Flashback to the 2017 San Francisco International Cannabis Business Conference – Toys and Trump

A lifetime has passed since my 2017, crazy trip to the San Francisco ICBC conference. Looking back, I am a little surprised and impressed with myself for going in the first place. From the beginning, I knew it would be an adventure, the circumstances guaranteed it. The green rush was in full swing with the […]

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Spannabis, ICBC Announce Cancelation as Travel Ban Set to Take Effect

As many of the brightest cannabis stars on the planet are in Spain to take part in a last-minute canceled Spannabis, a freshly announced travel ban from Europe over coronavirus included few details for what will happen to U.S. citizens on their way home from Europe pending their health screening. 

The general focus of yesterday’s announcement on the travel ban from over 20 European countries was a theme of no foreign nationals who’d visited any of them entering the United States. But among the list of countries included in the travel ban is Spain.

With big plans, many of the best cannabis minds in the world converged on Spain to take part in the industries premier annual European adventure, Spannabis. Some planned to stick around for the Barcelona edition of the International Cannabis Business Conference. Spannabis was canceled only two days prior to when the event was set to be held with ICBC being canceled a day before that conference was set to start, leaving prospective attendees without time to adjust their travel plans. In the wee hours of early morning they began to get word of President Donald Trump’s announced travel ban. Trump announced that the U.S. would suspend all travel from Europe, with the exception of the U.K., to the U.S. for 30 days beginning at 11:59 ET on Friday, March 13. While U.S. citizens were said to be exempt from the announcement, that still left those Americans in Spain  — as known coronavirus cases are exploding — wondering what exactly would happen to them upon arrival back in the U.S. 

On Wednesday, there were 2,140 cases of coronavirus in Spain with 48 deaths. By today, those numbers had jumped to 2,968 cases with 84 deaths. 

This morning, both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence went into deeper detail on what Americans coming back from Europe can expect when returning home. They will be required to fly through 13 specific airports to undergo screenings. 

Trump noted if an American does test positive they aren’t going to be shipped off anywhere. 

“We’re not putting them on planes if it shows positive,” he said. Americans will be quarantined upon arrival, he told the assembled media. “You have to have separation, or this thing takes longer to go away.” 

NPR reported Pence as saying those travelers who return to the U.S. from the EU will all be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

So at the very least, everyone on their way home from Spannabis will be required to  self-quarantine. One of those travellers is Luigi Diaz from San Francisco-based Triples SF, known for their Triple Scoop Gelato. 

Diaz said what he has gone through just to spend the day in Spain has been a nightmare as he spoke with us while in transit to the U.K. 

“I literally have spent about $5,000 in two days, lost all my money for the hotel now gotta rent a hotel for the night in London until tomorrow so we can leave for the U.S.,” Diaz told Cannabis Now. 

We asked if he was worried about the threat of quarantine when he finally gets back to California. 

“100%,” he replied. “Everyone is trying to get back by tomorrow because apparently that is the deadline.” 

But there is a lot of confusion with folks around whether that deadline is for quarantine or just to get  back on U.S. soil from anywhere other than the U.K.

Diaz still holds Barcelona’s cannabis scene in high regard despite not getting to spend as much time there as he had hoped. 

“Barcelona was tight and I will be back ASAP,” he said, noting that he found the flower terpene profiles weren’t his taste, but the hash was exceptional. 

Spannabis’s organizers had expected to welcome visitors from more than 50 countries on March 13, 14, and 15. More than 300 exhibitors were expected to take part in the festivities. In addition to the thousands expected at Spannabis, another 1,000 were expected for ICBC Barcelona. 

According to the Department of Homeland Security the new travel restrictions between the U.S. and Europe will be in effect for at least 30 days.

TELL US, did you get caught up in the travel ban? What has your experience been like?

