MJ Industry Looks To Get Minorities In Business Posted by on September 22, 2017 at 05:22:33 PT By Justin Wm. Moyer Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Compared with a year ago, times may seem tough for those banking on the legalization of marijuana.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has raised “serious questions” about legalization, appears less friendly to the cannabis industry than his predecessor. Even after the District of Columbia permitted recreational use of the drug in 2015, arrests in the city for public use of marijuana are on the rise. Read More... Sen. Al Franken Is Evolving On Marijuana Posted by on September 21, 2017 at 05:20:00 PT By Tom Angell Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- On Tuesday, the Democratic lawmaker from Minnesota became the fifth cosponsor of legislation to allow cannabis cultivators and sellers operating in accordance with state laws to be taxed just like any other business. The day before, he signed onto a bill that would allow those businesses to access financial services from banks.
Earlier this month, the former "Saturday Night Live" star was one of six senators to introduce a broad bipartisan bill that would amend federal laws so states can enact and implement their own medical cannabis laws without federal interference. Read More... Don't Blunt The Marijuana Revolution Posted by CN Staff on September 18, 2017 at 15:20:34 PT By Peter Roff, Contributing Editor Source: U.S. News & World Report Washington, D.C. -- America is undergoing a somewhat silent revolution concerning the prohibition of marijuana usage. A 2017 poll of 1,122 adults conducted by Marist found that only 14 percent of those surveyed still oppose medicinal marijuana, a number so overwhelming as to allow the suggestion a clear consensus exists among the American people.
On the issue of what is now called "recreational use," things are not as clear. The same poll found the nation divided "on whether they support or oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, 49 percent to 47 percent." Read More... Orrin Hatch Has Drug Puns Posted by on September 13, 2017 at 14:58:28 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Republican Senator Orrin Hatch on Wednesday will re-introduce the Marijuana Effective Drug Study (MEDS) Act of 2017 in the Senate. The bill, which has bipartisan sponsors, is similar to legislation Hatch introduced last year.
It contains a package of measures intended to make research into medical applications of the drug easier, including increasing the supply of marijuana available to researchers and cutting some red tape out of the currently onerous approval process researchers must go through to work with weed. Researchers have long complained that strict federal regulations on marijuana have made it all-but-impossible to do medical research on the drug. Read More... Legal Marijuana Is Almost Here Posted by on September 10, 2017 at 05:37:50 PT By Thomas Fuller Source: New York Times Laytonville, Calif. -- From the sky they look like citrus groves, neat rows of lush emerald-colored plants set amid the hills of Northern California. But as a police reconnaissance helicopter banked for a closer look on a recent afternoon, the pungent smell of marijuana plants filled the cabin, wafting up from 800 feet below.
“That’s all weed,” squawked a deputy with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office over the helicopter intercom. “They’re not in the program.” More than nine months after California voted to legalize recreational marijuana, only a small share of the tens of thousands of cannabis farmers in Northern California have joined the system, according to law enforcement officers and cannabis growers. Read More... House GOP Blocks Vote Protecting MMJ States Posted by on September 06, 2017 at 15:55:24 PT By Molly K. Hooper Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Several lawmakers said Wednesday that GOP leaders won’t allow the full House to vote on an amendment that bars the Justice Department from pursuing states that have legalized medical marijuana.
Without legislation, states would lose protection they have enjoyed for the past four years, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions could begin his long-sought crackdown on the rapid expansion of legalized pot. Read More... Legalization Caused Price of Marijuana To Collapse Posted by on September 06, 2017 at 06:06:28 PT By Keith Humphreys Source: Washington Post USA -- All the diverse effects of legalizing recreational marijuana may not be clear for a number of years, but one consequence has become evident almost immediately: Pot has never been so cheap. Steven Davenport of the Pardee Rand Graduate School has analyzed marijuana retail prices in Washington state since legal recreational markets opened in July 2014. Remarkably, prices have fallen every single quarter since.
When Davenport spoke to me 18 months ago, retail marijuana prices had already fallen a stunning 58.5 percent. Yet he predicted correctly that the price collapse was not complete. The current retail price of $7.38 per gram (including tax) represents a 67 percent decrease in just three years of the legalization, with more decline likely in the future. Read More... Maryland’s Medical Marijuana is Finally Growing Posted by on September 03, 2017 at 04:55:22 PT By Fenit Nirappil and Aaron Gregg Source: Washington Post Maryland -- At long last, Maryland’s first legal marijuana crop is growing. With 19 companies cleared to grow, process and sell the plant, the seeds of the medical marijuana program have literally been planted, four years after the state legalized cannabis for medical use.
