Study: Marijuana Use Associated With Decreased Incidence of Liver Cirrhosis in Those With Hepatitis C

Marijuana use is associated with decreased incidence of liver cirrhosis in those with the Hepatitis C Virus, according to a new study published by the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

A cirrhosis word cloud.

“The effect of cannabis use on chronic liver disease (CLD) from Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection, the most common cause of CLD, has been controversial”, states the study’s abstract. “Here, we investigated the impact of cannabis use on the prevalence of CLD among HCV infected individuals.”

For the study researchers “analyzed hospital discharge records of adults (age ≥ 18 years) with a positive HCV diagnosis”, evaluating “records from 2007 to 2014 of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS)” while excluding “records with other causes of chronic liver diseases (alcohol, hemochromatosis, NAFLD, PBC, HBV, etc.).”

Of the 188,333 records, researchers “matched cannabis users to nonusers on 1:1 ratio, using a propensity-based matching system, with a stringent algorithm.” They then “used conditional regression models with generalized estimating equations to measure the adjusted prevalence rate ratio (aPRR) for having liver cirrhosis (and its complications), carcinoma, mortality, discharge disposition, and the adjusted mean ratio (aMR) of total hospital cost and length of stay (LOS) [SAS 9.4].”

The study “revealed that cannabis users (CUs) had decreased prevalence of liver cirrhosis, unfavorable discharge disposition, and lower total health care cost ($39,642[36,220-43,387] versus $45,566[$42,244-$49,150]), compared to noncannabis users (NCUs).

Researchers conclude by stating that “Our findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with decreased incidence of liver cirrhosis, but no change in mortality nor LOS among HCV patients. These novel observations warrant further molecular mechanistic studies.”

For more information on this study, click here.

The post Study: Marijuana Use Associated With Decreased Incidence of Liver Cirrhosis in Those With Hepatitis C appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/study-marijuana-use-associated-with-decreased-incidence-of-liver-cirrhosis-in-those-with-hepatitis-c/…

Massachusetts’ First Legal Recreational Marijuana Sales to Occur on November 20

The first legal recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts will take place on Tuesday, November 20.

Cannabis Becomes Legal TonightTwo marijuana retail outlets were given the green light today to begin selling recreational marijuana next week. New England Treatment Access in Northampton and Cultivate Holdings in Leicester will become the first outlets to sale marijuana as part of the state’s legalization initiative (passed by voters in 2016).

Both stores, which were given the go-ahead to open in three days by the Cannabis Control Commission, say they will open their door to recreational marijuana customers the morning of November 20. New England Treatment Access plans to open at 8 a.m., while Cultivate Holdings will open at 10 a.m.

As reported by the Associated Press, the “commence operations” notice given to the two outlets requires them to wait three calendar days before opening so they can coordinate with local officials and law enforcement. The openings are expected to draw big crowds, based on the experiences of other legal U.S. states and Canada when they first launched recreational sales.

“This signal to open retail marijuana establishments marks a major milestone for voters who approved legal, adult-use cannabis in our state,” said Steven Hoffman, chairman of the cannabis panel, in a statement. “To get here, licensees underwent thorough background checks, passed multiple inspections and had their products tested, all to ensure public health and safety as this new industry gets up and running.”

Legal-marijuana advocates, who had complained about the slow pace of regulatory approvals in the state, cheered the news .

“We can rightfully squawk about state delays and problematic local opposition, but the fact remains that we’re the first state east of the Mississippi to offer legal, tested cannabis to adult consumers in safe retail settings,” said Jim Borghesani, a spokesman for the group that led the ballot question to legalize recreational pot.

Borghesani called it a “historic distinction” for Massachusetts.

The post Massachusetts’

New Jersey Lawmakers to Vote on Marijuana Legalization This Month Says Senate President and Assembly Speaker

New Jersey lawmakers will vote later this month to advance legislation that would legalize marijuana, says Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate President Steve Sweeney.

On Wednesday at the state League of Municipalities’ annual conference in Atlantic City Coughlin said he has enough in committee to pass a measure that would legalize marijuana for everyone 21 and older. Speaking after Coughlin, Sweeney said he agrees with Coughlin’s timeline, but noted that he needs help from Governor Murphy to lobby votes; Murphy made legalizing marijuana one of his primary platforms in his successful run for governor last year, evening going as far as vowing to legalize marijuana in his first 100 days (a timeline which has passed, though most people don’t hold it against him as he’s continued to make it a key issue).

