Week in Review: Germany Likely to Legalization; Politics a Hot Topic at SXSW

Germany’s Health Minister Indicates That Legalization Will Proceed

The German health minister has indicated that adult-use legalization will move forward in the European country, reports Marijuana Moment. Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Tuesday that he has received “very good feedback” from the European Commission and expects his bill to be formally presented “in the next few weeks.” 

“We’ll soon present a proposal that works, that is, that conforms to European law,” Minister Lauterbach said. Throughout the lobbying process, the minister has indicated that his efforts aim to improve public health in Germany via regulating adult-use cannabis. In 2022, the Federal Cabinet of Germany adopted a preliminary outline for legalization legislation. Still, the government required EU approval to ensure that adopting the change wouldn’t violate their international duties.

Under the government’s soon-to-be-revised proposal, which is currently only a 12-page framework and not actual legislation, adults 18 and older would be permitted to purchase and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis from establishments with federal licenses, potentially including pharmacies. Moreover, they may raise up to three plants for their own use.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Andrew DeAngelo. Photo courtesy of SXSW

Legalization the Hot Topic at SXSW 2023

Global Cannabis Consultant and Strategic Advisor Andrew DeAngelo, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) gathered onstage to discuss federal cannabis legalization at this year’s SXSW conference in Austin. The panel, called “Which Political Party Will Legalize Weed?” gave the two representatives an opportunity for a lively discussion on the end of federal cannabis prohibition. Moderator DeAngelo pushed the politicians on the lack of progress in the Capitol, according to Green Market Report.

Blumenauer is said to be “more optimistic” than last year, referencing President Biden’s pardoning of cannabis prisoners and the fact that Biden is also keeping the possibility of descheduling on the table after initiating a review of cannabis classification. However, he was said to be more critical of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) inability to get a voting measure passed by the House, quoted as saying their desire for perfect legislation is behind the continued stalling but believes the two had “learned their lesson” and are more open to compromise.

Mace was reportedly less optimistic, saying if any change is going to happen, it needs to be done before June, as after that, “it’ll be about the presidential election,” she said. The South Carolina Republican also noted that President Biden could use it to his advantage to boost his reelection hopes.

Photo couresy of Death Row Cannabis

Snoop Extends Death Row Cannabis Product Offering 

 Following the sold-out first product drop of its debut offerings LA Runtz, Trop Cherry, Strawberry Garry and SFV OG, Death Row Cannabis has launched two new additions, True OG and Strawberry Gelato (Apple Fritter x Lemon Cherry Gelato hybrid), on March 10. Plus, fans of LA Runtz can be reassured that the popular strain also be returning. Like the first fire drop, these new cultivars were carefully by Death Row Cannabis’ Head of Operations, AK, a longtime West Coast legacy cultivator. 

“We’re very excited to introduce California consumers to Death Row Cannabis’s newest heavy hitter, Strawberry Gelato,” Travis “Shaggy” Marshall, head of product, said. “It has a loud, unique strawberry nose that’s tart and sharp on the front but sweet and creamy on the back. To me, it’s what I’d imagine a strawberry shortcake-flavored milkshake would taste like. Not only is it uniquely delicious, but testing at over 35% it also packs a punch for heavier smokers like me.” 

Arkansas Police: Medical Marijuana Causes Other Crimes

No Increase in Traffic-Related Hospitalizations Following Cannabis Legalization

The introduction of adult-use marijuana sales in Canada isn’t linked to a rise in hospitalizations for traffic-related injuries, according to data published in the journal Addiction, reports NORML. Researchers compared the national rates of hospital admissions and emergency room visits in the years before and immediately after legalization. 

 “Overall, there’s no clear evidence that RCL [recreational cannabis laws] had any effect on rates of ED visits and hospitalizations for either motor vehicle or pedestrian/cyclist injury across Canada,” the authors concluded.

The results align with an earlier Canadian study from 2021, which “found no evidence that the implementation of the Cannabis Act was associated with significant changes in post-legalization patterns of all drivers’ traffic-injury ED visits or, more specifically, youth-driver traffic-injury ED presentations.”

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Snoop Dogg Announces New Death Row Cannabis

Death Row Records, the record label behind many of hip-hop’s biggest superstars for more than three decades, announced today that it’s launching an eponymous marijuana brand: Death Row Cannabis.

Death Row Cannabis dropped a fresh 22-second teaser video on Instagram this morning that featured an updated iteration of Death Row Record’s iconic hooded prisoner logo with a noticeable twist—the inmate is smoking a fat joint. The video is the creation of artist GUAP with a soundtrack provided by Kevin Gilliam, aka DJ Battlecat, the Los Angeles-based producer who’s worked with rap legends including Tupac Shakur, The Game, Xzibit, Snoop Dogg and many more.

According to a statement from the label, the new launch promises to “return Death Row to its former glory, all elements of the former label are being refitted for today’s audience and their evolving tastes.”

Death Row Cannabis Products Revealed

The first products revealed in the video feature eighths of premium flower sold in limited edition commemorative metallic bags. Additionally, liquid diamond-infused .5g pre-rolls will also be available in packs of seven and as individual 2g pre-rolls. Confirmed cultivars include Tropicana Cookies, a Girl Scout Cookies X Tangie hybrid; Strawberry Gary, a Gary Payton X Red Pop; and Runtz, a rare hybrid Zkittles X Gelato cross.

The executive “hand-selected by Snoop himself” to grow the company is West Coast legacy cultivator and industry insider, AK. He’s currently Vice President of Cultivation for TRP LLC, who owns a majority of the Cookies stores across the nation, including their facilities in Florida. 