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Trump Campaign Official Says Pot Should be ‘Kept Illegal’

If the Democrats cannot figure out their strategy for dominating the upcoming election, there is a fair chance that we could see President Trump weaseling his way back into the White House for a second term. And while some cannabis advocates would be pleased as punch with this turn of events others believe that any other candidate, and we do mean any, would be better for the sanity of the United States.

But ask toking Trumpsters why it is that they have grown so keen on reelecting the Donald and they’ll tell you, “He’s the only president so far that has said he would legalize marijuana at the federal level.” Ah, yes, we remember the comment. It was just two years ago, ahead of the G-7 summit in Canada, when Trump told reporters that he would “probably” support a long since dead cannabis bill known as the STATES Act. Since then, Trump supporters have believed that “their president” sides with them with respect to legalizing marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

Well, not so fast, maverick.

Just weeks after a secret tape surfaced, revealing that Trump seriously thinks that marijuana is leading to the dumbing down of America, a new interview with his Director of Strategic Communications, Marc Lotter, shows that Trump doesn’t support the legalization of marijuana at the national level. Earlier this week, Lotter told Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS-TV that President Trump is still dedicated to keeping the prohibition standard in this country.

“I think the president has been pretty clear on his views on marijuana at the federal level. I know many states have taken a different path,” Lotter said. “I think what the president is looking at is looking at this from a standpoint of a parent — of a parent of a young person — to make sure that we keep our kids away from drugs. They need to be kept illegal. That is the federal policy.”

But, Trump said he would…

Yeah, yeah, we know what he said. You see, the confusion over whether Trump is pro-pot or not really stems from statements made during his 2016 campaign. That’s when he professed to the nation that marijuana legalization should be allowed to move forward as a state’s rights issue. Trump never came out and said that the old U.S. of A needs to be legalizing some weed. It wasn’t until 2018 that he made comments about supporting the STATES Act, which was not precisely designed to legalize the leaf at the federal level, but to — yep, you guessed it  — strengthen the cause in terms of state’s rights. The bill, which is deader than a doornail at this point, simply aimed to actually give states the freedom to legalize however they see fit without federal interference. It was one of those toe-in-the-water bills that Congress likes to noodle with on occasion. Many journalists wrote that the passing of such a measure would have effectively legalized weed nationwide, but that wasn’t exactly true. There would have been no major changes to the Controlled Substances Act, and marijuana would have remained illegal at the federal level.

So, yeah, Trump said he might support that two years ago. It was no skin off his back. After all, most law-abiding cannabis operations in the 40 odd states that have them are being left alone, anyway.

But ahead of the 2020 campaign, political analysts predicted that President Trump might come out in favor of marijuana legalization as a way to stay competitive with all of the Democrats that have done the same. All except for Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg support bringing down pot prohibition once and for all. Hell, even Congressional Democrats suspected that Trump would eventually get behind legal weed to get reelected. If we look back a ways, Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon wrote in his 2018 “Blueprint to Legalize Marijuana in the 116th Congress” that “if we fail to act swiftly, I fear as the 2020 election approaches, Donald Trump will claim credit for our work in an effort to shore up support — especially from young voters.”

Welp, it seems like everyone was wrong.

Listen, I’m going to be honest with you folks, this situation with Trump creates even more trouble for legal weed. Right now, the Democrats are trying to develop a plan that would allow them to regain control of the Senate, as well as the presidency. But if they had to choose one, they are really frothing at the mouth over the possibility of laying claims to the upper chamber. It’s the reason that some predict Democrat Bernie Sanders — a candidate that has sworn to legalize marijuana nationwide on his first day in office — will fail to get the nomination again this year. Some are worried that his socialist ideals will turn off suburban America and cause an uprising in Republicans to make noise at the polls.

In a perfect, pot-friendly world, we would see the Democrats taking both the Senate and the presidency in 2020. This scenario would allow the most potential for marijuana legalization to strike nationwide in 2021. But if Democrats lose the Senate and win the presidency, legal weed could still be six or more years away. Then again, if they win the Senate and President Trump gets reelected, marijuana is probably still going to be delayed for another four years. No matter what marijuana-related measure a Democratic-controlled Congress pushes through, Trump is not likely to support it. Really, the only chance we have at seeing full-blown legalization soon is if voters decide by November that they would rather support the path of the Dems rather than Republicans.