“The only way something like this gets passed legislatively is if all three of us work together,” said Sweeney. “If [the governor is] not going to lobby any votes for us then it won’t get done.”

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this year, 59% of voters in New Jersey support legalizing marijuana, with 37% opposed; only 4% remain undecided on the issue.

If New Jersey does legalize marijuana, they would become the 11th state to do so; Michigan became the 10th during this month’s election.

The post New Jersey Lawmakers to Vote on Marijuana Legalization This Month Says Senate President and Assembly Speaker appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/new-jersey-lawmakers-to-vote-on-marijuana-legalization-this-month-says-senate-president-and-assembly-speaker/…

N.H. voters send prohibitionists packing

Election results put legalization on the agenda for 2019

Last week, New Hampshire voters sent a strong message to Gov. Chris Sununu and the political establishment: it’s time to end marijuana prohibition! Although Sununu (a prohibitionist) won re-election, his margin of victory over legalization supporter Molly Kelly was smaller than anticipated. Most importantly, the Democratic party — which added support for legalization to its platform earlier this year — gained control of both chambers of the legislature.

The Senate, in particular, promises to be much less hostile to reform advocates in 2019. To illustrate, here are a few senators who were voted out last week:

• Sen. Gary Daniels (R-Milford) voted no on all cannabis reform bills throughout his time in the House and Senate. Voters replaced him with Rep. Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst), who has been much more reasonable on cannabis policy as a member of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

• Sen. Kevin Avard (R-Nashua) voted against a 2018 bill that would have allowed registered patients to cultivate their own limited supply of cannabis. Voters replaced him with a legalization supporter, former Rep. Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline).

• Sen. Bill Gannon (R-Sandown) strongly opposed all sensible marijuana policy reforms throughout his time in the House and Senate. This was supposed to be a safe Republican district, but voters chose to replace Gannon with legalization supporter Jon Morgan (D-Brentwood).

The odds of passing a legalization bill improved significantly as a result of the election. However, in order to achieve victory in the House and Senate, we will need a robust effort to educate and persuade undecided legislators.

After the election, I published a commentary in the Union Leader, making the case that “cannabis is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and most residents of the ‘Live Free or Die’ state are ready to see it treated that way.”

Please help us get our 2019 campaign off to a …

National League of Cities Calls on Feds to Reschedule Marijuana, Respect State Marijuana Laws

The National League of Cities – which represents nearly 20,000 cities – has passed two resolutions urging the federal government to reschedule marijuana and to respect state laws that legalize the substance.

In their resolutions the League calls on the feds to remove marijuana as a schedule 1 controlled substance, and to pass legislation “that would ensure states and local governments have the ability to establish laws and regulations on the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of medical and adult-use cannabis within the state.” This is the first time the group has called on the government to reschedule marijuana.

The League also passed a resolution calling for a resolution in the conflict between state and federal cannabis laws and “provide guidance to financial institutions that results in the cannabis market having access to the federally regulated banking system.” This resolution is similar to one the group has passed in previous years.

In addition, in their resolutions the League calls for the addition of federal regulations overseeing “the manufacturing, distribution and sale of legal medical and adult-use cannabis”.

The National League of Cities was founded in 1924 and represents over 19,000 cities, towns and villages.

The post National League of Cities Calls on Feds to Reschedule Marijuana, Respect State Marijuana Laws appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/national-league-of-cities-calls-on-feds-to-reschedule-marijuana-respect-state-marijuana-laws/…

Oklahoma Officials Issue Licenses to Over 650 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Over 1,000 Cultivators

Oklahoma voters legalized medical marijuana just a few months ago, but the state has already issued licensed to thousands of patients and hundreds of businesses.

According to a recent tweet by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the state has issued medical marijuana licenses to over 12,200 patients since the application process opened in late August.

In addition, the state has issued (as of November 11) licenses to 651 medical marijuana dispensaries, 1060 marijuana cultivators and 277 companies intending to process marijuana products. In total the OMMA has issued over 14,000 medical marijuana licenses.

