Cannabis News Roundup

A Selection of Cannabis News from Around the Net.


Cannabis News Roundup 2019

A selection of Cannabis News items from around the internet that have recently crossed our screens.  Note that the links to the full articles were current when thy were added to this page... due to the nature of the internet, the links may have changed.


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JANUARY 2019  

Chart: Massachusetts recreational marijuana sales soar in first month despite obstacles
Massachusetts dispensaries rang up $9.3 million in recreational marijuana sales during the first four weeks of operation, an impressive feat considering only two stores were selling adult-use cannabis during the bulk of this period.
Compared with the first month of rec sales in other states, Massachusetts had lower gross sales but far fewer operating dispensaries than Oregon ($14 million, 320 dispensaries), Colorado ($14.7 million, 59 dispensaries) and Nevada ($27.1 million, 53 dispensaries).

Gov. Jay Inslee offers pardons for thousands with misdemeanour pot convictions
Gov. Jay Inslee will offer pardons to thousands of people with misdemeanour marijuana convictions, in an effort to help them move on from minor criminal records that can hinder housing and job prospects.
Under the plan, Inslee will pardon anyone who has an otherwise clean criminal record but with a sole conviction as an adult for misdemeanour possession of marijuana in Washington state.

Luxury Weed Tourism Is the Hot New Trend in Canada
A businessman from China hopped on a private jet last month, landed in Canada and went hiking on the Cascade Range in BC.
And then he smoked a fat blunt.
This experience cost $12,500 [$9,272]. It's part of a 'high-hiking' tour hosted by Butiq Escapes, a luxury weed tourism company based out of Victoria, British Columbia, where a hiking guide picks you up from a private airport, smokes with you in the mountains and feeds you (and up to a group of four),lunch and dinner.

The New War on Marijuana Will Be Extremely Dumb
A few years ago, I went to a new physician for a check-up. She ran through the list of questions that doctors like to ask - about allergies, exercise, my family's disease history. "Do you smoke?" she inquired. I played it coy. "Well. Not cigarettes," I said. "Marijuana?" she specified. I nodded, and she noted it on her clipboard, then advised me: "Just don't do too much, or, you know, you'll lose your oomph." End of subject.

Ontario Cannabis Lottery Has Small Business Owners Holding Their Breath
Christine Cohen's inbox was flooded after she said on live TV she was applying for a highly sought-after cannabis retail licence in Ontario's lottery. She says 14 men asked if she wanted to get married and another offered her a cool $1 million for the licence, should she win.
The business owner, who runs two spas in Ottawa, didn't respond to everyone - but she took the time to educate the man who offered to buy her licence. That's against the rules, she told him. Licences are not transferable.

Kamala Harris: Ending the 'failed war on drugs' starts with legalizing marijuana
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said in her new book that she believes the use of marijuana should be legal.
"Something else it's past time we get done is dismantling the failed war on drugs - starting with legalizing marijuana," Harris writes in The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, Forbes reported Tuesday.

House bill that would treat marijuana like alcohol named 'HR 420' in nod to cannabis culture
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced a bill this week that would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances and numbered it "H.R. 420" in a nod to cannabis culture.
The bill introduced Wednesday, dubbed the "Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act" calls for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive to be in charge of regulating the drug.

Trinidad and Tobago to Decriminalise Cannabis, Consider Legalisation
As cannabis reform sweeps the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago has announced it will hold public consultations on the matter, prior to decriminalising the drug for personal use in June 2019.
In late December, Prime Minister Keith Rowley announced that cannabis would be decriminalised across the Caribbean nation by mid-2019, but that the government had no plans to legalise the drug.
"We expect that by May to June of 2019, the decriminalisation would have been effected", he told journalists. "There is a big difference between decriminalisation and legalisation of marijuana. We have committed to decriminalisation. What we are working on now is the method by which and what that represents in terms of the use".

25 Ontario Pot Licence Lottery Winners Announced Out Of 17,000 Applicants
Ontario has announced the first 25 companies that can apply for cannabis retail licences in the province.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario says Tripsetter Inc., The Niagara Herbalist and Pure Alpha Holdings are among those that have been selected through a lottery. The agency accepted expressions of interest for the licences earlier in the week, and received more than 17,000.

Canadians Spent $1.6 Billion on Legal Weed in 2018: Report
Canadians spent $1.6 billion on legal weed in 2018, more than double the amount that was spent on solely medical cannabis in 2017, according to a new report.
The State of Legal Marijuana Market, released Tuesday by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, found that despite pushing legalization back from the summer until October, Canada still managed to increase its spending on legal weed from $755 million to $1.6 billion, making it the number three legal weed market in the world. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians spent $5.7 billion on weed in 2017, the vast majority of which came from black market.

