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Weed delivery will happen in Denver starting this summer, to be followed by more dispensaries and consumption clubs

4/19/21--Weed delivery is likely starting in Denver this summer after the Denver City Council unanimously agreed Monday to overhaul the local industry with two sweeping measures. Although Denver Department of Excise and Licenses spokesman Eric Escudero said city officials could be ready for weed delivery to begin by late summer, it’s not clear when the clubs, buses and shuttles would open. Read

Washington state considers the future of its cannabis industry

4/6/21--Business law attorney Hilary Bricken states in a recent article that she has no doubt that Washington will eventually be a state that can rock the stage in the U.S. cannabis market. Furthermore, she states her feeling that major change is on the horizon at some point to hopefully ensure that the State is among the group of states that drives national trends on cultivation, distribution, product and brand development, and cannabis tourism. Read

Parents must now be notified of minor children’s first-time marijuana, alcohol offenses

3/28/21--Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law on March 26 a bill that requires police to provide a written warning to parents or guardians of anyone under age 18 who "commits on first offense unlawfully possessing or consuming an alcoholic beverage, cannabis, marijuana or hashish." Read

Virginia Governor signals he’ll push to legalize marijuana on July 1, ahead of schedule

3/26/21--Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is signaling he’d like the state to legalize personal possession of cannabis as soon as July 1—two and a half years before lawmakers planned. Under the legislature’s proposal, passed by the Senate and House of Delegates last month, possession of marijuana wouldn’t become legal until January 1, 2024—timed to coincide with the launch of the commercial market. Read

U.S. states look to pot to undo harm of racially biased drug laws

3/15/21--A bill, which passed last month and is awaiting approval or changes from the governor by the end of March, could see Virginia join 15 other states and Washington, D.C. in legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. It also includes far-reaching provisions aimed at addressing the negative effects of cannabis prohibition, particularly on minority communities. Read

Montana’s legalization plan: Homegrow bans, THC caps, 20% taxes. Yay?

3/17/21--Montana Governor Greg Gianforte released his plan today to implement cannabis legalization in the Republican-controlled state. Gov. Gianforte’s distinctly nanny-state vision for legal weed comes in the form of a bill sponsored by Republican state Rep. Mike Hopkins. Read

NJ legal weed changes on the way? New rules pushed for drug testing, underage marijuana use

3/18/21--Less than a month after New Jersey legalized weed, the state is already considering a host of changes pressed for by different interests in the Garden State's quickly expanding marijuana universe. The changes include scrapping a provision barring police officers from contacting parents of minors caught with marijuana on a first offense. Read

Cannabis policy heterogeneity and effects on research – complexity expected

3/18/21--In their study, Matthay et al identify cannabis commercialization as a risk factor associated with population-level adverse health outcomes, including self-injury and violence, among young men. This consideration of the degree of cannabis commercialization extends a critical early call to researchers, most notably that from Pacula et al, to consider heterogeneity in cannabis policy assessments. Read

Washington State’s rise in homelessness outpaced the nation’s, according to report

3/20/21--Washington saw one of the biggest estimated increases in people experiencing homelessness in the country between 2019 and 2020, according to new national figures from an annual report to Congress. Overall homelessness across the U.S. grew by more than 2% that year, according to the report's estimates, but Washington saw an overall increase of 6.2%, or 1,346 people — the third largest increase in the number of homeless people among all 50 states. Read

Michigan to use $20M in marijuana tax revenue on medical research after all

3/11/21--The Marijuana Regulatory Agency and state Treasury last week outlined how the state would disburse nearly $45 million accrued in tax, application, licensing and renewal revenue from recreational marijuana sales. $20 million was designated to fund clinical trials focused on treating veterans for pain and PTSD with marijuana, and to study the plant’s effects on suicide rates among military personnel, which are nearly 50% higher than among the general public. Read

Colorado’s legal cannabis farms emit more carbon than its coal mines

3/8/21--Legal cannabis production in Colorado emits more greenhouse gases than the state’s coal mining industry, researchers analyzing the sector’s energy use have found. They found that emissions varied widely by state, from 2.3 to 5.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per kilogram of dried flower produced. Read

