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Revised initiative for North Dakota marijuana legalization submitted

7/12/19--A group seeking to plant marijuana legalization in North Dakota's Constitution has resubmitted its petition for the June 2020 primary ballot. The petition would need 26,904 qualified signatures by Feb. 10 to be placed on the primary ballot. Read

Group starts ballot petition process to make recreational marijuana legal in Arkansas

7/9/19--The Drug Policy Education Group, an Arkansas 501(c)4 nonprofit dedicated to reducing harm and promoting education about drug policies, will file two ballot petitions with the Arkansas Secretary of State on Wednesday, July 10. The first ballot petition proposes to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult recreational use in the state by December 4, 2020 while the second would allow persons with marijuana convictions involving less than 16 ounces to petition for expungement. Read

NM to begin push to legalize recreational marijuana

7/8/19--The push to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in New Mexico is beginning this week. On Wednesday, industry officials and policy experts will meet for the first time to begin crafting proposals to move legalization legislation forward. Read

Marijuana bill likely to come up early when lawmakers return

4/25/19--Illinois State Sen. Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat and key supporter of an initiative to legalize adult recreational marijuana in the state, said substantial bill language will be filed soon, and the issue could be one of the first discussed by state lawmakers when they return to the Statehouse from their two-week spring break next week. Read

Cardinale: Recent pro-marijuana editorials are rife with inaccuracies

3/20/19--Senator Gerald Cardinale, (R-39) the ranking Republican on the State Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a response to two pro-marijuana editorials he claims spouted misinformation, and going out of their way to hide data that illustrates the grave consequences of legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Cardinale believes marijuana legalization will not ‘cure all the ills facing New Jersey.’ He urges every Senator and Assembly representative to vote no on legalizing marijuana. Read

New Mexico bill would create first state-run pot shops in US

3/12/19--New Mexico would become the first U.S. state to set up its own government-operated marijuana stores and subsidize medical cannabis for the poor under a bill brokered between Republicans and Democrats, as a new wave of states weighs legislation that would legalize recreational sales and consumption. Read

NJ marijuana legalization: Top NJ Democrat says legal weed vote needs to happen now

3/8/19--New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney wants to vote this month on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. He believes the longer it takes to vote on the bill, the harder it will be for the measure to pass. However, a bill has not been formally introduced. Read

New Mexico moves toward legalizing recreational marijuana

3/8/19--New Mexico took a step toward legalizing recreational marijuana when its House approved a bill that would allow state-run stores and require customers to carry a receipt with their marijuana or face penalties. The measure mixes major provisions of a Republican-backed Senate bill that emphasizes aggressive regulation with a draft by Democrats concerned about the U.S. war on drugs. The 36-34 vote sends the bill to the Democratic-controlled Senate for consideration. Read

Legalizing marijuana in Arizona gains support in new poll

3/8/19--A new poll from OH Predictive Insights shows most Arizona voters support legalizing "adult use" of marijuana, an encouraging sign for advocates who hope a ballot measure that uses similar language will pass next year. This poll of likely 2020 voters showed 52 percent in favor of marijuana legalization, 41 percent opposed, and 7 percent were undecided. Read

Dueling bills lay out different visions for recreational marijuana

2/23/19--Very different visions for legalizing marijuana in New Mexico are a bit closer to becoming reality after legislative hearings on Saturday. It remains unclear whether the full Senate would approve either Senate Bill 577 and/or House Bill 356 this year, making the campaign to legalize cannabis something of a long shot as the legislative session nears its end March 16. Read

New Mexico Republicans say legalize marijuana, but let the government sell it

2/15/19--Republican state lawmakers in New Mexico want recreational marijuana to be legally sold in stores, but they’re proposing that the state government own and operate marijuana dispensaries. The New Mexico proposal would be a new model for the United States. In nearby Nevada as well as California, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, where recreational marijuana is legal and available in stores, it’s sold at government-regulated, privately run businesses. Read

Marijuana meetings start in Harrisburg with strong showing of support for legal pot

2/11/19--Lt. Gov. John Fetterman kicked off is pot legalization listening tour in Pennsylvania with dozens of people packing the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg to talk about legalizing marijuana. There were some opponents who voiced their opinions, but the public comments on this opening night ranged about four-to-one in favor of a broad legalization of pot for recreational use. Read

The most interesting 2019 marijuana bills that you might have missed

1/31/19--The Boston Globe presents some of the most interesting marijuana legislation filed this year that may have been missed. These are just a small handful of the more than 500 marijuana-related bills that have already been filed for 2019 legislative sessions that in most cases began less than a month ago. Read

