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Cannabis Last Week

Episode 11: There’s No Defense in the House for Safe-ty

Cannabis business are suffering — when will the government pass the SAFE Banking Act?




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HIGHLIGHT: Annual Defense Bill Loses SAFE Banking Language

GOLDEN NUG: Company Creates Full Spectrum Cannabis Biomass Without Growing Plant + MORE!

+ More?!? NJ Issues 30 More Med Retail Licenses + Michigan Product Recall Partially Recalled

Hybrid News/Analysis Extract from 420+ Sources: Featuring all the developments this past week in the cannabis world on the federal level, state legalization/implementation, science/technology, business deals, international scene, social equity, celebrity cameos, and miscellaneous ridiculousness.

DISCLAIMER: All opinions are my own, and not those of my law firm Zuber Lawler. Even though I drop knowledge bombs, the show is NOT legal advice.


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Why hello there and welcome to the December 13th episode of cannabis last week from global cannabis times hybrid news. And now. Extracted from over 420 sources each week. I’m your host, John Pirro and our highlight story this week, the safe banking and cannabis research dropped out of the annual defense bill.

And then our golden nug story, bio harvest, the company produced cannabis. Bio-mass full spectrum without growing the plant. Now, before we get down to. I need to make my usual disclaimer, when I’m not fighting crime by night as a mass vigilante, I practice cannabis and or IP law at the law firms, Uber Lawler.
So I need to note any views I express are my own and not those of my law firm. For example, if I was to say that, I find it hilarious that after a fictional character, Use the Peloton and then had a heart attack and died. Peloton how to release a statement saying that in fact, the Peloton probably kept them alive longer than if he hadn’t been using.

And their stock still tanked. So that would be my own view. And not that a zipper Lawler for all I know is Zuber Lawler wanted that character to die. Also keep in mind that this podcast is not legal advice, so don’t be a fool and pretend that it is. And as always, if you have any feedback, please send it to JP my

All right. Um, to the news. So this week I have to admit I’m filled with. Fewer his anger at Samuel Jackson would say from pulp fiction at a couple stories that you’ll see soon enough, but certainly leading off with our highlights story. So the safe banking act language, which would have opened up banking to the industry was removed from the annual national defense authorization.


Now I have an acronym for what I enjoy during this podcast, APA alliteration puns, and you guessed it acronyms. So here’s a fitting thing about this NDA when it comes to. Um, duh, pass the safe banking act already. You’re killing me with this. Okay. This isn’t just for the MSOC certain people claim or Cory Booker things that if you let banking through, you know, you need to do it with social equity or else that’s not going to happen because the fact of the matter is.

Minority businesses. As we learned from an event at the us cannabis council to illustrate it are also suffering because they have to operate in cash. They’re getting robbed and they’re getting charged high fees that the banks that do serve as the industry and so safe banking is for everyone. And if you want a national security angle to safe banking as to why it’s in the.

Keep in mind that the legal industry actually competes against cartels and the illicit market that smuggled illegal drugs into this country and cause violence. Right. So, but let’s not only look at this. Right? So essentially it seems that it was dropped out of the house because of the Senate pulling strings behind the scenes, you know, Chuck Schumer essentially.

And so we have to also keep in mind that wasn’t the only industry related thing that came out of the. There was also a marijuana research stuff in there. Senators, Feinstein, and Schatz actually had something in the bill that would have streamlined the process for researchers to get access to the plant and research cannabis.

And also, if you want to talk about something related to defense, Senator Schatz also had something in there to legalize medical marijuana so that veterans can use. If they live in a state where there’s a program for medical marijuana and it just, it kills me the fact that there hasn’t been more progress made for veterans to use medical marijuana, considering all the benefits that we see at this point.
So here’s the quote of the week though, if you think. About the safe banking act language falling out of the defense bill. Let me read you a quote from house rules, committee, chairman, Jim McGovern, a Democrat out of Massachusetts who said about Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader. Quote, unquote, I don’t really quite know what the hell his problem is.

End quote that’s. That’s a solid quote though. Actually. Well, let me get through one of the, uh, uh, governors quotes later from another one for a ridiculous quote.



