Tobacco, nicotine, illicit markets

Massachusetts flavor ban will feed illegal tobacco sales, stores say. Hundreds of Massachusetts convenience stores close in protest of proposed tobacco regulation. New York lawmakers propose statewide ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes.

Big Tobacco could fill the void if vaping goes up in smoke. As Trump tackles vapes, African Americans feel stung by inaction on menthol cigarettes.

California and New York sue USPS for shipping of foreign cigarettes. Federal court slashes UPS fine for untaxed cigarettes to $97.6 million.

EU illegal tobacco trade halted after international operation. Slovakia busts biggest illegal cigarettes racket in Central Europe. Thousands of smuggled cigarettes discovered at Bosnia and HerzegovinaAustria border crossing. Cigarette smuggling in the UAE an EU headache. Cigarettes top 2018 list of EU counterfeit seizures.

Tenfold rise in Iran tobacco exports. An end in sight for Pakistan fight against illicit cigarettes?

Tobacco-smuggling family used train sets to import 2.5 million dodgy cigarettes from China and Hong Kong. Philippines to ask China, ASEAN neighbors to stop smuggling cigarettes. Plain packaging in Philippines.

Thailand temple turns smuggled cigarettes, liquor into pesticides for farmland.

Sri Lanka illegal cigarettes, beedi switching claims likely exaggerated. Illicit tobacco in Papua New Guinea. Explosion of Australia tobacco black market.

Tobacco sellers, industry push back against Alberta tax hikes.

Cannabis news round-up

On-site smoking of marijuana one step closer after Anchorage, Alaska Assembly kicks questions to voters. Youth pot use dropped in states after legalization, including Colorado. California governor signs marijuana tax fairness bill but vetoes cannabis in hospitals. Nevada governor to tighten legal marijuana marketplace. How a California company is buying up marijuana grow centers in Illinois —without a cultivation license.

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Breathalyzer for weed could be a game changer for legalization efforts. Marijuana legalization can help end vaping deaths by allowing the FDA to do its job. I’m an American doctor. Here’s the truth about Juul, vaping and legalizing marijuana.

The push to unionize cannabis workers, explained. Immigration and the growing marijuana industry. 

A reporter’s experience at the High Times Cannabis Bazaar in DetroitIllinois has a marijuana referendum after all. High-stakes pot deal goes bust as Illinois recreational use starts. Supporter of marijuana legalization says Illinois lawmakers left out key provisions. Chicago City Council black caucus takes issue with rollout plan fr legal recreational marijuana. Rules murky on opportunity zones for Michigan cannabis businesses. Legal marijuana casts a little haze over Michigan workplace drug rules. Indiana mixed messages on prohibition. 

New Mexico governor’s working group releases legalization proposal 
Crossing Wisconsin state lines to buy legal pot. A Democratic takeover could make Virginia more marijuana-friendly. But legalization may still be years away. Recreational marijuana would create more than 100,000 jobs in Florida

What to know about proposed bill that would legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania. Poll shows Pennsylvania voters wary of legalizing marijuana. Public skeptical of Pennsylvania marijuana legalization survey. New Jersey marijuana legalization mailbag. Will New Jersey weed, vaping laws look like those in states next door? Governors hope so. Governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania adopt coordinated marijuana legalization plan.

Grading the presidential candidates on marijuana. How Republicans learned to love a pot bill. Cannabis legislation progresses, yet companies and cannabis investors are moving in reverse.  How lobbyists broke the logjam on cash and cannabis. SAFE banking needed for legal marijuana businesses. Banks and big security companies won’t touch cannabis cash—that’s where the soldiers come in.

The new weed on the block. Why we don’t know much about pot. Trump doesn’t inhale, but the cannabis industry is betting his supporters do. Former congressman who fought marijuana legalization joins cannabis company board. Progressives tend to believe legalizing pot is a good idea. Here are 7 reasons they should think twice. The Great American cannabis experiment. “We have to take the handcuffs off states.”

One year on, Canada legal cannabis market is down but not out. 

Cannabis news round-up

Scientists unveil weed breathalyzer, launching debate over next steps.

Mexico moves toward legalization of cannabis. Mexico cannabis users eagerly await legal marijuana. Mexico senator files marijuana legalization bill ahead of Supreme Court deadline. 

Mayor of Fall River, in enough trouble as it is, arrested for extorting six-figure bribes from marijuana vendors. Five months after opening, NETA Brookline is still one of America’s busiest pot shops—and not everyone is thrilled. Central Mass officials walk fine line in seeking ‘pot’ of gold. Massachusetts pot shop laws cry out in the reform wilderness. Here’s what to know about the pot shops opening in Massachusetts this week.  

California has completely crapped the bed rolling out legal marijuana 
Weedmaps to stop listing illegal cannabis retailers in California. (As predicted by Dr. Kleiman) nearly 3,000 illegal marijuana businesses found in California audit, dwarfing legal trade.