But AK is perhaps best known as being the man behind the IYKYK brand SMKRS and for his role alongside former partner WizardTrees in sprouting, selecting and expertly growing the Shirazi, RS11 (also known as Rainbow Sherbet #11), Studio 54 and strains from exotic cannabis breeder DEO.

According to a statement, “AK’s reputation for ‘fire’ OG weed keeps kids camped out in lines in front of their dispensaries.”

Death Row Cannabis will first be available at select Cookies California stores throughout California in Brentwood (Los Angeles), San Diego and San Bernardino on January 2, 2023, with other states and location rollouts to follow. 

Death Row Records new packaging.

Snoop & Death Row Records

The news is something of a full-circle moment for Snoop Dogg, who acquired Death Row Records in February 2022 when he said he was “looking forward to building the next chapter of Death Row Records.”

The Long Beach native’s music career began at the LA-based gansta rap record label. Founded in 1991 by Tracy “The D.O.C.” Lynn Curry, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, Suge Knight and Richard Gilbert “Dick” Griffey, the label catapulted gangsta rap from being a subculture and placed it firmly into the mainstream.

Snoop’s first appearance at Death Row Records came in 1992 when he and Dr Dre performed on the title track for the movie “Deep Cover.” His debut single “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” was released by the label in October 1993 and became No.1 on Billboard‘s Hot Rap Songs chart and No.8 on the Top 100 chart. The song’s uptempo, funky vibe served as the ideal prelude to the rapper’s debut album, Doggystyle. Produced by Dr Dre, the album debuted at No.1 on the Billboard charts in November 1993 making it the first debut album in history to land in the chats in the covetable position.

Doggystyle sold more than four million copies in the first seven months of its release and it remains one of the most acclaimed and best-selling rap albums of all time.

“I’m thrilled and appreciative of the opportunity to acquire the iconic and culturally significant Death Row Records brand, which has immense untapped future value,” Snoop Dogg said in a statement at the time. “It feels good to have ownership of the label I was part of at the beginning of my career and as one of the founding members. This is an extremely meaningful moment for me.”

Snoop’s acquisition has seen the brand make moves to become “a multi-category cultural platform across music, entertainment and cannabis, all united by the blockchain for a new generation,” the label said in a statement.

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Snoop Dogg Unveils Death Row Cannabis

Snoop Dogg announced today that Death Row Records—the legendary West Coast hip-hop platform featuring artists like Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur, Nate Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, and so on—is entering the cannabis game with Death Row Cannabis

What kind of strains can we expect? Death Row Cannabis will initially launch a trove of OG strains including Runtz, Strawberry Gary, and Tropicana Cookies. The first drop arrives in limited edition commemorative metallic bags featuring the iconic hooded prisoner figure seated in an electric chair on the front—the image found on the Death Row Records logo if you look closely. 

Specifically designed for the Death Row Cannabis drop, the new rendering of the prisoner was designed for the launch of the cannabis brand. The main difference between the new and old images is that the new one has one hand broken free and is smoking a fat doobie.

To do this drop, and considering competition, Snoop Dogg zeroed in on one of the top cultivators around.

Who’s Growing Death Row Cannabis?

The man who curates Death Row Cannabis is the one and only, mighty AK—“hand-selected by Snoop himself.” AK is best known for his role alongside former partner Wizard Trees in sprouting, selecting, and cultivating strains such as RS11 (aka Rainbow Sherbert #11), Studio 54, and Shirazi from breeder DEO Farms. (High Times Vice President of Content Jon Cappetta profiled the high-grade cannabis grown by Wizard Trees last August.)

AK is also behind the IYKYK brand SMKRS and he is also the esteemed Vice President of Cultivation for TRP LLC, the company that owns a majority of the Cookies stores across the nation including their facilities in Florida. AK has also developed a reputation for his knack for cultivating fire OG strains. 

Death Row Cannabis will first be available at select Cookies California stores throughout California in Brentwood, San Bernardino, and San Diego on Monday, January 2, 2023, with other locations and more states to follow. 

Follow Death Row Records and Death Row Cannabis on Instagram for more details about the initial drop. The accounts posted an animation of the Death Row Records logo and revealed a branded pre-roll tube. The teaser video was created by artist GUAP with a soundtrack by Kevin Gilliam, aka DJ Battlecat.

Snoop Dogg and Death Row

Under Snoop’s recent leadership after he acquired the label, Death Row Records is making a lucrative dive into cannabis. Snoop Dogg, under Death Row Records, praised the herb from the get-go, most obviously on albums like Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and The Chronic 2001, or nearly any Snoop Dogg record. (However, Snoop’s acquisition does not necessarily include all the familiar albums.)

At its peak, Death Row Records artists seemed larger than life and defined an era—including the West Coast G-funk sound that was often imitated but not duplicated. 

“For over 30 years, through countless chart topping hits and landmark artists, Death Row Records has stood as one of the music industry’s most iconic and culturally significant platforms,” the label said in a statement. “Today, it is under powerful new management. Recently acquired and under the direction of Snoop Dogg and his family, the infamous musical empire has reemerged as a multi-category cultural platform across music, entertainment, and cannabis, all united by the blockchain for a new generation.”

Ahead of the announcement of Death Row Cannabis, Snoop Dogg acquired Death Row Records on February 10. “It feels good to have ownership of the label I was part of at the beginning of my career,” Snoop Dogg said at the time. This represents Snoop Dogg’s next move with his new platform.

Stay tuned for more drops from Death Row Cannabis, soon to follow.

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