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State releases list showing who’s seeking marijuana business licenses

3/13/20--The Office of Marijuana Policy on Friday made public for the first time the list of about 300 people who are applying for more than 200 state licenses to cash in on Maine’s long-awaited recreational marijuana market. Applicants are seeking to do business throughout Maine, from Kittery to Presque Isle, under corporate names ranging from Green Cures to Weed Mart. Read

Washington legislature passes bill aiming to diversify cannabis industry

3/13/20--The legislation, which passed through the House 57-40 Tuesday, creates a task force that will help create the Marijuana Social Equity Program. It would allow the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to issue forfeited, canceled and revoked retail licenses to applicants in communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. The program would last for eight years. Read

Cannabis sales and delivery boosted in L.A. to “ease minds” about Coronavirus

3/12/20--As the coronavirus spreads in California, cannabis businesses including Lowell Farms, Caliva, Sweet Flower and Sherbinskis say the demand is high: "People are stocking up." Angelenos are turning to CBD and THC products to combat anxieties and stocking up. Read

Recreational marijuana shop opens near University of Michigan

3/13/20--High Profile, a new retailer serving recreational and medicinal marijuana, is open near the University of Michigan. Brothers and UM alumni Ankur and Vishal Rungta, and their friend, Joel Ruggiero, started the umbrella company C3 Industries in 2016 to produce marijuana in its 35,000-square-foot production facilities in Oregon and Webberville, Michigan. Read  

Colorado cannabis retailer voluntarily closes over coronavirus concerns after spike in customer traffic; similar closures could follow

3/16/20--Fort Collins, Colorado, cannabis retailer Organic Alternatives closed voluntarily on Monday over concerns about the spread of coronavirus. This is one of the first known instances of a cannabis retailer voluntarily closing because of coronavirus fears, but many more marijuana shops likely could do the same soon despite the loss in sales they’ll experience. Read

Former teacher accused of giving marijuana, alcohol to students

3/3/20--Monique Garcia, formerly of Southwest High School in El Centro, is accused of purchasing and providing marijuana and alcohol to underage students during a school-sanctioned camping trip in the Laguna Mountains was charged Tuesday with felony and misdemeanor counts. Read

Marijuana businesses are playing the waiting game in the state’s budding industry

3/3/20--WGBH News' Tori Bedford and Amanda Beland documented what they found in a two-part series after going through nearly 500 Host Community Agreements, or HCAs, which are contracts that include the perks pot shops negotiate with local communities. Evidently, the uncovered documentation indicates that these agreements aren't really helping the communities envisioned by the legal marijuana system in Massachusetts. Read

Who’s profiting off the millions that Illinois’ marijuana business is bringing in? State officials are keeping that secret.

3/3/20--Marijuana entrepreneurs are starting to rake in millions of dollars a month in Illinois as customers line up to buy newly legal weed, but who’s profiting from those sales remains secret. Regulators say state law bars the release of almost all the information businesses have to submit to get lucrative licenses to grow or sell cannabis. Read

Are recreational marijuana shops preparing to open in your town? Check our maps

3/3/20--The maps and tables presented by The Boston Globe are based on data from the Cannabis Control Commission, show where prospective retail operators hope to set up shop to sell recreational marijuana for consumers, as well as the stores that have already opened. Read

Meet the new Boston Cannabis Board

3/4/20--Mayor Martin J. Walsh appointed five members to the board, which will issue recommendations on which marijuana companies should receive local licenses and advise Walsh’s office on cannabis regulation and policy. Its creation follows criticism that Boston’s previous process for choosing pot operators has been slow and opaque, giving an advantage to better-connected and wealthier firms. Read

Legal marijuana in Maine expected to be in stores by June

3/3/20--The first legal sales of marijuana in Maine are expected in June as the state and municipalities work on issuing licenses. The process can be time consuming. The state Office of Marijuana Policy said it has received nearly 200 applications and deemed 80 of them complete enough for a regulatory review. Read

LA County DA moves to dismiss 66,000 marijuana-related convictions

2/14/20--Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey has asked a judge to dismiss and seal the records of 62,000 felony cannabis convictions for cases as early as 1961, as well as, 3,700 misdemeanor cannabis possession cases. Lacey called it a marker of the sweeping change that can occur when government partners with technology leaders. Read

