Breaking News and News You Can Use

February 12, 2019
Senator Ron Wyden introduces S. 420, a bill to legalize marijuana
Serious talks of federal legalization are beginning, but the debate will be probably be a long one.
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February 12, 2019
California Gives Green Light to Marijuana Home Delivery
New state regulation makes it easier to buy cannabis in previously prohibited areas, but local authorities are pushing back.
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February 2, 2019
Colorado marijuana sales crack $6 billion since 2014 legalization
Marijuana has been a big win for Colorado
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February 1, 2019
Congressional Committee Could Take Up Marijuana Reform ‘Fairly Soon,’ Chairman Says
Legalization looks on track to happen sooner rather than later
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February 1, 2019
Cramer's pot predictions for 2019: Legalization, deals, branding goes big
Cramer gives his cannabis predictions for 2019.
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January 22, 2019
Canadians spent $54M on cannabis in first month after legalization
Canadians bought $54 million of marijuana from stores in the first full month after sales were legalized, some of the clearest evidence yet of the market’s potential.
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January 22, 2019
Cannabis officials: Nearly $24M in legal pot sales in first 2 months
Recreational cannabis in Massachusetts has had a very nice start.
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January 22, 2019
Cannabis cafes are coming
Cannabis cafes might become a thing in the next few years.
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January 7, 2019
Oregon Bill Would Legalize Interstate Cannabis Exports
Interstate cannabis sales would be a game changer.
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January 4, 2019
Connecticut House Speaker Pledges To Push Marijuana Legalization Forward In 2019
More evidence that federal legalization will happen sooner rather than later.
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December 28, 2019
2019 Playbook: Marijuana
A video about what trends to expect in 2019 in the cannabis industry.
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January 4, 2019
Walls won't secure the US-Mexico border, but cannabis legalization will, says think tank
Amid a government shutdown over the Trump proposal for a wall between Mexico and the US, comes this fresh perspective.
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January 1, 2019
These States Are Most Likely To Legalize Marijuana In 2019
This article from Forbes outlines the prospects for state legalization in 2018.
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December 24, 2018
Mayor of New York Backs Marijuana Legalization
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has staked New York’s claim on the cannabis industry in New York by voicing his support for cannabis. His comments were made following New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to legalize cannabis across the state. The mayor went on to state that if New York legalizes cannabis, then past low-level cannabis convictions should be reversed and that cannabis sales should be “closed to corporate interests”. The mayor emphasized that the cannabis market should be heavily open to Hispanic and African-American New York residents who have for too long been unjustly targeted for drug use. He hopes that by legalizing cannabis the right way, New Yorkers will be provided new opportunities to succeed. In the process, the mayor wants to “choke off corporate America in the process and not let them get their greedy hands on the industry in New York.
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December 24, 2018
South Africa Poised for Cannabis Trade Despite Obstacles
It has been a good year for cannabis in South Africa in 2018 especially after the Constitutional Court upheld the legalization of the adult use and cultivation of pot in private this past September. Cannabis advocates in South Africa have rejoiced at the incredible steps the country has taken to legalize the plant. However, the same advocates still realize that there are many obstacles they must overcome before a legal marijuana market can thrive in the country. Even with positive forward steps, buying and selling cannabis for recreational purposes remains illegal. Despite continued restrictions on recreational cannabis, a cannabis expo was held in Preroria which was the country’s first. Although the plant was prohibited from the expo for all the participants, the crowded and popular event reflected the view that cannabis has big business potential especially for export. Experts and advocates say that South Africa has a good growing climate for cannabis making it even more likely that the country has the potential to become “an active player” in the market for cannabis-related goods.
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December 21, 2018
Will Marijuana Legalization Be Our Christmas Gift From Congress in 2019?
The idea of weed becoming legal on a national level may not be a far-fetched idea. Many fingers point towards federal legalization especially with the Farm Bill being passed which now allows states to cultivate hemp. The fact that Trump signed the bill is a good sign that things are moving in the right direction for cannabis. Many cannabis advocates feel that 2019 will be the year Congress finally pushes full steam ahead to fully legalizing cannabis nationwide. Furthermore, with the Democrats taking back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the door for cannabis legalization has opened up even more. The hope is that with Democrats leading the way, more cannabis bills will be introduced to the House floor in 2019. Many lobbyists from various industry sectors are also joining forces to garner enough votes for the States Act. The States Act will allow states the freedom to legalize cannabis without federal interference. Many business experts believe that the States Act is the best chance the U.S has at stopping the national cannabis economy migrating to Canada.
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December 20, 2018
Father Fights to Legalize Marijuana in Bid to Help Son
The Drug Enforcement Agency still considers marijuana a Schedule 1 drug putting it alongside such drugs as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Even with many states legalizing cannabis either medicinally or recreationally and in some cases both, cannabis is still currently federally prohibited. The current federal cannabis restrictions have made it very difficult for those families with ailing children to get access to medicine infused with cannabis to treat their loved ones. Now a group of patients, families, and activists are taking the Justice Department to court. They are challenging and appealing a decision in a lawsuit to erase marijuana from the Schedule 1 list. Their ultimate goal is to pave the way for cannabis legalization across the nation. The people who are suing the Justice Department include an Army veteran and a former NFL player. Depending on the result of the lawsuit, the group could get a new trial or end up petitioning to the Supreme Court.
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December 19, 2018
U.S. Cannabis Companies Set to Steal Canada’s Thunder in 2019
2019 can’t come any sooner for many US cannabis companies. Many predict that 2019 will be America’s time in the cannabis industry. After Canada went fully legal this past October, many investors have been focusing more on the U.S as they believe that it won’t be long before U.S follows suit. In a recent BDS Analytics report, U.S. consumer spending on legal cannabis is projected to hit US$20.9 billion by 2021 compared with US$4.5 billion in Canada. With the Canadian cannabis market suffering from first year growing pains including supply shortages and disappointing earnings, investors have noticed at the same time that the U.S. market has accelerated with more states legalizing cannabis in one form or another. Another sign showing the US government’s acceptance of cannabis is its recent legalization of hemp and its extracts in its farm bill. There are hundreds of businesses in the U.S. that are starting to create business plans for the cannabis market in the United States. It seems that “a new kid” is ready to take over the neighborhood and take control over.
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December 24, 2018
Mayor of New York Backs Marijuana Legalization
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has staked New York’s claim on the cannabis industry in New York by voicing his support for cannabis. His comments were made following New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to legalize cannabis across the state. The mayor went on to state that if New York legalizes cannabis, then past low-level cannabis convictions should be reversed and that cannabis sales should be “closed to corporate interests”. The mayor emphasized that the cannabis market should be heavily open to Hispanic and African-American New York residents who have for too long been unjustly targeted for drug use. He hopes that by legalizing cannabis the right way, New Yorkers will be provided new opportunities to succeed. In the process, the mayor wants to “choke off corporate America in the process and not let them get their greedy hands on the industry in New York.
READ MORE >
December 24, 2018
South Africa Poised for Cannabis Trade Despite Obstacles
It has been a good year for cannabis in South Africa in 2018 especially after the Constitutional Court upheld the legalization of the adult use and cultivation of pot in private this past September. Cannabis advocates in South Africa have rejoiced at the incredible steps the country has taken to legalize the plant. However, the same advocates still realize that there are many obstacles they must overcome before a legal marijuana market can thrive in the country. Even with positive forward steps, buying and selling cannabis for recreational purposes remains illegal. Despite continued restrictions on recreational cannabis, a cannabis expo was held in Preroria which was the country’s first. Although the plant was prohibited from the expo for all the participants, the crowded and popular event reflected the view that cannabis has big business potential especially for export. Experts and advocates say that South Africa has a good growing climate for cannabis making it even more likely that the country has the potential to become “an active player” in the market for cannabis-related goods.
READ MORE >
December 21, 2018
Will Marijuana Legalization Be Our Christmas Gift From Congress in 2019?
The idea of weed becoming legal on a national level may not be a far-fetched idea. Many fingers point towards federal legalization especially with the Farm Bill being passed which now allows states to cultivate hemp. The fact that Trump signed the bill is a good sign that things are moving in the right direction for cannabis. Many cannabis advocates feel that 2019 will be the year Congress finally pushes full steam ahead to fully legalizing cannabis nationwide. Furthermore, with the Democrats taking back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the door for cannabis legalization has opened up even more. The hope is that with Democrats leading the way, more cannabis bills will be introduced to the House floor in 2019. Many lobbyists from various industry sectors are also joining forces to garner enough votes for the States Act. The States Act will allow states the freedom to legalize cannabis without federal interference. Many business experts believe that the States Act is the best chance the U.S has at stopping the national cannabis economy migrating to Canada.
READ MORE >
December 20, 2018
Father Fights to Legalize Marijuana in Bid to Help Son
The Drug Enforcement Agency still considers marijuana a Schedule 1 drug putting it alongside such drugs as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Even with many states legalizing cannabis either medicinally or recreationally and in some cases both, cannabis is still currently federally prohibited. The current federal cannabis restrictions have made it very difficult for those families with ailing children to get access to medicine infused with cannabis to treat their loved ones. Now a group of patients, families, and activists are taking the Justice Department to court. They are challenging and appealing a decision in a lawsuit to erase marijuana from the Schedule 1 list. Their ultimate goal is to pave the way for cannabis legalization across the nation. The people who are suing the Justice Department include an Army veteran and a former NFL player. Depending on the result of the lawsuit, the group could get a new trial or end up petitioning to the Supreme Court.
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December 19, 2018
U.S. Cannabis Companies Set to Steal Canada’s Thunder in 2019
2019 can’t come any sooner for many US cannabis companies. Many predict that 2019 will be America’s time in the cannabis industry. After Canada went fully legal this past October, many investors have been focusing more on the U.S as they believe that it won’t be long before U.S follows suit. In a recent BDS Analytics report, U.S. consumer spending on legal cannabis is projected to hit US$20.9 billion by 2021 compared with US$4.5 billion in Canada. With the Canadian cannabis market suffering from first year growing pains including supply shortages and disappointing earnings, investors have noticed at the same time that the U.S. market has accelerated with more states legalizing cannabis in one form or another. Another sign showing the US government’s acceptance of cannabis is its recent legalization of hemp and its extracts in its farm bill. There are hundreds of businesses in the U.S. that are starting to create business plans for the cannabis market in the United States. It seems that “a new kid” is ready to take over the neighborhood and take control over.
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December 14, 2018
NJ Marijuana Legalization Delayed, Again, As More Town Ban it
The road to weed legalization in NJ seems to be getting tougher and tougher as more towns have passed laws to prohibit cannabis from entering their towns once cannabis is legal for recreational use. To compound the matter, legalization will not happen this year even though the state Senate and Assembly committees agreed to push the bill through for a vote last month. Many towns have taken initial steps to ban sales, manufacturing and farming of cannabis. It’s unclear when the issue of cannabis legalization will be addressed again, as a meeting with Gov. Phil Murphy with state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin didn’t produce any positive results. There is disagreement between the Murphy administration and the senate president on how the legislation should proceed. One of the biggest issues that has hindered the progress of the legislation is the taxation on marijuana. There seems to be disagreement on how much marijuana should be taxed. Gov. Murphy is optimistic that a compromise will be reached and that recreational cannabis will be legalized in the NJ sooner than later.
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December 13, 2018
Canopy Growth Expects to Enter US for CBD Opportunity
The Canadian cannabis producing giant Canopy Growth is making plans to enter the US market by the end of 2019. CEO Bruce Linton is quoted as saying that he expects Canopy to have some type of presence in the US market by late 2019. The CEO’s announcement comes at a perfect time as the US Senate voted to approve the Farm Bill which has a provision that legalizes the production and sale of industrial hemp in the US. Currently, the farming and manufacturing of hemp is federally illegal in the US due to its association to cannabis. Hemp is one of many CBDs that is naturally found in cannabis plants. The CBD market in the US is a market to keep an eye on as more businesses are looking into expanding into the CBD space. According to some estimates, the current US CBD market brings in about $418 million in sales. It is predicted that future sales of CBD will reach as high as $1.6 billion by 2021.
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December 12, 2018
Congress Just Voted to Legalize Hemp
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s bid to legalize hemp in the U.S. has become a reality. Congress has officially voted to legalize hemp. Hemp originates from the cannabis plant and is a non-psychoactive agent. Hemp is generally used for industrial purposes for its fiber. Specifically, industrial hemp is used to manufacture paper, cardboard, carpets, clothes, etc. Under current federal law, hemp production and sales are illegal due to its affiliation to the cannabis plant which is still federally illegal. The bill which is called the Farm Bill legalizes only hemp and not recreational or medical cannabis. The bill was introduced by several high profiled senators including McConnell earlier this year. Senator McConnell has been the most vocal in his attempts to legalize hemp. His ultimate goal is the open up new jobs for his home state through legal hemp. With this new bill, farmers will now be able to grow hemp without any restrictions from the government.
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December 12, 2018
Recreational Marijuana Could Come to New York in 2019
Legalization of recreational cannabis in New York may come as early as 2019 according to cannabis legalization advocates. Many are hinting that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will call on the legislature to legalize cannabis. Most likely he will bring up the subject during his first budget address in 2019. According to a spokesman for the governor, his team is currently drafting legislation on the matter. In August 2018, Cuomo created a 16 member team to devise a legislation and to hold public hearings on the matter. The sole purpose of this group was to make legislative suggestions based on a multi-agency study focused on “regulated cannabis”. The study concluded that the advantages of regulated cannabis in New York State outweighed the disadvantages. The New York Drug Policy Alliance is hoping that Gov. Cuomo’s plan will eventually overturn many minor cannabis convictions and provide ample opportunities for the minority communities.
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December 11, 2018
Brooklyn Offers Expedited Expungement Sessions This Week
Although New York has been frustratingly slow to legalize cannabis, Brooklyn has taken steps to speed up the process. The Brooklyn’s Districts Attorney’s office is offering two free expedited community-based sessions this week to reverse past convictions for minor to low-level cannabis infractions. New York’s efforts to reform the city’s criminal justice system has been slow, but the NYPD has stopped the incarceration of people who smoke weed. Furthermore, Brooklyn’s District Attorney Eric Gonzalez has stopped prosecuting minor possession and public smoking cases. Statistics don’t lie. Since implementing the policy change, possession cases have dropped a jaw dropping 98.5 percent in less than a year. To help promote decriminalization, Brooklyn will participate in initiatives, like the National Expungement Week to overturn past cannabis convictions. This program will allow individuals who were arrested for a misdemeanor cannabis possession to file for a motion to have their records erased.
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December 11, 2018
Surgeon General Blames Lack of Marijuana Research on Schedule 1 Status
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams provided insight onto why cannabis is still listed as a Schedule I drug under the U.S. Controlled Substance Act (CSA). According to Adams, the main reason why cannabis is still listed at a Schedule I drug is because of the lack of research on the plant. The reason for the lack of research in the field is primarily due to the cost and entry barriers doctors and researchers face if they try to study the plant. The Attorney General supports the idea of rescheduling medical cannabis and views medical cannabis “like any other drug”. However, Adams still doesn’t support the idea of recreational cannabis or adult use. He is also against smoking cannabis, even for medical purposes. Despite his views, Adams wants to base his policy decisions on scientific research and results.
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December 10, 2018
New Zealand Passes Laws to Make Medical Marijuana Widely Available
Another victory for cannabis advocates as New Zealand’s government has passed a law making medical cannabis legal for use. After years of campaigning, patients in NZ now have the opportunity to have access to medical cannabis to treat their chronic pain. Furthermore, the law will immediately allow terminally ill patients to smoke illegal cannabis without federal prosecution. The passing of this law paves the way for a planned referendum on recreational cannabis use which will be considered in about two years. The new cannabis policy will also benefit New Zealand manufacturing companies that produce medical cannabis products locally and internationally. Specifically, this new law will help the Maori communities who hope to develop the illegal industry into a profitable legal one. The law will definitely be a game changer for many people on the island. Although cannabis use is common on the island, it is still restricted and illegal on all levels.
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December 9, 2018
Growing Close: After 2-Year Wait, Medical Marijuana Available Soon
After patiently waiting for several years, North Dakota is well on its way to becoming the next state to legalize medical marijuana. The state has been waiting for legalization since 2016 when the initial measure was introduced. Now it has become a reality for the state. The North Dakota Department of Health has given permission to two manufacturing companies to produce medical cannabis in the state. They also selected four dispensaries to start operating in selected cities. Although the law is being pushed through, there are still many things to complete before dispensaries can officially open. Most importantly, the dispensaries need to wait for the cannabis manufacturers to start producing medication before supplies can be distributed and sold. With the news of imminent legalization, about 130 residents have applied to become registered patients. At the moment, North Dakota will allow up to a total of 8 dispensaries in the state to open. The state will allow more location if needed.
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December 7, 2018
WHO Postpones Recommendation for Rescheduling Cannabis at UN Summit
The much anticipated international rescheduling of cannabis will have to wait just a little bit longer as the World Health Organization has decided to postpone its recommendations. It was decided that they needed more time to review their finds. Along with cannabis, other substances were to be included in the recommendation which will need more time for evaluation. It is expected that a vote will take place sometime next year in March. Representatives from various governments, NGOs and the press who were all expecting a historic day were all given the bad news. Although the outcome of the recommendations has been delayed, representatives from around the world are hopeful that a positive outcome will rule the day when that time comes.
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December 6, 2018
Marijuana Retailer MedMen Facing Class Action Lawsuit From Former Employees
One of the biggest names in the cannabis industry is facing a class action lawsuit from former employees. California based MedMen is being taken to court for allegedly violating multiple labor laws according to the suit. The suit alleges that two of MedMen’s subsidiaries failed to properly pay wages, accurately record working hours and provide mandatory meals and breaks. The former employees contend that MedMen “intentionally failed” to properly pay their workers. The legal suit could substantially hurt MedMen financially as there could be up to thousands of plaintiffs involved in the entire suit. According to the plaintiffs’ lawyer, the entire process could take months if not years before it is settled. When reached, MedMen offered little to say except that they do not comment on current ongoing legal matters.
