Government en Pfizer Plans To Test Coronavirus Vaccine On Thousands Of Patients By September <p><strong>Pfizer Inc.</strong> (NYSE: <a class="ticker" href="">PFE</a>) is planning to significantly expand clinical trials of its novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine candidate by September, the company&#39;s chief executive officer Albert Bourla told CNBC on Tuesday.</p> <h3>Pfizer Aims For October Approval</h3> <p>The pharmaceutical company is currently testing four different variations of its BNT 162 COVID-19 vaccine, as part of the phase one trials, Bourla said at the CNBC &quot;Healthy Returns Virtual Summit.&quot;</p> <p>Pfizer is expecting to test up to 360 people in the trial, and if one or two vaccine versions signal progress, it will launch a wider study involving thousands of volunteers by September, according to Bourla.</p> <p>The CEO ...</p><p><a href= alt=Pfizer Plans To Test Coronavirus Vaccine On Thousands Of Patients By September>Full story available on</a></p> Biotech BNTX CNBC Coronavirus Covid-19 Government INO MRNA News PFE vaccine Health Care FDA Media General INO US45773H1023 PFE US7170811035 MRNA US56804Q1022 BNTX News Biotech Government Health Care FDA Media General Benzinga Wed, 13 May 2020 06:18:34 +0000 Neer Varshney 16018248 at Musk Is 'Dead Right,' Says Cramer On Tesla Reopening California Factory <p>Jim Cramer, appearing on CNBC&rsquo;s &ldquo;Squawk on the Street&rdquo; on Tuesday, said he <a href="">agrees</a>&nbsp;with <strong>Tesla Inc.&rsquo;s</strong> (NASDAQ: <a class="ticker" href="">TSLA</a>) CEO Elon Musk&rsquo;s decision to reopen the Fremont Factory, closed on county health orders.</p> <h3>What Happened</h3> <p>Reacting to Musk&rsquo;s decision to reopen the factory, Cramer said, &ldquo;I think he&rsquo;s dead right.&rdquo; On Musk&rsquo;s opinion of the stay-at-home orders, he said, &ldquo;I think he is a zealot. I think he is correct in thinking that the whole thrust of this country is to put people to work. Why do we presume that he can&rsquo;t do it in a fashion that&rsquo;s safe?&rdquo;</p> <p>Touching on the <a href="">risks</a> ...</p><p><a href= alt=Musk Is &#039;Dead Right,&#039; Says Cramer On Tesla Reopening California Factory>Full story available on</a></p> Covid-19 Cramer Elon Musk Government News Steven Mnuchin Trump TSLA Legal Tech Media TSLA US88160R1014 News Government Legal Tech Media Benzinga Wed, 13 May 2020 05:12:57 +0000 Shivdeep Dhaliwal 16017597 at House Dems Propose Allowing Banks To Service Cannabis Companies As Part Of Coronavirus Bill <p>The $3-trillion coronavirus relief bill proposed by House Democrats Tuesday has provisions that should make pot professionals happy.</p> <p>The <a href="">financial stimulus&nbsp;package</a>, which&nbsp;is meant to offset small business losses on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, includes a safe harbor provision for banks.</p> <p>In other words, financial lenders, advisors and institutions would be allowed to provide services to cannabis companies in states where the drug is legal.</p> <p>Today, banks&nbsp;are not allowed to serve the cash-based industry due to federal drug laws,&nbsp;even though cannabis is medically legal in 33 states plus ...</p><p><a href= alt=House Dems Propose Allowing Banks To Service Cannabis Companies As Part Of Coronavirus Bill>Full story available on</a></p> Cannabis cannabis industry Cannabis Laws Coronavirus Covid-19 Government marijuana reform Mitch McConnell Regulations Politics Markets Media General Government Cannabis Regulations Politics Markets Media General Benzinga Tue, 12 May 2020 20:59:54 +0000 Anthony Noto 16014806 at Musk and Tesla Putting 'Major Pressure' On Alameda County, Say Wedbush Analysts <p>The standoff between Alameda County and <strong>Tesla Inc.&rsquo;s </strong>(NASDAQ: <a class="ticker" href="">TSLA</a>) CEO Elon Musk has become a <a href=";mime=pdf&amp;co=wedbush&amp;;source=mail">national lightning rod</a> against lockdown, say Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe.