Cannabis News Round-Up

How Illinois became the first state legislature to legalize marijuana sales. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker vows to sign recreational pot bill heading to his desk. Illinois poised to enact historic marijuana bill that could clear convictions for 770,000. Legalizing marijuana is a victory for freedom in Illinois. Illinois legalization: How did your legislators vote? Will legalizing marijuana and sports betting solve Illinois budget problems? What you need to know about legalization in Illinois. Illinois is close to legalizing recreational marijuana: here’s what that means for Indiana. Marijuana legalization leader: Illinois just made New York and New Jersey look like dorks.

New York pot legalization bill sponsor questions Cuomo’s commitment to effort. Cuomo on New York marijuana legalization: “I don’t think it’s feasible at this point.” New top New York GOP leader is open to legalizing marijuana. New York legalization a few votes short in Senate, hung up on New York City suburbs. With New York marijuana legalization pending, enforcement gets murky. With marijuana legalization in doubt, will New York take baby steps? New York pot legalization opponents exaggerate dangers. Cannabis oil prompts debate about New York marijuana legalization. Symposium to tackle New York marijuana legalization’s impact on public health.

Impact of Illinois legalization on Wisconsin. Wisconsin should take cue from Illinois and legalize marijuana. Wisconsin will soon become an island surrounded by legal weed. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer promised to expunge marijuana-related criminal records in Michigan: those convicted are still waiting. Michigan is blowing its lead as the first state in the Midwest to legalize pot. Recreational marijuana movement takes root in Midwest but efforts elsewhere have stalled. Coalition406 is taking a thoughtful approach to Montana legalization.

Oregon, awash in marijuana, takes steps to curb production. Last year’s harvest alone may give Oregon a surplus of more than 1 billion joints. How legal weed is killing Humboldt County, California marijuana farmers.
Medicine Man agrees to buy country’s largest outdoor marijuana farm in Colorado. Marijuana has been legal in Colorado for five years. Business is booming, but there’s a dark side. Gov. Hickenlooper touts Colorado marijuana legalization measure he opposed to raise money on Instagram.

Massachusetts governor leads governors in asking Congress to leave marijuana laws up to states. Maine tries again to enact marijuana rules before 3-year anniversary of legalization vote. As Connecticut General Assembly passes on pot, a new poll shows majority of residents support legal marijuana, expunging criminal records. Delaware marijuana legalization bill clears first legislative hurdle.

Marijuana advocates hit unexpected roadblocks. Bipartisan governors team up to demand federal marijuana reform. Congressional funding bill protects cannabis banking and lets DC legalize marijuana sales. Kirsten Gillibrand unveils wide-ranging marijuana plan.

Career pot-demonizer John Boehner stands to make millions off marijuana. Elizabeth Warren says she has always supported making recreational marijuana legal, but is that true? The No. 1 reason adults are interested in legalized cannabis (it’s not to get high). Americans spend roughly the same amount on legal weed and Taco Bell. Joint effort? Breweries add cannabis to their beer to fight rise in popularity of legal marijuana.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Fourty-two people arrested across metro Denver in massive black market marijuana bust. Largest pot bust in Colorado history claims over 80,000 plants. Colorado marijuana industry opened to outside investors. Marijuana banking bill advances in U.S. House Committee. In a world of legal weed, Michael Thompson languishes in prison for selling it in 1994. Five questions that legal pot and Colorado face about stoned driving. New Colorado marijuana law addresses future of drug-sniffing dogs.

Legal pot sales coming to Michigan, but finding a store could wreck your high. Michigan recreational pot market to rival Colorado. With marijuana now legal in Michigan, Movement fest dances to a slightly different beat. Mom and dad, I’m going to Northern Michigan University cannabis school. Michigan governor: Smoking tons of weed could fix our terrible roads.

Illinois on the precipice of legalizing marijuana. As a deadline for legalizing marijuana in Illinois approaches, a new poll finds strong public support. Illinois legalization proposal unclear on what information about pot companies could be kept secret. The Illinois legalization debate: Who’s afraid of a little home grow? If pot is legalized in Illinois, what happens to medical marijuana? Illinois marijuana market could rival Colorado in the coming years, report finds.

