Oregon Garnered Over $107 Million in Marijuana Taxes in 2018

Oregon brought in over $107 million in taxes from the legal sale of marijuana and marijuana products in 2018.

According to data released by the Oregon Department of Revenue, the state made $107,777, 721 in 2018 from marijuana taxes. This is significantly higher than the roughly $68 million made in 2017, and the $60 million garnered in 2016 (the first year of legal sales).

Of the $107 million in marijuana taxes Oregon earned in 2018,  $94,226,985 came from the statewide tax on marijuana (17%). The remaining $13,550,736 came from local taxes, which vary from city to city but can exceed 3%.

Oregon’s biggest single-month marijuana tax gain in 2018 came in November, with $11.6 million garnered. The lowest-earning month was February, with $7.7 million.

In Oregon, thanks to an initiative passed in 2014, the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is legal for those 21 and older. Marijuana retail outlets, licensed by the state, are authorized to sell the plant; they first opened in 2016.

More data on Oregon’s marijuana market can be found by clicking here.

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Weekend Unlimited Wins the “Pot” Lottery

“POT” LOTTERY GENERATES GLOBAL INTEREST AND EXPOSURE FOR CANADA’S LEADERSHIP IN CANNABIS LEGALIZATION

VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA (CROSSING 12:05 AM ET on 1 February 2019) – Weekend Unlimited Inc. (“Weekend” or the “Company”) (CSE: YOLO – FSE: 0OS1) has been informed by the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE) that it has won the lottery for the trading symbol POT.

“Weekend Unlimited is thrilled to add the iconic POT trading symbol to its identity,” said Mr. Paul Chu, Weekend Unlimited President and CEO. “As a fast-growing multi-state operator, Weekend Unlimited is developing lifestyle brands around recreational and wellness to help define the future of the cannabis industry. The POT symbol is a tremendous fit with our brand identity.”

The Canadian Securities Exchange, collectively with Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”), TSX Venture Exchange, and Aequitas NEO Exchange (together the “Exchanges”) announced thelottery for the POT symbol in January 2019. With the symbol in high demand, many eligible issuers currently listed on any of the Exchanges, or applicants who have made listing applications to the Exchanges, submitted ballots for the POT symbol.

Added Mr. Chu, “There has been tremendous excitement generated globally for the POT symbol. The POT lottery served to raise the profile of Canada’s leadership in legal recreational cannabis and we believe it will also serve to raise Weekend Unlimited’s leadership profile.”

Weekend Unlimited expects to begin trading with the new symbol POT on Monday, February 4th, subject to confirmation by the CSE.

About Weekend Unlimited Inc.

Weekend Unlimited is capitalizing on its vast industry relationships to establish a lifestyle brand featuring premium products and delivering life’s highest moments.

The company aggregates and scales small to medium brands, primarily in the categories of flower, extracts and edibles. Weekend Unlimited brands have best of class operations, distribution and strong revenue trajectories, making them ideal candidates for the deployment of capital and expertise through access to technologies, infrastructure and centralized systems. Learn more at www.weekendunlimited.com

For Sixth Straight Year, Super Bowl Features Team from a Legal Marijuana State

As the National Football League (NFL) continues its hard-line stance on marijuana, which includes punishing players even if they’re using medical marijuana legally under their state’s law, it’s worth noting that this is the sixth straight year where the Super Bowl has featured at least one team from a state where marijuana is legal for all purposes.

This year’s Super Bowl LIII features the New England Patriots playing against the Los Angeles Rams. Both teams are located in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use (Massachusetts and California). This is the sixth consecutive year – dating back to 2014 – where at least one of the Super Bowl teams are located within a legal marijuana state.

Let’s recap:

Last year’s Super Bowl featured the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the New England Patriots.  As just-mentioned the Patriots are from a legal marijuana state. 2017’s Super Bowl also included the Patriots (against the Atlanta Falcons).

In 2016 the the Denver Broncos faced off against the Carolina Panthers. Colorado, of course, legalized marijuana in 2012.

In 2015 – Super Bowl XLIX- the Patriots battled the Seattle Seahawks. Although cannabis wasn’t legal in Massachusetts at that point, it was in Seattle (Washington also legalized marijuana in 2012).

