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New Jersey and Arizona Legalize Marijuana

New Jersey and Arizona Legalize Marijuana

New Jersey and Arizona Legalize Marijuana

On Tuesday, voters in both New Jersey and Arizona legalize marijuana with strong support from on the ballot. They join the other 11 states and Washington D.C. who have already legalized marijuana.

New Jersey

The ballot vote passed 67.2% to 32.8% with strong turn out at the ballot. Under the change, only those 21 and older can legally buy and use cannabis.

Executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), Steve Hawkins, stated “This victory will have a rippling effect in the Northeast and increase the rising pressure in neighboring states to take action on cannabis legalization.”

It is uncertain when marijuana will be accessible because laws should first be passed in order to prepare the new cannabis industry. It’s estimated that recreational marijuana could bring New Jersey $210 million in additional revenue.

The change is expected to move relatively fast because the Democrat-led Legislature and Democratic Governor Phil Murphy, both support cannabis legalization.

Arizona

Proposition 207 in Arizona will allow individuals 21 years of age and older have up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana or a smaller amount of ‘concentrates’ such as hashish. It also allows recreational marijuana sales at accredited retailers and will let people grow their own cannabis plants.

The Smart and Safe Arizona Act also will levy a 16% excise tax on marijuana over the normal sales tax which will go to state and local authorities.  The new tax is estimated to bring in an additional $166 million annually. It will be used to fund police and fire departments, community colleges, public health and criminal justice initiatives and Arizona state transportation projects. The additional tax revenue combined with other state revenue opportunities, is estimated to bring in an additional $255 million in revenue.

The measure is backed by the legal cannabis industry and supporters argue it is time to rescind Arizona’s punitive penalties on cannabis, ensure high quality control through effective state testing and lower crime connected with marijuana smuggling and illegal sales.

When proposition 207 passes as election results are certified, marijuana will become officially legal in Arizona and retail sales could start as early as May.

Now that New Jersey and Arizona legalize marijuana, surrounding states will feel the pressure to follow suit if they haven’t already, to ensure they share in the increase tax and industry  revenue and job grown. Federal cannabis legalization has been a hot topic in this years election and should continue to be so in 2021.

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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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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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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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Welcome Back: Getting Back into Cannabis after a Break

Getting Back Into Cannabis

For some folks who have taken a tolerance break of a month or two, not much has changed.  For the former cannabis connoisseurs who are living in a state or country where cannabis has recently or soon will be legal, it may have been awhile and things have definitely changed in the world of weed.  Before you visit your local dispensary to stock up there are a few things to think about so you can make the transition back into the cannabis lifestyle smoothly, whether you plan to be an everyday user or an occasional one or even a “keeping all options open” type of cannabis user. Here are some useful tips for getting back into cannabis.

Check out your local laws

Take the time to review the cannabis limit laws in your state.  Each state has slightly different laws regarding how much and the type of cannabis products you can purchase each day or sometimes with a two week time period.  While it’s unlikely you are going to exceed those limits on your first trip out to a dispensary as the budtenders will make sure you don’t, if you are like so many people and want to check out a few dispensaries, each time you show your ID, your purchases will be tracked by the state agency responsible for cannabis legalization and regulation.  Sounds creepy but unless you are planning on really buying in bulk, it should not be an issue.  Also keep in mind that the cannabis limits will be different depending on if you are a medical marijuana patient or a recreational user, with medical patients having higher limits. This will be helpful either way for getting back into cannabis.

Choosing the Right Cannabis for Your Triumphant Return

Naturally a good budtender can make recommendations but having some idea of what you are looking for before you head to a marijuana dispensary can really help.  Think about how you plan to consume your cannabis.  Certainly don’t feel limited to one way, maybe edibles and flower to start or a few joints and a cart to try vaping.  Nothing is more frustrating for a budtender than a customer who says they want to get some “good weed”.  That used to be the only goal back in the day but a lot more options exist and they are all pretty good!  If you are a medical marijuana patient, make sure to let the budtender know right away and talk about which symptoms you want to treat with cannabis and if you have any prior cannabis experiences, good or bad, let them know that as well so they can point you towards the right strains.  For recreational users, tell the budtender you have not used cannabis in a while and also let them know about any negatives you are looking to avoid.  The more information you can give to the budtender, the better able they are to make sure your first, in a while, cannabis experience is a great one.  Picking up more than one strain is usually a good way to get back into cannabis these days.

