Mass. Issues First Recreational Pot License Posted by on June 21, 2018 at 17:12:17 PT By Dan Adams, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- The recreational marijuana era is officially underway in Massachusetts. Officials at the Cannabis Control Commission on Thursday afternoon granted the state’s first-ever recreational marijuana license to a cultivation facility in Milford operated by Sira Naturals.
The unanimous decision by the agency’s five commissioners is a major milestone in the long process of implementing the state’s commercial marijuana market, which voters approved in a November 2016 ballot referendum. Read More... Canadians Brace for Cultural Changes Posted by on June 21, 2018 at 05:41:28 PT By Dan Bilefsky and Catherine Porter Source: New York Times Montreal -- For one of Canada’s largest legal cannabis companies, the vote in Parliament this week to legalize recreational marijuana use represents a broad opportunity to develop new products, including marijuana infused drinks.
The hope, said Adam Greenblatt, a manager with the company, Canopy Growth, “is that in five years time people will be drinking cannabis drinks at a cocktail party as if drinking a good wine.” Read More... Canada’s Senate Votes To Legalize Marijuana Posted by on June 20, 2018 at 06:28:58 PT By Katie Zezima Source: Washington Post Toronto -- Canada’s Senate voted on Tuesday to pass the federal government’s historic bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, clearing the way for the country to become the first advanced industrialized nation to legalize the drug nationwide and fulfilling a major campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Senate passed Bill C-45 by a vote of 52 to 29 with two abstentions, lifting a prohibition on the recreational use of marijuana that has been in place since 1923. The law will not come into effect until it receives royal assent — a final ceremonial stage of the legislative process — and the government sets a date for legalization. Read More... Canada Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Use Posted by on June 20, 2018 at 06:20:46 PT By Jon Blistein Source: Rolling Stone Ottawa -- Canada has legalized recreational marijuana use after the country's two legislative chambers approved the Cannabis Act Tuesday, the CBC reports. The Canadian government announced last year that pot would be recreationally legal mid-2018 – but some dispensaries are getting a head start on sales
The bill will allow Canadian provinces to control and regulate how marijuana can be grown, distributed and sold, and it's likely that sales will begin by the end of the summer. The Cannabis Act makes Canada the first Group of Seven nation, and the second country in the world (after Uruguay) to legalize marijuana for adults nationally. Read More... Canada Paves Way for Legalization of Marijuana Posted by on June 20, 2018 at 06:09:25 PT By Ian Austen Source: New York Times Ottawa -- Canada’s Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that will make the country the first major economy to legalize recreational marijuana use.
The bill, which was approved by the House of Commons on Monday, goes next to the governor-general, the representative of Queen Elizabeth, as a formality. Once it is formally approved, the legislation is expected to create a multibillion dollar industry, with Canada joining Uruguay in allowing its citizens on a national level to use marijuana without fear of arrest. Read More... Canada Senate Approves Recreational Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on June 20, 2018 at 05:35:28 PT By Denny Thomas, Reuters Staff Source: Reuters Toronto -- Canada’s upper house of parliament on Tuesday approved a revised bill to legalize recreational marijuana, setting the stage for the country to become the first Group of Seven nation to legalize cannabis.
The Senate voted 52-29 in favor of the revised bill from the elected House of Commons, paving the way for a fully legal cannabis market within eight to 12 weeks. Read More... New York Moves Toward Legal Marijuana Posted by on June 18, 2018 at 19:30:44 PT By Jesse McKinley and Benjamin Mueller Source: New York Times Albany -- New York moved a significant step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana, as a study commissioned by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will recommend that the state allow adults to consume marijuana legally, the governor’s health commissioner said on Monday.
The announcement by the commissioner, Howard Zucker, signals a broad turnaround for the administration of Mr. Cuomo, a second-term Democrat who said as recently as last year that marijuana was a “gateway drug.” Read More... Thank You Sessions for Kickstarting Legalization Posted by on June 17, 2018 at 07:17:46 PT By The LA Times Editorial Board Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- Good job, Jeff Sessions! It seems the attorney general’s misguided attempts to revive the unpopular and unjust federal war on marijuana may be having the exact opposite effect — prompting a new bipartisan effort in Congress to allow states to legalize cannabis.