So moving on to our golden nug story of the week. Bio harvest sciences, Inc. They are a biotech company based out of Canada and Israel apparently made 22 pounds of full spectrum cannabis without actually growing the plant in one of their proprietary bio reactors, clearly something that they use the time machine to get from the future and bring back.

Now I like to focus on stories like this, that don’t involve growing the plant, you know, cause of the environmental impacts from growing and the energy consumption becoming more and more of a story. So, you know, a couple of weeks ago, I think one of the golden nuggets to raise we had was about how the Kronos group actually sold the product for the first time with a cannabinoid that was grown in the lab, out of the yeast.

And there are a lot of companies doing. So this one is interesting. They essentially created this biomass out of nothing, but the perk of it is that it’s apparently uniquely consistent and clean. And so it actually avoid certain issues that you have when growing the plant, including product variability, right?
You could take one seed of one strain planted in two different states and get completely different outcomes genetically with different THC contents. So apparently there’s no issue with product variability. And also there’s no concern about contamination when you’re just growing biomass like this. So I think that’s something to definitely keep an eye on because that could potentially have a large impact on the industry.


So moving over to other federal news, Hey, what is actually going on with Chucky Schumer shrooms, when he’s not low key killing safe banking, act language in the house in terms of like, what what’s he doing to legalize this week? Oh yeah, he released it. And like his weekly tweet saying, you know, Hey, we should pass this.

So, you know, I dunno, I think maybe, you know, five more tweets and boom, federal legalization. So, yup. There are some more fewer his anger about that and how we’re not making more progress. And oh yeah, here’s another little bit of frustration. Let’s talk about that. Let’s not overlook our current president, Joe Biden.

Who’s been a remarkable disappointment to the industry in so many fashions. So about 10 months ago, almost 40 lawmakers asked him to mass, pardon people who had a federal marijuana conviction on their. So here’s the stat of the week, Joe Biden has pardoned more turkeys, literally literally turkeys than people with marijuana convictions.


So, yeah, that’s also frustrating.


All right, moving over to state news in New Mexico, the cannabis control division is now accepting license applications for different types of licenses in the adult use market. So they’re not going to be any caps on permits once they issue. So they are accepting retail or manufacturing licenses, whoever they’re not going to award any of these until they finished writing the industry rules, which they’re not done with yet though.

They think that they’re going to finish them before the end of the year. So essentially they were saying, get in line, fill out what you can. We’re going to finalize the rules, you know, then you finish out the rest. Hopefully none of those are an issue for. Which is kind of like, you know, New Jersey asking towns to sign up and opt in for regulations.

You know, you’re being passed a joint. You don’t know what’s in it, you know, but, uh, you should smoke it and not worry, and they need to do all of this before the adult use market in New Mexico is supposed to open up for sales on April 1st, 2020. So things are moving to New Mexico bit by bit incrementally.
Speaking of New Jersey, my current state of residence, they cannabis regulatory commission in remarkably efficient fashion. Finally awarded more retail licenses in the medical market from the 2019. So we are about to get to the point where applications are going to be accepted on March 15th, 2022 for retail dispensary’s for the adult use market.

And so now they awarded 30 new licenses split amongst 10, amongst three different regions of the state from the 2019 medical market. And these folks are going to have essentially a leg up and the ability to start transitioning to adult use sales before any of the new adult use applicants are able to sell, moving over to California.

And the continuing ongoing saga of how the legal market combats, the illicit market, which was so strong and established over decades. So here’s a stat for you. This is a little bit dated, but just to give you an idea, uh, what they’re up against here in 2019, according to Statista, I like that good name, the legal cannabis industry in California.

It was valued at $3.1 billion and the. Illegal market was valued at $8.7 billion. So the government of the state on the main level and on all those little municipality levels that are fighting it every way that they can. And so apparently now the California Senator Mike McGuire wants to introduce a bill that would actually do away with the state’s cultivation tax.

Now, the reason why is that. They’re taxed on the grow based on the weight, but it’s not dependent upon how much they’re actually being paid for this. So when the market gets flooded and the prices crash, the cultivators, the farmers, the small farmers are charged the same amount, no matter what they’re being paid for it.