Jumping Back In

The first thing to remember when getting back into cannabis is your tolerance level will likely be quite low, unless you are some type of cannabis superhero.  Keep that in mind as you smoke your first joint or eat those first gummies.  The key is to really pay attention the first few days in terms of how you feel each time you consume cannabis.  Is being buzzed everything you remember and more?  Are there are side effects that you don’t like such as some Sativa strains can cause a bit of the jitters especially the first 15-20 minutes.  The goal with a recreational cannabis user is usually to get high with no unwanted side effects.  If that is not happening, lucky for you there are many other strains out there to try.  For the medical cannabis patient, how are your symptoms after consuming cannabis the first day?  What about the second and third?  If you are not getting the relief you want it might be the strain or it might be the CBD:THC ratio.  You should talk to your doctor as well as a budtender so that a better strain can be found to meet your needs.  For both medical and recreational marijuana users who have not tried cannabis in a long period of time, there is some trial and error necessary for most people in the beginning so it’s usually a good idea to not overbuy one strain right away.  There is plenty of time to find the perfect cannabis for you!

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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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Nug News – Weekly Cannabis Update October 4, 2020

Cannabis News Update October 4

Weekly Cannabis News Update October 4, 2020

With New Jersey Set to Legalize Recreational Marijuana, Attention Turns to How to Profit

The support is sky high, pun obviously intended, for New Jersey voters to approve recreational marijuana in their state.  As November 3rd fast approaches, the cannabis industry in general is repositioning itself for another record breaking quarter.  In all legal states cannabis sales have exceeded even the most optimistic predictions.  This is particularly true since the lockdowns began and a new normal emerged for the way people live their lives, at home, with cannabis.  Large cannabis companies did quite well financially however others did not and the reasons are varied but most who went public too soon regretted not exercising a bit more patience.  New Jersey expects to not only make record profits from sales to people living in the state, they also expect to get a lot of out of state cannabis tourists from nearby states such as Pennsylvania and New York.  Currently investors are making the smart decision to diversify where they put their financial support, spreading it out to not only growers and sellers but also cannabis adjacent industries.  These often over looked but essential companies that support the recreational market are wise investment choices as New Jersey gets ready to go full steam ahead with recreational marijuana after the measure is approved.  Click here for more details.

Weekly Cannabis News Update October 4, 2020

Canopy Growth Co. is Going Big with a Line of Cannabis Drinks

One of the biggest companies in the cannabis industry, Canopy Growth Corporation is introducing a new line of cannabinoid drinks.  2020 has not been a good year for most people and for many companies as well.  Canopy Growth Co, was not immune to a challenging and unpredictable economy and following a 32% drop in their stock price, decided to make some changes.  Working with investors such as Constellation Brands, who happen to own Corona Beer, you really can’t make this stuff up, have announced an upcoming line of cannabinoid beverages.  Noting that with the impressive growth of the cannabis market, some consumers who prefer not to smoke their marijuana are feeling left out.  Rightfully so and in the edibles market, many people don’t have the knowledge or confidence to make their own edibles at home, mostly due to dosage concerns.  So far there are some cannabinoid beverages on the market however most are not selling well due to taste issues and lack of promotion by dispensaries.  Canopy Growth Co. plans to change that and they are not the only ones with this idea.  Former boxer Mike Tyson plans to get into the ring (yes it had to be said) as well with his own cannabinoid beverage business.  That is some serious competition!  How it plays out will largely depend on the quality and taste of the beverages and the companies’ ability to position their products well.  Stay tuned to see how Canopy does against Iron Mike.  Click here to read more about this topic.

Weekly Cannabis News Update October 4, 2020

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Industry Facing Product Shortages, Prices Climbing

Just as your economics professor told you, it’s all about supply and demand.  The Arkansas Medical Marijuana community is living proof of that principle.  Presently there are three cultivation facilities up and running and that is proving to not be nearly enough to meet the demands of not just Arkansas’s medical marijuana patients but those from some nearby states as well.  Arkansas allows out of state medical marijuana patients to obtain a temporary 30 day card and clearly many patients in nearby states, especially Missouri, have taken advantage of this opportunity.  Even with two more cultivation facilties scheduled to be up and running by year’s end, it is still not enough to keep up with the demand and the prices are rising as a result.  As with so many states that allow medical marijuana sales, recreational or both, the demand from patients and customers has shocked the industry.  More growers are needed in Arkansas and this may be the beginning of a trend nationwide as people prepare for what could be a long winter.  More details on the problem Arkansas medical marijuana patients and the industry are facing can be found here.

