California Considers Green Banking Posted by on December 17, 2017 at 07:04:15 PT By Patrick McGreevy Source: Los Angeles Times Los Angeles -- California has a possible solution to the problem of banks being unwilling to handle money from the state’s multibillion-dollar legal marijuana industry, one that officials say would be the first system of its kind in the nation.
Talks are underway between the state, banks and federal regulators on a plan to allow banks to serve a marijuana market that is expected to grow to $7 billion annually by 2020 in California. Starting Jan. 1, it will be legal to grow and sell marijuana for recreational and medical uses. Read More... Sessions and Christie Must Stop Telling Lies Posted by on December 13, 2017 at 07:35:13 PT By Ryan Jennemann Source: Newsweek Washington, D.C. -- Congress just gave the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which bars the Department of Justice from using federal funds to prosecute people buying or selling medical marijuana in states that have legalized it, a temporary reprieve until Dec. 22.
However, as Rep. Earl Blumenauer, (D-Ore.) stated, “Two weeks is not enough certainty," especially when you are talking about patients’ well-being and a North American cannabis marketplace largely made up of small business owners and their employees that is expected to grow 33 percent to nearly $10 billion in 2017 and create tens of thousands of new jobs in the New Year. Read More... U.S. States Tried Decriminalizing Pot Before Posted by on December 09, 2017 at 12:47:45 PT By Emily Dufton Source: Time USA -- In the past five years, eight states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana for adults. Today, 68 million people live in areas where marijuana is treated like alcohol or tobacco. The drug is sold in stores, millions of tax dollars are being raised from its sale, and an increasing number of businesspeople are profiting in this lucrative new industry. Long seen as either a hippie accessory or a dangerous gateway drug, legal marijuana is booming. Pot is so popular that, in 2015, its sales surpassed Girl Scout cookies, Oreos, and Dasani bottled water. By 2026, analysts predict it will match, and eventually outpace, America’s $50 billion wedding industry. Read More... Back Off Jeff Sessions Posted by on December 09, 2017 at 12:08:59 PT By The LA Times Editorial Board Source: Los Angeles Times Los Angeles -- California voters decided last year that the sale of recreational marijuana should be made legal, beginning on Jan. 1, 2018. But Proposition 64 left many of the details to local governments and state regulators. So the last several months have been a race against the calendar, as officials have sought to develop rules governing where, when and how businesses may grow, transport and sell marijuana to adults.
Last month, the state unveiled 276 pages of regulations for the new recreational pot marketplace. Among other things, the rules set hefty licensing fees, regulate how much THC will be allowed in edibles and other cannabis products, and require marijuana businesses to track their product from seed to sale. Read More... L.A. Lawmakers Back New MJ Regulations Posted by on December 06, 2017 at 16:18:50 PT By Emily Alpert Reyes Source: Los Angeles Times California -- Los Angeles lawmakers backed a host of new regulations for the marijuana industry Wednesday, paving the way for the hotly anticipated business of recreational pot.
The unanimous vote was a landmark step for the biggest city in California as the state prepares to start issuing permits to grow, sell, test and distribute recreational marijuana. Despite a slew of concerns about the exact details of the plan, the Los Angeles City Council voted 12 to 0 for the regulations, which now go to the mayor for his approval. Read More... Medical Marijuana Took a Bite Out of Alcohol Sales Posted by on December 01, 2017 at 14:12:41 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Alcoholic beverage sales fell by 15 percent following the introduction of medical marijuana laws in a number of states, according to a new working paper by researchers at the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University.
The study adds to a growing body of evidence showing that marijuana availability can reduce alcohol consumption. Because experts generally agree that, on balance, alcohol use is more harmful to individuals and society than marijuana use, this would represent a significant public health benefit of marijuana legalization. Read More... Medical Marijuana Has Arrived in Maryland Posted by on December 01, 2017 at 13:43:33 PT By Fenit Nirappil, Rachel Siegel and Aaron Gregg Source: Washington Post Maryland -- At least 200 would-be customers were lined up outside Rockville’s first medical marijuana dispensary Friday afternoon when business owner Bill Askinazi announced that the first cannabis shipment including elixirs, tablets and flowers had arrived.
He promised that everyone in line would go home with at least some cannabis, then explained that computer issues were delaying the start of sales, and rushed back inside. Read More... TV Travel Guide Steves Pushes for Legal Marijuana Posted by on November 29, 2017 at 05:36:16 PT By Robert McCoppin Source: Chicago Tribune Illinois -- TV travel guide Rick Steves is best-known for his mild-mannered jaunts across Europe, but he traveled to Chicago to speak out Tuesday on a favorite side project: legalizing marijuana. "This is not a pro-pot movement. This is an anti-prohibition movement,” Steves said at a press conference Tuesday morning in Chicago, where he appeared with Illinois lawmakers who are pushing a state legalization bill.