Weapons and Weed: Legal marijuana causing confusion among gun control advocates

2/2/20--Currently in Illinois, the rules for people to legally own a gun and use recreational marijuana are hazy, and people are worried they must choose. The state became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana, but gun advocates do not believe the legislation is bulletproof. Cannabis is still considered illegal by the federal government. Read

Canadian cannabis GDP contribution rises by 15% in November

2/2/20--According to data compiled by Statistics Canada, the federal government's official statistics agency, the growth in the contribution of cannabis to gross domestic product (GDP) eclipsed every major category of the Canadian economy in November 2019. All told, cannabis industry production amounted to just over $7.4 billion Canadian ($5.6 billion) that month, which was 15% higher than the November 2018 result. Read

Marijuana host community bill on House agenda

2/3/20--The Massachusetts House is taking up legislation that gives state cannabis regulators the authority to review and regulate the agreements marijuana businesses are legally required to enter into with their host municipalities. Marijuana advocates and regulators have been wrestling with the issue of host community agreements (HCAs) for more than a year. Read

Oregon wholesale marijuana flower prices rise after growers exit market, some pivot to hemp

2/3/20--Oregon regulators set a low barrier of entry to grow cannabis in the state, and steady overproduction drove the market to rock-bottom lows. However, prices have begun to rebound due to a rash of growers going out of business because the market wasn’t lucrative enough, which has decreased supply. Additionally, other licensed producers have not utilized their full canopy because the market was too unfavorable, and more cannabis growers have pivoted to hemp production, seeking opportunities in the CBD market. Read

Packies argue more beer, wine sellers also mean more pot shops

1/13/20--A proposed ballot question that would increase the number of stores selling alcohol could inflate the minimum number of marijuana retail licenses a municipality must give out, an unintended consequence that could sway voters on the initiative. Read

Supervisors extend state of emergency for marijuana-related problems

1/20/20--Siskiyou County supervisors last week supported Sheriff Jon Lopey’s assessment that illegal marijuana grows are detrimental to the health and well being of local residents and approved the extension of a local state of emergency through 2020. Siskiyou County has been under a local state of emergency for illegal marijuana every year since 2017. Read

Grand Haven wants feedback on proposed marijuana ordinances

1/20/20--The Grand Haven city council is expected to host a public hearing Monday on two ordinances where residents will be able to share their thoughts on medical marijuana ordinances in the city. The hearing will focus on establishing five new land uses related to medical marijuana establishments, as well as laying the groundwork for permit rules for those who decide to open up shop in the city. Read  

Health experts expect rise in pot-related ER visits after legalization

12/31/19--As Illinoisans prepared to legally buy weed for the first time, officials at Stroger Hospital geared up to treat those who inevitably have bad trips. According to a hospital spokesperson, Stroger hospital staff received additional training ahead of legalization taking effect. Read

Legal weed in Illinois: A new era begins as legal recreational marijuana goes on sale in Chicago and across the state

1/1/20--Thus far, the first day of legal recreational weed sales in Illinois has meant long lines. So far, 43 marijuana stores around the state have received all needed approvals to sell recreational weed. Six of them weren’t ready Jan. 1, held up by permitting issues, construction, or other hurdles. Read

These states now have legal weed, and which states could follow suit in 2020

1/1/20--Recreational marijuana use became legal in just one more state, Illinois, with the start of the New Year on Wednesday. More states could follow suit in 2020, with several states set to put recreational marijuana on the ballot. On January, 1, 2020, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana, and several states are expected to vote on recreational marijuana use measures in 2020. Read

Indy Q&A: Sisolak on 2020, gun law changes and marijuana enforcement

12/11/19--In a wide-ranging interview with The Nevada Independent, Gov. Steve Sisolak said he inherited a marijuana regulatory system with problems and is now tasked with fixing it, but did not divulge details about what punishments — if any — have been meted out to licensees since he called for more scrutiny to the cannabis sector. Read

California suspends hundreds of cannabis business licenses, Massachusetts issues quarantine on vapes

11/16/19--The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) suspended hundreds of cannabis business licenses for businesses lagging in compliance with the state’s track-and-trace training requirements. Elsewhere, in Massachusetts, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) implemented a quarantine on “all vaporizer products” less than a week after a judge ruled to exclude medical cannabis vape products from Gov. Charlie Baker’s four-month ban on all vaping product sales. Read