Medical marijuana goes on sale in Ohio, and pain patients wait in line
Leaning on her cane, Joan Caleodis stepped gingerly into history on Wednesday as one of the first people to legally purchase medical marijuana in the state of Ohio.
Caleodis, who is 55 and suffers from multiple sclerosis, paid $150 for three containers, each holding 2.83 grams of dried cannabis flowers, at the CY + Dispensary in the town of Wintersville.
"I'm feeling ecstatic," Caleodis told reporters as other pain sufferers waiting in line applauded. "The patients no longer have to wait for relief. We can get rid of this opioid issue we have in this country."

Now you can get weed delivered to you anywhere in California, even in cities that ban pot
Until now, companies trying to deliver weed to doorsteps around the state - the companies trying to follow the letter of the law, anyway - have faced a daunting patchwork of local regulations.
Buying cannabis is legal in California, but cities and counties can still choose to regulate or ban the trade as they please. As a result, neighbors on opposite sides of the same street might not have the same legal access to cannabis deliveries.

Weedmaps' Grip on the High-Flying California Pot Market
Robert Taft Jr. was feeling good. It was just after 10 o'clock on a morning in January 2018 - the beginning of what promised to be another flush day in a new era. For nearly 22 years, medical marijuana had been legal to consume in California. But since the year began, anyone 21 or older could legally buy cannabis. Taft had spent five years preparing for this moment. And for the past two weeks, since California's Proposition 64 went into effect, his business had been booming.
Taft's dispensary, a squat, chartreuse and gray shop called 420 Central in the Orange County city of Santa Ana, was bringing in up to 600 people a day-more than five times as many as the month before, when only medical marijuana patients were allowed. Taft dropped his son at school and then picked up his usual breakfast - Aloha Goddess green juice and organic oatmeal with blueberries and bananas - and got back in his car to head to work. Then his phone rang.

Future of public pot smoking in Denver may be impacted as International Church of Cannabis co-founder heads to court Tuesday
Nearly two years after Denver police busted the founders of the International Church of Cannabis for public pot consumption, one of the leaders finally may have his day in court.
Steve Berke, who co-founded the church in April 2017, is set to appear Tuesday in a Denver courtroom, where he is fighting a misdemeanor charge of open and public consumption of marijuana.





Oregon Is Producing Twice As Much Cannabis As People Are Using
Oregon is producing twice as much cannabis as people are using, according to a new study from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. And Oregon has been overproducing marijuana for a while - leaving more than six years' worth of supply sitting on shelves and at farms.
On top of that, the Oregon secretary of state' office just released an audit saying Oregon's system for regulating marijuana needs to be strengthened.

Booker calls for legalizing marijuana as he launches 2020 bid
Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) is calling for the legalization of marijuana as part of his 2020 presidential campaign.
Booker discussed criminal justice reform and the need for "changing our drug laws," including "ending [the] prohibition against marijuana" on the radio-syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show" on Friday.
"We do not have equal justice under the law," Booker said of the disproportionate rate at which people in the black community are incarcerated under the country's drug laws. "I believe in redemption".

World Health Organization Recommends Reclassifying Marijuana Under International Treaties
Global health experts at the United Nations are recommending that marijuana and its key components be formally rescheduled under international drug treaties.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for whole-plant marijuana, as well as cannabis resin, to be removed from Schedule IV - the most restrictive category of a 1961 drug convention signed by countries from around the world.
The body also wants delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its isomers to be completely removed from a separate 1971 drug treaty and instead added to Schedule I of the 1961 convention, according to a WHO document that has not yet been formally released but was circulated by cannabis reform advocates.

Marijuana's Unexpected Effect on Sperm Count Revealed in Harvard Study
There's plenty of research showing that marijuana can improve things in the bedroom, but it's not as clear whether it has the same effect in your pants. Studies about the effect of marijuana use on sperm count have had mixed results, at best. Guys who smoke weed, however, can take comfort in the findings of a large study published by Harvard University scientists on Tuesday. The sperm of marijuana smokers, it seems, is alright. Maybe even more than alright.
As the research team writes in the Human Reproduction study, the men who had smoked one or two joints of marijuana at least once in their lifetimes had a sperm count and concentration that was significantly higher than that of people who had never smoked marijuana in their lives, which is generally a good thing for a man's fertility. More intense marijuana users also appeared to have higher levels of the sex hormone testosterone, as well.

Cannabis Stock Prices On A Tear, With Canadian Index Up 60% Since Start Of Year
With optimism returning to the stock markets and a growing sense that U.S. marijuana laws are headed for an overhaul, many of Canada's largest cannabis companies have seen their share price soar since the start of the year.
The Canadian Marijuana Index, which tracks 20 large, publicly-traded cannabis firms, was trading at 723.74 at 1 p.m. ET on Monday, just about 60 per cent higher than its closing level on Dec. 31, 2018. However, that is still below a peak of 858.19 that it hit last October, days before legalization.

