Cannabis news round-up

Recreational marijuana legalization reduces opioid deaths by 20%…at least. Mexico government is taking public input on how best to legalize marijuana. Bernie Sanders says he would legalize marijuana by executive order. Outside Lands becomes first major music festival to allow marijuana sales.

Marijuana legalization is coming to Arizona. Initiative filed with Arizona Secretary of State for marijuana legalization on 2020 ballot. Arizona marijuana measure faces opposition from business community, politicians. New Mexico governor’s marijuana legalization working group schedules first hearing. Legalizing Florida marijuana is long overdue.

First legal marijuana shop opens off Massachusetts mainland. Massachusetts municipalities seek clarifications on recreational marijuana legalization. Cash is king for New Hampshire marijuana industry as banks remain cautious. The best responses from the Pennsylvania lieutenant governor’s weed survey.

A beginner’s guide to legal marijuana in Michigan. Three Michigan communities say no to marijuana businesses. Task force eyes flaws in Michigan‘s new recreational marijuana law. Michigan Atty General eyes tweaks to recreational marijuana law. Illinois community colleges eye programs to train students for marijuana industry. Will Illinois pot sales fuel prevention funding? Advocates fear not. Pot prohibition in Illinois will persist, even after it’s legal. Illinois marijuana growers spent about $600,000 on political giving leading to the pot legalization vote: here’s where the money went.

Colorado governor says deliveries would deter stoned driving. Legal marijuana sold in Colorado is increasingly for recreational use. Oregon law limits sales of marijuana byproducts. Legal marijuana has created a thriving black market in Riverside County, California. Marijuana legalization and the California workplace. It’s Minnesota‘s turn to legalize marijuana use. Wisconsin falling behind on legal marijuana laws. Did Ohio lawmakers accidentally legalize marijuana? Top law enforcers say yes.

Legal weed bill for New Jersey may be revived later this year.

Advocates want legalized cannabis boom to help communities hurt when marijuana was illegal. Protect vulnerable groups from exposure to Big Marijuana. Credit unions won’t be punished for working with weed businesses, federal regulator says.

Push to legalize pot cements partisan divisions in 2020 race. This is the most marijuana-friendly Congress in history. Key Congressional chairman sends marijuana email to NORML activists. Why the issue of marijuana legalization isn’t about getting high. Marijuana and agribusiness.

Teen pot use tricky to predict as legalization approaches. Big Alcohol is pouring billions into the drinkable marijuana market. After marijuana legalization, the wait for retail sales is the national norm. Capitalization requirements for marijuana businesses are unjust and counterproductive. A US-based cannabis company could be active in as little as 6 months, says pot investor. Infusing marijuana with data: Cannabis industry vets aim to clear the haze in a booming industry. Four takeaways from National Drug Use and Health Survey on marijuana.

Legalising cannabis in the UK would fuel violent crime and turn a new generation into hard drug addicts, warn skeptics. UK gives verdict on Canada cannabis industry.

Tobacco, Nicotine, and Illicit Markets

Will we ever stamp out smoking entirely?

United Kingdom airport passenger claimed 22,000 cigarettes were all for his 100-a-day habit. Millions of illegal cigarettes seized in West Midlands in a year. Nine men convicted over illegal cigarette plot in Kent. Strengthen UK laws to foil illegal tobacco trade. UK cigarette prices rise 50% as industry blames tax.

Moldova seeks to wipe out cigarette smuggling on Ukraine border. Ukraine vows to enhance collaboration with European Union to tackle smuggling. 1.3 million cigarettes were seized in July by Bulgaria Customs. Tons of illegal tobacco, cigarettes seized in Greece police operation.

United Arab Emirates cigarettes without these new markings are fake or illegal. Cigarette smuggling scandal reveals problems in Taiwan bureaucracy, not politics.

Packets must bear either a red or green tag, the tax authority said. Courtesy: Federal Tax Authority

New Zealand Customs seizes half a million smuggled cigarettes.
An Auckland businessman hid 2,418 cartons of Chinese cigarettes inside boxes of food that he brought into the country last month in a shipping container.

Operation Illogic takes down 4 million-dollar Long Island counterfeit e-cigarette ring. Feds bust North Carolina-based, 12.3 million-dollar cigarette trafficking, money laundering ring in Operation Southern Lights.