Legal marijuana is a positive amenity for new Colorado residents, study finds. Colorado official shares lessons from state’s marijuana legalization 
Colorado adds marijuana fungus testing requirements.

Bumps in the road to legalizing on-site inhalation of marijuana in Anchorage. After the Grand Opening: Assessing cannabis supply and demand in Washington State. Washington marijuana industry shakes Cheech-and-Chong stereotype, improves in public eye.

Former Elgin, Illinois chief now in Colorado says drivers smoking legal pot is “difficult for enforcement.” Bloomington, Ilinois City Council to consider task force on legal marijuana use within city. Illinois is having trouble preparing for recreational weed. Tight-knit Illinois female lawmakers behind legal marijuana have new nickname. Cook County and Code for America aim to speed up marijuana expungement as legalization nears. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois dispensaries plan for legal marijuana.

Michigan kicks off education sessions on recreational pot licensing

Why the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party is pushing marijuana legalization. Marijuana in Minnesota: Legalization issue sparks fierce debate. 

Marijuana legalization, impact of trade war dominate Louisiana Commissioner race. Looking to other states, officials expect marijuana will be legalized in Kentucky. Advocates say it’s not “if” marijuana gets legalized in Virginia—but when. Recreational pot drive draws big bucks in Florida. Florida Atty. General to challenge marijuana legalization referendum. Arizona support is high for legalizing marijuana, but is it high enough? Arizona marijuana ballot measure will advance with minor changes after review.  

New Jersey may have found a way to help legalize marijuana, lawmakers say. One way to pass legal marijuana in New Jersey? Cut out those gummy bears, top Democrat says. Toms River, New Jersey forms 24/7 opioid response team. New Jersey’s would-be pot purveyors watch investments go up in smoke.  What if New York legalizes marijuana but New Jersey doesn’t? Cops prepare for legal weed border battle.

Where the 2020 Democratic candidates for president stand on marijuana legalization. Here’s what legalization advocates would ask presidential candidates at the debate. Kamala Harris proposes loaning government funds to “disadvantaged” marijuana business owners. Here’s how Kamala Harris really prosecuted pot cases. Joe Biden says marijuana should remain illegal as a misdemeanor at Democrats debate why the most pro-marijuana Congress ever won’t deal with weed. Rep. Blumenauer on legalization.

Marijuana 1-to-3 Act would reclassify cannabis under federal law. Former anti-pot Clinton cabinet official files marijuana reclassification bill in Congress. Congressional Black Caucus focuses on legalization at conference. DEA wants 3,200 kg of marijuana legally grown in 2020. 
Vape safety requires legalizing marijuana. Cannabis industry calls for legalization and regulation to snuff out underground vapes. 
Are there any downsides to marijuana legalization? 

How marijuana is poised for a North American takeover. Legal pot efforts have turned states from narcs to pushers. Restorative justice must begin with America’s pot POWs. NIMBY? Not so fast: the effect of marijuana legalization on neighborhood crime. How hemp legalization has made it much harder to prosecute people for marijuana. The baffling legal gray zone of marijuana at the airport.   
 
Marijuana seizures increasing at Canada borders since legalization, police urge drivers to “think twice.” British Columbia still losing money on legalized marijuana sales. 11,000 marijuana plants seized in ‘extremely large grow operation’ in British Columbia. Ontario University launches online pot production course

Former New Zealand Prime Minister’s foundation urges ‘yes’ vote on marijuana legalization.

Tobacco, Nicotine, Illegal Markets

Which states have banned vapes? 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 and cigars. FDA proposes stricter 10-month deadline for e-cigarettes. FDA ready to speed up its review of e-cigarettes, tobacco-related products.

As e-cigarette era heats up, PMI and Altria talk merger after decade apart.
PMI’s Marian Salzman: “I wasn’t bought.” Altria to test HNB in Atlanta.

Study linking vaping to heart attacks muddied amid spat between two tobacco researchers. Ex-FDA chief Scott Gottlieb: “Juul is going to be in a hard spot to ever get their product approved.”

Will new Vermont e-cigarette tax lead to a vaping black market?

Foundation for a Smoke Free World is using a contest to target school children.

Attempted hit: South Africa tobacco boss Simon Rudland kingpin of the ‘cheapies.’ The smoking gun: South Africa goes after illicit cigarette trade.

Smuggled North Korea cigarettes become increasingly popular in China. Production of illicit cigarettes poses high health risk in India. Cigarette smugglers make base in Bengaluru, India. The true cost of cheap cigarettes in Vietnam. Philippines destroys $42,000 worth of smuggled cigarettes. Duterte’s visit to China meant to bolster drive against illicit cigarettes.

Cheap whites: Inside Germany‘s globalized black market for smokes.

Don’t smoke these fake Greek cigarettes. You may hurt a pensioner. Malta black-market cigarette trade cost €12 million last year. Bootleg Turkish cigarettes fund PKK, minister says.

