Cannabis News Round-Up

Two corporate weed giants are entering New Jersey market. What will that mean for mom-and-pop sellers after legalization? NAACP, Catholic Conference warn of commercialization of marijuana in Illinois. Pot opponents express concerns over safety, commercialization. Support builds for bill to allow banks to assist pot businesses. Without banking bill, federal pot legalization is a three-legged horse until 2021. Wall Street chokes on cannabis bank bill. Michigan Attorney General joins coalition for change to marijuana banking law. Joe Biden supports decriminalization, not legalization. In 1989, Joe Biden believed the difference between marijuana and alcohol is that one can be used responsibly. Cannabis stocks can be a lucrative—but risky—bet.

Efforts to legalize marijuana in New York are at an impasse. Cuomo retreats from legal marijuana promises. New York marijuana: What to know about cannabis jobs, pot college and immigrant weed workers. With recreational pot unlikely, New York medical marijuana program may grow. Columbia County, New York officials to block pot sales if legalized.

Weed smuggling arrests at LAX have surged 166% since marijuana legalization. Illegal marijuana grows in Pacific Northwest declined after legalization. Pot tax revenue welcome in Boulder. Cannabis lounges are coming to Las Vegas.

Vermont legal pot sales doomed this session. New Hampshire Senate committee votes to delay marijuana legalization bill to 2020. Legal pot hearing sure to draw huge crowd in Maine. Maine pot rules must protect kids, problem users. What will marijuana cafes and concerts look like if they become legal in Massachusetts?

Delaware legalization bill announced. Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor finally brought his listening tour to Pittsburgh—and most want legal weed. New Jersey lawmakers kill the bill, say voters should decide. Despite the doom-and-gloom around New Jersey legal weed efforts, some lobbyists still hold out hope. Booker bill would protect students with drug convictions from losing federal college aid.

Michigan to accelerate decisions on unlicensed pot shops, recreational market. Support for Illinois legal pot thinning. Illinois survey that supposedly shows support for legalization is dwindling actually shows it is rising. Marijuana bill may violate Illinois Constitution, prosecutors say. Growing at home might not be allowed after all under Illinois legalization proposal.

Hundreds march in Fort Worth for Texas legalization of marijuana. Why Kansas cops don’t want to legalize marijuana—medical or otherwise.

Women who love weed: can the industry free itself from stoner-bro culture? Retired NBA player Caron Butler to release documentary on pot industry. State-by-state legalization is a mess.

Canada black market is thriving—even after legalization.St. Kitts and Nevis court rules adults can legally use marijuana in private.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Oregon Senate puts temporary freeze on marijuana production. Oregon marijuana surplus spurs senators to block new grower licenses. As legal marijuana booms, Denver votes on decriminalizing hallucinogenic mushrooms. Colorado senators lead way on national legalization of marijuana. Colorado pot czar: Legal marijuana not a “cash windfall.” San Fransciso’s Haight Street gets a new, legal king of weed.

Massachusetts makes history as first legal marijuana shops on East Coast open. Uxbridge, Massachusetts entrepreneur dreams of selling legal marijuana at a drive-through pot shop. Vermont House committee approves legal marijuana market. Follow-up on the legalization of marijuana in Connecticut.

New York Senator says fate of marijuana legalization depends on Cuomo’s willingness to use political capital. Is New Jersey legal weed fight being hurt by governor’s squabble with top Democrats over corporate tax breaks? Prospects for New Jersey legal weed bill looking grim, insiders say. Want cannabis jobs? Advocate for legalization, says New Jersey panel.

D.C. mayor wants Council to make marijuana sales legal in nation’s capital.

Illinois Governor introduces bill to legalize recreational marijuana. Illinois Representative on recreational marijuana: Not so fast. Opposition to recreational marijuana in Illinois mounts. Illinois legal pot opponents reject Pritzker’s social equity arguments. Police oppose marijuana legalization in Illinois, but want a bigger cut of the proceeds if law passes. Illinois marijuana legalization efforts leave questions for employers. Would Illinois legal marijuana bring dispensaries to DeKalb and Sycamore? Mayors weigh in.