Virginia joins 15 other states in legalizing marijuana

2/28/21--The Virginia Legislature approved adult-use marijuana legalization Saturday marking the first state in the Old South to embrace full legalization. The House passed the measure in a 48-43 vote, and the Senate approved it in a 20-19 vote. Not a single Republican voted for the bill in either chamber. Read

Seattle homeless shelter buys heroin pipes with funds, teaches rectal injection method

2/22/21--A Seattle-backed homeless shelter, The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), is instructing addicts to smoke heroin and inject drugs rectally, and the shelter is using tax dollars to help get addicts high. Read

Gov. Phil Murphy officially legalizes weed in New Jersey

2/22/21--Gov. Phil Murphy signed three bills Monday that legalize up to six ounces of recreational pot in the Garden State, NJ.com reported. Following three years of failed legislative attempts, tax negotiations and protracted legal battles, Murphy, who promised to legalize weed in his first 100 days as governor three years ago, finally saw his campaign promises realized when residents voted to amend the state constitution and legalize recreational grass in November. Read

Teen use, mental health spur talk of pot curbs

2/21/21--Last week, a study that analyzed more than 3 million seventh-, ninth- and 11th-graders found that adolescents may be more likely to use marijuana once it’s legalized for recreational use. The report, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found that after California legalized recreational use in 2016, respondents were 23% more likely to have used it in the last 30 days. Read

Drug Fiends and Fools

1/27/21--In a review of the book, Drug Use for Grown-Ups by Carl L. Hart, Charles Fain Lehman, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and staff writer with the Washington Free Beacon, covers this publication as the latest in a series of titles arguing that illegal drugs are good, and the only reason they are considered bad is due to internalized oppression. Yet, apparently according to Lehman's review, Hart offers thin evidence for his case that fear of drugs is mostly moral panic. Read

The state of cannabis: Local scorecards provide glimpse into California’s ‘Wild West’ patchwork of cannabis policies.

1/14/21--Released today by Getting it Right from the Start at the Public Health Institute (PHI), 157 scorecards summarize cannabis policies in each of the California cities and counties that have opted to permit storefront sales of recreational cannabis. The scorecards bring light to a patchwork of local policies that often fall far short of what public health leaders believe is necessary to prevent the cannabis industry from following in the footsteps of Big Tobacco. Read

Nearly 100 people apply to be on Vermont’s Cannabis Control Board

1/14/21--Nearly 100 people have applied to be one of three representatives on Vermont’s Cannabis Control Board, a powerful entity that will implement rules and regulations and oversee licensing for the state’s nascent adult-use marijuana marketplace. Read

Marijuana delivery, social equity reform and other Colorado trends to watch in 2021

12/29/20--Colorado’s industry is hoping to ride the momentum of a banner year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and one such wave to watch is marijuana delivery. The Aurora City Council recently approved an ordinance to set up a delivery program that allows residents to order marijuana to their doorsteps. Likewise, Denver recently unveiled draft rules for medical and recreational delivery in hopes of accepting applications by July 1, though it’s unclear when the City Council will move on the proposal. Read

New Colorado marijuana rules go into effect on January 1, 2021

12/31/20--January 1, 2021 for all regulated marijuana businesses across Colorado, specifically expanding on the state’s Social Equity Program for cannabis businesses and eliminating residency requirements for employees. Read

Murphy want tickets with fines for underage marijuana use before he’ll sign N.J. legal weed bill

12/29/20--Gov. Phil Murphy’s office sent lawmakers a proposed change that establishes minor penalties for underage use after New Jersey legalizes weed. The change would levy fines of $250 for those under 21 caught with one ounce of marijuana and $500 for possession of more than one ounce, but less than six, according to the sources with knowledge of the “cleanup” bill sent to the Legislature. Read

Marijuana home delivery set to start in 2021

12/30/20--Home delivery of adult-use cannabis — expected to start in 2021 — will include a three-year exclusivity period to level out the playing field for smaller companies affected by the drug war after a vote by state marijuana regulators. There will be two different types of delivery licenses available: courier and warehouse. Read

What you should know about recreational marijuana in Montana

1/1/21--As of January 1, 2021, it is no longer illegal to possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use in Montana. However, Montanans shouldn’t expect to be able to immediately buy marijuana at a retail outlet, unless they have a medical card. The sections allowing recreational sales won’t take effect until at least October 2021, and current dispensaries are still limited to serving only registered patients. Read

