FinCEN Geographic Targeting Orders

FinCEN Geographic Targeting Orders

FinCEN Geographic Targeting Orders – The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) announced on November 15 that it has renewed and revised its Geographic Targeting Orders (“GTOs”) FinCEN Geographic Targeting Orders -that require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind legal entities used in purchases of residential real estate performed without a bank loan or similar form of external financing.  The new GTOs extend through May 15, 2019.

Notably, the list of covered geographic areas has expanded, and the monetary threshold has been reduced significantly to $300,000 so that it now no longer applies only to so-called “high end” real estate purchases.  Further, purchases involving virtual currency are now included within the reach of the GTO — an expansion which is consistent with prior expansions which extended the GTOs’ reach to transactions involving wires and personal and business checks.  Currently, the GTOs broadly apply to any purchases made using currency or a cashier’s check, a certified check, a traveler’s check, a personal check, a business check, a money order in any form, a funds transfer, or virtual currency.

A “legal entity” subject to the GTO reporting regime is defined as “a corporation, limited liability company, partnership or other similar business entity, whether formed under the laws of a state, or of the United States, or a foreign jurisdiction.”  The “beneficial owner” who must be identified is defined as “each individual who, directly or indirectly, owns 25% or more of the equity interests of the Legal Entity purchasing real property in the Covered Transaction.”  This definition tracks the Beneficial Ownership rule issued by FinCEN in 2016 for customer due diligence by covered financial institutions for new legal entity accounts by focusing on 25% or more ownership percentage, but it differs from the Beneficial Ownership rule by not including a “control” prong in its definition of a beneficial owner.

The purchase amount threshold, which previously varied by city, is now set at $300,000 for each covered metropolitan area. FinCEN is also requiring that covered purchases using virtual currencies be reported. Previous GTOs provided valuable data on the purchase of residential real estate by persons implicated, or allegedly involved, in various illicit enterprises including foreign corruption, organized crime, fraud, narcotics trafficking, and other violations. Reissuing the GTOs will further assist in tracking illicit funds and other criminal or illicit activity, as well as inform FinCEN’s future regulatory efforts in this sector.

Today’s GTOs cover certain counties within the following major U.S. metropolitan areas: Boston; Chicago; Dallas-Fort Worth; Honolulu; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; New York City; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; and Seattle.

FinCEN appreciates the continued assistance and cooperation of the title insurance companies and the American Land Title Association in protecting the real estate markets from abuse by illicit actors.

The reporting is done through a special Currency Transaction Report or CTR; the template for GTO reporting is here. Covered entities must retain relevant records for five years from the last effective day of the Orders (i.e., May 15, 2024) and must make them available to FinCEN and upon appropriate requests by law enforcement. FinCEN continues to maintain FAQs regarding the GTOs.

FinCEN’s press release states that the new GTOs “will inform FinCEN’s future regulatory efforts in this sector.” Presumably, FinCEN is using the data collected over the last three years to prepare to propose regulation which will formalize FinCEN’s scrutiny of the residential real estate market.  Indeed, the website for the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs currently states that, by the end of 2018, “FinCEN will issue an [Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making] soliciting information regarding various businesses and professions, including real estate brokers that could be covered by the BSA as persons involved in real estate closings and settlements[,]” with the comment period to extend through to December 2019.

Source: FinCEN Renews Real Estate GTOs: Expanded Geographic Coverage and Reduced Monetary Thresholds

You can read the actual FinCEN GTO here.

FinCEN Geographic Targeting Orders

High Times – Radioactive Waste

High Times – Radioactive Waste

High Times - Radioactive Waste
High Times – Radioactive Waste

High Times – Radioactive Waste …well I finally went and did it…we have spent the past three or four years watching everyone we know make a really bad decision and buy into a cannabis industry business…so we could resist the stigma any longer, so we bought fifty shares of High Times…and they tell us that I will receive a very fancy stock certificate.