Cuomo cites New York marijuana legalization as a top priority. Why civil rights advocates say New York decriminalization of marijuana isn’t enough. Would your county opt out of marijuana sales in New York? Unions come out in support of New York marijuana legalization bills. Drug Policy Alliance statement on Illinois State Senate passing legislation to legalize marijuana. Hundreds of drug dogs could face an uncertain fate if marijuana is legalized in New York.

New Jersey marijuana legalization: Legislature goes “back door” on pot. A wise pause on New Jersey and New York marijuana legalization. Recreational marijuana laws put on hold by New Jersey and New York: what’s that mean for Pennsylvania? Legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania still unclear. Home grow issue divides some Delaware marijuana legalization advocates.

No will in Connecticut legislature for legal marijuana. Connecticut lawyers react to failed marijuana legalization efforts. We must move forward on Connecticut marijuana legalization. Three years after voters legalized marijuana, Maine develops plan to begin sales. New Hampshire Senate votes to delay recreational marijuana legalization bill.

Marinette County, Wisconsin board formally opposes legalized recreational marijuana. Lawmaker’s “lonely ship” filling up as support for Wisconsin legalizing cannabis grows. What happened at the Minnesota Capitol with medical and recreational pot.

Louisiana marijuana legalization shot down in House committee. Tennessee needs to get a clue about cannabis and update its laws. Look inside bills directed at legalizing marijuana in North Carolina.

More cannabis shops in “weed desert” cities? California lawmakers just sank that idea. Plan to create special cannabis-friendly banks moves forward in California. Where does California cannabis tax money go? You might be surprised. Oregon brewery wants to become the unofficial beer of legal marijuana.

Snoop Dogg is right: Legal weed would benefit from more accurate dosing information. How the cannabis industry is revolutionizing the beverage sector. Legal weed can raise the roof on home prices. When pot legalization fails: Plan Bs and “consolation prizes”. For military members, cannabis still off limits despite growing legalization. Marijuana marketing is often far from mellow.

Implications of possible Mexico pot legalization. Legalizing cannabis in the United Kingdom will leave the working classes behind – just as we’ve seen in America.

Cannabis News Round-Up

California Senate passes legislation to create state-chartered cannabis banks. California lawmakers already want to roll back a key promise of marijuana legalization. California marijuana industry is a mess, new data shows. How legalization changed Humboldt County, California. Marijuana sales in east poised to rival western markets including Colorado, California.

Social equity becomes a key question in New Jersey, other states. With New Jersey legal pot on hold, is decriminalization next? New Jersey lawmakers forge ahead with trio of pot bills. Money messed up New Jersey marijuana legalization’s justice angle. Plan to stop most weed arrests in New Jersey just advanced, but there’s a lot more work to do.

Is there enough political support for New York legalization? Activists want Westchester, New York to just say no to legalized marijuana. New York marijuana legalization bill could prevent police searches of cars based on smell of pot. What New York can learn from Mexico about marijuana legalization.

As Connecticut marijuana legalization falters, supporters eye constitutional amendment. Maine hopes to avoid pitfalls during marijuana legalization push.

Legal weed bill is back in Delaware, and a battle is brewing.

Most of Illinois says marijuana should be legal. Opinions on legalizing marijuana mixed in DeKalb County, Illinois. Illinois should take the slow road on marijuana. Illinois marijuana legalization proposal unclear on what information about pot companies could be kept secret. Legalizing pot in Illinois will harm minority-owned businesses and communities. What does the legalization in Illinois mean?

North Dakota marijuana legalization group withdraws petition for rewrite.

Why pot legalization is dividing Democrats.Biden’s shift on marijuana came days before fundraiser with pro-legalization donor. Marijuana legalization goes mainstream with first-ever forum in Capitol complex. State treasurers group endorses marijuana banking legislation. Using marijuana revenue to create jobs. Let’s really talk about marijuana: I sold the stuff as a kid, and I’m proud to lead the push to decriminalize and end the stigma associated with pot records.

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.