</p> <h3>The Standoff At Fremont&nbsp;</h3> <p>The analysts noted that after Musk&rsquo;s <a href="">announcement</a>, Tesla had restarted production in defiance of COVID-19 health orders in place throughout Alameda County, California. Now there is a direct standoff between the company and the local government.</p> <h3>Governor Will Play A Role</h3> <p>Ives and Backe are of the view that California&rsquo;s Governor Gavin Newsom, who had ...</p><p><a href= alt=Musk and Tesla Putting &#039;Major Pressure&#039; On Alameda County, Say Wedbush Analysts>Full story available on</a></p> Alameda County Coronavirus Covid-19 Elon Musk Government News TSLA Management Analyst Ratings Tech TSLA US88160R1014 News Government Management Analyst Ratings Tech Benzinga Tue, 12 May 2020 09:16:52 +0000 Shivdeep Dhaliwal 16007314 at Essential Business Label For Cannabis Validates Industry, Dixie Brands CEO Says <p>At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, many cannabis companies were allowed to operate as so-called &quot;essential businesses&quot; &mdash; at least in certain&nbsp;markets.</p> <p>This classification was a big moment for&nbsp;the marijuana market, according to&nbsp;Dixie Brands CEO Chuck Smith.</p> <p>&quot;This has provided material validation for our industry, for our consumers and of course for our team,&quot; Smith told Benzinga.</p> <p>&quot;Dixie has been operating for over a decade and such a public acknowledgement of the important role of the cannabis industry signifies for us a big step towards normalization across the country.&quot;</p> <p>Cannabis companies hustled to&nbsp;shift their business model to&nbsp;accommodate customers with either&nbsp;curbside pickup or home deliveries. Still, many players in the space couldn&#39;t squeak by unscathed.</p> <p>Many companies opted to&nbsp;<a href="">furlough&nbsp;employees</a>, <a href="">close&nbsp;stores</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="">cancel&nbsp;M&amp;A deals</a>. And even though cannabis is medically legal in 33 states plus Washington, D.C. &mdash; and permitted recreationally in 11&nbsp;of those states &mdash; it&#39;s still considered entirely illegal by the federal government. As a result, pot entrepreneurs have been unable to tap financial aid.</p> <h3>Dixie Brands Sets Sales Record During Pandemic</h3> <p>Tough times got ...</p><p><a href= alt=Essential Business Label For Cannabis Validates Industry, Dixie Brands CEO Says>Full story available on</a></p> Andrew Schweibold BR Brands Cannabis cannabis industry Chuck Smith Coronavirus Covid-19 Dixie Smith Government M&A News Regulations Retail Sales Management Markets Interview News M&A Government Cannabis Regulations Retail Sales Management Markets Interview Benzinga Mon, 11 May 2020 20:35:09 +0000 Anthony Noto 15994810 at Trump Pushes His $275M Border Wall Agenda Amidst Pandemic, Construction To Begin 2021 <p>The United States Customs and Border Protection announced Friday that it had <a href="">awarded</a> the contract to build the border wall in January 2021.</p> <h3>What Happened</h3> <p>A $275 million border wall contract has been awarded to the Montgomery, Alabama based Caddell Construction Company. Construction of the border wall spanning 14 miles in the surrounds of Laredo, Texas, on the Rio Grande river, will only commence if President Donald Trump is re-elected, reported Fortune.</p> <p>CBP is using the funds ...</p><p><a href= alt=Trump Pushes His $275M Border Wall Agenda Amidst Pandemic, Construction To Begin 2021>Full story available on</a></p> Donald Trump Fortune Government Mexico wall News Politics Media General News Government Politics Media General Benzinga Mon, 11 May 2020 11:28:38 +0000 Shivdeep Dhaliwal 15996997 at Trump, Intel, TSMC Plan US 'Self-Sufficiency' In Semiconductors As Coronavirus Gives Supply-Chain Scare <p>President Donald Trump&#39;s administration is in talks with <strong>Intel Corporation</strong> (NASDAQ: <a class="ticker" href="">INTC</a>) and <strong>Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd.</strong> (NYSE: <a class="ticker" href="">TSM</a>) to ramp up chip production in the United States, the Wall Street Journal <a href="">reported</a> Friday.