We will share some excerpts from an article that war more than a bit critical of the offering, but what the hell…at least now I can say that I am as dumb as everyone else that bought a really crappy investment in the legal cannabis industry. If it is good enough for John Boehner, who am I to say no.  A writer from Seeking Alpha stated

“Who buys this crap – honestly mostly schmucks.”

High Times (HITM), founded in 1974 as a monthly print cannabis magazine, describe themselves as the “original voice in cannabis.” The company has about 40 employees working from offices in New York and Los Angeles. So while not a cutting-edge hi-tech firm out of the Midwest, buying into the High Times IPO very much carries substantial outsized risk. It would be prudent for potential investors to exercise more care.

The company’s Reg A+ IPO can really only be a success if it garners a huge volume of retail investors who lack the ability to analyze financial statements or at the very least complete due diligence beyond the heavily filtered and pre-packaged High Times crowdfunding pitch. Everything about this company from the method it is trying to go public, its financials and its competitive positioning are toxic.

A Suboptimal CEO, The Bebo Disaster, And Bankruptcy

High Times was acquired in March 2017 by a syndicate of investors led by Adam Levin’s Oreva Capital, described on Crunchbase as a boutique private equity firm. The syndicate paid over $42 million for a 60% controlling stake, valuing the magazine at $70 million. A few months later in July and High Times announces its intention to go public through a merger with Origo Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. They try to do so at a value of $250 million, 3.6x the valuation from just a few months ago.

High Times – Radioactive Waste

The announcement made in a 27 July 2017 SEC filing, stated Origo will acquire 100% of the equity of High Times in exchange for 23,474,178 newly-issued shares of Origo. And that the transaction “is subject to approval by shareholders of High Times and Origo and other customary closing conditions.” This path to go public failed after months of delay, leading High Times to go with the Reg A+ route and Origo to get delisted from Nasdaq. In the 23 February 2018 notice of its delisting, Origo cites “failure to complete the proposed merger with High Times” ultimately leading to non-compliance with the Nasdaq listing rule for SPACs to close an acquisition within 36 months of its IPO.

On the 1st February 2012, now High Times CEO sent out a tweet, “Bebo isn’t going anywhere! Long Live Bebo!”. This was in his capacity as CEO of Bebo, a social networking site, which at the peak of its popularity, in 2007, was more popular than MySpace and Facebook in the UK and Ireland. This led to AOL to acquire the company for $850 million in 2008, ultimately offloading it to a group of investors led by Adam Levin’s Criterion Capital Partners in 2010 for $10 million.

High Times – Radioactive Waste

Adam Levin is accused of “fraudulent” behavior, failing to hold a single board meeting in 20 months of operations, and withholding Bebo’s financial statements from shareholders, despite claiming the company was cash flow positive. Cutler, writing for TechCrunch provides further detail on the lawsuit’s progression. Levin had allowed the company default on its San Francisco office lease, resulting in its eviction. He had also failed to pay Bebo’s review fees to operate as a registered company in Australia, moved the company to Los Angeles without consulting the board, and paid himself $14,000 a month as CEO even though he wasn’t working full-time at the company. Adam Levin, commenting on the lawsuit in 2012, states “We believe this to be a baseless claim and amounts to a fishing expedition.” We have attempted to contact both Mr Levin and Criterion Capital for further comments on the lawsuit and fraud allegations but have not received a response.

On May 10, 2013, TechCrunch reports that Bebo filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the Central District of California.

High Times – Radioactive Waste

A Really Bad Deal On The Back Of Retail Investors

High Times is attempting to sell 4,545,454 shares of their class A common stock for up to $50 million, at an offering price of $11 per share. On their crowdfunding page, the company informs potential investors that they don’t need a brokerage account to buy shares and they just need to meet the $99 investment minimum. To an extent, both these factors underlie a virgin investor base without the financial knowledge to adequately analyze an offering circular.

