Inside Cannabis - October 7th, 2019

Inside Cannabis (Oct 7th, 2019)

Kushy Punch Busted for Illegal Vapes / Maine Back on Track / Another Canada Scandal

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1. The California legal vape and edible company Kushy Punch has been caught operating an illegal balck market facility. Throughout the current vaping lung illness crisis that has now killed 18 people and sickened 1,000 more, many in the cannabis industry have suspected that licensed and legal brands may have connections to the dangerous, underground black market vaping products. Those suspicions are now confirmed with a bombshell Leafly report that well-known legal California brand Kushy Punch had a facility raided last Thursday on suspicion of producing illegal products intended for sale in the legal market. The California Bureau of Cannabis Control said that “investigators confiscated thousands of illegal vape carts worth millions of dollars” in the Canoga Park raid, and the illegal cartridges allegedly use oil that is heavy in pesticides. — LEAFLY

2. Maine is on track to finally sell recreational marijuana by March of 2020, nearly four years after voters approved it. Even though recreational marijuana was approved by Maine voters in 2016, it was a squeaker 50-49 percent victory that required a recount. Then-governor Paul LePage vetoed legalization in 2017, and additional hurdles have halted the rollout of adult-use cannabis.  Those hurdles are now clear, and the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy is almost ready to accept storefront and grower applications. They expect sales to begin in early 2020. — ABC NEWS 

3. Canadian grower Sundial has been accused of selling $1.9 million of moldy cannabis to a jilted buyer. Sundial Growers’ stock has fallen nearly five percent on news the company is being sued by producer Zenabis for selling them a multimillion-dollar batch of cannabis (C$2.1 million) contaminated with mold and bits of rubber gloves. Zenabis said they had to return the entire batch, estimated at 554 kilograms, and their civil lawsuit attempts to recoup damages. — THE STREET 

4. Oregon’s flavored vape ban will affect some cannabis products. Proposed flavored vaping bans across the country, including President Trump’s possible flavored e-cigarette ban, generally have no effect on cannabis oil vape cartridges. But the impending six-month flavored vape ban in Oregon will, as the Oregon Liquor Control Commission interprets “flavored” to mean “any flavor, including non-marijuana terpenes.” That’s a stricter standard than other states, so many Oregon dispensaries will have to pull cartridges from shelves when the ban takes effect next week. — WILLAMETTE WEEK

5. Florida’s recreational marijuana measure already has enough signatures to qualify for the 2020 ballot. Not even three weeks into its signature-gathering campaign, advocacy Make It Legal Florida has collected more than 100,000 signatures. That’s far more than the 76,000 that are required for a ballot measure, though the signatures need to be verified, and the drive continues. — WPEC-TV

6. Legal sales in Washington D.C. appear to be delayed by at least another year. The nation’s capital has a very strange “grey market” policy wherein possession is legal, but sales are not. The city’s budget is, to some degree, controlled by Congress, and the Republican U.S. Senate once again appears unlikely to approve any funds for D.C. to create a regulated market. — DCIST 

7. The National Guard raided an 81-year-old woman’s home just to seize one pot plant. A South Amherst, Massachusetts, grandmother kept just one plant to treat her artritis, but still endured a joint raid from the state National guards and state troopers, complete with a helicopter. She was not charged, but they took her plant. — DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE 

8. Snoop Dogg’s appearance at an Oregon dispensary draws thousands, and some controversy. Proper permits were not in place for the rapper’s performance at the opening of Ontario, Oregon, dispensary Hotbox Farms. But Snoop’s free show happened anyway, and as many as 5,000 people attended without incident. — IDAHO NEWS 

9. A Canadian producer has been allowed to acquire a U.S. vape company, signaling a regulatory shift. Any firm listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange is generally not allowed do direct business with U.S. cannabis companies, but Canadian producer 48North seems to have found a loophole. They received approval for a modest $C2.1 million acquisition of vape hardware producer Quill, as regulators were satisfied that Quill never handles the marijuana plant or drug itself. — MJ BIZ DAILY

10. The Netflix “Breaking Bad” film sequel is employing dispensary chain MedMen for a viral marketing effort. As the build-up continues for Friday’s release of the “Breaking Bad” sequel movie “El Camino,” the official “Breaking Bad” Twitter account has been tweeting various GPS coordinates. Those who followed the path Saturday this weekend found a MedMen dispensary with actor Matt Jones “Badger” signing autographs. More similar promotions are planned this week. — MARIJUANA MOMENT 

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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