</p> <h3>What Happened</h3> <p>Intel CEO Greg Slater told the Journal that the company&#39;s plan is to operate a manufacturing facility that can provide advanced chips securely to both government and private entities.</p> <p>&quot;We&#39;re very serious about this...We think it&#39;s a good opportunity,&quot; Slater said. &quot;The timing is better and the demand for this is greater than it has been in the past, even from the commercial ...</p><p><a href= alt=Trump, Intel, TSMC Plan US &#039;Self-Sufficiency&#039; In Semiconductors As Coronavirus Gives Supply-Chain Scare>Full story available on</a></p> AAPL Government INTC News Penny Stocks Semiconductor- Memory Chips Industry SSNLF The Wall Street Journal Trump TSM Global Tech Media AAPL US0378331005 INTC US4581401001 TSM US8740391003 SSNLF News Penny Stocks Government Global Tech Media Benzinga Mon, 11 May 2020 10:25:40 +0000 Neer Varshney 15996979 at 'F*** Elon Musk,' Responds California Assemblywoman To Musk's Threats To Leave State <p><strong>Tesla Inc.&rsquo;s </strong>(NASDAQ: <a class="ticker" href="">TSLA</a>) CEO was the subject of California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez&rsquo;s ire after he threatened to move the factory out of the state.</p> <h3>What Happened</h3> <p>In a social media <a href="">outburst against Alameda County officials</a> on Saturday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk called the &ldquo;Interim Health Officer&rdquo; of the county &ldquo;unelected &amp; ignorant&rdquo; and accused the official of acting &ldquo;contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms &amp; just plain common sense!&rdquo;</p> <p>Hours after Musk&rsquo;s tweets, Gonzalez weighed in:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>F*ck Elon Musk.</p> <p>&mdash; Lorena (@LorenaSGonzalez) <a ...</p></blockquote><p><a href= alt=&#039;F*** Elon Musk,&#039; Responds California Assemblywoman To Musk&#039;s Threats To Leave State>Full story available on</a></p> California Covid-19 Eon Musk Gigafactory Government News Regulations texas TSLA Politics Tech General TSLA US88160R1014 News Government Regulations Politics Tech General Benzinga Mon, 11 May 2020 03:44:44 +0000 Shivdeep Dhaliwal 15996859 at Musk Threatens To Move Tesla Out Of California Over COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions <h3><em><strong>Benzinga&rsquo;s Take</strong></em></h3> <p><em><strong>Tesla Inc</strong> (NASDAQ: <a class="ticker" href="">TSLA</a>)&nbsp;investors are likely most concerned with the potential costs of moving Tesla&rsquo;s operations out of the state of California and whether or not Musk&rsquo;s threats will expedite the reopening of the Fremont plant. Gordon Johnson of GLJ Research has estimated Tesla burns $300 million every week the Fremont plant remains down.</em></p> <h3><strong>Musk Threatens To Move Tesla Out Of California</strong></h3> <p>A day after Alameda County, California officials said Tesla is not cleared to reopen its Fremont vehicle production plant due to health risks posed by COVID-19, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he is filing a lawsuit against the county and moving Tesla headquarters out of the state of California.</p> <p>&ldquo;Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately. The unelected &amp; ignorant &#39;Interim Health ...</p><p><a href= alt=Musk Threatens To Move Tesla Out Of California Over COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions>Full story available on</a></p> Elon Musk GLJ Research Gordon Johnson Government Joe Rogan News Regulations TSLA Legal Top Stories TSLA US88160R1014 News Government Regulations Legal Top Stories Benzinga Sat, 09 May 2020 17:46:36 +0000 Wayne Duggan 15996218 at Missouri Lawmaker's Unconventional Fight For Marijuana Legalization <p>As the year is unfolding and the November election ballot is approaching, marijuana legalization advocates are making a last-ditch effort to fight for their cause.</p> <p>One GOP Missouri lawmaker decided to stir things up a bit by proposing a rather unorthodox idea on a Missouri House of Representatives&rsquo; Thursday session.