High Times is attempting its Reg A+ IPO at a $225 million valuation. This gives the company a P/S of 15.54 from its financial year (FY) 2017 revenue. This is a stratospheric price to pay for a company that has been operating for over forty-four years and realized a year-over-year revenue decline.

The company also saw a net loss of $24.7 million in the 2017 FY and a cash burn of $7.7 million during the same year. High Times’ financial position has also faced a material deterioration since its acquisition by Oreva capital. The working capital deficit at the end of the 2017 FY was $29.5 million, up from a deficit of $3.86 million a year ago. The pace of this deterioration has also ramped up as the results for the first quarter of 2018 show a 65% collapse in total revenue.

High Times – Radioactive Waste

The offering circular risk factors flags “a significant portion of the gross proceeds of up to $12.5 million will be used to pay accrued and unpaid accrued interest on outstanding purchase notes”. This led the company’s auditors to flag a “going concern” risk following the audit of its 2015, 2016 and 2017 financial statements. The company owes $13 million to ExWorks Capital Fund I, L.P. (“ExWorks”), their senior lender, with interest payable monthly at 15% per annum. ExWorks is also entitled to an additional fee of $2.8 million when the loan matures on February 28, 2020.

High Times is also obligated through its debt covenants to maintain a 1:1 ratio of funded debt to average total cash and cash equivalents starting from February 28, 2019. The collapse in revenue and subsequent increase in losses in the first quarter of 2018 puts the ability of the company to meet these covenants in doubt. The company states that a failure to maintain their “financial covenants would represent an event of default which may also cause ExWorks to foreclose on our assets prior to the maturity date of the loan.

High Times is a relic from an era of cannabis most companies within the space want to move on from. The company itself presents a unique set of risks that should be worrisome to any potential investors.

Source: High Times Reg A+ IPO Is A Mess To Be Avoided

A Dying Print Publication And Subpar Events Company

As evidenced by its $57.2 million in contractual obligations and the consecutive year-over-year decline in revenue from both “Festivals, events, competition” and “Publishing and advertising”, High Times is a dying print publication and subpar events company, at best. Further, the company’s comparatively low rate of engagement with its followers on its Instagram platform dampens its claims as a “driving force” of the cannabis industry.

High Times – Radioactive Waste

Cannabis Prices Keep Declining

Cannabis Prices Keep Declining

Cannabis Prices Keep Declining – Marijuana prices are collapsing in Colorado and in other legalization states (e.g., Oregon, where the price can go as low as $100 per pound) because a legal business is dramatically cheaper to operate than an illegal one. Cannabis Prices Keep DecliningBecause states generally set their marijuana tax rates as a percentage of price, their revenue per sale sinks in direct proportion to the fall in marijuana prices. Ironically, in a bid for more tax revenue per marijuana sale, Colorado increased its marijuana tax rate from 10 percent to 15 percent last year, only to see the anticipated added tax revenue wiped out by falling prices in a year’s time.

States may have failed to anticipate this problem because of misleading predictions about the effects of legalization. Pro-legalization economist Jeffrey Miron projected in 2010 that marijuana prices would only fall 50 percent when prohibition was repealed, leaving the drug at a price that would yield high tax revenue. That was clearly a rosy scenario.

Cannabis Prices Keep Declining

A starker prediction made by drug policy analyst Jonathan Caulkins looks more prescient every day: He forecast that legalized marijuana will eventually fall in price to the level of other easily grown, legal plants like wheat and barley, such that a joint might sell for a nickel or even become a complimentary item akin to beer nuts at the bar. If that comes to pass, taxes based on a percentage of price might not even cover the costs of the government’s regulatory system for legal marijuana, meaning that rather than helping states’ bottom line the industry would be an outright drain on the public purse.

The simplest way for states to retain some revenue from marijuana sales is to tax the drug by weight, as California has always done and Maine has started to do. The main risk of this approach is that producers will sharply increase product potency to create more “bang per ounce.” However, this shortcoming of weight-based taxes can be surmounted by capping the allowed potency of marijuana products, a policy for which there is already a good case to be made on public health grounds.

