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Are Women Taking Charge of the Cannabis Industry?

LISA ROUGH – Leafly

The cannabis industry is comprised of scrappy, tenacious individuals who aren’t opposed to taking a risk, and in a sector that’s struggling to break free of former stoner stereotypes and debilitating social stigmas, women are leading the way. According to a 2015 survey from Marijuana Business Daily, women held 36% of leadership positions in the industry, including 50% of leadership roles in processing and infused product companies, and 63% of executive roles at testing labs.

When MJBiz conducted an updated survey on the topic in August 2017, the number of women in leadership roles had fallen to 27% of executive-level roles, although the presence of women in leadership roles in ancillary sectors of the industry holds strong: 42% of women held executive roles in supplemental cannabis services companies, and women still own and operate 35% of medical and retail cannabis shops.

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States Keep Saying Yes to Marijuana Use. Now Comes the Federal No.

AVANTIKA CHILKOTI – The New York Times

In a national vote widely viewed as a victory for conservatives, last year’s elections also yielded a win for liberals in eight states that legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use. But the growing industry is facing a federal crackdown under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has compared cannabis to heroin.

task force Mr. Sessions appointed to, in part, review links between violent crimes and marijuana is scheduled to release its findings by the end of the month. But he has already asked Senate leaders to roll back rules that block the Justice Department from bypassing state laws to enforce a federal ban on medical marijuana.

That has pitted the attorney general against members of Congress across the political spectrum — from Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, to Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey — who are determined to defend states’ rights and provide some certainty for the multibillion-dollar pot industry.

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High Times Is Sold to Group That Includes Son of Bob Marley

The New York Times

High Times, the magazine that has chronicled the transformation of marijuana use from an underground vice to a major American business, said on Thursday that it had been acquired by a group of investors that includes Damian Marley, son of the reggae star Bob Marley.

The group, led by Adam Levin, the founder of the investment firm Oreva Capital, bought a controlling interest at a price that values the magazine at $70 million, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

In a news release, the new ownership group said it planned to expand the publication’s audience and its events business.

“I think most would agree it was not executing business at max potential under the legacy framework established by the founders,” Mr. Levin, who will become chief executive of High Times Holding Co., said in a statement. “We are going to build on the strong base they created to bring High Times from the authority in the counterculture movement to a modern media enterprise.”

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Which state legislatures could legalize recreational, medical marijuana in 2018?

JOHN SCHROYER – Marijuana Business Daily

Only 26 states in the United States – along with Washington DC – allow independent campaigns to place ballot measures before the general public. Which means the only way to change state laws in almost half the country is through the legislature.

For cannabis advocates, that means pinning legalization hopes on lawmakers, not voters.

Unfortunately, politicians are often slow to enact public policy changes, which is why each of the eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana have done so at the ballot box instead of through legislatures.

That could change in 2018, however. And, according to cannabis industry observers, there could be gains on the medical marijuana front as well.

“You will hear about some wins through the legislative process, and there will be wins at the ballot. So I do expect the strong movement forward to continue” in 2018, said Bryan Meltzer, a New York-based attorney who tracks potential new business opportunities and markets for roughly two dozen cannabis industry clients.

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Privateer raises $58 million to boost marijuana expansion

Marijuana Business Daily

Marijuana-centric private equity company Privateer Holdings – coming off a $122 million funding year – has increased its coffers with a significant raise of $58 million.

The Seattle-based company’s recent Series B raise is a combination of equity and a convertible note, GeekWire reported.

In 2016, Privateer became the first marijuana company to raise more than $100 million, and its latest funding brings the seven-year-old firm’s total to $180 million.

Privateer owns U.S. cannabis companies Leafly and Marley Natural as well as Canadian medical marijuana licensed producer Tilray. Tilray recently said it will invest 30 million Canadian dollars ($24 million) in a large-scale production facility in Ontario, Canada.

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