FBI Corruption in Cannabis, UC Davis Teams up with DEA and the Czech Republic

In domestic news, the FBI is on the lookout for public corruption in the cannabis industry, soliciting tips on their weekly podcast. As more states legalize marijuana either medically or recreationally, the agency is concerned public officials may become susceptible to bribes in exchange for operating licenses. In fact, a number of pay-to-play schemes have already been documented, and many industry insiders welcome the fight against corruption.

In Utah, Denver-based tech company Akerna introduces a new product authentication scanning feature for MMJ patients. Their program, Leaf Data Systems is selected for the state’s medical cannabis seed-to-sale traceability contract. The program has faced technical issues in Washington and Pennsylvania, causing concern among those in the industry. What do you think? Is it a wise move for Utah regulators to choose a system that’s previously created so much disruption in other states’ markets? Let us know online at Cannabis Broadcast Station.

In California, researchers at UC Davis team up with the DEA-registered Biopharmaceutical Research Company to study the chemical and biological profiles of marijuana, including the compositions of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids. The pioneering study aims to benefit law enforcement, healthcare providers, and scientists, and is expected to help cannabis companies in the process, by making it easier for authorities to distinguish between marijuana and hemp.

In South Dakota, several initiatives are in the process of being certified, incorporating recreational and medical cannabis reform. The state’s attorney general filed an official explanation for a proposed measure which included, among other aspects, legalizing the possession and use of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older, an excise tax rate of 15 percent, and the ability for jurisdictions to opt out of allowing cultivators and retailers in their areas. Activists are currently working to get the proposal on the 2020 ballot.

In finance, Aurora Cannabis announces the acquisition of Hempco Food and Fiber for 63.4 million Canadian dollars. Hempco is a provider of hemp-based foods, fiber, and nutraceuticals, and will provide access to high volumes of low-cost raw hemp, as Aurora sets its sights on the U.S. hemp market, making multiple acquisitions to bolster its production, processing, and distribution capabilities.

In Canada, Canopy Growth receives a license from Health Canada for their KeyLeaf Life Sciences extraction facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The facility has the capacity to extract up to 5,000 kilograms of hemp or cannabis biomass per day and is expected to increase production efficiency and output volume when it goes online this fall.

In the Czech Republic, parliament considers a measure that would allow for medical marijuana to be covered by public health insurance. The amendment to the Medicines Act, which would cover 90 percent of the cost of up to 30 grams of medical cannabis per patient per month, is expected to boost the country’s lagging market and may likely be approved by the end of the year.

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Directed by: Micah Tatum @arbitrageent
News Anchor: Jacqui Verdura

William Bradley

William Bradley

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