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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

Marijuana delivery: How Mass. may try to help those hurt by war on drugs

2/15/19--A state panel voted that home delivery of marijuana should be allowed in Massachusetts — and for five years grant those business licenses only to small companies and people from communities disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs. The near-unanimous vote by the Cannabis Advisory Board was an effort to redress the historically high rate of pot arrests among black and Hispanic people and help them join a capital-intensive industry dominated by well-heeled corporations. Read

Dunleavy crime bill may need exemption to keep recreational marijuana industry legal

2/11/19--The Alaska recreational marijuana industry could be put in legal jeopardy by one of the governor’s proposed crime bills, Senate Bill 32, unless clarifying language is added to the legislation. According to the Division of Legal and Research Services, a court construes legislation as written and a judge could interpret the language of Senate Bill 32 as superseding earlier legislation that set up the legal marijuana industry in Alaska. Read

Now for the hard part: Getting Californians to buy legal weed

1/2/19--California was the sixth state to introduce the sale of recreational marijuana, but the enormous size of the market led to predictions of soaring legal marijuana sales. Instead, sales fell. The easy part of legalization was persuading people to vote for it, industry analysts say. The hard part, now that it’s legal, is persuading people to stop buying from the black market. Read

Taxing cannabis

1/23/19--For decades, analysts interested in the tax revenue potential of legalizing marijuana had to use unreliable survey data and speculation regarding how a legal market might operate. But this is changing, and various options exist for structuring state and local taxes on marijuana. A report presented by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) undertakes an in-depth exploration of state marijuana tax revenue performance and offers a glimpse into what may lie ahead for these taxes. Read

City of Denver unveils Turn Over a New Leaf program to wipe clean low-level marijuana convictions

1/9/19--The city of Denver is outlining how thousands of people with low-level marijuana convictions can have those crimes expunged from their records as part of a new city program called Turn Over a New Leaf. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock first announced the plans in December. Because the state legislature has yet to enact laws that would automatically vacate low-level marijuana offenses, individuals can obtain relief only by filing motions in each case. Read

Cannabis panel seeks authority to scrutinize shops’ pacts with towns

1/11/19--State marijuana regulators will seek greater authority to crack down on excessive payments cities and towns demand from marijuana companies in exchange for permission to locate within their borders, saying many of the contracts signed so far go beyond apparent legal limits on their value. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission voted 4-1 Thursday to ask the Legislature for more authority to review such deals, which are required to win a state marijuana license. Read

Smoke and mirrors: Massachusetts’ recreational cannabis industry navigates tricky regulatory terrain

1/11/19--On November 20, Massachusetts made history as the first state east of the Mississippi River where adults can legally purchase marijuana for recreational use. Although the robust demand may be validation for Massachusetts’ marijuana advocates, marijuana companies face an array of obstacles, from financial hurdles to regulatory barriers, that have made life more difficult than the booming business might otherwise suggest. Read

State of Marijuana

1/9/19--As Colorado began its fifth year of legalized recreational marijuana in 2018, The Denver Post decided it was important to let readers know about the state of the industry as its fifth anniversary loomed, a large part of which hinged on its financial successes. Read

New Distilled Spirits Council study shows no impact on spirits sales from legalized recreational marijuana

1/10/19--Distilled spirits sales have not been negatively impacted in the three states that have had legalized recreational marijuana retail sales the longest, according to a study by the Distilled Spirits Council. This new in-depth analysis, utilizing state-level alcohol tax receipts and actual alcohol shipment data, examined per capita alcohol sales in Colorado, Washington state and Oregon for the two years prior to recreational marijuana legalization and up to 3-4 years post-legalization. Read

Constellation Brands stock sinks 11% after releasing disappointing 2019 outlook

1/9/19--Shares of Constellation Brands dropped 11 percent in premarket trading Wednesday morning. Constellation Brands said it expects to earn between $9.20 and $9.30 per share for the fiscal 2019 year, on an adjusted basis, missing analysts' expectations of $9.43 per share. The company's stock, which has a market value of $32.7 billion, struggled in 2018, with shares ending the year down 30 percent. Read

Marijuana: 5 years later

1/1/19--Marijuana has been legal in Colorado for five years. For some it's been a great thing, others don't think so, and the state is still figuring it out.Growth in population and economy have been just one side effect. There has also been an increase in dispensaries on the Western Slope. Furthermore, the state report said tax revenue jumped from a little more than $67 million in 2014 to $247 million in 2017, that's more than a 266 percent jump. Read

Editorial | What’s next on horizon for legal marijuana

1/1/19--According to the Editorial Board of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the issues swirling around legal marijuana include taxation, licensing, distribution and delivery, the still-flourishing illegal market, the stark difference in how cities and counties throughout the state are regulating sales, environmental problems, testing, and establishing enforceable laws regarding operating vehicles while under the influence. Santa Cruz Sentinel did not support legalization. The reason is because despite the age declaration, younger people would have even more access to an intoxicant that is much more powerful and impairing than non-pot smokers probably realize. Read