And so he is going to potentially introduce a bill. That’s going to try and redo it, eliminate that part of the tax, and then just tax the excise at retail dispensary. Moving on to Ohio, to Republican lawmakers introduced the bill to legalize marijuana that they announced a couple months. I’m actually not going to go into the details of the bill.

Cause I don’t think it has a chance in hell of passing because the Republican head of the legislature, a fellow Republican, those, the people who were proposing this bill when asked about the bill when it was first, you know, a twinkle in these Republican lawmaker who proposed it, I laughed when asked about his chances for passing.

So as I’ve always done. When I’m playing Toker Domus and it comes through Ohio. I’m going to say, I’m going to make the prediction that in 2022, Ohio will go legal, but by the ballot, not by the legislature, moving over to Michigan and a pretty impactful story. Michigan regulators issued a total. Right. I, I did that wrong.

Michigan regulators issued a total recall. That’s the governor at the total recall of products tested by Veritas, which was a testing facility that was actually responsible for testing 60 to 70% of the cannabis in the. Now they issued this recall, which apparently was going to affect hundreds of millions of dollars worth of product.

But Veritas ended up suing and asking for a preliminary injunction to stop this. And they actually succeeded on that, on the preliminary junction with respect to one of their two facilities, the Veritas north facility. And so the judge put a pin in the. And there, it has been complaining because amongst other things, they pointed to the fact that their competitors were the ones who are being asked to check their products and whether their testing was accurate.

And so the outcome of this decision is that. Half of the recalled cannabis is actually going to be permitted to hit the market. So significant progress in that regard, moving over Connecticut, just want to note that there was one story that popped out that said that applications that were going to be accepted imminently.

And that’s not the case. They are nearing the acceptance of license. There’s just a little bit more work to be done by the social equity council in the state. They need to give final approval to the documents that licensed applicants will have to submit. And they have to then post the criteria align. So once the social equity council issues that approval, they’re going to make applications available 30 days after that.

So we’re getting very close in Connecticut. Now we’re moving over to South Dakota and you know, where governor Kristi Noem, despite the fact that her voters approved adult use marijuana by ballot in November, 2020, you know, despite that she challenged it and the Supreme court on a technicality. And unfortunately one essentially undoing all the work that they did.

You know, what can I say? Kristi Noem when it comes to marijuana, she’s a bit of a wait for it. Grass hole. Yup. That’s my newest pun of the week. And I’m quite proud of it though. I’m always looking to improve. So essentially, you know, activists there, aren’t going to wait any longer. That last initiative is dead.

And so they were already been collecting signatures for 2020. There at 15,000, they need 17,000. They’re going to try and get 22,000 to create a buffer for when the government inevitably tries to invalidate some of those signatures. So they’re making progress. They’re moving over to Rhode Island. The state of my Alma mater one of the lawmakers there, whether they’ve been nearing a deal, because there were different versions of the bill proposed by the governor and the state legislature.

There’s actually only one open issue right now. It depends upon who is going to regulate the market between a new entity or a part of an existing entity. And they think that they’re close to solving that. So early 20, 22, this lawmaker predicts that they’re going to be able to finalize the bill legislatively and approve it.

And so that market will get going early 20, 22 now in Montana and the, you know, the big, highest state wink, wink, not big sky and big. They are nearing the point where they’re supposed to start selling. And the adult use market, which is the beginning of the year in 2022. However, there’s a little bit of a stall to the rulemaking process.

There’s some issues that they need to clean up and there is going to be another meeting of the regulator. Isn’t hopefully they’ll clear that up because it’s getting pretty tight timewise. Now moving over to Nebraska. Right. You got my new term grass hole, governor or Nebraska, Pete Ricketts. He certainly qualifies for that term with flying colors.

So this week he released a new ad against medical legalization, but apparently the language was a little bit less harshly worded than his quote, a couple of months back. And I shit, you not, he said this. That marijuana is a dangerous drug that will impact our kids. And the quote, unquote, if you legalize marijuana, you’re going to kill your kids.

He actually said. Um, yeah, so Creswell. All right, moving over to Kentucky. The governor there, Andy Bashir, a Democrat said that legalizing medical marijuana quote unquote, is the future. And that he wants to let the farmers there grow cannabis to sell to other states. Wait, wait, interstate commerce. Doesn’t that mean?