A California Conundrum: How to Crack Down on Illicit Sales Without Echoing the War on Drugs?
In October 2018, the California Department of Consumer Affairs' newly-established Cannabis Enforcement Unit teamed up with the Los Angeles Police Department to carry out a raid on an unlicensed shop in Sylmar, a predominantly Latino and working-class neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley.
After serving a search warrant at "One Stop Healers", the authorities seized more than $2 million worth of cannabis and cannabis products, including almost 500 pounds of flower and 200 pounds of edibles. The shop's owner was arrested on misdemeanor charges, along with six employees.
The seizure, notably, took place ten months after the state had begun allowing the sale and taxation of cannabis for adult use. The end of prohibition, it turns out, has hardly ended illicit cannabis sales. A nascent industry - not to mention local governments eager for tax revenue - is pushing for this kind of rigorous enforcement.

The CBD Crackdown Has Begun
If you like cannabidiol cupcakes and live in New York City, it's time to learn how to bake your own. The city's health department confirmed in a statement Tuesday that it had begun a crackdown on restaurants that use the compound - better known as CBD - as a food additive, embargoing products and warning of fines to come. In doing so, New York becomes the first major American city to begin enforcement on CBD's questionably legal but enormously popular use in prepared food and drink. Until now, NYC consumers could find CBD in a wide range of products, including brownies, lattes, cocktails, and empanadas.

Number of Canadian cannabis users relatively unchanged since legalization, StatsCan says
The national statistics offices says legalizing cannabis doesn't seem to have much changed how many people use the drug.
Figures released Thursday morning from Statistics Canada show about 4.6 million people, or 15 per cent of Canadians over age 15, reported using cannabis in the last three months.

8 Female CEOs, 92 Male CEOs: Canada's Cannabis Industry Has A Problem
Sitting at a large black table scattered with their latest cannabis products, a pink bottle of nail polish remover and a few bright succulents, 48North co-CEOs Alison Gordon and Jeannette VanderMarel know they're outliers in Canada's newest industry.
Four months after legalization, they're two of only eight women leading a company with a federal licence to cultivate, process and sell cannabis, according to data collected by HuffPost Canada.

Kamala Harris calls for marijuana legalization: 'I think it gives a lot of people joy'
Sen. Kamala Harris called for the legalization of marijuana at a federal level in a Monday morning interview, making her the latest 2020 contender to weigh in on an issue that has become front-and-center as the presidential campaign season begins.

European Parliament Passes Cannabis Resolution, Joins WHO In Supporting Medical Marijuana
Following reports about the World Health Organization (WHO) recommending a rescheduling of cannabis and several of its key components under international drug treaties, the European Parliament voted on Wednesday on a resolution that would help advance medical cannabis in the countries that form the European Union.
While non-binding, the resolution seeks to incentivize European nations to increase access to medical marijuana, prioritizing scientific research and clinical studies. Same as the WHO's recommendation, the European Parliament's resolution shows how wide support for cannabis legalization is, but does not change any actual laws on the international or local levels.

Recreational marijuana: Police, doctors and educators fighting legalization in New York
A growing opposition movement across law enforcement, education and public health is attacking the politically charged push to legalize recreational marijuana in New York.

Pot company Canopy Growth posts nearly 300% sales jump
Canopy Growth's cannabis business is booming thanks to the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada last fall.
Revenue for its fiscal third quarter surged 282% compared to a year earlier, the company reported Thursday. Chairman and co-CEO Bruce Linton attributed the lift to the company's decision to make early, "meaningful" investments that helped it corner a big part of the Canadian market when the law took effect.



MARCH 2019  

6 Best Cannabis Stocks to Buy on U.S. Exchanges
The marijuana industry is one of the hottest and fastest-growing areas on Wall Street, and that means the best cannabis stocks to buy are getting easier to find. When Canada became the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana in 2018, a flurry of legitimate pot stocks began to pop up. In 2019, the industry is still in its infancy, and it's tough to keep track of who's who. Here's a look at six of the best publicly traded cannabis stocks that trade on major U.S. exchanges, and what each company specializes in. Though some look expensive, they may grow into their valuations quickly, so watch for pullbacks.

Over 8,000 marijuana convictions in San Francisco dismissed with help from a computer algorithm
Technology meets law and order to help dismiss thousands of marijuana-related convictions dating back to 1975 in San Francisco.
The San Francisco District Attorney's office announced on Monday that 8,132 convictions will be dismissed thanks to a computer algorithm that automatically scanned court records.
"This makes San Francisco the first county in the country to complete the automated marijuana record clearance process," said a statement from the office of San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon.

