Tags Recreational


Mass. budget, marijuana bills entwined in larger bargaining

7/5/17--Apparently, the fate of two bills for a new state budget and legislation overhauling the retail marijuana legalization law have become inextricably linked, with some officials now believing that a compromise on the budget is contingent on the House and Senate first agreeing to the parameters of legal marijuana oversight and taxation. Read

What’s that smell in the air? In Boston, marijuana

7/4/17--As pot works its way further into mainstream society, its distinct odor is likely to become more of an issue, in businesses, housing, and schools. in Boston, marijuana smokers emboldened by the drug’s new legal status are altering the scentscape. Despite all the discussion and lobbying ahead of last November’s ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana, the problem of second-hand toking never seemed to be a big part of the conversation. Read

Questions remain on changes to pot law

6/29/17--Massachusetts legislators hit an impasse as they tried to iron out differences between a House version that would alter major parts of the ballot measure and a Senate bill with more modest changes. If lawmakers can find common ground, their bill would answer key questions about the future of legalization in the state. Read

Marijuana in Massachusetts: Here’s what you need to know

6/29/17--Massachusetts lawmakers are scrambling to change the new marijuana law. The Massachusetts House approved a bill that essentially repeals and replaces the voter-approved law, while the Massachusetts Senate wants to tweak the new law. Legalization advocates prefer the Senate version and have harshly criticized the House version. This article outlines the proposed changes. Read

Southern Utahns flock to Mesquite, Nevada, as state opens recreational marijuana sales

7/3/17--Southern Utahns have been eyeing the opening day for recreational pot in Nevada for some time. Yet, while marijuana is now legal to buy in the state, tight restrictions remain. Only an ounce of marijuana, or one-eighth of concentrated marijuana, may be possessed. And it can't be consumed in public, with violators facing a $600 fine. In addition, dispensaries deal only in cash. Read

Weed, weed, everywhere, but not a spliff to smoke

6/30/17--On July 1, when recreational marijuana goes on sale in Nevada, visitors should have no problem purchasing marijuana at dispensaries near the Strip. However, Nevada only allows for consumption in private residences with the owner’s permission. So, even if one makes the argument that a hotel room is a “residence,” Casino owners won't permit it. Read

Welcome to legal pot, Las Vegas-style

6/28/17--Some medical marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas and other Nevada cities will begin selling pot on Saturday for recreational use for the first time since voters approved it in November. It's the fastest turnaround from the ballot box to retail sales of any of the seven other states and the District of Columbia where pot is legal. Read

Marijuana industry sees growth two years after recreational legalization

7/1/17--Two years following the legalization of recreational marijuana in Oregon, shop owners and workers believe the industry is heading in the right direction, even with restrictions from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Read

California passes ‘open container’ law for pot

6/28/17--California’s governor recently signed into law a package of measures intended to aid police and prosecutors in addressing drugged driving prior to the state’s plans to make recreational marijuana legal in 2018. With recreational legalization on the horizon, California is attempting to pre-empt the myriad problems Colorado and Washington, which both legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, have encountered. Read

Marijuana moratorium dies, paving way for recreational pot

6/28/17--Recreational marijuana will be sold in Mesquite due to a resolution failing to pass that would have imposed a moratorium on recreational marijuana sales in the city. Resolution No. 928 only had the support of petitioner Dave Ballweg, who stated that the primary reason for this resolution is because an ordinance does not exist to regulate the sale of recreational marijuana at this time. Read

State law invalidated Miami Beach’s proposed medical marijuana zoning

6/28/17--After state lawmakers passed legislation governing Florida’s medical marijuana industry, local zoning regulations for dispensaries being considered in Miami Beach have stalled. The new state regulations pre-empt local governments from regulating medical cannabis dispensaries any more than they regulate pharmacies. The only other option for cities is to totally ban medical marijuana retail outlets. Read

Questions remain on changes to pot law

6/29/17--Massachusetts legislators hit an impasse as they tried to iron out differences between a House version of a rewrite of the voter-passed marijuana legalization law that would alter major parts of the ballot measure, and a Senate bill with more modest changes. Supporters fear that a significant delay could thwart the expected opening of retail stores, aimed for July 2018. Read

Las Vegas dispensaries brace for Saturday start of recreational sales

6/28/17--Fueled by one of the world’s largest tourism industries, Nevada is preparing to to start recreational sales on July 1. Gov. Brian Sandoval’s task force on marijuana estimates that up to 63 percent of recreational buyers will be tourists. However, buyers are still prohibited by state law from consuming marijuana, except at private residences. Read

How should Arroyo Grande handle legalized marijuana?