Are recreational marijuana shops preparing to open in your town? Check our maps

11/1/19--The maps and tables shown, based on data from the commission, are where prospective retail operators hope to set up shop to sell recreational marijuana for consumers, as well as the stores that have already opened. Read

4 Maine towns passed recreational marijuana rules on Tuesday. Others are still wary.

11/7/19--At least four municipalities passed marijuana-related questions across Maine on Tuesday and three others were rejected, proving that municipalities are still wary of weighing in on the issue before the state opens a new recreational market next year. The measures that passed ran the gamut from setting up ground rules for potential businesses to allowing them outright. Read

Too much weed: Canadian cannabis producers are sitting on a mountain of inventory

11/6/19--Since January of 2019, the amount of unfinished inventory of dried cannabis has nearly tripled in Canada, reaching a staggering 328,000 kilograms at the end of August. That compares to roughly 118,000 kilograms eight months earlier, according to Health Canada data. Health Canada defines unfinished inventory as the amount of cannabis held in stock by a “cultivator or processor that is not packaged, labelled and ready for sale.” Read

20 reasons Michigan recreational marijuana businesses could be denied a license

10/29/19--Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency begins accepting applications for recreational marijuana businesses Friday, Nov. 1. However, before opening their doors, there are 64 pages of rules, and prior to one of the state’s 15 analysts look at an application, a nonrefundable $6,000 processing fee must be paid. Read

Ann Arbor business is first to apply for recreational marijuana license

11/2/19--Just after midnight, the state of Michigan started to except applications for a recreational marijuana business license and have received several dozens. Exclusive Brands in Ann Arbor was the first business to apply for a license. They got past the first hurdle and were pre-qualified. Read

Three men arrested in Eagle County after being found with 82 pounds of marijuana in their car

11/2/19--Authorities in Eagle County arrested three men last week after finding 82 pounds of marijuana in their car. D’Trevion Turner, 20, Tryce Jackson, 19, and Latravion Briggs, 20, were charged with distribution of marijuana — more than 50 pounds, and conspiracy to commit distribution of marijuana — more than 50 pounds. The three suspects were arrested and booked into the Eagle County Detentions facility. Read

Investigators seize and destroy millions of marijuana plants found in California worth more than $1 billion

11/2/19--A search of Southern California cultivation sites last month turned up about 10 million marijuana plants worth more than $1 billion, which were destroyed by investigators, authorities in the Golden State said. The investigators uncovered the giant haul of weed in an Oct. 25 sweep of 11 fields in the Arvin area, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. Read

Illinois marijuana law aims to undo harm of war on the drug

11/2/19--When lawmakers crafted the law legalizing marijuana in Illinois, they tried to make sure it would right what many see as past wrongs linked to the drug. In addition to expunging hundreds of thousands of criminal records for marijuana arrests and convictions, the law’s architects added provisions meant to benefit communities that have been the most adversely affected by law enforcement’s efforts to combat the drug. Read

Not hard to find illegal marijuana dispensaries in Chula Vista

11/2/19--Currently, there are no legal and permitted marijuana dispensaries in the City of Chula Vista. Despite Chula Vista Police attempts to crack down on illegally operated shops, it's still not hard to find another a few blocks away. The city is planning to issue licenses to approved businesses as early as next year, but admits the process for bringing licensed dispensaries online has been more difficult than they thought. Read

San Diego marijuana businesses among nearly 400 with suspended licenses

11/6/19--The California Bureau of Cannabis Control last week suspended the licenses of nearly 400 businesses — including nine in San Diego County — for failure to enroll in a system meant to keep tabs on the state's cannabis inventory. The suspensions, which went into effect Friday, represent roughly 16% of the licensed retailers, distributors and testing facilities in the state. Read

Nevada cracking down on marijuana businesses

10/17/19--Nevada officials have begun to crack down on marijuana businesses amid allegations of possible corruption and lax regulation in the state’s young but lucrative industry. Read

The push to unionize cannabis workers, explained

10/14/19--On Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a requirement that all cannabis stores enter into so-called “labor peace agreements” as soon as they have 20 or more employees. Labor unions have been pushing for these agreements in recent years, as more and more states decriminalize marijuana. They say they want to make sure the $6 billion industry doesn’t exploit workers, who are often paid below the minimum wage or given marijuana instead of wages. Read

Troubled Portugal bad example for drug advocates in NZ

10/18/19--According to Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, it has been said for years that Portugal’s decriminalization of marijuana is the perfect model of marijuana legalization. However, Portugal shows troubling results. The most recent statistics show that between 2012 and 2017 Lifetime Prevalence statistics for alcohol, tobacco, and drugs for the general population have risen by 23%. Read

Can Illinois draw marijuana tourists from out of state? Retailers are taking a gamble on Illinois border towns.

