Weekly Wrapup: West Coast Raids, East Coast Progress and Pot Reality Show Debut Date

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Given the avalanche of negative news surrounding medical cannabis last week, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the industry was crumbling at its very foundation. At least in the western United States.

After a widespread crackdown this fall in California, the federal government shifted its focus to Washington and Montana, conducting roughly two dozen raids and making numerous arrests in a matter of days. The actions sent shockwaves through the industry. The Obama administration, it seems, is serious about reining in medical pot ahead of next year’s elections,and that’s put everyone involved on edge.

The situation looks a bit brighter on the East Coast. The deadline in Washington DC for dispensary applications came and went without delay, while two groups planning to open MMCs in New Jersey have picked locations for their shops. The developments mean that two more regions are on track to start offering medical cannabis despite the federal crackdown on the other side of the country. And so it goes: The industry takes two steps back on one coast and two steps forward on the other.

In other developments:

– The Discovery Channel set a debut date of Dec. 1 for its much-hyped “Weed Wars” reality TV program featuring Steve DeAngelo and his dispensary, Harborside Health Center in Oakland.

– A company in Oregon is making edibles with marijuana provided by patients, creating a new business model in the process.

– Colorado’s health board adopted a plan to lower the annual fees patients must pay for medical marijuana cards to $35 from $90 previously.

– Nearly a dozen cities and counties in California made some huge decisions about medical pot in recent weeks, with most enacting or extending dispensary moratoriums.