In coming months, plants will flower in heavily secured facilities, and be harvested and taken to an independent laboratory for quality testing, with some processed into oils, creams and capsules. They’ll end up available for purchase on dispensary shelves around the start of the new year, according to industry officials. Read More... Congress Appears Ready To Buck Sessions on MMJ Posted by on August 23, 2017 at 07:56:42 PT By Paige Winfield Cunningham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Congress will likely renew protections next month for state medical marijuana laws -- but pro-pot lawmakers and advocates are still watching nervously in case Attorney General Jeff Sessions launches a last-minute sabotage campaign.
For nearly three years now, Congress has maintained a policy prohibiting the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent states allowing medical marijuana – which now number 29 plus the District of Columbia – from carrying out their own laws. Read More... Sessions Looks Set To Back Off Marijuana Crackdown Posted by on August 22, 2017 at 14:09:48 PT By Jacob Sullum Source: Newsweek Washington, D.C. -- Despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions's well-known anti-pot prejudices, a broad federal crackdown on marijuana in states that have legalized it seems unlikely in light of the recommendations from a Justice Department subcommittee charged with studying the issue.
The Associated Press reports that the panel, part of the DOJ's Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, "has come up with no new policy recommendations to advance the attorney general's aggressively anti-marijuana views." Read More... City Council Approves New Cannabis Department Head Posted by on August 17, 2017 at 08:59:14 PT By Dakota Smith Source: Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, Calif. -- The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday backed Mayor Eric Garcetti’s picks to oversee City Hall’s new Department of Cannabis Regulation, a vote that comes as officials prepare for legalization of recreational marijuana in California.
Cat Packer, the former California coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, will run the new city division. A five-member Cannabis Commission will provide input on cannabis rules. The council voted 13-0 to hire Packer, with council members Paul Koretz and Curren Price absent from Wednesday’s meeting. Read More... Marijuana Justice Act Legalizes MJ The Right Way Posted by on August 16, 2017 at 17:30:35 PT By Jim Patterson, Opinion Contributor Source: Hill Washington, D.C. --Earlier this month, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced the Marijuana Justice Act. To some, this bill may look like another liberal attempt to push for widespread legalization of marijuana across the country. But for those of us who work in this industry and understand the complexities and inequities of current marijuana policies, the bill is a bold step forward in transforming the industry as we know it.
I recommend that anyone who questions why marijuana should no longer be illegal under federal law, take the time to watch Sen. Booker’s three-minute video explaining his legislation. It will shine a light on how marijuana policies have negatively impacted targeted communities, specifically low-income communities of color. This bill seeks to undo some of the damage that Booker aptly describes as, “the unjust application of the law and economic bias.” For example, the bill would expunge convictions for those with marijuana use and/or possession charges at the federal level which, in turn, will allow for greater access to education and economic opportunities. Read More... Marijuana May Help Ease Nerve Pain Posted by CN Staff on August 16, 2017 at 05:04:16 PT By Randy Dotinga, HealthDay Source: Chicago Tribune USA -- Marijuana may be slightly effective at reducing chronic nerve pain known as neuropathy. But there's little evidence on whether pot helps treat other types of pain or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a pair of new studies suggests.
The findings on neuropathy "fit generally well with what we know," said Dr. Sachin Patel of the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital in Nashville. Patel wrote a commentary accompanying the review in a recent online edition of Annals of Internal Medicine. Read More... No Reason for Marijuana To Be Illegal Posted by on August 09, 2017 at 11:53:48 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, among the most well-known living scientists this side of Stephen Hawking, said this week that “there's no reason for [marijuana] to ever have been made illegal.”
The remark came in response to a question submitted by Tom Angell of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority. Angell asked Tyson if he agreed with astrophysicist Carl Sagan that marijuana should be legalized. “If you really analyze it,” Tyson said, “relative to other things that are legal, there’s no reason for it to ever have been made illegal in the system of laws.” Read More... AG’s Pot Fury Not Echoed by Task Force Posted by CN Staff on August 05, 2017 at 15:25:20 PT By Sadie Gurman, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Washington, D.C. -- The betting was that law-and-order Attorney General Jeff Sessions would come out against the legalized marijuana industry with guns blazing. But the task force Sessions assembled to find the best legal strategy is giving him no ammunition, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
The Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, a group of prosecutors and federal law enforcement officials, has come up with no new policy recommendations to advance the attorney general’s aggressively anti-marijuana views. The group’s report largely reiterates the current Justice Department policy on marijuana. Read More... Is Supporting Pot Becoming Politically Viable? Posted by on August 04, 2017 at 06:12:13 PT By Matt Laslo Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- It's no longer political suicide, or so it seems, to embrace legalizing marijuana. At least among the younger generation of prominent Democrats, though there seems to be cracks in the dam amongst Republicans too.
