Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Documents reveal the AG is seeking approval to crack down on marijuana in states that have passed pro-pot laws.

See TBT’s take on this story here: Sessions Seeks Repeal of Rohrabacher-Farr

A sharply divided legislative committee in Massachusetts voted Wednesday to advance a bill calling for major changes to the voter-approved recreational marijuana law, including higher taxes on retail sales and handing more control over cannabis shops to municipal officials.

If Nevada officials have their way, tourists and residents will be able to buy pot legally ahead of Independence Day.  But before recreational marijuana launches in the state best known for slot machines and showgirls, a judge must decide who has the right to distribute Nevada’s newest cash crop.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions is in the news for two reasons today: he’s testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on his possible links to Russia and a letter he wrote to Congress indicating his disapproval of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment has surfaced.

Last month we reported that Congress extended the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment.  No sooner was this extension passed,  but Sessions wrote to Congress seeking its repeal.   As many readers know, the Amendment prohibits the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent states from implementing their own medical marijuana laws.  It is, in essence, a victory for states’ rights, in the sense that they can decide whether to make medical marijuana legal, without fear of federal government interference.

Yesterday massroots.com, and today The Washington Post reported that in May, Sessions wrote to Congress stating that “it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department [of Justice] to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long term uptick in violent crime.”

Of course, the “historic drug epidemic” to which Sessions refers has nothing to do with cannabis, but involves opiates, and, according to the Washington Post, a growing body of research shows that opiate overdoses decrease in states in which medical marijuana is legal.  Sessions also wrote that “[t]he Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous traffickers who threaten American lives.”  It is difficult to understand how Rohrabacher-Farr prevents the federal government from enforcing the Controlled Substances Act against those engaged in trafficking in drugs across state lines.

Sessions’ position is contrary to that of the President who expressed support for medical marijuana laws during his campaign.  However, over the past several months there have been a number of mixed signals from the Administration regarding enforcement of the federal prohibition on the possession and sale of cannabis.  These mixed signals have created tremendous uncertainty in all segments of the cannabis industry, but it is hard to believe that the Administration really intends to disrupt what has become a multi-billion dollar industry.

 

 

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Nevada state legislators put the final touches on measures to regulate marijuana this week, just weeks before Nevada becomes the fifth state to legalize the use and sale of marijuana for recreational purposes.

Florida lawmakers reached a compromise on key details regarding the number of dispensaries and plans for additional licenses under the state’s full-fledged medical marijuana, paving the way for legislators to add MMJ legislation to this week’s special legislative session.

Legalizing marijuana helps all marijuana stocks, right?

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Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana

Some states that have legalized marijuana are encouraging minorities to enter the growing cannabis industry after years of drug enforcement that had a disproportionate effect on black and Hispanic communities.

First Trust Portfolios, an Illinois-based fund manager that oversees more than $100 billion, has filed paperwork to establish an investment vehicle containing medical marijuana stocks.

The real surprise is what this bill wouldn’t legalize, if approved.

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Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Vermont’s governor on Wednesday halted, at least temporarily, efforts to become the ninth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but offered to work with state legislators to resolve what he cited as the bill’s shortcomings.

A California retail estate investment firm and a wealthy Florida medical marijuana advocate separately pledged Tuesday to pump $100 million each into cannabis businesses, marking a notable new chapter in the MJ industry.

The bill would legalize adult use of marijuana and possession of certain amounts of pot.

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We recently reported on the inclusion of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment in the current Congressional budget deal.  The controversy over whether the Justice Department should be permitted to enforce federal laws in states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes only seemed settled, at least until the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 expires in late September.  Due to the signing statement that President Trump issued when approving the Act, however, we may have blogged too soon. Continue Reading Reading the Signs: Is a Marijuana Crackdown in Our Future?

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

WASHINGTON, May 17 (Reuters) – Republican and Democratic senators on Wednesday renewed their drive to make banking easier for marijuana-based businesses in those U.S. states where the drug is legal, undeterred by signals from the Trump administration about maintaining tough marijuana restrictions nationally.

A small, bipartisan group of lawmakers is renewing a push at the federal level to legalize marijuana, calling it a criminal justice issue.

By Marijuana Business Daily staff Retail sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the United States are expected to hit $5 billion-$6 billion this year and surge to as high as $17 billion by 2021, according to exclusive projections released today in the 2017 Marijuana Business Factbook.

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NIOSH has released a study on the safety and health hazards posed by marijuana growing farms.  Of concern for employers are the risks for musculoskeletal disorders, as well as dermal contact exposure to both THC and Botrytis cinerea, a plant pathogen.  Continue Reading Marijuana Farm Employees Face Numerous Health Hazards

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at the world of legalized marijuana.

Vermont’s Legislature has become the first in the nation to approve a recreational marijuana legalization bill.

The Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission has failed to pay the lion’s share of a $2.6 million bill incurred in large part for hiring a third party to review a deluge of applications for grower, processor and dispensary licenses.

Chris Christie, the deeply unpopular outgoing governor, is a vehement marijuana opponent but the political winds are shifting.

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Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at the world of legalized marijuana.

Vermont lawmakers have approved a modest expansion to the state’s medical marijuana program, permitting dispensaries to open more locations and expanding the list of medical conditions treatable with MMJ.

Walt Disney World has prohibited any marijuana on its grounds, including medical marijuana, which is legal in Florida.

Pot advocates are calling on U.S. lawmakers to legalize the substance federally as support reaches an all-time high.

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