their recent declaration that they intend to cut off illegal advertisers, industry groups had called for them to be fined retroactively. California officials say that won’t happen, so Weedmaps is likely to continue the practice for the rest of the year. In Arizona, police are performing sting operations using Weedmaps to find illegal operators. — MJ BIZ DAILY

5. The first-ever U.S. patent for a hemp strain has been granted. The legalization of hemp in the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill allowed new federal rights to cannabis that contains less than 0.3 percent THC, and the CBD strain Charlotte’s Web has won the first hemp strain patent. — LEAFLY 

6. Massachusetts will require vape cartridge and concentrate makers to list their ingredients. In response to the mysterious vaping lung illness, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission is requiring vape cartridge manufacturers to show all of the ingredients and additives on their labeling. — WBUR 

7. Denver police have reported an uptick in dispensary robberies. The department thinks the same suspects are responsible for several heists, and recommends dispensaries be vigilant in employing security alarms and cameras.  DENVER POLICE DEPARTMENT 

8. San Luis Obispo dispensaries have found a loophole allowing them to sell their permits to the highest bidder. The city of Grover Beach awarded four dispensary permits after a vetting process, but two have already sold those permits, allowing the buyers to essentially skirt oversight and approval processes. — CAL COAST TIMES 

9. Canadian producer Evergreen has had its license suspended for poor inventory control. The infamous Canntrust scandal gave us the first Canadian license suspension, and now British Columbia producer Evergreen has been similarly suspended for sloppy inventory practices that regulators say could be funneling cannabis into the illegal market. — MJ BIZ DAILY  

10. The website Wikileaf is going public on the Candian Stock Exchange. It won’t be an IPO, but instead a reverse takeover of the existing Canadian stock Kona Capital. — GEEKWIRE

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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