Steves argued that those who want to smoke marijuana are already doing so, and so it should be taxed and regulated rather than traded on the underground market. Read More... Pot Nation: Canada's Plans for Legal Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on November 17, 2017 at 12:27:58 PT By Anna Mehler Paperny and Nichola Saminather Source: Reuters Canada -- Recreational marijuana is on track to be legalized in Canada by July 2018, making Canada the first Group of Seven country to allow the drug nationwide and the second in the world after Uruguay.
While the federal legislation proposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government will regulate cannabis production, the details of who can sell it and who can buy it will be largely left up to the country's provinces. Read More... From Pot Edibles To Farming Techniques Posted by CN Staff on November 17, 2017 at 12:05:50 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press California released long-awaited rules Thursday that will govern the state’s emerging legal marijuana industry, while potentially opening the way for larger-scale cultivation that some fear could strangle small-farm growers.
The thicket of emergency regulations will allow the state to begin issuing temporary licenses for growers, distributors and sellers on Jan. 1, when recreational sales become legal. Read More... Legalization Signatures Will Put Issue on Ballot Posted by on November 16, 2017 at 14:50:02 PT By Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press Source: Detroit Free Press Michigan -- Leaders of a statewide campaign to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Michigan say they've gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the statewide ballot in the 2018 election. The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol this week said it's gathered at least 360,000 signatures, well more than the 252,523 required by law.
The group now lacks only about $30,000 to pay off a signature-collection vendor before its leaders can submit truckloads of signed petitions to the Michigan Secretary of State, a move they expect to make before Thanksgiving, said spokesman Josh Hovey, with the Lansing-based public-relations firm Truscott Rossman. Read More... Sessions: Marijuana Not as Dangerous as Heroin Posted by on November 14, 2017 at 15:18:41 PT By Harriet Sinclair Source: Newsweek Washington, D.C. -- While Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have been persuaded that marijuana is not as dangerous as heroin, those harboring hopes for federal concessions on weed legalization shouldn’t bank on his support.
Speaking at a congressional hearing on Tuesday, Sessions stated that the Obama-era guidelines on cannabis remain intact, meaning the drug is illegal on the federal level even though a number of states have voted to legalize it for recreational use. Read More... Marijuana Rules Rile Pot-Friendly San Francisco Posted by CN Staff on November 14, 2017 at 05:18:42 PT By Janie Har, Associated Press Source: Associated Press San Francisco -- Famously pro-cannabis San Francisco, where the 4/20 marijuana holiday is celebrated with a group smoke-out on Hippie Hill, is having a surprisingly difficult time establishing regulations for the broad legal pot market coming to California in January.
Writing local rules in the weed-friendly city has taken a contentious turn as critics, many of them older Chinese immigrants who oppose marijuana use, try to restrict where pot can be sold. Read More... New Jersey: Legal Pot in 100 Days? Posted by on November 10, 2017 at 05:20:05 PT By Steven Nelson Source: Washington Examiner New Jersey -- New Jersey Gov. elect Phil Murphy said he would legalize marijuana within 100 days of taking office in January, and his Tuesday win makes a Democrat-packed statehouse the only obstacle. Supporters feel confident it will happen, but legalization foes plan to campaign for Democratic defections as the other side debates different visions for reform.
Legalization in the state — across the river from both New York City and Philadelphia — would be significant geographically, but also because no state has passed legalization legislatively, despite Gallup putting national support at 64 percent. Read More... Marijuana Won Tuesday's Election Posted by on November 08, 2017 at 05:53:18 PT By Tom Angell Source: Forbes USA -- Voters in two states chose new governors on Tuesday. Both of those elections -- as well as the results of a number of local races across the country -- will have huge implications for efforts to legalize marijuana.
Here's an overview of cannabis-specific ballot measures that voters approved, along with details on how the Democratic gubernatorial wins in New Jersey and Virginia will boost marijuana reform campaigns in those states. Read More... Veterans Tell of Medical Marijuana Use Posted by on November 06, 2017 at 05:33:18 PT By Joe Davidson, Columnist Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Joshua James Frey is clear: “Without medical marijuana I would be dead.” This Marine Corps veteran is a two-time Purple Heart awardee. He is among the former warfighters, led by the American Legion, who are on the frontlines of the fight for a sensible, federal medical marijuana policy.