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December 6, 2018
Latest NJ Cannabis Bill Advances, prioritizes Jersey City, Newark Businesses
New Jersey’s path to cannabis legalization appears to be slowly plodding along as 2018 slowly comes to an end. A final bill has been set for a vote that focuses on social justice issues, and the vote could also positively impact four of the state’s largest cities including Jersey City and Newark. Last month, the state’s Senate and Assembly voted in favor of passing the Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act. The comprehensive bill would allow adults at least 21 years old to purchase and use cannabis on a recreational level. Also, a 12 percent tax would be imposed on all commercial cannabis sold in the state. Under the bill, Newark, Jersey City, Paterson and Elizabeth would all qualify as impact zones. Among some of the other benefits of the bill include the creation of an Office of Minority, Disabled Veterans, and Women Cannabis Business Development which will emphasize on improving and promoting social and economic disparities. Consumption lounges and home deliveries of cannabis would also become legal under the new proposed bill.
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December 5, 2018
How Will Acting Attorney General Influence Marijuana Legalization?
When former Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned, the cannabis industry was elated and assumed the worst was over. However, the elation was short lived as many in the industry are now curious to see what the new Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will do. Thus far, the new AG has been pretty tight lipped on where he stands on the issue. His background in the cannabis industry is limited, but he did say that legalized medical cannabinoids would positively benefit families. On the other hand, AG Whitaker was also quoted as saying that he was concerned about the Department of Justice’s handling of the current marijuana situation. Many see AG Whitaker’s views on cannabis contradict that of Trump’s position who publicly stated that he would support marijuana legalization to a certain degree.
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December 5, 2018
Marlboro Parent Company May be Entering Marijuana Market
According to Reuters, Altria is in talks with the Canadian cannabis firm Cronos Group for possible investment opportunities. Altria is the parent company of Marlboro and Virginia Slims. Although there are signs that discussions have started, the company has stated that there is no deal in place for a potential collaboration. Thus far, Altria has kept quiet regarding its interests in Cronos. Regardless of the vagueness, Cronos’ stock rose by 11% by day’s end. It’s no secret on why Altria is interested in expanding into the Canadian cannabis market. With the cigarette market on the steady decline over the past several years, Altria’s shares have dropped 20%. U.S. adults are smoking less which seems to be the ongoing trend. With a $52.5 billion demand for cannabis in the U.S., Altria is banking on benefiting from the industry’s economic boom. Altria isn’t the only non-cannabis group to be highly interested in the cannabis space. Other large corporations have publicly announced their interests in the cannabis industry as well.
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December 5, 2018
New York Legalization Advocates Suggest Using Pot Tax Revenue to Fix Subway
With mounting pressure from New York City’s residents to repair the city’s subway system, the MTA finds itself in a suffocating quagmire where there seems to be no adequate solutions in the immediate future. However, New York’s cannabis legalization advocates may have a possible solution to the MTA financial woes. Realizing that governments in weed-legal states across the country have used taxes from cannabis to fund many public projects, New York cannabis advocates are proposing the same idea. New York’s democratic leaders are considering the idea of using pot tax revenue to support and fund to improve the ailing subway system. A task force was recently created to look into cannabis legalization as a method of raising money to fund repairs to the subway. Although a small sample size, they have a new report from an NYU transportation expert that supports the cannabis legalization proposal. It is estimated that it will cost NY at least $40 billion to fix the MTA system. However, tax revenue from cannabis would only generate up to $670 million which obviously falls well short of the total cost to repair the MTA. Using cannabis tax revenue would be part of a broader plan to generate funds. Whatever the case, it would be in the best interest of all parties involved to consider money from weed as an option.
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December 3, 2018
Bill Seeks to Release Prisoners with Marijuana Convictions
Convicted marijuana prisoners in Michigan will be happy to learn that a group of Democratic lawmakers have introduced a bill that could release them. The bill will focus on releasing prisoners who have been convicted of specific types of cannabis infractions. House Bill 6508 would assist in facilitating a release process for prisoners who have been convicted of cannabis use, possession or distribution. However, the prisoners must meet certain conditions to qualify. This particular bill isn’t only limited to releasing prisoners on the specific conditions mentioned above. The bill also aims to tackle other types of marijuana convictions as well. Michigan state representatives have introduced 4 bills in total regarding cannabis.
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November 26, 2018
NJ Marijuana Legalization Clears First Hurdle After Legal Weed Vote
A joint panel of lawmakers from the NJ Senate and Assembly agreed on a bill that addressed the issues of regulation, taxation and legalization of cannabis. The approval marks another step for New Jersey to becoming the next state to legalize recreational cannabis use. Furthermore, lawmakers have also decided to expand the current state’s medical marijuana program even further, and to completely revise the regulations for expunging cannabis-related crimes. Even with the approval, many lawmakers are still reluctant to ending the state’s prohibition on cannabis. More importantly, Gov. Phil Murphy who supports legalization has yet to endorse any type of cannabis bill put forth by the state’s officials. Many are waiting to see what Gov. Murphy will do and how he will handle the situation going forward. Mid-December will be the next opportunity for the Senate and the Assembly to cast their votes on the matter.
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November 26, 2018
South Korea Legislature Passes Medical Cannabis Law, First in East Asia
South Korea has legalized medical marijuana making it the first East Asian country to do so. With the South Korean government legalizing medical marijuana, it marks a significant step for a traditionally conservative society. The move to legalize will surely be a game-changer in that region with other countries likely to follow. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety will be responsible for establishing a strict guideline on what types of drugs infused with marijuana will be allowed into the country. For the bill to officially become law, both the president and the State Council must approve. According to the bill, the import of certain medical cannabis products will begin early 2019; however, a specific time line has not been finalized. Only cannabis medications that have been approved by other countries health agencies will be allowed to be imported into South Korea. Most of the drugs will be aimed at treating patients with rare and debilitating diseases.
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November 24, 2018
Tech Companies and Pot Producers Becoming Fast Friends
With the Canadian cannabis market well on its way to becoming a booming industry, certain segments within the industry will be put to the test to provide new services to keep the market thriving. One major area that will drastically change and improve the cannabis space is technology. The technology to keep plants healthy and to expand and improve harvests will be a key component as the cannabis market grows. Ranging from testing cannabis for potency and chemical composition to tracking intellectual property in the industry, the tech aspect of the industry is making itself a vital segment which people can’t ignore. As the market matures and evolves, cannabis clients are looking for the “right tech” that can make their lives simpler and easier. Many in the space say that having the proper technology in the cannabis industry can possibly make or break a business in the long run.
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November 22, 2018
New Jersey Legalizes Hemp Farming
As New Jersey still awaits for recreational cannabis to become legal, a new bill to legalize the research and cultivation of hemp in New Jersey has been signed by Governor Phil Murphy. With the bill receiving unanimous support, it was a no brainer for the Governor Murphy to sign the bill. The passing of this particular hemp bill will further benefit New Jersey farmers as it provides them with another profitable crop to harvest and sell. Hemp has gained popularity in the wake of the current cannabis rush. It is seen as a valuable commodity that is considered as a cash crop. Even though hemp has been banned since 1970 due to its close proximity to cannabis, many states are in the process of updating and revising their hemp regulations. Identifying the crop as a safe product, 38 states have passed laws allowing farmers to cultivate hemp.
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November 21, 2018
Even Half of Cannabis Non-Consumers Support Legalization
The cannabis industry is thriving in Canada and in several states in the US where cannabis has been legalized. Support for cannabis legalization has been at an all time high. The industry is even getting support from people who are not cannabis consumers. According to Civilized culture poll, 50% of people who do not engage in any cannabis activity support cannabis legalization. The poll, which consisted of 1600 American and Canadian adults combined, delved into the attitudes and viewpoints of marijuana consumers and non-consumers toward cannabis culture and legal reform. The main takeaway from the poll is that one doesn’t necessarily have to engage in cannabis use to support legalization for the plant. Those who support legalization point to the economic benefits of legal cannabis.
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November 21, 2018
Canadian Cannabis Investors Still at Risk for Lifetime US Entry Ban
Even with official credentials, Canadian investors may still face lifetime US entry ban. That was the case for a Canadian investor who recently was given the ban as he was attempting to travel straight from Vancouver to Vegas to attend the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, one of the biggest annual cannabis events. The investor was approached by a US border guard at Vancouver’s airport and was told that he violated the Immigration and Nationality Act related to controlled-substance trafficking. Even though Canada recently legalized cannabis use and sales, the US still considers cannabis as a federally illegal substance thus prompting the ban on the Canadian investor. The US Customs and Border Protection announced a month before Canada fully legalized cannabis that most Canadian’s travelling into the US would “generally be admissible” but would face heavy scrutiny by border agents. In order to avoid the lifetime entry ban, travelers must apply for a temporary waiver permit; however, the application process is time consuming and involves a lot of paper work.
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November 19, 2018
Cannabis is America’s Next Wellness Obsession
With the cannabis industry expected to rake in about 75 billion dollars by 2030, experts are predicting that instead of the younger and male clientele, the growth for the cannabis market in the future will be focused on the older and more female crowd. Unlike the early days of the cannabis industry, the young and the reckless crowd isn’t the main focus. The market now is trending towards the 45-year-old fitness and yoga instructor and her white collar husband. It’s no longer about the flavors or the “rush”. Cannabis seekers today are more interested in how the products will help them physically and mentally encompassing the entire wellness of the body. The sophistication of cannabis products aimed at improving the mind and body has evolved extensively that it has disrupted the market. Like a glass of wine or fancy dessert, cannabis products now are seen as “special treats” offered in social or professional settings. The new market has diversified enough that there is something for everyone especially for those who do not fall into the Cheech and Chong category of smokers.
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November 18, 2018
With Pritzker and Madigan on Board, Dems Push Again For Pot Legalization
Chicago Democrats are planning to push the state government to fully legalize cannabis use in Illinois. Last year, a cannabis bill to legalize recreational use was introduced by Illinois State Senator Heather Steans and state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, but their efforts were turned away by both houses of Legislature. The results of the midterm elections have changed the Illinois political landscape as Chicago Democrats are now in a better position to dictate cannabis issues. Along with newly elected pro-pot Democrat J.B. Pritzker and other supporting fellow Democrats, they now have control of both houses of the General Assembly. To make matters more ironclad, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan is showing his support for Pritzker’s proposal to legalize cannabis for adult use in the state. It is expected that the new legislation will be introduced by lawmakers during the first legislative session of the new year in January.
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November 16, 2018
The IRS is Reportedly Overwhelmed by Cash Payments from Marijuana Businesses
As funny as it may sound, the money collecting machine the IRS is drowning in cash. Legal cannabis businesses are paying their taxes in cash and in large amounts. With federal cannabis laws preventing US banks from providing any financial services to cannabis businesses, the IRS has been inundated with cash which has become a problem. The cannabis industry is the only industry that pays federal taxes in cash due to the lack of options. Accepting and handling large amounts of cash from cannabis businesses is a problem that has created other issues for the IRS. According to the IRS, they expend an extra $1.7 million to get help in counting all the cash deposited from the cannabis tax payments. An outside party has been hired by the IRS to help, assist, and process the large cash payments which has raised some eyebrows within the cannabis industry. Ironically, unless the US government, which the IRS operates for, changes federal cannabis banking laws, the IRS will continue to face this “money problem”.
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November 16, 2018
Marijuana Franchisers Hope to Make Cannabis Shops as Common as Fast Food
Based on the direction the cannabis industry is heading, it is fair to say that the industry will have a mind boggling impact on the US economy given enough time. Many people are expecting the industry to reach as high as billions of dollars. With that in mind, the cannabis industry is trending towards a franchising model following the footsteps of the US food industry. In particular, some retail dispensary brands may become the McDonalds’s or the 7-11s of the cannabis industry given its current pace. Now that more states are legalizing cannabis or considering legalization, the idea of franchising dispensary brands is not a farfetched concept. Experts in the cannabis industry say that like any industry, the industry will evolve and find creative ways to service clients. Franchising is a natural process that will drive any growing market, and most consumers will be accepting of that idea so as long as they get what they want.
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November 15, 2018
Canadian Officials Report No Spike in Impaired Driving After Cannabis Legalization
When Canada officially legalized cannabis, many Canadian safety groups were worried that the country would see a spike in cannabis-impaired driving. Considering that Canada has a terrible track record with drunk-driving, it comes as no surprise that many groups voiced their concerns. However, early data collected by CBC have indicated that there has been no increase in cannabis-impaired driving much to everyone’s surprise and relief. Although it may be too early to predict what will actually happen, the results so far have been very encouraging. Police authorities have instead reported that most cannabis stoppages were related to improper storage or passenger consumption. It may take some more time before a more accurate assessment can be determined.
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November 15, 2018
Pot Banking Takes Off in US as Women Forge Path Around Ban
With federal prohibition on marijuana still holding the cannabis industry’s relationship with US banks on lock down, a small number of local credit unions led by women have taken steps to alter the landscape in the cannabis banking space. As the cannabis industry roars towards unprecedented cannabis sales, most if not all US banks have kept their distance from developing a financial relationship with any cannabis businesses. Thus far, it has been an all cash industry that is starving for some help on any level. Several credit unions; however, are disrupting the industry by boldly opening up accounts for clients who run cannabis businesses. Since major banks are not willing to touch the cannabis industry, credits unions led by women have taken up the mantle to forge ahead. Women own the credit union landscape as they operate and own more than half of the nation’s institutions and account for about 70% of other employment positions within credit unions. Many have made a name for themselves and are planning ahead by positioning their respective institutions in prime banking situations especially when federal legalization occurs.
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November 14, 2018
Technology Has Changed the Way We Get High, Forever
With the ever evolving cannabis industry constantly looking for ways to satisfy consumers, the industry is now looking towards technology to fulfill consumers’ cannabis needs. 3-D printers may be the wave of the future for the cannabis industry. Pre-loaded with various cannabinoids in liquid form, the device offers a multitude of concentrates including CBD for healing, CBN for sleepiness, THC for the giddy and therapeutic oils called terpenes. The best part about this new technology is that the consumers hardly have to do anything. Using a kiosk screen or 3D-printing mobile app, the consumers get to pick and choose the specific concentrates they desire. Depending on how they want to feel, the device analyzes its database of information from other users to concoct a formula by mixing ingredients to get the consumers what they need. The only “work” that the consumers have to do is to choose their mode of delivery. Technological creations such as this will be common place soon in the cannabis industry as we are entering what some people are calling the golden age of weed tech.
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November 14, 2018
Where Will Marijuana Be Legal Next? Asian countries Race Towards Cannabis Legalization
Asia is slowing making its move into the world of cannabis. Observing what is happening in North America, several Asian countries are mimicking a similar path to legalization. The cannabis legalization movement in various North American and other countries have picked up steam galvanizing Asian countries to follow suit the best way they can. Whether for medicinal or recreational, all fingers point towards a gradual movement towards some type of cannabis legalization in Asia. Thailand is leading the charge as their National Legislative Assembly has proposed an amendment that would reclassify cannabis as medicinally legal allowing it to be possessed and distributed. In Malaysia, the death penalty is sentenced to those who traffic cannabis; however, cannabis supporters are slowly noticing serious cannabis reforms being initiated by the government. Other Asian countries like Sri Lanka announced that farms would be allowed to cultivate cannabis for medicinal export. South Korea, Japan and China have also taken steps to legalize cannabis use mainly medicinally to keep up with the times.
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November 12, 2018
The United Kingdom Will Soon Have First Cannabis-Infused Restaurant
Having already legalized medical cannabis treatment recently, the United Kingdom is continuing to test the boundaries of cannabis laws and regulations. Although THC is still illegal, hemp CBD products are legal in the UK. This has created a small window of opportunity for businesses to take advantage of consumer demands for legal hemp and CBD products. Interest for cannabis related products especially CBD has soared and people are demanding more of it. The Canna Kitchen will become the first restaurant to roll out a menu filled with cannabis-infused cuisine in the UK. Located on the south coast of England, The Canna Kitchen will offer vegetarian and vegan dining with CBD infusions. Since CBD derived from hemp is legal in the UK, it’s practically open game for the establishment. Taking that into consideration, the restaurant has taken the liberty of not only offering dishes infused with CBD but also other rare cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN. Just like CBD, the other two other cannabinoids are non-psychoactive. By providing such items at the restaurant, The Canna Kitchen hopes to spark and change the society’s perception of cannabis and to encourage people to see the benefits that the plant has to offer.
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November 12, 2018
Cannabis Edibles, Drinks Will Mark ‘2nd Wave’ of Legalization
Soon the Canadian cannabis market will brace itself for another huge challenge that will ultimately push the industry into a frenzy. The Canadian government is expected to legalize cannabis and cannabis concentrates on or before Oct 17, 2019. Specifically, those products include edibles, drinks and vaping products. Even though cannabis became legal on Oct, 17 of this year, only dried and fresh cannabis, oil, plants and seeds are allowed to be legally sold. Currently, the black market is profiting from selling these products without any interference from the government. However, by legalizing these products, government officials are hoping to drive out the black market. With cannabis sales rocketing and many businesses having trouble keeping up with demands, edibles and infused beverages may come with even higher demands. Many companies are slowly preparing themselves so that that they are in a favorable position when edibles and other infused products eventually become legal next year.
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November 12, 2018
Blue Moon’s Founding Brewer Pops Top on Cannabis-Infused Beer
Keith Villa the founder of Blue Moon Belgian Wheat will launch his first creation with new venture CERIA Brewing Co., and it will be quite different than Blue Moon. The new beer will include zero alcohol and will have about 5 milligrams of THC. The beer will have a richer, fuller orange taste and some bitterness due to the cannabinoids according to Villa. The drink itself is called Grainwave Belgian-Style Ale and will be available in Colorado in mid-December. Depending on how sales go in Colorado, Villa hopes to expand sales into California and Nevada as well. With federal law prohibiting brewers from using cannabis in beer specifically THC, many use hemp or other non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD which also gives “beer” a similar taste to marijuana. In the case with CERIA’s beverage, since it doesn’t contain any alcohol, it can’t be considered beer thus circumventing any federal restrictions. In the near future, CERIA plans to also offer an American Light Lager infused with 2.5 milligrams of THC and an India Pale Ale with 10 milligrams.