Marijuana pesticide contamination worries Oregon farmers

12/10/18--Due to Oregon’s pesticide testing regime for marijuana and its high value, growers of more conventional crops worry about getting blamed for contamination that renders the mind-altering flowers unsalable. County representatives of the Oregon Farm Bureau voted to request that its board of directors consider possible solutions with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, which is one of several state agencies involved in regulating the recreational marijuana since voters legalized it in 2014. Read

The little town that pot built

12/4/18--Although Garden City is smaller than a square mile and has fewer than 300 residents, it has been transformed by marijuana use. The town could afford to spend $3 million on downtown infrastructure upgrades thanks to its four bustling marijuana retailers. Since pot is now legal for recreational use, as well as medical use, the town raked in over $2 million from sales taxes alone last year — mostly from the sale of bud, pre-rolled joints, edibles, and other pot products. Read

Can data storytelling help save local journalism?

11/16/18--A small team of KING journalists worked for two months with Microsoft's Modern Journalism Program and Power BI experts to analyze mounds of public records, turning them into visually rich stories told with graphics and animations. The pilot’s mission followed one of the highest principles of TV news: unraveling crucial if not complicated topics to offer easy-to-understand stories that help local viewers better understand their world. Jake Whittenberg, reporter and anchor with KING-TV in Seattle, says, “We wanted to find a model that could support the kind of storytelling and the kind of journalism that, frankly, we need to get back to.” Read

Rocky Mountain high

11/18/18--At least a dozen states are considering marijuana legalization. According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 60 percent of Americans reportedly support full legalization of marijuana for adults. Full Measure staff visited the very first state to allow retail pot stores: Colorado. They found a lot of happy people, but also some hard lessons for other states considering the same path. Read

4 lessons from the Mass. marijuana law roll-out

11/20/18--More than two years after Massachusetts voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the first two stores are set to open on Tuesday. The long wait has been symbolic of some of the frustrating ways the legalization law has so far failed to live up to its potential to spur economic development and address inequities. The Boston Globe presents 4 lessons from the introduction of the Massachusetts marijuana law. Read

Marty Walsh on pot shops: Hope ‘taxation’s worth the human toll’

11/23/18--On the same day Boston pushed its first recreational license, Mayor Martin J. Walsh cautioned against the “human toll” of marijuana by stating, “I hope the taxation’s worth the human toll. It’s the law now, and Boston will be opening up its very first marijuana facility probably early next year.” More than 50 marijuana businesses consisting of recreational, medicinal, and growing facilities have sent applications of interest to the city. Read

TV stations pulled anti-legalization ads ahead of midterm marijuana votes, advocates say

11/12/18--In the run-up to Election Day, at least two Michigan television stations pulled political ads promoting false claims about the state’s ultimately successful marijuana legalization measure. The ads, paid for by prohibitionist committee Healthy and Productive Michigan (HAPM), attempted to stoke fears about legalization, incorrectly claiming that the initiative would allow for “unlimited potency” cannabis products. Read

Michigan voters approve marijuana legalization

11/6/18--Voters in Michigan have opted to make their state the next to legalize marijuana. A ballot measure to replace marijuana prohibition with a legal and regulated system of cultivation and sales was approved by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent. The measure will allow adults over 21 to possess, grow, and use small amounts of marijuana legally. Read

Report on marijuana’s impact on Colorado since legalization finds benefits amid some trouble spots

10/27/18--A new state report on marijuana issued by the Colorado Department of Public Safety found that arrests have dropped significantly since recreational sales began in 2014. The report also concluded that use among youths does not appear to be increasing, that traffic deaths directly attributable to marijuana are down, and revenues have nearly quadrupled since 2014 to $247 million. However, organized crime charges are up, as well as arrests for smuggling marijuana edibles and concentrates. Hospital and emergency room visits and poison control center calls have also grown. Read

Illegal marijuana dispensaries hide in plain sight in Chula Vista

10/26/18--Illegal marijuana dispensaries continue to pop up all over Chula Vista and the city is having a hard time keeping up and shutting them down. When operators are caught they are shut down and pay fines, but then move on to the next spot. The city is trying to get the problem under control with Measure Q on November's ballot, where voters will decide if shops can legally open up, or none will be allowed in the city; and either way, it will be strictly enforced. Read

Ahead of Canada’s big day, forecast for cannabis industry gets a boost

10/16/18--On the eve of Canada’s historic launch of its recreational marijuana program, the global marijuana industry appears poised for explosive growth due to the confluence of a host of market developments. According to Wall Street analyst Vivien Azer of Cowen, Canada’s move to legalize marijuana across its 10 provinces “is the first step” in establishing marijuana as “a key functional ingredient” that will disrupt a group of consumer product categories collectively worth up to $500 billion. This perspective lands as the legal marijuana industry continues to log record rates of growth. Read