6/26/17--The Arroyo Grande City Council is starting to question how they want to deal with the often-controversial topic of recreational marijuana. The city has been relatively mum on recreational marijuana. Yet, with the passage of Proposition 64 last year, California cities and counties have been forced to reckon with the new world of legal recreational marijuana and all the challenges that come with regulating it. Read

House approves revamp of recreational pot law

6/21/17--The Massachusetts House has passed a revised version of the state’s recreational marijuana legislation. The bill will not revise any of the current rules around how much marijuana individuals can legally possess or how many plants they’re allowed to grow inside their homes. However, the bill does call for steeper taxes on recreational marijuana purchases when pot shops begin opening next year. Read

Senate passes marijuana bill calling for revisions to law

6/22/17--The Massachusetts Senate passed a bill Thursday calling for revisions to the state voter-approved recreational marijuana law, setting the stage for negotiations with the House. The Senate bill, approved on a 30-5 vote, would keep the current measure in place but with proposed changes in the way both recreational and medical marijuana would be overseen by the state. Read

Bellingham selectmen favor marijuana grow facility

6/26/17--The Board of Selectmen voted to issue a letter of non-opposition to Evergreen Farms, a possible medical marijuana grow facility in town. The board heard a presentation in favor of a dispensary, but selectmen suggested a grow facility as a more agreeable alternative. Representatives from Evergreen Farms said they would be amenable to such a change. After receiving the letter, they would then have to apply to the state for approval, and then return to the town to negotiate a host-community agreement. Read

Marijuana control board to revisit on-site pot consumption in July

6/26/17--The Alaska Marijuana Control Board will discuss three different options for on-site marijuana consumption proposed by board members at its next meeting. Read

Laws still ban public marijuana use

6/26/17--Nevada's current marijuana laws essentially restrict pot consumption to inside private residences. Since public consumption is banned, there is concern that some people might turn to renting out a house for use. Due to the expressed concern over party houses, Las Vegas City Council is passing tighter restrictions on properties like Airbnb's. Read

Christie successor likely to decide fate of marijuana in NJ

6/25/17--New Jersey voters go to the polls Nov. 7 to pick the term-limited Republican's successor, and a major issue that the Democrat-led Legislature is punting to the next governor will be marijuana legalization. Democratic nominee Phil Murphy has come out in favor of legalization, highlighting in particular the potential for up to $300 million in new revenue from taxes on marijuana sales. A key difference between Christie and supporters of legalization is whether marijuana is a gateway to other drug use. Advocates say it isn't; Christie disagrees. Read

Emergency regulations adopted for recreational marijuana

6/26/17--The Nevada Tax Commission today adopted emergency regulations for recreational marijuana, opening the door for sales to begin Saturday on a limited basis. The commission approved regulations for packaging, labeling, and advertising. Dispensaries will be allowed to sell what they have in inventory but won’t be able to restock because of a court ruling that only alcohol wholesalers can be licensed to distribute marijuana for the first 18 months of recreational sales. Read

Seminole chief to help other tribes grow legal weed

6/22/17--James Billie, an ex-chief of the Seminole Tribe, plans to help other Native American groups grow and sell tax-free marijuana in states where it's legal. Billie has teamed up with Electrum Partners, a finance firm specializing in the legal marijuana industry, to seek out tribes in states that have good land for growing weed. They want to focus on all aspects of the cannabis industry, from medical uses to hemp. Read

Rewriting the Mass. pot law is a bad idea, but legislators are doing it anyway

6/22/17--House legislators have decided they must jump in and completely rewrite the law voters passed by ballot in November. Representative Mark Cusack, House chairman of the Marijuana Policy Committee, outlined his legislation rewriting the ballot law. Those who actually worked to get marijuana legalized were outside the State House this week protesting against the House bill. Read

Mass. House votes to make major changes to pot law

6/21/17--The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed an expansive rewrite of the voter-approved marijuana legalization law — a bill that would alter major aspects of the referendum backed by 1.8 million voters just seven months ago. The 126-to-28 vote sets up a showdown with the Senate, which is expected to greenlight a much more modest adjustment of the recreational pot law. Read

Nevada rush to sell recreational marijuana runs into liquor lobby roadblock

6/19/17--Nevada’s marijuana regulators are hoping to launch recreational sales, but a court must first decide whether the liquor industry should be guaranteed a piece of the pot pie before tourists and residents can light up. Lawyers for the liquor industry and the Nevada Department of Taxation argued before a judge about whether the state has the authority to issue marijuana distribution licenses to anyone besides alcohol distributors. Read