The arc of legal weed bends toward injustice. Merger madness reshapes marijuana business. Attorneys General from thirty-three states urge pot banking reform.Republican congressman tells Democrats to end Trump obsession and focus on marijuana. Why Cory Booker cares so much about legal weed. TSA: “We’re cool,” and we’re not looking for your weed. Breaking the news to mom and dad: I’m selling weed (legally).

New Zealand Cabinet set to consider cannabis referendum. New Zealand government releases details of marijuana legalization referendum. Legalizing cannabis in Australia could create $1 billion in tax revenue.

How to legalize cannabis: the case of Maine

There’s more to legalizing cannabis than setting up a market. The extent of post-prohibition public-health and public-safety problems depends on the details, and especially on price.

One reason I distrust the state-by-state process of legalizing cannabis and prefer a national approach is that the people drafting the laws and writing the regulations tend to reason more or less along these lines:

“Cannabis and alcohol are both intoxicants. We know how to regulate alcohol, so we should handle cannabis the same way.”

There are two things wrong with that.

First, cannabis is like alcohol in some ways but unlike it in others, so it needs a different control regime. (E.g., it’s not clear that we should criminalize cannabis use in public, use by minors, or stoned driving; doing so risks a kind of “backdoor re-criminalization.” In each case the link to aggression and violence that is so marked with alcohol is weaker, or may not even exist, with cannabis.)

Second, the current alcohol control regime leads to an estimated 88,000 excess deaths per year, and incredible amounts of disease and misery. That doesn’t look like a successful policy to me, and applying that policy to cannabis would be a clear case of “Doing the same thing and expecting a different result.” If you were to ask a state alcohol regulator about the prevalence of Alcohol Use Disorder among high-school students, or the number of alcohol-involved murders or suicides, you’d mostly get a blank look. A liquor board usually understands its job as making sure the taxes are paid, that the premises are orderly, and that licensees don’t sell directly to minors. The impact of alcohol on public health is the province of the health department, while its impact on public safety is a problem for the police and the prosecutors.

So with cannabis. Most state regulators are more interested in creating an orderly legal market that can displace the illicit market than in serving a broader policy vision that includes minimizing the predictable bad side-effects of commercial legalization.

BOTEC Analysis was hired by Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy to review a draft set of regulations, which were pretty much as we expected. 

The introduction to our comments, explaining what we were trying to do, is pasted in below the fold.  While the comments are linked to specific sections of the Maine regulations, some of the ideas might be of interest to regulators elsewhere, and to legislators and advocates drafting new legalization statutes. 

Continue reading “How to legalize cannabis: the case of Maine”

Cannabis News Round-Up 5/3/19

Helping banks play SAFE while serving the cannabis industry. Congress can open banks to legal cannabis industry with SAFE Act. D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser unveils bill to legalize recreational marijuana sales.

Jackson County, Oregon black market bust: $15M in pot & stockpile of firearms. Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan calls for nationwide evaluation on marijuana legalization.

Connecticut pot tax clears committee, setting the stage for final legalization bill. Pot tax proposal in Connecticut similar to Massachusetts model. Contentious hearing in Hartford on Connecticut marijuana legalization. Connecticut Republican lawmakers to discuss implications of legal recreational marijuana. With time running short, Vermont House struggles with full legalization. Vermont governor Phil Scott‘s three wishes. Recreational marijuana delivery could soon become the norm in Massachusetts.

No one’s in a hurry to legalize recreational marijuana in New York. New York marijuana: What to know about minority ownership, social equity and pot arrests. Advocates oversell how New York legal weed will eliminate the black market. Will New Jersey legalize marijuana in May? Top Democrat says it’s fifty-fifty. New Jersey medical marijuana could move on without recreational legal weed, expungement plan.

