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These States Are Likely To Legalize Marijuana In 2018

Tue, 12/26/2017 - 17:56

After four of five statewide marijuana legalization ballot initiatives were approved by voters in 2016, no additional states ended cannabis prohibition in 2017 (though New Hampshire did decriminalize possession of the drug and West Virginia allowed its medical use).

Now, a number of states are poised to legalize marijuana and approve other far-reaching cannabis measures in 2018.

Please visit Forbes to read the rest of this piece.

(Marijuana Moment’s editor provides some content to Forbes via a temporary exclusive publishing license arrangement.)

The post These States Are Likely To Legalize Marijuana In 2018 appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Kampia out at MPP (Newsletter: Dec. 26, 2017)

Tue, 12/26/2017 - 12:40

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Trump notices medical marijuana patient’s case; 2018 legalization bills already introduced; Oppo funding numbers released

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Marijuana Policy Project founder Rob Kampia is no longer employed by the organization and is starting a new cannabis-focused consulting firm. Marijuana Moment obtained Kampia’s three-page memo outlining the new company’s plans and spoke to him about the reasons he is leaving MPP. There are still several unanswered questions, some of which may be answered by a looming major newspaper story about previously unreported sexual misconduct allegations against him that is expected to be published soon.

President Trump is reportedly taking personal interest in the case of an American being punished for medical cannabis in Indonesia.

2017 isn’t even over yet, but lawmakers in a number of states are already making legislative moves to prepare for 2018 marijuana legalization efforts.


U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review after a report indicated the Obama administration essentially allowed Hezbollah to traffic drugs into the U.S.

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and two cosponsors introduced a bill to give hemp businesses greater access to banks.

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) jokingly tweeted that an elderly couple arrested for marijuana was not him and his wife.

As a Festivus grievance, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) noted that Hatch has better marijuana jokes than he does.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) issued a statement on the short-term extension of state medical cannabis protections.

Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted that “we must end the threat [to medical cannabis] that comes with every deadline and provide a permanent solution.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted that “ending the ‘war on drugs’ must include restorative justice for all those who had their lives destroyed by harsh convictions.”

Indiana Democratic congressional candidate Dan Canon supports legalizing marijuana.

The U.S. House industrial hemp bill got one new cosponsor, bringing the total to 39.


Ohio Sen. Joe Schiavoni, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, supports legalizing marijuana. Another Democratic candidate, former state legislator Connie Pillich, said she would sign a marijuana legalization bill if passed by lawmakers.

A New Mexico senator prefiled a proposed marijuana legalization constitutional amendment.

California’s top marijuana regulator says the implementation of legalization “is going to be an adjustment for a lot of folks.” Separately, the state treasurer sent a letter to members of Congress requesting the extension of a federal budget rider protecting state medical cannabis laws.

Massachusetts regulators posted draft rules they initially approved last week.

Alaska regulators will discuss marijuana testing issues on January 2.

A West Virginia delegate plans to introduce legislation to allow vertical integration in the medical cannabis industry.

Some Colorado officials are questioning the validity of surveys that track youth marijuana use.

Iowa regulators are trying to figure out why more companies didn’t apply for state medical cannabis oil licenses.


Georgia’s interior minister admitted that the country’s drug policies are repressive.


Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana released its 2017 annual report, showing more than $1.3 million in annual funding between its two branches.

A new group called Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont is lobbying against marijuana legalization.


A study’s findings “do not support a link between reduced motivation and [cannabis use] among adolescents after controlling for relevant confounds.”

A survey found that “youth with [multiple sclerosis] endorse recreational marijuana as safe, and many use marijuana frequently despite appreciating a negative impact on memory.”

A study concluded that “Spanish-speaking Latino respondents had less accurate knowledge of laws permitting use of marijuana than English-speaking Latino respondents, while reporting greater agreement with negative health effects and higher perception of risk associated with marijuana use.”


First Green Bank, which provided financial services to marijuana businesses, is now closing down such accounts.