Raimondo will propose legalizing pot in Rhode Island

1/13/19--Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Sunday she will propose legalizing recreational marijuana in Rhode Island, joining other states across the Northeast in a rapid embrace of the policy. The governor is scheduled to release her budget plan on Thursday, which will include the legalization and strict regulation of adult-use marijuana. Read

Legal weed is great, but black and brown communities can’t be left behind

1/11/19--Katelyn Johnson, Executive Director of Action Now, a grassroots community organization working to build power and fight for racial, social and economic justice in low-income Black communities in Chicago, believes marijuana legalization must bring both equity and justice for those most impacted by the War on Drugs. According to Johnson, while it’s critically important both for Black and Brown entrepreneurs to gain equal access to the burgeoning market, using marijuana revenue to fill budget gaps and backlogged debt does a grave disservice to the decades of inequity faced by communities of color as a result of the War on Drugs. Read

County creates marijuana task force to prepare for state legalization

1/11/19--Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Thursday the creation of a task force to prepare for the anticipated state legalization of recreational marijuana. The task force will be co-chaired by county Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder and county Legislator Josh Lafazan (D-Syosset). According to Lafazan, the group intends to consult with experts and the community to compile a report that can be used to inform potential county legislation. Read

Thorny questions threaten to slow legal marijuana in New York

1/13/19--Efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use in New York are gaining steam. Although there’s broad agreement on the idea of legalization, there’s no consensus on a long list of details that must be figured out first, and New York has a history of taking a slow, cautious approach when it comes to marijuana. Read

Marijuana: Cities, towns could opt-out under Andrew Cuomo’s plan

1/14/19--Cities and towns in New York would still be able to ban marijuana sales under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's soon-to-be-released plan to legalize the drug statewide. Cuomo is expected to unveil his full recreational marijuana proposal on Tuesday as part of his budget plan and State of the State address, which is set for 2 p.m. Read

Bill sponsor says legal marijuana is example of limited government, personal liberty

1/14/19--A bill introduced by Del. Steve Heretick, D-Portsmouth, into the Virginia House of Delegates would legalize recreational marijuana for individuals 21 years or older. Heretick stated that legalizing the plant would serve the aim of “limited government” and “personal liberty,” which he said is something he thinks both major political parties value. Read

New congressional marijuana bill is actually numbered H.R. 420

1/9/19--Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have officially reserved the number H.R. 420 for a bill that would dramatically change federal marijuana laws. The new bill filed in the House on Wednesday by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is titled the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. If passed, it would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act. Read

NJ marijuana legalization: What will NJ get from legal weed taxes?

12/10/18--The Office of Legislative Services, a nonpartisan Statehouse bureau that assists with crafting and studying legislation, estimates that New Jersey would bring in a little over $210 million in state taxes from nearly $1.8 billion in annual marijuana sales, according to its fiscal impact study of the legal weed bill. Read

Marijuana legalization hearing includes … broccoli, bar fights and Bills games

11/19/18--During a statewide debate at Monday’s State Assembly public hearing on proposals to legalize, regulate, and tax the adult use of marijuana in New York State, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn talked about vegetables and bar fights and State Assembly members brought up Buffalo Bills games in relation to their objection and support of marijuana. This was the second of four statewide public hearings scheduled by the Assembly. Read

Marijuana ballot initiative campaigns raised $12.9 million, final pre-election numbers show

11/6/18--In the lead-up to the election, committees supporting or opposing marijuana ballot initiatives have raised a total of $12.9 million in cash and in-kind services over the past two years to convince those voters, Marijuana Moment’s analysis of the latest campaign finance records filed the day before Election Day shows. Read

How can legal weed impact NJ’s economy? Five questions for a cannabis industry leader

10/7/17--Karson Humiston founded Vangst, a Denver-based organization that has connected more than 7,500 people to leading marijuana companies across the U.S. and Canada. Her company employs more than 60 people, and in the last year, Vangst has reported a 567 percent revenue increase and projects revenues of $5 million for 2018. North Jersey Record presented and published five questions posed to Humiston about what legalization could do for New Jersey's economy. Read

A vote for legal weed in N.J. coming on this day, top lawmaker says

9/27/18--New Jersey's Senate President Stephen Sweeney has set a new date for at least one house of the state Legislature to vote legalizing recreational marijuana in the Garden State: Oct. 29. Sweeney said Thursday that lawmakers and Gov. Phil Murphy's administration have only "two issues" left to work out related to the bill that would make marijuana legal. Read