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November 9, 2018
Mitch McConnell Guarantees Industrial Hemp Legalization
Industrial hemp is on its way to becoming a legalized product in the US very soon. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is almost certain that the 2018 Farm Bill which includes his industrial hemp legalization provision will pass by year’s end pending a compromise between the Senate and House. Once legalized, McConnell anticipates industrial hemp to be “lightly regulated” by the US Dept. of Agriculture. Industrial hemp has gained much support recently from other politicians most notably the current House Speaker Paul Ryan who has stated his support for hemp. According to Senator McConnell, there is immense potential in the crop, and it is evident by the amount of interest expressed by major international investors. Executives of major companies have been patiently waiting and are expected to invest heavily once the crop officially becomes legal in the US.
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November 9, 2018
How Will the New Attorney General Impact the Cannabis Industry?
With Jeff Sessions resigning from his position as US Attorney General, the cannabis industry can breathe a sigh of relief. A staunch opponent of legal cannabis, Sessions was at the forefront of preventing any kind of federal legal push to free up the cannabis market. Now that he has resigned, the cannabis industry is now curious to see how the new Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will respond. Many people are wondering what kind of impact he will have on the industry. There is very little information and background on Whitaker’s stance on cannabis. However, he did express some support for the legalization of cannabinoids during a recent primary debate that he participated in. He did also express his disagreement to Obama’s loose regulations on cannabis in particular the Cole Memorandum. Many people anticipate that AG Whitaker will pose a minimal threat to the cannabis industry but that remains to be seen.
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November 8, 2018
L.A.’s Licensing Logjam & Mounting Lawsuits for MJ Businesses
With any beginning and a newly burgeoning market, there are bound to be many hiccups and problems that will be encountered by those involved. The cannabis industry is no different and in California, many business owners are feeling the hardships and challenges that have presented themselves in the industry. As the cannabis industry expands and evolves in California, cannabis business owners are facing some difficult challenges such as obtaining business permits and facing trademark and proprietary business information lawsuits. Thus far the city has offered licenses to 169 retailers; however, none for growers, distributors, edible makers, testing labs or other types of plant-touching establishments. For their second round of licensing, the L.A. Dept of Cannabis Regulation received close to 600 applications for permits. The licensing quagmire is not the only problem that the city is having to deal with. Courts and lawmakers are just as involved in the cannabis industry as business owners and not for the better. The industry is beset with lawsuits with no end in sight. Unfortunately, the market seems to be headed towards a highly regulated market that will be determined by the courts and lawmakers.
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November 7, 2018
Key Cannabis Legalization Wins Could Bring in Upwards of $2 billion in New Sales
Americans have spoken and voted at the midterm elections as the cannabis industry scored monumental victories in several key states that could potentially open up the cannabis market even more. Key victories in Michigan, Missouri and Utah could generate an extra $2 billion in medical and recreational sales across the nation. In addition to these victories, the Democrats now control the US House of Representatives which should improve the chances of future federal marijuana reforms being passed. This is great news for all the current and potential cannabis businesses in the market. However, not everything was on the “high” as the Republicans still managed to retain control of the Senate. The Senate could pose a certain amount of threat and hindrance to the cannabis industry down the road, but it should still be easier than before with Democrats at least controlling the House of Representatives.
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November 7, 2018
Midterm Elections: Big Win for Cannabis in Michigan, but How Did the Other States Perform?
Now that the midterm elections have ended, what does the cannabis landscape look like now in the US? Voters across the nation and in some very important states had the opportunity to vote on a slew of cannabis measures that can ultimately alter the course of the growing cannabis industry in America. In particular, Michigan, North Dakota, Missouri, Utah, and Ohio were some of the more important states that the cannabis industry was anxiously waiting results for. Michigan, Missouri and Utah had positive results as voters in these states won some type of cannabis legalization for their states respectively while North Dakota and Ohio voters weren’t as fortunate. Although not perfect, there are now 3 more states that have turned the corner and have joined the ever expanding support for cannabis legalization whether medicinally or recreationally.
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November 5, 2018
American Support For Marijuana Hits a New High
A recent Gallop poll on how Americans feel about marijuana showed that more people support legalization in the US. even more. According to the poll, 56% of American adults want to see the government legalize cannabis use. There has been a steady rise in support since the mid-2000s especially over the course of the last two years. The two main factors that have contributed to the steady rise in support for cannabis are that more Republicans and older Americans are showing support for legalization. As the nationwide support for cannabis legalization increases, so does the prospects of marijuana stocks. This by no means guarantees an explosion in the US market, but it does point to a positive outlook for some. However, those in the industry still know that it would be a stretch to think that it will happen any time soon considering some of the hurdles the cannabis market must overcome.
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November 2, 2018
Florida Democrats Want to Create State Bank to Help Medical Marijuana Companies
Nikki Fried, who is running for Florida agriculture commissioner in the upcoming election, is pushing to create a state-run bank in the state of Florida to operate and service the marijuana industry. The impetus for this push comes after two of Nikki’s Fried bank accounts were shut down this year due to her support of medical marijuana. Fried and her fellow Florida Democrats want to prevent further account closures for cannabis business by creating a state-operated bank similar to the one in North Dakota. As ambitious as this project sounds, some of her opponents believe that the overall cannabis banking problem should be dealt on a federal level and not state.
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November 2, 2018
MedMen Files Trademark Application For the Word ‘Cannabis’
MedMen has filed a trademark application for the word ‘cannabis’. MedMen are hoping to trademark the word ‘cannabis’ when it’s applied to T-shirts including short-sleeved or long-sleeved t-shirts. The move has created somewhat of a commotion on social media and other cannabis media outlets. The primary buzz hinges on whether or not MedMen will be successful in its attempt to trademark the word. Others are concerned that MedMen’s actions may lead to corporate monopolies and takeovers in the industry. Despite MedMen’s attempt, many feel that it will be difficult for them get an approval. Although possible, the word ‘cannabis’ is problematic. Since the word ‘cannabis’ is too prevalent in the market and doesn’t provide any uniqueness, MedMen will be facing an uphill battle according to some lawyers. Others see this move as no more than a publicity stunt to gain more attention in the market. Whatever the scenario, the decision won’t be clear until late 2019.
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November 1, 2018
Britain Welcomes the Global Cannabis Revolution
Starting Nov. 1, the British government will allow special doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis to their patients. Cannabis has been added to the pharmacopoeia of medicines by the British government. Prior to this decision, the government labeled cannabis as a Class A substance having no medicinal or therapeutic benefits. The government’s decision to allow marijuana prescriptions will help those parents whose children suffer from severe epilepsy along with other ailments. When prescribing cannabis, doctors and physicians must consider each decision on a case-by-case basis. Britain’s decision comes in the wake of a global cannabis revolution as Canada has fully legalized cannabis. Other nations such as Mexico and Thailand are also in the process of possibly making marijuana legal. In Europe, Germany legalized cannabis-derived medicines in 2017.
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November 1, 2018
Mexico Just Took a Big Step Toward Marijuana Legalization
In a surprising and welcoming announcement, Mexico’s Supreme Court declared that the nation’s current marijuana prohibition law is unconstitutional. This puts Mexico on the cusp of possibly making marijuana legal. This would put added pressure on the U.S. as Canada recently went fully legal as well. According to Mexico’s Supreme Court, adults should have the fundamental rights to decide on their recreational activities unobstructed by the state. However, the opinion does not consider or apply to all substances even with the court’s new position on marijuana. The ruling does not immediately legalize recreational use, for individual’s wanting to use and grow marijuana must press his or her case in the judicial system.
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October 31, 2018
Thailand is Poised to Become the First Asian Country to Legalize Medical Marijuana
Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly is on the verge of making Thailand the first Asian country to legalize medical marijuana. The pending bill which is anticipated to pass soon will be handled and controlled by Thailand’s Prime Minister and other government supporters of the bill. Even if the bill is somehow defeated, under Thailand’s constitution, the prime minister has the authority to overrule the decision and enact the legislation unilaterally. Currently, many Thai citizens already use cannabis as a medical option to treat some types of cancer. Supporters say that government officials are slowing seeing the medicinal benefits of marijuana. In addition, they also recognize the economic opportunities marijuana can provide for the country itself. Marijuana has a deep history in Thailand, for the plant has always been a part of Thailand’s culture. The practice of growing and smoking marijuana by farmers go back hundreds of years.
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October 31, 2018
Legal Cannabis in Canada Might Be Dry For a Year
While many marijuana supporters have welcomed and celebrated the legalization of cannabis in Canada this year, cannabis businesses are facing the grim reality of a massive shortage of supplies to meet the demands of sales. It has become a dire situation as many stores and provinces are completely exhausted of supplies and products. To compound the matter, experts predict that it may take a year or longer before supplies can support the demands of the market. On Oct. 17, marijuana officially became legal in Canada. Dispensaries and other online shops had a booming start to kick off the new beginning. However, several weeks later, Canada’s cannabis market has already reached a critical stage of cannabis shortage as it is failing to keep up with demands. Subsequently, many business are temporarily closing down or having to scale back days and hours of operation. There are several reasons for the shortage including high demand, lack of cannabis resources and the lack of expertise among the country’s licensed growers. Whatever the case, Canada must withstand the growing pains that comes with the industry if it wants to succeed.
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October 29, 2018
Another Big Election Year for Marijuana as Candidates Recognize Voters Want Legal Cannabis
With the November midterm elections nearing, many Americans will be voting on many things including numerous cannabis related measures. Some of the measures voters will be voting on include laws regarding commercial cultivation in certain zones and how to spend taxes gained from cannabis. More importantly, some states will be voting on both adult-use and medical cannabis legalization. With this in mind, many of candidates are aware that gaining the votes from the younger population is a key component of their campaign. That is why the issue of cannabis reform will be a critical issue for most candidates. Knowing the importance of their election, candidates nationwide are currently more apt to endorse cannabis on their campaign trail. The issue of cannabis has gained more support especially with Canada going legal in mid Oct. Cannabis will likely bring on more voter turnout this year which has the potential to make or break a candidates chances of being elected or reelected.
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October 29, 2018
WSDA Tests Show Frequent Illegal Pesticide Use on Cannabis
According to a new report from a group of medical cannabis advocates, many cannabis and pot related products tested showed evidence of pesticides. The Washington State Dept. of Agriculture found that over 40 percent of the cannabis tested showed illegal amounts of pesticide. The test and research was conducted over a 16-month period where the WSDA found that 43 percent of samples tested contained illegal and banned pesticide ingredients. The report says that many Washington consumers purchase and use regulated recreational cannabis during any one day, and that it is guaranteed that they are also consuming the illegal amounts of pesticides. Unfortunately, unlike many west coast states that produce and sell cannabis, Washington does not test for illegal pesticides in its recreational cannabis that are being sold. Aside from random testing and sporadic testing based on complaints, hardly any investigation is practiced for pesticides.
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October 26, 2018
With Pot Legalization, Job Openings Surge in Canada’s Cannabis Industry
On Oct. 17, Canada became just the second country in the world to fully legalize cannabis use and sale. With legalization, the job market in the cannabis space has already shown a positive and competitive trend. Even though it’s in the beginning stages, many cannabis and cannabis related industries have recruited top talent from other sectors of the economy. The opportunity to work for companies with sky-high valuations and the chance to develop and shape a new industry are some to the reasons why Canada could become a world leader in job migration. The popularity of working in the cannabis space has transformed many small Canadian cities into major opportunity areas for people seeking to work in the space. From production and cultivation to marketing and sales, the Canadian cannabis market offers a bountiful of ways for people to enter the market if interested.
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October 25, 2018
NFL Great Co-Founds New Cannabis Investment Firm with Social Justice at Its Core
Former New York Giant running back Tiki Barber has found a new offensive play that can shake up the cannabis industry with social justice at its core. Everyone in the cannabis industry knows and understands the lucrative potential the burgeoning cannabis market can bring especially when the market hasn’t even reached its full capacity. While others strive for financial and monetary benefits within the cannabis market, Tiki Barber has another mission. Tiki is the co-founder of the new equity firm Grove Group Management that strictly works in the cannabis market. Aside from financial profits, Tiki and GGM are looking to create a brand that focuses more on promoting diversity in the cannabis market and rectifying many of the social injustices that many minorities have endured in the industry. Tiki is hoping that GGM will represent more than “just another cannabis firm in the industry”. Through GGM and its practices, Tiki and his partners plan to work with state and local officials to assist those within the cannabis market especially minorities to provide job opportunities, to help support the overturning of past minor marijuana convictions and to educate the public on cannabis.
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October 25, 2018
ASTM International Sign MOU on Cannabis Standards
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between ASTM, a global standards organization, and the International Cannabis and Cannabinoid Institute (ICCI). The two entities are planning to work together on standards for the cannabis industry. The ICCI is the first European partner for ASTM International’s cannabis committee. The Czech Republic based company ICCI is hoping to gain recognition of its technical contributions while the two groups coordinate standards development activities for the global cannabis and hemp industry. ASTM International has a long list of similar agreements with other groups in the hopes of developing standards within the cannabis and hemp industry. Under the specific agreement with ICCI, the two organizations will prioritize cannabis standards first followed by standards associated with cannabis cosmetics and then food supplements and extracts. The cannabis committee developed by ASTM International includes businesses, laboratories, associations, governments and others.
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October 23, 2018
South Korean Police Warn Korean Citizens in Canada to Stay Away From Pot or Face Criminal Charges
If Canadian-Koreans or a South Korean citizens living in Canada smoke and try to enter South Korea, they may face criminal charges according to the South Korean government. The Korean police issued a warning to stay away from pot or face stiff consequences. The warning was issued by Yoon Se-jin the head of narcotics crime investigation who also stated that violators could face up to five years in prison if found guilty. He clearly emphasized that violators will be judged by Korean law and standards irrespective of where they live or come from. South Korea has strict drug laws that are enforced without hesitation especially onto Korean citizens living, working and traveling abroad.
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October 22, 2018
How Women are Making Their Mark in the Legal Weed Industry
Whether in the US or other parts of the world that allow the use or sale of cannabis, women are embracing and taking control of the opportunities that the cannabis industry has presented itself. From CBD cosmetics to CBD infused-cuisine, women are finding a niche market and industry that they feel they can contribute and dominate. Women’s role in the ever increasing and rapidly growing CBD industry is just starting to take off. The UK is a burgeoning market which has a relatively young CBD industry, yet women are gradually making progress and increasingly making their presence felt. The US cannabis market which is much more developed than the UK’s has an unprecedented number of women holding CEO or executive positions in the cannabis industry. According to Marijuana Business Daily, women make up 27 percent of all high-level positions. Currently, CBD products are legal in the UK; however, THC is still illegal.
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October 19, 2018
Sephora is Now Carrying Lord Jones CBD Lotion
Sephora the cosmetics and beauty line company announced that they are expanding their CBD-infused cosmetic products. Their latest addition is Lord Jones’ CBD lotion. With a solid reputation, Lord Jones is a leading CBD-infused products manufacturer. Known for their high-quality and consistent product line, consumers now can head to any mall nationwide to purchase their new products at Sephora. Cannabis products are slowly making an impact in the health and beauty industry with cosmetics companies producing creams, lotions, gels and other makeup products infused with CBD. Research has found that CBD provides therapeutic and wellness benefits. When it comes CBD-infused cosmetics products, Lord Jones believes that its CBD Formula Lotion is the best there is in the industry. It’s extremely popular that even celebrities have been raving about Lord Jones’ CBD-infused beauty products.
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October 19, 2018
Following Canada’s Lead, Legal Cannabis Set to Take Off on a Global Scale
As Canada has become just the second country in the world to fully legalize cannabis, the coming year could be one that changes the mindset on cannabis on a global level. The Canadian legal market can set a precedent for other countries to follow by proving that legalized cannabis can be regulated and controlled in a manner that benefits everyone. On a larger scale, the move by Canada can open up bigger markets especially in health sciences and wellness companies which will allow them to handle the plant much like a standard pharma product. What’s more important is that Canada’s move will provide more opportunities for extensive R&D into novel treatments for various diseases and disorders. This will undoubtedly transform Canada’s cannabis market into a multi-billion dollar sector which will surely attract investors from all around the world. With the changing mindset towards cannabis around the world, the pace in which things are evolving has picked up tremendously. It has started in North America and will eventually spill over into Europe making the cannabis industry the next global frontier.
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October 19, 2018
Massachusetts Will Consider Allowing Pot Delivery
Cannabis officials in Massachusetts are aiming to allow home delivery of cannabis across the state in small amounts. As of now, only small, locally owned companies would be permitted this opportunity. According to the Cannabis Control Commission, these small, locally owned businesses called “microbusinesses” would be allowed to deliver marijuana and marijuana-infused products to consumers’ homes but only in limited quantities. The state is primarily focused on these "microbusinesses" to bolster the commission’s efforts to include marginalized individuals in the cannabis space especially for those who have been affected legally. Other existing medical dispensaries and larger cannabis companies will not be permitted to make deliveries according to the commissioner. This is to regulate and control initial delivery operators and to fix any other issues before expanding the medical marijuana program.
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October 18, 2018
Report Shows Alabama Disproportionately Targets Black Cannabis Users
A newly released report out of Alabama points to a disturbing trend which shows that black cannabis users are regularly targeted by law enforcement agents. The Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and the Southern Poverty Law Center presented the data called “War on Marijuana” which shows blacks in Alabama are being disproportionately targeted for arrest and prosecution including one resident who was arrested for a dime a weed and was sentenced to spend 15 months in jail. The report found that even though whites and blacks use cannabis at the same rate, black people are four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession. Many activists say that being in the deep south and in the Bible Belt doesn’t help the situation especially when there is obvious racism still thriving. Many believe that Alabama’s so called war on drugs is a huge failure.
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October 17, 2018
These Two States are Poised to be the Next Big Marijuana Markets
Even though the cannabis industry has made tremendous progress legally and in the eyes of the public, federal prohibition is still the ultimate problem which has thus far kept the cannabis industry locked in a state by state business. With each state passing its own cannabis regulations, cannabis businesses are forced to devise plans to accommodate each new state which hinders their goal of obtaining economies of scales. With such huge discrepancies between states, it’s difficult to create a balanced synergistic cannabis market. As much of the attention has been focused on the cannabis saturated west coast, the east coast is primed for growth and expansion especially in companies with operations in more limited-licensed states like New Jersey and Illinois. Both these states have similar paths to developing a legal and regulated cannabis market. In the next couple of years, these two states will likely be at the forefront of the cannabis expansion on the east coast because of their clear paths to expanding their medical program and/or adopting full legalization respectively.