Labor unions see a lot of potential in organizing marijuana industry workers.

/ CULTURE     

Monica Lewinsky tweeted happily about a marijuana strain named after her.

The post Kampia out at MPP (Newsletter: Dec. 26, 2017) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Rob Kampia Leaves Marijuana Policy Project

Sun, 12/24/2017 - 19:19

Marijuana Policy Project founder Rob Kampia is no longer employed by or serves on the board of the organization.

He is starting a new cannabis policy group called Marijuana Leadership Campaign (MLC), structured as a for-profit LLC consulting firm.

The new company “will focus almost exclusively on changing U.S. laws,” Kampia said in a relatively unusual memo shared with Marijuana Moment late Saturday night, which also says that the firm has lined up “nearly $500,000 in seed money” from “a marijuana investment firm in Los Angeles, a major marijuana dispensary in Colorado, Kampia’s wealthy friends in Texas (where he lives half-time) and a coalition of new donors in South Carolina.”

The split with MPP is occurring as greater attention is being paid to past allegations of sexual misconduct by Kampia amidst a national backlash against workplace sexual harassment and abuse.

In 2010, a lengthy Washington City Paper story reported that Kampia had sex with an intoxicated MPP employee, an incident after which a staff revolt nearly led to his ouster from the organization. He later took a leave of absence to seek therapy, telling the Washington Post that he was “hypersexualized.”

Now, Kampia’s departure from MPP comes as several sources tell Marijuana Moment that a major newspaper is working on a story about previously unreported allegations against the former executive director. It is unknown when that article will be published, but its existence has been an open secret in cannabis reform circles for weeks.

Formally leaving the organization is the second and final wave in Kampia’s diminishing role at MPP, which he co-founded in 1995.

In November, days before Thanksgiving, MPP announced that Kampia had stepped down from his role as executive director but would remain at the organization in a new capacity focused on fundraising and strategy.

The new memo, shared with Marijuana Moment just before midnight on the day before Christmas Eve, says that the first announcement “opened new business opportunities for Kampia” and that while he “initially proposed splitting his time equally between MPP and the new MLC, Kampia and his fellow MPP board members reached a second milestone by voting unanimously on Dec. 20 to end his full-time status at MPP this weekend.”

It was also revealed this week that Kampia is no longer a member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s Advisory Council. Kampia said in an interview with Marijuana Moment on Sunday that he remains a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) board of directors.

The memo appears to lay out the case that Kampia’s departure from MPP has nothing to do with any old or new allegations of sexual misconduct, and he said in the interview that conversations among the organization’s board “about me shifting into lesser roles at MPP extend all the way back into late October.”

“We didn’t even talk about the s-word at all,” he said, referring to sex. “It wasn’t even on our minds, which I think was kind of naive of us given the stuff that’s happening with all of these celebrities.”

But Kampia acknowledged in the interview that he “did know that there was a story in the works somewhere” at the time he registered the domain name on December 5.

“I didn’t know which publication. I didn’t know any of the questions. I didn’t know the name of the reporter. I didn’t know anything,” he said. “I just knew that people were sort of talking about how there’s a story in the works.”

Kampia has been a key architect of many of the most significant marijuana policy victories over the past two decades, and has arguably been the legalization movement’s best fundraiser.

In the memo, he says that MLC “will work alongside the institutions he views as most effective in each sector” of the movement and industry. While the document names MPP, NCIA and New Federalism Fund as “leading the charge,” and says that the new company will “provide substantial funding” for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR), the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) and Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Kampia said in the interview that he hasn’t “cleared the fact that I want to give them money” with those groups.

LEAP and DFCR did not respond to requests for comment.

The memo says Kampia will divide his time between work on Texas, South Carolina, Michigan and congressional cannabis policy reform efforts as well as “raising money to make MDMA (known as ‘Ecstasy’) available as a prescription medicine for the treatment of PTSD and end-of-life anxiety.”