The perverse effect of sin taxes: the rise of illicit white cigarettes.
In this paper, we define illicit white cigarettes as cigarettes that are legal in the country of production, but that are illegally smuggled into other markets without the payment of applicable taxes. This paper analyzes whether taxes create a price wedge between legal and illicit cigarettes and thereby affect the availability and trade of illicit whites across markets.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Marijuana-related deadly crashes decreasing since Nevada legalization.
After legalizing marijuana, Colorado saw significant decrease in opioid prescriptions. Burlington, Vermont traffic searches down 70% after new marijuana law. Virginia marijuana arrests rise amid calls for legalization. California enforcement efforts against illicit marijuana market having a so-so impact for legal businesses.

Michigan marijuana chief steering evolving industry. Illinois is making it hard—and expensive—to get a license to sell marijuana. You can soon buy legal weed in Illinois–depending on where you live.

Marijuana is legal in Massachusetts—but not off its shores.

Wyoming cops warn Colorado to keep marijuana out of their state. Two groups fighting for legal marijuana in North Dakota. Indiana marijuana surge coming from other states. Pennsylvania legal cannabis could pose law enforcement challenges.

Florida activists clear first hurdle to put marijuana legalization on state’s 2020 ballot. With petition milestone, recreational marijuana is one step closer in Florida. Media reports Arizona governor supports legalizing weed. He doesn’t. Kentucky governor: Marijuana legalization leads to spike in homelessness, ER visits and disease.

Aging baby boomers becoming new face of cannabis. Careers in marijuana catch on at colleges. In states where marijuana is legal, this bill would protect federal employees who use. Sports leagues will need to revisit cannabis rules as more states legalize weed. Legalized marijuana and a Democratic time machine.

The government of St. Kitts and Nevis is filing a marijuana legalization bill this week. United Kingdom to legalize cannabis in next 5 to 10 years, MPs suggest.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Did Florida accidentally legalize pot? Officials clamber for a solution after hazy hemp law. Texas legalized hemp, not marijuana, governor insists as prosecutors drop pot charges. Marijuana arrests in Virginia reach highest level in at least 20 years, spurring calls for reform. Georgia governor candidate endorses legalization.

California seizes $30 million in black market cannabis. Can California really track all the weed in the world’s largest cannabis marketplace? How legal marijuana is helping the black market. New Washington law worries marijuana growers over cross-pollination from hemp farms. Two bills would make it easier for North Dakota marijuana businesses to operate.

Possible legalization in New Mexico draws public input. Arizona attorney general wants to legalize marijuana. Should Arizona legalize marijuana before it gets to the ballot? If Arizona legalizes recreational marijuana, it should regulate its potency.

Marijuana a substitute for alcohol, but not tobacco. Alcohol sales get high from pot legalization. CannTrust breach will damage legal pot market. As marijuana gets legalized, companies drop THC testing of employees.

Growing marijuana under the Michigan sun in a smart building. Legalizing marijuana is a victory for freedom in Illinois. Three other states, numerous public pension funds aiming to profit off legal weed in Illinois. While neighbors legalize pot, Indiana leaders still opposed. Governor Kim Reynolds: Don’t expect legal marijuana in Iowa.

Congressional hearing highlights fault line in legalization debate. Kamala Harris introduces law to federally legalize, tax marijuana. Pete Buttigieg pushes for marijuana legalization. Record number of states considered marijuana legalization in 2019.

Time to hit pause on marijuana legalization. Illegal pot still exists in states where weed is legal.

New York legalization: lawmakers vow renewed push in 2020.

In legalizing marijuana, Canada did everything differently. Here’s what we can learn.

Cannabis News Round-Up: Memorial

Mark Kleiman, who changed the way we think about crime and drugs, has died at 68.

Image result for mark kleiman

Mark Kleiman, who fought to lift ban on marijuana, dies at 68.

Mark A. R. Kleiman, a prominent drug policy apostate who favored what he viewed as a sensible middle ground on marijuana — eliminate criminal sanctions for selling and using it but preclude full-blown commercial legalization — died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 68.

In memory of Mark Kleiman.

“I wake up every morning thinking, ‘This is the day they’re going to find out I’m not as smart as they think I am.'” –Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman was the nation’s greatest thinker on drug policy.

Mark Kleiman talks the future of marijuana industry.

Farewell to Mark Kleiman, a man who always went as far as his mind could go.