They are pushing a reluctant Uncle Sam to catch up with overwhelming public opinion that favors allowing cannabis for medical use. We covered the Legion’s Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday with Frey, other veterans and a bipartisan group from Congress. Veterans, among the most respected citizens, are a potent force in the effort to move the federal government from a backward, anti-marijuana stance that resembles the 1936 melodramatic film propaganda of “Reefer Madness” more than today’s reality of widespread medical cannabis use. Read More... Recreational Marijuana Use Coming To Canada Posted by on November 04, 2017 at 15:11:01 PT By Ian Austen Source: New York Times Tiverton, Ontario -- Behind a forbidding high-security fence topped with razor wire, Supreme Pharmaceuticals is busy preparing for the legal marijuana trade, with workers expanding a greenhouse complex where the lucrative crop grows.
But while Supreme looks like it will be ready for the day when prohibition ends, Canada’s governments still have a lot of work to do. Read More... Maine Governor Vetoes Voter-Approved MJ Bill Posted by on November 04, 2017 at 06:33:47 PT By Katie Zezima Source: Washington Post Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) on Friday vetoed a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana, nearly a year after residents voted to set up a system to sell and regulate the drug.
In a letter, LePage said the law would set up a bifurcated system of recreational and medical sales — which are legal in Maine — of marijuana in the state. Allowing all adults to purchase marijuana also would violate federal law, LePage said. The governor said that while the Obama administration said it would not enforce federal marijuana law, the Trump administration has said it has concerns about legal marijuana. LePage said he sought guidance from Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the matter. Read More... Can L.A. Repair Damage Done by War on Marijuana? Posted by on November 04, 2017 at 06:26:24 PT By The LA Times Editorial Board Source: Los Angeles Times Los Angeles -- Make no mistake, the war on marijuana has not been colorblind. Despite national surveys showing that white people and black people use marijuana at approximately the same rates, blacks have over the years been nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites.
That disparity is as true in Los Angeles as it is elsewhere in the country. African Americans comprise less than 10% of the population in L.A. Yet between 2000 and 2017, blacks represented 40% of marijuana-related arrests. Latinos made up 44% of arrests. Whites made up only 16% of arrests, according to a city consultant’s analysis of Los Angeles Police Department data. Read More... Veterans Groups Push for MMJ to Treat PTSD Posted by on November 04, 2017 at 06:13:43 PT By Reggie Ugwu Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- Among critics of the federal prohibition of marijuana — a diverse and bipartisan group that includes both criminal justice reform advocates and Big Alcohol — the American Legion and its allies stand out.
For more than a year, the stalwart veterans group has been working to reframe the debate as a question of not only moral and economic imperatives, but also patriotic ones, arguing that access to medical marijuana could ease suffering and reduce suicide rates among soldiers who return from the horrors of war. Read More... Is Marijuana Good For Health? Posted by on November 03, 2017 at 06:10:13 PT By Kastalia Medrano Source: Newsweek Pennsylvania -- On Wednesday, Pennsylvania's health department unveiled a landmark registry for its residents who use medical marijuana. The new website will serve as a one-stop hub connecting patients and caregivers to growers, dispensaries, labs and physicians. More than 100 doctors are already linked to the program, with another 200 currently in training. By May of 2018, applicants should be able to pick up their prescriptions anywhere in the state.
The developments are in keeping with the wave sweeping over the eastern seaboard as marijuana use becomes more mainstream. With the continued spread of legalization and the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, researchers are now looking at what other health benefits the plant may have. Read More... Researchers Map Marijuana DNA Posted by on October 30, 2017 at 11:59:40 PT By Anthony Cuthbertson Source: Newsweek California -- Cannabis can be used in the treatment of numerous conditions, from epilepsy to alleviating the side effects of cancer therapies, but the full extent of the plant’s medicinal benefits remain largely unexplored. A new research initiative hopes to address this by mapping the cannabis genome in a quest to unlock the full potential of pot.
Scientists at the University of California, Davis, partnered with biotech firm Front Range Biosciences (FRB) to conduct the genomics research to “advance understanding of cannabis for medical and nutraceutical uses.” Read More... High Taxes Could Drive Up Marijuana Prices Posted by on October 30, 2017 at 07:14:25 PT By Katie Zezima Source: Washington Post California -- High taxes on legal marijuana in California could have the potential to turn many consumers away from the state’s cannabis shops and toward the black market, according to a report from Fitch Ratings.
