Basketball star Brittney Griner was released from a Russian prison in a prisoner swap with the Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is known as the “Merchant of death.” President Biden said she was safe and on a plane headed home.
This week two companies were accused of inflating THC levels for premium-priced products. Both Stiiizy and VO Leasing, which makes Presidential cannabis products were the subjects of lawsuits filed in California. Both sell products that claim to have high THC levels, but when tested, were beyond the margin of error established by the state. Some by over 30%.
Weedmaps (NASDAQ: MAPS) said it was laying off 25% of its staff or 175 people. The move is intended to cut expenses but will cost over $10 million in severance costs. This comes shortly after longtime CEO Chris Beals departed the company and amid continuing losses at Weedmaps.
The cannabis banking bill, the SAFE Act, did not make it into the defense bill despite efforts by Sen. Chuck Schumer. Now, attention is turning to possible inclusion in the appropriations bill, but even that might not happen. More disappointing for the cannabis industry: comments by minority leader Sen. Mitch Mcconnell tagging the banking legislation as a “pet priority.” The legislation isn’t completely dead and could make it into the omnibus bill or even as a stand-alone bill, but time is running out.
In state news, Massachusetts said it would allow some pesticides by cannabis cultivators and Illinois said it would be open to cannabis delivery companies. Rhode Island fined one of its new cannabis license holders for winning a cannabis competition in Massachusetts. Mammoth cannabis was fined $10,000 and claimed to have been at the conference but that someone else must’ve entered their product.
And finally, a lawsuit was filed against the Facebook parent company Meta in connection with the cannabis Ponzi scheme Juicy Fields. Marketing for the investors of the scheme was done through social media, which is why they are going after Meta. The case includes 800 people from 50 different countries. Two billion euros are missing from investor accounts.