“Thanks to the hard work of our Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) project team, we have been able to meet the required timelines of SQ 788 and provide a system that will efficiently provide for the processing of applications,” says Interim State Health Commissioner Tom Bates. “It has taken many long hours and great coordination between partners to reach this benchmark and we could not have accomplished our work without the help and expertise of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services and our software vendor, Complia Government Solutions.”

For the full text of Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana law, click here.

The post Oklahoma Officials Issue Licenses to Over 650 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Over 1,000 Cultivators appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/oklahoma-officials-issue-licenses-to-over-650-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-over-1000-cultivators/…

Joy Beckerman: Hemp Industries Association Evangelist

You can’t take the hippie out of Joy Beckerman. The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) president became a canna-activist in Grateful Dead parking lots in the early ’90s. “I learned about the social and political injustice of marijuana and of industrial hemp on Grateful Dead tour,” she tells Freedom Leaf.

With her busy schedule, Beckerman doesn’t have the time to attend Dead & Company shows these days, though she did go to the Fare Thee Well concerts in 2015. She has a trade organization to run and presentations to make. Just days before this interview, Beckerman spoke to a large group of attendees at the CannaGather event in New York. At warp-speed, she discussed every aspect of hemp, from science to laws to investment possibilities.

Several days later, Beckerman tells me why she decided to make hemp her life’s work. “If you’re going to be a professional, you’re going to have to specialize and serve your clients and the needs of building either the hemp economy or the marijuana economy appropriately,” she says. “I chose the former.”

Back in her Deadhead days, Beckerman opened a hemp store, Heaven on Earth, in Woodstock, NY. She proudly recalls that “we got a cease-and-desist letter for stamping ‘I GREW HEMP’ on dollar bills.”

Connecticut: Voters put legalization on the agenda for 2019

Governor-elect Ned Lamont strongly supports ending marijuana prohibition; lawmakers will begin considering new bills in January

Last week, Connecticut voters made it possible that marijuana prohibition will be brought to an end during the next legislative session. For the first time in history, Connecticut has voted elect a governor, Ned Lamont, who supports the legalization, regulation, and taxation of cannabis for use by adults.

“It’s an idea whose time has come, and I’m going to push it in the first year,” Lamont said while campaigning.

Of course, a governor doesn’t have the power to end marijuana prohibition by himself. In order to put a legalization bill on Gov. Lamont’s desk in 2019, our coalition members will all need to step up and help convince representatives and senators to vote in favor.

The Marijuana Policy Project and the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana are committed to making the Nutmeg State one of the next states to legalize and regulate cannabis. Please help us get our 2019 campaign off to a great start by contributing to our efforts today!

Please share this message with your family and friends, and encourage them to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

The post Connecticut: Voters put legalization on the agenda for 2019 appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/tax-and-regulate/connecticut-voters-put-legalization-on-the-agenda-for-2019/…

Connecticut: Voters put legalization on the agenda for 2019

Governor-elect Ned Lamont strongly supports ending marijuana prohibition; lawmakers will begin considering new bills in January

Last week, Connecticut voters made it possible that marijuana prohibition will be brought to an end during the next legislative session. For the first time in history, Connecticut has voted elect a governor, Ned Lamont, who supports the legalization, regulation, and taxation of cannabis for use by adults.

“It’s an idea whose time has come, and I’m going to push it in the first year,” Lamont said while campaigning.

Of course, a governor doesn’t have the power to end marijuana prohibition by himself. In order to put a legalization bill on Gov. Lamont’s desk in 2019, our coalition members will all need to step up and help convince representatives and senators to vote in favor.

The Marijuana Policy Project and the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana are committed to making the Nutmeg State one of the next states to legalize and regulate cannabis. Please help us get our 2019 campaign off to a great start by contributing to our efforts today!

Please share this message with your family and friends, and encourage them to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

The post Connecticut: Voters put legalization on the agenda for 2019 appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/tax-and-regulate/connecticut-voters-put-legalization-on-the-agenda-for-2019/…

Freedom Leaf Dives Into the Hemp-CBD Market

Freedom Leaf Inc.’s bid to diversify into an industrial hemp cultivator, CBD producer and formulator drew support with a $3 million investment from Merida Capital Partners in October, capping off a busy year of deal-making for the Las Vegas-based company.

