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Almost Half of Cannabis Users are Over 40 – New Study

cannabis industry demographics

A new study provides data showing that nearly half of people who currently use cannabis in North America are over 40 years of age. This comes as a bit of a surprise as the current mindset seems to be that most cannabis users are in younger demographics. This insight came alongside a number of other interesting data points about the cannabis industry demographics.

The data for this study comes from Akerna, a cannabis company that works with software, compliance technology, seed-to-sale research planning, and business applications for the cannabis industry across North America. Akerna was started in 2010 and has monitored more than $20 billion in cannabis earnings so far and is the first cannabis software company listed on Nasdaq stock exchange. MJ Platform is the provider’s cornerstone technology and is the world’s top software as a service (SAAS) infrastructure for retailers, brands, manufacturers, distributors, and cultivators.

It researched North American cannabis consumer data to reveal profound insights about the cannabis industry demographics and how it functions, to help companies better prepare for the coming months.

According to the breakdown in the Akerna study, which looked at the different type of cannabis consumption methods, in addition to age and sex of cannabis users, flower has become the most popular way to consume cannabis in the United States, with cannabis edibles being the least popular besides the “other group”. Results showed that more men than women are cannabis users, with men reported at 62.5% and women reported at 37.5%.

Along with studying the numbers for cannabis dispensaries sales and the different types of cannabis consumed, the study also analyzed the numbers for reported use. Typically, the amounts mirrored each other, revealing people reported correctly about what they actually consumed. James Ahrendt, Business Intelligence Architect for Akerna, stated, “Some of this confirms what we already know, that flower is the most popular consumption method, however, we also discovered some surprising data points. For example, medical consumers on average spend more and buy more things than their adult use counterparts.”

Among the most surprising things learned from the analysis that has warranted interest is the breakdown of age use demographics.

Aged under-30 – 26.7%

Aged 30 to 40 – 29.7%

Aged 40 to 50 – 19.5%

Aged 50 to 60 – 13.2%

Aged 60-plus – 10.9%

That puts just over 43% of the total reported users at 40 years of age or older. That is definitely a surprise to most industry experts when it comes to important cannabis industry demographics.

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Marijuana Legalization Candidates Outraised Opponents 36-1 in 2020.

Marijuana Legalization Candidates

Marijuana legalization candidates have gained significant momentum in 2020. Proponents of state ballot measures have outraised opponents this year by nearly 36-to-1, a gigantic increase from the last presidential voting year, when advocates outraised their opponents by only 4-to-1.

According to Marijuana Business Daily, candidates supporting marijuana legalization in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota have raised approximately $19.6 million in 2020, compared with just $546,000 raised by opponents.

Adult-use legalization is back on the ballot this year in Arizona, and there is a good chance that it gets approved this voting period. A poll conducted at Monmouth University in New Jersey at the beginning of October showed 56% supported the measure with 36% opposed and 8% undecided. Marijuana legalization candidates have outraised competitions 11-to-1 in 2020. Up to now, Smart and Safe Arizona, the committee behind the measure, has raised more than $5 million while opponents have only earned $459,000.

29% of the supporting Arizona contributions came from the Marijuana Policy Project in 2016. The deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) , Matthew Schweich, stated that while the organization supports the Arizona and New Jersey ballot measures, its staff has been more focused on the Montana and South Dakota campaigns in the recent voting cycle. Schweich also stated, “That’s where our assistance can make the biggest difference.” MPP has given $84,330 in cash and in-kind donations to the two states, a much smaller amount compared with the $1.69 million it gave Arizona in 2016.

Other marijuana businesses, including Massachusetts-based Curaleaf, Arizona-based Copperstate Farms and Illinois-based Cresco Labs, have contributed a combined $1.3 million to support passing marijuana legalization in Arizona.

New Jersey marijuana legalization candidates received $800,000 from Scotts Miracle-Gro, a leading company in the lawn and garden industry. which possesses Hawthorne Gardening, a hydroponics subsidiary for cannabis growers.

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Governor Cuomo Says New York Will Legalize Marijuana Soon to Help Economic Recovery from COVID

New York Legalize Marijuana to Combat COVID

Should New York legalize marijuana to combat COVID? Andrew Cuomo, New York Governor, recently said that legalizing marijuana represents a realistic way that the state can recover economically from the COVID pandemic.

The governor was promoting his new book during a virtual event and was asked when New York will legalize marijuana for adult use. Cuomo stated,  “Shortly, because today we need the revenue. I have tried to do it the over the last couple of years.”, according to a recording which has been obtained by USA Today Network.

The governor also stated, “There are a whole lot of reasons to have it done, but one of the advantages is it also brings in revenue, and all sates, especially New York, need revenue and we are going to be searching the cupboards for revenue. And I believe that will place cannabis over the top.”

Andrew Cuomo supports marijuana legalization and included cannabis legalization in his past two budget proposals, but discussions between his office and the legislature dropped through each time, with sticking points being issues like how cannabis tax earnings will be allocated, preventing a deal from being negotiated. A leading adviser of his stated earlier this month that the strategy would be to attempt again to legalize cannabis in New York in early 2021.

Cuomo was likewise asked about cannabis legalization as a way to offset the budget deficit brought on by the coronavirus pandemic in May. So it is obvious he believes New York should legalize marijuana to combat COVID. While he said it is the federal government’s “obligation as part of managing this national pandemic that they will provide financial relief to state and local authorities,” he also stated that “I support legalization of cannabis passing. I’ve worked very diligently to pass it.”

Cuomo indicated in April that he believed the legislative session was “effectively over” for the year and increased doubts that lawmakers could pass marijuana reform.

Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Assembly Majority Leader, made similar remarks when asked about the reform issues in April, though she appeared to indicate that she laid partial blame for the failure to enact reform on the governor prioritizing different issues throughout the pandemic.

The New York State Association of Counties stated in a report published last month that legalizing recreational cannabis “will offer the state and counties with resources for education, public health and technical assistance” to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the state Senate has approved several small marijuana reform bills lately. The chamber passed a bill in July that broadens the pool of individuals qualified to have their low-level marijuana convictions automatically expunged.

As a result of a bill expanding cannabis decriminalization in the nation the governor signed this past year, the New York State Unified Court System made a statement last month outlining steps people can take to clear their records for prior cannabis convictions. Support continues to grow that New York should legalize marijuana to combat COVID.

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Oregon’s Drug Decriminalization Efforts Gets More Celebrity Support From Musician John Legend

Celebrities Support Drug Decriminalization

More celebrities support drug decriminalization with their public platforms. On Friday, musician John Legend  endorsed an Oregon initiative to decriminalize possession of currently illegal drugs while investing in substance abuse therapy and treatments. John has long been a supporter of issues pertaining to criminal justice reform and on a recent twitter thread, encouraged Oregon residents to approve the ballot measure.

The proposal would make Oregon the first state in the nation to eliminate the threat of jail time for simple drug possession, and it would put money towards substance abuse treatment with the support of cannabis tax dollars. Support for the reform movement has come from several interesting supporters during this election.

The Oregon Democratic Party officially endorsed Measure 110 earlier this month, in addition to another proposal to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapy in specific areas.

Also business celebrities support decriminalization. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook, donated $500,000 to the decriminalization effort through a foundation he and his wife run. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (Democrat-OR) is also backing the initiative, as well as the psilocybin measure. Blumenauer said, “Meausre 110 will help change Oregon into a health-based approach from a health-based drug addiction crisis. This is more compassionate, more powerful, safer, and simple common sense.”

While Legend’s endorsement brings some star focus on the matter, it is not the first time he has voiced support for putting an end to drug criminalization. In 2018, Legend was asked about what policies he would enact in a position of political power and he replied, “decriminalize drugs–treat drugs as a public health issue rather than as a criminal matter.” He also stated, “I think plenty of people believe if we lock up more people, people will not do as many drugs. But what ends up happening is, we aren’t really solving the problem of drug demand by waging a war on drugs when people are still finding ways to get drugs. And the drug overdose problem is still huge. You would think, you know, criminalizing it and making it tougher on people that get caught would actually help solve the problem, but it doesn’t. I think legalizing marijuana is the first step, but I think going beyond that—realizing that the war on drugs was never a good idea, and that we should treat drug addiction as a health problem instead of a criminal problem—is the answer.”

While more and more celebrities support drug decriminalization, the cause should continue to gain momentum on a state and federal level and help support the overall cannabis decriminalization and criminal expungement movement.

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Colorado Governor Doesn’t Want Texas to Legalize Marijuana

Colorado Discourages Texas From Legalizing Marijuana

The governor of Colorado discourages Texas from legalizing marijuana, saying it would mean less tax revenue for his own state from marijuana tourism. He may have been joking  with the statement, but there is some truth to how he and other legal recreational use state politicians feel.

Governor Jared Polis (Demcrat-CO) tweeted, “That may be true BUT it would decrease tourism to Colorado, so be certain you consider Colorado first in any Texas decisions.” The governor was reacting to a Marijuana Moment study on a new economic analysis that revealed how Texas stands to create billions in tax revenue and tens of thousands of jobs if it enacted the policy shift.

Governor Polis has a track record of making comments about the cannabis tourism revenue Colorado receives from non-residents visiting recreational marijuana dispensaries in Colorado. Soon after he was sworn in this past year, Polis said “we get a great deal of extra business from those coming to our state” and so “from the financial standpoint of Colorado, I would like other states to go slowly so that we may continue to reap all these advantages for Colorado.”

Polis also said, “For years, I had been kind of countering this type of dire picture of Colorado, but if they think that it is bad, it is better for us to have less competition at this time. I mean, if I am looking at it as the Governor of Colorado, I’d hope they halt their attempts and drive all their business here.” So if Colorado discourages Texas from legalizing marijuana, it’s not a surprise that Polis is behind the sentiment.

Colorado continues to have record breaking sales every month and and while he has been quick to tout the financial advantages of regulating cannabis sales in Colorado, Polis has also highlighted the need for restorative justice in the marijuana industry. Earlier this month, he exercised new clemency powers to grant almost 3,000 pardons for individuals convicted of low-level marijuana possession crimes.

Meanwhile, Polis is not the only governor making note of the fact that his state sells legal cannabis to those who reside in places where it’s still prohibited. Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker (Democrat), spoke about how his state’s new recreational marijuana market “gives us a opportunity to collect tax revenue from the residents of Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana.”

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Cuomo Continues Push to Legalize Marijuana in New York

Andrew Cuomo Supports Marijuana Legalization

Andrew Cuomo supports marijuana legalization in New York and surrounding states. The New York Governor is renewing his push for marijuana legalization in 2021, and plans to issue fresh CBD rules in New York.

Canopy Growth recently launched a video series, “Under The Canopy“. In a discussion from that series, Axel Bernabe, one of Cuomo’s top cannabis advisers, told David Culver, an executive with Canopy Growth, that Cuomo intends to add adult-use cannabis legalization in New York’s 2021-2022 budget, which takes effect April 1.

Bernabe also disclosed that Cuomo intends to issue fresh CBD rules to regulate how the chemical is manufactured and marketed in New York state, including how it could be infused into beverage and food items, which is now prohibited.