Right now, however, the country is split. Around 28% of the nation identifies as Democrat, 28% Republican and 41% independent.

TELL US, do you think America will ever legalize marijuana nationwide?

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Kanye West Is Still Waiting on Donald Trump to Grow Hemp

Much can be accomplished with money, celebrity, and land, three things Kanye West — the mercurial musical genius and, since last fall, the owner of two sprawling Wyoming ranches —enjoys in abundance.

But not everything. Not even Kanye West has permission to grow hemp — yet.

In addition to mulling a run for president and a name change or two, while redefining gospel music on the side, becoming a sustainable clothing magnate with his very own hemp farm is one of many grandiose Ye schemes announced recently that haven’t quite taken off.

This is not his fault. Though the Farm Bill signed by West’s good friend President Donald Trump in December 2018 has led to an explosion of hemp production and CBD product availability throughout the country, Wyoming farmers are still waiting for federal permission to put their first low-THC cannabis sativa seeds in the ground.

Wyoming is increasingly becoming an outlier in the west as a state that allows neither recreational nor medical cannabis — and is also slow to adapt hemp production. Wyoming state agricultural officials resubmitted a proposal for a hemp-growing pilot program to federal Agriculture Department officials on Friday.

That means any Kanye West CBD lines will have to wait. But the potential’s there. And at least that was the plan as recently in October, not long after West bought the first of two Western ranches he and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, now own.

“We’re building farms here, because of the climate and because of the soil, that have hydroponic cotton, wheat, hemp,” West told Apple News, which he invited out to the $14 million property near Cody, Wyoming called “Monster Lake Ranch.”

When West bought it, the ranch had “a restaurant, a saloon, a ranch-style event venue, a maintenance shop, an office building” as well as ranch-y things like horse barns, a corral, sheds, and a place to shoot guns.

All indications are that this is one of the places where West lives with his family. One of the saloons is a recording studio, and Kardashian and the couple’s children live in the main house.

There’s been a flurry of activity there, some of which has run afoul of authorities: West was ordered to stop construction on a massive “mediation amphitheater,” and was visited by authorities yet again in November to stop unpermitted construction.

This begs the questions: What’s Kanye West doing out in Wyoming, and when does he plan to start growing hemp?

West himself has indicated that he plans to move production of his Yeezy sneakers out west, something that he hinted at during the interview and something he said outright in a separate appearance in New York. He also suggested employing formerly incarcerated people as the farm and factory labor.

Both the hemp and the cotton could provide the raw materials for production, though it’s unclear both where he’d source the labor, as well as whether he’d be able to get a warehouse or other buildings necessary for manufacturing built.

But he wants to do it. “We’re developing our own fabrics and we’re gonna go from ‘seed to sew,’ from farm to table so we can see the entire process,” he said. “We gotta sustain, right?”

Right! But before the sustaining, the shopping. A few weeks after the interview, West bought another ranch near Cody, this one for $14.459 million. Bighorn Mountain Ranch, the second of the two West ranches in Wyoming, has, among other things, heated helicopter pads and saunas on its 6,713 acres.

The second ranch, according to People, is a permanent home for West’s recent religious effort, a “pop-up church service” called Sunday Services.

But since the holidays, which the Wests appeared to spend out on the ranch, it appears attention has wandered somewhat. Forensic analysis of Kim Kardashian West’s Instagram page (we looked at it for like an hour) suggests that most of the family has spent most of the past week or so in Los Angeles or other places not at the ranch.

And if Wyoming doesn’t quite get its act together, there’s always Montana, where Kanye West could apparently buy as many ranches as he wants.

TELL US, do you think Kayne West will really grow hemp?

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