Cory Booker introduces bill to legalize marijuana nationwide, with support from fellow 2020 candidates
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a bill on Thursday to legalize marijuana nationwide as he mounts his presidential campaign.
Co-sponsors of the bill, known as the Marijuana Justice Act, include fellow 2020 Democratic contenders Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Booker first introduced the bill in 2017, but it was not taken up for a vote.
The bill comes as increasing numbers of states are legalizing marijuana on the local level and public opinion has shifted in favor of legalization.

Martha Stewart joins Canopy Growth to develop line of CBD products
The DIY Queen is getting into the cannabis business.
Martha Stewart, the veteran TV personality and retail executive, is partnering with Canopy Growth Corp., the world's biggest cannabis company, as an advisor to develop a new line of pot-related products, the company said Thursday.
"I am delighted to establish this partnership with Canopy Growth and share with them the knowledge I have gained after years of 'doing it all,'" Stewart said in a statement.

Beto O'Rourke calls for federal marijuana legalization ahead of likely 2020 bid
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke called for the legalization of marijuana nationwide Monday in an email to supporters that comes ahead of an expected bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
The former Texas congressman's call came as part of a series of criminal justice proposals he said would "build a criminal justice system that is more fair and that urgently puts our country closer to the words written above the highest court in our land: equal justice under law."

House Bill Introduced to Remove Marijuana from List of Controlled Substances
Even before it began, 2019 has been hailed as the year of marijuana, with good reason: the number of Americans who support legalization has reached record highs, and an increasing number of Democratic presidential candidates are advocating for drug reform and an end to our draconian, racist drug laws.
On Thursday morning, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Don Young (R-AK) introduced what they called a "landmark" piece of legislation, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2019, which is "the only bipartisan piece of legislation that would allow states to make independent choices about their marijuana programs," according to Young.

New Mexico House votes to legalize marijuana
The New Mexico House late Thursday voted to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, a deal that could make the state the 11th in the nation to allow adults to consume the drug recreationally.
The House passed the bill without any Republican votes, and several moderate Democrats also voted against the measure. But the bill's prime sponsor, state Rep. Javier Martinez (D), said he had worked with three Republicans in the state Senate to craft a compromise, giving the bill a shot to pass this session.

Britain's first medicinal cannabis clinic opens in Greater Manchester
A new private clinic in Greater Manchester has become the UK's first specialist medicinal cannabis centre. Patients at The Beeches, in Cheadle, will pay £200 for appointments with doctors and between £600 and £700 a month for a prescription.
Decisions to prescribe cannabis will be taken on a case-by-case basis, and will only be considered when staff are satisfied that licensed products cannot treat the condition.

Alaska approves regulations for marijuana consumption in retail shops
Alaska is now the first in the country with statewide rules allowing on-site use of marijuana at specially authorized stores.
On Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer signed the regulations that were approved by marijuana regulators in December. Last week the Department of Law found no legal problems with the rules. The rules go into effect April 11, at which point interested retail businesses can start applying for on-site use.

From casinos to cannabis: the Native Americans embracing the pot revolution
In February 2015, amid the cedar masks, canoe paddles and totem poles at the Tulalip Resort Casino north of Seattle, the talk was all about pot. Indian country had been abuzz about cannabis since the previous autumn, when the Justice Department had released a memorandum which seemed to open the way for tribal cannabis as a manifestation of tribal sovereignty. (I grew up Ojibwe on a reservation in Minnesota, and I use the word "Indian" to refer to indigenous people within the US. I also use "indigenous", "Native" and "American Indian". These terms have come in and out of favour over the years, and different tribes, and different people, have different preferences.)

Atlanta police will no longer ask about marijuana use on applications
Smoking weed will no longer immediately end your chances of becoming an Atlanta police officer.
The Atlanta Police Department said it lost too many qualified candidates when it asked if the person used marijuana in the past two years. So, the department is doing away with that box to check on the application.

Weed weddings: Calgary hosts Canada's first cannabis wedding expo (with Video)
Brides and grooms looking to add a little extra greenery to their nuptials had a chance to check out the newest trends at Calgary's first-ever cannabis wedding expo on Saturday.
Since cannabis was legalized in Canada, wedding vendors say they've been inundated with couples wanting to highlight the plant throughout their special day.

CEO behind the largest US pot deal says this is just the beginning of the cannabis craze (with Video)
One Canadian pot company is making a huge splash in the U.S. market.
Earlier this week, cannabis product retailer Harvest Health and Recreation announced it would buy competitor Verano Holdings for $850 million in an all-stock deal, marking the largest U.S. cannabis deal to date. The combined company will be one of the country's largest multi-state operators, presiding over as many as 200 facilities in 16 states.



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OCTOBER 2019