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

O Canada!  Obviously, the big news this week is that marijuana is now legal in Canada.

The B.C. government is touting the success of the province’s online cannabis store, which went live shortly after midnight.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says coming legislation will waive the waiting period and fee for those seeking a pardon for possession offences.

Unlikely as it seems, Canada’s first day as the world’s largest legal marijuana marketplace turned out to be pretty much just another day.

Recreational marijuana is legal as of today, but the vision of what a pot-permissive Canada looks like remains somewhat hazy.

The National Hockey League (NHL) will maintain its neutral stance on pro players’ cannabis use after legalization takes effect across Canada this Wednesday, according to a Yahoo Sports report.

 

 

On January 22, 2018, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed H. 511, allowing adults to possess recreational marijuana, making Vermont the first state in the nation to pass such a law in the legislature rather than at the ballot box. Vermont joins eight other states that have legalized recreational marijuana, as well as Washington D.C.  Nearly 30 states, including Vermont and Washington D.C., also have medical marijuana laws on the books. Polls show that most Americans favor legalizing marijuana at the national and local levels. An October 2017 Gallup poll found national support for legalization at the federal level to be at almost 64%. Continue Reading Vermont Legislature Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at legalized marijuana.  And what a week it was!  From California’s legalization of recreational pot to the rescinding of the Cole Memorandum, this has been a roller coaster ride for the industry.

Let’s start with California’s legalization:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California on Monday becomes the nation’s largest state to offer legal recreational marijuana sales.

For the Bay Area’s cannabis community, legalization means reckoning with capitalism never imagined in Haight-Ashbury’s “turn on, tune in, drop out”  ethos of the late ’60s.

Continue Reading The Week in Weed: January 5, 2018

California employers can still enforce their drug-free workplace policies and discharge employees who test positive for marijuana, despite the recreational marijuana laws that go into effect in January 2018.

On November 8, 2016, California voters enacted the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Effective January 1, 2018, adults over the age of 21 can smoke marijuana recreationally. Health & Safety Code § 11362.1(a)(4). Marijuana, meanwhile, will remain legal for medical use by patients who have a physician’s recommendation, under California’s Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Health & Safety Code § 11362.5. So how will the new law affect employers? Continue Reading Not Up In Smoke: Employers Can Still Enforce Drug Policies

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

New Gallup Poll Finds Record Support for Marijuana Legalization.

Medical marijuana companies in Massachusetts could see a hike in business once regulators implement several improvements to the state’s MMJ program.

A St. Louis bill allowing the use and growth of marijuana aims to reduce disproportionate penalties for existing violations and free up time and resources for police.

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

Colorado’s largest city is on the brink of licensing some of the nation’s first legal marijuana clubs. But Denver’s elaborate hurdles for potential weed-friendly coffee shops and gathering places may mean the city gets few takers for the new licenses.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter Wednesday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressing concern about a reported move by the Justice Department to halt marijuana research.

It won’t be easy to top the landslide 2016 electoral victories for marijuana, but advocates are looking to make serious headway across the country once again on statewide ballots next year.

Finally, if you were wondering what Snoop Dogg’s venture capital firm has been up to lately, wonder no more:

Interested in the firm’s business model and its early investments in successful companies like Eaze, Merry Jane and LeafLink, Benzinga decided to reach out to its four founders, Karan Wadhera, Evan Eneman, Ted Chung and Calvin Broadus—AKA Snoop Dogg—and asked them to walk us through it all.

Something we missed that everyone needs to know?  Give us a shout in the comments.

 

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

With thousands of jobs and billions of dollars at stake, it’s a burning question: Is Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions preparing to mess with voter-approved sales of recreational marijuana?

An independent national organization that supports state legislatures has again voiced its support for federal descheduling of cannabis.

After 17 years of waiting, Hawaii dispensaries began selling medical marijuana Tuesday.

And, just in case you were wondering what the astrophysical view of marijuana legalization is:

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, among the most well-known living scientists, said that “there’s no reason for [marijuana] to ever have been made illegal.”

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While Attorney General Jeff Sessions continues to put the marijuana industry on edge with his recent efforts to clamp down on the “hands off” policies of the Obama-era Department of Justice, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) has introduced an ambitious piece of legislation that would change the landscape of how marijuana is addressed at the federal level.

The Marijuana Justice Act proposed by Senator Booker would remove marijuana from its current classification as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).  Schedule I drugs are the most serious category of illegal substances – which along with drugs such as heroin, LSD, and MDMA – have the highest potential for abuse and purportedly have no currently accepted medical use.  Meanwhile, drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines, and opiods all fall under the Schedule 2 classification and are considered less dangerous under the CSA.

Unlike prior attempts to legalize marijuana and change its classification under the CSA, such as those from Senator Bernie Sanders, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), and Rep. Tom Garrett (R-VA), the Marijuana Justice Act appears to be rooted in social justice and seeks to “retroactively expunge people who have been convicted of use and possession of marijuana,” “[create] incentive[s] for states to change their laws, which will stop them from enforcing the law in an unjust manner,” and “[give] communities devastated by marijuana laws [the ability] to apply for reinvestment funds, to help pay for community centers, public libraries, youth centers, and other infrastructure and social needs.”

Notably, the law would withhold federal funds for law enforcement and prison construction for states that have a disproportionate percentage of minority and low-income individuals arrested for marijuana-related offenses and would create a reinvestment fund for communities most affected by the war on drugs, with grants in areas such as job training, expenses related to the expungement of convictions, public libraries and health education programs.

Whether rooted in progressivism or simply political ambitions for 2020, Senator Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act (which has yet to have a co-sponsor) will face an uphill battle in Congress, despite public support for legalization being at an all-time high.  Indeed, notwithstanding its populist appeal, this legislation would leave unanswered a whole host of questions, such as whether the U.S. government would play any role in the regulation of marijuana at the federal level or would leave regulation of marijuana entirely up to the states?  What about states which do not yet have their own regulatory framework?   What type of marijuana convictions would qualify for expungement?

It is unlikely that these questions will ultimately be answered with the current legislation, but the Marijuana Justice Act could open up further debate about whether marijuana should be declassified as a Schedule I drug under the CSA, which would potentially open doors to medical marijuana research and banking services for those in the marijuana industry.

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

Senator Booker said he wants to correct an “unjust system” that largely impacts communities “of color.”

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Billions of dollars are expected to flow through California’s legitimate marijuana industry next year when recreational pot becomes legal, but most of those businesses won’t be able to use banks.

Nearly 100 groups and businesses in North Dakota have shown interest in producing or dispensing medical marijuana.

The venerable lawn-and-garden giant’s leap into hydroponics, an ancillary sector of the cannabis industry, continues to bolster its top line.

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

Recreational marijuana becomes legal to buy Saturday in Nevada, but that doesn’t mean anything goes in the place where most people think anything goes.

The nation’s first licensed marijuana clubs likely will roll out in Denver in a few months after regulators finalized rules governing the pilot program.

It’s meant to complement the possible passage of House Bill 110. The 23-person task force will hold its first meeting by Sept. 7.

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