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October 17, 2018
Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Canada Begins a National Experiment
It has finally happened as Canada has officially become the second nation in the world to fully legalize cannabis use. Thus, beginning a national experiment that will ultimately drive social, cultural and economic changes. It is the nation’s biggest public policy challenge in decades. Canadians celebrated all across the nation as cannabis retail shops opened for business from province to province. Now, we will have to see what the ultimate outcome of such a drastic policy move by the government will be. With so many unknowns, some groups are worried that this “uncontrolled experiment” will not benefit the country in any way. Many groups called on the government to promote changes to the law if it leads to increased problems. Each province and territory has been given the authority to set their own rules and regulations which poses more challenges especially those who work in law enforcement. Whatever the situation and challenges, the world will be closely observing how this experiment will unfold.
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October 17, 2018
Rhode Island Approves Medical Marijuana as Autism Treatment
At the request of parents, the Rhode Island Department of Health approved the prescription of medical cannabis to treat patients with autism. Pending judicial review, the decision is effective immediately. In April, parents with autistic children petitioned the DOH to permit them to use CBD as a form of autistic treatment considering it is a debilitating medical condition. Parents with the support of testifying doctors have stated that medical cannabis therapy could help to “manage the behavioral manifestations” of autism. Doctors who wish to recommend CBD treatment to their patients must adhere to strict guidelines posted by the DOH. Physicians are instructed to consider “pharmaceutic grade forms of pure CBD” before suggesting medical cannabis. In addition, doctors and physicians must document specific reasons for recommending CBD treatment and reasons for not using other medical alternatives.
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October 15, 2018
University of Connecticut Set to Offer Cannabis Horticulture Course
With the cannabis space expanding at an exponential rate, many areas of society are taking advantage of the benefits of the industry including academia. More and more universities are starting to offer classes that deal with cannabis. Whether it be off the plant or directly on the plant, schools are offering students the opportunity to learn about cannabis as part of their university training. The University of Connecticut will offer a cannabis cultivation course starting the spring of 2019 semester. The course will be a basic introductory level class. The will be no prerequisites which should make the course easily available to those who are interested. The course will primarily focus on cultivation and will rely on many industry experts to talk about cannabis in the legal market.
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October 12, 2018
A Surprising Number of First-Time Cannabis Consumers said They’d Try Marijuana in Place of Beer
A report released by the consulting firm A.T. Kearney showed that a high number of potential first-time cannabis users would use the drug instead of drinking beer. This news has the beverage industry a little on edge for it may potentially affect their bottom line. The survey showed that 27 percent of the 2000 people reached said they would try the plant in place of beer. Furthermore, 54 percent of the respondents said that they have tried some type of cannabis product by means of smoking, vaping, or eating.
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October 12, 2018
The US will Not Ban Canadians Working in the Marijuana Industry From Entering the Country
Canadians who work in the cannabis space can rest easy with the news that they will not be banned from entering the Unites States for whatever the occasion. The US government has backed-off its stance of making it difficult for Canadians from entering into the US for anyone working with cannabis. The US Customs and Border Patrol stated that since marijuana is still considered a controlled substance, it may affect possible entry into the country. With Canada becoming the second country in the world to legalize marijuana in June, the US government was concerned with marijuana making its way over the border thus prompting the initial ban.
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October 11, 2018
An All-Women Cannabis Company Just Won a Manufacturing License in California
A California cannabis manufacturer made history when it became the first all women-led company in the industry. The women-led company Yummi Karma LLC creates cannabis products for women by women. Started in 2014, Yummi Karma manufactures tinctures and other beauty lines. Their aim is to prove that the legal cannabis community can produce safe and consistent products and that cannabis businesses can also develop good relationships with those in the neighborhood they operate in. They are also taking their advocacy efforts all the up to the federal level to boost support for the industry.
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October 11, 2018
Trump to Push for Federal Marijuana Reform, GOP Congressmen Says
According to California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, President Trump will pursue federally legalizing medical marijuana once the midterm races are completed. Although Mr. Trump did not campaign on legalizing the plant, he has been open to the idea of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. Despite the continuous pushback, the Trump administration has made it clear that it wants to reform the current marijuana laws. Mr. Rohrabacher expects the President Trump to take a closer look at the current situation and start creating a plan that is viable and realistic after the elections.
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October 9, 2018
Is Legal Cannabis Coming to the Midwest?
The cannabis space is spreading like wildfire as the Midwest is now slowly loosening its ironclad barrier of marijuana legalization. Supporters of marijuana legalization are anticipating a geographic breakthrough in November especially after a string of election victories in Northeastern and Western states. According to a professor, the U.S. has reached a “breaking point” where change is inevitable at the federal level due to the rise in support for marijuana legalization. Currently, Michigan and North Dakota are in the process of deciding on whether to legalize adult marijuana use. The two states already have a medical program in place and would become the 10th and 11th states to legalize recreational use if passed. Continuing the trending into the Midwest, Missouri and Utah are considering medical marijuana programs as well. Oklahoma became the 31st state to legally allow a medical program for its residents.
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October 8, 2018
Support for Cannabis Legalization Grows to 62%
According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, more than 60% of Americans now support the idea of making cannabis legal. The figure has doubled since 2000 as groups who have been against the idea of cannabis legalization have become more supportive to the idea over the past several years. Specifically, 62% of Americans favor legalization with the younger generations being the main impetus for the rise in support. The millennials account for the majority of the supporters followed by the Generation Xers and the baby boomers. Compared to the Pew survey conducted in 2017, the 2018 results were only slightly higher. However, the percentage of Americans opposed to legalization changed more significantly, dropping from 37% to 34%.
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October 8, 2018
A New Fingerprint Drug Testing System Can Detect With 99 Percent Accuracy
The U.K. firm Intelligent Fingerprinting has developed a groundbreaking new fingerprint drug testing system. The system can identify with 99% accuracy the presence of cannabis and other drugs in a person’s system. The Reader 1000 has the ability to detect commonly used drugs by analyzing sweat found in fingerprints. The Reader 1000 is efficient to the point where it can deliver results within 10 minutes. Out of all the drugs it can detect with accuracy, cannabis had the highest percentage of detection compared to other drugs. The unit itself is quite user friendly and is portable. In the U.K., the Reader 1000 is already being used in many areas of society.
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October 8, 2018
There’s a Big Win for Medical Marijuana Patients in the Fine Print of New Bill
New Jersey patients who do not qualify for the medical marijuana program may have some hope yet as New Jersey law makers are working hard to correct some of the perceived mistakes in the current medical marijuana law. The head of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission would decide which conditions qualify for cannabis. This new body would be created by the bill to control the medical program and the pending legal adult market. The current list of medical conditions as of March 2018 had only one condition, post-traumatic stress disorder, added to the short list. Since Gov. Phil Murphy took office, he has added several more conditions to expand the list of conditions. Gov. Murphy has also given power to the Health Commissioner to take full control of adding more conditions to the list. This move by Gov. Murphy will speed of the process of expanding the list of conditions.
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October 5, 2018
Canadians Will Be Allowed to Travel With Up to 30 Grams of Cannabis
As Canada becomes only the second country in the world to fully legalize marijuana, many new economic opportunities will come forth that will most certainly bolster its economy. Although The Cannabis Act isn’t perfect, this new bill will allow Canadians to travel with their legal weed from province to province. Under the law, Canadians will be allowed to travel and have possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis. However, the Cannabis Act does not preclude any Canadians from international travel regulations. The Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau warned all Canadian citizens of traveling abroad with the same 30 grams of cannabis. The travelers must abide by the laws of the country of destination. What is legal in Canada may in fact be illegal in most other countries.
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October 4, 2018
Canada Will Change the World Forever With Marijuana Legalization, Here’s How
With Canada preparing to fully legalize marijuana in the coming days, the entire world will be closely observing the effects Canada will have on the international community. Canada is in a position to alter the course of history with its landmark decision and ultimately change the world and how others view Canada. For one thing, America will definitely view Canada in a new light and put more pressure on the U.S. to change its own antiquated policies on cannabis and other drug policies. Another way Canada benefits from legalization is the immense economic opportunities it has opened up. As the only major country to legalize recreational use, Canada will be its sole beneficiary on all financial dealings. These are some of the advantages Canada will experience once they officially go legal.
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October 4, 2018
Hundreds Sound Off on Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in New York
New York State hosted 15 listening sessions across the state where hundreds of people chimed in on the topic of legalizing marijuana in New York. The main objective for these listening sessions is to gather information from all the participants before making a final decision on whether or not to legalize marijuana for recreational use in New York. The Department of Health, which conducted the study, found that more people positively view the idea of legalization than those who are opposed to the idea. Both sides of the spectrum presented their views on why New York should or should not legalize recreational marijuana use. The information gathered from all the listening sessions will be presented to the governor’s regulated marijuana work group for further study.
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October 4, 2018
Cannabis Gummies, Hard Candies to Be Pulled From Washington Shelves
Edible cannabis gummies will no longer be available in the state of Washington after the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced that they will effectively ban all hard candies, fruit chews, gummies, and stylized chocolates. The primary reason for the ban is that there were growing concerns that many of the products were too appealing to minors. Washington state law prohibits any products that attract children and specifically points out gummy candies. Other edibles such as peach rings, Life Savers, and other common candies are also prohibited under Washington state law. Many of these products made it through the approval process even though they were not supposed to. One reason for this oversight is that many of the items presented to the approval board didn’t match up with what was actually being sold.
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October 3, 2018
How Cannabis Companies Can Capitalize on Digital Advertising Opportunities
Digital advertising has become an important component the cannabis industry as it connects businesses and consumers in an efficient and time saving manner. It offers a direction connection to people on the internet. However, cannabis business owners are learning firsthand on how difficult it is to get access into the digital sphere. In order to expand your prospective customer base, businesses need digital channels to promote themselves. According to Dorota Umeno of Canna Ventures, there are ways to get around the digital barriers and succeed in the market at the same time.
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October 3, 2018
Yes, You Can Bring Weed to LAX. No, You Can’t Actually Travel With it
Although the policy isn’t new, passengers traveling through Los Angeles International Airport are allowed to possess cannabis; however, there is one catch. Passengers in possession of cannabis may not legally fly with the weed. According to Proposition 64, the LA Airport Police Dept. will allow passengers to travel through LAX as long as it is under 28.5 grams of MJ and 8 grams of concentrated MJ. Passengers are encouraged to do their due diligence and to confirm and check the laws of the other state(s) that they are planning to travel to, for each state’s cannabis laws vary. Another catch is that even though the LAX Airport Police Dept. may allow cannabis possession, that doesn’t mean that the TSA will. Since cannabis is technically federally illegal, all TSA agents must stop and turn individuals with possession of cannabis over to the local authorities.
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October 2, 2018
PepsiCo Just Became the Latest Beverage Company to say It’s Looking at the Fast-Growing Cannabis Market
The cannabis market may soon welcome PepsiCo into the lucrative business sector as it is taking a hard look at the industry with other soft drinks makers doing the same. The CFO of the company stated on CNBC that they will continue to monitor and examine the space critically before any move is to be made by PepsiCo. PepsiCo’s announcement comes as Coca-Cola also said last month that they had intentions of possibly entering into the cannabis market and are closely watching the industry as well. The cannabis market has increasingly attracted attention from the food and beverage industry as these companies see the cannabis market as an opportunity for future growth or conversely, a threat to their brands. Besides the soft drinks giants, alcohol is the other beverage industry looking to profit from cannabis as Corona beer maker Constellation invested $4 billion dollars in the Canadian cannabis company Canopy recently.
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October 1, 2018
First Student-Organized Cannabis Conference Aims to educate the public about Medical Marijuana
Green Wolverine, a student run organization, works to highlight and educate people on the current scientific data surrounding medical marijuana by world-class researchers, scientists and physicians. The first Green Wolverine Science Symposium took place recently at the Ross School of Business. The special guest speakers discussed and debated the professional study of THC and CBD. Green Wolverine President Abigail Kennedy hopes the organization can be an informative outlet to education students and community members about the scientific features of cannabis. She always wants to emphasize that Green Wolverine is non-political and that their sole purpose is to educate which is why their events are heavily focused on research and data.
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October 1, 2018
A Tiny NJ Borough Becomes a Battleground for Big Marijuana and Anti-Weed Forces
With New Jersey in the process of passing a recreational marijuana bill soon, there are some areas that have become intense battle grounds between Big Marijuana and organized anti-weed groups. Gloucester County borough of Clayton is such a place where the two forces are in a heated battle to determine whether a $10 million cannabis cultivation and processing facility should be built on an empty land in an industrial park. The arguments are mainly based on whether the construction of the facility would bring more positive or negative incentives to the neighborhood. Green Thumb Industries, the company involved in the dispute, participated in an emergency town meeting along with other officials from Clayton and a crowd of more than 200 to discuss what one resident called the “hot-button issue” of marijuana. Clayton county is one of several municipalities in NJ to tangle with idea of whether or not to allow cannabis related businesses to open up shop in its area. The results have been mixed as some areas have passed ordinances banning such facilities and others welcoming them.
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September 28, 2018
No, the DEA Did Not Reschedule the CBD Compound
The recent announcement by the FDA to make Epidiolex, the cannabis-based epilepsy drug, a Schedule V controlled substance has created some confusion and misunderstanding. Many people have taken the FDA’s decision to mean that all FDA-approved medication is pure CBD and that all CBD products fall into the same category. Unfortunately, this is not the case as the federal government still considers all other cannabis derived CBD products illegal. Epidiolex is the only CBD medicine at the moment to be considered medicinal by the federal government which makes all others still illegal by federal standards. The confusion stems from when right after the FDA approved Epidiolex for distribution in the US, a spokesperson for the DEA’s public affairs office announced that the agency had 90 days to recategorize CBD to a lower classification when in fact it was only meant for the drug Epidiolex.
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September 28, 2018
New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Face Setbacks Once Again
With New Jersey residents patiently waiting for Gov. Phil Murphy to follow through with his campaign promise to legalize weed in the Garden State, it seems like more bureaucracy is standing in the way of getting his wish accomplished. Many people believed that Gov. Murphy’s promise to legalize weed within his first 100 days in office was ambitious, but the delays that have come when trying to pass the bill may have just gotten even longer. Official believe that nothing will be signed or finalized until closer to the end of the year. Ironically, many supporters of the bill do not mind the delay. They believe that the more the bill’s timeline gets drawn out, so will the overall bill. The longer the bill takes to pass, the possibility to add more beneficial features to the bill increases such as the expungement of records for low-level MJ offenders. The current status of bill is that it has gone up from 71 to 121 pages since the August prediction due to more features being added during the postponement.
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September 24
Epileptic 5-Year-Old May Now Bring Cannabis-Based Medicine to School
In another landmark decision, a 5-year-old epileptic California girl may now bring cannabis-based medicine to school. Brooke Adams will now be able to bring her medication to school without question. The medicine which is vital to her wellbeing prevents the young girl from getting seizures. The current California law prevents bringing any form of marijuana on school grounds no matter the circumstance. Brooke Adam’s school district prevented Brooke from bringing her cannabis-ointment because it contained THC – the main psychoactive component in cannabis. In this particular case, the judge made an exception for the student due to the dire and volatile nature of her seizures.
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September 24, 2018
Canada estimates 1$ Billion in Legal Cannabis Sales in First Three Months
According to Statistics Canada, once the cannabis market officially becomes legal on Oct, 17 to the end of the year, Canada’s weed market can reach as high as $1.02 billion dollars in sales. This figure is not based on an annual estimate and instead it estimates what Canadian cannabis consumers will spend on weed in just the final 10 weeks of the year. This figure only represents legal sales and not the $250 million to $350 million illegal market. Even with legalization, the black market still commands lots of attention, for the illicit market still comprises a major portion of cannabis sales. The current Canadian black market stands at about $1 billion dollars. However, according to StatCan, once fully legal, the illicit market will drop substantially from $1.2 billion dollars to $300 million.
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September 21, 2018
NJ Legalization Bill Reportedly Sets Nation’s Lowest Tax on Legal Marijuana
Although being one of the highest-tax states in the country, NJ is considering a 10 percent tax on legal marijuana sales. If the bill is passed at 10 percent, it would make it the nation’s lowest tax on cannabis. The current bill form is quite lenient in terms of what it allows cannabis consumers can do including consuming what they buy on the premises, which no other state now allows. The bill also focuses on addressing social justice, women and minority issues, and the assisting of veterans. The current draft bill would mandate 25 percent of licenses to be set aside to women and minorities or veterans, and would set no legislative limits on permit ownership. Currently, the bill has not been released to the public and is under further revisions and amendments.
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September 18, 2018
NJ Legal Weed Bill “98 percent’ done. The Final Fight is Over How Much to Tax Marijuana
NJ’s cannabis industry’s path to full legalization is just one step away from becoming a reality. A bill to create a fully legal cannabis market place is basically completed with tax issues being the last hurdle. With ’98 percent’ of the bill finished, now lawmakers have to decide on how much to tax to impose on cannabis. According to the head of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association Scott Rudder, officials have to decide on whether to tax retail marijuana sales 25 percent immediately or to start with a lower tax system which then increases over time to the level. If completed, NJ will be the 9th state to allow adult usage for recreational purposes.
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September 18, 2018
South Africa’s Highest Court Legalizes Cannabis Use
In a landmark decision, South Africa’s Constitutional Court legalized the growing of marijuana for consumption. The unanimous decision was met with jubilance with pro-marijuana activists taking to the streets cheering and chanting. The law will allow the possession of cannabis for private use for his or her personal consumption Although the judgement is a victory for the people, the deputy judge who passed the landmark decision warned that cannabis will still be illegal to sell and supply publicly. The ruling also allows for the government to drop all charges against individuals arrested for possession of the drug. Many people were hoping for full legalization but are happy with the progress they have taken.
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September 17, 2018
Coke Eyes Cannabis-Infused Drink Market
Don’t look now but the soft drink giant Coca-Cola is considering entering the growing cannabis market. The world’s largest soft drink company is looking into possibly expanding its drinks market into the cannabis world. If indeed they make a move into the industry, it will definitely take them into a whole new realm away from sugary sodas. It was announced on BNN Bloomberg that Coca-Cola was in talks with Canada’s Aurora Cannabis Inc. to develop CBD infused drinks. The goal is to provide CBD drinks to people to help ease inflammation, pain and cramping to people who suffer from these ailments. Coke would be join a rush by other major corporations that want to test the cannabis industry in the hopes of financially profiting from the current industry boom.