Rick Steves to hold marijuana legalization talks in Michigan

9/26/18--Rick Steves, host of the hit PBS series “Rick Steves’ Europe” and prominent marijuana policy reform advocate, will be holding talks across Michigan to discuss the benefits of legalizing and regulating marijuana, and how world travel has shaped his views on the issue. Read

Michigan voters poised to approve recreational marijuana proposal

9/11/18--Michigan voters are poised to approve a ballot proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in the state this November, according to a WDIV/Detroit News poll. By a margin of 56.2 percent-38.0 percent, Michigan voters support legalizing recreational marijuana. Only 5.8 percent of voters remain undecided. Read

North Dakota legislators debate potential fiscal impact of legalized marijuana

9/12/18--North Dakota lawmakers of Legislative Management debated the accurate fiscal impact of Measure 3 on marijuana legalization, zeroing in on an educational campaign not mandated by the measure. Read

Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried holding joint call on passing marijuana reform

9/9/18--Following action by multiple banks to close Agriculture Commissioner candidate Nikki Fried’s campaign accounts, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist will file federal legislation to address conflict between federal and state marijuana laws. Crist and Fried, both Democrats, will hold a joint press call Monday to discuss the “urgent need to reform marijuana for medical use advocacy at the federal level.” Read

Medical marijuana advocates start their own PAC

8/9/18--Gary Stein, a medical marijuana historian and advocate, has opened his own Florida fundraising panel, Clarity PAC,  to support pro-marijuana candidates and influence legislation. Its mission is to advocate for full legal access to medicinal cannabis and the responsible adult use of cannabis, and to help create and pass legislation supporting that topic. Read

Journal Times editorial: Pot referendums could sway election

8/12/18--This coming November, City of Racine residents will have the chance to vote in an advisory referendum on the question of whether marijuana should be legal for medicinal and/or recreational use, as well as what the potential revenue should be used for. Keeping in mind the fact that the marijuana referendums could sway the election, the poses the question: Is this the right time? Would April be a better time? Read

Will recreational marijuana be legalized in Florida in 2020? John Morgan thinks so.

7/6/18--Orlando attorney John Morgan, who bankrolled the successful effort to broadly legalize medical marijuana in Florida two years ago, says he will raise funds — and dip into his own deep pockets — to get a recreational use measure on the 2020 ballot. Morgan said he is speaking with U.S. marijuana companies to raise enough money to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot and would personally contribute any needed funds. He estimates the campaign would need about $5 million. Read

Group collecting signatures for measure to legalize recreational marijuana

7/5/18-- ‘Green the Vote’ announced that it was seeking a constitutional amendment that would allow adults to use marijuana recreationally. State Question 797 would allow anyone over the age of 21 to legally possess, use, grow, process, and sell marijuana. It would also allow marijuana to be classified as an herbal drug, which would be regulated by the Oklahoma Cannabis Commission. In order to have a chance to get the question on the November ballot, the group says it needs to collect 124,000 signatures of registered Oklahoma voters. Read

Marijuana campaign Part 2?

6/30/18--Orlando attorney John Morgan apparently wants to put more money into getting Floridians to vote on marijuana. The lawyer, who spent about $7 million backing a successful 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana, is now suggesting the creation of a fund that would support putting “full marijuana legalization on the ballot in 2020.” Read

Lawmakers hold hearing Thursday on legalizing marijuana

3/15/18--A public hearing Thursday on recreational marijuana was a lopsided affair, with all but one of the people who testified urging lawmakers to legalize possessing, growing, and selling limited amounts of the drug. The state legislature is weighing three bills that, in tandem, would legalize marijuana and regulate its retail sale. Connecticut has been hesitant to follow the lead of neighboring Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont, all of which have legalized recreational marijuana. Read

A new legal weed plan allows for hundreds of dispensaries across N.J.