He plans to raise more than $2 million in 2018 from steering committees comprised of donors contributing at least $100,000 each.

When asked if the investors who have already committed nearly half a million dollars to the new venture are aware of the looming newspaper story on sexual misconduct allegations, Kampia said that “they know about the worst allegations that have ever been made about me, and I have no reason to believe that the [newspaper] story will be worse than that, so these guys are friends of the family and they’re not going to be surprised by anything in the [newspaper] and in fact they might be pleasantly surprised.”

Several of the projects mentioned in the MLC document are campaigns that Kampia had been raising money to support through MPP, but he rejected the idea that his outside efforts would drain the nonprofit of resources.

“Are there people that want to fund Texas where they might otherwise be nervous about writing a check to MPP, where they might have to pay for payroll for Rhode Island, Vermont and the national operation?” he asked, suggesting that his new outfit would be “value-added” rather than competition.

“One thing for sure that no one would do if not for the fact that I’m going to agitate for it, is to take out Congressman Pete Sessions,” he said, referring to the Republican House Rules Committee chairman who has consistently blocked marijuana amendments from being voted on. “Take out, meaning not to date him,” he said, but to un-elect him.

In the memo, Kampia twice offers quotes that he suggests are in jest, at least in part.

In the first instance, he jokes that working full-time for nonprofit organizations is “a good way to avoid amassing wealth,” while working on marijuana policy reform through an LLC will allow him to form business relationships with for-profit institutions.

Kampia, who owns a Washington, D.C,. row house that he has often referred to as “The Purple Mansion,” dismissed concerns that people might take offense to his quip about amassing wealth.

“It depends on what your definition of wealth is. I don’t have cash,” he said in the interview. “All my money goes into my mortgage. So you could say that I have wealth or not, depending on your perspective. I don’t mind if that offends people or not, because socialists who are averse to wealth probably already hate me.”

He also “half-jokingly” wrote that he hopes “to be standing behind President Rand Paul during his bill-signing ceremony [for ‘the ultimate bill to legalize marijuana on the federal level’] in the White House in 2022.”

“I don’t think Trump is going to survive reelection,” he said when asked what Paul’s path to the presidency in the 2020 election would be. “I would like to see [Trump] impeached…and I think Mike Pence is tainted as a result of being in bed with Trump. So I think that you are going to see a bunch of challengers… Rand Paul was obviously my favorite candidate last time around and so I’m cheering him on. I don’t have any inside knowledge, though. I haven’t talked to him personally.”

The memo mentions Kampia’s holiday vacation plans in the Caribbean and says that when he returns to the country the new organization will hold a series of leadership meetings in Austin, Dallas and Washington, D.C.

He will also write a book that “provides an insider’s look at the marijuana-legalization movement.” He told Marijuana Moment that the working title is, “How We Legalized Marijuana.”

The memo offers a very specific account of the book’s progress to date.

“I’m particularly excited about writing my book, which will be nonfiction but will oftentimes read like fiction, as my life is strewn with outrageous experiences that are sometimes relevant to readers who have an interest in politics generally and marijuana policy specifically,” Kampia wrote. “The book is already one-eighth written, and I’m planning to spend my time in the Bahamas and other sunny islands writing another three- eighths of the book. In fact, one reason I’m leaving MPP is to write this book, with an aggressive book tour planned for the fall of 2018.”

As of Sunday afternoon, Kampia was still listed as an employee and board member on MPP’s website.

An MPP communications staffer could not be reached for comment by publication time, but a board member who did not wish to be named said, “I can confirm that we have been negotiating his permanent separation from the org for weeks and that he is no longer conducting any MPP business.”

Read Kampia’s full three-page memo on the new firm below:

Rob Kampia Memo by tomangell on Scribd

Photo courtesy of ReasonTV.