Illinois is prioritizing legalization. Full, 300-page pot legalization bill could be introduced in Illinois within days. Legalizing marijuana in Illinois: A good or bad idea? Small Illinois towns hope legalized marijuana bring more jobs.

Twin Cities business leaders to discuss potential impact of recreational marijuana legalization in Minnesota. Las Vegas ordinance on weed lounges could overstep authority.

A marijuana brand with loads of street cred. Winners and losers of American pot stocks so far this year. A small marijuana company wants to sell spliffs. It won’t be easy. Scalia Law Schools symposium on the law & economics of legalization. How living near a marijuana dispensary affects your home’s price.

Taiwan resists as activists launch campaign to legalize marijuana. Canada pot exchange gets some competition.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Louisiana bills seek to legalize marijuana. Trump administration says immigrants working in legal marijuana industry lack “moral character” for citizenship. Kevin Sabet says marijuana legalization push is “about a small number of people who want to get rich.”

Illegal pot market booming in California despite legalization. Federal marijuana legalization must learn from California. Number, type of Washington marijuana bills grow with the new industry. Governor John Hickenlooper on Colorado marijuana legalization and how he talks to his son about pot.

Marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, but your boss doesn’t have to allow it—yet. Massachusetts panel okays plan for home delivery of marijuana. Marijuana legalization bill debated in New Hampshire senate committee. Opponents to New Hampshire marijuana legalization show up in force at hearing. Cannabis is legal in states around New Hampshire, but it’s not easy to actually get some and consume it legally.

Legalizing pot may provide fiscal relief to Pennsylvania. Could Pennsylvania recreational marijuana impact the medical marijuana industry? Criminal justice impacts of Pennsylvania marijuana legalization, decriminalization examined. Pennsylvania marijuana entrepreneurs hoping for clarity amid banking haze. Monuments, museums, marijuana: Take a whiff of DC new pot-infused tourism. New York marijuana: What to know about pot-pricing cliffs, banking wars and drug dealers.

Illinois marijuana bill likely to come up early when lawmakers return. As Illinois lawmakers prepare to debate recreational marijuana, opponents raise concerns. Illinois wants to set aside $8M to regulate recreational weed. Democrat Marty Moylan leads effort to slow Illinois recreational marijuana legalization. Patrick Kennedy (son of Ted) asks Illinois lawmakers to oppose marijuana legalization.

Would legalizing and taxing marijuana boost the Texas economy? Why Arizona lawmakers—not the industry—should legalize marijuana. Advocates hope to legalize marijuana in Red Lake Nation.

Why weed advocates aren’t happy about Joe Biden’s candidacy. Most 2020 Democratic presidential candidates agree on recreational marijuana: Legalize it. Elizabeth Warren reiterates support for marijuana legalization.

Cannabis, marijuana, weed, pot? Just call it a job machine. In the age of legal marijuana, many employers drop zero tolerance drug tests. Why the 1970s effort to decriminalize marijuana failed. Beer and cigarette makers join the pot lobbying parade. Can artisanal weed compete with Big Marijuana?

Marijuana legalization looks promising, but plenty of questions remain.
A national conversation about pot. Marijuana legalization and road safety: A panel study of US states. High Time for Criminal Justice Reform: Marijuana Expungement Statutes in States with Legalized or Decriminalized Marijuana Laws. The Onion endorses legal marijuana.

Following Canada example to see how brands advertise marijuana. Marijuana sales in Canada are going nowhere fast. Mexico lawmakers plan to tackle marijuana legalization this summer. What will the marijuana economy give to Georgia?

4/20 Cannabis News Round-Up

Corporations embracing 4/20 as weed holiday goes mainstream.

Alabama lawmakers unanimously approve marijuana decriminalization in committee vote. Vermont bank prepares to lend to pot businesses. Howard Dean, once anti-pot, joins cannabis company board. How even legal marijuana use can land you in jail. Weed was legal for less than a month in 1972 in Michiganor was it?