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September 14, 2018
New Jersey Medical Marijuana Patients will Now Be Able to Buy Vapes
The NJ Department of Health is allowing medical marijuana patients to purchase cannabis vape products after a change in rules. Before the revision, patients were prohibited from purchasing any vape pens, cartridges, and similar cannabis products from state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Along with selling cannabis flower, oral lozenges, and topical preparations, NJ medical dispensaries can now add vape products to their menus. NJ is currently going through an expansion of its medical cannabis program along with the eventual legalization of adult use some time in the near future. The expansion calls for more medical conditions, more dispensaries and more products to service the growing NJ medical cannabis market. According to the DOH, the program should be completed and passed very soon.
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September 14, 2018
Mass. Credit Union will Serve Recreational Marijuana Companies
GFA Federal Credit Union, a Massachusetts based company, will be the first financial institute in the state to service recreational marijuana companies. This will allow cannabis consumers to pay with their credit cards, and it will also alleviate some of the banking barriers involved in the cannabis market. Most importantly, this would help cannabis businesses to avoid the expensive and dangerous proposition of operating an all-cash service. GFA will start offering their services starting Oct 1. The credit union will help with such services as cash management, checking account, payroll, wire transfers, and bill payments. Although GFA has made the move to service cannabis clients, many other financial institutes are still wary of getting involved with the cannabis market fearing federal backlash. However, GFA’s decision to enter the cannabis market has brought relief to many stakeholders in the industry especially for public safety reasons.
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September 13, 2018
House Committee Advances Medical Cannabis Research
The House Judiciary Committee approved the Medical Cannabis Research Act which would dramatically increase the country’s access to cannabis for research purposes. The bill paves the way for a more steadfast federal licensing process that would permit medical-grade cannabis to be grown for state-funded research. The bill was presented to the House earlier this year by U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz. The approval of the bill by the House Judiciary Committee would represent a major breakthrough for federal cannabis reform. If the bill were to pass, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions would be required to license two research facilities for cannabis cultivation within one year. The bill would also assist veterans to participate in federally approved cannabis clinic trials.
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September 12, 2018
53 Percent of NJ Voters Say Yes to Recreational Cannabis if it Lowers Taxes
The key to legalizing adult-use marijuana in NJ is apparently tied to taxes. A recent poll of NJ residents showed that more than 50% would be in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana if it helped reduce taxes. When the reduction of taxes was taken out the equation, only 44 percent said they would support legalization while 31 percent opposed. 1,500 registered voters were contacted by TargetSmart which conducted the research. The NJ legislature is diligently working on a bill that would legalize adult-use in NJ. The bill is spearheaded by Gov. Phil Murphy who promised to legalize the expansion of the medical marijuana program and to legalize recreational marijuana. Most likely, some type of taxation on commercial business will be tied to the bill.
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September 11, 2018
Exclusive: New Report Predicts CBD Market will Hit $22 Billion by 2022
The THC cannabis market isn’t the only cannabis-derived product making noise in the industry. Don’t look now but according to a new estimate, the hemp-CBD market is targeted to hit $22 billion by 2022. By spinning off into its own lucrative industry, the hemp-CBD market is poised to outperform the THC infused cannabis market. One of the core reasons why CBD has been on the rise is due to the health benefits it can provide. It has been linked to treating many ailments including PTSD, anxiety and epilepsy to name a few. On top of that, CBD does not provide that “high” sensation like it’s counterpart THC which makes it more appealing to many people. Furthermore, the CBD market has gained popularity and financial success due to its penetration into the health and beauty and culinary markets. Although it has become a trending item, CBD is still highly regulated which for the most part is stunting its full potential for development at the moment.
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September 10, 2018
FDA Commissioner Throws Subtle Support Towards Cannabis Decriminalization
The US Food and Drug Administration has hinted at support for decriminalization of cannabis. In a recent interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box, the FDA’s Commissioner Scott Gottlieb commented on how marijuana and alcohol are not comparable substances thus it can’t be determined whether one is safer than the other. Gottlieb views them as two very distinct substances that have different use patterns. Although indirect and soft on his approach, Gottlieb did say that there is a difference between legalization and decriminalization in that we can decriminalize the use and possession of certain substances without having to legalize and promote the use of them. The FDA has recently taken a softer stance on cannabis especially with the approval of the first cannabis-derived medication for epilepsy.
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September 10, 2018
Cannabis Stocks Boosted by Aurora’s Acquisition of Uruguay-based ICC Labs
Uruguay which was the first country to fully legalize cannabis will have Canada following in its footsteps. Aurora Cannabis Inc. has reached a deal to buy Montevideo, Uruguay based ICC Labs Inc. for about $290 million. The latest news of the acquisition boosted cannabis stocks all across the board. Currently, Uruguay is the only country that is allowed to cultivate CBD-rich hemp on a commercial scale and allows licensed producers to grow hemp with THC concentration of up to 1%. CEO Terry Booth hopes that the fist-mover advantage will pay off financially in a continent with more than 420 million people. ICC is positioning itself to become the leading producer of CBD extracts globally.
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September 7, 2018
Brooklyn DA’s Plan Could Erase Thousands of Cannabis Convictions
In a sweeping move, Brooklyn’s DA Eric Gonzalez announced that his administration will expunge the records of at least 20,000 minor cannabis related convictions. DA Gonzalez with the support of his counterpart from Manhattan, made it clear earlier this year that they would no longer prosecute most cases involving minor cannabis crimes; however, the process has been slow and inefficient to date. New York has a reputation of having some of the most lopsided racial disparities in marijuana convictions. The city has been slow and almost unwilling to change its stance on ending the discriminatory marijuana possession policy. However, there are some positive trends developing with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration endorsing legalization, and Democratic challenger Cynthia Nixon campaigning on a platform of pro-legalization.
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September 7, 2018
Congress will Pass Legalization Bills Next Year, Lawmakers Say
Two U.S. congressmen at a Cannabis Law Institute forum said that Congress will most likely pass cannabis legislation such as the STATES ACT but not before the mid-term elections. Any congressional action regarding cannabis bills will have to wait after November irrespective of the amount of positive support the bills have garnered. Bills like the STATES ACT would exempt states with legal cannabis laws from federal prosecution. According to the congressmen, the STATES ACT along with other cannabis-related bills will likely pass irrespective of which political party takes control of Congress. With increasing support from the public and more politicians seeing the benefits of cannabis, the momentum for legalization has increased. Medical cannabis has especially seen a sharp increase in political support. Lawmakers say that at the very least, people want to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes.
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September 7, 2018
U.S. Hotels Now Serving CBD-Infused Room Service Food
According to Moneyish, several top of the line hotels across the country are offering guests room service menus that feature various comfort food items infused with non-psychoactive CBD. These high-end hotels are offering their new CBD infused food items hoping to cash in on the ever-increasing demand for various cannabis products. Many managers at luxury hotels are constantly finding new methods to please guests and adding CBD extracts to their food items provides another incentive for them. Ultimately, the hotels that offer CDB-infused cuisine to their guests are hoping to change people’s attitude and views of cannabis as strictly a psychoactive substance. As cannabis-infused foods and drinks become more popular and accepted, it could open more minds at the same time.
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September 6, 2018
Mayors Steer Legislators Toward Social Equity in Marijuana Bill
Three New Jersey mayors called for legislators to strengthen social justice and equity measures in recreational cannabis-use bills that are up for legislative vote. Newark’s Ras Baraka, Jersey City’s Steve Fulop, and Hoboken’s Ravinder Bhalla all agree that more needs to be done with the bills in order to have support of the city of Newark and other cities as well. Even though the mayors all support adult-use legalization in New Jersey, they want more in terms of marijuana convictions and records. The mayors want all marijuana and distribution records of criminals to be expunged, as well as the release of anyone presently incarcerated for marijuana-only convictions. In addition, the mayors seek for the development of social impact zones and want to give more authority and power to municipalities to decide on the amount and locations of future dispensaries.
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September 6, 2018
Study Find Marijuana Use Among Baby Boomers Doubled in Past Decade
A new study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that the number of senior citizens consuming and smoking weed has rapidly increased in recent years. The notion that cannabis is predominantly used by young people is debunked according to the new data. In particular, adults 50 and older have seen a steady increase in recent years. The study also found that the legalization of cannabis does not lead to higher rates of use among teens or young adults. This particular trend also held true even as legal recreational sales began in some states like California. Not only in California, but also in states like Colorado, teen cannabis use has declined as well. In short, recent research suggests that the older generation is now consuming more cannabis than young people than in the past.
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September 5, 2018
Marlboro Maker ‘Evaluating Opportunities’ in Cannabis Industry
One of the largest tobacco groups in North America, Altria Group, is considering entering the cannabis market to expand their business opportunities. Altria owns Marlboro maker Philip Morris USA and is an investor in alcohol mega-brand Anheuser-Busch InBev. If indeed Altria decides to participate in the cannabis game, it would be another milestone and victory for the cannabis space. Currently, the group is studying and evaluating the current market and opportunities mindful of the strict federal regulations involved in the space. Altria (if they do) wouldn’t be the first cigarette maker to get involved in the cannabis space. This past June, British tobacco giant Imperial Brand penetrated the market by investing in Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies, a UK based medical cannabis startup.
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September 5, 2018
Democratic Senators Push Bill to Grant Veterans Access to Medical Cannabis
With support from two Democratic lawmakers, a bill that would allow doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans has been introduced to the U.S. Senate. The bill called the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act was introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida and Sen. Bill Schatz of Hawaii. According to the two senators, the primary purpose of the bill is to allow veterans to use, possess, or transport medical marijuana in accordance with the State laws that it is being applied to. If passed, the bill will allow veterans more access to the drug in a controlled manner. One of the major benefits of the bill is that it may be an effective way to slow the nationwide opioid overdoes epidemic by providing veterans a new way to cope with their chronic pain. The bill also calls for more research on “the effects of medical marijuana on veterans in pain.” Along with this research, other treatment programs involving medical marijuana have been authorized by the bill.
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September 5, 2018
Study: Marijuana Use Among College-Aged Youth at 30 Year High
A recent University of Michigan research on cannabis use has found that the rate of marijuana use by young people of college age is at its highest point in more than 30 years. According to the research, the use of marijuana by young college adults age 19-22 rose in recent years and has been on a rising trend over the last decade. Researchers from the study have also stated that heavy usage of cannabis can have negative consequences including a decline in mental health. To make the matter worse, the use of marijuana seems to be higher in young adults who are not college. Research has found that non-college students in the same 19-22 age range use marijuana even more. According to a researcher on the project, there is scientific evidence that indicates that heavy marijuana use can be dangerous to cognitive functions and mental health. Considering how the brain is still developing in the early 20s, this trend amongst non-college students is worrisome.
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September 4, 2018
Is Anheuser-Busch Next to Strike a Deal With the Cannabis Industry?
The trend of alcohol brewers getting involved in the cannabis space seems to be picking up steam especially with Anheuser-Busch InBev making plans to expand into the cannabis space. Although relatively quiet, there is evidence that the largest brewer is interested in producing and selling THC-infused products in the near future. The company has slowly invested in the infrastructure for such a project including creating a new position, Chief Non-Alcohol Beverages Officer, within the company’s hierarchy. The mega company hopes this line of “alternative offerings” will account for 20 percent of its overall sales by 2025. With smoking weed a dying trend, many companies are exploring the legal cannabis market through a more socially accepted means. Anheuser-Busch is following in the footsteps of Constellation Brands and Molson Coors who have recently invested heavily into the cannabis space to expand their production and distribution lines to boost their sales and opportunities.
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September 4, 2018
Louisiana Regulator Joins Officials in Call for Congress to Allow Banking for Marijuana Industry
A handful of states have taken steps to convince the federal government to change or loosen the strict banking regulations that are in place in the current cannabis space. 13 state financial regulators have signed and proposed a letter to congressional leaders seeking “safe harbor” legislation for banks. Louisiana is the latest state to push congress to clear the way for banks to freely conduct business with the cannabis industry. Currently, the cannabis industry is mostly a cash run business with businesses in the industry finding it difficult to find financial institutions willing to take on a client working in the marijuana space. Most banks thus far have steered clear of the industry to avoid costly compliance and regulatory burdens.
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August 31, 2018
This N.J. School is Now Letting Students Minor in Marijuana
Starting this fall, Stockton University is set to offer students classes in medical marijuana. The south Jersey school is offering the marijuana classes to those who are interested in working in the cannabis industry especially when NJ legalizes recreational use. With N.J.’s lawmakers working hard to legalize cannabis in the state, Stockton school officials want to prepare students from a multitude of academic viewpoints. However, by offering the classes, it does not mean the institute endorses cannabis. A total of 25 students will participate in the classes taking cannabis law this fall and then classes on medical marijuana in NJ in the spring. Fulfilling these classes will lead to possible internships at numerous marijuana-related groups and organizations in the state. Other schools including Rutgers, University of Vermont, and Northern Michigan University have programs dedicated to marijuana as well.
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August 30, 2018
Two New Bills Could Revolutionize Marijuana Industry in New Jersey
New Jersey legislators have been working diligently to introduce two cannabis bills ever since Gov. Phil Murphy took over. The first measure would allow more usage of medicinal cannabis and the second bill would authorize full legalization of recreational marijuana in the state. If both bills are to pass into law, certain provisions of the measures could revolutionize NJ’s cannabis industry. One of the provisions would establish a marijuana advisory commission to oversee and regulate the entire cannabis industry in NJ. Other major provisions that are being heavily considered are cannabis home delivery for both medicinal and recreational cannabis and cannabis criminal records being expunged and updated.
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August 30, 2018
As Marijuana Gains Acceptance, Stoner Stereotypes Start to Lose Their Sting
As the highly lucrative cannabis industry is legalized in 30 states in some form, the views and attitudes towards cannabis users are slowing changing. Many cannabis advocates are trying to buck the idea that people who use cannabis are lazy and worthless. The “lazy stoner” stereotype still does exist; however, it’s slowly giving way to a new positive image. Many cannabis companies are marketing the plant in a way that is more acceptable and respectable. One way that the industry is changing the once negative image of cannabis is in the way products are being packaged. Vape pens are packaged in a way that makes the users look stylish and fashionable with other unique trendy qualities. Even edibles are being marketed to be a health alternative that provide numerous benefits for the body. Many experts believe that the “stoner” image will be a thing of the past, but the industry still needs to do more.
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August 30, 2018
The White House Allegedly has a Marijuana Smear Squad. Cannabis Experts Say Bring it on
As more states are taking steps to embrace the idea of federally legal cannabis, the Trump administration is apparently making every effort not to support the cannabis movement. According to BuzzFeed News, the White House has put together a team of federal agency leaders called the Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee to purposely smear and spread negative news and data on U.S. cannabis legalization. Mainly, the team is meant to combat public support for marijuana and cast a certain national threat. Despite this new team and agenda set forth by the White House, many cannabis industry leaders and members are not overly concerned. They say the effort would be extremely biased and inevitably a bit too late in the game. Another reason for the lack of concern may be due to the fact that most up to date research and data on the cannabis market show that the potential benefits of legalization outweigh the continued so called benefits of prohibition.
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August 28, 2018
Rauner Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Allowing Drug as Painkiller Alternative
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed off on a bill that would make medical marijuana available as an opioid painkiller replacement. This would allow for an easier application process for all who qualify. The measure is being implemented to combat the epidemic of opioid overdose deaths. Another major reason for the bill is to remove some of the bigger restrictions on the medical marijuana program in Illinois. The pilot medical cannabis program will run through July 2020 before it expires. However, state lawmakers are taking steps to legalize recreational marijuana as well. In Illinois, a patient must have any of the 40 medical conditions allowed by law to qualify for medical cannabis. The bill provides an option for patients to apply for a doctor’s certification to use medical cannabis instead of opioids without going through the public health department.
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August 27, 2018
Surprisingly, These 2 Popular Marijuana Products Won’t be Legal in Canada
Oct 17 will be the official day Canada waves the proverbial green flag for legalizing cannabis. However, while most cannabis products will be all game, there are a few products that will not be allowed to be sold in the Canadian cannabis market. Strangely enough edibles containing cannabis and cannabis-infused beverages will be illegal. Considering how the two are very popular, it’s a bit of a head scratcher to prohibit them in the market. The reason for the exclusion of edibles and infused-beverages is that they were not included in the original Cannabis Act or C-45 bill. The amendment will take some time to address and revise which requires the Senate and House of Commons to review before making a decision. The decision isn’t expected to be made until sometime next year.
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August 27, 2018
Study Finds THC May Linger in Breast Milk After Marijuana Use
According to the journal Pediatrics, a new research has found that THC can linger in breast milk up to 6 days after the use of cannabis. Most of the female test subjects showed the presence of THC with a small percentage of subjects showing detectable levels of CBD. Subsequently, the results of study has not determined the effect the cannabinoids may have on developing fetus. At this point, there is no definitive evidence to suggest that these metabolites can negatively influence child development. More tests and research need to be conducted in order to accurately deduce the effects cannabinoids may or may not have on infants via breast milk. Researchers are focusing on extensive neurobehavioral testing to determine how much THC can influence a child’s performance after they have been exposed to the cannabinoids. The safest advice is to simply avoid marijuana usage during breastfeeding.
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August 26, 2018
Outmanned and Underfunded, Businesswomen Share Their Difficulties in Marijuana Industry
With Women’s Equality Day approaching soon (Aug. 26), women are having an extremely difficult time breaking into the cannabis industry on all levels. It’s more difficult especially if one is a minority female working in the industry. Chanda Macias, who holds a PH.D in cell biology and an MBA in supply chain management, has been constantly turned down in the cannabis industry. She is in the process of trying to launch her first medical marijuana dispensary in the Washington area; however, she is getting little help from her male counterparts. A March 2018 poll conducted by 99designs showed men are nearly twice as likely to raise at least $100,000 or more in funding than women. Male entrepreneurs held a 28 to 15 percent advantage over women when raising $100,000 or more to start their businesses. Unfortunately, the cannabis industry perpetuates the trend of making it difficult for females to succeed in the business world. Some estimate that in the current cannabis industry the split is somewhere along the lines of 30/70 women to men.
