Marijuana

Massachusetts: Legislature Delays New Legal Marijuana Law

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Several provisions of the new law that legalized recreational marijuana in Massachusetts were delayed for six months by the Legislature on Wednesday, angering backers of the measure approved by voters last month.

The bill was passed by both the House and Senate without a public hearing and without debate.

The ballot initiative making pot legal for adults over 21 took effect on December 15, and that does not change. The action taken by lawmakers yesterday will delay the opening of marijuana retail stores from the beginning of 2018 until the middle of that year.

For the moment, it's only legal to sell marijuana in Massachusetts to registered medical marijuana patients.

“The Legislature has a responsibility to implement the will of the voters while also protecting public health and public safety,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg.

A joint statement from Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert DeLeo said that delaying key deadlines for six months will give legislators more time to “improve” the current law by considering issues that were not included in the ballot question.

The group that sponsored the ballot measure, Yes On 4, said it was “very disappointed” in the Legislature’s vote, noting it came with little advance notice or public input.

Canada: Next Step Taken Towards Legalizing Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Canadian leaders have started moving closer towards legalizing marijuana.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau created a committee in the summer of 2016 to look into the possibility of making recreational marijuana use legal for the entire country.

The panel, chaired by former Canadian Deputy Primate Minister Anne McLellan, recently submitted its findings. The panel calls for a tightly regulated recreational market for adults while cracking down on the black market.

The report said their recommendations will “strike a balance between implementing appropriate restrictions, in order to minimize the harms associated with cannabis use, and providing adults access to a regulated supply of cannabis while reducing the scope and scale of the illicit market and its social harms.”

Trudeau has said he expects to file legislation based on the recommendations of the panel in the spring of 2017.

The Canadian Liberal Party website states: “We will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.”

“Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work,” the site states. “It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.”

Recommendations of the report include:

Montreal: 'Prince Of Pot' Arrested When Police Raid Cannabis Culture Stores

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A day after opening, some Cannabis Culture stores selling recreational marijuana were raided last Friday, resulting in the arrest of owner Marc Emery. The British Columbia-based self-described 'Prince of Pot' was expanding his chain of of dispensaries, despite the fact that pot is still illegal.

The Mount-Royal store had sold out its stock, leaving only cash for the authorities to find.

“It’s despicable and it’s an injustice, but we will win,” Emery said while being escorted to a police cruiser. “This arrest is wrong and prohibition is wrong. The prime minister is a disgrace and so is the mayor,” he said.

Hundreds of clients had showed up at the Mount-Royal location to make their first weed purchases.

Police say that they have made 10 total arrests so far, none of which were clients. They also seized 40 pounds of cannabis at other Cannabis Culture locations.

Guam: Governor Wants Territory To Legalize Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Guam voters legalized medical marijuana in 2014. Governor Eddie Calvo (R) now wants the island territory to look at legalizing recreational marijuana for adult use.

“We’re talking about cutting what would be red tape and concerns about funding for required enforcement on the new marijuana legislation that became law” Governor Calvo said in a Faceook post made Monday. “I want us to look at how states navigated into recreational marijuana; let’s figure it out and then tax the heck out of it and use those taxes to help fund our hospital, public safety and education.”

A poll conducted earlier this year by Pacific Daily News found that 80 percent of Guam citizens support pot legalization, but the poll's validity can be questioned because it was conducted online with little safeguards in place to ensure accuracy.

Maine: Marijuana Legalization Is Finally Confirmed

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The opposition for Maine's measure to legalize recreational marijuana, Question 1, finally dropped their request for a recount last weekend, meaning Maine residents can look forward to enjoying the plant legally.

According to the Press Herald:

“Unofficial results of the vote released on Election Day showed the measure passed by 4,073 votes, 381,692 to 377,619. The anti-legalization campaign gave notice to the director of the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections on Saturday afternoon to end the recount, which was on hold for a holiday break until January. Under the measure, the Legislature has nine months to establish rules to deal with such issues as child-proof packaging, restricting advertising to minors, and licensing.

Officials on both sides of the recount were critical of their opponents during the process, with Yes on 1 accusing opponents of slowing down the recount by not providing enough volunteers. No on 1 criticized legalization proponents of rushing to enact the law.”

The approval of Question 1 makes it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana, purchase marijuana at retail outlets, and grow a limited number of plants at home.

China: Hemp-seed Eating Village Has Oldest, Healthiest People In The World

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Bama Yao is a village in China that can boast that its citizens live to be far older than the global average and suffer from few health problems. Scientists believe the secret is in their diet, which includes lots of hemp seed.