The post Rob Kampia Leaves Marijuana Policy Project appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

State Lawmakers Already Filing Marijuana Bills For 2018

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 15:46

There is widespread anticipation among marijuana policy watchers that 2018 could finally be the year that states begin legalizing cannabis by acts of lawmakers.

All eight states that have ended marijuana prohibition to date have been directed to do so by voters at the ballot box.

But not all states allow for ballot initiatives, and so at some point the fight to legalize cannabis will shift in earnest to legislative chambers, just as lawmakers began taking medical marijuana reform into their own hands after the first wave of voter-enacted laws in the 1990s demonstrated the popularity of the issue.

There are growing indications that the shift for recreational legalization is happening now.

In Vermont, House and Senate leaders and Gov. Phil Scott (R) have signaled in recent weeks that they are prepared to legalize marijuana very soon after the legislature reconvenes on January 3. Because the state operates on a biennium, all that is needed is one more House vote in favor of a previously-Senate-passed bill that the governor has pledged to sign.

New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy (D) campaigned on legalization, and the Senate president says he’s ready to pass a bill in 2018.

While many observers of cannabis policy are already aware the the Green Mountain State and Garden State are vying to be the first to legalize marijuana legislatively, lawmakers in other states are already making moves to prepare for anti-prohibition efforts in 2018.

On Thursday, a New Mexico senator prefiled a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis.

Also on Thursday, New York lawmakers announced that three Assembly committees will hold a joint hearing on marijuana legalization in January.

In New Hampshire, an early January floor vote could breathe new life into a marijuana legalization bill that was voted down in committee this year.

Missouri representatives have already prefiled two separate cannabis legalization bills.

These examples are just the earliest indications of what could be the busiest year on record for state cannabis lobbying efforts.

In 2017, Marijuana Moment tracked 59 separate marijuana legalization bills in state legislative chambers. (Overall, we tracked more than 300 marijuana bills ranging from penalty reforms to medical cannabis to licensing tweaks to nonbinding resolutions calling for federal action, and more.)

Marijuana Moment makes legislative tracking tools available to Patreon supporters pledging at least $25 per month to support our ongoing cannabis reporting work.

Supporters get access to custom interactive maps and charts so they always know where key bills are in the legislative process — in Congress and in all 50 states. The tools include full bill text, sponsor lists, amendments, vote tallies and more — on an automatically updated basis

Heat maps show concentrations of relevant bills in each state and Congress:

Click a state to see a sortable list of bills we’re tracking:

Click a bill to see detailed information on legislative progress, including scheduled hearings:

Access full bill text and compare amended versions:

A Patreon pledge to support Marijuana Moment not only helps us continue our reporting work, but gets you access to these tools that make it easy for your business or organization to track legislation that impacts what you’re working on.

Legislatures aside, five or more states could vote on marijuana legalization or medical cannabis ballot initiatives in 2018.

These States Will Probably Vote On Marijuana In 2018

The post State Lawmakers Already Filing Marijuana Bills For 2018 appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Sessions rescinds old guidance — Cole memo safe for now (Newsletter (Dec. 22, 2017)

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 12:44

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NY legalization hearing scheduled for Jan.; Congress extends state protection deadline; Former CA AG starts marijuana businesses


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Congress approved a short-term extension of federal funding levels — and policy riders like state medical cannabis protections — through January 19. It still hasn’t been determined whether the marijuana provision will be included in full Fiscal Year 2018 legislation. President Trump is expected to sign the continuing resolution on Friday, along with separate tax reform legislation.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded 25 previous federal guidance documents. Not among them is the Cole Memo, which lays out guidelines for states to avoid federal interference with their marijuana laws.

Three New York Assembly committees will hold a joint hearing on marijuana legalization on January 11.