The credit rating agency estimates state and local taxes on marijuana, which will become legal in California on Jan. 1., could be as high as 45 percent in some cases. It would trail only Washington state, which levies a 50 percent tax on marijuana. Read More... Confusion Coming with California’s Legal Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on October 29, 2017 at 10:18:23 PT By Michael R. Blood Source: Associated Press Los Angeles -- Ready or not, California kicks off recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 1. And, mostly, it’s not.
Los Angeles and San Francisco are among many cities still struggling to fashion local rules for pot shops and growers. Without the regulations, there could be limited options in many places for consumers eager to ring in the new year with a legal pot purchase. Read More... Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on October 27, 2017 at 05:36:39 PT By Joyce Chen Source: Rolling Stone USA -- A new Gallup poll released earlier this month shows that a record-high percentage of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, with 64 percent of those polled in favor of legalization. This marks the highest level of public support since the proposal was first made nearly five decades ago; in 1969, just 12 percent of Americans supported legalization, though that figure more than doubled by the end of the next decade.
The number continued to rise, and since 2013, more than half of Americans have consistently voted in support of legalizing marijuana. At present, the drug is still illegal at a federal level, but 29 states – including Seattle, California, Maine and Nevada – have all legalized some form of marijuana use, with eight states and Washington D.C. fully legalizing adult recreational use. Read More... Feds Should Research MMJ For Veterans Posted by on October 26, 2017 at 12:01:48 PT By Tom Angell Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) "is uniquely situated to pursue research on the impact of medical marijuana on veterans suffering from chronic pain and PTSD given its access to world class researchers, the population it serves, and its history of overseeing and producing research resulting in cutting-edge medical treatments," the group of lawmakers who sit on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs wrote on Thursday in a letter to VA Sec. David Shulkin.
Recently, medical cannabis advocates and veterans groups like the American Legion have increased pressure on VA to stop blocking federally-approved researchers from recruiting veterans for research on medical cannabis. Read More... Majority of Republicans Support MJ Legalization Posted by on October 25, 2017 at 08:21:47 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- For the first time in nearly 50 years of Gallup polling on the question, a majority of American Republicans say they support marijuana legalization.
Fifty-one percent of Republicans surveyed by Gallup this month said they support legalization, up sharply from 42 percent a year ago. Even larger majorities of independents (67 percent) and Democrats (72 percent) are in favor of legal marijuana. Read More... Finally a Degree in Marijuana Posted by on October 23, 2017 at 05:49:03 PT By Amber Ferguson Source: Washington Post Michigan -- When Alex Roth’s mother sent him an article announcing a new degree program being offered at Northern Michigan University, the sophomore immediately switched his major. Roth is now majoring in cannabis. The program, Medicinal Plant Chemistry, is the first program to offer a 4-year undergraduate degree focusing on marijuana, according to Brandon Canfield, the associate professor of chemistry who started the program.
“When my friends hear what my major is, there are a lot of people who laugh and say, ‘wow. Cool dude. You’re going to get a degree growing marijuana,’” Roth told The Washington Post. “But it’s not an easy degree at all.” Read More... Legal Marijuana is Saving Lives in Colorado Posted by on October 16, 2017 at 13:31:23 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Colorado -- Marijuana legalization in Colorado led to a “reversal” of opiate overdose deaths in that state, according to new research published in the American Journal of Public Health. “After Colorado’s legalization of recreational cannabis sale and use, opioid-related deaths decreased more than 6% in the following 2 years,” write authors Melvin D. Livingston, Tracey E. Barnett, Chris Delcher and Alexander C. Wagenaar.
The authors stress that their results are preliminary, given that their study encompasses only two years of data after the state's first recreational marijuana shops opened in 2014. Read More... Don't Let Sessions Turn Back Clock on Marijuana Posted by on October 14, 2017 at 08:00:51 PT Editorial Source: Baltimore Sun Maryland -- How ironic is it that conservatives who routinely criticize the federal government’s allegedly heavy-handed intrusions into state and local affairs seem to have no problem with such interventions when the overreach happens to advance policies dear to their own hearts?
This year we’ve seen a lot of this kind of back-and-forth, including the Trump administration’s insistence on punishing so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse to go out of their way to assist in the White House’s harsh immigration policies. Another example surfaced last week with reports that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is urging Congress to make medical marijuana programs illegal in Maryland and the 30 other jurisdictions that have approved legislation shielding use of the drug for medicinal purposes from criminal prosecution. Read More...
Sign Our Guestbook View Our Guestbook