How Colorado legalization strengthened the black market. Oregon marijuana surplus a cautionary tale for other states. Oregon marijuana industry expresses concerns over possible federal legalization. Nevada plans to solve the marijuana banking problem.

Thailand’s unlikely embrace of cannabis. Is the UK about to legalize marijuana ahead of the US?

Marijuana arrests in Virginia reach highest level in at least 20 years, spurring calls for reform. How much money would legal marijuana produce for Virginia? Legalization of Arizona marijuana was always the goal. Arizona locals react to group pushing recreational marijuana on the 2020 ballot. Florida pot smugglers profit from weed—again. Texas legalized hemp, not marijuana, governor insists as prosecutors drop pot charges. Governor’s task force helps craft bill to make recreational marijuana use legal in New Mexico.

Marilyn Mosby, State’s Attorney for Baltimore: Marijuana legalization must include marijuana justice. Take a deep breath on pot: After more decriminalization, New York must pause and reconsider full legalization.

Senate schedules hearing on marijuana business banking access. US Rep Justin Amash files marijuana bill after leaving Republican Party. Three Republicans stand in the way of federal weed legalization. How the US tax code keeps the illegal market for marijuana alive and well. Legalizing marijuana leads to fewer illegal grow sites in national forests. Legalized recreational marijuana a substitute for alcohol, but not tobacco.

DEA growing a record 2-ton cannabis crop—but still won’t let others grow. As more states legalize, DEA chops down fewer marijuana plants, federal data shows.

There has been a paradigm shift in the weed industry. Jay-Z has entered the legal weed business.

There will be weed in Illinois, but where? Three states, numerous public pension funds aiming to profit off legal weed in Illinois. How Illinois employers might handle recreational marijuana. Online marijuana reviewers expect rush of new readers when recreational pot becomes legal in Illinois.

Western Massachusetts marijuana business is booming and New York is to thank. How much would recreational marijuana be worth to Minnesota? Revised initiative for North Dakota marijuana legalization. Indiana responds to effects from pot-legal states.

Why the legal marijuana industry is now struggling with diversity. Follow the weed money. Attitudes toward legalization of Marijuana in the United States, 1986-2016: Changes in Determinants of Public Opinion. CannTrust breach will damage legal pot market. When the law says weed is ok, but the boss disagrees.

Canada made its legal weed rules too tough and is going to pay for it. Marijuana legalization could be on the horizon for British Virgin Islands.

Tobacco, Nicotine, and Illicit Markets

How San Francisco e-cig ban could cause a “thriving black market” writes Juul spokesman. Will new Vermont e-cigarette tax lead to a black market?

Vaping may be more dangerous than we realized.

Federal judge gives tobacco manufacturers 10 months to comply with planned tighter FDA regulations.
Judge Paul Grimm for the District of Maryland ruled that manufacturers have until May 11 to file pre-market applications for electronic cigarettes.

Chuck Schumer calls for crackdown on flavored e-cigs from China. China cops catch 24 in $17 million smuggling case. China to help Philippines fight smuggled cigarettes.

Gang caught with 9 million illegal cigarettes in Wellinborough, UK. Jailed UK shopkeeper ordered to repay £500k he made from selling illegal cigarettes or face more time behind bars. Four UK men caught smuggling over 150,000 cigarettes from Iraq.

Bulgaria‘s largest illegal cigarette factory was discovered yesterday.
The workers, from Ukraine and Moldova, lived in an area set up for them inside the warehouses, without any communication to the outside world. Bulgaria destroys over 24 tons of illicit tobacco.

Uncle Fish Fillet jailed over Australia tobacco and meth ring.

Impact of tax increases on illicit cigarette trade in Mongolia.
Methods Discarded cigarette packs were collected in the capital city and two provinces. Tax increases occurred between all three rounds (4/17, 8-9/17, 5-6/18). Cigarette packs are identified as illicit if there is evidence that tax was not paid. This is deduced from the absence of the Mongolian excise tax stamp, or the absence of glue residue. Data are weighted to represent the areas sampled.
Results In round 1, 15.4% of the collected packs were illicit. This estimate decreased to 13.6% in round 2 and to 6.3% in round 3. While the majority of illicit products are supplied by global companies (Korea Tobacco & Ginseng, Imperial Tobacco and Philip Morris Kazakhstan), one local company, Mongol Tobacco SO, is also implicated.
Conclusions The share of illicit cigarettes declined between rounds 1 and 2 despite the import tax increase, and this trend continued in round 3 despite the excise tax increase.