Be sure to check out: Marijuana Banking and Labeling Law Changes Approved by California Governor

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MORE Act Vote Update – Bipartisan Support Gains Momentum

MORE Act Vote Update

An upcoming bill that would decriminalize cannabis on a national level is gaining bipartisan support. The vote on the measure is scheduled in the House of Representatives next week. The MORE Act bill, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act, states that marijuana would be removed from the federal Controlled Substances Act, permitting the states to set their own marijuana policy.” This is a recent MORE Act vote update on House support.

The bill (H.R. 3884) has been introduced at the House in July 2019 by Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, who is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate’s version is sponsored by Kamala Harris, the Democratic Party vice president nominee.

“The American public will look favorably upon the bipartisan majority that would vote to pass the MORE Act,” said Justin Strekal, the political director of NORML,the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “Momentum continues to build towards a successful vote in the House.”

The MORE Act would also make other modifications to federal law, such as a provision that would allow legal cannabis companies to qualify for assistance from the Small Business Administration. The MORE Act would also allow doctors for the Veterans Administration to write recommendations for patients in states that have legalized medical cannabis. The bill also has provisions which incentivize states to expunge cannabis convictions.

MORE Act Vote Update
The MORE Act now has over a hundred co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, such as Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Lujan, the Democratic chairs of key legislative committees, and one Republican, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. Two additional Republicans also have indicated that they will support the measure in the vote.

California Rep. Tom McClintock and Gaetz were the only House Judiciary Committee Republicans that voted in favor of The MORE Act in November. It was the first time in history marijuana decriminalization legislation was advanced by federal lawmakers. When they announced next weeks vote, McClintock told Politico that he would continue to support the bill. Also, Rep. Don Young, a Republican from Alaska, told public radio that he also would encourage The More Act.

Co-Chairman of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, said in a press release that the time is suitable for a change in national cannabis policy. Polling in the Pew Research Center in November 2019 discovered that 76 percent of American adults, including the vast majority of respondents from both major political parties, believe that “the use of cannabis should be made legal.”

Blumenauer said, “Less than two decades back, we set out our routine outlining a path to cannabis legalization from the 116th Congress, now, after several weeks of hard work and cooperation, we finally have an opportunity to end the failed policy of prohibition which has caused a long and shameful period of law against people of color, particularly Black men. As people throughout the country protest racial injustices, there is even greater urgency for Congress to seize this historic opportunity and eventually align our cannabis laws with what the vast majority of Americans support, while ensuring restorative justice”

Be sure to check out: Kamala Harris Marijuana Views – What You Should Know

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Vermont Marijuana Decriminalization & Expungement Expansion Bill Approved

Vermont Marijuana Decriminalization

The Vermont House gave preliminary approval Friday to a bill that would provide for automatic expungements of marijuana convictions and permit individuals to possess and develop more cannabis with no threat of jail time than is now permitted. This is positive move forward for Vermont marijuana decriminalization.

Under the proposal, those with convictions for marijuana possession of up to 2 ounces, four older plants and eight immature plants before January 2021 would have their documents removed. People who receive expungements will be advised by email.

The House voted to advance the bill in a 113-10 vote, and final third reading thought to send it to the Senate is expected next week.

While Vermont legalized possession of up to one ounce and cultivation of two plants in 2018, possession of another ounce or third plant is now considered a misdemeanor.

The Vermont marijuana decriminalization law states that, beginning in 2021, individuals who have simple marijuana possession convictions would also be permitted to deny that document in employment, civil or license rights software –regardless of whether they have received a note that their expungement was processed.

That provision was additional from the House Judiciary Committee, which got jurisdiction over the laws after Senate approval of the bill in May. Language by another Senate expungements bill was contained in the laws and S. 234 cleared the panel last week. After the anticipated final approval by the House, the proposal will return to the Senate for concurrence prior to being delivered to the desk of Gov. Phil Scott (R).

The legislation would likewise expand Vermont law to decriminalize possession of under two ounces of cannabis–just like a separate bill that cleared the Senate earlier this season would do. This Senate-passed bill would also decriminalize possession of a fourth old plant, while the new House proposal only covers up to three mature plants and six immature ones.

