Wednesday, January 27, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Chuck Schumer Lists Marijuana As A Priority In First Post-Election Cannabis Comments (Marijuana Moment)

// Massachusetts city drops onerous ‘impact fee’ on cannabis businesses (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Top New York Official Responds To Marijuana Advocates’ Criticism Of Governor’s Legalization Plan (Marijuana Moment)


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// New Mexico Governor Pushes For Marijuana Legalization In State Of The State Address (Marijuana Moment)

// Police In New Jersey’s Largest City Continue Marijuana Arrests At Pre-Legalization Rate (Marijuana Moment)

// Maine labs receive go-ahead to start testing adult-use cannabis (WGME 13 CBS)

// Martha Stewart Launches Pet CBD Products ()

// Arizona’s initial adult-use marijuana licensing leaves some cities underserved (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Lawmakers in Costa Rica ask government to speed up medical cannabis debate (Tico Times)

// Did iAnthus Bankers Conspire To ‘Wipe Out’ Shareholders? (Green Market Report)

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The Cannabis Lawyer at the Center of Giuliani Trump Ukraine Scandal

For two nights earlier this month, viewers of Rachel Maddow on MSNBC were treated to an exclusive barrage of bombshells in the Ukraine-Trump scandal, delivered by would-be international fixer Lev Parnas.

As Parnas, one of the four associates of presidential attorney Rudy Giuliani indicted last fall for soliciting foreign help for President Donald Trump’s reelection effort, outlined exactly what he did — digging for dirt that would hurt Joe Biden, spooning damaging fabulism on former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch back to the president — a stone-faced man with close-cropped gray hair in a dark blue suit sat silently at his client’s left: Joseph Bondy. Bondy is Parnas’s lawyer, a prominent New York criminal defense attorney and, prior to his turn in Twitter-age international political intrigue, a prominent figure in cannabis legal defense and legalization advocacy circles.

As Trump’s impeachment trial begins in the U.S. Senate, Parnas is seizing a central role in both the legal proceedings and the attendant media circus. Bondy is also proving up to the task of keeping his client in a favorable spotlight, advocating for him to testify in the Senate with the #LetLevSpeak hashtag; and of releasing information at just the right time, to a variety of sources in the media as well as the House Intelligence Committee.

Through Bondy, Parnas is releasing more documents and evidence to Congress that would appear to back up his assertions that the president was tuned in to what he was doing. And when Trump denied so much as knowing Parnas, it was Bondy who responded by releasing a video off the two of them chatting amiably in an intimate group at Mar-a-Lago.

You may well ask: What’s a
well-known weed lawyer doing representing an alleged would-be Mar-a-Lago fixer?
And who is this guy, anyway? Bondy did not respond to requests for comment sent
via his website or via Twitter DM, but there’s ample information out there to
offer a brief sketch.

A native New Yorker, Bondy is
one of the members of the pro-bono legal team suing the federal government, in Washington
vs Barr,
to overturn federal cannabis prohibition on constitutional
grounds, as the New York Law Journal observed on Jan. 18.

As CelebStoner’s Steve Bloom posted last week, Bondy is also volunteer director of the Cannabis Cultural Association, a New York City-based nonprofit that advocates and “provides resources” for people of color to obtain entrepreneurship and job opportunities in the cannabis and hemp industries.

He seems effective in cannabis business. Two of his clients have won one of New York State’s 15 CBD-processing applications. Out of a pool of 352 applicants, that’s no mean feat. And Bondy has also spent enough time representing defendants against the might of federal marijuana law in federal court to earn accolades from the national leadership of NORML, where he’s a “lifetime member” of the organization’s legal committee.

And small wonder: Bondy has a track record of rescuing clients caught with cannabis from lengthy sentences According to his website, he managed to get a defendant accused of trafficking 6.5 tons of cannabis a 15-month sentence and managed to get another client, accused of both trafficking and conspiracy and cultivating more than 2,000 plants, an offense that would trigger a mandatory minimum of a decade in jail, 36 months.

He gave a talk at the 2016
NORML National Legal Committee seminar, held in Key West, Florida, in 2016.
He’s also been since 2016 a member of the National Cannabis Industry
Association. Of course, none of this repetition of his resume answers the
question of how he came into Parnas’s orbit, or why Parnas would hire him.

One simple answer is that
Bondy is a criminal defense attorney licensed to practice in the Southern
District of New York, the federal court district in Lower Manhattan where
Parnas and his alleged associates have been charged. Then again, there are an
awful, awful lot of criminal defense attorneys licensed to practice in the
Southern District of New York — this is the district where, coming full circle
here, Rudy Giuliani made his bones as a U.S. attorney, prosecuting Mafia
figures in the 1980s.

It is true that there’s a
cannabis angle to the Parnas saga: one of the three other men indicted along
with him is Andrey Kukushkin, who had interests in California cannabis
dispensaries, and allegedly engaged in an illegal scheme to funnel money from
Ukraine and Russia to straw donors in Nevada in an attempt to change cannabis
laws to his favor.

And as the Daily Beast reported last week, Parnas in part gained access to pro-Trump political players — invited to attend an October 2018 dinner with Ivanka Trump and her husband, first-son-in-law Jared Kushner — in part because he was a “Trump loyalist” who was also “pro cannabis.” Fundraisers wanted him there because they wanted Ivanka and Jared’s help in convincing Trump to relax federal marijuana law, a cause shared by plenty of MAGA Republicans in Florida, probably chief among them Rep. Matt Gaetz.

That’s the most likely avenue
for Bondy and Parnas to know one another—and, after his arrest Oct. 9 at Dulles
International Airport in Washington, D.C., with a one-way ticket to Vienna,
Parnas could conceivably have flipped through his contacts list, seen Bondy up
top, and given him a call. For now, seems like to have been a smart move.

TELL
US,
 are
you following the impeachment trial?

The post The Cannabis Lawyer at the Center of Giuliani Trump Ukraine Scandal appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, July 24, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Senate Hearing Represents A Step Toward Providing Marijuana Banking Access (Marijuana Moment)

// FDA Warns Curaleaf about CBD Marketing Claims (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Juneau Assembly OKs onsite pot smoking (Peninsula Clarion)


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// Marijuana companies protest Utah’s medical pot grower picks (St George News (AP))

// Some NC lawmakers want to ban smokable hemp. It looks too much like marijuana, they say. (Charlotte Observer)

// This Luxury Home Developer is Designing ‘Marijuana Mansions’ for Elite Cannabis Consumers (Civilized)

// Cory Booker Slams Joe Biden’s Marijuana And Criminal Justice Proposal As Inadequate (Marijuana Moment)

// It’s Getting Harder to Fire People for Using Pot (Bloomberg Businessweek)

// AZ Attorney General Wants Lawmakers to Legalize Cannabis, Not Voters (AZ Marijuana)

// Chart: Hawaii’s medical cannabis reciprocity program off to slow start (Marijuana Business Daily)


Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Ken Lund/Flickr