Cannabis News of the Day

A $44 billion grey area? New projections released in the Marijuana Business Daily 2016 Factbook suggest that by 2020, the US cannabis market will exceed $44 billion. That the industry is not legal on the federal level and perhaps will not be so in four years does not seem to daunt the authors. But Oregon cannabis industry insiders still call federal prohibition the “biggest hurdle” they face in creating successful businesses.

Joining the Party: Outside the U.S., the United Kingdom’s Liberal Democrats are calling for legalized cannabis to be sold in stores. And, surprisingly, Israel is garnering investments to create cannabis-related technologies. According to sources, the health minister (and ultra-orthodox rabbi) wants to “remove the notion of morality attached to the plant.” The move would position Israel as a leader in cannabis tech.

Maine’s botched attempt at cannabis legalization hangs on by a thread: Despite clear support for legalization in the state, the courts will have to decide whether the secretary of state’s office acted appropriately in disqualifying over 40,000 signatures on a recent petition.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association has weighed in against legalizing recreational cannabis use in the wake of the recent Globe op-ed by Governor Charlie Baker and others. Meanwhile, in Rhode Island, the state attorney general has proposed a forum on the issue. And Vermont’s legislature seems on track to be the first in the nation to legalize recreational use of cannabis. But, pundits say, the state should wait.

The increase in DUI’s in Colorado has been the subject of much brow-furrowing over the last few months. The figures have been cited in other states as evidence of the inherent perils of cannabis legalization. However, it seems that many cannabis-related DUI’s are, in fact, dropped at trial, perhaps inflating the stats. While state troopers concede that driving stoned is every bit as dangerous as driving drunk, they believe it is too soon to tell what impact legalization has had on Colorado’s roads.