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August 23, 2018
Marijuana Edible and Food Safety: Buy at Your Own Risk
Many people are consuming more and more cannabis edibles such as capsules, chewable gummies, cookies, etc. without exactly knowing how safe they are. Whether for medical or recreational purposes, most edibles are not regulated by the government like food. Most consumers can order cannabis edibles online from just about any where not knowing how they were made or where they actually came from. It is definitely a “buy-at-your-own-risk” market. Without any federal safety regulations, many companies can sidestep safety procedures just to make money. According to the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, some CBD products that are being sold in the U.S. are coming from unregulated, unsafe, and unsanitary manufacturing facilities. To compound the matter, the ingredients being used are unapproved and have been compromised. Currently, Denver is the only state that regulates the production of edibles on a food safety level.
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August 23, 2018
N.J. to Tell Prosecutors They are Free to Drop Some Weed Charges, Sources Say
The NJ attorney general’s office will go ahead and inform NJ’s local, municipal and country prosecutors that they may at their discretion decide not to prosecute individuals on some simple possession cases. Even with this new guidance, marijuana possession in NJ is still illegal. Usually, the possession of marijuana is charged as a disorderly persons offense in NJ. The upcoming guidance will affect the smaller and more rural areas as oppose other areas because prosecutors have often been reluctant to bring down charges without permission from the state level. With the anticipated passage of the recreational marijuana bill, the attorney general’s team didn’t feel it necessary to file for an extension of the adjournment.
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August 22, 2018
Marijuana Banking Problems Worse Now in California and Florida
It doesn’t look like the banking situation in the marijuana industry is going to get any better especially after what transpired in California and Florida. In California, officials canceled its plans for starting a private state regulated banking system, and in Florida, a Wells Fargo closed out a campaign account of a candidate running for a government position after it was found out that she was going to except funds from a medical marijuana company. With the overall cannabis industry expected to exceed 47 billion by 2027, it is still a mystery on why the federal government still has a headlock on the banking system and the cannabis industry. Even with politicians accepting donations from state legal cannabis firms, the US government still will not budge on making it easier on the cannabis industry from easily accessing the US banking system. Some say that the government stands to lose much more financially if the marijuana market became legal nationwide.
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August 22, 2018
Wall Street Analyst Estimates US Cannabis Market Will Reach $47 Billion
According to Nik Modi of RBC Capital Markets, despite the uncertainties and unpredictability of the US legal cannabis, he estimates that the legal US cannabis space could reach as much as $47 billion in annual sales within the next decade. Even with federal prohibition, Modi predicts that the US cannabis market will get even stronger especially with the current trend of consumer shift towards edibles and concentrates. This particular trend has already having a tremendous financial impact on the overall US cannabis retail market. According to data from BDS Analytics, ever since Colorado legalized recreational use in 2012, the margin on the cannabis plant has steadily gone down. Modi suggests that what happened in Colorado is indicative of a larger national trend of consumers shying away from the flower and purchasing more off-plant products. This is the main reason why Modi believes cannabis can propel total sales way over $47 billion a year by 2027.
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August 22, 2018
Pennsylvania Lawmaker Starts Online Petition for Recreational Marijuana Bill
State Rep. Jake Wheatley of Pennsylvania has decided to take matter into his own hands by launching an online petition in support of his bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. If all goes well, he hopes to introduce the bill in the state general assembly very soon. The bill referred to as House Bill 2600 offers more incentives and benefits than the risks involved according to Wheatley. Wheatley’s measure if passed would allow law enforcement agencies to expand their resources which would allow them to also focus on more serious crimes. The bill would also erase the criminal records of people who were arrested on marijuana-related charges. Wheatley hopes that Pennsylvania will follow in the footsteps of other states that have embraced legalization, so that his state will also reap the economic and criminal justice benefits.
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August 21, 2018
NJ Politics Digest: Sweeny Says He Has the Votes to Legalize Pot
Senate President Steve Sweeney passed along some good news to those who have been waiting for some sort of legislative action to the legalization of marijuana in NJ. He now says that he has garnered enough votes to pass such a bill by the end of next month. Ever since Gov. Phil Murphy introduced the measure to fully legalize marijuana use, there have been numerous setbacks and delays. Both parties have shown resistance to fully legalizing marijuana use in NJ. Senate President Sweeney also said with caution that although there isn’t overwhelming support for legal recreational marijuana and the state’s expansion for medical marijuana, he is confident that he can get enough votes to pass both measures. According to POLITICO, the plan is for the both measure to be in one bill so that those who vote for the expansion of medical marijuana will also have to vote for legal recreational use.
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August 21, 2018
Israeli and Swiss Companies Team Up to Breed Better Cannabis for Patients
The collaboration between a Swiss cannabis company and an Israeli genome analysis firm has made it possible for cannabis plants to be tailored to treat specific ailments. The partnership will provide patients with more options and varieties of cannabis. Some of the new varieties include customized cannabinoid, terpene, and specific therapeutic flavonoid. Researchers are also creating strains that provide unique flavors for energy drinks and products that provide other options for tobacco. This partnership is another example of how the study of cannabis has brought about more benefits to people than risks. The Israeli genome firm has already mapped the genomes of multiple plants such as wheat, potato, barely, oats and strawberry. Using the same method, the two companies will attempt to map the genomes of several varieties of cannabis with beneficial genetic traits.
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August 16, 2018
Poll Shows Almost 25% of Young Adults in America Consume Cannabis
A recent Gallop telephone poll showed that 25% of young adults in the U.S. have used cannabis in some form or another. The survey also showed that adults in the West use marijuana more than any other areas of the country. The next concentrated areas come from the East then the South with the Midwesterners rounding out the bottom. About 24 percent of Adults age 18-29 years old have admitted to “regularly” or “occasionally” interacting with marijuana while 13 percent of those 30-49 years old said that they were cannabis users. The poll also gauged the opinions on tobacco products compared to cannabis. Most respondents agreed that smoking marijuana is less harmful than tobacco. A whopping 96 percent said that cigarettes are harmful to put into perspective. However, 63 percent of those surveyed stated that marijuana is harmful. The overall poll showed that people generally have a more positive view of cannabis than any tobacco products.
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August 15, 2018
‘Budtenders,’ edibles chefs among fastest-growing jobs in legal marijuana industry
With the cannabis industry blossoming into a formidable market in the U.S., many job categories are opening up across the industry including budtenders, cannabis chefs, flavor scientists, and extraction technicians. Although many cannabis job sites list an array of jobs, most positions require cannabis-specific skill sets. Of those, budtenders seem to be one of the more popular jobs. Also known as patient care representatives, budtenders must be able to explain and understand the intricate characteristics and properties of each cannabis strain they sell. Although one of the most popular jobs at the moment, a budtender’s salary is equivalent to most entry-level positions in the cannabis industry. However, the most lucrative positions in the cannabis industry can pay as high as $100,000 dollars a year or more. Unlike budtenders, master extractors and head growers are considered to be “professional” positions and are typically assigned to those with horticulture, science and technology degrees. The problem at the moment is that there is a lack of skilled labor in the cannabis industry due to the lack of training.
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August 14, 2018
North Dakota Will Vote on Adult-Use Cannabis in November
With a proposed adult-use measure to be included on the upcoming November ballot, North Dakota is inching closer to becoming the next state to fully legalize marijuana use. North Dakota’s Secretary of State Al Jaeger, with the support of 14,637 qualified signatures backing the measure, is hoping that this time around the outcome will be much better than the failed attempt a few year ago. The approved legislative measure offers a simple and progressive approach to cannabis reform. North Dakota is trying to become the first state to offer a comprehensive marijuana reform in the entire country for full 100% recreational use. The plan calls for an all or nothing approach where every issue will be put on the table for review. The biggest difference this time around compared to the failed attempt is that the current measure gives lawmakers at the state and local levels a clear path to implementation providing a true free-market, laissez-faire bill.
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August 14, 2018
Canada Launches Online Cannabis Training Course for Police Force
All Canadian law enforcement agencies now have the ability to participate in online cannabis courses to learn all there is to know about the cannabis industry. Police officers will be able to learn everything from identifying different strains of marijuana to detecting drugged driving to name a few. This new online process will help get all law enforcement agencies up to speed with rules and regulations of the Canadian Cannabis Act. With the passing of the Cannabis Act, many law enforcement officials were on edge because of the lack of time to prepare and train the police force. The online training program has at least quelled some of the anxiety and fears that have been displayed. The online course is available to all Canadian police services, and it also doesn’t cost departments anything to complete. The program is inexpensive because it uses an already existing online infrastructure to share information between the police.
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August 13, 2018
New Jersey Senate President Predicts Vote on Legal Marijuana Next Month
A vote on legalizing cannabis in New Jersey is expected to be held as early as September according New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeny. More thought and revision need to be made on the current proposal that includes both the medical and adult-use bill according to Senate President Sweeny. Despite the enormous amount of delays, lawmakers are inching closer to making a decision on legal marijuana in NJ. The bill which was originally proposed by Governor Phil Murphy has faced resistance mainly due to it being a singular bill as opposed to two separate bills distinguishing medical expansion and adult use. Even if the bill is approved and supported in the September vote, it still faces a long and difficult road ahead. One of the challenges include passing both chambers of the state legislature – the Senate and the Assembly.
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August 13, 2018
Could the Heart Benefit From Cannabinoid Therapy?
Researchers and scientists may have created a cardiovascular therapy using marijuana by manipulating the human’s endocannabinoid system. According to the American Heart Association, if it is possible, medical cannabis may be used as an instrument to help fight heart diseases. The human body has certain cannabinoid receptors that cannabinoids attach themselves to to trigger specific therapeutic reactions in the heart. Scientists have identified and learned that certain receptors like the TRPV1 receptor in the heart can be manipulated by administering different levels and types of cannabinoids. Although a breakthrough in the cardiovascular field, using cannabinoids as a therapy comes with enormous challenges. Some of the challenges include side effects and safety concerns. Researchers say that more analysis and tests need to be performed in order to definitively support this treatment.
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August 9, 2018
Facebook Making it Harder to Find Marijuana Businesses, Regulators
Searching on Facebook for marijuana-related firms, regulators and trade groups have all but stopped appearing. The most likely reason for this is the social media platform’s attempt to filter results connected to “marijuana” and “cannabis.” Called “shadow banning”, online social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram have banned such posts or have made them invisible to members searching for them. Ironically, Facebook still allows cannabis-related businesses to continue to operate their pages so as long as they don’t violate the rules and regulations associated with the social platform. This new revelation has many cannabis-related firms worried because most use Facebook to connect with consumers. This new “screening process” by Facebook will definitely make it more difficult for the cannabis community to interact with one another.
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August 8, 2018
Heineken is Betting on a Brew Made with Marijuana Instead of Alcohol, and It Could Help Give a Boost to the Struggling Beer Industry
Heineken has created a brew made strictly with marijuana which can start a new trend in the cannabis market and at the same time help galvanize the struggling beer industry. Heineken is now a part of a growing trend of established firms trying their hand at the booming cannabis industry. Branded as “hoppy sparkling water”, Lagunitas is Heineken’s fast-growing California beer label. Lagunitas has zero alcohol and instead contains THC the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. To satisfy everyone, they have also created a brew with CBD for those who do not want to feel the “high” as they enjoy a cold one. Named Hi-Fi Hops, the new cannabis drink is only available at select locations in California where marijuana is legal.
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August 8, 2018
Lawmakers in U.S. Territory Vote to Legalize Marijuana
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. territory, are on the cusp of legalizing marijuana. By a 18-1 margin, legislators have approved a bill which would end cannabis prohibition for adults over 21. The bill would also develop a system of taxed and regulated sales. Furthermore, the bill would legalize medical marijuana and industrial hemp as well. Many people on the island have always supported the idea of legal marijuana. With more leaders understanding the public’s sentiment on marijuana, they have taken steps to satisfying the needs of people on the island. If the bill is passed, CNMI will make history by being the first U.S. territory to go from outlawing marijuana completely to allowing recreational use.
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August 7, 2018
The Burning Questions About Marijuana Legalization in New Jersey
With legalization of recreational cannabis in New Jersey imminent, many people are wondering what the holdup is. Legislation has stalled and to make matters worse, questions and fears are being raised. Gov. Phil Murphy’s promise of legalization within his first 100 days has not been kept, for it has now gone over 200 days without any results. Unfortunately, there is still no bill to legalize marijuana at the legislative level. There are many issues at hand and many officials are dubious about whether or not legalization would be a healthy law to enact in New Jersey. The biggest issues concerning many different groups include skepticism and trepidation over commercial entities entering neighborhoods that will have a negative impact on communities of color. Other officials have called out Gov. Murphy and have questioned his motives for legalizing marijuana.
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August 7, 2018
Florida Judge Rejects State Limits on Number of Medical Marijuana Businesses
A Tallahassee judge has uncovered a law which limits the number of medical marijuana businesses in Florida. The law contradicts and goes against a constitutional amendment approved by Floridians two years ago. According to the Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, such restrictions fundamentally go against and undermine the clear intent of the original amendment. Despite finding the law unconstitutional, no injunction has been passed to suspend the policy. Judge Dodson has set an Oct 3 deadline for health officials and/or the Legislature to rectify the problems with the law. Even with this deadline, many in the Florida cannabis industry do not see any upcoming changes due to the ruling. Until a definitive decision is made, Florida health officials can continue to limit and grant a handful of licenses at their discretion.
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August 6, 2018
The Sneaky Reason Congress May Not Want to Legalize Marijuana
Despite the forward movement of marijuana legalization, marijuana still remains a Schedule I drug according to the Federal Controlled Substance Act. Even with the cannabis industry having a record setting year so far in 2018, the Canadian Parliament legalizing recreational marijuana, and more U.S. states following suit, the U.S. government is still against the idea of federally legalizing marijuana. There are several reasons why the U.S. government is still hesitant on going full legalization. Some of the well-known reasons include the impact cannabis may have on young kids, the effects marijuana will have on drivers, the increase in crimes, and the risks of cannabis on the brain and body. However, the most interesting reason for the hesitation might be taxes. It has always been about the money for the federal government and how they can profit thus making it that much more difficult for the cannabis industry in the foreseeable future.
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August 4, 2018
The Pot Breathalyzer is Here. Maybe
One California company may have just found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They claim to have created a marijuana breathalyzer for law enforcement agencies to use to combat smoking and driving. Lacking proper tools to detect pot impairment, the police today have to depend mainly on field sobriety tests that fights drunk driving. The lack of equipment has concerned law enforcement agencies especially with marijuana legalization gaining steam. Hound Labs has developed a device that can accurately detect if a person has smoked cannabis within a two hour window. For efficiency sake, the device can be used as an alcohol breathalyzer as well. Most devices or methods to determine marijuana content in the bloodstream or urine can take days for a result with minimal accuracy. Several police departments across the country will start testing Hound Lab’s device this fall to determine if it is in fact a worthwhile measure to fight smoking and driving.
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August 3, 2018
Medical Cannabis Bill Advances in South Korea
South Korea can potentially legalize medical marijuana usage in the coming months. Introduced two months ago, a revised bill to allow the use of medical marijuana will be put to the test by key lawmakers in the Legislative Welfare Committee. If the bill should pass, it would be a landmark decision in Asia and would open up the global medical cannabis market in that region. Under strict regulations, the bill calls for patients to get a medical cannabis prescription from a doctor, but the process would require those involved to go through the commissioner of the Korea and Drug Administration on a case-by-case basis. The bill also still prohibits the cultivation of domestic cannabis, so all medical marijuana related products would have to be imported.
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August 2, 2018
How Trump’s Trade Battles Are Affecting the Marijuana Industry
Trump’s trade war with China is having a serious negative effect on several sectors in the marijuana industry. The area that will suffer the most is the cannabis vaporizer production industry. Other sectors facing potential difficult times include cannabis lighting equipment, greenhouse facilities, Chinese made packaging and Chinese equipment that involves steel and aluminum. Specifically, cannabis businesses are worried that their costs will increase due to the trade war which will affect businesses up and down their operations. With businesses spending more, consumers will consequently have to pay more for their vape cartridge purchases. Regardless of the impending hurdles, many experts in the cannabis industry are still confident that the profit margins in the cannabis space will continue to be robust.
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August 1, 2018
Cannabis For the Win: Sports Leagues See The Light On CBD
Basketball’s BIG3 league has done what is equivalent to a made half-court shot in the sport by announcing that it would allow BIG3 athletes to use cannabidiol (CBD). The league would be the first US professional sport to allow it. CBD, which is the nonpsychoactive ingredient in cannabis, is used to manage pain and inflammation especially by athletes. The healing properties in CBD is one of the main reasons why it is an attractive form of ointment for athletes. Many pro and collegiate athletes welcome the pleasant news as more sports figures are educating themselves about the benefits of cannabis and CBD treatments. Out of the four major sports in America, the NHL (National Hockey League) has for the most part been lenient about cannabis use. Unlike the NHL, the NFL, NBA and MLB are less tolerant and forgiving for being associated with cannabis and the like.
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August 1, 2018
New York City Officially Ends Prosecution of Marijuana Possession and Use
New York will no longer prosecute anyone caught using or in possession of marijuana announced Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. However, there will be some exceptions to the new policy such as offenders caught selling cannabis could be charged with possession. Furthermore, those who pose a threat to public safety could also face possession or use charges. The DA’s office estimates that prosecutions for marijuana offenses will drop 96% each year. District Attorney Vance has voiced his support for cannabis legalization in New York and anticipates a more equitable justice system for the state. The DA’s office has also been working on policies that will benefit those with past minor marijuana convictions on their records. Even with such updated policies, officials still believe that more reforms are needed to New York City’s criminal justice system.
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July 31, 2018
Big Hits: Cannabis Companies on Pace to Raise Record $8 Billion in 2018
2018 is predicted to be a record breaking year for the already booming cannabis industry. According to Viridian Capital Advisors, marijuana companies, foreign and domestic, are on pace to bring in a record $8 billion by the end of 2018. As the market continues to develop, more companies are going public and strategizing to meet growing demands. Fundraising has been a big part of the record breaking pace as the cultivation and retail sectors have brought in more than $2.5 billion thus far in 2018. The market has seen the average size of deals grow as more companies turn to public capital markets to raise money. Also, many private businesses are going IPO as a means of raising capital to further energize their growth in the cannabis market.