Cuomo mentioned that New Jersey may get there first with the legalization referendum on their ballot next month.  Cuomo stated, “We’re watching New Jersey closely. We’ve always been confident that we get to this before New Jersey, so if they pass the referendum they still have to have agreement between the governor the Senate over there. We’re working on this. We’re going to reintroduce this in our budget in January. We think we can get it done by April 1.”

Governor Cuomo supports marijuana legalization and pushed for adult-use marijuana legalization in 2019 and 2020, with a legalization bill stalling in the state legislature in 2019 and another legalization proposal cut from the New York’s budget earlier this season. In 2019 Cuomo signed a cannabis decriminalization bill into law as well as had meetings with the governors of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut to have initial conversations around a coordinated adult-use cannabis legalization plan.

The Governor also signed a hemp extract bill into law last year to create a regulatory framework for processing and growing hemp in New York. However, the legislation didn’t include the regulation of CBD in food or beverages at the time and is an issues that Cuomo would like to address as soon as possible due to the rapidly increasing popularity of the industry and the health and safety of consumers.

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Canada Reviewing the Effects Legalizing Cannabis Had on the Country

Effects of Legalizing Cannabis in Canada

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, through their formally recognized National Cannabis Working Group, will be reviewing the Cannabis Act that presides as legislation over the cannabis industry in Canada. The goal being to analyze the effects of legalizing cannabis in Canada.

The review will be a opportunity to look deeper at the effects of legalizing cannabis in Canada and to offer insight on how Canada can enhance their cannabis industry structure, and what sort of changes could be made to make legal cannabis better as well as solve current problems in the industry. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is a group that will help look into the economic consequences on and from the cannabis industry, and they expect to learn a great deal from taking a closer look at the industry as a whole.

Ryan Greer, senior manager of the Cannabis Policy in the Chamber and co-chair of the Working Group, stated, “As the first among larger developed economies to legalize recreational cannabis for adult use, Canadian cannabis businesses have learned first-hand about what portions of the Cannabis Act and related regulations have worked and what have not. During this review, the industry will offer comprehensive recommendations to the federal government about what changes are required so business can better compete with the illegal market, create more new jobs and maintain Canada’s leadership in global markets and help the government achieve its safety and health objectives.”

The Cannabis Act has to be reviewed three years after legalization, which happened in 2018, so as to keep up with the arrangements of the initial legislation. The review has to be launched October 17, 2021, on the anniversary date, so it is essential that the industry starts preparing now. Eric Foster of Dentons Canada will lead the review. Dentons Canada is a significant cannabis practice in the nation providing legal counsel to the Canadian cannabis market. Davies, a cannabis industry and investment law firm will support the review on the effects of legalizing cannabis in Canada.

Talks will start this fall to learn more about what ought to be looked at during the review. These discussions will also offer the public with a opportunity to let their feelings be known. The first conversations will set the stage for the real review to occur in 2021.

It’ll be a while before Canada has the results of the review and will know about any changes, but discussions have started to take a serious look at ways to enhance the industry for the next few years. A year from now, more will be known about the future of cannabis in Canada, among those nations paving the way for a global cannabis industry. This discussions will be held publicly with the next one November 11th, 2020,and if you are interested in attending you can click here to register.

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Kamala Harris Reiterates Cannabis Decriminalization and Expungements Are a Priority

Democrats Support Marijuana Decriminalization

In a recent interview, Kamala Harris (Democrat-CA), Democratic Party vice-president nominee, stated again that decriminalizing cannabis would be an administrative priority if Joe Biden and herself win the election. Democrats support marijuana decriminalization and expunging marijuana criminal records, in general, and have consistently voiced support for legislation to push these initiatives.

The interview was last Saturday on The Grio and the Harris spoke about the prospective Democratic government’s criminal justice agenda, comparing it with that of President Donald Trump. Harris reiterated the cannabis reform would be one of their policy objectives.

Harris stated, “We have a commitment to decriminalizing marijuana and expunging the records of those who have been convicted of marijuana offenses. When you examine the horrible war on drugs and the disproportionate effect it had on black males and generating then criminal records which have deprived individuals of access to housing and jobs and basic benefits.”

Cannabis reform advocates have enjoyed the senator’s repeated calls for marijuana reform on the campaign trail, they do not like her trend to refer to the drug war in the past tense, as she did here by referring to the impact the policy “had”, not recognizing that those prosecutions and enforcement disparities have persisted.  FBI data shows that there were over 1.5 million drug-related arrests in the U.S. along last year and approximately one third of them were for marijuana. 

Some people are also claiming that Harris has scaled back her reform drive since joining the Democratic ticket as Joe Biden’s running mate. When Harris was herself running for the presidential nomination, she strongly supported cannabis legalization while Biden did not. In general, Democrats support marijuana decriminalization and expungement and Biden does back modestly rescheduling the drug under federal law, allowing states set their own policies and legalizing medical cannabis.

Harris, who’s the lead Senate sponsor of a bill to deschedule marijuana on a federal level, said last month that a Biden government wouldn’t be “half-steppin” cannabis reform or chasing “incrementalism.” Harris has repeatedly discussed cannabis decriminalization on the campaign trail. She said during a vice presidential debate earlier this month she and Biden “will decriminalize marijuana and we will expunge the records of people who were convicted of marijuana crimes.”

Click here to watch the Kamala Harris interview on The Grio and discussions on the black male vote and Democrats support marijuana decriminalization and expungement.

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AOC Looks For Republican Support to Legalize Cannabis & End War On Drugs

AOC Supports Cannabis Legalization

AOC supports cannabis legalization and ending the war on drugs. Democrats and Republicans are usually divided on a range of big policy issues, however Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat-NY) said on Thursday that legalizing cannabis and ending the war on drugs are standing out as exceptions to hyper-partisanship in Congress.