Oh, yeah, he’s saying once federal legalization happens, he wants that to happen. So thank you for that. Non-story okay, cool. Let’s move on.


Moving over to business news. AgriFood corporation is actually buying the extraction company, pure pressure for $9 million. Peer pressure focuses on solventless extraction and advanced ice water hash processing, which sounds cool.

And moving on to other business news, Tilray the Canadian behind. Bought Breckenridge distillery, which is actually a distilled spirits platform located and wait for it, Breckenridge, Colorado, and their note from their award-winning bourbon whiskey. And so Tilray is going to look into creating bourbon whiskey infused with marijuana.

So we’ll get you high or get you drunk at the same time. It’s a twofer. Uh, that’s. I nominated twofer to be the name of that whiskey,


moving over to science and medical. This is something that annoys me. You see the headlines everywhere this week. Oh, no. Cannabis use marijuana use is bad for sleep because of the study that came.
And that was published in the peer review journal BMJ and said that, you know, adults who use marijuana at least 20 times in the last month, either don’t sleep enough or they sleep too much. And so I take a look at the story, cause you actually got to read these when it comes to studies and how people summarize them potentially inaccurately.

And what it found was that this peer reviewed study in the journal BMJ found that people who smoke marijuana at least 20 times a month, either reported too little sleep or too much. But when you read the article about it, the head of the study himself said, we have no idea if that’s a causation thing, if marijuana is causing this issue or not, or if they’re using marijuana to help their sleep issues, essentially completely undermine the study cause of causation and effect.

And the issue with that. The fact of the matter is there have also been studies where they poll people who use marijuana and say that it’s an extremely effective sleep aid. And that it actually, when they were using other medications, enabled them to stop using sleep medications and instead rely on marijuana.
So I would like to use this podcast to announce the results of a study I conducted of a single individual who shall remain nameless and whose name definitely doesn’t rhyme with , which found that. Minimal use of marijuana a couple times a month in very, very low doses was found to really, really improve the ability of this individual to fall asleep and stay asleep.

So I’m going to publicize the results of that study everywhere that I can. All right. Read into that. As out as you will


moving over to miscellaneous news, there was a new poll, a nationwide poll conducted by YouGov, which, from what I understand from the political process, typically conducts their polls online and it found the majority of people do support.

Adult use federal legalization, but only 57%. And this study was a little bit different in that an actual minority of Republicans, only 40% favorite legalization. So very, very different than other studies out there, which actually liked the Gallup poll that was just released, found 68% support. So that’s a pretty decent difference between 57 and 68 report and Gallup, which found a majority of essentially every demographic was in favor of federal legalization versus as YouGov poll.

So guess which one I liked? And moving over to Colorado and this is study, but I’m throwing in miscellaneous. This is up there for a quote of the week for those, with an interest in staying as high as their heart rate is one article said a new study is going to pay people to combine exercise with smoking marijuana.

So if you live in Colorado and you want to be like Arnold Schwartzenegger and pumping iron, when he smokes weed and works out, which was an awesome scene in that movie. You should try out for this study and get paid for this and moving over a big mazeltov to dosey Doe’s I’m being named Leafly is 2021 strain of the year.

If you made it, they love you. They really love you. Like Sally field would say.


And, and just one of those fun stories in the industry. Marah med may the largest pot brownie. So this brownie apparently weighs, let’s see 385.5 kilograms and contains 20,000 milligrams of THC. So apparently what they did after they made this was that they offered it to HBO to convince Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson to star in another season of true detective.

Nope, man, I wish that I love that show and that is it for the news this week. And so.
Stay grassy my buds and I will see you next week.

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Cannaconvo with Peter Su of Green Check Verified

Cannabis Last Week with Jon Purow interviews Peter Su of Green Check Verified. Peter Su is a Senior Vice President with Green Check Verified, the top cannabis banking compliance software/consultancy in the space. A 20+ year veteran of the banking industry, Peter serves on the Banking & Financial Services committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He chairs the Banking and Financial Services Committee for the NYCCIA & HVCIA. He is an official member of the Rolling Stone Cannabis Culture Council. And, he is on the board of the Asian Cannabis Roundtable, serving as treasurer.

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