Rolling Stone spoke to a number of members of Congress about federal drug policy reform in 2017 and 2018:

  • Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD): “If you look at medical marijuana, it’s still in a grey zone about on whether or not there’s going to be very strict enforcement. I think this Department of Justice is not going to take it lightly, when states have recreational use of marijuana legalized.”
  • Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA): “I don’t think they have actually established their marijuana policy yet. I think the president needs to pay personal attention to it, because he made commitments during the election that he would support the legalizing medical marijuana, it should be left to the states, to legalize it that way as well as personal use, adult use…. It’s a total waste of money. The states – the people across this country – are voting for it, and for [Sessions] to think that he can superimpose his control over what adults will consume is contrary to our Constitution and a violation of individual freedom.”
  • Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR): “This next year there will be more expressions of that support as it builds around the country – more markets open up and more and more people take a stand in support of it. I mean, the train’s left the station.”  

A bipartisan group of 17 members of Congress wrote a letter to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb pushing back on the agency’s threats on kratom. In a related press release, Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) said, “Like cannabis, it should be legal and available.”

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) decried congressional interference in Washington, DC’s marijuana laws in a House floor speech.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions created a new Department of Justice Director of Opioid Enforcement and Prevention Efforts role.

ProPublica looks at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s role in keeping silent the reasons for kidnappings conducted by a Mexican drug cartel.


California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana is, at its core, about criminal justice reform. It’s about ending the failed war on drugs and fixing a broken system that has disproportionately affected low-income and minority communities.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) appears in an ad touting the state’s program to drug test food stamp recipients.

Massachusetts regulators unanimously voted to approve draft marijuana legalization implementation rules.

A Missouri representative prefiled a marijuana legalization bill.

Florida lawmakers filed legislation to expand medical cannabis retail licensing.

New Ohio legislation to increase penalties for drug trafficking exempts marijuana.Here’s a look at states’ efforts to test marijuana products.

The Associated Press looks at how people in legalized states are taking advantage of marijuana gifting provisions in laws during the holiday season.


Los Angeles County, California health officials will conduct inspections of marijuana businesses.


The Australian government is launching an online medical cannabis information portal for doctors.


The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia successfully pressured a Georgia sheriff over his deleting marijuana comments from his Facebook page.

Cannabis Wire noticed that Marijuana Policy Project Founder Rob Kampia is no longer listed as a member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s Advisory Council.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 63,600 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2016, the highest annual toll on record. More than 42,200 were linked to opioids.

A study of medical cannabis dispensaries in Colorado and Washington found that those in areas of that voted against recreational legalization ballot measures subsequently “accentuated the medical orientation of their identities,” whereas there was a “blurring of medical/recreational identity in communities where voters demonstrated support for recreational-use legalization in the state-level ballot.”

A study suggested that “cannabis use relates to reduced neural activity underlying attention to motion stimuli.”


The Los Angeles Times editorial board wants California and federal officials to solve the marijuana industry’s banking access issues.


Former California Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) co-founded a marijuana concentrates and edibles company.

Jack In The Box and Merry Jane are partnering on a “Merry Munchie Meal” to celebrate California’s legalization of marijuana.

/ CULTURE     

Country musician Michael Ray was arrested for possession of cannabis oil.

The post Sessions rescinds old guidance — Cole memo safe for now (Newsletter (Dec. 22, 2017) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

New York Lawmakers Holding Marijuana Legalization Hearing

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 00:03

New York lawmakers will hold a joint session on marijuana legalization early in the new year.

“This hearing will examine the potential for allowing regulated sale and adult possession of marijuana in New York and how it would affect public health and the criminal justice systems,” a notice posted on Thursday by the chairs of the Assembly Committees on Codes, Health and Alcoholism and Drug Abuse says.

Under current New York law, marijuana possession is decriminalized. But a loophole that allows police to bust people for cannabis seen in public view has led to robust arrest rates.

“Forty years ago, New York decriminalized non-public possession of small amounts of marijuana, making such possession a non-criminal violation punishable only by a fine. However, a significant number of people are arrested for public possession of a small amount of marijuana every year,” the hearing notice says. “Studies have repeatedly shown that those arrested are disproportionately African American and Latino. Existing laws expose many of these nonviolent offenders to possible imprisonment and a lifelong and unnecessary criminal record that can prevent gainful employment and full participation in society.”