In 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII was dubbed by many as the Cannabis Bowl, as both teams – the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks – are from states with legal cannabis. Given this year’s Super Bowl also features two teams from legal marijuana states, some have referred to it as the Cannabis Bowl II.

With all of this in mind, fans of the NFL should continue pressure those at the top of the league to allow players to use marijuana if its legal under their state’s law, especially for medical purposes.

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Washington Committee Passes Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana at Schools

Legislation to allow students to use medical marijuana on school groups (including school buses) has been passed by its initial committee in the Washington State House of Representatives.

Cannabis tincture.

House Bill 1095 was filed by Representative Brian Blake (D) and is cosponsored by Representatives Maureen Walsh (R) and Laurie Jenkins (D). It was passed today by the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness, sending it to a vote by the full House.

The measire “Requires a school district to permit a student who meets certain requirements to consume marijuana concentrates for medical purposes on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or while attending a school-sponsored event.”

In addition, the legislation “Requires the board of directors of a school district, upon request of a parent or guardian who meets certain requirements, to adopt a policy that authorizes parents or guardians to administer marijuana concentrates to a student for medical purposes while the student is on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or attending a school-sponsored event.”

Click here for the full text of House Bill 1095.

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Study: CBD May Help Treat Alcohol Use Disorder

Cannabidiol shows promise as a potential treatment option for alcohol use disorder, according to a new study published by the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, and epublished by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“There is substantial interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in plants of the genus Cannabis”, begins the abstract of the study. “The goal of the current systematic review was to characterize the existing literature on this topic and to evaluate the credibility of CBD as a candidate pharmacotherapy for alcohol use disorder (AUD).”

Using a comprehensive search strategy, “303 unique potential articles were identified and 12 ultimately met criteria for inclusion (8 using rodent models, 3 using healthy adult volunteers, and 1 using cell culture).” In both rodent and cell culture models, “CBD was found to exert a neuroprotective effect against adverse alcohol consequences on the hippocampus.” In rodent models, “CBD was found to attenuate alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity, specifically, alcohol-induced steatosis.”

Finally, “findings from preclinical rodent models also indicate that CBD attenuates cue-elicited and stress-elicited alcohol-seeking, alcohol self-administration, withdrawal-induced convulsions, and impulsive discounting of delayed rewards.”

In human studies, “CBD was well tolerated and did not interact with the subjective effects of alcohol. ” Researchers state that “Collectively, given its favorable effects on alcohol-related harms and addiction phenotypes in preclinical models, CBD appears to have promise as a candidate AUD pharmacotherapy. This is further bolstered by the absence of abuse liability and its general tolerability.”

The study concludes by stating that “Human preclinical and clinical studies are needed to determine whether these positive effects in model systems substantively translate into clinically-relevant outcomes.”

More information on this study can be found by clicking here.

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Report: Federal Marijuana Legalization Would Create $86 Billion in New Tax Revenue by 2025

New Frontier Data, which claims to be “the authority in data analytics and business intelligence on the global cannabis industry”, today announced new economic data detailing the potential impact of federal cannabis legalization in the United States.

The federal legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis would create $86 billion in additional U.S. tax revenue between 2019 and 2025 and a $56 billion annual U.S. cannabis market by 2025, states the report. The New Frontier Data State of the Cannabis Union 2019 is now available for free download at the following link: https://newfrontierdata.com/SOTCU.

These findings, as well as comments by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Congressman Lou Correa (D-Calif.) and insights from the world’s first cannabis testing lab Steep Hill and Top 10 U.S. tax firm CohnReznick, were presented during a briefing hosted by New Frontier Data in collaboration with The Liaison Group, a federal advocacy group working with federal lawmakers towards a safe and thriving cannabis economy.

Currently, 33 U.S. states have enacted legal state cannabis programs. Another 14 have approved CBD use, while support among other U.S. states continues to grow.

“Cannabis legalization and decriminalization has not only occurred in nearly 60% of the United States; it is now being explored or adopted in over 60 nations around the world. Our data shows full federal legalization, specifically in the U.S., will drive material gains across key economic sectors, including federal revenue generation, national job creation, and reduced government healthcare spending and crime rates,” said Giadha Aguirre de Carcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data. “Our ultimate goal is to provide U.S. Congress objective and comprehensive intelligence on the potential socio-economic impact of federal cannabis legalization as its members enter into this delicate debate.”