During a virtual town hall with cannabis reform ally Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Democrat-OR), Ocasio-Cortez said that since she took office, it’s been encouraging to see members on both sides come together on issues concerning “civil rights policy and civil liberties,” including ending “drug prohibition laws.”

“We have been able to suggest solutions on a broad spectrum towards cannabis decriminalization, towards legalization, and that’s increasingly turning into a stance that more Republicans are amenable to,” Ocasio-Cortez stated.

Examples include her spending bill amendment to divert $5 million in funding from the Drug Enforcement Administration to an opioid treatment plan has been approved with no opposition in the House this past year, she stated. This shows the commitment that AOC supports cannabis legalization.

Blumenauer also stated that “part of why we’re fighting so strongly to get rid of the failed prohibition on marijuana is because that has been a tool that’s been used against people of color in particular that has horrible consequences and helps fuel that prison pipeline that has wreaked such havoc on our communities.”

Ocasio-Cortez explained that, beyond federally legalizing marijuana, it is important for lawmakers to make certain that any regulated markets which emerge are organized in a manner that encourages participation by communities hurt under prohibition. Considering AOC supports cannabis legalization on a federal level will have a big impact going into 2021.

Ocasio-Cortez said, “There are various ways that we may go about legalizing marijuana in America, and you can go about it in a manner that concentrates power in large agriculture, that concentrates power in large banks and that cuts out small mom and pops, and then there is another route towards cannabis legalization where regular people and especially the black and brown communities which have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs can be in the front of enjoying the financial benefits of legalization.”

Watch the joint town hall with Reps Blumenauer and Ocasio-Cortez.

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Federal Cannabis Legalization in the Crosshairs After the U.S. Election

Federal Cannabis Legalization

Federal cannabis legalization could become a reality after the upcoming presidential election in November. Washington D.C. marijuana advocates are taking a hard look at what the post-legalization landscape would look like.

Many Washington D.C. trade institutions and nonprofits are predicting a bill to federally legalize cannabis could pass Congress in the near future if Joe Biden wins the presidential election and the democratic party controls the House and the Senate.

Randal Meyer, executive director of the International Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (GACC), said “If the Democrats do a clean sweep, then descheduling with interstate commerce is absolutely within the realm of possibility.”

Descheduling would be the best case scenario for federal cannabis legalization and would have the following impact immediately:

  • Legalizae cannabis federally
  • End 280E taxation restrictions
  • Open banking accessibility
  • Permit for interstate and worldwide cannabis trade

Steven Hawkins, the executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said, “Descheduling unlocks everything else, such as banking, relief on 280E, everything, It’s a stone that kills three birds.”

Meyer, a former staffer in the office of Kentucky Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, said the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement, MORE Act “are the principal vehicle” if the Democrats do take the White House and the Senate, in part because it is already teed up in the House this year.

There are still many outcomes depending on how the upcoming elections pan out.

If, for example, Republicans retain control of the Senate or the White House, then the fallback strategy for several groups is to concentrate on piecemeal bills like the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. That piece of legislation would allow financial institutions to deal with cannabis-related companies without fear of governmental punishment.

But if Democrats are the majority winners this November, following the presumed passage of the MORE Act or legislation near to it, would turn into the regulatory framework that supports federal cannabis legalization.

GACC issued a 66-page draft of a bill which “ends cannabis prohibition and generates an all-encompassing regulatory framework” that would make it possible for states to take the lead and allow the U.S. FDA and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to manage interstate cannabis trade.

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) issued a 48-page white paper touting a similar approach, asserting that a “one-size-fits all” regulatory framework could be ineffective.

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Cory Booker Hammers Amy Coney Barrett on Cannabis Criminalization and War On Drugs

Cannabis Reform

Senator Cory Booker (Democrat-NJ) raised the problem of racial disparities in cannabis enforcement and the wider war on drugs during his questioning of Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court nominee. Cory Booker is a strong advocate for cannabis reform, including decriminalization and dealing with the racial inequalities due to the War on Drugs, in the judicial system.

Booker stated, “The war on marijuana in 2017, there were more possession of marijuana arrests in America than all the violent crime arrests combined and they were disproportionately African American people.”

“My point is, you see an African American is not more likely to use marijuana, but they are more likely to be convicted of a felony for it in some three-to-four times compared to white people, I hope you can see that means they’re going to be more inclined to lose other rights and liberties that deeply affect their lives.”

“Their ability to vote, to raise their children when a parent has been placed in a position where today, because of the felony conviction for doing things which among their past 3 presidents admitted to doing, they can’t vote, they now can not get jobs, they now can not get business licenses,” Booker stated.

While Booker did not ask Barrett any particular questions on cannabis reform, the senator did inquire whether she has read any books or articles that delve into racial disparities in the criminal justice system. He explained “The New Jim Crow” by civil rights advocate Michelle Alexander for instance. The prospective justice replied that she could not remember having done any of this reading, however, during her academic career, did have regular discussions about the subject. Booker recommended the identical publication to now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing in 2018. Also, during Wednesday’s hearing, the senator more widely discussed the racial inequities of the war on drugs, including marijuana conviction records.

Booker stated, “One of the best drivers of disparities in the justice system, I have worked with partners of mine on both sides of the aisle, is the war on drugs, which is in fact a war on black and brown folks due to the outrageous disparities.” “There is no difference between blacks and whites in the case of using drugs, as well as dealing drugs, but in America blacks are numerous times more likely to be arrested.”