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July 28, 2018
This Marijuana Industry Shift Should Make You Smile
As the marijuana industry expands and develops further, the traditional marijuana industry is slowly giving way to a rising trend and a shift in the market. A recent study has shown that market shares for the “dried flower” has been steadily giving way to alternative cannabis products such as edibles, vape cartridges, infused beverages and concentrates. The shift in the market is due to marijuana alternatives being more discreet, longer lasting and are considered to be healthier. This gradual shift in the market has investors smiling from ear to ear. With higher margins than its traditional counterpart, alternative cannabis products have little chance of being commoditized and as a result will face fewer pricing pressures. With consumers demanding more alternative products, the cannabis industry and all its investors are quite enthusiastic.
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July 26, 2018
Jeff Sessions says Federal Government May Override States’ Marijuana Laws
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is at it again hinting that he will do whatever he can to prevent legalization of marijuana on the federal level. He is still a firm believer that America will not benefit from marijuana sales in any manner. The attorney general was attending a press conference in Massachusetts when asked about the Department of Justice’s stance on states with legal marijuana. Massachusetts legalized adult-use cannabis nearly two years ago; however, it has yet to have set up its retail industry. The federal government’s position on states’ marijuana laws is particularly important to the Massachusetts’ cannabis market because it can fuel it or hinder it. However, cannabis regulators in MA are not too concerned about Sessions’ comments and are pretty confident about moving forth.
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July 26, 2018
UK legalizes Medical Cannabis for Prescription
UK’s medical cannabis community has much to celebrate after UK’s Home Office announced the legalization of cannabis derived medicines for prescription. The measure will start in August 2018 and will recognize cannabis as a therapeutic property and recommend it be rescheduled from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, making it eligible for prescription. Recent cases involving sick children prompted the government to reschedule the drug and opening it up to medicinal use The UK Department of Health and Social Care will be responsible categorizing and properly defining what a cannabis-derived medicine is. Although none of the parameters have been defined as of yet, the Home Office has made it clear that traditional smoked cannabis will not be included in their definition.
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July 25, 2018
Marijuana Legalization Allowed Police to Better Solve Other Cases, Criminology Study Finds
A new study on criminology data shows that law enforcement’s crime clearance rates were increasingly more rapid in states that have legalized marijuana. The “rate” refers to the ratio between the number of crimes solved and the number of crimes recorded by the police. With legalization, law enforcement agencies have been able to monitor and solve other offenses instead of marijuana-related ones including rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and car theft. Public safety has benefited from marijuana legalization through improvements in police effectiveness with the reduction in police time and attention to cannabis offenses which allows them to reallocate resources to more serious cases. The new data which is the first of its kind will allow for more research and more understanding and knowledge especially in the area of public health and safety.
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July 24, 2018
Why More College Students are Calming Anxiety with Medical Cannabis
Studies show that more college students who suffer from a mental health disorder are turning to medical cannabis for help and relief. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that 25% of young adults between the ages of 18-25 suffer from anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, due to the stigma attached to cannabis, many clinicians disapprove the use of cannabis as a form of medical treatment which perpetuates the negative reputation of cannabis. However, more students are coming forth and are openly disclosing their mental-health issues. As more states are legalizing medical use, the views on medical cannabis by mental health physicians are slowing shifting. Many physicians are starting to see the positive effects of medical cannabis on mental health.
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July 24, 2018
New Jersey Attorney General Puts Marijuana Prosecution on Hold
In an unexpected move, the N.J.’s attorney general has decided effective immediately to postpone all cannabis cases in municipal courts statewide until at least September 2018. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal informed all municipal prosecutors in the state to delay all proceedings of marijuana-related offenses until September 4, 2018. The delay was issued because the attorney general’s office needed more time to develop an “appropriate guidance” for prosecutors. To further complicate the matter, the attorney general prevented a newly appointed municipal prosecutor in Jersey City from arbitrarily decriminalizing marijuana or otherwise refuse to criminally prosecute marijuana-related offenses. He noted that only the state Legislature had the authority to take such actions.
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July 19, 2018
Legal Canadian Cannabis Market Could Capture 25% of Demand in First Month: Finance
According to the Canadian government, the new legal cannabis market has the potential to capture 25% of total demand in the first month of legalization and 75% of the market by 2021-2022. However, some cannabis researchers believe that the 25% mark in its first month is a bit “ambitious”. They believe that due to the ongoing illegal market, the legal market will be challenged. Lead officials are hoping that with legalization of cannabis, there will be an immediate decline in the illicit market. However, forecasting such a factor will be difficult to predict accurately. Many of the Liberals have justified legalizing cannabis by banking on the idea that legalization will shrink the black market and keep the drug out of the hands of the youth.
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July 19, 2018
Lebanon Announces Plan to Legalize Medical Marijuana Use and Cultivation
The Lebanese government has taken steps to seriously consider legalizing medical marijuana and cultivation to boost its struggling economy. According to consulting firm McKinsey & Co., Lebanon’s entry into the global medical marijuana industry could do wonders for it economic growth. Although the idea has garnered support on some political level, it’s still unclear if legalization of cannabis support is widespread. Lebanon would be an ideal place for growing medical marijuana. With its reputation for producing some the best marijuana around the world, it only makes sense to legalize. In terms of production, Lebanon is one of the top five biggest producers of hash globally. Other logical reasons for legalizing cannabis are Lebanon’s established growing expertise and a favorable climate which makes for an idea country for cultivation.
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July 19, 2018
U.K. Drug Policy Committee Calls for Legalization of Medical Cannabis
Medical cannabis may soon become legalized in the U.K. The Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has called for the legalization of medical cannabis. The drug policy committee has admitted that cannabis does provide medicinal benefits and that patients should be able to get access to the plant through their doctors. The committee hopes that legalizing the drug will benefit patients and provide more opportunities for research. The idea of legalization was caused by the Billy Caldwell case. The case involved 12 year old Billy Caldwell who suffers from severe epilepsy. He was denied medical cannabis by the government which ended up threatening the boy’s life. Eventually, the government relented and allowed a temporary license for the family.
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July 18, 2018
One of Florida’s Largest Medical Marijuana Businesses Forced to Stop Processing Pot
Surterra, one of the first medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida, has been suspended from processing cannabis especially its production of new items. They were forced to stop production after they failed to meet a food and safety inspection deadline. Surterra said that it had failed to properly answer several questions on how much product it has saved for use while in processing operations are on hold. The Department of Health sent out letters on July 6 indicating that all medical marijuana dispensaries needed to complete a third party inspection in the first year. The inspections caught many dispensaries off guard with the short notice. The company expects to be cleared for operations again in several weeks.
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July 17, 2018
Women Execs React to Cannabis Trends Report Highlighting the Rise of Females in the Marijuana Industry
A positive trend has slowly manifested itself in the cannabis space. The continued rise of women in the industry is one of many new positive trends to have galvanized the sector. According to AxisWire, women occupy 27 percent of the industry’s C-Suite level positions in the cannabis industry beating the national average of 23 percent. Women in the industry have shown resilience and a strong sense of unity and common ground in the industry. As the industry develops and expands, women hope to make the cannabis industry the first one in the world where they have 50% female control. Historically, women have always succeeded in the advancement of agriculture, so it’s not a surprise that rise of women in the cannabis industry has been steady.
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July 13, 2018
First Alcohol Association Supports Recreational Marijuana
Despite opposition from many alcohol trade groups, The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) has extended an olive branch by expressing support for the states’ right to legalize recreational marijuana. The WSWA has compared the burgeoning legal cannabis industry to the alcohol industry’s struggles in the 1930s. While calling on the government to respect the right of states to legalize cannabis, the WSWA said that the government should regulate the cannabis industry tantamount to the alcohol industry and to implement standards to control impaired driving. The WSWA is currently the only alcohol trade group to show support towards the cannabis industry as other alcohol groups see the cannabis industry as a threat to their bottom line.
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July 13, 2018
Cuomo Moves Closer to Marijuana Legalization in New York
Once referring to marijuana as a “gateway drug”, Governor Andrew Cuomo now has taken a different stance on the issue. With the state Health Department favoring legalization in its latest report, Governor Cuomo has come out embracing the findings and voicing support for legalization. According to the Health Department’s finding, a regulated market in New York would bring numerous tax benefits to the state which the governor fully supports. With Massachusetts and New Jersey already taking steps to legalizing the drug, Governor Cuomo admitted that the situation with marijuana is changing and that the issue was no longer a matter of preventing the drug from flowing in from its neighboring states. The governor is feeling the pressure of his re-election campaign as his rival, the former actress Cynthia Nixon, has already endorsed legalizing marijuana in the state further driving Governor Cuomo’s changing attitude towards the drug.
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July 12, 2018
How Might a More Conservative Supreme Court Impact the Cannabis Industry’s Progress?
With conservative Brett Kavanaugh being nominated for the Supreme Court, the cannabis industry now must wonder what role he will play in future federal marijuana policies. If he should be appointed by Congress, the cannabis industry may be facing another hurdle to overcome. It is still too early to tell, but considering he is a Conservative Justice, things may get very interesting when it comes to cannabis related issues. However, there may be a shed of positive light, for many are hoping that with cannabis being legal in the District of Columbia, he has become more open minded about cannabis than in the past.
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July 11, 2018
Medical Marijuana Reduces Opioid Prescriptions, Another Study Finds
A recent group of studies has shown that there is a correlation between medical marijuana legalization and a lower opioid usage rate nationwide. Between 1993-2014 when statewide medical cannabis legalization was implemented, there was a 30% reduction in Schedule III opioids received by Medicaid enrollees. Unfortunately, the studies have also found that there is no correlation between the legalization of medical cannabis and the usage of the more restrictive Schedule II drugs of the Controlled Substance Act. Furthermore, states that have legalized medical cannabis have saved the federal government $7.46 million in annual Medicaid spending. Hypothetically, if all states legalized medical cannabis by 2014, Medicaid annual spending on opioid prescription would be reduced by $17.8 million dollars.
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July 11, 2018
Nevada Marijuana Supply Running Low, State of Emergency Declared, Governor Says
Nevada’s recreational cannabis market is already facing a dire shortage of supplies. After only two weeks of legal cannabis sales, Nevada’s state officials have declared a state of emergency because there isn’t enough marijuana for dispensaries to sell. The unexpected shortage of supplies has made it difficult for the 47 licensed dispensaries to conduct business. The shortage has disrupted businesses by making it difficult for them to deliver their products. The problem stems from the lack of properly approved distributor licenses in the state. Many that have applied for the distribution licenses have failed to meet the required standards for approval making it hard for the supplies to reach all the dispensaries.
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July 10, 2018
Israeli Lawmakers are Set to Decriminalize Use of Cannabis
According to a new Israeli bill, lawmakers are planning on decriminalizing cannabis use for the first three offenses someone is caught using cannabis. The law applies to those who are caught using the drug for personal use. The bill calls for the person caught using cannabis to pay a monetary fine for their first two offenses, and then doing community service on their third offense. However, the law will only apply to new cases. Prisoners and previous criminal offenders will not be protected by the new law. This new bill will only last for three years, so it can be monitored and researched. The money from the fines will be used to fund education, information, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts.
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July 09, 2018
Outdated, Sagging Colorado Schools get $300 Million Boost from Pot Sales, Other Taxes
A small town 60 miles southwest of Denver is benefitting from all the money collected from legal pot sales. The construction of a new preK-12 school has been planned in the town of Deer Trail which has made the local residents extremely happy. This has been made possible by the millions of dollars in revenue collected from the excise taxes on retail cannabis sales. The state’s Building Excellent Schools Today program or BEST has been assisting communities through money raised from marijuana tax revenues. The program has helped many school districts with construction of new school facilities and other community projects. Many people who were opposed to the “drug money” had a change of heart once they saw the positive impact the funds had on their communities.
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July 04, 2018
The Industries that Oppose Marijuana Legalization
Although support for cannabis reform and legalization has been on the uptick, there are still certain groups that are stubbornly opposed to the idea of legalizing cannabis. Several key industries have made it clear that they do not recognize and support marijuana legalization. The basis for the continued support for cannabis prohibition is primarily out of fear and the potential for financial loss. Some of the industries that have voiced their opposition to the cannabis movement are law enforcement, big pharma, for-profit prisons, prison guards, forestry.
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April 23, 2018
420 Brings in Green for Nation’s Marijuana Retailers as Pot Smokers Celebrate ‘High’ Holiday
Whether you’re a marijuana enthusiast or a marijuana entrepreneur, April 20th will always be a day to celebrate. April 20 also known as 420 is the de facto national holiday for cannabis users. This year’s 420 saw cannabis retailers enjoy the single-biggest cannabis sales day. With many more states in the process of legalizing cannabis use, retailers are excited about future 420 celebrations in anticipation of huge sales. Currently, a total of $1.6 billion dollars in tax revenue has been collected between all the states that have legalized cannabis one form or another. That figure will surely increase with California recently launching its legal sales earlier this year.
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April 23, 2018
Marijuana Growers, Manufacturers Have Yet to Get the Green Light From L.A.
As California has legalized the marijuana business, some sectors of the industry such as the growers and manufacturers have been put on hold in the now legal industry in Los Angeles. Many dispensaries have been given the green light; however, their suppliers are still legally grounded. Officials do not have a definitive time table on when they will start processing applications for authorizing growers and manufacturers from conducting business. This hold up is causing serious financial problems for business locations, for they are being “bled dry” without any revenue coming in. Without any supplies to provide their customers, many of the retail shops will find themselves out of business even before they get started.
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April 21, 2018
Marijuana Could be the Deal Breaker in New York’s Election for Governor
Former Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon who is campaigning to become the Democratic Party’s candidate for Governor of New York made headlines when she formally announced her full support for cannabis legalization. Subsequently, her announcement has proven beneficial as she has closed the gap in the polls against current N.Y. governor Andrew Cuomo. The topic of marijuana has increased pressure on Governor Cuomo as many people see him stalling and delaying on reform. Gov. Cuomo’s oscillation on marijuana legalization has made it difficult to figure out where he truly stands on the issue. His inconsistencies and soft approach have made him look weak and has only galvanized Nixon’s movement and campaign.
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April 20, 2018
Despite Not Having Tried it, Sen. Schumer Now Pushing for Cannabis Decriminalization
The cannabis industry received some energizing news when Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York announced that he would introduce a bill taking marijuana off the federal list of controlled substances which would decriminalize its use. Prior to his announcement, Sen. Schumer was one of many politicians who were against the idea of federally legalizing marijuana. Politically, it could be a smart move for Democrats who want to gain the support of young voters, hoping to come out on top in November’s mid-term elections. Under his proposed bill, states would each decide on how to treat marijuana possession. However, the federal government would still monitor and enforce laws against moving cannabis into states where it’s still illegal.
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April 19, 2018
Marijuana Industry Says Seniors are the Next Budding Market
Many marijuana industry experts predict that senior citizens may actually be the fastest growing weeding-using demographic instead of the typical young hipsters. Ironically, those who lived through their young hippie days are now taking advantage of the changing legal marijuana landscape. The health-related benefits of marijuana usage will drive seniors or baby boomers to financially invest in the medical market for years to come. With new and sophisticated ways to use marijuana including edibles and vape pens, many former smokers from the baby boomer era will be open to smoking again.
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April 19, 2018
Bernie Sanders Joins Cory Booker’s Push to Legalize Marijuana
U.S. Senator Cory Booker’s efforts to federally legalize marijuana has gained support from several other key Democratic members including Senator Bernie Sanders. Sen. Bernie Sanders is a co-sponsor of Sen. Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act which would allow each state to determine whether or not to legalize the drug and would also rescind current federal marijuana laws. Booker’s initiative also focuses on assisting minority communities and people of color that have been disproportionately targeted by current federal marijuana laws. Sen. Sanders has argued that $80 billion dollars a year is being spent on arresting and keeping people behind bars for nothing more than using marijuana. He wants to invest that money in inner cities instead. Both senators agree that justice can only be served by addressing the damage and harm caused by the war on drugs.
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April 19, 2018
Majority of N.J. Residents Want Legal Weed: Here’s What a New Poll Found
A new Monmouth University Poll found that 60% of New Jersey residents support the idea of legalized marijuana and that it would economically benefit the Garden State. The new poll is a change from an earlier Stockton University Poll that found 49% in favor of legalization. Advocates of legalization say that N.J. could bring in about $1 billion dollars in total cannabis revenue in its first full year of sales. From that total, $300 million would come from tax revenue. Despite its increased support, current backing of marijuana legalization among legislators would fall short of passing a bill. Gov. Phil Murphy is pushing hard to pass a bill by the end of the year.
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April 13, 2018
Trump Agrees to Leave State-Legal Pot Programs Alone
The U.S. marijuana industry received some unexpected but welcoming news yesterday as President Trump promised to federally not interfere with state-legalized pot programs. The announcement came from Republican Sen. Cory Gardner who said that he received assurances from the president that states like Colorado that have legalized recreational marijuana would be left alone by the federal government. Currently, there are several bills that would legalize cannabis at the national level up for consideration in Congress but nothing specific has been set in stone yet. Despite these assurances from the president, other leaders are skeptical and are treading with caution. With the president’s penchant for changing his mind on a whim, some hopeful leaders are not taking anything for granted. With thirty states and the District of Columbia legalizing some form of marijuana usage, there is mounting pressure on the federal government to adopt a federal law to legalize all forms of cannabis usage.
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April 10, 2018
Legal Marijuana Could Soon Be a Bigger Market than Soda
According to a new estimate from Cowen investment bank, cannabis is on the path to becoming a bigger industry than the soda industry. Currently, it is challenging alcohol sales which is putting some pressure on the alcohol industry. The new figures estimate that by 2030, the legal cannabis industry could gross $75 billion in sales per year. Soda consumption and sales have steadily declined with the industry reporting $76.4 billion in sales in 2017. In 2016, the soda industry experienced its lowest per capita consumption in 31 years marking a troubling trend in the industry.
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April 06, 2018
N.J. Statewide Group Seeks Minority Inclusion in Marijuana Legislation
The New Jersey Minority Alliance (NJMA) is making efforts to help nonviolent offenders of marijuana by helping them get access to the industry when the state legalizes cannabis. Individuals who had been arrested in the past for any marijuana infractions will have a very difficult time operating or owning a dispensary in the potential industry. Anyone wanting to apply for a license in the NJ marijuana industry must have a clean record. Under the current proposed marijuana legalization bill, opportunities for minorities are limited. The NJMA members are fighting to expand that area of the legislation to allow past nonviolent offenders the opportunity to participate in the industry when legalized. Communities that have been severely affected by disproportionate arrests for nonviolent offenses and with a high unemployment rate would be given priority under the expanded proposal.