“A changing political tide for advancing cannabis policy is progressing through Congress. More and more Members in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle are recognizing and acknowledging the country’s will …

Report: New Legal Cannabis Markets in Canada and California Driving Industry

Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics have released a “2019 Update” to the sixth edition of their report on The State of Legal Marijuana Markets, which was published last June. The update takes stock of events in the second half of 2018  and anticipates that worldwide spending on legal cannabis will grow 39.1% to $17 billion in 2019.

Recreational Surpasses Medical

The report’s chief editor Tom Adams writes in his introduction: “Legal cannabis continued its winning streak at the ballot box in 2018, but the industry is finding such victories can sometimes be hollow or at least an opportunity to learn patience.”

Case in point: California, which kicked off recreational sales on Jan. 1, 2018. “Legal cannabis launches have faced expensive regulatory regimes,” Adams acknowledges, “such as that in California that handicapped the legal business with a 77% price disadvantage against a robust illicit market.”

TOM ADAMS: “The science, product development and consumer marketing of a consumable that humans have enjoyed for at least 8,000 years is just beginning. There’s enormous potential in all of that.”

Of the four states that voted to go legalize in November 2016, “Maine remains medical-only, Massachusetts took until November 2018 to get stores open and California [became] the first state to actually shrink legal spending (from $3 billion to $2.5 billion) in its first year of adult-use legality. Only Nevada put reasonable regulations in place quickly, opened stores apace in July 2017 and is now seeing a shrinking illicit market.” 

Landrace Strains: The Complete Guide To These Rare Strains

Landrace Strains

When it comes to cannabis, variety really is the spice of life. From Fruity Pebbles to Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, there always seems to be a strain for every occasion. But did you know that all the strains we have today trace back to a handful of original cannabis plant types known as landrace strains?

It’s true. In fact, botanists can trace the entire cannabis lineage back to an original landrace strain in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We know — mind blown, right?

So what is a landrace strain, specifically? What makes them unique? And should you drop everything, sell your car, and trek to the back of beyond just to try one?

In this article, the experts at Honest Marijuana will answer those questions and tell you everything you need to know about the rare landrace strains.

An Extremely Brief History Of Cannabis

Landrace strain of the cannabis plant

Historical documents from as far back as 2900 B.C.E. (before common era) and archaeological evidence from various regions indicate that cannabis was already in use during the Neolithic period in China.

That means humans could have been smoking weed as far back as 10,000 B.C.E.!

Actually, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Our ancient stoner ancestors probably consumed cannabis as an edible or as a weed tea. It probably wasn’t until later that some ganja genius got it in his or her head to inhale the smoke of a burning pot plant.

We really don’t know for sure about cannabis use, though, because Wikipedia didn’t exist back then and no one wrote anything down (they probably forgot because they were stoned off their weed tea).

Cannabis genetics are a different thing entirely. Botanists don’t need written records to do some pretty amazing things, like trace all the cannabis strains that we know about today back to single plant variety that first developed in the Hindu Kush region of what …

Minnesota Legislature to Consider Legalizing Marijuana

Legislation will be introduced today in the Minnesota House and Senate that would legalize and regulate marijuana for those 21 and older.

State lawmakers will introduce legislation today that would fully end marijuana prohibition in Minnesota while establishing a licensed, regulated and taxes system of marijuana businesses.

The legislation, sponsored by Senators Melisa Franzen (DFL) and Scott Jensen (R) in the Senate and Representatives Mike Freiberg (DFL) in the House, would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase limited amounts of marijuana. The state would license and regulate businesses to cultivate, process, test, and sell marijuana to adults, and it would create and enforce strict health and safety regulations, such as testing and labeling requirements and restrictions on marketing to teens.

“Minnesota’s outdated prohibition policy has become more of a problem than a solution,” Freiberg said. “It is forcing marijuana into a shady underground market, which creates more potential harm for consumers and communities than marijuana itself. Regulating marijuana would make our state safer by removing the criminal element and empowering our state and local governments to start controlling production and sales.”