While Freedom Leaf (OTCQB: FRLF) has been traded on the Over-The-Counter markets as a fully reporting and audited public company for four years, the transaction with Merida Capital Partners marks the first time it has sold equity in the company to a venture capital firm. Merida Capital is not just any venture firm. It already commands a high profile in the cannabis business as a backer of KushCo Holdings Inc., New Frontier Data, Grow Generation, Emerald Scientific and many others successfully participating in the cannabis and hemp sector.

Freedom Leaf CEO Clifford J. Perry says Merida Capital’s long-term view on its investments reflects the firm’s name, taken from an area in Spain where the Romans built aqueducts that have stood for some 2,000 years: “They stay with their companies and promote acquisitions and synergy in their portfolio. So far, they’ve been tremendously successful.”

Perry likes to call Freedom Leaf the “little train that could” since it started out as a publisher of a magazine and is now branching out into hemp cultivation and full-spectrum CBD extraction businesses in a flurry of transactions.

Wisc.: Election brings new hope, but challenges remain

Local voters approve 13 medical marijuana and seven legalization measures; ask legislators to listen.

Great news! On Election Day, around a million Wisconsin voters approved advisory questions on their ballots calling for more humane marijuana laws.

More than half of the state’s population saw cannabis-related measures on their ballots, and every single one of the measures passed. Medical cannabis questions received between 67% and 89% in the 11 counties and two cities where they appeared. Adult-use questions garnered between 60% and 76% of the vote.

As the Wisconsin State-Journal’s analysis shows, the measures easily passed in jurisdictions that voted for the Republican and the Democrat for the gubernatorial race.

Congratulations to all the advocates and voters who were involved!

In other encouraging news, voters elected a new governor — Tony Evers — who supports medical marijuana and would like to put the question of legalization to voters. (In Wisconsin, voters can’t place questions on the statewide ballot themselves; only state lawmakers can refer questions to them.)

Meanwhile, in neighboring Michigan, voters overwhelmingly approved legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and older.

Despite all this encouraging news, however, challenges remain. Popular support for medical marijuana has been strong for many years, but thus far Wisconsin’s lawmakers have refused to act.

Let your state legislators know you want the legislature to finally listen to voters on medical cannabis when they convene for the 2019 legislative session. It’s past time Wisconsin roll back its cruel and wasteful war on marijuana.

The post Wisc.: Election brings new hope, but challenges remain appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/medical-marijuana/wisc-election-brings-new-hope-but-challenges-remain/…

Texas Lawmaker Files Legislation to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession has been filed in the Texas Legislature.

State Representative Joe Moody has prefiled legislation that would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. The measure would make it so that anyone caught with up to an ounce could be fined a maximum of $250, but would not receive any jail time or criminal record. This is in stark contrast to current law, where possessing up to an ounce is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to six months in jail (as well as a misdemeanor charge on your record).

“Civil penalty legislation is the first thing I’ve filed on the first day of filing for the 86th Session”, said Moody in a press release. “There’s been an incredible swell of bipartisan support since last session, and the official Texas Republican and Democratic platforms both approve of this kind of reform now,”. Moody says he’s “optimistic that this will be the session we finally see smarter, fairer marijuana laws in Texas.”

According to a poll released in April and conducted by Quinnipiac University,  61% of voters in Texas are in favor of ending cannabis prohibition, with just 39% opposed. Although unsurpisingly Democrats and Independents support ending prohibition at a higher rate than Republicans (69%), support among Republicans was still impressively high for a state considered by many to be quite conservative (50%).

The post Texas Lawmaker Files Legislation to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/texas-lawmaker-files-legislation-to-decriminalize-marijuana-possession/…

MJBizCon Vegas Highlights: Speakers, Luncheons and Parties

The largest marijuana trade show in the country, MJBizCon, returns to Las Vegas from Nov. 13-16. More than 1,000 exhibitors will be displaying their products at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), including Freedom Leaf. We’ll be introducing our new companies – Hempology, Leafceuticals, Irie CBD and Accuvape – at Booth 1869.

Expo Schedule Highlights

Nov. 13: Crash courses, symposiums and forums.

Nov. 14: The expo officially opens with a series of morning keynotes from MJBiz’s Chris Walsh, Acreage Holdings‘ Kevin Murphy and Scotts Miracle-Gro’s Chris Hagedorn.

