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Inside Cannabis (Oct 4th, 2019)

1. More than 1,000 people nationwide are now sick from the vaping lung illness, as the 18th fatality has been reported. The Centers for Disease Control issued updated guidance Thursday afternoon on the vaping-related lung disease, showing 275 new cases of the illness in the last week — the sharpest uptick yet. The Delaware Division of Public Health had more troubling news for the cannabis sector in its report on a victim who represents the 18th death nationwide. That state has 11 confirmed cases, and officials say that ten of the 11 cases did involve vaping THC. Nationally, the CDC estimates that “about 78 percent” of the affected victims had vaped cannabis products. — BBC

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2. Delivery giant Eaze has laid off 20 percent of its staff and named a new CEO. Online delivery platform Eaze has been a venture capital darling of the cannabis sector, having drawn more than $50 million in funding from investors like Snoop Dogg. But burning $1 million a month can have its downsides, as Cannabis Now obtained the layoff email announcing “Today we had to part ways with 36 of our friends and colleagues.” That email came from new CEO Rogelio Choy, a former BitTorrent exec, who replaces Jim Patterson and makes laying off 20 percent of the company his first order of business. Curiously, Cannabis Now deleted their original version of the article, but reposted it with updated job cut numbers. — CANNABIS NOW 

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3.  Follow Friday : Ed Rosenthal 

Living legend and the “The Guru of Ganja” Ed Rosenthal is the author of the watershed 1985 reference volume “Marijuana Grower's Handbook” that has been updated throughout the decades and still serves as a cultivator’s bible for both beginners and experts. It’s hard to think of another legalization stalwart from the 80s and 90s who’s so successfully transitioned to using modern-day digital platforms like Twitter.

The @edrosenthal account is a repository of beautiful weed porn photos celebrating the harvest season, and serious growers will find tips for dealing with pests and guidance on debates within the cultivator community. But casual readers will benefit from seeing the latest scientific findings on cannabis, home brew hash recipes, and an internet version of the “Ask Ed” column that ran for so many years in the heyday of High Times magazine.  

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4. Beer maker Constellation Brands has posted a $484 million loss on its Canopy Growth investment. The maker of Corona and Modelo beer bought 38 percent of Canadian giant Canopy Growth in 2018, shelling out about $4 billion. The gamble is hardly paying off, as the company’s second quarter earnings revealed they lost nearly $500 on the investment. These losses, and Constellation’s unhappiness with them, are believed to be behind the firing of Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton in July. — BUSINESS INSIDER

 

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5. The Vegas Tasting Room, Las Vegas’ first marijuana smoking lounge, will open Saturday. Consumption lounges are still not legal in Nevada, and won’t be until 2021 at the earliest. But Saturday’s grand opening of the Vegas Tasting Room takes advantage of a clever loophole, as it is located on sovereign tribal land owned by the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, whose laws can override state law. The Tasting Room is located inside the enormous 15,800 square foot NuWu dispensary two blocks north of downtown Las Vegas. — LEAFLY 

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6. Certain cannabis stocks are taking a hard hit from the vaping crisis. Vancouver-based Vapen MJ Ventures trades on the Candain Exchange with the currently unfortunate ticker name VAPN, and their stock has lost half it value in the month since the vaping lung illness outbreak. KushCo Holdings, which trades on a small U.S. exchange, also lost half it value, and the widely anticipated Pax Labs IPO is being delayed indefinitely. — MJ BIZ DAILY

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7. Michigan has widely expanded the number of communities eligible for the state’s equity program. Michigan is another one of those states that determines equity eligibility by region, and the state increased the number of eligible cities from 19 to 41 on Thursday. Those communities deemed hard-hit by the war on drugs will get discounts of 25 to 60 percent on licensing and application fees. —  WWMT

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8. Marijuana Moment has uncovered the memo that led so many federal agencies to ban their employees from using CBD. NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Coast Guard all issued seemingly unrelated warnings to their employees this summer to avoid using products with the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD. The warnings were apparently all prompted by a July 24 memo from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which oversees federal drug testing, and stated that unregulated CBD could have enough THC in it to cause drug testing results that were positive for marijuana. — MARIJUANA MOMENT

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9. A West Hollywood edibles cafe has received city approval. On the heels of this week’s opening of the Lowell Cafe smoking lounge, West Hollywood has given the green light to an edibles-only consumption lounge called Budberry. The lounge will be operated by “JeffThe420Chef” Danzer, and is one of eight consumotion lounges awarded licenses in that city. EATER LA 

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10. Cannabis CEOs discuss how they use weed at work. Quartz spoke to six marijuana company CEOs about whether and how they use cannabis in the workplace, finding that some abstain during work hours, some prefer tinctures, and others use carefully formulated pills. Kikoko infused tea co-founder Amanda Jones quipped, “I may not be as focused, but I do come up with some really wonderful brainstorming ideas.” — QUARTZ  

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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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