Among other things, the proposed legislation would:

  • Empower the Minnesota Department of Health to regulate marijuana dispensaries and direct regulators to develop a “seed-to-sale” system that tracks marijuana from cultivation to sale.
  • Allow local governments to regulate the production and sale of marijuana in their communities.
  • Prohibit retailers from marketing in a manner that targets teens.
  • Allow for the expungement of certain marijuana-related crimes from the records of previously convicted persons.
  • Dedicate $10 million annually to impoverished communities, many of which have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition; additionally, millions of dollars will be directed each year to mental health services, efforts to combat impaired driving, and teen drug education.

Based on current usage rates and the market price of marijuana being sold for adult use in Colorado, the Marijuana Policy Project

Study: Long-Term CB2R Activation “Might Prevent Neuroinflammation and Oxidative Stress-Associated Sickness Behavior”

Activation of the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R), something done naturally through the consumption of cannabis and cannabinoids, “might prevent neuroinflammation and oxidative stress-associated sickness behavior”, according to a new study.

The study, titled Cannabinoid receptor 2 activation mitigates lipopolysaccharide-induced neuroinflammation and sickness behavior in mice, is being published in the journal Psychopharmacology. It was epublished ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) signaling in the brain is associated with the pathophysiology of depression”, states the study’s abstract. “Sickness behavior, characterized by lessened mobility, social interaction, and depressive behavior, is linked with neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and immune system. The present study was aimed at evaluating 1-phenylisatin (PI), a CB2R agonist, in sickness behavior.”

For the study, “influence of acute and 7-day activation of CB2R using PI in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced sickness behavior was assessed in mice.” An acute injection of LPS (1.5 mg/kg) “produced a fully developed sickness behavior in animals within 1 h of administration.” The behavioral paradigm “was assessed by open field test, forced swim test, and tail suspension test. Further, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), antioxidant enzymes, and lipid peroxidation were measured in the brain to correlate neuroinflammation and oxidative stress with sickness behavior.”

Both treatments, PI (20 mg/kg) and imipramine (15 mg/kg), were administered orally (once for acute and once daily for 7-day protocols).

Researchers found that :LPS elevated the brain TNF-α level, augmented oxidative stress, and induced the sickness behavior in mice. Acute and 7-day treatment of mice with PI significantly reduced the LPS-induced sickness behavior. In addition, PI inhibited the neuroinflammation evidenced by a reduction in brain TNF-α and oxidative stress.”

They conclude by stating that “Our data propose that acute and long-term activation of CB2R might prevent neuroinflammation and oxidative stress-associated sickness behavior.”

For more information on this study, including its full abstract and a link to its full text, click here.

The post Study:

Washington Legislation to Raise Legal Age for Tobacco and Vapor Products to 21 Passed by House Committee

Washington State legislation to raise the legal age for purchasing and using tobacco and vapor products has been passed by its initial House committee.

House Bill 1074 was filed by State Representative Paul Harris (R) along with a bipartisan group of 28 other representatives. It was passed by the House Health Care & Wellness Committee today by a vote of 12 to 2.

According to the measure’s official legislative digest, it “Raises the legal age to twenty-one years for the lawful sale or distribution of tobacco and vapor products”, and “Authorizes the governor, in recognition of the sovereign authority of tribal governments, to seek government-to-government consultations with Indian tribes regarding raising the minimum legal age of sale in certain compacts.”

The legislation makes it so that “A person who sells cigars, cigarettes, cigarette paper, tobacco, or vapor products to a person under the age of 21 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.” In addition, it states that “Tobacco products may not be sold through a vending machine unless the machine is located in a place where persons under the age of 21 are prohibited or in an industrial worksite where persons under the age of 21 are not employed, and it is located at least 10 feet from entrances and exits.”

For the full text of House Bill 1074click here.

In 2017, Oregon passed into law a similar measure which raised the legal age for tobacco and “inhalant delivery systems” to 21.

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Colorado House Votes to Add Autism to State’s Medical Cannabis Program

Legislation to add autism spectrum disorders to Colorado’s medical cannabis program has been passed through its second reading in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 1263, filed by State Representative Edith Hooton (D), was passed by the House today, less than three weeks after its introduction. It must now be passed through a third reading before it can be sent to the Senate for consideration. If passed by the Senate it will be sent to Governor Jared Polis who is expected to sign it into law if given the opportunity.

According to its official summary, “The bill adds autism spectrum disorders to the list of disabling medical conditions that authorize a person to use medical marijuana for his or her condition.”