Attorney General asks judge to dismiss lawsuit challenging legal pot in South Dakota

12/4/20--The office of the Attorney General asked a judge to dismiss a case being brought by Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and Highway Patrol Superintendent Rick Miller indicating that Constitutional Amendment A, which legalizes the possession, distribution, transportation and cultivation of cannabis in South Dakota and passed in last month's election by an 8% margin, conflicts with existing language in the state Constitution. Read

Law enforcement officers ask courts to stop legal marijuana

11/20/20--Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and South Dakota Highway Patrol Superintendent Rick Miller want the courts to overturn legislation passed by 225,260 voters earlier this year legalizing marijuana in South Dakota. They filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the constitutionality of Amendment A, which legalized the cultivation, transport, possession and sale of marijuana in in the state. Read

Status of State Marijuana Legalization: November 2020

11/20/20--This brief provides an update to the status of state marijuana laws in the United States, following the November 2020 election. Although marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, 35 states and the District of Columbia have now legalized medical marijuana, with sixteen (16) of those jurisdictions also legalizing recreational marijuana use. Overall, nearly 69% of U.S. residents now live in a state with legalized medical or recreational marijuana use. Read

A look inside this year’s adult-use legalization campaigns

10/28/20--Activists working on measures in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota discussed voter education, COVID, legal challenges and more during the NORML 2020 Conference. Read

Editorial: Troubling lessons learned from legalization

10/1/20--As expressed by The Gazette editorial board, Colorado’s experiment with legal recreational marijuana — authorized by voters in 2012, with the first storefronts opening in 2014 — continues to charge ahead amid mixed results. Yet, at the same time, the question of whether the costs outweigh the presumed benefits continues to nag — at policy makers, even if many don’t care to admit it — as well as at the public at large. Read

Vermont becomes eleventh state to legalize adult-dose marijuana sales

10/8/20--Republican Governor Phil Scott today announced that he would permit legislation, Senate Bill 54, to become law establishing rules and regulations overseeing the commercial production and retail sale of marijuana to adults. The measure will become law absent the Governor’s signature. Read

Three Colorado localities voting on recreational marijuana in November election

10/13/20--Three localities in Colorado will vote on whether to allow recreational marijuana sales in their jurisdictions in November. For years, Littleton, Lakewood and Buena Vista have allowed medical cannabis to be sold. But the jurisdictions have blocked retail marijuana from being sold. Read

Sacramento increasing number of storefront dispensaries for the first time in 11 years

10/14/20--Ten new storefront cannabis dispensaries will be allowed to open in the city of Sacramento, after a unanimous vote by the Sacramento City Council on Tuesday night. Read

EDITORIAL: Troubling lessons learned from legalization

9/28/20--The national organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana, or SAM, has been assessing and chronicling the collateral damage in Colorado and across the country. Today, SAM released its fourth annual “Lessons Learned” report, a comprehensive review of the wide-ranging effects of legalization in states where it has been tried. As with previous years’ assessments by SAM, the Colorado-specific data is eye-opening and troubling. Read

Tell your representative to oppose the MORE Act

9/1/20--Big Pot is pushing hard for Congress to hold a full vote on the MORE Act, a bill to federally legalize and commercialize marijuana under the auspices of social justice. Read

This is California Cannabis

9/1/20--"This is California Cannabis" is designed to promote the state's legal cannabis cultivation market and raise awareness of the support and guidance offered to licensed cannabis growers by CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, a division of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Read

With 7 dead, large-scale California marijuana operation is tied to organized crime

9/9/20--An illegal marijuana growing operation where seven people were fatally shot in a small, rural Southern California town had the markings of organized crime, authorities said Tuesday. Seemingly, on the property, marijuana was processed to honey oil, a highly potent concentrate made by extracting the high-inducing chemical THC from cannabis. Read

7 deaths tied to illegal grow operation shake rural Riverside County community

9/28/20--According to authorities, the shooting deaths of seven people was one of many illegal marijuana growing operations in Aguanga in Riverside County where residents say they seem to thrive despite numerous raids by sheriff’s deputies. Read