Nov. 15: A full day of speakers on a variety of subjects, including “Corporate Responsibility,” “New Tech and Innovation” and “Federal Marijuana Reform.”

Nov. 16: Getaway day has a shortened schedule. Morning highlights include “The Future of Hemp” with Joy Beckerman, “Private Equity Investing” with Al Foreman and “How Diversity Leads to Profitability.”

Luncheons, Receptions and Official After-Parties

Nov. 13: After-party at Omnia nightclub,3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 9;30-10:30 pm

Nov. 14: Minorities in Cannabis luncheon, 12-2pm, LVCC

Nov. 14: MJBizCon mixer, 4-6 pm, LVCC

Nov. 14: After-party at 1-Oak nightclub, …

There Was Over $135 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in Colorado in September

There was over $135 million in marijuana and marijuana products sold legally in Colorado in September, according to data from the state’s Department of Revenue.

In total there was $135,536,453 in marijuana and marijuana products purchased legally in Colorado in September. This is slightly less than the $141 million sold in August, which set a record in the state for the most marijuana sold in a given month.

Of the $135 million in marijuana sold in September, $27.9 million came from medical marijuana sales, the remainder coming from the sale of recreational marijuana. These sales helped Colorado garner around $20 million in tax revenue for September alone.

This new data brings the state’s total marijuana sales for 2018 to $1,157,781,963, putting Colorado on track to sell around $1.6 billion in legal marijuana by the end of the year. This would a little higher than the $1.5 billion sold in 2017, and nearly 20% more than the $1.3 billion sold in 2016.

Marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2013, thanks to voters approving a legalization initiative in 2012; the first marijuana store opened in 2014.  In Colorado marijuana is taxed at 15%, plus the standard 2.9% statewide sales tax. Revenue is allotted primarily for schools, hospitals and roads.

The post There Was Over $135 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in Colorado in September appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/there-was-over-135-million-in-legal-marijuana-sold-in-colorado-in-september/…

Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative Should Take Effect Next Month

In all likelihood marijuana will become legal next month in Michigan.

On Tuesday Michigan voters handily passed Amendment 2, which legalizes marijuana for everyone 21 and older. The measure will now take effect 10 days after election results are certified, which almost always occurs in early December This would put the state on track to have marijuana legalization by the end of the year.

Once in effect, the new law will allow those 21+ to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, or up to 10 ounces at a private residence; they will also be allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants at a private residence.

Although the initiative legalizes marijuana retail outlets, it likely won’t be until late 2019, or the first half of 2020, when these stores will begin opening.

Amendment 2 was passed with 55.91% voting in favor, making Michigan the 10th state to legalize marijuana.

The post Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative Should Take Effect Next Month appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/michigan-marijuana-legalization-initiative-should-take-effect-next-month/…

Study Says “CBD Shows Similar Efficacy in the Severe Pediatric Epilepsies to Other Antiepileptic Drugs”

Cannabidiol (CBD) “shows similar efficacy in the severe paediatric epilepsies to other antiepileptic drugs”,  states a new meta-study published by the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, and epublished by the National Institute of Health.”

“There are hundreds of compounds found in the marijuana plant, each contributing differently to the antiepileptic and psychiatric effects”, states the study’s abstract. “Despite considerable community interest in the use of CBD for paediatric epilepsy, there has been little evidence for its use apart from anecdotal reports, until the last year. ” Researchers note that “Three randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials in Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome found that CBD produced a 38% to 41% median reduction in all seizures compared to 13% to 19% on placebo.”

Similarly, “CBD resulted in a 39% to 46% responder rate (50% convulsive or drop-seizure reduction) compared to 14% to 27% on placebo. CBD was well tolerated; however, sedation, diarrhoea, and decreased appetite were frequent.”

Researchers conclude that “CBD shows similar efficacy to established antiepileptic drugs.”

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand, and the University of Melbourne, Austin Health and Royal Children’s Hospital and the Florey and Murdoch Children’s Research Institutes, all in Australia.

The post Study Says “CBD Shows Similar Efficacy in the Severe Pediatric Epilepsies to Other Antiepileptic Drugs” appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/study-says-cbd-shows-similar-efficacy-in-the-severe-pediatric-epilepsies-to-other-antiepileptic-drugs/…

Midterms Scorecard: A State-by-State Guide to the Big Winners and Losers

The 2018 midterm elections continued the slow but sure path towards ending cannabis prohibition in the U.S. with crucial ballot victories and the election of dozens of pro-marijuana reform candidates to Congress and governorships.