Under current law, “a child under 18 years of age who wants to be added to the medical marijuana registry for a disabling medical condition must be diagnosed as having a disabling medical condition by two physicians, one of whom must be a board-certified pediatrician, a board-certified family physician, or a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist who attests that he or she is part of the patient’s primary care provider team. ” House Bill 1263 “removes the additional requirements on specific physicians to align with the constitutional provisions for a debilitating medical condition.”

If House Bill 1263 becomes law, autism spectrum disorders would join the following qualifying conditions in Colorado:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Cachexia
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe pain
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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Trump Crony Roger Stone Indicted by Mueller and Arrested by the FBI

Donald Trump’s favorite pot head, Roger Stone, is going to face the music for his involvement in the 2016 campaign that mostly focuses on WikiLeaks and his relationship to Julian Assange. A grand jury, based on charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, indicted Stone on seven counts of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering on Jan. 24 and FBI agents arrested him in an early-morning Jan. 25 raid of his home in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. His residence in New York was also raided.

“During the summer of 2016, Stone spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign,” the indictment reads. “Stone was contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1.”

Organization 1 is WikiLeaks and Person 2 is Randy Credico, who allegedly introduced Stone up to Person 1, WikiLeaker Julian Assange.

Stone’s Co-Conspirator Randy Credico

We previously wrote about Stone’s relationship with Credico:

“GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone, 65, claims Credico, 63, was the go-between with Julian Assange …

Trump Crony Roger Stone Indicted by Mueller and Arrested by the FBI

Donald Trump’s favorite pot head, Roger Stone, is going to face the music for his involvement in the 2016 campaign that mostly focuses on WikiLeaks and his relationship to Julian Assange. A grand jury, based on charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, indicted Stone on seven counts of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering on Jan. 24 and FBI agents arrested him in an early-morning Jan. 25 raid of his home in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. His residence in New York was also raided.

“During the summer of 2016, Stone spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign,” the indictment reads. “Stone was contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1.”

Organization 1 is WikiLeaks and Person 2 is Randy Credico, who allegedly introduced Stone up to Person 1, WikiLeaker Julian Assange.

Stone’s Co-Conspirator Randy Credico

We previously wrote about Stone’s relationship with Credico:

“GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone, 65, claims Credico, 63, was the go-between with Julian Assange …

South Carolina Senate Passes Resolution Urging Feds to Remove Barriers to Medical Marijuana Research

Legislation urging federal lawmakers to pass legislation removing barriers to medical marijuana research has been passed by South Carolina’s full Senate.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 169 was filed by Senator Greg Hembree (R) along with two cosponsors. It states that “the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina hereby urges the United States Attorney General and Congress to take immediate and additional steps to promote and actively pursue scientific research and testing into the potential use of cannabis to treat other medical conditions and illnesses by removing the federal statutory and regulatory barriers that prevent these scientific endeavors.”

The resolution must now be passed by the House of Representatives before it can be “transmitted to the President of the United States, the United States Attorney General, the President and President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, and the Speaker and Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and that copies of this resolution also be transmitted to the members of the United States Congress from this State.”

According to its official text, part of the reasoning behind the resolution is that “federal statutory and regulatory barriers have prevented thorough research on the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions and illnesses, and these barriers have undermined the ability of states to obtain clear, well-researched scientific evidence relevant to use of cannabis for medical purposes”.

The resolution in its entirety can be found by clicking here.

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Study Finds High-CBD Cannabis Oil is Safe And Effective for Autistic Patients

The administration of cannabis extracts is effective and well-tolerated in patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports and published online by the National Institute of Health.

The aim of the study, which included 188 participants,  was to “characterize the epidemiology of ASD patients receiving medical cannabis treatment and to describe its safety and efficacy.” To do this researchers examined the daily administration of high-CBD cannabis oil. which consisted of 30% CBD and 1.5% THC.

Among the patients who used the cannabis oil for at least six months, over 90% reported some level of symptomatic improvement; this included reductions in seizures, rage attacks and restlessness. In addition, roughly a third of reported a reduction in other medications.

The study concludes by stating that “Cannabis as a treatment for autism spectrum disorders patients appears to be well-tolerated, safe and seemingly effective option to relieve symptoms, mainly: seizures, tics, depression, restlessness and rage attacks.” They continue by stating that they believe “that double blind placebo-controlled trials are crucial for a better understanding of the cannabis effect on ASD patients.”