Source: Marijuana is getting cheaper: Problem for some states?

Cannabis Prices Keep Declining

MJBizCon – Productive versus Madness

MJBizCon – Productive versus Madness

MJBizCon – Productive versus Madness – we need to begin by stating that we have a built-in bias against cannabis MJBizCon - Productive versus Madnessindustry conferences and trade shows. Pardon us for being cynical, but the combination of NCIA’s predilection for “pay to play” for speakers, the myriad of attorneys and “consultants” have embraced tradeshow appearances over serving the needs of real clients, and what seems to be a focus on “partying” over actually getting business done has left a taste in our mouths that we lovingly refer to as “smells bad, tastes worse”.

The focus [perceived or real] on offsite “parties” and events where both cannabis product and alcohol flow freely may have some value for “winks and nods” but, can’t possibly be conducive to the conduct of substantive business development and negotiation. We have heard from multiple individuals in the industry that they didn’t bother purchasing a ticket for the conferences presentation sessions but opted for an “exhibits only” pass and indicated that they were going to set up meetings outside of the conference, or just look for individuals that they were seeking to engage with at the parties.

Our view is that everyone attending a week-long party in Las Vegas is neither the most productive use of everyone’s time, and it certainly doesn’t do much to project a professional or even business-like image for the commercial cannabis industry.

MJBizCon – Productive versus Madness

We have written extensively about our thoughts [see Gumballs] on steps that the legal cannabis industry needs to undertake urgently to shore up its image and seek support at the Federal level to get cannabis off of DEA Schedule 1. The four pillars that we believe the industry needs to focus on are:

  • Regulated Markets

The creation and development of regulated, legal markets that are perceived as fair, having a reasonable cost without the complexity that so onerous that compliance is impossible [Our view is that California is well on its way to achieving that goal, though there are some significant corrections, notably with respect to compassionate medical use, compliance, and lab testing, and banking to be addressed.]

  • Licensed Professionals

The development of a significant pool of licensed professionals, particularly attorneys, certified public accountants, enrolled agents [yep, that group that I poke at all the time is critical here assuming that they have the requisite thirty hours or accounting], and scientists [my term for the chemists, healthcare, and others with graduate-level degrees and professional licenses that are critical to demonstrating the integrity of the industry to the regulators.

  • Competent Skilled Workforce

The workforce that performs substantially all of the labor and services [distinct from Licensed Professionals] that provides skilled, semi-skilled and manual labor for the cannabis industry [akin the enlisted ranks in the military] are critical. The workforce needs to be recognized as performing legal, legitimate services that feed families and contribute to communities, part of the legal immigration, taxation, and healthcare systems [free from the scourges of human trafficking and scourges of discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse]. Cannabis needs to lose its status as “a plant with an attitude” and be recognized for what has become, legal agricultural activity in California and other states. [The larger discussion includes, delisting from DEA Schedule I, acceptance by FinCEN and the banking system and a change in IRC Sec. 280E, possible replacement with an excise tax.].

  • Industry Self-Governance, Guidelines, and Process

The commercial cannabis industry needs to follow through on the creation of organizations, standards, and procedures to demonstrate its integrity. The process is going to have to include leadership from industry associations that take a long view with respect to lobbying activity, an objective process for the selection and sponsorship of content providers at trade shows and on websites. The abhorrent practices of “pay for play” for platform speakers, and tolerance of incompetence, outright criminal conduct, and the pontification of rubbish, blather, and gibberish as “expert knowledge” needs to cease. Pseudo-scientific claims and self-aggrandizement can NOT be tolerated if the industry is going to have credibility.

The coming months are going to be critical for the industry…we would certainly hope that everyone considers the need to step up and demonstrate the attributes that would support the respect and recognition that the industry is seeking.