Could this California environmental law be the cannabis industry’s silent killer? Two years on, California marijuana legalization isn’t delivering. Cop fired, town hall searched as Colorado border town reckons with new pot money, old problems. Nevada may be forced to reveal marijuana license criteria. The untold story of Washington marijuana legalization.

Why the road to New York pot legalization is proving so rocky. Reefer, managed: Putting cannabis taxes to work in New York. After recent setbacks, will New York and New Jersey legalize pot? Legal weed remains stalled in New Jersey as politicians don’t know how to solve this big issue.

Pennsylvania state reps call Lieutenant Governor‘s marijuana listening tour a “sham.” Legalizing Pennsylvania adult recreational marijuana faces uphill battle. Stop blocking DC from regulating its marijuana. market.

Connecticut legal recreational pot a potential conundrum for the workforce. The real story—legalizing Connecticut marijuana. Pot tax rate key to driving down illegal market in Connecticut.

It is time to legalize Illinois recreational marijuana. Illinois governor aims to legalize recreational marijuana by end of spring session.Opponents of legal marijuana in Illinois: “This is not a done deal.”

Democratic representative to reintroduce legislation to fully legalize marijuana in Wisconsin. Marijuana advocates face hurdles as Wisconsin eyes legalization.

Just how popular is pot legalization? Analyst says calls for legalizing marijuana are part of societal trend. Is nationwide legalization just around the corner? Marijuana legalization—a rare issue where women are more conservative than men. Don’t buy all those phony myths about legalizing pot.

All the top Democrats running for president favor legalizing. How Trump could take pot legalization away from Democrats in 2020.

Fund levelheaded research into cannabis legalization. US workers are failing drug tests at an incredible rate—but legal weed has the future of these screenings in doubt. Think pot policy is settled? Think again. The army has a message for soldiers: Even where marijuana is legal, don’t use it. How legalizing recreational marijuana impacts home values. The $3.4 billion as-soon-as-it’s-legal marijuana merger.

America’s boom in illegal weed. These are the countries most likely to legalize weed next.

Canada has made pot super boring. Canada legal weed struggles to light up as smokers stick to black market.Trudeau isn’t talking about it, but Canada  legal pot is going well.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Oregon has 1 million pounds of unsold cannabis, and it reveals the state’s marijuana surplus problem. A new state bill could determine the future of Oregon pot industry. 24 California cities sue to stop home weed deliveries. Colorado legal pot cost has dropped, illicit grow market still booming.

Massachusetts legal pot sales sparking illicit marijuana market. New Yorkers are flocking to Massachusetts for their legal weed fix. Here’s what’s holding up the legalizing of marijuana in New York. New York lawmakers pivot to legal pot.

New Jersey Governor sets May deadline for legal weed vote. Governor Murphy‘s vow to move ahead on medical marijuana could jeopardize legal weed. Marijuana legalization could require 100 new growing sites in New Jersey. After New Jersey legalizes weed, these tech wizards want to grow tons of it here. With robots.

Connecticut legal marijuana part three. Another Connecticut legislative committee to vote on pot legalization. Connecticut Judiciary Committee pushes legalized marijuana bills forward. Keep Big Marijuana out of Connecticut.

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania residents make their pitch for legalizing marijuana to Lieutenant Governor.

Bill legalizing recreational marijuana in Florida dies without a hearing.

Illinois is really close to legalizing marijuana … or is it? Here comes Michigan Big Marijuana and the Republican hypocrites. Marijuana advocates have hope but face hurdles as Wisconsin eyes legalization.

Attorney General calls current marijuana situation “intolerable,” indicates support for reform bill. Attorney General’s position on marijuana legalization a welcome contrast to that of his predecessor.

Governor Inslee calls for national marijuana legalization. Cory Booker says weed legalization must include justice for victims of war on drugs. Cory Gardner: Trump said he would sign pot bill.