He explained that significant sentencing disparities for crack versus powder cocaine is “among the most tragic examples” of how this issue has played out and needs to be at the forefront of cannabis reform.

Under this system, Booker said, “someone caught with the quantity of crack cocaine the size of a candy bar would get roughly the exact same sentence as someone caught with a briefcase filled with powder cocaine,” and it just so happened to be the case that black people were often arrested with the latter drug.

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New Zealand Cannabis Legalization Vote This Saturday

New Zealand Cannabis Legalization Vote

This upcoming Saturday, voters in New Zealand will vote on a nationwide referendum that would legalize the possession and use of marijuana by people 20 years old and older. The world population has been anxiously awaiting for the New Zealand cannabis legalization vote. If passed, the vote could make New Zealand just the third nation worldwide to legalize cannabis in the federal level. The first two being Uruguay and Canada.

The Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill will require New Zealand Parliament to set regulations and rules for  commercial sale and production of cannabis and products infused with cannabis. The measure would also allow adults at least 20 years old to buy up to 14 g of herbal cannabis each day. Home cultivation of around four marijuana plants per family would also be permitted under the ballot measure. Under current New Zealand law, the use of cannabis by adults is a crime punishable by up to 3 months in prison.

Last week, a group of New Zealand’s major public health professionals expressed their support for the New Zealand cannabis legalization vote on the referendum in an editorial printed in the New Zealand Medical Journal. Professor Michael Baker at the University of Otago, one of those health specialists who helped guide New Zealand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said that the country is a world leader in using “innovative and evidence-informed approaches” to addressing complex public health difficulties. Baker also stated, “It is time to take the identical fresh approach to cannabis law and put public health first.”

“Our prohibition position for cannabis is obsolete and does not work,” Baker added. “Supporting law reform is about reframing cannabis use as a health problem which opens up new, more effective methods of reducing effects caused by this drug.”

Public opinion polling on the referendum has shown a tight race for the New Zealand cannabis legalization vote, with one survey published last month showing that 49.5percent of respondents were in favor of legalization and 49.5percent were against, while 1 percent had no opinion.

Chief executive of Helius Theraputics biotechnology company, Paul Manning said, “The ‘yes’ vote has firmed up slightly, but it is still looking very close, with public opinion set to keep altering up until voting closes.” “Turn-out of 18- to 34-year-olds are also key. Young adults are the strongest supporters of the bill, but they also have the lowest intention and registration to vote.”

“Those wanting to find a yes vote needed to convince a fair number of individuals that their past prohibitionist views were incorrect,” he explained . “At the moment, it does not look like they’ve been able to do this and time really is running out.”

Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of the Labour Party, who currently serves as the chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, launched a publicity campaign calling on Republicans to support the legalization referendum.

Early voting for the October 17 election has already started. The vote was initially scheduled for September 19, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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France Giving Away Free Medical Cannabis Starting in 2021

medical cannabis experiment

The French government will start a medical cannabis experiment that entails giving free cannabis to individuals participating in the experiment.

Last week, the French government published a decree that declares the medical cannabis experiment formally. According to their statement, up to 3,000 patients will be participating and qualified to receive free medical cannabis.

Nicolas Authier, a college professor and chair of the French Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products’ (or L’Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé [ANSM]) medical cannabis committee, said in an interview with Marijuana Business Daily he believes “an invitation to tender for the collection of cannabis-based goods” is coming soon, probably within the month, and providers “will most likely be overseas, in cooperation with pharmaceutical labs established in France and licensed for narcotics.”

As of right now, there’s a time limit of two years on the experiment and the French government believes by March 2021 the free prescriptions could start going out.

There are still a few stipulations for the medical cannabis experiment that haven’t yet been determined, and will be summarized by the general manager of the French Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products. Among the problems that will be determined are the consumption type and specifications of the cannabis-based goods, including composition and characteristics; the listing of conditions which will qualify for participation; and processes for storing, distributing, importing, and controlling the cannabis.

Businesses that opt to participate in this medical cannabis experiment will be responsible for supplying their own product at no cost, and though the cannabis will be free, it will still have to follow pharmaceutical standards like the Good Manufacturing Practice and other regulations that the French government has set in place. The ANSM will be responsible for implementing a patient registry which will be upgraded, with the consent of patients, by physicians and pharmacies.

Furthermore, physicians and pharmacies who wish to get involved will need to complete a training program, then will need to volunteer for the trial, and businesses who are interested in becoming involved will need to supply their own cannabis. Additionally, a budget for the experiment is currently awaiting approval by French parliament.

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CBD vs. OTC for Pain Management – Personal Case Study

CBD vs Tylenol

Despite hearing the advice, “lift with your knees” I got caught up in packing to move and forgot this wise advice.  I lifted one too many boxes of books and heavy items and as a result had some pretty serious lower back pain.  This was more than just a pulled muscle, it hurt to sit, stand, walk and even to lie down, except on one side.  Since I could not afford to live the next week or two lying on my side, I had to find a way to treat the pain until my back started healing.  I purchased three things, some extra strength Tylenol, two boxes of Thermacare lower back and hips heat wraps and a tin of Charlotte’s Web Full Spectrum Hemp Extract Balm, with apparently twice the CBD as their previous balm.  My plan was to see if the CBD balm would treat my pain better than the OTC combination of the heat wrap and Tylenol.  My pain level on the first day was about a 7 out of 10. So here is a detailed description of my personal experience with CBD vs Tylenol and other OTC pain medication.