MJBizCon – Productive versus Madness

Regulatory – Tax Agency Guidance – CCA

Regulatory – Tax Agency Guidance – CCA

Regulatory – Tax Agency Guidance – CCA – we requested written advice from California Franchise Tax Board [“FTB”], California Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration [“CDTFA”], California Dept. of Food & Agriculture [“CDFA”] CalCannabis, and the Bureau of Cannabis Control [“BCC”] with respect to their agencies’s filing and notice requirements, and operational guidelines for Cannabis Cooperative Associations [“CCA’s] as created by Stats. 2017, Ch. 27, Sec. 107].

Regulatory - Tax Agency Guidance

We are posting the responses which we have received to date and will update this document to reflect additional updates as we receive them.

FTB’s Response
Thank you for your question submitted to the Ask A Legal Expert program.
Your question is: The California legislature in SB 94 created a new type of entity called a Cannabis Cooperative Association CCA See Stats 2017 Ch.27 Sec 107 also known as BPC 26220  262312    We believe that this new entity will file Federal Form 1120C with the IRS as a non-exempt cooperative taxed under IRC Sec 1381 The entity has several 100 percent owned corporate subsidiaries and a couple of California LLC’s which are treated as disregarded entities     Our assumption is that the should file Form 100 and that any 100 percent owned corporate subsidiaries or disregarded entities would file in a manner similar to that which is done for Qualified S Corporation Subsidiaries     Please confirm our understanding, and add or correct as appropriate.
We are unable to answer your question through Ask A Legal Expert but can provide information to assist in your determination. Generally, cooperative associations file Form 100. Please read more information: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/businesses/cannabis-law.shtml
Eligible corporations that elect to be taxed as an S corporation file Form 100S. See for more information:
Parent S corporations attach Schedule QS to Form 100S for entities the parent has elected to treat as qualified subchapter S subsidiaries (Qsubs). Please read more information: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/2017/17_100sqs.pdfThe parent pays the $800 minimum tax for each QSub that is incorporated, qualified, or doing business in California.
The Franchise Tax Board’s Ask a Legal Expert program provides an informal response based on the information provided by you and is subject to the limitations stated on the Franchise Tax Board public website. Responses to inquiries submitted to Ask a Legal Expert are not written advice within the meaning of Revenue and Taxation Code Section 21012. To obtain written advice taxpayers or representatives must request a Chief Counsel Ruling in accordance with FTB Notice 2009-08, Rulings Guidelines, https://www.ftb.ca.gov/law/notices/2009/2009_08.pdf.
CDTFA’s Response

[To Come]

Regulatory – Tax Agency Guidance

CDFA – CalCannabis’s Response

Hello,
Sorry for the long wait with answering your questions.  Please see the responses in purple.

  • What are the reporting requirements for the CCA, and it shareholders that have Type 1 and 2 CalCannabis Cultivation licenses at formation?   annually?  The only reporting that we are requiring for cooperatives is that they disclose the name of the cooperative when they apply for their license with CDFA and provide a list of the members associated with the cooperative. This information can be found in the paper application and in the licensing system online.
  • Are there any notice events based on operations? No
  • Are there any registration requirements if the CCA acquires a Manufacturing or Distribution license in from CDPH or BCC? The other licenses should be listed as State Issued Cannabis Licenses on their cultivation application, if they are already licensed with CDFA prior to acquiring the manufacturing or distribution license, they would need to notify us of the change when it occurs. This could be done by email or postal mail.
  • Are there any coordination requirements with CDTFA? Please check with CDTFA to determine if there are any additional requirements that need to be met. Some licensing data is provided to CDTFA via the Track and Trace System for all licensees in general, but this is not specific to the cooperative associations.

Thank you

Thank you for the update. We would appreciate a clarification that your use of the term “cooperatives” is specifically intended to include “cannabis cooperative associations”.

Yes, we are only specifically referring to cannabis cooperative associations as referenced in Division 10 of the Business and Professions Code, Chapter 22, commencing with Section 26220.