Individuals that are caught owning these decriminalized amounts would face up to a $100 fine for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and a $500 for additional offenses.

“The legislature did a excellent thing when it legalized cannabis in 2018, but marijuana prohibition won’t really be over in Vermont until criminal records are expunged and an equitable market is established. Vermont has a opportunity to take a massive step forward on cannabis policy if both S. 234 and S. 54 become law.”

The House and Senate approved legislation to make such a tax-and-regulate version for cannabis. A bicameral conference committee, which was appointed to merge the differences between the chambers’ bills, has met three times so far–and associates are close to finalizing the proposal, with just the dilemma of tax rates remaining outstanding at the end of last week’s meeting of this board.

The Senate approved S. 54, the cannabis sales legalization bill, using a veto-proof majority this past year during the first half of this two-year legislative session. The House voted in favor of its own version of this legislation in February.

Meanwhile, Vermont Democratic Party insiders comprised planks to decriminalize drug possession and legalize marijuana sales in a draft stage for 2020. This just continues to solidify the Vermont marijuana decriminalization and expungement laws in the state.

Be sure to check out: Vermont Marijuana Sales Legalization Bill Advancing

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Nug News – Weekly Cannabis News Update September 6, 2020

Cannabis News Update September 6

Weekly Cannabis News Update September 6, 2020

September Vote in the US House to Decriminalize Marijuana

With the US Congress still on a break until after Labor Day, the date has yet to be set for this historic vote in the House of Representative.  Once Congress returns the date will likely be set fairly quickly. What the House will be voting on is whether to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.  Currently marijuana is fully legal in only 11 states but technically illegal on a federal level, posing endless challenges for those 11 states as well as the ones where medical marijuana has been legalized.  Assuming this vote passes and it has very strong support, and then makes it through the Senate, marijuana will be officially off the Schedule 1 drug classification, meaning it has a high probability of abuse and no medical benefits.  Science says otherwise and along with funding for additional research of the medical benefits of cannabis, certain individuals who have been incarcerated for non-violent drug use or possession may have their records expunged.  Good news all around and more details are available here.

The Cannabis Industry is Thriving Despite the Pandemic

With global, national and local businesses failing in record numbers as the global economy suffers under the weight of the global pandemic,  one industry has not just maintained a profitable status but has actually grown considerably.  The cannabis industry is making unprecedented strides in an otherwise flat market for new or even established businesses. The reasons why are multi-faceted. As the majority of the world’s population experiences some form of lockdown,   the cannabis industry has seen their opportunities and taken full advantage, particularly in the US.  The US legislative momentum towards legalizing marijuana in more and more states combined with the anxiety and stress, not to mention the exacerbation of ongoing health issues and reluctance to seek medical treatment has been the perfect storm, for the cannabis industry’s growth.  Throw in the lack of social opportunities that bars and restaurants have typically provided and with the saving in beer money, consumers are choosing cannabis as their primary way to ride out the lockdown.  For additional details click here.

Weekly Cannabis News Update September 6, 2020

Increased Security Needed as Dispensary Robberies on the Rise

As the number of dispensaries continues to increase in cities all across the United States, an unfortunate and costly side effect is the increase in break-ins and robberies of dispensaries.  This trend is alarming and in places like Portland Oregon, concerns locals and dispensaries alike.  No one wants their business to be robbed and if you are part of the neighborhood as a resident, this type of crime is worrisome.  Since May there have been at least 48 dispensary break-ins in the Portland area, with the most recent one occurring just 10 days ago.  As Portland police have made it clear that their priorities have shifted to responding to primarily life threatening situations, dispensary owners are left frustrated, angry and in some cases financially devastated as some dispensaries have been hit multiple times.  Increased security is an obvious partial solution but cannot solve the problem completely.  Click here for additional facts.

Weekly Cannabis News Update September 6, 2020

Not Your Father’s Weed:  Cannabis Use on the Rise with the Over 50 Crowd

The quality of marijuana has certainly improved since most Boomers took their first toke back in the 60’s or 70’s but the desire to be a part of the growing cannabis club is most apparent with men over 50, especially men in the over 60 age range.  The same trend has not been seen with women in the same are range which is definitely an interesting element to this trend.  Why men and not women?  As the most prolific cannabis users are between 18-25, these older male stoners are fathers, perhaps even grandfathers to the younger generation of 18-25 year olds.  Most marijuana users in the over 50 category are using cannabis, not for the first time but for different reasons than 40 years ago.  Most new older cannabis users are hoping to reap some of the medical benefits from cannabis use.  The combination of certain prescription medication along with cannabis poses new challenges and concerns for the medical community.  Younger marijuana consumers may need to bring the older generation up to speed and educate them about what’s new.  Click here for more information.