</p> <p>Rep. Andrew McDaniel introduced an amendment to a health care bill, requesting members of House to include consuming marijuana in their legislative activities.</p> <p>The amendment determines<em> </em>that&nbsp;&ldquo;members of the Missouri House shall consume a substantial dose of medicinal marijuana prior ...</p><p><a href= alt=Missouri Lawmaker&#039;s Unconventional Fight For Marijuana Legalization>Full story available on</a></p> Andrew McDaniel Cannabis cannabis industry Government legalize marijuana Marijuana Moment News Regulations Health Care Politics Media General News Government Cannabis Regulations Health Care Politics Media General Benzinga Fri, 08 May 2020 20:45:29 +0000 Jelena Martinovic 15992114 at For Mother's Day, This Cannabis Doctor Wants Common Sense Legislation <p>Cannabis companies are hustling to stay afloat and turn a profit just like every other business,&nbsp;but for Dr. Chanda Macias, the ramifications of the economic downturn are much more personal.</p> <p>Mothers like her rely on medicinal cannabis for&nbsp;treating their children&#39;s ailments. As CEO of&nbsp;<a href="">Women Grow</a>, an&nbsp;outreach group dedicated to educating patients on&nbsp;the cannabis and hemp sector, she hears firsthand how an already tough situation was made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Mothers call me and ask &#39;how can I get help for my child?&#39;&quot;&nbsp;Macias told me. &quot;This is about their health.&quot;</p> <p>Over the past few months, dispensary operators&nbsp;enacted a number of strategies to offset losses. Some&nbsp;<a href="">sold assets</a>, while others <a href="">shuttered their stores</a> and&nbsp;<a href="">furloughed employees</a>.</p> <p>Fewer dispensaries means fewer patients are able to get safe and legal access to cannabidiol &mdash; CBD &mdash;&nbsp;medicine, Macias said.&nbsp;</p> <p>Some markets&nbsp;allowed cannabis companies to continue operating with curbside pickup or home deliveries, but in other regions it was a struggle to get on that&nbsp;&quot;essential business&quot; list.</p> <h3>Cannabis Businesses Fight For &#39;Essential Business&#39; Label</h3> <p>In Ontario, stores were first&nbsp;<a href="">forced to close</a>, only to <a href="">open up again</a> after entrepreneurs clapped back at regulators.</p> <p>In Massachusetts, cannabis companies <a href="">threatened to sue</a> Gov. Charlie Baker after he&nbsp;demanded that recreational marijuana stores remain closed&nbsp;as part of a stay-at-home advisory.</p> <p>Getting labeled an &quot;essential business&quot; in Louisiana &mdash; where Macias&#39; company&nbsp;Ilera Holistic Healthcare is based &mdash; was also a headache.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;We had&nbsp;to fight to be labeled &#39;essential businesses,&#39;&quot; Macias said. &quot;We had to go and stand our ground in terms of legislation.&quot;</p> <p>For pot purveyors, this is another day at the office in the U.S., where laws vary state-by-state and keeping up with regulations and compliance is not only daunting, ...</p><p><a href= alt=For Mother&#039;s Day, This Cannabis Doctor Wants Common Sense Legislation>Full story available on</a></p> cannabidiol Cannabis CBD Chanda Macias Coronavirus Covid-19 Government GreenWave Advisors Hemp Ilera Holistic Healthcare Matt Karnes Regulations Women Grow Health Care Politics Exclusives Markets Interview General Government Cannabis Regulations Health Care Politics Exclusives Markets Interview General Benzinga Fri, 08 May 2020 18:45:55 +0000 Anthony Noto 15875938 at California Targets Two Trading Companies Over Fuel Prices, But Diesel Isn't Part Of The Lawsuit <p>The California Attorney General this week went after what it said was a scheme to inflate fuel prices in California, where prices at the pump are always significantly higher than the rest of the country.