Regulatory – Tax Agency Guidance  CCAs

Cannabis Cash Drowning IRS

Cannabis Cash Drowning IRS Cannabis Cash Drowning IRS – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is paying $1.7 million to a Virginia company to handle “large cash payments for processing cannabis federal taxes.” According to Quartz, the U.S. government collected approximately $4.7 billion in taxes last year on nearly $13 billion in revenue from legal cannabis companies. Most of these … Continue reading “Cannabis Cash Drowning IRS”

Cannabis Cash Drowning IRS Cannabis Cash Drowning IRS – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is paying $1.7 million to a Virginia company to handle “large cash payments for processing cannabis federal taxes.” According to Quartz, the U.S. government collected approximately $4.7 billion in taxes last year on nearly $13 billion in revenue from legal cannabis companies. Most of these … Continue reading "Cannabis Cash Drowning IRS"

LA Cannabis Licensing – Mess

LA Cannabis Licensing – Mess

LA Cannabis Licensing – Mess  As the marijuana market in the Golden State grows and matures, business LA Cannabis Licensing - Mess owners are facing dueling challenges:

  • MJ entrepreneurs are finding it’s particularly tough to obtain a business permit in Los Angeles.
  • Lawsuits involving trademarks and proprietary business information are popping around the state.

L.A. stuck in neutral?

Los Angeles has long been touted as among the biggest municipal markets in the world for the cannabis industry. However, it remains in a “hurry-up-and-wait” mode, which is frustrating hundreds of businesses waiting to tap the city’s potential for commercial marijuana rollouts.

In short, MJ business owners are facing a licensing quagmire.

The city issued permits for 169 retailers, but zero for growers, distributors, edibles makers, testing labs or other types of plant-touching businesses.

According to the L.A. Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR), the city received nearly 600 applications for business permits for its second round of licensing – which opened in August and closed Sept. 13.

The licensing involves businesses that qualify under L.A.’s social equity program and are part of the existing MJ supply chain.

Of those, 334 paid application fees and are being processed. Also, 11 testing labs were “granted temporary approval,” a DCR spokeswoman wrote in an email to MJBizDaily.

LA Cannabis Licensing – Mess

But to date, no Phase 2 licenses have been issued, according to an email from Jason Killeen, a DCR assistant executive director.

“We are working very closely with the State to ensure that our Phase 2 applicants have an opportunity to apply for a temporary license before the end of the year,” Killeen wrote to MJBizDaily.

Here’s why the timing of the temporary licensing is important:

  • Temporary cannabis business licenses from the state won’t be available to new industry entrants after Dec. 31. And the three state agencies that grant permits are warning potential applicants they may not get a temporary license if their applications are turned in after Dec. 1.
  • Why the warning? The agencies report they may not have enough time to process applications to issue temporary licenses before the end-of-the-year deadline.
  • This is important because local authorization is still required for any state license. Consequently, any of the hopeful L.A. marijuana business owners that don’t have a city permit before 2019 could be forced to apply for a full annual state permit instead of a temporary state license.

LA Cannabis Licensing – Mess

Applying for a full annual license, however, is far more complicated.

“Applying for a temp license is like filling out a sandwich form, but the annual license is like applying for college,” said Terra Carver, executive director of the Humboldt County Growers Alliance.

Moreover, the city will be launching a third round of licensing.

It will involve “general” applicants – basically, everyone else that doesn’t yet have a permit and doesn’t qualify for a social equity license. There’s no word on when that may begin. But it won’t be easy to get such a permit.

Lawsuits abound

More lawsuits involving business competitors are emerging as the California cannabis industry grows.

There’s the ongoing litigation between L.A. consultancies SIVA Enterprises and Cirrata Ventures.

More recently, longtime Humboldt County cannabis businessman Craig Nejedly filed suit on Nov. 2against Santa Rosa-based CannaCraft.