3/13/18--Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer, has unveiled a plan to legalize marijuana that would permit hundreds of dispensaries across New Jersey and would allow people to grow a small number of plants at home. The bill would legalize the possession and personal use of small amounts of marijuana, while creating both a commercial industry and a government body to regulate that industry. It would also allow New Jerseyans convicted of marijuana possession to apply to have their records expunged. Read

Md. lawmakers hear arguments for, against putting marijuana legalization on Nov. ballot

3/13/18--Medical marijuana is being prescribed and steps have been taken to decriminalize it, but with thousands of Marylanders still being prosecuted for marijuana offenses, the Marijuana Policy Project says it’s time to put it to a vote. On the ballot, Marylanders would decide whether or not to legalize marijuana for recreational use, allowing adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce. The House Judiciary Committee heard pros and cons Tuesday. Read

The business of weed, from the medical marijuana industry to the black market

3/8/17--Whether its legal, illegal, medical or recreational, the marijuana industry means business. As lawmakers debate legalizing marijuana in New Jersey, the players who stand to be impacted -- from businesspeople already invested in the medical industry to black market dealers -- are keeping a close eye on how things develop. Read

Schumer introduces Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act

6/27/18--Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) formally introduced new legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Specifically, the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, effectively decriminalizing it at the federal level. Read

Recreational marijuana in Florida likely on hold for years

1/2/18--Anyone hoping that Florida voters would get a shot at legalizing recreational marijuana in 2018 will likely be disappointed. Organizers of the two primary efforts to get the issue on the state’s Nov. 6 ballot say they won’t come close to collecting the required 766,000 petition signatures by the Feb. 1 deadline. The groups now hope that 2020 will be their year. Read

Several states likely to legalize marijuana in 2018

12/28/18--It was a big year for pot in 2017: For the first time, a majority of Americans said it should be legalized, four state ballot initiatives passed and startups pounced on California's approval of recreational use. The year ahead portends legalization in three states, and the first pro-pot initiatives enacted by lawmakers instead of voter referendums. Read

Could recreational marijuana soon be legal in Ohio?

12/8/17--Ohio’s medical marijuana program will go into effect in about 10 months, but already there’s a push to make all marijuana legal across the board. Jimmy Gould of Green Light Acquisitions, LLC, will propose making marijuana legal for all adults in Ohio. He said he has raised, invested, and spent more than $28 million on legalizing marijuana in the Buckeye State. Gould insists that his plan – this time around – will meet with voter approval. Read

New Jersey rec MJ legalization, Indiana hemp chaos & cannabis + wine

12/1/17--New Jersey’s governor appoints a marijuana advocate to a key position, Indiana hemp retailers are ordered to remove CBD products from their shelves, and an Oregon judge allows a vineyard’s lawsuit against a planned cannabis grow to continue. Marijuana Business Daily presents a closer look at some notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week. Read

Recreational cannabis in New Jersey could put a dent in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana industry

11/27/17--The prospects for legalizing marijuana in New Jersey look promising after voters elected Phil Murphy to the governor’s office in November. Yet, while the Garden State is eagerly anticipating the great financial opportunities that legal cannabis will bring, some members of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana industry are worried that easy access to recreational weed across the state line may steal their thunder. Read

Is recreational marijuana about to be legalized in Michigan?

11/27/17--Members of the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol believe recreational marijuana is about to be legalized in Michigan. State lawmakers, however, weigh in both ways on the issue. Earlier this month, the coalition turned in several cases of signed petitions to get the referendum either approved, or placed on a ballot for voters to decide. About 350,000 people signed the petitions, nearly 100,000 above the 252,000 signatures the state requires for the proposal to be looked at. Read

Majority of N.Y. voters support legalizing and taxing pot: poll

11/27/17--Nearly two-thirds of New York voters support legalizing marijuana. Sixty two percent of New York voters said they supported making marijuana use legal for people 21 and older, with only 28% opposed, according to the poll commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project Foundation and the Drug Policy Alliance. The poll also found that legalizing and taxing marijuana was, by far, the most popular way to erase New York’s looming budget deficit, with 60% of voters supporting it. Read

Marijuana legalization study panel to hold third meeting

11/26/17--A committee studying the legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana in New Hampshire is hearing from several experts. The committee is holding its third meeting, and the panel is expected to hear from representatives of the state banking and agriculture departments as well as the New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. Read

Push to legalize recreational pot in Illinois takes step forward

11/7/17--Illinois voters could soon be able to voice their say on whether the state should legalize recreational marijuana. Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey is moving forward with an effort to put the marijuana legalization question on the March ballot. He wants voters to have a direct opportunity to have their voices heard as the debate on this issue in Springfield continues. Read

Recreational cannabis, assisted dying plans fail

11/6/17--A pair of ballot measures aimed to legalize recreational marijuana, and allow patients with serious medical conditions to use marijuana, attracted roughly 15,000 signatures, but the measures won't go before voters in 2018. There were not enough signatures collected for the proposed ballot questions. Read

