California Cannabis Co. Pays Off Debt, Here’s What’s Next and More

In the days of the Armada, a fleet of warships, the scuttlebutt was the rumor or gossip that would spread throughout the ship. Today, Armada Law Corp presents The Scuttlebutt, a daily summery of news articles that people within the cannabis, hemp and plant medicine industries are chatting about along with links to the full articles.

In today’s news:

California Cannabis Co. Pays Off Debt, Here’s What’s Next

#cannabisindustry – “California’s Lowell Farms Inc. said on Friday that it has repurchased all of the $22,157,417 aggregate principal amount of outstanding senior secured convertible debentures of its subsidiary, Indus Holding Company, as well as related warrants to purchase 106,274,830 subordinate voting shares of the company and 43,248,450 common shares of Indus. Lowell Farms is a vertically integrated cannabis company…”

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Last Prisoner Project Releases State of Cannabis Justice Report

#cannabisreform – “Exploring cannabis justice action on a state-by-state basis through the investigation of record clearance and resentencing, Last Prisoner Project’s State of Cannabis Justice Report calls for further action on cannabis justice in the US.

In a public comment, Steve DeAngelo, Founder of the Last Prisoner Project, commented: “Justice is not achieved through mere legalisation alone but by undoing the harms caused by cannabis prohibition.

“The State of Cannabis Justice Report analyses each state’s commitment to delivering retroactive relief by assessing the status of record clearance and resentencing and executive actions such as pardons.”⁣”

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Huntington Beach council rejects $325,000 grant for cannabis retailer licensing program

#californiacannabis – “The City Council tapped the brakes on Huntington Beach moving toward cannabis sales.

The council’s majority has rejected a $325,000 grant from the state’s Department of Cannabis Control, which would have funded expenses related to implementing a cannabis retailer licensing program. The 3-to-4 decision signals that councilmembers aren’t giving the idea blanket support.

The council’s rejection comes months after Huntington Beach voters approved taxing possible future revenue from cannabis sales.

Councilmembers Gracey Van Der Mark and Casey McKeon both said they want Huntington Beach residents to vote if they want cannabis sales in the city before taking any further steps for implementation. The council also voted to dissolve a cannabis ad-hoc committee.

“I feel we are just slowly, nose under the tent, trying to chip away at this,” McKeon said. “If we want to ask the voters if we should allow cannabis sales, let’s do that.””

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He was seconds away from being sentenced to prison in $3 million California kidnapping plot. Then a series of unpredictable events led to his acquittal

#californiacannabis – “In one year, a defendant in a $3 million kidnapping-for-ransom plot went from being seconds away from receiving a likely federal prison term to walking away from the case free, with no convictions hanging over his head.

In a weird way, Evgeni Kopankov has his co-defendant’s cocaine use to thank for it.

The series of courtroom dramatics that led to Kopankov’s eventual acquittal started, ironically, after he’d already pleaded guilty to joining in a plot to kidnap a Humboldt County cannabis farmer and threaten him into giving up $3 million.

In February 2022, Kopankov appeared before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria to be sentenced, but many in court — Chhabria included — were left flabbergasted when both Kopankov and his attorney denied Kopankov had knowingly joined in an abduction plot at all.

“What the heck is going on?” Chhabria demanded at one point in the hearing, before postponing the sentencing altogether. Then he sentenced Kopankov’s co-defendant, Emanoel Borisov, to two years and six months behind bars.

But a seemingly innocuous statement by Borisov’s lawyer threw things further into chaos. While arguing that Borisov deserved leniency, attorney James Bustamante said his client was in “la la land” and in a “fog” of heavy cocaine and alcohol addiction during the time of the kidnapping plot….”

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoes bill that would have decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms

#psychedelics – “California Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill aimed at decriminalizing the possession and personal use of several hallucinogens, including psychedelic mushrooms….

“California should immediately begin work to set up regulated treatment guidelines – replete with dosing information, therapeutic guidelines, rules to prevent against exploitation during guided treatments, and medical clearance of no underlying psychoses,” Newsom’s statement said. “Unfortunately, this bill would decriminalize possession prior to these guidelines going into place, and I cannot sign it.”

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The ancient cannabis tradition of bhang in India

#cannabis – “Bhang is a potent cannabis concoction with a millennia-old legacy of consumption in India. Even for experienced cannabis consumers, this blend is not for the faint of heart.

This traditional sacrament is made from the sugar leaves of the cannabis plant, and is the favored inebriant of the Hindu god Shiva. It’s traditionally consumed by devotees during the Holi festival each Spring, but bhang use is normalized throughout the rest of the year thanks to a special government exemption that allows for the presence of licensed shops selling it throughout multiple states across the country of 1.5 billion people.

Cannabis in the Indian subcontinent and surrounding regions has been a prolific part of herbal medicine and folk traditions for several thousand years at least. It’s mentioned in the Vedic texts, specifically in the Atharva Veda, and is referred to as the “source of happiness” and “liberator.” It is the favored inebriant of the Hindu god Shiva, known as ‘The Destroyer.” This nomenclature should provide some context for the potency of the cannabis experience delivered by bhang.”

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Newsom Vetoes More Bills, Including Bill That Would Have Legalized Cannabis Cafes

#californiacannabis – “Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed another round of bills this weekend, including one that would’ve legalized Amsterdam-style cannabis cafes in California. The bill would have allowed cannabis dispensaries — with permission from local governments — to transform their businesses into cafes where food and cannabis products could be sold, and live concerts could be hosted.

While it is currently not illegal in California for customers to smoke or consume cannabis on-site in consumption lounges, it is illegal for dispensaries to sell non-cannabis products like coffee or food. AB 374 had bipartisan support in both of the state’s legislative houses, passing in the Assembly with a final 66–9 vote and passing the Senate with a 33–3 vote….

In his veto message, Newsom said he worried the bill conflicted with California’s smoke-free workplace protections but “appreciates the author’s intent to provide cannabis retailers with increased business opportunities.””

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Sprawling cannabis campus closed by Sacramento officials. Here’s why and who is suing over it

#californiacannabis – “The city of Sacramento has temporarily shut down a large cannabis manufacturing facility, swiftly prompting an explosive council meeting and a lawsuit. Officials on Oct. 2 ordered the closure of Natura, located on Elder Creek Road near Power Inn Road, citing fire code violations that make the Morrison Creek district buildings unsafe for its 450 employees….

Mayor Darrell Steinberg urged CEO and co-founder Ori Bytton to urgently spend money for construction, citing a Wall Street Journal article that said Bytton had recently listed his Los Angeles home for $38 million. “I don’t begrudge anybody’s wealth,” Steinberg said. “But I would suggest to you that you hire people to do double, triple, quadruple overtime to get this work done in collaboration with the building inspector and fire inspector and get these folks back to work as quickly as possible and/or pay you employees while this work gets done.””

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