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April 06, 2018
New York State Taking Another Look into Legalizing Marijuana
With the idea of possibly losing revenue to Massachusetts and N.J., New York is rethinking its position on legalized marijuana. For economic reasons, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has never really supported legalized marijuana, may have a change of heart when it comes to the issue of New York and marijuana. With N.J. recently expanding its medical marijuana program, Gov. Cuomo stated that if the conditions are right and New York’s law enforcement agencies can handle it, he would consider the opportunity. The idea of losing vast amounts of revenue and easy cash to other states has encouraged other N.Y. officials to support the idea as well.
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April 04, 2018
Here’s What N.J. Thinks about Murphy’s Push to Legalize Marijuana
The results of a major poll found that N.J. residents are not completely sold on Gov. Phil Murphy’s efforts to legalize marijuana in the Garden State. Although the numbers show that people still favor legalizing marijuana, a surprising percentage of people oppose the legislation. The results point to the fact that there is not a consensus in N.J. on legalization yet. Residents who favor the bill say they like the economics behind the idea and that marijuana is safer than tobacco and alcohol. Those who oppose mainly are worried that marijuana legalization would promote health problems and create more addicts. Gov. Murphy’s proposed bill has been slowed surprisingly by the lack of support from fellow democratic senators.
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April 02, 2018
Marijuana Legalization Could Help Offset Opioid Epidemic, Studies Find
A recent study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that states that have legalized medical marijuana had fewer cases of opioid usage and addiction. The study further clearly emphasizes the idea that marijuana does in fact have positive benefits if legalized. The research comes at a time when America is facing a serious opioid epidemic. Opioid addiction has increased exponentially over the past 15 years and has been responsible for countless deaths. Both opioids and cannabis are prescribed and applied to certain medical conditions which have shown to be effective; however, the main difference is that marijuana has a very low chance for addiction and the fatality rate from marijuana is almost nonexistent. Even though there is mounting evidence to suggest the positive effects of marijuana on the opioid epidemic, some skeptics continue to view marijuana as a threat to society.
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April 02, 2018
Colorado Will Be the First State to Get a THC-Infused Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer
The beer industry is making its move into the cannabis industry. Colorado will soon be the first state to introduce THC-infused non-alcoholic beer. The creator of the popular beer Blue Moon has been working on cannabis infused beer. Keith Villa’s creation will include THC as one of its main ingredients. People will get the same buzz from Villa’s beer as they would get from marijuana. The main difference from THC craft beer versus a tradition beer is that the THC craft beer is non-alcoholic. At the moment, Villa is experimenting with different strains of cannabis to get the right taste and flavor for his craft beer. The soon to be available drink will come in three different levels of potency.
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March 31, 2018
Pennsylvania Green Lights Medical Cannabis Program Expansion
Despite some problems with its medical cannabis program, Pennsylvania’s State Department of Health has announced that it would be accepting more applications for new dispensaries and cultivation facilities. Up to 23 dispensary applications and 13 cultivation and processing permits will be issued. The expansion will also benefit medical schools and hospitals that participate in plant/marijuana medicine research. Pennsylvania is the only state to have such a medicine research program. Many other universities are planning on starting their own medicine research program as well. Advocates of this research program hope that the more medical research that is done on marijuana the better understanding people will have of the plant which will alleviate some of the stigma attached to it.
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March 29, 2018
On Marijuana, Murphy gives Christie a Taste of His Own Medicine
Prior to Gov. Phil Murphy taking office, former Gov. Chris Christie’s poor handling of the cannabis issue has left him open to harsh criticism and accusations of being ignorant to what the national mood on legalization was. Once he took office, Gov. Murphy moved quickly to change people’s views and attitudes on marijuana legalization in NJ. Along the way, he took some friendly jabs at Chrisitie for his shortsightedness on the overall issue and for his failure to fully understand the true benefits of legalization. Many have pointed out that Christie was more focused on his national ambitions of possibly becoming the president over his duties and responsibilities as NJ’s governor. Christie’s manhandling of the medical marijuana program during his office drew the ire of Gov. Murphy prompting him to make subtle digs at the former governor during one of his speeches.
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March 28, 2018
Wine-Related Firms look to Uncork Opportunities in Marijuana
Wine related businesses are delving into the cannabis industry in search of new untapped opportunities to generate new revenue streams. This is extremely good news for cannabis businesses because it also opens the door to a host of new ancillary companies and can potentially legitimize an industry that is looked upon as a danger to society. With many more states legalizing cannabis one form or another and cannabis regulations slowly being loosened, many wine businesses see marijuana as a natural market to explore and profit from. Just like wine, many industry experts view marijuana as a marketable product. With the right packaging and labeling, the quality and value of marijuana can only increase.
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March 27, 2018
New Jersey and Adult-Use Marijuana-Perfect Together?
Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed bill to legalize marijuana for recreational use will be quite extensive. Under his program, all cannabis products such as flower, vape, concentrates and edibles would be available to all adults over 21. His proposed bill will also license five types of marijuana-related businesses (MRBs): cultivation/manufacturing, processing, wholesaling, transporting and retailing. The current NJ medical marijuana program is governed by the Department of Health pursuant to the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. Presently, there are numerous pending bills before the New Jersey legislature that are being reviewed for possible passage and enactment. Some of the possible changes to the marijuana program include the addition of an extensive adult-use program, the creation of a division of marijuana enforcement agency, the expansion of the application process and licenses, permits for adult-use marijuana purchase and a new taxation system.
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March 27, 2018
New Jersey Lowers Patient Fee, Expands Medical Marijuana Access
Gov. Phil Murphy is finally delivering on his campaign promise of expanding the marijuana program in New Jersey. On Tuesday, he announced that several changes would be immediately enacted to the program including an additional five conditions to be eligible for medical marijuana. He wants to emphasize and recognize that patients should be treated as patients, not criminals. Officials estimate that NJ’s marijuana program could service up to 1 million potential patients. Currently, NJ has 18,000 people registered in its medical marijuana program.
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March 26, 2018
Get Ready for Massive Expansion of N.J.’s Medical Marijuana Program: Here’s the Scoop
According to NJ Advance Media, it was recommended that the NJ medical marijuana program undergo a major expansion that would allow more medical marijuana dispensaries to open across the state. Gov. Phil Murphy was notified of the decision by the NJ audit officials. Under the proposed expansion, many of the stringent requirements and guidelines would be loosened which would make it easier for individuals and patients to access the market.
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March 23, 2018
Doctors - Not Politicians - Should Decide who Gets Medical Marijuana, NJ Panel Says
The NJ State Assembly approved a massive overhaul to the current marijuana program. Under the new conditions, doctors would have control on deciding which patients should use marijuana as medicine instead of following the current stringent guidelines. The change was approved in the hopes of putting patients and physicians in more control. As the 60-day audit of the state medical marijuana program is winding down, many of the proposed changes are being considered by Gov. Phil Murphy. He is expected to inform state officials on major rule changes to make marijuana more available soon. Although Gov. Phil Murphy pledged to legalize and tax recreational marijuana, his main priority is to improve the current medical program. Currently, there are 18,220 patients in the NJ medical marijuana program.
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March 21, 2018
New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Could Rake in $60 million in taxes
With the hopes of joining the other nine states that have legalized recreational marijuana usage, Gov. Phil Murphy used four states that have already legalized recreational usage as a guide for calculating the $60 million new tax revenue that NJ can benefit from if legalized. Treasury officials researched the first year’s recreational cannabis revenues from Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Along with their revenues, the officials also took into consideration those states’ populations in comparison to NJ’s to arrive at the $60 million figure.
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March 20, 2018
NJ Marijuana Legalization: Kids Eating Pot Products and Other Mistakes to Avoid
In order for NJ’s marijuana program to succeed and get off on the right foot, it’s best for the Garden State to study and learn from the mistakes of other states that have legalized marijuana. Trailblazing states like Colorado and Washington faced some growing pains as they had to learn on the fly about what’s acceptable and unacceptable in the cannabis industry. Colorado had instances where kids were being sent to emergency rooms because they were able to get their hands on edible marijuana products shaped like animals and fruits. Also, by labeling these products as “candy” or “candies”, it resulted in exposing children to marijuana. An international drug policy expert provided some words of wisdom to New Jersey: learn from their missteps and learn now. For states that are relatively new to the cannabis industry like NJ, the expert provided some suggestions to consider such as starting small by incrementally allocating licenses, allowing flexibility to legislation to leave room for change in the future, requiring seed to sale tracking, etc.
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March 18, 2018
Will Legal Weed Come to NJ? What to Know About the Latest Proposal
Gov. Phil Murphy reiterated his commitment to fully legalize recreational marijuana in NJ and promised to complete the legislation by the end of 2018. Not only Gov. Phil Murphy, but also State Senator Nicholas Scutari and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora have proposed bills to expand and update the current marijuana market in NJ. Both Scutari and Gusciora have pledged to work together and present Gov. Murphy with a formal plan. As state officials continue to tackle the issue of legalized marijuana, some of the issues at hand are growing weed at home, providing licenses to 400 plus dispensaries, receiving less tax revenue by the state, decreasing the amount of businesses involved, engaging more minority involvement, and allowing recreational dispensaries to open sooner.
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March 15, 2018
Murphy Budget: Legalize Marijuana by Jan. 1, tax sales at 25%
With the deadline nearing, Gov. Murphy’s proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year would create an additional $80 million in marijuana-related taxes by legalizing it for recreational use by Jan. 1, 2019. He plans on reinvesting the money into community economic development programs, child care, health care and housing, after-school programs and other areas that were hit hard by the misguided war on drugs. Senior officials have estimated that up to $300 million in revenue can be collected annually if all things go well. The revenue projections also indicate that marijuana sales would be hit by a 25% excise tax along with a 7% sales tax. However, this proposition has been slowed in the Legislature due to opposition. Many who oppose Gov. Murphy’s legal marijuana bill and budget plan have said that they would consider a decriminalization bill instead. Gov. Murphy on the other hand believes that decriminalization alone will not solve the overall problems caused by cannabis itself.
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March 14, 2018
New Jersey Voters Want Legal Marijuana, Poll Shows
A new Quinnipiac University survey shows that NJ strongly favors ending cannabis prohibition in the state. By a margin of 59 percent to 39%, the people of NJ want marijuana legalized in the Garden State. The poll also showed that people think alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis. Among the 39 percent of those who oppose marijuana legalization are Republicans and people over 65 years of age. The age group between 18 to 34 overwhelmingly support legalization at 79%. The poll also indicated that the legalization of marijuana wouldn’t necessarily lead to an increase in marijuana use. Many of the voters who support legalization have either never tried marijuana or are willing to try if it becomes legalized.
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March 05, 2018
New Jersey Bill Seeks Tax Credit Program for Marijuana Businesses
Democrat Annette Quijano chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and deputy majority leader, plans to propose a bill that would benefit cannabis businesses through a tax credit program in urban enterprise zones if NJ’s marijuana program expands into the recreational market. Her inspiration for the idea came while she was in Nevada on a marijuana industry fact-finding trip last month. The proposed bill would be called “New Jersey Green Development and Growth Program”, and it would be a five-year pilot program assisting cannabis businesses. The New Jersey Assemblywoman also wants to create a bill that would decriminalize those convicted of marijuana possession in NJ.
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March 05, 2018
NJ Marijuana Legalization: Businesses don’t Need License to Make Money
While most people in NJ are waiting for the state to further legalize the retail sale of marijuana to make a profit, others are preparing and finding other means to take advantage of the potentially expanding NJ cannabis industry. Many talented entrepreneurs are turning their business attention to marijuana users instead of the product itself. Realizing that recreational usage may become legal sooner than later, many business savvy individuals are salivating at the potential billion-dollar industry. The best part of this new venture is that financial success could come without ever having to touch a single snippet of weed. With legalization looming in NJ, many people are gearing up and making plans to benefit from the industry. One popular areas of service that have caught the eyes of many entrepreneurs in NJ is a marijuana delivery service. Unlike other “products”, this particular service would require a license due to the proximity to “the plant” according to the most recent bill under consideration.
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March 05, 2018
New Jersey Assembly Weighs Marijuana Legalization during Day-Long Hearing.
The issue of marijuana legalization was at the forefront during a Democratic-led Assembly held by The Assembly Oversight Committee. Officials debated for hours while listening to arguments for and against making marijuana legal in the state of NJ. Democrat Phil Murphy who won last year’s gubernatorial race has pledged to legalize and expand NJ’s cannabis industry as soon as he can. However, even with his support, there is strong resistance by those who feel that there would be more harm than good if marijuana is fully legalized. Proponents for the measure have emphasized the monetary benefits that the industry can generate if marijuana is legalized stating that legalization would boost state revenue and the economy. However, others argued those findings.
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February 21, 2018
Opponents of Recreational Marijuana Legalization Show Up in Force at Black Caucus Hearing
At the first Black Caucus hearing held in Jersey City, opponents of recreational marijuana legalization voiced their disapproval by providing testimonials and evidence of the dangers of marijuana usage. About 75 people attended the meeting including a pastor, a Nevada police officer and a mother who lost her son to an unfortunate marijuana incident. They all oppose Gov. Phil Murphy’s legislation to expand and legalize the marijuana program in NJ. New Jersey State Senator Ron Rice, an African-American legislator and the head of the Legislative Black Caucus also attended the hearing to get the full scope of people’s opinions and feelings. Senator Rice who also opposes Gov. Murphy’s legislation indicated that recreational legalization would cause more problems for African-Americans and possibly create more addicts as a whole. However, opponents did support the idea of expanding NJ’s medical marijuana program instead of recreational usage.
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February 16, 2018
Is New Jersey Favoring Decriminalizing Marijuana Over Legalization?
Several state lawmakers who oppose Gov. Phil Murphy’s bill to legalize recreational marijuana have countered with a bill that would decriminalize marijuana instead. Although it would be very difficult to stop the cannabis legalization movement, opponents have presented a compromise. Under the suggested compromise, the bill would significantly reduce the fine from its current fine of $500 (plus up to 6 months in jail) to $100 for a first offense and $200 for a second offense. The bill would also clear past marijuana offenders of prior arrests and allow municipalities to keep all but $50 from every fine. Additionally, the legislation would provide marijuana dependency treatment programs for those who seek help. Proponents of the compromise believe the decriminalization bill would serve NJ better in the long run because it gets to the root of the problems plaguing NJ better and provides a sense of justice for its community. Whether the bill gets passed or not, many see this as a step in the right direction because it brings to light the social injustice towards minorities that has been plaguing NJ for a long time.
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February 15, 2018
Cannabis Industry Likely to Employ More than 400,000 by 2021, Study Projects
According to the latest study conducted by ArcView Market Research, the cannabis industry projects to be an insanely profitable and gigantic market. A horde of entrepreneurs have staked their claims on the market in anticipation of its potential. With more than half of all U.S. states having approved a legal medical marijuana market (including New Jersey) and recreational usage in other states, California in the end is the driving force behind all positive projections. California is expected to generate and add billions of dollars to the cannabis industry in the U.S. The study also projects that by 2021, California will contribute about 1/3 of all cannabis-related jobs in the U.S. Other relevant projections by 2021 include the creation of 414,000 cannabis related jobs across the country and the distribution of billions of dollars of tax revenue at the state and local government levels.
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September 11, 2017
Percentage of cannabis business owners and founders by race
Statistics that show white business owners dominating the cannabis industry may be misleading to a certain degree. Surveys taken may show that the gap between white business owners and minority owners may not be a wide as it may seem. A recent survey of 389 cannabis business owners and founders shows that the idea that minorities having a minuscule presence in the cannabis industry may not be entirely true. The methodology used to determine what really constitutes a racial minority and the changing landscape of the cannabis sector may offer some insight into why perceptions may differ. However, it is still very difficult to calculate the exact number and rate of minority business ownership in the cannabis industry due to the broad industry landscape.
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September 05, 2017
Minorities occupy 17% of executive positions in marijuana industry
Minorities in executive positions in the cannabis industry is at 17% based on a new anonymous survey conducted by Marijuana Business Daily. Minority executive roles in the industry broadly differs by segment with wholesale cultivation and ancillary services firms being at the forefront. The respondents were allowed to indicate their race from 5 major categories (White, Hispanic/Latino, African-American/Black, Asian, and other) with the option to select multiple races if necessary. Minorities face many entry barriers such as information gaps and a reluctance to become involved in a heavily regulated and federally illegal industry. On the positive, several state and local marijuana programs are creating ways to bring those most affected by the war on drugs into the cannabis industry namely minorities.
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June 02, 2017
Some cities, states help minorities enter marijuana industry
Oakland and other cities that have legalized cannabis are making efforts to provide minorities with a better opportunity at joining the growing industry. The legalization of cannabis has enriched the white population but have left other ethnicities in the dark. Recreational usage is legal in eight states with twenty-nine states permitting medical usage. The article states that prior convictions of minorities, the lack of financial access and a discriminating licensing system that tends to favor established or politically connected individuals have all contributed to the hindrance of minority involvement in the cannabis industry. Even with concerted efforts within these cities to equaling the playing field, they still face numerous setbacks slowing the process down.
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May 31, 2017
States are enticing minorities into the cannabis industry, here’s how.
WWith the cannabis industry rapidly growing, many states are making efforts to encourage minorities to enter and participate in the disproportionate industry. This article covers several states that have made strides into making it possible for minorities to get involved in the cannabis industry through specific government programs and initiatives.
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December 13, 2016
Diversity and Cannabis: African Americans in the industry
With the cannabis industry mostly being driven by white entrepreneurs and women, this article focuses on non-gender diversity in the cannabis industry. Minorities in particular African Americans have been underrepresented in the cannabis industry to date. Factors such as socioeconomics, expensive startup costs, and “unduly harsh” sentences of people of color over the past decade have made it very difficult for African Americans and other minorities to participate in the industry. The following article covers successful African Americans in Colorado and California, sharing their thoughts and ideas within the burgeoning industry and the future they see for minorities.
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