</p> <p>But from the perspective of a trucker paying those prices, there&#039;s one problem with the action –  the lawsuit in federal court doesn&#039;t even mention diesel. </p> <p>In the suit brought by the office of the state Attorney General Xavier Becerra in the state court system, California charges that two well-known trading companies – Vitol and SK Energy –  conspired for months before and after a refinery explosion in February 2015 to drive up the price of gasoline in the state. That explosion occurred in equipment known as an FCC unit, which converts intermediate products, primarily one called vacuum gasoil (VGO), into gasoline.</p> <p>But that fact is one of the reasons why in the period that California says its gasoline prices soared as a result of the FCC explosion and the alleged Vitol-SK Energy scheme, diesel prices ended up pretty much where they started. </p> <p>VGO is an intermediate product that can be used to make gasoline in an FCC unit or it can be hydrotreated to produce diesel. The economics of the market at any given time, along with contractual obligations, will determine how much VGO a refinery will send to make gasoline and ...</p><p><a href= alt=California Targets Two Trading Companies Over Fuel Prices, But Diesel Isn&#039;t Part Of The Lawsuit>Full story available on</a></p> California Attorney General Energy Information Administration Freightwaves Government News SONAR Commodities Markets News Government Commodities Markets Benzinga Fri, 08 May 2020 15:14:13 +0000 FreightWaves 15989923 at From Assembly Bill 5 To COVID-19 <p>A West Virginia senator got up to speed on a boatload of issues important to California ports and truckers in a video meeting hosted by the Harbor Trucking Association (HTA) this week.</p> <p>Although she represents West Virginia, <a href="">Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito</a> casts votes that impact West Coast ports and intermodal providers as a member of the U.S. Senate&#039;s Environment and Public Works, Commerce, Science &amp; Transportation, and Appropriations committees.</p> <p>Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka dove in and told Capito during Tuesday&#039;s meeting that it&#039;s time to spend money piling up in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. </p> <p>"We currently have a bank account approaching $10 billion. While some legislators felt that needed to be held for a rainy day, I would advocate that we&#039;re at that rainy day," Seroka said.</p> <p>Money collected from the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) feeds into the trust fund and is divvied up for port dredging projects. Seroka is far from alone in his criticism of the tax fund. All witnesses <a href="">took issue with the HMT</a> at a House subcommittee hearing in Washington last June.</p> <p>"The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach collect on an annual basis about $300 million in tax that we remit back to the federal government. In return, we get between $3 million and $5 million to use for our harbors, channels and water work that must be done at these ports to keep the depths and cargo flowing," Seroka said, suggesting "every dollar collected from customers should go back to the ports to ensure that we&#039;re really getting to use those funds as an investment on the dollars that our customers have paid in."</p> <p>The HTA is a coalition of intermodal carriers serving U.S. West Coast ports in LA, Long Beach and Oakland, California, and Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. Seroka said the HMT hurts the Washington state ports as much if not more than those in California and asked for the Senate&#039;s support to help increase the competitiveness of U.S. ports.</p> <p>"Our friends to the north in Seattle and Tacoma feel like they are getting hit every day by their neighbors to the north in British Columbia that do not have a tax in position like this. We have seen cargo flight from the state of Washington to BC on a regular basis, which makes those folks less competitive on average by about $200 per container and that makes a big difference, including the fact that the Canadian railroads have the ability to create pricing through subsidy. It&#039;s much more attractive than the American Class I railroads. So those two things combined are hurting our ports in the [Pacific Northwest]," Seroka said.