The state also has a relatively limited medical cannabis laws that has gradually expanded over the years to allow greater patient access and qualifying conditions.

The three-committee joint hearing on legalization will be held on January 11.

Information on how to submit testimony is online here.

The post New York Lawmakers Holding Marijuana Legalization Hearing appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

100% of Oregon dispensaries pass cannabis sting operation (Newsletter: Dec. 21, 2017)

Thu, 12/21/2017 - 12:54

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Mexico to legalize cannabis edibles in 2018; HI adds ALS as MMj condition; ONDCP chief of staff fired


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100% of Oregon marijuana retailers passed a sting operation and refused to sell cannabis to underage minors.

Mexico’s health regulator said the country will legalize sales of marijuana-based medicines, foods, drinks, cosmetics and other products early in 2018.


The acting chief of staff and general counsel at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy was suddenly dismissed.

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) made one more last-minute unsuccessful attempt to insert a fix to the 280E penalty on marijuana businesses into the tax reform bill. Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO), who is a cosponsor of a standalone 280E reform bill,  spoke up against adding it to the broader tax bill because he sees it as a “poison pill.”

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said that “federal marijuana policy is an issue where the government is light years behind the times.”

Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted that “we must continue the fight to modernize our nation’s marijuana policies.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted that expungement programs are an “important step in repairing the damage of past marijuana convictions.”


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) signed into a law a bill allowing expungement of criminal records for possession of marijuana with the intent to sell up to one ounce.

Maine lawmakers will hold a hearing on marijuana legalization implementation legislation on January 5.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) did not include any funding for the state’s industrial hemp licensing program in his budget request, putting its future in jeopardy.

Colorado officials published a journal article on “lessons learned after three years of legalized, recreational marijuana.”

Oregon regulators voted to make changes to marijuana rules to implement approved legislation. They also released updated guidance on pesticide usage.

Hawaii regulators added Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis as a medical cannabis qualifying condition but rejected a petition to add general anxiety disorder.

Alaska regulators are concerned about potential inaccuracies in marijuana potency testing.

A Washington State representative prefiled a bill to earmark some marijuana tax revenue to pay for legal services for indigent defendants.

Ohio regulators released a list of medical cannabis processor business license applicants.

New Hampshire lawmakers prefiled legislation to create a medical cannabis oversight board.

A South Carolina senator discussed his recently filed resolution calling on the federal government to remove barriers to marijuana research.

A Guam senator says a bill to implement medical cannabis regulations is almost complete.


Travis County, Texas commissioners approved a proposal to allow people to avoid criminal charges for marijuana possession by taking a diversion program.

The Los Angeles, California City Attorney’s Office is concerned that a proposed public bank to serve the marijuana industry could violate federal laws.

New data shows continued racial disparities in St. Louis, Missouri marijuana enforcement.


The Canadian government is shooting down rumors of a possible delay in its marijuana legalization implementation timeline.

Lawmakers in Portugal will introduce marijuana legalization and medical cannabis legislation in early 2018.

Austria’s new government plans to ban the sale of hemp plants and seeds.


Longtime activist Dana Beal was arrested again for allegedly transporting large quantities of marijuana.


Utah adults support a proposed medical cannabis ballot measure, 73%-23%.

A poll found that Michigan Republican primary voters oppose legalizing marijuana for adults over 18, 59%-25%.

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board is concerned that California still hasn’t solved the marijuana industry’s banking access issues.

The Bismarck Tribune editorial board is criticizing North Dakota regulators for delays in medical cannabis implementation.


Nevada retailers sold $37.9 million worth of recreational marijuana products in October.

MassRoots is at risk of being evicted from its office over owed rent. (Disclosure: I am a former employee and minority shareholder.)

/ CULTURE     

HBO released a new trailer for season 2 of “High Maintenance.”