For a discussion of the initiatives that passed or failed in Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah, go here.

Freedom Leaf closely monitored 30 Congressional and gubernatorial races this election cycle, and, in general, the news was positive for the 50-year-old marijuana law reform movement.

Thanks to Democrats seizing control of the House of Representatives from prohibitionist Republicans, dozens of pro-reform legislative bills held up by Republicans for years will now get hearings and possibly floor votes.

Here are the results of some of the most important races:

California

The most pro-cannabis law reform politician in the nation’s history, California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, ascended to the governorship of America’s most populous state. From San Francisco Supervisor to California Lt. Governor, Newsom has always been progressive on pot.

In the state’s 48th Congressional District (CD), longtime marijuana law reformer and one of the few Republicans in Congress …

Illinois: Cannabis reform candidates J.B. Pritzker, Kwame Raoul, Bob Morgan cruise to victory

Yesterday’s blue wave in Illinois poised to become a green wave next session

Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, who has been a vocal supporter of legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis for adults’ use, appears to have handily won yesterday’s gubernatorial election. While official election results are still pending, both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times reported a margin of victory of around 55% of the vote.

In the race for state attorney general, cannabis reform supporter Sen. Kwame Raoul also notched a win with around 54% of the vote. Both J.B. Pritzker and Kwame Raoul were rated A+ candidates by MPP leading up to the election for their strong positions in support of sensible marijuana policy.

And a hearty congratulations go out to friend-of-the-movement Bob Morgan, who won the 58th District seat in the Illinois House of Representatives! Morgan headed up the successful launch of the state’s medical cannabis program, and as a private attorney, Bob has continued to be engaged in cannabis reform. He is a welcome addition to the General Assembly.

Yesterday’s results come as Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy prepare to introduce a revised bill for the session starting in January that would legalize cannabis for adults in Illinois. This moment is a huge step toward the bill’s passage and an exciting moment for those who seek an end to cannabis prohibition in Illinois.

The post Illinois: Cannabis reform candidates J.B. Pritzker, Kwame Raoul, Bob Morgan cruise to victory appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/tax-and-regulate/illinois-cannabis-reform-candidates-j-b-pritzker-kwame-raoul-bob-morgan-cruise-to-victory/…

Another election, and another historic night for marijuana reform!

Another election, and another historic night for marijuana reform.

Michigan has passed legalization! MPP played a central role in this campaign from start to finish. From coordinating the initiative drafting to overseeing the production of TV ads, MPP staffers worked alongside a excellent campaign team for two years to make Michigan the first state in the Midwest to adopt legalization. This is a huge win that will maintain our momentum in Washington, D.C. to pass a landmark federal reform bill through Congress in the near future.

Utah passed medical marijuana! MPP led the drafting process and played an important supporting role throughout the campaign. We are so proud of the Utah Patients Coalition team on this historic win that will end the heartless policy of criminalizing patients. If we can pass medical marijuana in Utah, then we can pass it in any state in the country…and we will.

In Missouri, voters approved medical marijuana, and they chose the best of the three possible initiatives. We congratulate our allies in the marijuana reform movement for this important win that will help patients access the medicine they need.

Sadly, North Dakota did not pass its legalization initiative. In such a conservative state, it was always an uphill battle. The proponents ran a strong campaign, but in a midterm year, the electorate was always going to be a challenge. North Dakota passed medical marijuana in 2016. It’s only a matter of time before the state adopts legalization, either via ballot initiative or legislative action.

As a movement, we won three out of four states. And for MPP, we’ve now played a leading role in seven of the 10 states that have legalized marijuana for adults (Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, and Michigan).

We couldn’t do this work without the support of voters, allies, activists, and donors. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made these crucial victories last …

Jeff and Pete Sessions Get Booted Out of Washington

It was a bad 24 hours for Republicans named Sessions.

First, last night, Texas Rep. Pete Sessions was ousted by former NFL player Colin Allred in the race for the state’s 32nd Congressional District. As chair of the House Rules Committee, Sessioms successfully prevented dozens of cannabis law reform bills from reaching the House floor.