Legal pot vs. black market a balancing act. Does legalizing marijuana help or harm Americans? Weighing the statistical evidence. Military firmly against marijuana, despite legalization trend. Bags of cash, armed guards and wary banks: The edgy life of a cannabis company CFO. Black Americans haven’t benefited from marijuana legalization. In the age of legal marijuana, some employers drop zero-tolerance drug tests.

Alex Berenson and the last anti-cannabis crusade. Pot legalization advocates exploiting public confusion about CBD and THC, Berenson says.

Legalization pushed up price of Canada pot by 17%. Israel election may determine the future of cannabis.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Denver mayor says legal immigrants are being denied citizenship due to work in marijuana industry. In dangerous practice, Colorado legal marijuana is still a cash business. Turning point for legal marijuana in Colorado: Big changes in the works as state plays catchup. “Employment and Marijuana Use Among Washington State Adolescents Before and After Legalization of Retail Marijuana.” Marijuana home deliveries challenged by California cities in new lawsuit.

Michigan governor celebrates marijuana legalization in video for hash bash event. Panel suggests Michigan not set legal limit for driving with marijuana in system. Why more than 400 Michigan communities are saying no to recreational pot businesses.

“Cash is still king” in Massachusetts marijuana industry. Public safety still a concern two years after legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts.New Hampshire House votes to legalize recreational marijuana. Clarendon, Vermont further prepares to outlaw marijuana sales ahead of possible state legalization.

Legalized marijuana in New York will have to wait. Cuomo vows to pass New York legal marijuana law by June. What’s next for legalization in New York? New York marijuana legalization is a critical part of criminal justice reform. New York marijuana: What to know about cannabis lobbying and political influence. The clubby, corporate marijuana market New York wants to avoid is right next door.

Is legalization still alive in New Jersey? Inside the strange, messy fight to legalize weed in New Jersey. New Jersey marijuana legalization: Make expungement fit the crime. New Jersey colleges put cannabis studies on the curriculum. Time to consider legal marijuana in Pennsylvania.

Expect delays legalizing Illinois marijuana for recreational use. Activists on both sides are pushing hard as marijuana legalization bill looms in Illinois. Polling suggests Wisconsin favors legalizing cannabis, but hurdles remain. Legalization backers to make another try in 2020 in North Dakota.

Lawmakers optimistic about new federal marijuana bill. C’mon Congress, it’s time to lighten up on pot.

2020 candidate Andrew Yang promises to legalize marijuana and pardon all non-violent drug offenders on 4/20 if he’s elected. Elizabeth Warren says bill would protect legal pot states from federal interference. Beto O’Rourke’s 2011 book on legalizing marijuana has sold about 4,000 copies. Legalizing pot is the new Democratic litmus test.

The public-health case for legalizing marijuana. Can marijuana help end the opioids crisis? More colleges adding marijuana to their study programs. Why Barneys’ high-end head shop may be the future of cannabis-related retail. Marijuana legalization sparked a return to false link between smokers and violence. Your cannabis can’t be certified organic—but now it can be kosher.

Legalization in Canada sparks rally in marijuana stocks. Mexico considering legalizing marijuana use. Marijuana legalization becomes unexpected issue in Israeli polls.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Los Angeles mayor announces possible crackdown on illegal weed shops.

Why the plan to legalize marijuana in New Jersey suddenly unraveled. New Jersey Gov. Murphy to expand medical marijuana if recreational bill not passed soon. The odor from New Jersey: That smell is a marijuana legalization process from which New York could learn a thing or two. Where New York and New Jersey stand on legalization.

New York lawmakers proclaim marijuana dead in the budget. Advocates, Cuomo disagree on status of New York marijuana legalization talks. Marijuana supporters to New York: If not now, when?

Guam lawmakers pass marijuana legalization bill.

Legalization bill clears another major hurdle in New Hampshire. New Hampshire House panel passes legalization bill, reworks tax structure. What’s next in the effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Connecticut?