Day 1

I started the day with a heat wrap and two Tylenol.  The heat definitely felt good and seemed to relax my lower back a bit.  Once the Tylenol kicked in I was feeling better, pain level was at a 5 and since the heat made me sleepy, I decided a nap was in order.  Two hours later I woke up to more severe pain, back to a 7 out of 10 and the heat wrap that was supposed to stay warm for up to eight hours was stone cold, after only 3 hours.  Disappointing since those things are expensive. I ended my night with another heat wrap and two more Tylenol, taking the heat wrap off before I fell asleep as instructed.

Day 2 

I woke to searing lower back pain, at least a 7 out of 10 maybe an 8.  I opened the tin of the CBD balm, the menthol smell hit me right away, and it is very intense. Luckily I like that smell.  I put a generous amount of the balm on my lower back and settled back on my side.  After about 20 minutes or so I could feel my muscles in my lower back relaxing, much the same as with the heat wrap.  After an hour had passed I decided to walk around my apartment and see if the pain was any better.  It was better, back to a 5 out of 10 and the sharpness of the pain was dulled.  After 4 hours I could feel the pain intensifying so I put more of the balm on and then again right before I fell asleep that night.  So three times that day, the end of the day pain level was at a 4 out of 10. This was my first comparison of CBD vs Tylenol.

Day 3

Mornings are clearly the worst in terms of pain.  Woke up with my pain level at about a 5, so progress.  My body hopefully was starting to heal.  I put on more CBD balm and by noon I was feeling decidedly better.  Took a walk around my neighborhood and my pain level was a 3-4 out of 10 afterwards.  I decided to take Tylenol that night and do another heat wrap.  I was tempted to also put on more of the CBD balm before going to sleep but wanted to see how the OTC combination did on its own after a few days.

Day 4

Last night’s decision was a mistake.  I woke up with a pain level of about 6.  Things were moving in the wrong direction and I decided no more walks for a few days.  I used the CBD balm again three times that day and pretty much stayed in bed.  By the end of the day, my pain level was at about a 3 and had been since noon.  Definite progress.  I did some research and found out that heat only really helps an injury when it’s used right after the injury so although those heat wraps felt good in the moment, I was just wasting money by using them days after hurting my back.

Day 5

My back is starting to heal, I woke with a pain level of 3-4 out of 10 which was a big improvement over the previous painful mornings.  I resisted the urge to go for a walk, mostly rested but found I could sit without too much pain only after using the CBD balm.  By the end of the day I had used it three times and ended the day with almost no pain at all, like a 1 out of 10. It’s starting to be obvious that clear winner in my CBD vs Tylenol comparison.

Day 6

The morning got off to a great start and I decided to stick with just the CBD balm and try using it only twice instead of three times throughout the day and evening.   Began the day at a pain level of 2 out of 10 which for the morning is great.  My body is healing and my entire apartment smells like Charlotte’s Web CBD balm but it’s worth it!  I used it only twice today and ended the day at a pain level of 1 out of 10 again.

Day 7

Began the day at a pain level of 1-2 out of 10 and decided after using some of the balm to try a short walk in my neighborhood, just 15 minutes to get the blood flowing.  By bedtime I felt like my little experiment is over as my pain level is basically zero.  I will continue to use the CBD balm once or twice a day if I need it, especially in the mornings but it is far superior and less toxic than Tylenol.  I am now of the mind that CBD can do just as much if not more towards managing pain that OTC options.

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Vermont Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Market

Vermont Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Market

Vermont legalizes recreational marijuana market and becomes the 11th states to do so.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, announced he allowed legislation to regulate and tax cannabis earnings to become law without his signature, according to a press release yesterday from the governor’s office.

The news, which sets the stage for yet more expansion of the U.S. cannabis sector, was hailed by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) as a significant victory, particularly considering that Vermont is just the second state in the country to legalize adult use via the legislature rather than in the ballot box. Recreational earnings in Vermont aren’t expected to start until October 2022.

Though Vermont legalized the possession and use of recreational marijuana in 2018, lawmakers at the time declined to authorize any framework for the legal production and sale of recreational marijuana.

Steven Hawins, MPP Executive Director said in a recent press release, “The importance of Vermont’s decision to legalize and regulate cannabis sales, particularly in a state with a Republican governor and throughout the legislative process, can’t be overstated.”

“This is an historic move that increases the momentum of our motion and underlines its depth and breadth, and importantly, it comes as other state legislatures are positioned to seriously consider legalization in the future.”

Although Governor Scott declined to sign into law a bill that establishes a formal framework around the sale and production of recreational marijuana, he still allowed Vermont legalizes recreational marijuana market without a veto.

Scott said he declined to sign the bill because it did not address several concerns he has, for example:

  • An”inequitable playing field,” he said”will benefit Vermont’s present (MMJ) dispensaries.” (Protesters gathered last weekend at the capitol to draw attention to the absence of a social equity program.)
  • The allowance of marijuana vaping products when he is not satisfied that vaping doesn’t pose a danger to public health.
  • Adding stricter advertising restrictions to guarantee marijuana is not made appealing to minors.
  • An”aggressive” timeline for the appointment of marijuana management board members by Jan. 8, 2021.
  • Increasing law enforcement funding and training to manage a possible uptick in impaired drivers.

Now that Vermont legalizes recreational marijuana market and with the Vermont decriminalization bill approved, the legalization movement will continue to grow momentum around the nation.

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The Cannabis Industry is Attracting Jews Back to Germany

German Cannabis Industry

An increasing number of German Jews are utilizing their restored citizenship to return to their ancestral homeland and work in the German cannabis industry.

Following WWII, American federal government money flowed into cannabis study in Israel while similar attempts were prohibited both in the U.S. and Germany.

Because of this, Israel, during the latter portion of the previous century and more during the past two decades, has been the most innovative medical cannabis market, because of the prosperity of cannabinoid science developed in the country.

