VIDEO: Pot News: Dispatches From The Heartland

Welcome to my latest video presentation. Below is a condensed transcript.

In recent days, the biggest news in the marijuana industry occurred in the Midwest: Chicago, Illinois and St. Paul, the state capital of Minnesota.

Let’s start with the windy city.

When it comes to brand-positioning, celebrities are jumping onto the bandwagon. Boxer Mike Tyson’s private cannabis company, Tyson 2.0, this month announced that it had received ample venture financing. Tyson 2.0 is based in Chicago.

Tyson’s pot venture closed an oversubscribed, $9 million round of Series A financing led by JW Asset Management, with investments from K2, Ambria Capital, Tress Capital, and Patrick Carroll. Tyson 2.0 currently sells cannabis in 20 U.S. states and Canada.

In establishing his pot company, Mike Tyson partnered with pro wrestling legend Ric Flair, a long-time friend of the former heavyweight champ. The product line will include flower, concentrates, and edibles.

Watch This Video: The Market Power of Cannabis Flower

Other celebrities who have launched marijuana businesses include Martha Stewart, John Legend, Jim Belushi, Seth Rogen, Whoopi Goldberg, Willie Nelson, Tommy Chong, Melissa Etheridge, Montel Williams, Chelsea Handler, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rob Gronkowski, and Anita Thompson, the widow of famed gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.

Blunder in the land o’ lakes…

Now, we turn to a farcical turn of events in Minnesota.

The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” also appears to be the land of inept lawmakers, a fact that recently rebounded to the favor of the marijuana industry.

As of July 1, 2022, unregulated intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products derived from hemp have been legalized in Minnesota. But that result was unintentional on the part of many lawmakers.

State legislators were confused about the new law’s actual effect. Although the goal of the statute is to permit the sale of products that contain non-intoxicating cannabinoids to consumers in Minnesota, the new law includes a loophole that effectively legalizes all forms of THC sold in edible products at levels that intoxicate with only a bare minimum of regulatory oversight.

Some senators in the state’s Republican-controlled Senate now say that they didn’t know that the new law would legalize edible products with all forms of THC.

The bill seeks to prevent the sale of intoxicating cannabinoids, but then it inexplicably allows for cannabinoid edible products to be sold to consumers in the state as long as the product contains no more than 0.3% of any THC and no more than 5 mg of any THC in a single serving, or more than a total of 50 mg of any THC per package.

But there’s a big problem. Those designated doses are more than enough to make anyone high. The writers of the bill didn’t do their homework.

How did the language legalizing high-potency, THC-infused edibles get inserted into the bill in the first place? It’s a convoluted story.

Lawmakers wanted to restrict a gray market in something called delta-8 THC, a psychoactive substance manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD). Delta-8 THC has low potency. Both hemp and CBD are legal in Minnesota, which allowed people to formulate delta-8 from them. Delta-8 products have been proliferating in the state.

To regulate this delta-8 market in the bill, lawmakers used the broader language of cannabinoids, which includes the considerably more potent delta-9 THC, which occurs naturally in cannabis and doesn’t need to be created from a special process. So…presto. High-THC edibles are now legal in Minnesota.

It’s anyone’s guess what action the Minnesota legislature takes now to perhaps rectify the blunder. Marijuana is still illegal in Minnesota; only the THC derived from hemp, in the aforementioned amounts, is now legal to consume.

The Democratic Party controls the offices of governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. The Republican Party controls the upper chamber, while the Democratic Party controls the lower chamber of the state legislature. The state’s Democrats favor marijuana legalization; the state’s Republicans generally do not.

But the point is clear: Lawmakers in America have become very good at grandstanding and tweeting, but lousy at actual legislating. Here’s a pro tip: before you vote on a bill, read it first.

Want to profit from the trends I’ve just described? I urge you to read my new book: The Wide World of Weed and Psychedelics.

Marijuana represents a powerful investment megatrend. As legalization of marijuana gathers steam around the world, sales of weed are skyrocketing and investors are getting rich. But pot stocks can be risky; you need to be selective.

Hence my book. It’s your definitive guide for making money in the thriving cannabis and psychedelics industries. Click here to get your free copy.

John Persinos is the editorial director of Investing Daily.

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