Be sure to check out: Weekly Cannabis News Update September 20, 2020.

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Cannabis Lifestyle Connections-Talking to Friends & Family

Cannabis Lifestyle

Gone are the days of Reefer Madness mentality. For most people a new attitude about the nearly unlimited benefits of cannabis lifestyle is upon us.  No matter your age or background, cannabis use has become much more mainstream and socially acceptable.  As more countries take time to research the medical, both physical and psychological benefits of cannabis, the once negative stigma will evaporate, much like the smoke after a seriously good bong hit.  Changes are taking place on a global as well as local levels however changing people’s viewpoint on an individual level may just be the most challenging aspect of bringing cannabis use out into the open.  Talking to your friends and family about your own cannabis lifestyle use or even cannabis use in general can still be tricky, depending on their life experiences and values.  Some good strategies are discussed below so you can educate without offending people in your life about cannabis.

Start with Facts

Your opinion about cannabis is important but as with any potentially controversial topic, when a person feels strongly about something, emotions can cloud an otherwise good point.  If you decide to talk with your parents about marijuana use, understand they already have an opinion and it likely is an opinion they have held for many years so getting emotional will usually lead to everyone, including you, becoming defensive.  Beginning the conversation from a less personal and emotional place is a smart strategy.  Use a recent news story or governmental action to get the conversation going.  “Hey mom, did you hear that Congress is going to vote to decriminalize cannabis next month?” It’s a good neutral way to introduce the topic and you may be surprised at the reactions you get.  People’s opinions are changing about cannabis and you will not know if your family’s opinion has changed unless you find a way to bring it up, or you catch your dad rolling a blunt.  What an amazingly fun conversation will follow!  With friends the strategy is really the same but you can be a bit more direct with friends and certainly expect less judgment for your cannabis use from friends.  The key is to start from a neutral rather than emotional place.

Ask Questions and Listen to the Answers

It seems like a “well duh” type of statement but knowing how to ask good questions and be a truly great listener are skills.  Not everyone excels at one or both and if you really want to explore the topic of cannabis with family and friends, asking open ended questions as opposed to questions that only require a yes or no response will do wonders towards creating an open dialogue.  The difference between “Hey Mary have you ever gotten high” and “Hey Mary what do you think about using cannabis to help your back pain” is enormous.  Be prepared to listen to some negative opinions and understand that by listening before you respond with either scientific facts or even your own experiences with cannabis can make a world of difference.  If your family member or friend feels like you respect their views, well in a perfect world, they will respect yours.  You have done the most important part though, started the conversation.

Giving Advice

As a cannabis lifestyle connoisseur, it would be fantastic if friends or family come to you for advice about the growing world of cannabis use.  You could recommend a strain for your dad’s sciatica and talk to your younger cousin about the differences between a vape and pipe high.  Friends would ask you to help them choose a bong, is glass always best.  All amazing ways to share your love and knowledge about cannabis use.  What is never amazing are sentences that begin with “you know what you should do” otherwise known as unsolicited advice.  It’s rare that anyone really wants or appreciates unsolicited advice.  You don’t want to become that person in your family or social circle that is known for only one thing, cannabis.  It gets old and no one will listen to you so the best advice comes when it is asked for not forced on someone.  If you keep the lines of communication open and ask good questions. Eventually most of the people if your life will come around and when they do, be ready to share your wealth of knowledge about cannabis, and maybe a few edibles too!

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Kamala Harris Marijuana Views – What You Should Know

Kamala Harris Marijuana Views

Kamala Harris marijuana views have changed over time. Since Sen. Kamala Harris takes her spot on the ticket using presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, voters have a closer look at her album on the topics of their day. Harris created history on Tuesday when Biden declared that he had picked her to become his vice-presidential offender, the first woman of color to attain that position at the ticket of a major U.S. political celebration.