Last week Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) introduced a bill that would essentially end the federal prohibition in states that have chosen to permit medical or recreational marijuana under their own laws. In an unexpected boost for the bill, President Trump said he probably would support it. Read More... Leave Marijuana Policy to the States Posted by on June 14, 2018 at 10:19:56 PT By Theodore Kupfer Source: National Review USA -- In the nine states where recreational marijuana is legal, industrial-scale growers distribute huge quantities of weed to product manufacturers, dispensaries are as common as banks in strip malls, and anyone over 21 can buy weed in all sorts of forms — edibles, CBD oils, cookies that contain ten milligrams of THC apiece, a good old-fashioned joint.
And everyone involved is breaking federal law. The possession, manufacture, and distribution of marijuana violates the Controlled Substances Act, which defines the drug as a Schedule I substance, the most severe level of classification. The prohibition doesn’t even allow an exception for medical use, which another 20 states have legalized. Read More... Mapping MJ DNA Could Change The Future of Pot Posted by on June 12, 2018 at 17:37:05 PT By Thor Benson Source: Rolling Stone World -- Scientists are currently in the midst of exploring uncharted territory: The cannabis genome. Unlike with other plants, researchers don't have a long history of closely analyzing the genetic makeup of the plant. But for the past seven years – as more and more states legalize medical and recreational pot – researchers have been working on producing a high-quality marijuana genome. Everyone from low-level researchers to larger companies are part of this effort, and they say mapping the cannabis genome could be highly beneficial to people who grow or use cannabis.
"No one has any idea what they're smoking. Everything is name draw, so consumers and patients don't know what they're getting," says Mowgli Holmes, co-founder and CEO of Phylos Bioscience, which has been working on its cannabis genome for over two years. "DNA sequencing uniquely identifies a plant, which allows growers to really tell their customers what plant they're actually getting." Read More... Senators Include Medical Marijuana Protections Posted by on June 12, 2018 at 17:25:03 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- For the first time ever, a provision protecting state medical marijuana laws is being included in base funding legislation for the U.S. Department of Justice.
While the provision in question has been federal law since 2014, in years past its enactment has required votes on the House floor or in a Senate committee. But now, in a dramatic sign of the rapidly changing politics of cannabis , the budget rider is part of the initial spending bill for the Justice Department as introduced by Republican Senate leaders. Read More... Mayors of 6 US Cities Push Federal MJ Reform Posted by CN Staff on June 11, 2018 at 14:03:52 PT By Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Portland, Ore. -- Mayors from six U.S. cities in states with legal marijuana said Monday they have formed a coalition to push for federal marijuana policy reform just days after President Donald Trump expressed support for bipartisan congressional legislation to ease the federal ban on pot.
Mayors from Denver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and West Sacramento — all in marijuana-friendly states — sponsored a resolution at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Boston that asked the U.S. government to remove cannabis from a list of illegal drugs, among other things. Read More... Trump Supports Relaxing Federal Pot Laws Posted by on June 08, 2018 at 16:30:22 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- President Donald Trump said Friday that he “probably” will support a new congressional bill that would prevent the federal government from interfering with states that legalize marijuana.
Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Thursday introduced the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States (STATES) Act. The bold bill would allow businesses and individuals working in the burgeoning legal marijuana industry in states around the nation to operate without fear of U.S. Department of Justice prosecution. The bill would also protect banks that work with state-legal marijuana businesses. Read More... Trump Signals Support for Easing Ban on Marijuana Posted by on June 08, 2018 at 16:23:19 PT By Michael R. Blood, Associated Press Source: Time Los Angeles -- President Donald Trump said Friday that he’s inclined to support a bipartisan effort in Congress to ease the U.S. ban on marijuana, a proposal that would dramatically reshape the nation’s legal landscape for pot users and businesses.
The federal ban that puts marijuana on the same level as LSD and heroin has created a conflict with more than two dozen states that have legalized pot in some form, creating a two-tiered enforcement system where cannabis can be both legal and not. Read More... Canada Moves One Step Closer To Legalizing Posted by on June 08, 2018 at 16:12:59 PT By Katie Zezima Source: Washington Post Canada -- The Canadian Senate passed legislation Thursday night that would legalize marijuana for recreational use, putting the country one step closer to making Canada the second country to fully legalize the drug. The Senate approved the measure, 56 to 30, in a late-night vote. It now goes back to the House of Commons with dozens of amendments. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced the legislation last year.