The latest evolution on the issue was on display this week as New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker – a former mayor of Newark who is a young, affable guy rumored to be considering a presidential bid in 2020 – unveiled the most sweeping proposal yet to the nation's marijuana policy. The bill, dubbed the Marijuana Justice Act, would end the federal prohibition on weed by removing the plant from the list of controlled, as in banned, substances where it currently sits next to drugs like heroine and LSD. Read More... Congress Heading for Confrontation With Sessions Posted by on August 03, 2017 at 10:02:31 PT By Nathan Howard Source: Bloomberg Washington, D.C. -- -- Congress is heading for a confrontation with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over pot. Sessions is seeking to crack down on marijuana use while lawmakers from both parties are pushing legislation that would do the opposite.
Measures have been attached to must-pass bills in the Senate that would allow Veterans Affairs doctors to counsel patients on the use of medical marijuana, and to continue blocking the Justice Department from pursuing cases against people who use medical marijuana in states that have legalized it. Read More... On the Cutting Edge of Cannabis Science Posted by on August 03, 2017 at 09:54:46 PT By Martin A. Lee, Project CBD Source: AlterNet Canada -- During the last week of June, more than 400 scientists from 25 countries met in Montreal for the 27th annual symposium of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS). Several presentations and posters showcased new findings about cannabidiol (CBD), the non-euphoric component of the cannabis plant that is transforming the medical marijuana landscape.
In her Young Investigator Award Presentation, Saoirse O’Sullivan, associate professor at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, discussed the cardiovascular effects of cannabidiol: “CBD causes both acute and time dependent vasorelaxation of rat and human arteries … and can improve endothelial function and vasodilator responses in a rat model of type 2 diabetes.” Read More... When Will Marijuana Be Legal Federally? Posted by on August 01, 2017 at 15:15:43 PT By Janice Williams Source: Newsweek Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana would become legal at the federal level if Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has it his way. The congressman introduced a bill aiming to remove marijuana’s Schedule I listing under the Controlled Substance Act and make the plant legal.
While the overall legislation seeks to make marijuana legal in all 50 states, the driving force behind Booker’s bill, called the Marijuana Justice Act, is the wish to rectify the unjust targeting of the African-American and low-income communities that have been most affected by marijuana arrests. Read More... Sen. Cory Booker Trying to End Federal Prohibition Posted by on August 01, 2017 at 15:04:22 PT By Matt Laslo Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- While voters across the nation have legalized varying forms of marijuana, Congress has largely been silent on the issue, which is why a new bill introduced today by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is turning heads. The Democrat's legislation would end the federal prohibition on marijuana and incentivize states to as well.
The proposal, called the Marijuana Justice Act, removes marijuana from the federal list of Schedule I narcotics – think peyote, heroin and, yeah, weed – which is known as descheduling. It also punishes states that disproportionately lock up minorities and the poor for marijuana offenses, by cutting off some of their federal dollars for building jails and prisons, as well as other areas. Read More... Sessions is Going to Lose his War Against Cannabis Posted by on August 01, 2017 at 12:31:13 PT By Matt Bonesteel Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions will soon receive a report he has been waiting for. The document, from the President’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, is expected to clarify the federal government’s position on marijuana — and the conflicts that exist between state and federal laws. It clear what Sessions wants to do: Over the past month, he has asked Congress for permission to prosecute medical cannabis suppliers who are acting in accordance with their state’s laws, reauthorized civil asset forfeiture (a highly controversial practice used in drug cases), and announced his desire to start a new “war on drugs.” Read More... Senate Panel Advances Measure to Protect MMJ State Posted by on July 27, 2017 at 15:27:12 PT By Lydia Wheeler Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- The Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to a budget bill on Thursday to protect medical marijuana programs from federal interference in states that have legalized the drug for medical use.
The amendment to the 2018 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill passed by a voice vote and prohibits the Justice Department from using funds to prevent states from "implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana." Read More... How Sessions Could Crack Down on Marijuana Posted by on July 27, 2017 at 12:08:45 PT By Tessa Berenson Source: Time Washington, D.C. -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions is an outspoken critic of recreational marijuana, and he has the power to hobble cannabis sales in states where it's legal. But for now, business owners and advocates say they don't think he'll actually do it.
