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News You Can Choom

This week in weed

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Fresh news on America’s cannabis industry comes out almost every day, and some of it is simply hilarious. There’s a lot of stuff going on, be it in business or in politics, and it can be a challenge to keep up with it. So here are a few random notes on recent developments.

Let’s start with some great developments here in Florida. Almost as soon as he took office, our new governor, Ron DeSantis, placed a bullseye on the “vertical integration” model for dispensaries. Last week, he put would-be monopolies on notice in court. You see, vertical-integration regs require dispensaries to grow, distill and retail the product themselves. This, of course, limits business opportunities to those who can afford to invest in all stages of the process. On July 9, the First District Court of Appeals upheld an October 2018 ruling that relaxed these requirements and opened the door to licensing arrangements. With revenues having basically doubled in each of the industry’s first three years in Florida, this ruling brings our great state’s cannabis market one step closer to that magic billion-dollar mark (which we’ll probably hit just in time for DeSantis to begin his reelection campaign).

We’ve noted in the past a serious impediment to the expansion of said market: the fear that federal law could be used to bust growers and retailers in states that have liberalized, decriminalized or outright legalized. Moves are being made to protect in-state trade. To wit, a 267-to-165 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 20 added a rider to a larger appropriations bill that would prevent the Department of Justice from pulling rank in such matters. It’s a Democratic initiative, but a boon for the “state’s rights” gimmick. And it was driven largely by a desire to protect the District of Columbia itself, which legalized in 2014. It’s unclear how this measure will fare in the Senate, or in the White House, but odds are decent in its favor.

Finally, something goofy, since that’s probably why you’re here: A woman in Milledgeville, Georgia ordered a birthday cake for her 25-year-old daughter, and she was shocked to discover botchery on herculean levels. Call it a failure to communicate, or call it high-level trolling, but instead of getting the Moana-themed cake she wanted, she got a Mary Jane-themed cake. Yes, folks, her daughter’s birthday cake was festooned with a big ol’ pot leaf and, for unknown reasons, a green My Little Pony character with another pot leaf on its rump. (The pony’s name is Green Jewel, which would be a great name for a weed strain if it isn’t already.) It seems oddly specific, for a mere mistake, almost like they had it in the queue for someone else. Personally, I find this all very curious, because I’ve never been to Milledgeville, and my birthday isn’t until February, so I have no answers for you.

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