"We are very much focused on the control and legalization of marijuana, because the current system is not working," Trudeau said last month. Read More... Canada Poised To Approve Legal Marijuana Sales Posted by on June 07, 2018 at 12:06:56 PT By USA TODAY Network Source: Chicago Sun-Times Canada’s government is poised to approve sweeping cannabis legalization as soon as this week and could launch marijuana sales by late summer.
The appointed Canadian Senate is expected to give the OK to legalization measure Thursday following years of quiet study and discussion. Once approved by the House, which has already passed a version of the plan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government expects to launch legal sales as soon as 10-12 weeks from now. Read More... How Marijuana is Going To Become Bipartisan Posted by on June 07, 2018 at 12:00:12 PT By Paul Waldman Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- When Jeff Sessions became attorney general, he had two main policy goals: crack down on immigration, and restart the War on Drugs. The former is one of the main reasons why he still has a job; as mad as President Trump might be that Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, Trump loves what Sessions is doing on immigration. The latter isn’t something Trump seems to care much about. He’s all for punitive drug policies, but it’s not as important to him as, say, whether black athletes are kneeling during the national anthem.
But Sessions is not only making progress on drugs, he’s bringing Democrats and Republicans together — to oppose him. Read More... Senators Introduce Bipartisan Marijuana Bill Posted by on June 07, 2018 at 11:22:31 PT By Justin Wise Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced a bipartisan bill on Thursday that would allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference.
Warren and Gardner, who both represent states with legal recreational pot, introduced the legislation, known as Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, as a response to the Trump administration's hard-line stance against the drug. Read More... Illinois Lawmakers OK Medical Marijuana Posted by on June 05, 2018 at 05:27:02 PT By Robert McCoppin Source: Chicago Tribune Chicago -- Illinois lawmakers have approved a measure not only to allow medical marijuana to be used in place of prescription painkillers, but to eliminate requirements for patients to get fingerprints and criminal background checks.
The change would allow all new applicants to buy medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries based on their doctors’ orders, rather than having to wait up to four months for bureaucratic approval. Patients could no longer be denied based on criminal convictions. Read More... Florida's Ban on Smokable MMJ Unconstitutional Posted by on May 26, 2018 at 05:05:45 PT By The Associated Press Source: Orlando Sentinel Tallahassee -- The Florida ban that prevents medical marijuana patients from smoking the stuff has gone up in smoke. Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled Friday that the ban on smokable cannabis is unconstitutional. Florida’s Department of Health said in a statement it has appealed the ruling, which will impose an automatic stay.
Gievers wrote in her 22-page ruling that Floridians “have the right to use the form of medical marijuana for treatment of their debilitating medical conditions as recommended by their certified physicians, including the use of smokable marijuana in private places.” Read More... De Blasio Prepares City for Marijuana Legalization Posted by on May 21, 2018 at 05:34:20 PT By Benjamin Fearnow Source: Newsweek New York -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to instruct NYPD to stop arrests of New Yorkers smoking weed in public while additionally forming a task force to ease what he sees as an inevitable full-on legalization of recreational marijuana.
De Blasio will direct the New York Police Department to hand out summonses -- and not arrest -- people caught smoking pot by officers in public areas across the city, aides told the New York Daily News Sunday. The move is partially a follow-up on his announcement last week to "overhaul and reform" enforcement that has created a wide racial disparity in marijuana arrests. But both de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, both critics of legalization, appear to be preparing the entire state for a legalization of marijuana they see as an inevitable policy shift regardless of their actions. Read More... Congressional Committee Protects Medical Marijuana Posted by on May 17, 2018 at 16:28:23 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- A powerful congressional panel voted on Thursday to continue shielding medical marijuana patients and providers who comply with state laws from prosecution by the federal government.
While the provision has been federal law since 2014, when it was first attached to legislation that funds the U.S. Department of Justice, its continuance has been in question because of recent efforts by Republican leadership to prevent votes on cannabis amendments. Read More... Prop. 64: 'It’s About Leveling The Playing Field Posted by on May 15, 2018 at 18:00:12 PT By Sarah Parvini Source: Los Angeles Times San Francisco -- When recreational marijuana use was legalized in California, it presented an opportunity to reduce or expunge convictions for possession crimes that made it harder for some people to get ahead in life.