It's true that Bama Yao has very clean air and water, and their diet doesn't include the fat, animal proteins, salt, and sugar that are so common in the American diet. But many experts believe the villagers' consumption of a superfood high in essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6) is the secret to their longevity, and their primary source of receiving these fatty acids is through a diet rich in hemp seed.

Life expectancy in Bama Yao is well over 100 years. Its inhabitants have a mostly plant-based diet and typically exercise moderately on a daily basis. Hemp seed, which makes up a major portion of their diet, contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which contribute to a healthy brain. Hemp seed are also rich in calcium, iron, vitamins A, E, D, many B vitamins, and dietary fiber. The fiber in hemp seed helps to prevent overeating by making a person feel more full.

Colorado: Governor Has Advice For Other States About Legalizing Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Four years ago Colorado became one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults. Governor John Hickenlooper opposed the law, but voters overwhelmingly approved the measure.

Now the Democratic governor finds that he is the first one other governors call for advice on pot. “You don’t get to choose what your legacy is,” he said.

California Governor Jerry Brown, who opposed his state's measure to legalize recreational marijuana, called Hickenlooper in the weeks before that measure was voted on.

Hickenlooper said he gives the same, specific advice to anyone who calls him. "We didn’t regulate edibles strongly enough at first,” he said in an interview this week at a gathering in Coronado of the Western Governors’ Assn. He referred to a spike in emergency room visits by children who had eaten marijuana products.

“Ingestion of edible products continues to be a major source of marijuana exposures in children and poses a unique problem because no other drug is infused into a palatable and appetizing form,” wrote Dr. Sam Wang, a physician at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the lead author of a report about the increased number of emergency room visits published in July.

U.S.: Hemp Industry Association Says DEA Ruling Does Not Make CBD Illegal

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Hemp Industry Association has made an announcement that a recent ruling by the U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) did not make cannabidoids (CBD) illegal.

The following statement was issued by the Hemp Industry Association:

Yesterday the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a Final Rule on the coding of marijuana extracts. Unfortunately some misleading media stories and social media postings lead quite a few people to panic at reports that CBD was being banned under this new rule.

The Sky is NOT Falling. The Final Rule published by DEA did not change the legal status of CBD. This can only be done by a scheduling action which has NOT occurred.

HIA has carefully reviewed this with our legal advisors and discussed it with industry experts. While there are some differing opinions on the effect of the rule, there is general agreement that yesterday's ruling did not change the status of CBD. Here are some important facts to know:

Cannabidiol is not listed on the federal schedule of controlled substances
Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill defines hemp as distinct from marijuana and does not treat it as a controlled substance when grown under a compliant state program.

Despite these facts, DEA has stated that CBD is a controlled substance previously.

U.S.: New DEA Rule Bans CBD

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Update 12/16/2016: Although widely reported by many news sources that the DEA has banned cannabidiol (CBD), the Hemp Industry Association has made it clear that the DEA has, in fact, not banned CBD.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) just banned cannabidiol (CBD), placing it on its list of Schedule 1 drugs. CBD is a chemical found in marijuana that won't make you high, but will stop seizures and help people with debilitating conditions.

Schedule 1 drugs are considered to have no medical benefit and to be highly addictive. The DEA banned the herbal pain reliever Kratom earlier this year, another alternative to dangerous prescription opioids.

DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said this code “will allow DEA and DEA-registered entities to track quantities of this material separately from quantities of marihuana.”

The rule reads, “For practical purposes, all extracts that contain CBD will also contain at least small amounts of other cannabinoids. However, if it were possible to produce from the cannabis plant an extract that contained only CBD and no other cannabinoids, such an extract would fall within the new drug code.”

California: Antioch Extends Moratorium On Non-medical Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The new city council in Antioch, California agreed Tuesday to extend a moratorium on non-medical marijuana.

Council members unanimously approved the temporary ban for up to ten and a half months while they what kind of restrictions they want to impose under the new state law legalizing marijuana for adults 21 and over.

The passage of Proposition 64 last month means those over 21 can possess a certain amount of marijuana, and can grow up to six plants at home.

But Proposition 64 also allows cities to ban the outdoor cultivation of non-medical marijuana as well as regulate — although not outlaw — indoor grows. In addition, although the new state law allows businesses to sell marijuana, it gives cities the right to trump that power by limiting or prohibiting commercial sales.

Resident Mark Jordan encouraged the council to consider what marijuana-based businesses could do for the city financially.

Ohio: Some Patients Already Receiving Medical Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Even though Ohio is not ready to open its first medical marijuana dispensaries yet, some patients in the state are already receiving medical marijuana.