As the head of the Justice Department, Sessions has a few strategies he could use to go after marijuana which, while legalized for recreational use in 8 states and D.C. and legalized medicinally in 29, remains a federal crime. Read More... Medical Marijuana for Veterans Blocked Posted by on July 27, 2017 at 11:58:07 PT By Conor Gaffey Source: Newsweek Washington, D.C. -- Republican lawmakers have blocked an amendment to a bill that would have allowed veterans to access medical marijuana through federal doctors in states where the medicinal use of the drug is legal. The House Rules Committee removed the so-called “Veterans Equal Access” amendment from the Veterans Affairs (VA) department’s funding bill for the next year, McClatchy DC reported.
The amendment proposed that VA doctors should consider medical marijuana as a form of pain relief for interested patients in states that have legalized the drug’s use in medicine. VA physicians are currently proscribed from recommending medical marijuana, since the drug is illegal under federal law. Veterans can seek out medical cannabis but have to pay for it out of their own pocket. Read More... Should California Start Its Own Bank to Serve MJ Posted by on July 27, 2017 at 05:55:05 PT By James Rufus Koren Source: Los Angeles Times California -- With recreational marijuana sales set to become legal in California next year and most banks unwilling to open accounts for cannabis companies, pot entrepreneurs are desperate to figure out what to do with their piles of cash. Now, some want the state or cities to get involved.
Over the last year, there has been increasing interest among cannabis businesses and public officials in the idea of public banks: government-owned institutions that would take deposits, make loans and, in California at least, be willing to work with marijuana companies. Read More... Former Jets Player is Suing Jeff Sessions Posted by on July 25, 2017 at 11:30:27 PT By Matt Bonesteel Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Former NFL player Marvin Washington is one of five plaintiffs who are suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration in federal court to legalize marijuana, the New York Post reported Monday night.
Washington, a defensive lineman known mostly for his time with the New York Jets over his 11-year NFL career, is the co-founder of a company that sells hemp-based sports performance products that do not contain THC, the component of cannabis that causes a high in marijuana users. In the lawsuit, he claims that the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug — in other words, a substance that has a high potential for abuse and one that has no accepted medical use — prevents him from receiving federal grants to open a business that “would allow pro football players to use medical marijuana for pain management in lieu of more addictive opioids,” the Post reports. Read More... Trump's DOJ Gears Up for Crackdown on Marijuana Posted by on July 23, 2017 at 17:36:29 PT By Lydia Wheeler Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- The Trump administration is readying for a crackdown on marijuana users under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. President Trump’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, led by Sessions, is expected to release a report next week that criminal justice reform advocates fear will link marijuana to violent crime and recommend tougher sentences for those caught growing, selling and smoking the plant.
Sessions sent a memo in April updating the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and Department of Justice Department (DOJ) component heads on the work of the task force, which he said would be accomplished through various subcommittees. In the memo, Sessions said he has asked for initial recommendations no later than July 27. Read More... Trump Wages War on MJ Veterans Side With Pot Posted by on July 21, 2017 at 06:36:56 PT By Evan Halper and Lauren Rosenblatt Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- The Trump administration’s attack on legal marijuana, already stymied by large states determined not to roll back the clock, is increasingly confronting an even more politically potent adversary: military veterans.
Frustrated by federal laws restricting their access to a drug many already rely on to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and opioid addiction, veterans have become an influential lobbying force in the marijuana debate after sitting on the sidelines for years. Read More... CO MJ Tax Revenue Exceeds Half A Billion Dollars Posted by on July 19, 2017 at 15:37:40 PT By Ryan Grenoble Source: Huffington Post Denver -- These days, cannabis is Colorado’s cash crop. (Ciao, corn!) In the three-and-a-half years since the state began allowing adults to purchase marijuana for recreational use, cannabis has contributed more than half a billion dollars in tax revenue to both state and local coffers.
That’s according to a report released Wednesday by the Denver-based marijuana consulting firm VS Strategies. Based on data from the Colorado Department of Revenue, the firm tabulated that cannabis-related taxes from 2014 through mid-2017 totaled $506,143,635. Read More... Ohio Senator Wants Feds to Lift Prohibition on MJ Posted by on July 19, 2017 at 14:41:11 PT By Laura A. Bischoff, Columbus Bureau Source: Dayton Daily News Columbus, Ohio -- The state senator who helped push through Ohio’s medical marijuana law wants to ask U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Congress to re-classify cannabis. State Sen. Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights, introduced a resolution in the Ohio Senate on Wednesday that would make a formal request to the feds to drop marijuana from the list of controlled substances.
The resolution, which would have to pass both the Ohio House and Senate, doesn’t carry much clout. It is a mechanism for sending a message on an issue. Read More...
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