Poll: Marijuana research widely supported among veterans

11/2/17--Most veteran households, regardless of state, age or political affiliation, support researching and legalizing medical marijuana, according to a poll commissioned by the American Legion. It included a sample of 513 veterans and 289 family members across 39 states. The poll, with a margin of error of 3.45 percentage points, found 92 percent of veterans support research into medical cannabis as well as 93 percent of veteran caregivers. Read

St. Louis alderwoman’s bill would legalize marijuana

10/25/17--Democratic Alderwoman Megan Green introduced a bill that would prohibit the city from enforcing marijuana laws, essentially allowing residents to use, sell, and grow marijuana. Specifically, Green's bill would allow only for penalties for anyone using marijuana under age 21, selling to someone under 21, or possessing more than two ounces or more than 10 marijuana plants for cultivation. Consumption beyond private residential property would be limited. Read

These states will probably vote on marijuana in 2018

10/26/17--In 2018, voters in a number of several states are likely to see cannabis questions when they go to their polling places. An article published in Marijuana Moment presents an in-depth look at those states that have the best chance of qualifying marijuana initiatives, followed by some brief information on a few that seem like longer shots. Read

New Zealand to hold marijuana vote under new leader Ardern

10/20/17--New Zealand is poised to vote on legalizing marijuana under a new government that takes office next week. Liberal Jacinda Ardern was confirmed as the nation's next prime minister, and she said the country would hold a referendum on whether to legalize recreational marijuana at some point over the next three years. Ardern didn't say whether she favored legalization but said the current system wasn't working well. Read

Big names, big money come through to help medical marijuana initiative

10/13/17--With less than six months to go, New Approach Missouri's proposal to legalize medicinal use of marijuana appears to be in a strong position to get on statewide ballots next year. The proposal would allow licensed physicians to recommend marijuana or related products for patients suffering from dozens of specified illnesses. It also calls for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to issue licenses to growers and to retailers. So far, there’s no organized opposition in Missouri to any of the pro-marijuana proposals. However, New Approach Missouri expects that to change if it makes the ballot. Read

5 states angling to put recreational marijuana on the ballot in 2018

10/14/17--As mid-term elections in 2018 approach, The Motley Fool examines five states that already have one, or in some cases far more than one, initiative or amendment lined up to legalize marijuana for adult use. These states include Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, and Nebraska. Read

Delaware panel weighs issues of legalizing marijuana, told to “keep it simple, keep it restricted”

10/5/17--As Delaware lawmakers consider legalizing recreational marijuana, John Yeomans, director of the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement, believes they should take a go-slow approach and address a wide range of health and safety concerns, including the need to prevent driving under the influence and distribution of marijuana to minors. While eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana, each has done so through referendum, which Delaware does not allow. That leaves the possibility that Delaware could be the first state to implement legalization through the legislative process. Read

This graph shows you the average cost of marijuana across Canada

9/21/17--The Ontario government gave an estimate on just how much they might be selling legal marijuana. According to one Reddit posted graph of the average marijuana prices of 1 gram in each Canadian province and the territories as a whole, northern territories pay the most for their bud, while Quebecers are paying the least. The Parliamentary Budget Office of Canada reports, the national average for one gram of weed in Canada is priced at $8.32, and marijuana is used the most in Ontario and the least in the northern territories. Read

Plymouth town meeting issues include marijuana sales

9/15/17--Town meeting members will decide whether to allow retail sales of recreational marijuana in certain parts of town. The board of selectmen is sponsoring two measures that would restrict the selling of recreational marijuana to industrial parks. Two other measures, submitted by petition of town meeting member Steven Striar, offer other potential locations for recreational marijuana sales and propose amending the town bylaws to include definitions related to recreational marijuana. Read

Canada marijuana legalization: Police services ask feds to postpone July 2018 start date

9/12/17--Canada's police services say there is zero chance they will be ready to enforce new laws for legalized pot by next summer. They said Tuesday they need more time to properly train officers about the new laws and more than double the number of police officers who are certified to conduct roadside drug impaired driving testing. There also needs to be more time for public education, the police said. Read

How should Atascadero regulate marijuana? City wants residents’ input

8/26/17--Atascadero officials are looking for residents’ input on marijuana regulations as the city continues drafting restrictions. Marijuana regulation became a statewide issue in November after California voters passed Proposition 64, which legalized recreational use of the drug. Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996. Read