Effects of Marijuana Legalization on Law Enforcement and Crime: Final Report

7/31/20--Effects of Marijuana Legalization on Law Enforcement and Crime: Final Report is comprised of constructed case study profiles and assessed qualitative (focus groups, interviews) and quantitative (Uniform Crime Reporting Program or UCR, calls for service records, and body/dash camera footage) data regarding how police practices and strategies, and crime itself, have been affected by legalization in Washington, and how that watershed decision in Washington has changed policing in adjacent border areas. Read

Clark County, Nev., allows cannabis dispensaries to create drive-thrus

8/20/20--Clark County, Nev., has approved a new zoning ordinance that allows cannabis dispensaries to create drive-thrus, according to a local KSNV report. The change will take effect Sept. 3 and apply to both medical and adult-use retailers. Read

Tell your representative to oppose the MORE Act

9/1/20--Big Pot is pushing hard for Congress to hold a full vote on the MORE Act, a bill to federally legalize and commercialize marijuana under the auspices of social justice. SAM is urging the public to tell representatives in Congress that moving the MORE Act is unacceptable. Read

Office of Marijuana Policy unveils new details on planned launch of adult use marijuana in Maine

8/14/20--Today, the Office of Marijuana Policy, a part of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, unveiled plans for the issuance of Maine’s first active licenses for adult use marijuana establishments. The Office intends to issue the first active licenses to recreational cannabis businesses on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Retail sales of adult use marijuana to consumers 21 years of age or older will be permitted starting on Friday, October 9, 2020. Read

Canada marijuana dispensary count tops 1,000 for the first time

7/18/20--In less than two years after the country legalized recreational cannabis, Canada has reached an important milestone. According to a report in BNN Bloomberg, the country's dispensary count crossed the 1,000 mark as of July 17, landing at 1,010. Read

Report: Pot arrests still fall heavily on Hispanics, Blacks

7/16/20--Although the number of felony marijuana arrests in California continued to decline in 2019 in the age of legalization, another trend remained unchanged: those arrests fell disproportionately on Hispanics and Blacks, state data showed. According to a breakdown of demographic data, Hispanics accounted for nearly 42% of those arrests, followed by Blacks, at 22%, with whites at 21%. Other groups accounted for the remainder. Read

Las Vegas trial ‘world war weed’ begins despite pandemic

7/17/20--Some of Nevada’s most high-profile attorneys launched into opening statements Friday during a trial over marijuana dispensary licenses that could take months or come to a screeching halt within days. The lawsuit filed by companies that accused state tax officials of failing to disclose how they picked 61 winners from a pool of 462 applicants for new pot shops in late 2018 has worked its way through the court system for more than a year with those conditional licenses on hold. Read

Advocates file petition challenging Portland’s cap on marijuana stores

7/17/20--A group of marijuana advocates in Portland filed a petition Friday that seeks to remove the 20-store cap on the number of marijuana retail shops allowed under the local marijuana ordinance approved this spring. The group wants to put the question to a referendum vote in November. The petition also seeks to shrink the minimum buffer between marijuana shops from 250 feet to 100 feet. Read

Mass. marijuana regulators fine Acreage Holdings $250,000 for attempting to exceed license cap

7/9/20--National marijuana operator Acreage Holdings has agreed to pay Massachusetts $250,000 to resolve charges that it attempted to control more dispensaries than allowed by law. With Acreage already pursuing several dispensary licenses through its directly owned Botanist subsidiary, regulators said, the management deals threatened to put the conglomerate in control of five or more marijuana retailers — well over the legal maximum of three. Read

Grand Jury blasts Santa Barbara supervisors on cannabis ordinance

7/1/20--A Grand Jury report released Monday blasted the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors for its mismanagement of the county’s cannabis production, for dismissing public input, ignoring major environmental impacts, and allowing excessive production, among other criticisms. Read

2,735 Sonoma County marijuana convictions will be dismissed through “Clear My Record” application program

6/26/20--Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that 2,735 Sonoma County marijuana convictions will be dismissed as part of a program initiated by her office with the assistance of the “Clear My Record” application, a state-wide software application that allows District Attorneys to securely and accurately evaluate eligibility for Proposition 64 relief by reading and interpreting criminal history data from the California Department of Justice. Read

Assessment of Incorporation of Lessons from Tobacco Control in City and County Laws Regulating Legal Marijuana in California