The study is titled Real life experience of medical cannabis treatment in autism: Analysis of safety and efficacy.

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Former New York City Council President Advocates for Marijuana Equity and Social Justice

Melissa Mark-Viverito speaks at CannaGather in New York as host Josh Weinstein looks on.

New York’s progressive former City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito wants to be the city’s next Public Advocate. A special election will be held on Feb. 26. A total of 23 candidates are running. Five other current or former Council member are running.

Public Advocate is essentially a watchdog position. However, it’s second in line to the Mayor, which makes this a particularly important race.

Mark-Viverito made a campaign stop Jan. 22 at CannaGather, New York’s largest monthly meetup of marijuana enthusiasts.

Making Her Mark at CannaGather

She started by saying, “I’ve always been a supporter of the legalization of marijuana,” which is true. Before it was popular in New York, the three-term Council leader took that stance. “I support legalization primarily from a social justice perspective. I firmly believe in social equity and justice. We have to level the playing field and bring more equity.”

Now that legalization appears to be around the corner in New York State – Gov. Andrew Cuomo’a 191-page Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act

Bipartisan Legislation to Fully Repeal Marijuana Prohibition Passed Through First Reading in Hawaii Senate

Hawaii’s Senate has passed through its first reading a measure that would fully repeal marijuana prohibition.

Senate Bill 702 was filed by Senator Kalani English along with six bipartisan cosponsors. The measure was introduced on January 18, and was passed through its first reading yesterday. The measure must be passed through two more readings, and by the House of Representatives, before it can go to David Ige for consideration.

The legislation “Repeals criminal prohibitions and penalties pertaining to marijuana”, effectively legalizing it throughout the state and ending the decades-long prohibition on the plant. The full text of the measure can be found by clicking here.

A separate measure that “Legalizes the personal use, possession, and sale of marijuana in a specified quantity” and “Requires licensing to operate marijuana establishments” was also passed through its first reading today. That proposal is Senate Bill 686.

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Kentucky Bill Would Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Legislation to decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana – and up to five grams of resin – has been filed in Kentucky’s Senate.

Senate Bill 82 was filed by State Senator Jimmy Higdon (R). It was initially assigned to the State and Local Government Committee, but was reassigned today to the Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee. The measure would decriminalize “personal use quantity” of marijuana, which is defined by being less than an ounce of bud or less than five grams of resin. Those caught possessing within these limits could not face jail time or a criminal charge, but could be given a fine.

The legislation would also exempt “personal use marijuana accessories” from the state’s drug paraphernalia law, allowing for the possession of smoking devices such as pipes and bongs.

“Basically, what my bill says is, they shall write them a ticket,” Higdon said at a recent public forum. “It’s no more than a speeding ticket.”

For the full text of Senate Bill 82 click here.

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Now That Hemp’s Legal, All Roads Are Leading to Mass-Market Retail

On December 20, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, making it a historic day for hemp in the United States. After more than 80 years of prohibition, U.S. farmers are finally allowed to grow hemp legally. Section 10113 of the bill removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, extracting it from Schedule I status alongside its intoxicating cousin marijuana.

In a victory for farmers, the bill removes banking, water and other regulatory roadblocks from hemp farming, plus authorizes crop insurance. It also allows hemp farming in communities left out of the 2014 Farm Bill, including U.S. territories, tribal lands and reservations. Now, hemp is clearly defined as “whole plant,” including extracts, and as cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent THC.

Despite hemp’s previous illegality, the U.S. industry is booming. The Hemp Business Journal estimates that in 2018, the total retail value of hemp food, supplements and body care products in the U.S. reached $553 million.

Eric Steenstra

Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, a national advocacy organization dedicated to a free market for industrial hemp, thinks hemp farming will be only one trending item in 2019. Even without the protections of the 2018 Farm Bill, the acreage of hemp grown in the U.S. more than tripled from 2017 to 2018.

Bipartisan Bill to Legalize Marijuana Deliveries Filed in Washington State

Legislation that would legalize the delivery of marijuana to those 21 and older has been filed in Washington’s House of Representatives.

House Bill 1358 was filed by State Representative Steve Kirby (D) and is cosponsored by Representatives Brandon Vick (R) and Brian Blake (D). Filed today, the measure has been referred to the House Commerce and Gaming Committee.