“I refer to marijuana as merchants of addiction,” he said in February at an opioid summit in Dallas. “They’re making it more powerful and more powerful and more powerful. I graduated high school in 1973. Marijuana, on average, is 300 times more powerful [than it was then]. That becomes an addictive element for a child to then go to the next thing… We ought to call it what it is.”

Today, following President Trump’s lengthy press conference about the midterms, Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted his resignation, which Trump requested. This hardly comes as a surprise. Trump has excoriated Sessions ever since he recused himself from the Mueller investigation in 2017.

Mimicking Trump, new Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has referred to the Mueller investigation as

Iowa: Medical marijuana regulators vote to keep the THC cap, add autism

Urge your lawmakers to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program!

On Friday, November 2, the board that oversees Iowa’s medical marijuana program voted unanimously against recommending legislators to remove the current 3% THC limit on products.

Additionally, the board voted to recommend that the state add autism to the list of qualifying conditions, but rejected expanding the program to add ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and ganglioglioma.

Unfortunately, Iowa’s low-THC approach leaves behind thousands of patients who could benefit from medical marijuana.

Please ask your legislators to ensure that as many patients as possible who could benefit from medical marijuana have access!

Check out our full summary of Iowa’ low-THC program here. Five dispensaries across the state will be open to registered patients on December 1. You can also find a wealth of information on medical marijuana here.

The post Iowa: Medical marijuana regulators vote to keep the THC cap, add autism appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/medical-marijuana/iowa-medical-marijuana-regulators-vote-to-keep-the-thc-cap-add-autism/…

Marijuana Legalization Initiatives Pass in Michigan, Missouri and Utah; Fails in North Dakota

Three out of four ain’t bad. In the midterm elections yesterday, Michigan became the 10th state to legalize marijuana and the first ever in the Midwest and Missouri and Utah joined 30 other states with medical cannabis. The one bummer was in North Dakota, where voters decided to keep recreational use illegal.

Michigan’s Prop 1 allow adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of flower and 15 grams of concentrate as well as grow up to 12 plants. The proposed tax rate is 10%. It passed with 57% of the vote.

Despite competing measures on the Missouri ballot, voters backed Amendment 2, which lets patients possess up to four ounces and grow six plants. It calls for a modest 4% tax rate and covers conditions from cancer to PTSD. Amendment 2 received overwhelming support (65%-35%) compared to Amendment 3 (31%-69%) and Prop C (43%-57%)

In Utah, Prop 2 also won (54%-46%). Combined with Missouri’s victory, there are now 32 states with legal medical-marijuana. However, the vote was moot since a compromise had been reached a month ago between Utah Patients Collective and the state legislature. The regulations will need to be ironed out, but it has already been decided that home growing will not be allowed.

Utah Voters Pass Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative

An initiative to legalize medical marijuana has been passed by Utah voters.

The Utah Medical Cannabis Act (Proposition 2) was passed by a large majority of voters, showing that medical marijuana has strong support even in one of the most conservative and religious states in the country.

The initiative legalizes the possession and use of marijuana and marijuana products for those who receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state. The measure authorizes a licensed system of marijuana dispensaries, which will be allowed to sell up to two ounces of cannabis to a qualified patient.

After January 1, 2021, individuals with medical cards will be allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use within their homes if there are no dispensaries within 100 miles. The measure exempts the sale of medical marijuana from the sales tax.

Utah now joins over 30 other states that have legalized at least some form of medical marijuana.

For the full text of Proposition 2, click here.

The post Utah Voters Pass Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/utah-voters-pass-medical-marijuana-legalization-initiative/…

Medical Marijuana Legalized in Missouri

Missouri voters have said “Yes”, they want medical marijuana legalized.

Missouri has legalized medical marijuana through the initiative process, with voters approving Amendment 2 this evening. The measure, which was passed with over 65% in support, legalizes the possession and use of marijuana and marijuana products for medical purposes. Those wanting to use marijuana legally will first need to receive a recommendation from a physician.

The measure authorizes medical marijuana dispensaries, which will be allowed to sell marijuana to patients. Amendment 2 places a 4% tax on medical marijuana.

Missouri now joins over 30 other states that have legalized at least some form of medical marijuana.

For more information on Amendment 2, click here.

The post Medical Marijuana Legalized in Missouri appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/medical-marijuana-legalized-in-missouri/…