Transcrime’s research focuses on the estimate and analysis of the transnational flows of illicit cigarettes in Europe, North Africa, Mid-East and Asia.

Cannabis News Round-Up

What has changed in states that have legalized marijuana—and what hasn’t.

Oregon has a marijuana surplus and officials aren’t happy. What can California expect after five years of legal marijuana? Five years after legalization, Colorado struggles to test marijuana impairment for drivers.

Fifteen Maine cities and towns opt into legal pot; more expected.New Yorkers seek legal weed in Massachusetts after lawmakers fail to legalize. Plenty of blame to be passed around after New York failure to legalize. New York City marijuana dealers see bowl half full after Albany fails to legalize cannabis. What’s next for marijuana in New Jersey?

Illinois marijuana legalization impacts company policies. As Illinois determines whether to limit potency of legalized pot, drug gets increased scrutiny after link to psychosis. Cannabis will be legal January 1st; how will Illinois employers handle the change? Morton, Illinois makes a choice regarding marijuana sales.Illinois law legalizing marijuana could threaten Iowa fledgling medical cannabis industry.

Legalizing pot will create “carnage” on Pennsylvania roads, judge opines. Pennsylvania marijuana report expected by month’s end. Indiana and marijuana prohibition. What to know about Michigan new recreational marijuana rules.

Arizona marijuana business expanding ahead of planned drug legalization effort in 2020. Group pushes to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona.

US lawmakers look to legalize pot in “historic” marijuana reform hearing. The debate over how, not whether, Congress should legalize marijuana is heating up. Marijuana Justice Coalition asserts statement of principles on federal marijuana reform. Congressional Democrats tout pot legalization in election campaign petition. Why members of the right should embrace marijuana legalization. Examining Joe Biden on marijuana legalization. Fox News still anti-pot.

Monetizing the munchies: How legal marijuana use is affecting the US snacking industry. The global legal pot market size is expected to reach $66 billion in 2025. Weed tourism is on the rise. Pot growers finally finding some banks open to holding their cash. New study shows legalizing pot might discourage teen use.

Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

Big Tobacco is consistently overstating black market in cigarettes–while still facilitating tobacco smuggling. Bloomberg to fund new $20 million global industry watchdog based in Bath.

Commissioner Andriukaitis on the adoption of an EU-wide track and trace system. Big Tobacco fumes over new EU salvo in cigarette smuggling war. Andriukaitis lashes out at tobacco industry, says it uses ‘tricks’ to bypass legislation. Angry tobacco industry asks Andriukaitis for ‘transparent dialogue.’ International Tax Stamp Association v. European Commission: the little court case that could? UK Association of Convenience Stores: Impact of Track and Trace on Retailers.

Why the EU’s track and trace system fails to live up to World Health Organization requirements. Track and trace leaves the fox guarding the henhouse; ‘may let tobacco industry in by back door.’ Track and Trace: Best Practices & Country Experiences.

India studies Kenya digital stamps to curb tobacco tax evasion. Can Macron get France to finally quit smoking? Can Europe rein in Big Tobacco? Will the Canada big premiers’ meeting stamp down on illegal smokes? Large fake Kent cigarette factory discovered in Iraq, seized by authorities. UK HMRC and police seize illegal cigarettes and alcohol in raids. Bulgaria destroys over 24 tons of illicit tobacco. Illegal cigarettes increasing presence in Brazil and Southern Cone. Australia illegal tobacco targeted under new laws.

Tobacco control is not the principal driver of illicit trade in tobacco. Other factors include the ease and cost of operating in a country, organized crime networks, government policies on illicit trade of tobacco products, and the general acceptance of illicit trade in a country.

Threat to duty-free tobacco as WHO‘s Protocol to Eliminate the Use of Illicit Tobacco Products (ITP) is ratified. Analysis of Article 6 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Cory Booker said he’s “absolutely disappointed” marijuana legalization wasn’t discussed in first 2020 Democratic debate. Breaking down Congress’s vote to protect legal marijuana states from federal enforcement. Equity must be at the heart of marijuana legalization. Slow down on marijuana, Trump’s surgeon general says.

