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Banking issues have been a major stumbling block for the cannabis industry, with banks refusing to work with marijuana-related companies for fear of coming under scrutiny of federal regulators. So far, attempts to clear up that conflict have gone nowhere in Congress — but now a former federal government employee has come up with a partial solution: Tokken, an app for both customers and dispensaries that was recently named a finalist for the 2017 SXSW Interactive Innovation Award.

A former banker for Merrill Lynch, Lamine Zarrad came to Colorado in 2014 as a regulator with the U.S. Treasury. He soon became the department’s liaison between the cannabis industry and Washington, D.C., helping to address fiscal concerns of both the federal government and Colorado businesses. That led to his working with compliance experts in the financial sector to try to untangle the banking issue.

That could end with legalization.

The following is excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at WeedWeek.net.

California companies tell Inc. that a growing number of raids on businesses in California owe to asset forfeiture laws which allow authorities to seize cash and other valuables even if criminal charges aren’t filed.

An American citizen who was invasively searched at the Texas/Mexico border in 2012 will receive a $475,000 settlement but not an admission of guilt from the U.S. Border and Customs Protection agency. She previously received $1.1M from an El Paso, Texas, hospital that conducted secondary searches.

Devontre Thomas, the Oregon teen who faces a federal misdemeanor charge for possessing “about a gram” of marijuana, allegedly had it at his boarding school which is run by the federal Bureau of Indian Education. He faces up to a year in prison.

A judge in a trafficking case has ordered Yahoo to disclose how it handles deleted emails. The evidence includes emails that, according to Yahoo’s policy should not be accessible.

Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte defended war on drugs which includes offering money to those who kill drug dealers.

Masamitsu Yamamoto, a Japanese man with liver cancer died at 58 while on trial for MED possession.

A lot of cannabis is found on federal land. The mail is a popular way to send weed and other drugs.

An Alabama prison guard was charged with using a Bible to smuggle opioids into a prison.

TV personality Montel Williams was briefly detained in Germany for MED.

At 99.9 % THC, crystalline is the strongest hash in the world. It sells for $200 a gram in southern California dispensaries.

Humboldt County, Calif. will start stamping product originating in the famed growing region. John Malkovich will star as the head of a crime family in the Netflix series “ Humboldt,” inspired by Emily Brady’s book “ Humboldt: Life on America’s Marijuana Frontier.”

Hip hop star Lil’ Wayne stormed off stage 10 minutes into his set at a High Times event in southern California. High Times said it was “baffled” and “awaiting an explanation.”

Yahoo meets Jeremy Plumb, Portland’s “wizard of weed.” The Oregon State Fair will give out blue ribbons for top pot plants. A Portland director made the first professional cannabis drink commercial/video. It features a cute song.

Billionaire Richard Branson said he has smoked pot with his son and recommended that other parents do the same. Cannabis Now interviews impresario Dr. Dina, who’s not a real doctor.

Cannabis absinthe exists, but doesn’t contain THC.

The Cannabist says little gifts of weed are not a substitute for tipping.

In The Onion, Joe Biden said it breaks his heart that so many hard working Americans can only afford “shitty ditch weed.”

Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter. Send recommendations for upcoming lists (opponents, executives, activists etc.) to weedweeknews@gmail.com. Self-nominations welcome.

via Styles P on Instagram
SP with a Beerglass oil rig in Los Angeles

Styles P, Sheek Louch, and Jadakiss from The LOX used to blaze blunts with Biggie Smalls while busy writing hits like “It’s All ABout The Benjamins” for Puff Daddy at Bad Boy Records.

Later, the Notorious got killed, and The LOX broke free from their contract via popular uprising by their fans. They joined DMX and the Ruff Ryders, and later went independent by starting D-Block Records.

Today the crew is still together, tougher than ever, and constantly writing, recording, and touring. And Styles P is still an avid proponent of the pot head lifestyle, and marijuana legalization. Here’s what he had to say about vegan edibles, “white people music,” and Sour vs Haze.

Rolling Stone.

For the first time in the magazine’s history, Rolling Stone has devoted pretty much all of their print edition to cannabis this week, with a range of news and cultural pieces.
Highlighted in the magazine this week is an article by comedian Bill Maher titled “How We Won the War on Pot”, a piece on marijuana myth-busting, and a feature on Drug Policy Alliance founder Ethan Nadelmann who the magazine dubs “The Real Drug Czar”.