Since then, some counties have worked to address those convictions, taking on the lengthy bureaucratic process so that people would not have to wade through the legal world on their own. Read More... McConnell: I Won't Support Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on May 09, 2018 at 07:52:02 PT By Jacqueline Thomsen Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday told reporters he has no plan to support the legalization of marijuana as he pushes an effort to legalize hemp.
“I do not have any plans to endorse the legalization of marijuana,” he said, adding that marijuana and hemp are “two entirely separate plants.” Read More... MMJ Dispensary On Capitol Hill Shut Down Posted by on May 06, 2018 at 09:16:34 PT By Susan Svrluga Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- A medical marijuana dispensary on Capitol Hill has been forced to close its doors after the Department of Health suspended its registration last week.
It was the first time health officials in the city have taken such an action, according to Tom Lalley of the D.C. Department of Health. A dispensary’s registration is the equivalent of a license to operate and its loss means the business must close. The length of the suspension has not yet been set. Read More... Weed 101: How to Choose Marijuana Posted by on April 27, 2018 at 13:45:42 PT By Jamie Peck Source: Rolling Stone USA -- I've never been great at smoking weed. While some lucky smokers can come home, spark up a fatty and enjoy the benefits of ancient plant medicine, there's always a chance I'll end up lying awake all night, heart pounding, too out of it to even follow an episode of Bob's Burgers. When someone offers me a joint at a party, I ask, "Is it strong?" then take the smallest hit possible to gauge its effects. Even then, sometimes I have to leave, because who knows what I've even been saying? My brain is on a seven-second delay from my mouth, and I'm so thirsty and confused. Read More... Sessions Evades Question on Marijuana Enforcement Posted by on April 26, 2018 at 06:59:08 PT By Jeff Mordock, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington D.C. -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions ducked questions from Senate Republicans and Democrats Wednesday about his plans to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized or decriminalized the drug, telling lawmakers to change the federal laws if they are concerned.
“The federal government has passed some laws on marijuana that I’m not able to remove from the books, ” he said during an appearance before the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Congress — you — have passed them. They are on the books.” Read More... More Older Americans are Smoking Marijuana Posted by on April 25, 2018 at 10:18:28 PT By Keith Humphreys Source: Washington Post USA -- U.S. marijuana consumption is more prevalent today than during the conservative 1980s. Surges in drug use are often attributed to “kids these days,” but new research shows that the change has been driven not by stereotypical longhair youngsters but by the gray-haired and balding set.
Researchers William Kerr, Camillia Lui and Yu Ye integrated 30 years of survey data from over 40,000 participants who reported on whether they had used marijuana in the past 12 months. Only two age groups showed a significant rise in use. Compared with older Americans 30 years ago, Americans age 50 to 59 and 60 and older today are a remarkable 20 times more likely to use marijuana. Read More... Prohibition on Marijuana Is On Borrowed Time Posted by on April 24, 2018 at 09:01:59 PT By Paul Waldman Source: American Prospect USA -- If you're a politician wondering whether you should try pot, I've got news for you: Everybody's doing it. Why not give it a try? You don't want people to think you're square, do you?
By "try pot," I don't mean actually smoke it (though who knows what's going on in the cloakroom these days). I mean come out for some form of marijuana legalization. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner recently joined the board of a cannabis company, and last week on semi-official marijuana holiday April 20, certified cool dude Chuck Schumer, the leader of Democrats in the Senate, announced that he will soon be introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Oh how times have changed. Read More... Turning To Marijuana for a Runners’ High and More Posted by on April 20, 2018 at 13:52:42 PT By Jen A. Miller Source: New York Times Colorado -- The ultramarathoner Avery Collins, among the fastest in the world, is not shy about appearing in photographs holding a bong. The first time he tried running after using marijuana, he said, he realized “it allowed me to be very present and not to worry as much about overall times and what’s going on with the run.”
Mr. Collins, a 25-year-old from Colorado Springs, is one of a likely legion of athletes who use marijuana as part of their training — although he’s one of the few fast enough to get an endorsement deal from an edibles company. Read More...
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