Patients are going to the Holistic Center in Toledo where they are issued an affirmative defense card, which protects them from prosecution if stopped with marijuana in Ohio. They are then able to head north to Michigan to get medical marijuana.

We have doctors who are actually very passionate about providing alternative solutions to opioids," said Louis Johnson, of Omni Medical Services. “The state is still working out their infrastructure but the law says patients have the right to use marijuana and as long as a doctor certifies such then they have that right to do so," said Johnson.

There are several conditions that can qualify a patient in Ohio to use medical marijuana:

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
Alzheimer's disease
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Cancer
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Crohn's disease
Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
Fibromyalgia
Glaucoma
Hepatitis C
Inflammatory bowel disease
Multiple sclerosis

Pain that is either of the following:
Chronic and severe
Intractable.

Parkinson's disease
Positive status for HIV
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Sickle cell anemia
Spinal cord disease or injury
Tourette's syndrome

Virginia: Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui Cited For Marijuana Possession

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Lauren Jauregui of girl band Fifth Harmony was cited for possession of marijuana on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority told ET that the singer was given a citation at the Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia.

According to Dina LaPolt, attorney for the 20-year-old singer and Fifth Harmony, "Lauren Jauregui was not arrested and detained as reported, but simply given a citation for possession of marijuana and released on her own recognizance."

"She will address the matter appropriately through the legal system," LaPolt continued. "This will not interfere with any future scheduled performances or activities."

Fifth harmony fans took to Twitter after news of Jauregui's citation broke out, using the hashtag "#FreeLauren". Singer JoJo tweeted "#legalizeit".

Fifth Harmony is scheduled to headline Vevo Brasil's FunPopFun Festival by Fanta on Wednesday. That's likely where she was headed when she was cited.

The girl group -- which is also made up of Ally Brooke Hernandez, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane and Camila Cabello -- is also scheduled to perform at Power 96.1's Jingle Ball in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday.

California: San Diego May Allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries To Sell To Everyone 21 And Over

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

San Diego has become the first city in California to introduce legislation to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell to everyone 21 and older until the state's new recreational use regulations are finalized.

The ordinance also establishes rules for recreational cannabis outlets, which should be opening sometime in the first half of 2018. The rules are almost identical to those in place for medical cannabis dispensaries, including a requirement of being 1,000 feet from public parks, schools, daycare centers, churches, playgrounds, libraries and residential neighborhoods.

“While we haven’t completed a detailed review of this proposal, the city’s highly restrictive zoning for medical cannabis dispensing has proven effective at protecting the quality of life in our neighborhoods, and using the existing restrictions as the model for these new regulations is a good starting point,” said Phil Rath of the United Medical Marijuana Coalition. “We look forward to engaging this process moving forward to ensure the regulations are clear, enforceable and allow our members to continue to operate peacefully in our respective communities.”

Thanks to last month's passage of Proposition 64, adults over 21 in California can possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and grow up to six plants at home.

Massachusetts: Marijuana Legal At Midnight Tonight

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

It will be legal for adults 21 and over in Massachusetts to possess marijuana and to grow the plant at home starting at midnight tonight. The Governor's Council recently certified the results of the November election.

“This is a historic day for Massachusetts,” said Jim Borghesani, who was the spokesman of the Yes on 4 campaign. “[W]e urge all residents intending to use or grow marijuana to educate themselves regarding what is and isn’t allowed under the new law.”

Borghesani also argued against changing the law, as some officials have said they intend to do next year. “This law was written with great deliberation and care, and it requires no legislative fixes or revisions. It would be unwise to extend the period where possession is legal but retail sales aren’t in effect. We hope that the Cannabis Control Commission is appointed by the March 1 deadline and that they begin the crucial work of writing the regulations that will control the new industry,” he said.

Massachusetts: Sen. Stan Rosenberg Wants To Raise Legal Marijuana Smoking Age To 25

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, said Tuesday that he would be interested in raising the legal smoking age for marijuana under state law to 25.

He did admit, however, that it was his idea alone, and that it would be hard to accomplish in the Legislature.

"I feel obligated to put it on the table and have it discussed even if the decision is to stick with 21," Rosenberg said.

In November, voters passed a measure to make marijuana use and possession legal for adults 21 and over. Although no retail stores are opening yet, pot will be legal to possess in the state on Thursday.

When asked by reporters why he favors the later age for legal pot use, he said that he has seen neurological studies indicating that the brain is not fully developed until age 25, and smoking large quantities of marijuana can affect brain development and have a lifelong impact.

He acknowledged the idea is only his personal opinion, and said "it's not going to be a popular proposal."

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