Tags Recreational


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

Plan for Denver social marijuana use permits includes waivers for every customer

5/11/17--Businesses that obtain permits to offer Denver’s first-in-the-nation areas for social marijuana use would have to require patrons to sign waivers as they enter. They would also have to follow a ventilation plan if they allow the use of vaping devices indoors. Furthermore, if they have a liquor license, they would have to halt any alcohol sales and seek a temporary suspension of the license while marijuana use is occurring, preventing any “dual consumption” by customers. Read

Raids for illegal weed grows down sharply in one Colorado county

5/8/17--After 30 raids for illegal marijuana cultivation in Pueblo County last year, the sheriff’s department says people are getting the message, and deputies have made only one bust this year. Deputies arrested a total of 41 people in last year’s raids, mostly from March through May. This year’s lone raid brought three arrests. Read

Oregon pot tax collections – tens of millions of dollars – are sitting in limbo

5/8/17--Tax money collected from Oregon’s legal marijuana sales brought in almost $75 million in tax revenue since 2016. However, none of that tax revenue has been distributed to its intended recipients, like schools and police agencies due to a quirk in the state law that governs legal marijuana. Read

City of Reno backs off recreational marijuana moratorium

4/26/17--The Reno City Council rejected a proposal for a six-month moratorium on recreational marijuana establishments. The moratorium, proposed by the city Code Enforcement Manager Alex Woodley, would have afforded the city time to familiarize itself with state regulations developed by the Department of Taxation. Furthermore, the moratorium would have temporarily stayed any applications from existing medical marijuana dispensaries. Read

How Alaska marijuana businesses carry pounds of pot on board, with police blessing

4/26/17--Marijuana business owners in Alaska have started carrying the drug on board flights, and it's all done with the blessing of airport police. Flying with marijuana seems to solve issues unique to Alaska's cannabis industry: It allows communities accessible only by sea or air to bring commercial marijuana into the city. Read

Massachusetts sheriffs: Increase proposed marijuana tax, use money for addiction treatment

4/25/17--Sheriffs urged state lawmakers Monday to boost the tax consumers will pay on recreational marijuana and earmark the additional revenue for substance abuse prevention and treatment. The law currently calls for a 3.75 percent excise tax on retail marijuana sales, expected to begin in mid-2018. The excise would be imposed on top of the state’s regular 6.25 percent sales tax, and local communities would have the option of tacking on an additional 2 percent tax. Read

Creating standards for cannabis industry gets ASTM International board approval

4/25/17--ASTM International, a century-old standards organization, gave the official go-ahead to establish a standards-writing committee for the cannabis industry, officials announced. ASTM’s board of directors approved the formation of Committee D37, a group that will develop standards for cannabis, its products and processes. Read

Massachusetts House bans marijuana purchases with public assistance

4/26/18--The Massachusetts House is barring welfare recipients from using their cash benefits to purchase recreational marijuana. The prohibition would take effect on July 1, 2018, or once legislation has been enacted following a report by the Committee on Marijuana Policy. Read

Report: Medical marijuana patients outspent adult-use three to one last year

4/25/17--Medical patients made up a sizable portion of the market for marijuana in the U.S. last year, spending three times more money on the crop than recreational users, according to a report from New Frontier Data. Recreational customers last year spent an average of $49 on each transaction compared to patients who spent $136 on average, the report shows. To get those results, New Frontier said it accessed online ordering and loyalty information from markets such as Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, and California. Read

Nevada senators vote to OK smoking pot in businesses, among other bills

4/25/17--Both S.B. 375, which advocates for tribes' rights to establish marijuana facilities, and S.B. 344, which aims to protect children via marijuana packaging mandates, received a 21-0 vote of approval from the Senate floor on Tuesday. Both bills will now head to the Assembly floor. Read

What’s going on with getting recreational marijuana off the ground in Massachusetts?

4/24/17--A legislative committee created to review and potentially make revisions in the voter-approved recreational marijuana measure plans to hold its final hearing at the Statehouse on Monday and deliver recommendations by June. Emerging as a key point in the discussions is the yet-to-be-formed Cannabis Control Commission, which will be responsible for granting licenses to retail marijuana stores. Decisions made by the cannabis commissioners will have wide impact on people who use recreational pot and even many who don’t. Read

Marijuana tax money helping Colorado students pay for college

4/23/17--A marijuana-related tax is now helping send students to college in Colorado. According to KKTV-TV in Denver, Pueblo County, Colorado has started a cannabis-funded college scholarship program for high school seniors living in the county. Pueblo County Commissioners expects that every qualifying student would receive about $1,000 for college. To qualify, students would have to attend either Pueblo Community College or Colorado State University-Pueblo. Read

Alberta cities, province respond to federal legislation on legalizing marijuana

4/13/17--The federal Liberal government has launched its effort to legalize recreational marijuana. Alberta municipalities are very concerned about the short time frames for implementing the new laws. Yet, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) said it has been working hard to make sure systems are in place to educate the public, restrict inappropriate use, address health and safety issues, and co-ordinate law enforcement through RCMP and local police. Read

Canada Today: Marijuana

4/14/17--The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced legislation that, if passed, would legalize recreational marijuana. Although the bill lays out the broad guidelines of a tightly regulated system, and introduces strict new penalties for selling or giving marijuana to minors, much work remains. For instance, provinces will have to figure out how to distribute it, and the police will need to develop tests for apprehending impaired drivers that are reliable enough to avoid court challenges. Read

Trudeau unveils bill legalizing recreational marijuana in Canada

4/14/17--Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Canada. When Mr. Trudeau’s bill passes, as expected, Canada will become only the second nation, after Uruguay, to completely legalize marijuana as a consumer product. Read

Neighbors of York medical marijuana facility raise odor, groundwater, lifestyle issues

4/12/17--A group of neighbors near a medical marijuana grow facility on White Birch Lane said they are frustrated by the anonymity of the owners and tenants, a situation that creates a sense of unease in the neighborhood dating back years. They also worry about the values of their homes — particularly if a recreational grow facility is created there. Read

Oregon set to shield marijuana user data from US officials

4/10/17--Oregon state lawmakers who fear heightened marijuana enforcement by federal agents overwhelmingly approved a proposal to protect pot users from having their identities or cannabis-buying habits from being divulged by marijuana shops. Read

$1 billion in marijuana taxes is addictive to state governors

4/11/17--According to a new report from New Frontier Data, states with legalized marijuana are on track to generate approximately $655 million in state taxes on retail sales in 2017. Within that tax figure, $559 million will come just from cannabis taxes. Many states view the cannabis industry as a vice and tax it at a high rate. The industry accepts it as a cost of doing business, and seemingly it has paid off handsomely for the states that have legalized marijuana. Read

Clark County back on track for July 1 recreational pot sales

4/7/17--The state plans to issue licenses that would allow currently operating medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational weed starting July 1. Panel members said waiting longer would give the black market more time to grow and cut into the tax revenue Clark County could generate. Read

Washington state readies to defend booming marijuana business from feds

4/6/17--Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson says it would be “deeply troubling” if federal raids were conducted against growing operations in his state. Ferguson is prepared to go toe-to-toe with the administration and strongly believes the Trump administration should respect what states are doing. "We’re the laboratories of democracy,” Ferguson said. Read

Police object to California marijuana regulation revamp

4/6/17--California law enforcement officials objected to Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed streamlining of the state's marijuana regulations, saying his plan could endanger public safety. The California Police Chiefs Association, representing all of the state's municipal police forces, said the governor's proposal could turn traditionally small marijuana businesses into much larger ones controlling the entire supply chain from growing operations to retail sales. Read