Pot shop finds a way around a Colo. ski town’s weed sales ban

6/16/17--Dan Volpe, who owns Serene Wellness dispensaries, fought for nearly a year to win final approval to open a pot shop in the bud-bereft town of Winter Park. Now he’s ready to open in the Valley Hi Motel. Grand County’s three-member board of commissioners approved Volpe’s plan for recreational marijuana sales at Valley Hi in August. Winter Park vowed a fight, even securing a restraining order preventing the commissioners from voting on the proposal. Read

CA lawmakers approve merger of rec, MMJ regulatory systems

6/16/17--The California legislature approved a state budget plan that includes a proposal from Gov. Jerry Brown to merge the regulatory systems for both medical and recreational marijuana businesses. The new system will allow California marijuana retailers to sell both rec and medical at the same physical storefront. Read

Lemon Grove bans alcohol, marijuana at city parks

6/17/17--Alcohol and marijuana are about to be prohibited at Lemon Grove's eight city parks beginning in July, according to city officials. The city council voted unanimously in May to make parks off-limits to the use of marijuana in any form and to all alcohol. While California's new law under Prop. 64 makes recreational marijuana use legal for adults over 21, it is not legal to do so in public places. Read

San Juan Bautista holds marijuana workshop

6/17/17--San Juan Bautista City Council members held a marijuana study session at city hall to discuss aspects of medicinal and recreational marijuana that could potentially affect the city. Councilman Dan DeVries suggested the study session take place after the council agreed it had more questions than answers about cannabis. Read

Tiny Sumpter, Oregon, becomes unwilling marijuana mecca

6/17/17--The tiny town of Sumpter is one of only two places where people can buy recreational marijuana within a 200-mile radius in eastern Oregon. However, unlike the small town of Huntington, which embraced recreational dispensaries for their economic potential, Sumpter became a cannabis haven accidentally, and, many in town seemingly say, unwillingly. Read

Mass. Senate draft bill keeps 12 percent marijuana tax

6/16/17--The marijuana tax rate in Massachusetts would remain capped at 12 percent under a draft bill released Friday by the state Senate. Pat Jehlen, Senate chair of the Marijuana Policy Committee, says her chamber's bill stays with 12 percent for two reasons. First, it's the rate approved by voters. Secondly, raising the tax rate would fuel the existing black market. Read

Judge won’t dismiss lawsuit that could delay Nevada pot sales

6/13/17--Judge James Wilson refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by liquor distributors against the Department of Taxation over the distribution of recreational marijuana to pot dispensaries. The decision could delay the start of recreational marijuana sales originally set for July 1 via the existing medical marijuana dispensaries operating throughout Nevada. The issue is whether liquor distributors have the first right to distribute marijuana from grow facilities to the dispensaries. Read

Residents and business owners divided on rules and regulations at public hearing

6/14/17--Among the main concerns expressed by Denver businesses at a public hearing on social marijuana use were dual consumption of pot and alcohol, cannabis odors, visibility, and protecting children from exposure to the drug. For the most part, lines were drawn with Denver residents supporting current proposals for rules and regulations, which have not yet been adopted, and marijuana business entrepreneurs saying that the proposed rules and regulations are overbearing. Read

California firms up marijuana rules, will allow deliveries

6/14/17--California would set standards for organic marijuana, allow pot samples at county fairs, and permit home deliveries under legislation set to be considered by lawmakers Thursday, as the state prepares for next year's start of legal marijuana sales. Lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown's administration are working to merge California's new voter-approved recreational pot law with the state's longstanding medical marijuana program. They have settled on an array of regulations to protect consumers and public safety while ensuring taxes are collected. Read

House Speaker postpones vote on changes to Mass. marijuana law

6/15/17--House Speaker Robert DeLeo is postponing a vote on a bill that would make changes to the state's recreational marijuana law that was passed by voters last year. The House was originally scheduled to vote on the proposed revisions, written by House Democrats, on Thursday. But on Wednesday, problems regarding the bill and the language it uses cropped up moments after the Legislature's marijuana committee was gaveled into session. Read

Welcome to Ganjachusetts

6/12/17--Now that recreational pot has been legalized in Massachusetts, entrepreneurs are on the brink of a billion-dollar green rush. The research firm Arcview Group reported that legal marijuana sales reached nearly $7 billion in North America last year, a figure that’s predicted to triple by 2021. As the first eastern state to legalize recreational use of the drug, Massachusetts is poised to command a sizable chunk of that market. Yet, despite the popular support and financial promise of recreational pot, political infighting and bureaucracy have bogged down efforts to get the marketplace up and running. Read

