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The stigma is shrinking and the money is growing.

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

Private equity investment in weed is heating up. Canadian MED company Organigram raised $17.5M. Denver’s Baker Technologies, a software company which helps dispensaries win and retain customers, raised $1.6M. The industry’s average seed round is $1M according to investment firm Poseidon Asset Management.

Commodities investor Jim Rogers, who started Quantum Fund with George Soros, has invested in PharmaCielo, a Canadian company that won the first license to grow MED in Colombia.

CMH Brands, a company which processes Willie Nelson brand Willie’s Reserve, acquired Denver Relief’s grow and manufacturing facilities. The deal comes weeks after Denver Relief sold a store to Terrapin Station.

The Clinic’s new flagship store in Denver cost more than $1M. A JPMorgan analyst thinks Scotts Miracle-Gro’s push into the industry will benefit the stock. Bloomberg BusinessWeek interviewed Dixie CEO Tripp Keber.

Fast Company looks at what it’s like to work for social media app MassRoots.

San Jose, Calif., dispensary Medimarts promised a court fight against a ruling that it owes $767,000 in taxes and late fees.

787 drivers were involved in Colorado’s 546 driving fatalities last year. Of the drivers, 59, or 7.1% tested positive for cannabis but not other drugs. The total number of fatalities was down from 606 in 2005.

Researchers found that a Vermont Department of Health study was overly negative and did not account for the possibility of legalization alleviating the state’s opioid crisis. This year the state legislature failed to pass a REC bill that was widely expected to become law.

In the Des Moines Register, the founder of an addiction center writes that pot is still dangerous. “We see the faces of marijuana addicts first hand. And it’s not funny. We see people who struggle with simple tasks at school and work.  People incapable of perceiving or expressing emotion. People who suffer from higher incidence of mental health diagnoses, such as schizophrenia, paranoia and anxiety.”

Massachusetts medical marijuana laws passed last November allows for up to 35 nonprofit dispensaries around the state, and draft regulations to guide the industry were just released today.
Among the proposed rules is the determination that a 60-day supply of marijuana can be up to ten ounces per patient and that all dispensaries would have to grow their own cannabis.


Big Victory: Obama Administration Dealt Stinging, Unanimous Rebuke By High Court

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday that law enforcement authorities need a probable-cause warrant from a judge to affix a GPS device to a vehicle and monitor its movements.

The decision [PDF] in what is likely the biggest Fourth Amendment case in the computer age rejected the Obama Administration’s position that American citizens have no right to privacy in their public movements, reports David Kravets at Wired.

Cafe Press
Why, thank you, officer, and Merry Christmas.

​Deputies returned two pounds of seized cannabis to a California dispensary on Friday after a court ruled that the marijuana had been improperly confiscated.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department confiscated two pounds of marijuana from Common Roots Collective during a shakedown, I mean “inspection, on December 1. But the dispensary’s lawyer argued that the deputies violated federal law, since authorities, including code enforcement officers, had entered the property on an inspection order and not a search warrant, reports CBS 13.
The court ruled in favor of the dispensary three weeks later.
“The police are being kind enough to return it to us before Christmas,” said attorney John Fuery.

CBS News

​Bye-bye, Second Amendment? The U.S. Department of Justice is notifying federally licensed firearms dealers that they aren’t allowed to sell guns or ammo to anyone who smokes pot — even medical marijuana patients.

The memo from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, dated September 21, says the federal government considers marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance, even in states that have legalized cannabis for medicinal uses, reports The Associated Press.
Federal law prohibits anyone who is an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Photo: Matt Mernagh
Canadian medical marijuana patient and Toke of the Town contributor Matt Mernagh won big this week, with an Ontario judge striking down Canada’s pot laws

​An appeal by the federal government of yesterday’s Ontario court decision striking down Canada’s marijuana laws is all but certain, according to political observers.

The government is now awaiting direction from the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, reports Jennifer Yang at the Toronto Star. Lawmakers and law enforcement officers are “looking for guidance” on how to react to the court ruling.
“We are disappointed with this decision,” said Tim Vail, spokesperson for Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. “The independent Public Prosecution Service has to decide whether to appeal this decision. While the courts have said that there must be reasonable access to marijuana for medical purposes, we believe that this must be done in a controlled fashion to ensure public safety.”
The Public Prosecution service is “studying” the decision and has 30 days to appeal the ruling, which it is expected to do.
In the meantime, Ontario Provincial Police will continue to enforce the marijuana laws, even though they could soon cease to exist.

Graphic: PUFMM

​A Florida man is asking a judge to allow him to use marijuana to treat his multiple sclerosis after a traffic stop resulted in his arrest for pot possession.

Angel Luis Hernandez, 32, of West Palm Beach, Florida, was arrested last year on the Florida Turnpike after a traffic stop. A search of Hernandez’s car turned up six grams of marijuana in his possession., reports David Gould of
He was given a notice to appear in the 19th Judicial Circuit Court on the marijuana charges.
According to Hernandez, he’s had MS for the past 10 years, and medical marijuana is the only medication that has helped him.
Hernandez is asking to have his marijuana use declared a medical necessity.