6/19/20--The aim of this cross-sectional study is to assess the extent to which potential best practices, including those from tobacco control, were incorporated into state and local marijuana policies in California. Results indicate that all 539 California cities and counties found that jurisdictions differed widely in how they regulated marijuana and that key public health recommendations and lessons from tobacco control have generally not been adopted, although local innovation is emerging. Read

Cannabis in Michigan: New report documents trends before recreational legalization

6/4/20--This report documents everything from who’s using cannabis in the state of Michigan for medical and recreational purposes, to downstream effects including motor vehicle crashes, emergency department visits and criminal justice cases. It aims to provide a baseline for future studies on the impact of state-level recreational cannabis legalization that occurred in late 2018, and to inform future policies and public health messaging. The report also includes a wide range of findings compiled from original research and official sources. Read

Denver’s marijuana businesses lack diversity in ownership and employment, city study finds

6/8/20--The majority of Denver’s cannabis-focused businesses are owned and staffed by white residents, leading to a lack of opportunities for people of color to get involved in the industry, according to a city study released Monday. According to Denver’s Cannabis Business and Employment Opportunity Study, 74.6% of owners of licensed cannabis businesses within city and county limits are white, as are 68% of employees. Read

Oregon cannabis sales hit record high during pandemic

6/5/20--Oregonians bought a record-setting amount of cannabis last month, according to new numbers from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Cannabis sales in May increased 60% compared to the same time last year. TJ Sheehy, with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, said that for the first time ever, sales were over $100 million in one month. Read

Fire, explosion at Los Angeles marijuana-oil business injures 11 firefighters

5/17/20--An explosion Saturday at a hash oil manufacturer in downtown Los Angeles injured 11 firefighters who had gone inside the building after an initial report of a fire and then had to run for their lives when a ball of flames shot out the building and scorched a fire truck across the street. Read

Marijuana Laws, Rules, and Regulations

5/18/20--The Denver Department of Excise and Licenses has formed a Marijuana Licensing Work Group (MLWG) to gather community input regarding the new marijuana licenses created by the State of Colorado in 2019, Denver’s Cannabis Equity Program, and the City’s 2020 Marijuana Workplan. Read

Unlicensed marijuana delivery’s bold, bizarre existence in Denver

4/29/20--Even if you're not looking for a weed delivery service, it might find you, and dealing with any such businesses is risky, according to Denver Police Department Lieutenant Andrew Howard, who leads the DPD's vice and drug control unit. The risks that a would-be customer faces range from being robbed to getting scammed to breaking the law. Read

132 pounds of marijuana found in Wisconsin man’s car, Oregon police say

4/29/20--Oregon state troopers found 132 pounds of marijuana in a 52-year-old Bryant Oglen's car. Troopers said they noticed something was amiss and searched his car and discovered dozens of vacuum-packed bags of marijuana inside two duffle bags, police said. The discovery led to the illegal export citation, and Oglen was eventually released. Read

Coding and cannabis: Santa Clara County to expunge thousands of marijuana convictions

4/30/20--Santa Clara County plans to expunge 13,000 minor marijuana convictions that were rendered moot by the state’s 2016 legalization of recreational pot use and sales, two months before a deadline set by the landmark law. Read

Update: KCSO identifies body found in Shafter residence with marijuana extraction lab inside

4/29/20--The body of a deceased man was found yesterday inside a residence that had an industrial-sized marijuana extraction lab in it, police say. Occupants in the residence were detained as officers conducted a search of the residence, the Shafter Police Department said. Read

County invests over $2 million in cannabis businesses

5/1/20--Mendocino County announced April 20 an award of more than $2 million dollars from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Read

Denver auditor explains why he called out city’s marijuana tax use

5/1/20--In 2016, Denver Auditor Timothy O'Brien released a report calling for more transparency and efficiency in how the City of Denver spends cannabis tax revenue. Four years later, O'Brien's is taking the city to task over what the auditor believes are shaky cannabis tax collecting and reporting practices, as well as a lack of discipline over black-market delivery services. Read

California announces $30 million grant program to promote marijuana industry social equity

4/21/20--California marijuana regulators announced on Tuesday that the state will be providing $30 million in grant funding for cannabis entrepreneurs from communities disproportionately impacted by the drug war. Read