Fairbanks emerges as Alaska’s marijuana hub

6/11/17--So far, growers in Fairbanks have cultivated and sold about 800 pounds of marijuana and paid $444,000 to the state in taxes, records show. Fairbanks is “way ahead” of other Alaska communities, said Cary Carrigan, spokesman for the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, with some of the biggest grows, the friendliest local regulations, and the best-organized marijuana industry operators. Read

Limitations of state’s legalized marijuana

6/12/17--Colorado, after three years of cultivation, distribution, and retail sales, is realizing the boundaries of its rapid expansion of recreational marijuana sales. One sign of its limitation is that 70 percent of local governments in Colorado don't allow retail sales of marijuana. Only 19 counties out of 64 allow recreational sales. Efforts to expand marijuana sales in Colorado are relentless. Yet, Gov. John Hickenlooper continues to warn other states to be cautious with legalization and expansion. Read

Legal marijuana could be a $5-billion boon to California’s economy

6/11/17--California is on the verge of creating a legal market for marijuana worth more than $5 billion that will help make the state a destination for pot-loving tourists, according to a new state-sponsored economic study. Read

Colorado toughens up on home grows, boosts funding for black market enforcement

6/8/17--Gov. John Hickenlooper signed House Bills 1220 and 1221, which cap home-grow limits at 12 plants and allocate $6 million of marijuana tax revenue toward black market enforcement efforts, respectively. Gov. Hickenlooper thinks that by setting a limit of 12 plants per home, neighborhoods will be protected from violence often associated with illegal drug trafficking. Read

Why the marijuana and tobacco policy camps are on very different paths

6/8/17--New research looked at diverging trajectories of cannabis and tobacco policies in the US and attempts to explain some of the reasoning behind the different paths, while discussing possible implications. Read

R.I. legislators push bill to legalize marijuana in 2018

6/8/17--Marijuana legalization advocates are planning to introduce a scaled-back version of their legislation that would legalize the drug next year but put the brakes on immediate plans for retail stores. Sen. Joshua Miller, D-Cranston, said advocates are willing to compromise in a significant way to ensure that "progress" is made this year. Read

L.A. proposes new regulations on marijuana shops

6/8/17--Los Angeles unveiled a new set of proposed regulations Thursday on how and where marijuana businesses can operate within city limits, the latest step toward reworking its rules after Californians voted to legalize recreational pot. The draft regulations will be available for public review and comment for 60 days before city officials take any action. Read

California assembly votes to become a ‘sanctuary state’

6/4/17--The California state Assembly approved a bill that would prohibit state and local law enforcement officers from assisting federal drug agents making arrests of people complying with the state’s drug laws. The bill now moves to the state Senate. The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, would effectively make California a “sanctuary state” against enforcement of federal drug laws related to the sale and use of marijuana. Read

Denver’s 4/20 organizer appeals three-year ban imposed after trash, noise, health complaints

6/2/17--Miguel Lopez, organizer of Denver’s 4/20 rally in Civic Center, filed an appeal on Friday of the city’s three-year ban, which was imposed after complaints about noise, trash, security, health, and other issues. The written appeal of the ban attempts to refute city complaints and violations. Furthermore, the appeal letter calls for an appeal hearing, with identifiable witnesses testifying on record, to be held. Read

Here’s what just changed in Washington state marijuana laws

5/23/17--A week ago, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed an omnibus marijuana bill, containing many changes to the regulations put in place in 2013 after Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana sales in 2012. The Cannabist outlines the major changes that could affect how Washingtonians and visitors experience legal weed in the state. Read

A blow to the states-rights argument for legal marijuana

5/26/17--According to a new NBER study from economists Zhuang Hao and Benjamin Cowan, one common argument for marijuana legalization is fiscal: States may be able to increase revenues by taxing the drug and save money on police and prisons by decriminalizing it. Yet, some of the cost savings in states with legal marijuana may come at the expense of other states, which have to manage increased drug use, at least in border counties, and which don’t share in the weed tax windfall. To this concern, drug libertarians might answer, not unfairly. Read

Colorado’s weed boom will fund schools and fight opioid addiction

5/30/17--Colorado netted more than $105 million from marijuana taxes for the 2016-17 fiscal year, and the state has finalized plans to spend its pot tax windfall on health programs in public schools, housing for at-risk populations, and a new treatment program to combat the opioid crisis. Whether any of this money will actually be spent depends on whether the Department of Justice will continue to allow states to keep weed legal. Read

Uruguay, the first country where you can smoke marijuana wherever you like

5/27/17--In July, Uruguay will become the first country in the world where its sale is legal across the entire territory. However, legal marijuana will only be available at pharmacies. Though the price will be highly accessible, consumers must register with the government first. They will then be required to identify themselves with a digital thumb scan to withdraw their weekly maximum of 10g. Read