9/27/19--Cannabis companies in Chicago are eyeing sites far beyond city limits. Illinois border towns say they’re fielding calls from operators in search of sites that would make it easy for customers to cross into their communities to shop, bringing tax dollars with them. However, none of the neighboring states have legalized recreational marijuana. Read

Marijuana reform should focus on inequality

10/5/19--Each state that reforms its marijuana laws must decide how it will allocate production rights. Currently, states severely restrict the number of licenses awarded to cannabis growers, ensuring corporate domination of the industry. Rules favor well-connected corporate growers rather than independent farmers, much less independent farmers of color. Read

The Great Seattle Pot Heist

8/22/19--Growers fear that the system put in place to ensure transparency and accountability in the newly legalized industry may also leave a data trail that leads thieves straight to their doors, right when the pickings are fattest. They complain that while Washington is busy policing them, state officials aren’t paying nearly enough attention to catching the actual criminals, or tracking the marijuana that is being diverted to illegal markets out of state. Read

Pot Industry underestimates old-school dealers

8/19/19--In the United States where marijuana is legal, traditional drug dealers are still formidable competitors. The black market will also loom large for investors. The U.S. marijuana market is huge, yet it still remains to be seen how much business remains in the hands of illegal dealers. Read

Oswego wants public input on sale of recreational marijuana

8/22/19--The Oswego Village Board is looking for resident input as it prepares to discuss whether recreational marijuana should be sold in the village. Illinois lawmakers in July legalized adult use of recreational marijuana starting Jan. 1, and now municipalities across the state have to decide whether to allow its sale in their communities. Read

Cannabis workload called ‘overwhelming’ by Santa Barbara County leaders

7/16/19--The impact of the cannabis industry on Santa Barbara County is coming from a variety of directions, including a very heavy work load for the front line staff. Some are being slowed by the lack of a full and complete policy along with issues raised by residents, mainly near the operations. They have spoken out strongly about air quality, buffer zones from residential, and sensitive sites and other quality of life issues. Read

Reefer madness or pot paradise? The surprising legacy of the place where legal weed began

6/30/19--There are ripple effects after five years of legal marijuana in Colorado. The state's first-in-the-nation experiment has reshaped health, politics, rural culture, and criminal justice in surprising ways that often defy both the worst warnings of critics and blue-sky rhetoric of the marijuana industry, giving a glimpse of what the future may hold as more and more states adopt and debate full legalization. Read

Will 2019 be the summer of marijuana in Massachusetts?

7/10/19--Although public consumption of marijuana remains illegal in Massachusetts, it hasn’t stopped people from consuming it outside. In fact, many companies are using this summer to make themselves more visible in their communities via events. Proponents say many concerns over the increase in marijuana visibility could be alleviated by a better understanding of the product, as well as debunking long-held myths. Read

Here’s what you need to know about Michigan’s new recreational marijuana rules

7/9/19--Last Wednesday, Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency released emergency regulations for businesses planning on entering the recreational marijuana retail marketplace. This article outlines some key points about these regulations. Read

As Illinois determines whether to limit potency of legalized pot, drug gets increased scrutiny after link to psychosis

7/10/19--As Illinois prepares to legalize marijuana next year, one key aspect of public health that regulators will consider is whether and how to limit the amount of THC — the chief component of marijuana that determines how high users get. Advocates say the link between THC potency and psychosis has generated increased concern recently among psychiatrists and researchers. Read

Recreational marijuana: Is the money really going to education?