Fast forward eighty plus years following the conclusion of the war, and things really have shifted Germany. After mandating that medical marijuana be paid under public health insurance in 2017, Germany is now the third largest legal cannabis country and the biggest medical marijuana market in the world. And Jews, especially from Israel, the U.S. and Britain, are also attempting to return to work in the now expanding German cannabis industry.

Beyond cannabis reform, there’s another reason for its interest from the industry for the Jewish community. There is a special law in Germany, enshrined in the so-called “Basic Law” since 1949, that restores German citizenship of people who have fled, as well as their descendants.

For Jews, this is a massive opportunity to pursue an industry from the land of their ancestors that Israel, up to now, has built internationally since the end of WWII. Except that up until today, that travel has been difficult for reasons that have nothing to do with the cannabis industry.

Germans have been excluded from the first marijuana cultivation tender to grow and process marijuana in Germany since 2017. Also, Israel was prohibited from importing marijuana into the country. On top of that, as started to be more apparent after Brexit in 2016, many if not most individuals who applied for restitution of citizenship rights under the German repatriation law, were denied the same by German authorities and for an assortment of reasons that also potentially violate EU human rights legislation.

Basically, Jews were nearly completely and systematically being kept from an industry which they had helped pioneer in a country which had prohibited both them and the medication during the Third Reich.

Meanwhile, Jews, especially from Israel, started finding ways to get involved in the German cannabis industry, particularly by establishing cannabis businesses in Eastern Europe and partnering with Jews currently living in Germany, especially in Berlin. However the majority of these Jews aren’t descendants of Germans, but rather Russians, who had been allowed into Germany during the pogroms in the 1980’s from the former Soviet Union.

Regardless of the growing interest, there’s a massive demand for a stronger German cannabis industry, by putting pressure on governments to continue to modify legislation, to science and education beyond the actual production and distribution of cannabis.

Currently, despite their small numbers, Jews exist in the German cannabis industry or are attached to it, and not only in Berlin. There is a real interest and opportunity now that will continue to attract them.

Jews are returning to claim their ancestral homeland, in addition to their rightful places in one of the most fascinating”new” businesses on Earth at the moment, in a country which displaced if not murdered their ancestors. Life can be ironic!

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Stem Holdings to Acquire Driven Deliveries in All-Stock Cannabis Deal

Stem Holdings

Florida-based cannabis grower and merchant Stem Holdings signed a deal to acquire California-headquartered marijuana delivery firm Driven Deliveries, in what will create what Stem calls”the first vertically integrated marijuana firm with an integrated Cannabis Delivery as a Service platform.”

The transaction will be in all-stock and will be worth approximately 41.3 million Canadian dollars ($31.1 million U.S.), according to a news release issued by Stem Holdings on Tuesday, October 8, 2020.

Under terms of the deal, shareholders of Driven Deliveries, based in Los Angeles, California, will get 1 share of Stem Holdings for every share of Driven Deliveries. The combined company will be known as Driven by Stem and operate from Stem’s present offices in Boca Raton, Florida.

Stem stated it expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to its earnings and expects synergies in operations, sales and selling, general and administrative expenses.

“We will employ Driven Deliveries’ technology, footprint and supply capacity to all cannabis markets, and leverage our own licenses and retail cannabis dispensaries to support more customers in each state in which we operate,” Stem Holdings CEO Adam Berk stated in the release.

Berk is the former CEO of Osmio, which currently operates as food delivery service Grubhub and he’ll continue as CEO of Driven by Stem. The current Driven Deliveries CEO, Christian Schenk, has officially resigned.

The new entity, Driven by Stem projects revenues of $75 million in 2021 with a gross profit of $27 million. Stem Holdings is traded on the Canadian Securities Exchange as STEM and traded in the U.S. over-the-counter markets as STMH. Driven by Stem will trade under Stem’s current listings after the transaction is complete.

The cannabis industry continues to see a significant amount of acquisitions driven by an increase in the industry as a whole as well as opportunities to combine benefits of scale. This trend will only continue as the industry popularity increases and regulatory roadblocks are removed.

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New Jersey Governor says Voting For Cannabis Legalization Supports Social Justice

cannabis legalization supports social justice

New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy (D) wants voters to know that approving approving cannabis legalization supports social justice and voters should approve the referendum that will appear on the ballot in November.

In his most recent remarks, delivered to the Bloomberg Surveillance program on Sunday, Murphy emphasized that the principal objective of enacting the policy shift would be to promote social equity, and he also recognized that it represents a possible source of significant tax revenue for the state.

“I wish we could’ve gotten it done through a legislative process,” Murphy said, referencing lawmakers’ inability to progress a legalization bill last session. “We just could not find the last couple of votes, so it is on the referendum. I am strongly supporting it first and foremost for social justice reasons.”

“Low-end drug crimes are the biggest reason that we’ve got young persons of color, particularly young men of color, in our criminal justice system,” he added. “Beyond that, this is a potential significant, over time, revenue item for the state and a source of job growth, which are also advantages. I hope we will see it pass in November.” The focus continues to be that cannabis legalization supports social justice.

Last week, Murphy likewise called on New Jersey voters to support the proposal in an email blast that was circulated by the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.

“Legalization would correct those wrongs while also driving massive economic growth opportunities, job development, and new tax revenue,” Murphy said. “Now, we’ve got the opportunity to do this and eventually legalize adult-use marijuana here in New Jersey, and I want your help to make it happen.”

Legislators attempted to enact the policy change during the previous session, but when negotiations stood still, they chose to put the question to voters by utilizing a referendum. If the measure is approved this November, the legislature will then need to pass implementing legislation containing details for how the legal cannabis industry and market should operate.