</p> <p>Capito took note of the $10 billion in the HMT Fund. "If we used it all, we&#039;d have a heckuva lot of people working," she said.</p> <p>Seroka responded, "That&#039;s right and we consider ourselves job multipliers at these ports. … Here in Southern California, one in nine jobs in our five-county region, more than a million people, go to work every day with jobs related to this port. And ports around the nation have similar stories about the economic impact of the jobs and the workers that surround their properties."</p> <h4><strong>The Shipping Act </strong></h4> <p>Weston LaBar, executive director of the HTA, told Capito that the Shipping Act "has not been addressed ...</p><p><a href= alt=From Assembly Bill 5 To COVID-19>Full story available on</a></p> Assembly Bill 5 California Air Resources Board Covid-19 Freightwaves Gene Seroka Government Harbor Trucking Association News PRO Act Shelley Moore Capito Weston LaBar Topics General News Government Topics General Benzinga Fri, 08 May 2020 15:10:55 +0000 FreightWaves 15989928 at Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Registrations In April Surpass Expectations <p>The number of medical marijuana patients in Massachusetts in April&nbsp;<a href="">increased</a>&nbsp;by 14%, reaching the figure of 72,502 active patients.</p> <p>That&#39;s according to Cannabis Control Commission Executive Director Shawn Collins, who disclosed the figures during a Thursday <a href="">virtual&nbsp;meeting</a>.</p> <p>CCC data suggest April marijuana medical sales went up by roughly 25% to 65,155 ounces sold compared to the month before.</p> <p>The news&nbsp;comes on the heels of another report from&nbsp;last week that showed around 1,300 new patient registrations for March. That&#39;s&nbsp;an increase of 160% compared to the prior week.</p> <p><a href="">Per the Boston Globe</a>, over the last month, medical marijuana registrations in the state went up by 245%.</p> <p>&ldquo;That ...</p><p><a href= alt=Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Registrations In April Surpass Expectations>Full story available on</a></p> Boston Globe Cannabis Government Marijuana Moment MassLive News Regulations Politics Media General News Government Cannabis Regulations Politics Media General Benzinga Fri, 08 May 2020 11:08:02 +0000 Jelena Martinovic 15981665 at Former XPO Executive Tapped To Head US Postal Service <p>The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) board unanimously selected Louis DeJoy to serve as its 75<sup>th</sup> Postmaster General, a private-sector pick that feeds speculation that the world&#039;s largest postal organization could be headed for privatization.</p> <p>DeJoy, a former executive at <strong>XPO Logistics, Inc.</strong> (NYSE: <a class="ticker" href="">XPO</a>), is expected to begin serving in the role on June 15. He replaces Megan Brennan, who announced her plans to retire in October 2019. DeJoy will be the first person from outside USPS to lead the organization since automotive executive Marvin Runyon was appointed in 1992, and just the fifth Postmaster General from the private sector since 1971 when the Postal Service became an independent agency within the Executive Branch.</p> <p>DeJoy had been Chairman and CEO of New Breed Logistics, which had been a USPS contractor for 25 years, when New Breed merged with XPO in 2014. DeJoy served as CEO of XPO&#039;s supply chain business in the Americas before retiring in December 2015. He served on XPO&#039;s board of directors until 2018.</p> <p>"Louis DeJoy understands the critical public service role of the United States Postal Service, and the urgent need to strengthen it for future generations," commented USPS Chairman Robert Duncan ...</p><p><a href= alt=Former XPO Executive Tapped To Head US Postal Service>Full story available on</a></p> AMZN CARES Act Freightwaves Government News Postmaster General US Postal Service XPO XPO US9837931008 AMZN US0231351067 News Government Benzinga Thu, 07 May 2020 20:19:51 +0000 FreightWaves 15982416 at