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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

How much does it cost California cannabis growers to safety test?

4/23/20--The high cost of testing cannabis in California leads to higher prices for the consumer, which could drive consumers to unlicensed markets. A new study finds the safety tests cost growers about 10 percent of the average wholesale price of legal cannabis. The biggest share of this expense comes from failing the test. Read

Massachusetts medical marijuana registrations spike 245 percent

4/23/20--A record-shattering number of Massachusetts residents obtained medical marijuana cards over the past month, a spike that followed Governor Charlie Baker’s decision to deem recreational cannabis stores “nonessential” and close them amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read

The first to legalize: demographic and spatial influences on Colorado Amendment 64

4/10/20--Colorado was one of the first states in the US to legalize the personal use and possession of marijuana. Using various estimation techniques, the purpose of this study is to examine the possible demographic and spatial factors influencing the voting behavior of Coloradans on the issue of recreational marijuana legalization. Read

Pot Stores Essential? A Counterpoint

4/24/20--The marijuana industry is using the fact that its stores have been labeled as “essential” as a call for legalization nationwide. According to an op-ed featured in Inside Sources, although buying a cappuccino at Starbucks is not allowed, walking into a marijuana store for a high potency weed is perfectly fine. Continuing on, the article states, "It isn’t because marijuana has been “solidified into the mainstream fabric of America”— it’s because its army of lobbyists are flexing their political muscle and threatening politicians to do as they demand. Read

California pot dispensaries are open during coronavirus crisis. Some want them closed

3/30/20--In designating California's marijuana industry as essential under the state's COVID-19 stay-at-home order, the administration of Gov. Gavin Newsom has argued that the health benefits of keeping pot shops open outweigh the risks — even as opponents of the policy call it reckless. Read

Citing a new study, advocacy groups say dispensaries should not be considered an essential business

3/30/20--A study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is within the National Institutes of Health, reports smoking marijuana may increase a person's risk for contracting the novel coronavirus. Two national advocacy groups are citing the study as a reason for removing the “essential” designation from dispensaries in states where recreational use of marijuana is legal. Read

Baker says reopening recreational marijuana shops amid coronavirus outbreak is a ‘non-starter’

3/31/20--Despite pleas from leaders in the cannabis industry to reopen adult-use marijuana stores, Governor Charlie Baker defended his choice Tuesday to keep them closed, even while deeming medical dispensaries “essential" and allowing them to remain open. Read

Getting a medical marijuana card is easier than you think

4/1/20--Due to some recent regulatory changes, getting a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts is an easy process. For starters, the temporary Cannabis Control Commission process meant to support social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak, offers initial appointments (and required annual certification renewals) that can now be conducted over the phone. The agency also recently eliminated state fees for medical patients. Read

Prop 11: Onsite smoking of marijuana in Anchorage

3/31/20--Proposition 11 on the 2020 Anchorage Municipal ballot would allow cannabis businesses to apply for a license to have on-site smoking of marijuana. Read

To weed or not to weed: Local budtenders weigh health concerns with showing up to shifts

4/6/20--Cannabis shops and liquor stores that sell food were among the few businesses that Gov. Jay Inslee deemed essential, requiring numerous adjustments to stay open while abiding by both social distancing and cannabis sale regulations. However, despite being deemed an "essential business," some service workers don’t feel protected by the current state rules and business practices leaving some having to decide either to risk their health by showing up to work, or risk their economic stability by not showing up to work. Read

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