South Side Chicago neighborhoods hurt by war on drugs will get economic boost. Black entrepreneurs in Illinois worry new weed law will leave them behind, too. Illinois cannabis bill is first to incorporate “reparations.” Despite legalization, public marijuana use remains prohibited in Illinois. Car insurance premiums could rise as a result of Illinois legal marijuana. Recreational marijuana will be legal in Illinois. Some North Shore officials are apprehensive. How four “marijuana moms” led fellow lawmakers to legalization in Illinois. Where marijuana can and can’t be used once Illinois law goes into effect. A turning point for Illinois cannabis banking.

What do Iowans need to know about Illinois legalizing marijuana.
Iowa police prepares for effects of legal marijuana across the border.
Indiana governor keeping watchful eye on Illinois legalization.Want to grow or sell legal weed in Michigan? Wait till your 21st birthday.
Michigan towns and cities have three months left to ban recreational marijuana.

Using Oregon data to inform states considering legalization. Oregon has too much cannabis; two laws may help the state manage its surplus. Marijuana is legal in Oregon, but the illegal market still exists. Colorado reefer madness or pot paradise? The surprising legacy of the place where legal weed began.

Want to hold a concert and sell legal marijuana in Massachusetts? Don’t start planning yet.

Why Arizona will probably legalize recreational marijuana in 2020. Maryland task force begins work on potential pot legalization.

What’s next in New York and New Jersey? Marijuana business experts weigh in. New Jersey state’s attorneys react to Illinois marijuana law changes. New York advocates vow to fight to legalize marijuana in 2020.

Most states legalizing marijuana have yet to grapple with energy demand. Business owners describe the many and frustrating hurdles the feds throw at them. Rockefeller University doctor says reports claiming marijuana can curb opioid abuse are “not credible.” Sheriffs: Legal marijuana causing more crime, accidents.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Is France about to legalize cannabis? French economists make the case for legal marijuana. Public cannabis consumption now allowed in Colombia: Is full legalization next? China says US legalization of marijuana is a “threat to China”.

Congress votes to block feds from enforcing marijuana laws in legal states.

Final push to legalize pot fails in New York. Progressive groups respond to Cuomo‘s defection from legal pot promises.

Governor Janet Mills expected to sign pot rules into law, put Maine on track for retail sales next year. Maine is legalizing marijuana, but where will you be able to buy it? Many expected Rhode Island to legalize recreational marijuana this year: what happened?

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker expected to sign marijuana legalization bill next week. After Illinois, these states could legalize recreational marijuana next. Illinois law enforcement has no way to roadside test for stoned driving as legalization looms. Employer insights: Recreational marijuana in Illinois. Illinoistruckers held to high standard as state prepares for marijuana legalization.

Testing of sewage confirms rise in Washington marijuana use: “the proof is in the pee.” Want cannabis cafes? Washington lawmakers say fat chance. Colorado made $1 billion in marijuana tax revenue: What could this mean for federal legalization?

Is California cannabis boom killing wild salmon? New California PSA targets black market marijuana. West Hollywood original marijuana dispensaries fear city will leave them behind. California to give struggling cannabis businesses more time on provisional permits. Eager for edibles? Here’s what you need to know about the new California regulations. California marijuana laws get weird when you’re in jail.

Michigan struggles with legal pot. Michigan picks up pace of reviewing and awarding marijuana business licenses.

Ohio Governor Mike deWine not a fan of Cincinnati‘s marijuana decriminalization. No Ohio marijuana legalization measure on the 2019 ballot. South Dakota officials debate merits of legalized marijuana. Indiana has its work cut out for it trying to stop interstate marijuana trafficking.

Another crappy cannabis day in New Jersey. Look for the union label, when you puff on that New Jersey legal weed.
Strong majority of Florida voters support legal marijuana.

The untold story of marijuana legalization: How billionaire George Soros and a few of his friends gave us bongs full of legal weed. Marijuana should be legal, but there are still good reasons to curtail pot advertising. Marijuana industry wants to prove it’s socially responsible. Lessons learned from state marijuana legalization. States that legalize marijuana should set a minimum age of 25. Legal weed is a danger to dogs. Here’s how to know if your pup got into pot. Potent pot, vulnerable teens trigger concerns in first states to legalize marijuana. Cannabis power list: the 100 most influential voices in the pot debate. Veterans who work in the legal cannabis industry are being denied benefits.