Majority in Pennsylvania say marijuana should be legal. What does legalization mean for Pennsylvania? Illinois Democrats divided over legal marijuana effort. Pro-legalization group says recent studies underestimate marijuana demand in Illinois. Minnesota lawmaker wants to legalize marijuana; poll shows support. Michigan legal market will be uncompetitive with illegal dealers.

Can cannabis giants be contained? Just how high can Canada cannabis giants get in the global market?

Momentum for fixing marijuana’s banking problem is higher than ever. Social and Political Factors Associated With State-Level Legalization of Cannabis in the US. Politics of marijuana legalization: Not just red state vs. blue state.

Mexico government launches poll to ask citizens if marijuana should be legal.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Trump budget proposes loosening DC marijuana legalization restrictions.

Why the marijuana legalization vote got delayed in New Jersey. New Jersey marijuana legalization: The only sensible solution. Here are the high-powered influencers pushing for legal weed. Whoopi Goldberg urges New Jersey lawmakers to legalize weed. New Jersey pot bill gets Newark, Jersey City mayors’ last-minute nod. Legalizing weed will put New Jersey on the right side of civil rights history, Gov. Murphy says in plea for votes. New Jersey Gov. Murphy wants to legalize pot, but he hasn’t convinced the baby boomers. Legalizing marijuana won’t end the black market, says ex-leader of New Jersey State Police. New Jersey marijuana legalization: More stoned driving leads to higher taxes, prominent police chief warns. New group forms to fight New Jersey marijuana farming near schools. Stakes are high for governor as New Jersey nears vote on legalizing marijuana. New Jersey legal weed may be in trouble as lawmakers struggle to secure votes.New Jersey governor on marijuana legalization: “We’re not there yet.” New Jersey marijuana legalization: What you need to know from the legal weed hearings. With Committee votes, New Jersey legal marijuana one step closer to finally becoming law.

Legalized marijuana could be game changer for New York schools. Lawmakers weigh in on potentially legalizing recreational marijuana in New York. Is legal marijuana faltering in New York? Legalizing marijuana hits hurdles in Albany. New York marijuana legalization debate rages as opt-out movement grows. Nassau County lawmaker files marijuana opt-out measure. Social justice advocates say New York weed legalization bill falls short. New York bill to legalize marijuana dropped from proposed budget.

Lawmakers consider bills that would establish a framework for a legal marijuana industry in Connecticut. What’s in the bills that would legalize marijuana in Connecticut? Your questions are answered here. Five reasons to support marijuana legalization in Connecticut and five reasons to oppose it.

Rhode Island enlists former Colorado marijuana czar to help implement legal cannabis. Rhode Island law enforcement leaders disagree on marijuana legalization. Rhode Island lawmakers greet proposal for legal marijuana cautiously. You can’t own more than 3 pot shops in Massachusetts, but these companies are testing the limit—and bragging about it.

Pennsylvania senators release details on marijuana legalization bill. Another marijuana legalization bill to be introduced in Pennsylvania Senate.

For weed arrests in Baltimore, it’s catch-and-release season.

Illinois treasurer pushes for legal marijuana business to go from cash to banks. Medical marijuana growers can meet demand for recreational pot after Illinois legalization, study commissioned by growers says. Drugged driving deaths up in Iowa after nearby states legalize marijuana.

Recreational marijuana in Colorado: What the numbers say about health, safety and tax dollars. Gov. Hickenlooper takes more moderate stance on marijuana as fellow 2020 hopefuls seek legalization.

Head of Michigan marijuana agency says legalization could draw out-of-state users.

Beto O’Rourke was an early supporter of marijuana legalization.

The midwest is powering the marijuana legalization revolution. Support rises in all age groups for legal marijuana. Time to bank the unbanked legal marijuana industry. Can legal weed ever beat the black market? Legalized marijuana gives hiring managers a headache. Social responsibility in the marijuana industry. The morals and mechanics of marijuana legalization.

Canada legalization of marijuana offers a blueprint for the US.Canada National Cannabis Survey, fourth quarter 2018.