Letters + Opinion » The Week in Weed

Are you Experienced? ™


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Bills from our two state representatives lurched forward in the last couple weeks. Assemblyman Jim Wood's "Marijuana Watershed Protection Act," which would task water boards with developing marijuana cultivation regulations, was passed by the Assembly and now moves to the Senate. It was the first medical marijuana related bill to leave its house this year, narrowly beating out state Senator Mike McGuire's "Medical Marijuana Public Safety and Environmental Protection Act." (Did they both buy the same bill-naming book?)

McGuire's bill is further-reaching — "a regulatory framework for the industry covering the issues of environmental protection and water regulations, law enforcement, licensing, public health related to edibles and product testing, to marketing, labeling, taxing, transporting, zoning, local control and re-sale" — and will now move to the Assembly.

A recent article in Fortune highlights how investment capital is beginning to pounce on the fledgling legal marijuana market. The highlights:

There are 300 publicly traded cannabis companies in the U.S. — 10 times the number in existence two years ago.

Forty of those companies raised $95 million in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015.

ArcView Group, a marijuana investment firm, recently dropped $41 million on 54 marijuana companies.

The company says legal marijuana sales reached $2.7 billion last year.

Privateer Holdings, another investment firm that holds Marley Natural (the reggae-singer-branded bud company), has raised $82 million since its inception.

Meanwhile, the likeness of another music great of the '60s is set to grace the packaging of a weed-infused candy bar.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a Toronto-based company signed exclusive rights to sell edibles "using the song titles and bearing the likeness of iconic guitarist Jimi Hendrix."

Hendrix isn't exactly a marijuana icon, though, aside from existing in an era that's celebrated for the weed by nascent counter-culturalists. Indeed, Nutritional High's CEO called Hendrix one of "maybe five key artists associated with the psychedelic age."

As the U-T puts it: "The products in question, which will be marketed under the Edible Experiences banner, include 'Purple Haze' and 'Stone Free' lines. Both are named after popular songs by Hendrix, neither of which were about marijuana, but why quibble over technicalities?"

Hendrix's estate hasn't exactly been generous with rights to songs. It famously refused to allow the André 3000-led biopic about Hendrix to use any of the guitarist's actual songs, though it let Citi Visa use "Purple Haze" in a commercial last year.

But Nutritional High isn't worried — apparently the company is working with Hendrix's brother, who owns a second company that sells the rights to Hendrix's likeness and song titles.

Citing the Bob Marley brand pot, Nutritional High's CEO told the U-T it was the "second major signing of an iconic music artist." Apparently, he's not a Willie Nelson fan.

Nelson, as readers know, has his own brand of weed coming out, and he's as big a marijuana/counter-culture icon as they come. Not to mention, he's the only living musician so far to attach his name to a product.


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