Nejedly runs Talking Trees Farms, a licensed grow, and a hemp clothing line, Satori Movement. He alleges in his civil lawsuit that CannaCraft infringed on his trademark of the word “Satori” by debuting an edibles line bearing the same name.

CannaCraft executives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (CannaCraft also controls at least two other cannabis businesses, according to its website: Care By Design, which specializes in CBD tinctures, and AbsoluteXtracts, a concentrate, and vape cartridge maker.)

The suit asks the U.S. District Court in Northern California to bar CannaCraft from using the name “Satori” and related trademarks in the future. It’s seeking monetary damages. What the Satori lawsuit drives home, once more, is how dicey legal issues will proliferate for marijuana businesses.

It’s no longer a game for rulebreakers. Rather, it’s a highly regulated industry that will be governed by the courts and lawmakers – not rebel entrepreneurs who invent their own business rules.

Source: California Marijuana Notebook: L.A.’s licensing logjam & mounting lawsuits for MJ businesses

LA Cannabis Licensing – Mess

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Sessions Get Great Cornholio

Sessions Get Great Cornholio – Attorney General Jeff Sessions was pushed out Wednesday as the country’s chief law enforcement officer.

Cannabis stocks, already bolstered by wins in the midterm elections, got an added boost when anti-pot Sessions Get Great CornholioAttorney General Jeff Sessions announced his resignation Wednesday afternoon.

Exchange-traded funds that track marijuana stocks, including the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF in Toronto and the U.S.-listed ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF, jumped to fresh highs on the news, gaining 7 percent and 6.2 percent respectively.

Tilray Inc. saw the biggest surge, climbing as much as 25 percent in its biggest gain since Sept. 19, when the stock almost doubled before giving back most of the gains in a wild ride for investors. Other cannabis-related stocks in both the U.S. and Canada also gained.

Sessions was a major foe of marijuana legalization, moving last January to rescind an Obama-era policy that allowed states to make their own decisions on cannabis without interference from the federal government. That announcement sent pot shares plunging three days after California became the largest jurisdiction to legalize recreational use.

Cannabis stocks were broadly higher Wednesday after Michigan voted to legalize recreational marijuana and Missouri approved medical pot. The Democrats’ House of Representatives win was also thought to be a positive catalyst for stocks, making legal reform more likely.

Sessions told the president in a one-page letter that he was submitting his resignation “at your request.”

Trump announced in a tweet that he was naming Sessions’ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker, a former United States attorney from Iowa, as acting attorney general.

The resignation was the culmination of a toxic relationship that frayed just weeks into the attorney general’s tumultuous tenure when he stepped aside from the investigation into potential coordination between the president’s Republican campaign and Russia.

Trump blamed the decision for opening the door to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who took over the Russia investigation and began examining whether Trump’s hectoring of Sessions was part of a broader effort to obstruct justice and stymie the probe.

The implications for Mueller’s investigation were not immediately clear. The Justice Department did not announce a departure for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller more than a year and a half ago and has closely overseen his work since then.

Source: BREAKING: Anti-cannabis advocate Jeff Sessions forced out as attorney general by Trump

Sessions Get Great Cornholio

Election Results – Cannabis Wins

Election Results – Cannabis Wins Election Results – Cannabis Wins – The marijuana election results are in! Michigan legalized marijuana.  North Dakota rejected a marijuana legalization measure. The measure failed by a margin of 41 percent in favor to 59 percent againUnlike cannabis legalization laws approved in a number of other states to date, the North Dakota initiative would have set no … Continue reading “Election Results – Cannabis Wins”

Election Results – Cannabis Wins Election Results – Cannabis Wins – The marijuana election results are in! Michigan legalized marijuana.  North Dakota rejected a marijuana legalization measure. The measure failed by a margin of 41 percent in favor to 59 percent againUnlike cannabis legalization laws approved in a number of other states to date, the North Dakota initiative would have set no … Continue reading "Election Results – Cannabis Wins"