See how many cigarettes this immigrant was caught smuggling into Israel airport. Jordan government defends new anti-smuggling measures in wake of riots. Fake cigarette ring exposes Jordan corruption woes.

$60 million “lost” annually to illicit cigarettes in Papua New Guinea, say manufacturers who would prefer to sell legally.

Report breaks down Paraguay to Brazil cigarette smuggling trail.

Family of three smuggled cigarettes worth £67,000 through Birmingham Airport. UK shopkeeper found with thousands of illegal cigarettes claimed he was a heavy smoker. Sales of smuggled cigarettes in Blackpool “too lucrative to give up.”

We bought illegal cigarettes in the Vancouver (Canada) Downtown Eastside so you don’t have to. British Columbia seized 1.6 million cigarettes’ worth of contraband tobacco in 3 months. Crime Stoppers founder says contraband tobacco a big problem in Ontario.

Cannabis news round-up

Washington teens used less marijuana following legalization. Counterfeit cannabis products stoke black market for California weed.

Posh pot boutiques? Budtenders? Illinois police worry what’s down the road. Your weed dealer will be ok even after Illinois marijuana becomes legal. Lake in the Hills, Illinois village board weighs options for marijuana legalizationNiles, Illinois proposes plan to allow marijuana sales but restrict locations. Illinois suburban school administrators bracing for legal marijuana’s impacts. Naperville, Illinois residents rally against sale of recreational marijuana  Tennessee, whose governor opposes legalizing marijuana, pulls out of Illinois weed business.

Marijuana faces second phase of legalization in small-town Michigan. FBI warns of public corruption threat in Michigan legal marijuana industry. Weedmaps may stop advertising illicit marijuana businesses in Michigan.

Governor Walz wants Minnesota to be ready to roll on legal marijuana. Florida overwhelmingly supports legalizing recreational marijuana. Don’t count on tax revenues from Pennsylvania legal marijuana sales, study says. Locals say balderdash.

Pro-legalization primary challenger slams Rep. Steny Hoyer’s marijuana opposition.  Pot industry underestimates old-school dealers. Trump reiterates his administration will let states legalize marijuana. White House drug officials say legal marijuana is up to states. Nine questions about marijuana legalization you were too embarrassed to ask. Do we really want a Microsoft of marijuana?

Mexico cannabis users eagerly await legal marijuana.  Canadians continues to buy cannabis illegally.

Cannabis news round-up

California legal marijuana will outsell the black market in 5 years, forecast says. Seven years after legalization, Colorado battles an illegal marijuana market. Police raid illegal weed dispensary in Los Angeles. The Museum of Weed in Los Angeles is a marketing hit.

How an overlooked facet of the Illinois weed law could trip up two of the industry’s biggest players. Illinois hazy new law legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Marijuana tax revenues may not be the long-term answer to Michigan budget woes. Legalization measure advances one step in South Dakota.

DC mayor reiterates calls for recreational marijuana legalization. DC is ready to make legal marijuana a boon for big business: what about for racial justice? Did Ohio Governor Mike DeWine just legalize marijuana? Not quite.
Pennsylvania anti-recreational marijuana crowd of “more than 80” gathers against Senate proposal. Maryland lawmakers have a lot to learn on legalizing marijuana.

Here are the details on the Arizona recreational cannabis ballot measure for 2020. Opinion: data back up opposition to New Mexico legal marijuana. New Mexico legalizing marijuana job numbers may be “decent”. ABA support for legalizing marijuana may impact Texas. Petition to make recreational marijuana use legal in Florida filed. Florida lawyer who claimed pot was legal must pay arrested clients $370,000.

New Jersey marijuana legalization: Senate President on legal weed vote, ballot question. How much will New Jersey really make from taxing legal weed? New York and Connecticut governors talk marijuana legalization on fishing trip. Fate of legalized pot in Connecticut remains hazy.

High on pot taxes: Is there a revenue jackpot for states that legalize marijuana?

Elizabeth Warren’s plan for indigenous nations includes marijuana legalization. Bernie Sanders calls for legalizing marijuana and curtailing asset forfeiture in wide-ranging criminal justice plan. Congressman says marijuana could be legal sooner if Trump stops tweeting. Conservative group ALEC floats marijuana banking and CBD bills for states to consider.
What is the MORE Act, and how could it change marijuana policy forever?
How will cannabis legalization affect health, safety, and social equity outcomes? It largely depends on the 14 Ps. Recent progression in the legalization of marijuana has left employers dazed and confused. Here’s how many investors use pot as marijuana legalization gets broad support.

SAM leader questions most recent research on weed and opioid mortality. Federal data show youth marijuana use isn’t increasing under legalization. The FBI is probing the pot industry, but not for the reason you might expect. Weedmaps says it will ban advertisements from unlicensed cannabis sellers. Legal sellers applaud.

France’s cannabis legalization debate misses one crucial point.

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.

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Cannabis consumption will only be permitted in a fenced-off area devoted to weed sales and use, and only attendees 21 and older will be allowed inside this area.

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.