Specifically, the measure would add a new section to chapter 69.50 of the RCW stating that “A marijuana delivery endorsement to a marijuana retailer license is established to permit a qualifying marijuana retailer to deliver marijuana for personal use to any individual twenty-one years of age or older.”

The Washington state liquor and cannabis board would be authorized to “establish the fee for the marijuana delivery endorsement””, and a marijuana retailer holding a delivery endorsement “may charge a fee to the customer for any delivery made
in accordance with this section.”

The full text of House Bill 1358 click here.

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Wisconsin Governor Announces Support for Legalizing Marijuana

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has announced that he now supports legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (photo: Steve Appsa/Wisconsin State Journal/Associated Press).

Attorney General Josh Kaul also said on Wednesday that he would make the case across Wisconsin for legalizing medical marijuana as an alternative to prescribing more opioids to combat pain, reports the Associated Press.

“At the end of the day do I favor legalization? Yes,” Evers said at a meeting of the Wisconsin Technology Council on Tuesday. “I want it to be done correctly so we will likely have in our budget a first step around medical marijuana.”

WisPolitics.com was the first to report on his comments.

Evers’ spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff did not immediately return a message Wednesday seeking more details.

Evers said he may call for a statewide referendum on legalization. Such referendums are advisory only in Wisconsin, but could increase pressure on reticent Republicans.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said he’s open to legalizing medical marijuana, but Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said he doesn’t support it.

“I still don’t believe the support’s there within the Senate caucus to move in that direction, but I know the debate is going on nationwide,” Fitzgerald said on Tuesday when asked about the issue.

Kaul, in an interview with WTMJ-TV, cast the issue as a way to combat opioid abuse.

“We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic and when people are facing pain issues — I would much rather have a doctor prescribing medical marijuana than an opioid,” Kaul told the television station.

Democratic state Rep. Melissa Sargent, who has introduced bills to full legalize marijuana, said she believed public support will put pressure on Republicans to come around.

“For too long we’ve had people at the top of the food chain who suffer from reefer madness,” Sargent said. “Frankly, it’s time for them to swallow their pride and hear the …

Cannabis Culture Controversies: Vancouver Stores Ordered to Close, Marc Emery Under Fire

The good times in Vancouver are over. All unlicensed marijuana dispensaries, including two Cannabis Culture shops, must cease operation, as ordered by a British Columbia Supreme Court on Dec. 14. A total of 28 stores have to close by Jan. 31, or face shutdowns and possible arrests.

The ruling comes as provinces are providing licenses for cannabis businesses under Canada’s new legalization law, which went into effect Oct. 17.

“We’re just hoping people are going to move along and move into the more mainstream licensed retail business,” Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart stated two days after the court decision. “I feel like once we have regular retail available here in the city, which will come very soon, then these other stores will just kind of fade away.”

So far, two recreational shops under the province’s new cannabis law are up and running: Evergreen Cannabis Society (2868 W. 4th Ave.) and City Cannabis Co. (610 Robson St.).

Unlike Cannabis Culture and other unlicensed stores, the new shops don’t allow onsite use. Cannabis Culture shops are famous for their dab bars.

Cannabis Culture owner Jodie …

Medical Marijuana Bill Signed Into Law by U.S. Virgin Islands Governor

U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. signed the Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act into law Tuesday.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Positive T.A. Nelson, received final approval from the Legislature on December 28.  The measure legalizes medical marijuana for those who receive a recommendation from a physician.

Comprehensive medical marijuana laws have been adopted in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Seventeen other states have adopted medical marijuana laws that are ineffective because they are either unworkable or exceptionally restrictive. Idaho is the only state and American Samoa is the only U.S. territory without any form of medical marijuana law.

“We applaud Gov. Bryan and the Virgin Islands Legislature for enacting this sensible and compassionate legislation”, says Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Medical marijuana is widely recognized as an effective treatment for a variety of debilitating conditions and symptoms. This new law offers the prospect of relief for countless patients, and it will do so for generations to come.”

O’Keefe continies; “Most U.S. states and territories have enacted effective medical cannabis laws, and those that have not are giving them increasingly stronger consideration. There is no reason why patients in 18 states and American Samoa should continue to be deprived of this medical treatment option that is now accessible to so many of their fellow Americans.”

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