A poll by the law firm Brach Eichler released last month shows that 65 percent of voters are in favor of the policy change. That is consistent with the results of a survey the company published in August, signaling that support is steady.

In June, the state Assembly passed a cannabis decriminalization bill that would make possession of up to 2 ounces a civil penalty with no threat of jail time, though it has not progressed in the Senate.

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Mark Zuckerberg Donates Half-Million Dollars to Support Drug Decriminalization in Oregon

Mark Zuckerberg Supports Drug Decriminalization

A foundation run by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife gave a significant contribution to a campaign currently trying to pass a ballot measure that would decriminalize all drugs in Oregon. The $500,000 contribution from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Advocacy represents roughly a third of funding raised to date in support of Measure 110, which would decriminalize drug possession when using some of present legal marijuana tax earnings to cover expanded substance abuse treatment solutions. This could be a huge boost not only to Oregon, but also the rest of the nation, that Mark Zuckerberg supports drug decriminalization. 

Supporters of the measure say it is part of an attempt to change the way we look at drug abuse as a health issue, instead of a matter to be dealt with through the criminal justice system. If accepted, low-level possession could be considered a civil infraction punishable by a maximum $100 fine and zero jail time.

The new half-million-dollar money donation made on Thursday, which was first reported by The Oregonian, makes the Zuckerbergs the initiative’s second-biggest backers, following the Drug Policy Alliance’s political arm Drug Policy Action, which has given $850,000.

The campaign said it has received over 400 individual donations up to now, with a median contribution amount of $50–and more than 83 percent of donations are made by Oregonians.

In 2018 there were 8,903 simple drug possession arrests in Oregon, according to the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. This is more than one drug possession arrest each hour.

The commission estimated that the decriminalization initiative would reduce felony and misdemeanor convictions for drug possession by 91 percent, which would be “substantial for all racial groups, ranging from 82.9 percent for Asian Oregonians to approximately 94 percent for Native American and Black Oregonians.”

Over 50 other organizations have endorsed this initiative, some of which include; Oregon State Council for Retired Citizens, NAACP of Eugene, United Seniors of Oregon, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and Human Rights Watch, Oregon Latino Health Coalition and more.

Oregon voters will also find another initiative to legalize psilocybin treatment on the upcoming ballot. The Oregon Democratic Party have endorsed both drug policy steps measures.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, marijuana sales in Oregon have drastically increased. A number of that excess revenue would fund addiction treatment services if voters approved the drug decriminalization measure. This has been a big boos for recreational dispensaries in Portland and other Oregon cities.

As legalization continues to gain momentum across the nation, the fact that Mark Zuckerberg supports drug decriminalization should have a big impact on the continued forward progress of the movement.

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Cannabis Legalization is on the Ballot in Five States in November and the Impact is Big

recreational cannabis legalization

Recreational cannabis legalization and/or medical cannabis is on the ballot this November 3rd for these five states. If you live in one, here are the details that will help educate you on what exactly you’re voting on and what the positive impacts could be if passed.

If the measures are successful, this could have big impacts on immediate surrounding states as well as states across the nation in upcoming efforts to legalize recreational and medical cannabis.

ARIZONA

Measures on Ballot: Proposition 207, recreational marijuana

State Population: 7.3 million

First-Year Sales Projection: $375 million-$400 million

2024 Sales Projection: $700 million-$760 million

Business Impact:

  • Existing medical cannabis operators would automatically win entry into the adult-use market with successful recreational cannabis legalization.
  • State would award 26 social equity licenses.
  • Retail marijuana sales would face a 16% tax.

MISSISSIPPI

Measures on Ballot: Initiative 65, 65A, medical marijuana

State Population: 2.9 million

First-Year Sales Projection: $240 million-$265 million

2024 Sales Projection: $750 million-$800 million

Business Impact:

  • Regulators would be prevented from limiting the number of MMJ licenses.
  • Licenses would be issued no later than Aug. 15, 2021.
  • The state sales tax (currently 7%) would apply to retail MMJ products.

MONTANA

Measures on Ballot: Initiative 190, recreational marijuana

State Population: 1.1 million

First-Year Projected Sales: $217.2 million (University of Montana study)

2024 Projected Sales: $234 million (University of Montana)

Business Impact:

  • License holders would be required to be Montana residents.
  • Existing medical cannabis operators would get a 12-month head start.
  • Prospective MMJ companies wouldn’t face a license cap.
  • The business license application process would start by October 2021.

NEW JERSEY

Measures on Ballot: Public Question 1, recreational marijuana

State Population: 8.9 million

First-Year Projected Sales: $375 million-$400 million

2024 Projected Sales: $850 million-$950 million

Business Impact:

  • Lawmakers and regulators decide on the number and type of marijuana business licenses available, but existing MMJ operators would most likely get first shot at the recreational cannabis legalization market.
  • Adult-use products would face a 6.625% sales tax.
  • Municipalities could pass ordinances to charge local taxes of up to 2%.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Measures on Ballot: Amendment A, recreational marijuana; Measure 26, medical marijuana

State Population: 884,659

First-Year Projected Sales: $1.5 million-$2 million*

2024 Projected Sales: $10 million-$12 million*

(*Projections are for a medical marijuana market only.)

Business Impact:

  • Medical marijuana: A local government wouldn’t be able to ban MMJ but could establish the number of establishments allowed in its jurisdiction.
  • Recreational marijuana: Regulators would have to issue “enough licenses to substantially reduce the illicit production and sale of cannabis throughout the state.” But regulators also would be directed to limit licenses to “to prevent an undue concentration” in any municipality.

Be sure to check out: The Presidential Candidates Stance on Marijuana Legalization