The post 100% of Oregon dispensaries pass cannabis sting operation (Newsletter: Dec. 21, 2017) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Oregon Marijuana Stores Score 100% In Youth Sales Sting Operation

Thu, 12/21/2017 - 01:28

The following is a press release from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

OLCC Launches Marijuana Retailer Minor Decoy Checks

Bend Licensees Pass OLCC Check for Sales to Minors

Portland, OR – The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has conducted the first of its statewide minor decoy operations to determine if marijuana license retailers are complying with state laws and OLCC regulations ensuring minors aren’t able to enter the business to purchase marijuana products.

On December 19, 2017 OLCC marijuana inspectors visited 20 marijuana retailers in central Oregon, and all of the 20 businesses visited in Bend and La Pine passed a check for prohibiting sales to a minor volunteer.

“That our licensed retailers in central Oregon scored 100 percent on refusal to sell marijuana to a minor is a sign that this segment of our regulated industry understands the importance of compliance,” said Steve Marks, Executive Director of the OLCC. “As we continue these checks I hope that these results will be reflected across the state.”

Sale of marijuana products to anyone under the age of 21 is a violation that for a first offense could result in a 10 to 30 day license suspension, or a fine of $1650, depending on whether or not the sale is intentional. Failure by a marijuana licensee, or its employee, to check a customer’s identification before the attempted purchase of a marijuana product is a violation that could result in a seven (7) day license suspension or a fine more than $1100.

During the sales checks, a minor volunteer attempts to enter a licensed marijuana retailer and/or purchase marijuana products from a licensed business to see if staff are checking ID’s correctly and refusing entry to anyone under 21. Commission inspectors supervise the minor volunteers. The volunteers carry their own legal ID that identifies them as under 21 and do not disguise their age or lie to encourage the sale of marijuana.

The Oregon Driver license for a minor carries a red border around the picture with the words “Minor Until” followed by the date of his/her 21st birthday.

The OLCC tests licensed marijuana businesses throughout the year, with each licensed retailer receiving a minimum of one visit per year. The OLCC offers a free training course on how to check ID’s and identify false identification.

“This is part of our stepped up compliance and enforcement activity,” said Marks. “We’re working to make sure that all segments of our regulated market are living up to the requirements of their license, and the expectations Oregonians have that they will act responsibly and follow the law.”


To see a list of marijuana retailers that were included in the sting operation, go here.

The post Oregon Marijuana Stores Score 100% In Youth Sales Sting Operation appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

V.A. issues updated medical cannabis policy for veterans (Newsletter: Dec. 20, 2017)

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 12:51

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Ben Carson slams drug war’s impact; Bill Nye on Schedule I; New Zealand MMj bill


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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs issued a new medical cannabis policy that continues to bar government doctors from recommending marijuana but encourages them to talk more openly with veterans about it.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Sec. Ben Carson spoke about how enforcing the war on drugs undermines anti-poverty efforts.


Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) slammed GOP congressional leaders for not undoing the 280E penalty on marijuana businesses as part of tax reform legislation.


Kentucky’s secretary of state spoke about her support for medical cannabis.

  • “My hope is Kentucky won’t be the last state to address the issue, and I’m tired of sitting back and waiting for the general assembly to address the issue… Kentucky is perfectly situated. We have the best farmland and the best people to be able to grow, cultivate and dispense medical cannabis for pain relief.”

Oregon saw a rise in the number of teens seeking treatment in an emergency room or calling a poison center after ingesting marijuana last year.

Rhode Island’s medical cannabis patient count grew 17% over the past year.

California regulators are deciding how to grant water access to marijuana growers.

A Virginia representative filed a bill to extend that state’s current affirmative defense protection for CBD or THC-A oil to people with cancer.


The Reading, Pennsylvania City Council withdrew a proposed marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

Denver, Colorado is using marijuana sales tax revenue to fund a campaign to encourage youth not to use cannabis.

