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Inside Cannabis (Oct 10th, 2019)

1. The vaping lung illness has now claimed 26 lives, and sickened 1,300 people. A Thursday update from the Centers for Disease Control with updated illness and fatality totals notes that 76 percent of victims reported using a combination of THC and nicotine vaping products, 32 percent had only used THC products, and 13 percent used only nicotine. The CDC continues to stress that the cause of the illness “remains unknown at this time.” Several states have enacted vape bans in response, some covering THC, others not. Washington state’s vape ban took effect today and does include many THC products. — CNBC

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2. A cannabis-promoting app backed by some of the industry’s biggest names has been removed from the App Store over racist and pornographic content. The app called Social Club debuted July 15 and has been downloaded nearly a half-million times since. It was launched by California’s Cookies brand mogul Berner and PRØHBTD co-founder Joshua Otten. A sort of “censorship-free” Instagram clone, whose real goal was to permit cannabis advertising that other social platforms don’t tolerate, the app zoomed to No. 5 in the Apple App Store. But users pointed out the app’s user-submitted drugs, weapons and, allegedly, child pornography content, leading to Apple’s removing it, and Berner himself admitting it had “unacceptable content.” Curiously, though, the app remains available on Google Play. — TECHCRUNCH

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3. Throwback Thursday: The Ann Arbor “Hash Bash”

Michigan is among the more marijuana-friendly states of the legalization era, with recreational use already legal, and dispensaries on the way in early 2020. But the state was a trailblazer in cannabis subculture when University of Michigan students established the Hash Bash in 1972. Originally called the “High Noon March,” the early April event started as a celebration of the jail release of activist John Sinclair, who’d been sentenced to ten years in prison for possessing two joints.

The event would evolve from a party into a police confrontation, with multiple arrests in 1978. By 1985, literally no one attended. The event reemerged with the advent of medical marijuana in the 2000s, and by 2019, even the governor of Michigan was congratulating the event on celebrating another year. 
 

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4. California power outages are doing millions of dollars in damage to the state’s cannabis crop. Nearly two million Californians are without electricity right now as the state is taking wildfire precautions, but the lack of power means terrible trouble for marijuana growers. Indoor growers have lost lighting, and even outdoor growers are encountering mold issues because they cannot treat cut plants. Since it’s the fall harvest season, industry leaders say the outages “couldn’t come at a worse time.”  — LEAFLY

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5. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is meeting privately with California cannabis leaders today, though it’s unclear why. McConnell has never been a fan of the marijuana industry. The meeting could be related to a Senate version of the House-passed SAFE Banking Act, or to hear from the state’s hemp industry.  — MARKETWATCH 

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6. Vancouver landlords are increasingly concerned about their tenants smoking cannabis on properties. Real estate analysts Zoocasa released a poll showing that 85 percent of landlords in Vancouver prefer their tenants not smoke marijuana on-site, and 55 percent would charge higher rents to tenants they knew were smoking. On the other hand, nine percent of tenants said they’d smoke pot indoors even if their landlord prohibited it. — VANCOUVER IS AWESOME

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7. A Michigan lab has been fined $100,000 for failing to report contaminants. Walled Lake’s Iron Laboratories has been allowed to remain open, but this is contingent on paying the six-figure fine for not reporting certain samples’ contamination levels to the state as required by law. The lab must now report all its testing sat to the state, every week. — DETROIT FREE PRESS

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8. California is handing out $10 million in grants to ten cities that have equity programs. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and Oakland are the big winners, but six other cities got million-dollar (or close to it) city grants that must be specifically earmarked for cannabis equity programs. In California, equity standards are not defined by race, but by whether a person or community was negatively affected by past cannabis prosecutions. — HUMBOLDT TIMES STANDARD

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9. Missouri has a ‘Canna Bus’ bus that acts as a medical marijuana doctor on wheels. Dr. Zinia Thomas of Springfield has been performing medical screenings to evaluate patients for cannabis cards, often handing out 10 to 20 recommendations at a time. Missouri allows medical marijuana for those certified with anxiety, arthritis, depression, or PTSD. — FOX4KC

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10. Snoop Dogg and Seth Rogen popped on to the Howard Stern Show to talk weed. In the Tuesday appearance, Snoop complimented Rogen, saying he "knows how to make a joint that looks like a cross.” Plenty of giggling ensued, and we can only imagine why. — HOWARD STERN/ YOUTUBE

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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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