Inside | Real news, curated by real humans
Inside Cannabis

Inside Cannabis (Sep 17th, 2019)

1. A California man is the seventh patient to die from the vaping lung illness, as the feds and several states are stepping up their response. Tulare County, California officials said in a statement that an unidentified man’s death was “suspected to be related to severe pulmonary injury associated with vaping,” though did not indicate whether the man had been vaping THC, nicotine, or both. This brings the total to seven fatalities and 380 illnesses nationwide in the still-unexplained lung illness phenomenon, and the Centers for Disease Control has established an emergency operations center to track cases and coordinate their investigation. States are ramping up their efforts too, as California governor Gavin Newsom announced an executive order to step up efforts against black market vape products, and New York governor Andrew Cuomo is pursuing a statewide flavored e-cigarette ban. —  CNBC 

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

2. The Associated Press has unearthed a nationwide scam where synthetic marijuana is being sold as CBD. In another serious vaping health hazard unrelated to the larger vape health scare shaking the industry, the AP has discovered that in at least nine states, underground CBD products contain no actual CBD, and instead have an illegal, synthetic marijuana and sometimes even fentanyl. Most of the offending items were vape cartridges, but some were gummies and edibles. The AP also put out a detailed account of how they collected and tested the illicit samples. — ASSOCIATED PRESS 

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

3. Tikun Olam has been acquired by smaller competitor Cannbit in a deal worth as much as $42 million. At first glance, the deal makes little sense; Cannbit Pharmaceuticals is a small Israeli company without any permits, Tikun Olam is a popular brand with all the necessary permits and a customer base of 15,000 people. The deal makes more sense when you consider that Tikun Olam founder Tzahi Cohen was forced by the courts to give up ownership in a regulatory compliance scandal. Tikun Olam had hoped to fetch $100 million, but $42 million was the highest offer, and the company only gets $10 million of that up front. — HAARETZ  

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

4. The SAFE Banking Act now has a third of the U.S. Senate as cosponsors. Senate passage of the Secure And Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 looks a heck of a lot more likely now that the bill has 33 cosponsors with Monday’s addition of Tina Smith (D-MN). With a majority nearly locked up before the Senate has even voted, it also helps the bill’s House chances that the Independent Community Bankers of America and 43 state banking associations sent a letter of support to House of Representatives leadership. — FORBES

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

5. Ousted Canopy Growth founder Bruce Linton has rebounded with several new jobs. After being fired in July from the Canadian conglomerate he founded and where he served as co-CEO, Linton has new been hired as executive chairman of Michigan-based Gage Cannabis, claims he will take a “similar position with a U.S. multi-state operator in the near future,” and has been named to a special advisor role with pet CBD firm Better Choice Company.  — YAHOO FINANCE 

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

6. Cresco Labs is acquiring multistate dispensary chain Tryke for a reported $282 million. We learned in July that Chicago-based Cresco Labs would rebrand all of its dispensaries under the name Sunnyside, and there is more movement in that space as it acquires the owner of the Reef Dispensary brand that has six shops in Las Vegas and Phoenix. — MJ BIZ DAILY

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

7. Four strains have been recalled from Nevada dispensaries after testing positive for yeast and mold. State officials did not disclose the volume of cannabis being recalled but did provide the four bad strains’ names and the four Las Vegas dispensaries where they were sold. — 3 NEWS LAS VEGAS

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

8. North Macedonia is trying to become “one of Europe’s first cannabis superpowers.” The Balkan nation legalized medical marijuana in 2016, and is now making efforts to export to Germany, Poland, and beyond. — REUTERS

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

9. A Massachusetts dispensary has been cited for dumping pot in unlocked dumpsters. Police in Framingham found "usable marijuana" tossed in an unlocked dumpster, and state officials are investigating this pretty bad violation of strict disposal policies. — BOSTON 25 NEWS 

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

10. Sacramento landlords have been fined $94 million for illegal grows on their properties, but many of them had no idea pot was being grown there. More than $50 million of those fines are being challenged in court, as the property owners say they did not know that the grows were operating there. Sacramento only issues fines against the property owners, not the growers themselves. — CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RADIO  

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

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).

  • Email gray

Subscribe to Inside Cannabis