While she had been the district attorney to San Francisco, Harris oversaw the prosecution of marijuana offenses resulting in almost 2,000 convictions throughout her tenure, which continued from 2004 to 2010. Also during this time, she co-wrote a debate against a cannabis legalization step to get a 2010 voter information pamphlet. As California Attorney General at 2014, she whined if a reporter asked if she’d encourage the legalization of cannabis for recreational usage. Continue reading Kamala Harris Marijuana Views – What You Should Know

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CBD Product Testing Will Be Done by FDA Contractor

CBD Product Testing

CBD product testing is needed for the industry. The FDA is wants to award a contract to help test thousands of CBD Products as the agency develops regulations for products containing the non-intoxicating cannabinoid.

In a note published on Thursday, FDA reported the selected firm will offer aid with”collecting samples and analyzing the amounts of CBD and related cannabinoids, in addition to potential associated contaminants like poisonous components, pesticides and industrial compounds, processing solvents as well as microbial contamination, in cosmetics and foods via surveys of those products.” Continue reading CBD Product Testing Will Be Done by FDA Contractor

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Cannabis Instead of Opioids – Did Big Pharma or Our Government Fail Us

is cannabis more effective than opioids for pain

If you’ve ever known someone with an opioid addition, you’ve seen that the impact on their life can be devastating. Opioid addiction has become a serious epidemic in the United States and the statistics are alarming. Prescription drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. One of the best solutions would be finding non-addictive alternatives to opioids for the treatment of pain. Is cannabis more effective than opioids for pain? For many patients, cannabis is an effective pain treatment with a minimal chance of dependence and no risk of fatal overdose. This is an optimal choice compared to opioid-based medications. In fact, in a significant study, patients reported that medical marijuana is just as, or even more effective for pain, than opioid-based pain medication.

Over 130 years ago, Dr. Edward A. Birch was quoted in a seminal article published in The Lancet, writing about his great success in using cannabis to help patients who had become addicted to opioid-based pain medications. He prescribed cannabis originally as a solution for insomnia but noticed that it did much more than help patients sleep. He found that while patients were using cannabis, he could remove the dosage of any opioid-based medications the patient was taking, without any negative side effects.

These comments from over 130 years ago predicted what we now know, that cannabis is an effective medicine for multiple conditions, including pain management, while also reducing the need for opioid and even other non-opioid medications.

While using cannabis to treat pain is becoming more accepted in the U.S., the Schedule I status of cannabis has made it difficult to run large-scale clinical trials on its effectiveness. Current clinical and systematic reviews have shown that cannabis may hold as a standardized pain treatment, while recognizing the constraints that come from small sample sizes and lack of controlled studies. When these reviews show moderate signs for cannabis as a treatment for pain-related conditions, they also call for further research in standardized clinical trials. Meanwhile, at the same time, medical cannabis patients are reporting using cannabis to treat their pain instead of or in combination with opioid-based pain medications.

Is Cannabis More Effective Than Opioids For Pain Relief – Study Results

In a cannabis as a substitute for opioid study, 30% of the sample reported using an opioid-based pain medication at the time or in the previous 6 months. Of participants using opioids, 61% reported using them with cannabis. 97% of the sample “strongly agreed/agreed” that they were able to decrease the amount of opioids they took when they used cannabis at the same time. Also, 89% “strongly agreed/agreed” that taking opioids produced unwanted side effects including constipation and nausea. 92% of the sample “strongly agreed/agreed” that cannabis has more tolerable side effects than the opioid-based medications they took. 81% “strongly agreed/agreed” that taking cannabis by itself was more effective at treating their condition than taking cannabis at the same time as opioids. When asked if cannabis produces the same amount of pain relief as their opioid-based medications, 71% “strongly agreed/agreed” with this statement. 92% of the sample “strongly agreed/agreed” that they prefer cannabis to opioids for the treatment of their condition and 93% “strongly agreed/agreed” that they are more likely to select cannabis to treat their condition if it were more easily available.

Is cannabis more effective than opioids for pain? It’s been pretty obvious for a long time that it is. Although cannabis is continuing to grow as a alternative to opioids for pain treatment, doctors continue to prescribe opioid-based pain medication at an alarming rate. They are incentivized by the pharmaceutical industry to do so as well as still be hampered by our government in some some states. We continue to move in the right direction, but not fast enough. According to the CDC, drug overdoses deaths in the U.S. rose 4.6% in 2019 to 70,980, of which 50,042 involved opioids. Overdose deaths from cannabis in 2019, ZERO.

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