Judge temporarily halts Maryland medical marijuana industry

5/25/17--Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams put Maryland's medical marijuana industry temporarily on hold Thursday, granting the request of a company that alleged state regulators illegally ignored racial diversity when picking firms to grow the drug. Judge said the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is not permitted to grant any additional marijuana licenses for 10 days. He will decide after a June 2 hearing whether to extend that ban until the conclusion of a lawsuit that asks for the entire application process to begin anew. Read

El Dorado County supervisors discuss ban, regulation of recreational marijuana

5/24/17--The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors hosted the "El Dorado County Marijuana Policy Workshop," held to bring the board up to speed on the current standings on the policies and current trends of recreational marijuana. A deadline to figure out how to deal with recreational marijuana looms in early 2018 for the county to make a decision on whether they will ban/regulate recreational cannabis. If they have not reached a decision by the deadline, the state may make a decision on how recreational marijuana is handled in El Dorado County. Read

Lompoc residents support marijuana access at final committee meeting

5/25/17--In an attempt to help shape future regulations, several Lompoc residents shared their views on the ways Lompoc could benefit from allowing marijuana use and commercial sales within the city’s borders. About 15 community members gathered at City Hall on Thursday evening for the fourth and final meeting of an ad hoc committee that was created late last year to explore marijuana-related issues. Read

Wine country looking more like cannabis country in California

5/11/17--California’s legalization of recreational marijuana has led to the beginning of a major transformation of wine country. Investors are snapping up property where wine was once produced, and vineyard operators are developing expertise in cannabis cultivation. New, specialty marijuana businesses are sprouting up in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, and farmers who have made a good living by growing and harvesting winegrapes are expressing interest in diversifying with marijuana. Read

Marijuana convictions go up in smoke with California legalization

5/22/17--Since California legalized recreational pot, thousands of people convicted of marijuana crimes have asked to get their records reduced. A lesser-known provision of Proposition 64 allows some felonies to be reduced to misdemeanors and some criminal records to be wiped clean. Read

Denver 4/20 rally organizers receive 3-year ban after event left Civic Center Park trashed

5/20/17--Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration banned the organizer of this year’s 4/20 rally from hosting the event for three years citing a series of violations at the marijuana celebration, including four noise complaints, untimely trash removal, limited security guards, unlicensed food vendors and street closures. The administration imposed $11,965 in fines and $190 in damages in addition to the temporary ban. Read

Why it’s so hard to define where you can legally smoke weed in Colorado

5/18/17--Legislation attempted to define a statewide prohibition on “open and public” pot consumption under Amendment 64, the voter-approved constitutional measure that legalized marijuana in 2012. Yet, its failure on the final day of the session showcased why the issue remains one of the most profound questions in a state known as the nation’s pot pioneer. A look inside the bizarre last-minute negotiations reveals a fundamental divide about marijuana in Colorado, and illustrates the challenges for lawmakers tasked with finding a compromise in the months ahead. Read

Legalized marijuana turns Colorado resort town into homeless magnet

5/17/17--A resort town near the New Mexico border, once a vibrant, upscale community with luxury hotels, is now being overrun by panhandlers due, in part, to the legalization of marijuana. The town suddenly became a haven for recreational pot users, drawing in transients, panhandlers, and a large number of homeless drug addicts, according to officials and business owners. Many are coming from New Mexico, Arizona, and New York. Read

When death isn’t a big enough deterrent to making this marijuana

5/15/17--Butane vapor explosions from the hash-oil-making process happens so often, yet death doesn’t seem to be much of a deterrent. Now that marijuana is legal, there’s a chance even more hash oil labs could spring up. So far, they have grown rapidly in spite of the many attempts to kill them with stricter penalties for operators, but Sacramento County’s supervisors are wisely trying another strategy. Read

Vermont makes history with legislative passing of marijuana bill

5/15/17--In a state senate vote of 79 yeas to 66 nays, Vermont became the first state to pass an adult-use legalization bill without a referendum on May 10. S. 22, a bill first introduced by the Senate in January to increase the penalties for possession, sale, and dispensation of fentanyl, was amended by both the House and the Senate in May to include marijuana-related language from previously failed bills H. 170 and H. 167. Read

Marijuana grow fire damages house in Sweet Home

5/13/17--A marijuana grow operation went up in smoke Saturday night, damaging the second story of a home at 40812 Highway 228 and summoning both Sweet Home and Lebanon fire crews. There were no injuries, and the fire did minor damage to the roof, with extensive smoke damage to the interior, according to Sweet Home Fire District incident commander Zach Lincoln. Read