Clark County, Nevada commissioners delayed a decision on whether to allow local standalone recreational marijuana stores.


New Zealand’s government revealed its medical cannabis legislation.

Mexican health regulators ruled against allowing home cultivation of medical cannabis.

Reuters looks at a police squad responsible for many deaths in the bloody Philippines “drug war.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that marijuana legalization will roll out “next summer” and not necessarily on July 1.


Past allegations of misconduct by former Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Rob Kampia are resurfacing amidst a national backlash against workplace sexual harassment and abuse. Former MPP Chief of Staff Alison Green says she now regrets the way she responded to Kampia’s behavior at the organization.

In a potentially related development, the Drug Policy Alliance seems to have removed its honorary board from its website in the past week. Former Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) and music mogul Russell Simmons, both recently accused of sexual misconduct, were (are?) members.

A National Cannabis Industry Association board member stepped down, and a newly hired chief of staff parted ways with the organization.

AAA is urging New Jersey to slow down its march toward legalizing marijuana.


A study found that “the majority of patients…believed that medical marijuana is a valid treatment and that it does have a role in reducing postinjury and postoperative pain,” and “those patients who used marijuana during their recovery felt that it alleviated symptoms of pain and reduced their opioid intake.”

Here’s a look at how Pennsylvania hospitals and medical schools are getting involved in cannabis research.


A poll found that 66% of Americans believe legalizing marijuana will help the economy and that 64% think the federal government should not enforce prohibition in states that allow cannabis.

Public Policy Polling had a little fun in a holiday survey: “Much like gay marriage or marijuana legalization, ‘Die Hard’ as a Christmas movie is very much a generational issue. If pace of change in opinion over last 2 years continues it will be seen as Christmas movie by 2025.”


The CannaInsider Cannabis Education Scholarship pays students to enroll in marijuana industry training programs.

Here’s a look at how California marijuana workers are increasingly joining unions.

Here’s a lengthy look at the demise of Tradiv, an aspiring “Amazon of the cannabis industry,” after its founder had a psychedelic religious experience.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced that a report on marijuana research topped its 2017 bestseller list.

Longtime Seattle Times marijuana reporter Bob Young left his journalism job to become a state historian.

The Associated Press looks at looming struggles between big and small marijuana growers in California.

/ CULTURE     

Scientist Bill Nye says that marijuana’s Schedule I status is “not based in any science.”

The post V.A. issues updated medical cannabis policy for veterans (Newsletter: Dec. 20, 2017) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Bill Nye: Marijuana’s Federal Status ‘Not Based In Science’

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 20:54

One of the world’s most famous scientists says that the U.S. government’s classification of marijuana has absolutely nothing to do with science.

“Nobody’s really sure how it works, marijuana. Nobody’s exactly sure what it does,” he said in a new interview released on Tuesday. “And so there’s a very strong argument that keeping it as a Schedule I drug is not based in any science.”

Schedule I — most restrictive category under federal law — is supposed to be reserved for drugs with a high potential for abuse and no medical value.

“But people use marijuana and marijuana extracts for all sorts of medical applications, so you’ve got to think there’s something to it,” Nye said.

Researchers have often complained that keeping marijuana in Schedule I perpetuates extra hurdles that studies on other drugs don’t need to overcome.

In the new season of “Bill Nye Saves the World,” premiering December 29 on Netflix, the scientist is seen getting a medical cannabis recommendation and visiting a California dispensary.

But Nye doesn’t consume marijuana on camera. He does, however, play ultimate frisbee with teammates who are under the influence of cannabis, he said in the new interview with CNET.

In a separate interview released last month, Nye touted the benefits of legalization.

“I lived in Washington State for a long time, and Washington State legalized it in 2012. We legalized marijuana, we tax it,” he said. “We have a lot of tax revenue. It’s no longer criminalized. We don’t spend money on the police department. We spend money regulating the industry in the same way we regulate other substances.”

Bill Nye Likes Legalization, But Not Marijuana

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

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