6/14/19--So far, the marijuana money can’t really be tracked, but that is expected to change in a few years when the legislature passes a new funding formula bill, but it will not have an impact on funding for the next school year. Read

Touring Flower One: Nevada’s largest cannabis facility grows 10K marijuana plants weekly

6/14/19--Flower One, Nevada’s largest cannabis production facility, is a 400,000-square-foot greenhouse filled with rows and rows of cannabis plants. They’re all on their own harvest schedules, and they’re all in their own habitats. Currently, Flower One has eight brand partners, but they will eventually announce even more.  The cultivation facility has 250 employees and plans on hiring more in the coming months. Read

Illegal pot farm bust in Santa Cruz Mountains takes down nearly 10,000 marijuana plants

6/4/19--The latest illegal pot farm bust took down more than 9,700 marijuana plants in 11 non-permitted greenhouses managed by four full-time workers at Summit Road near Russell Ridge, a county spokesman said. It is considered one of the largest sting operations against illegal commercial grow-ops in recent county history, spokesman Jason Hoppin said. Read

Explosion leads to suspected drug lab, arrest in Goleta neighborhood

6/5/19--James F. Girona was arrested early Wednesday after an explosion — allegedly triggered by an illicit drug lab. According to Senior Deputy Jeremy Rogers of Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, during the initial assessment, it appeared Girona was likely operating a clandestine drug lab. Further investigation revealed Girona had been using volatile chemicals as part of a suspected butane honey oil extraction, when something went wrong, sparking the explosion. Read

Marijuana tax windfall fails to materialize in California – Pot Tax 101 for Pennsylvania?

5/10/19--A thriving underground marijuana market and slower than projected legal sales have caused California to slash the windfall of tax revenue it expected to reap after legalizing the drug. The state is now projecting weed taxes will amount to $288 million for the year that ends in June, and $359 million for the following year. That’s a reduction of $67 million and $156 million, respectively, from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s January budget forecast. Read

Unprecedented release of marijuana licensing information

5/13/19--In an ongoing effort to improve transparency in marijuana licensing and the industry, Governor Steve Sisolak and Executive Director of Taxation, Melanie Young announced the passage of Senate Bill 32, permitting the release of details regarding who applied for licenses, who received licenses, their ranking, score, and the process of issuing marijuana license. Read

Cassidy puffs up what stats say about teen marijuana use

5/12/19--Among the issues taking center stage in Springfield is whether Illinois should join a growing number of states in lifting a prohibition on recreational marijuana. One Democratic lawmaker who is in support of the plan is state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat. She believes marijuana should be sold in venues that are highly regulated. Furthermore, Cassidy stated, "In states that have legalized, you see steady decreases in youth use if you do it right." Read

Design’s new leaf

5/7/19--Marijuana-inspired objects and décor are becoming more elite. With dozens of states having legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, or both, in recent years, designers are seizing the opportunity to define the look of a growing industry and lifestyle. And as the drug loses its outlaw, déclassé status, going from “weed” to a “flower”. Read

Colorado’s marijuana laws are about to change…big time

5/7/19--Colorado lawmakers have approved changes to measures opening the state to social pot use and commercial marijuana delivery, as well as approving new medical conditions for medical marijuana. Additional changes could come through that address sunsetting laws in the state's medical marijuana program and pot industry. Read

Who’s who in your local cannabis industry? That may be a secret

4/24/19--Depending on where marijuana-based businesses are located, publicly available information on who’s selling legal marijuana in select cities can be scarce, as is information about how they were approved to operate. Proponents of access to information, certain members of the media, and some interested citizens maintain that the public should know who’s profiting from this highly regulated industry. Read

California cannabis firms struggle to make sense of new track-and-trace system, fanning fears over its expanded rollout

3/21/19--Many California marijuana business executives welcome the state’s newly mandated track-and-trace system as an opportunity to ensure industry transparency – but they worry the technology’s rollout could prove rocky. Industry officials report widespread confusion about how to operate Metrc, the software the state relies on to power the track-and-trace system. Read

California is awash in cannabis cash, which some use to bribe public officials

3/17/19--In the more than two years since California voters approved the licensed growing and sale of recreational marijuana, the state has had a half-dozen government corruption cases as black-market operators try to game the system, through bribery and other means. California is awash in marijuana cash from inside and out of the state, partly because marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law, so banks won’t accept cash from the businesses. Read

Can I smoke weed on my lunch break? What Michigan workers should know about recreational marijuana

2/14/19--Although marijuana is legal in Michigan, many employees are likely to face strict workplace policies and still run the risk of being fired. That's partly because the federal government still considers marijuana to be a controlled substance. For employers, whether they do business with the federal government or not, the legal landscape is rife for complicated interactions with their workers. Read