D.C.: Friday Marks One Year Anniversary of Marijuana Legalization In Nation's Capitol


Marijuana Arrests Down 85% After First Year

Congress Continues to Prevent District from Taxing and Regulating Marijuana

This Friday marks the one year anniversary of the implementation of marijuana legalization in the District of Columbia. In the 2014 election, District voters overwhelmingly passed Ballot Initiative 71 with 70 percent support, legalizing the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and allowing individuals to grow up to six plants in their home.

Overall, marijuana arrests decreased by 85 percent from 2014 to 2015. Marijuana possession arrests fell from 1,840 in 2014 to just 32 in 2015.

“The decrease in marijuana arrests is an enormous victory for District residents, who have resoundingly rejected the criminalization of marijuana,” said Bill Piper, senior director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Marijuana law enforcement has particularly damaged communities of color in the District, who have borne the brunt of prohibition.

"We hope that law enforcement continues to responsibly enforce the new law and completely eliminates any racial disparity in arrests,” Piper said.

Vermont: Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Marijuana Legalization Proposal


As full Senate prepares to vote on S. 241, a new VPR/Castleton poll finds 55% of Vermonters support passing such a law and only 32% are opposed

The Green Mountain State could become even greener. The Vermont Senate Committee on Appropriations on Monday approved a bill (4-3) that would end marijuana prohibition in the state and regulate marijuana for adult use. It is now expected to receive a full Senate vote.

“The Senate has worked diligently and deliberately on this legislation,” said Matt Simon, the Montpelier-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Most Vermonters believe it’s time to end prohibition and regulate marijuana, and it appears most of their state senators agree. We are hopeful that the Senate will approve this commonsense legislation and send it over to the House for its consideration.”

S. 241 would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and establish a tightly controlled system of licensed marijuana cultivation sites, testing facilities, and retail stores. It would also create a study commission to examine issues such as edible marijuana products and home cultivation, which would not be allowed under the bill.

It would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive under the influence of marijuana. If approved, rulemaking would begin this summer, but the new law would not take effect until January 2018.

California: NORML Endorses Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA)


The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) on Monday announced that its Board of Directors has formally voted to endorse the California ballot measure known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Founded in 1970, NORML has been a voice for marijuana reform in states all across the country and has helped increase public awareness of the failures and costs of marijuana prohibition. But the organization's credibility has taken a terrible hit since 2012, when NORML supported I-502, the Washington state legalization measure that has resulted in the decimation of the state's medical marijuana community and the virtual repeal of protections designed to protect safe access for patients.

"With the largest population of both marijuana producers and consumers in the United States, along with the largest voting delegation in Congress, the importance of voters in America's most populous and influential state, California, passing a binding marijuana legalization ballot initiative in 2016 can't be overstated,” said Allen St. Pierre, NORML's executive director. “On the matter of ending marijuana prohibition in America, as California goes, so too goes the rest of the nation."

NORML joins the Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, California Cannabis Industry Association, California Medical Association and California NAACP, among others, in support of AUMA, which has been supported to the tune of a million bucks by Napster founder Sean Parker, who was also in on Facebook at the ground floor with founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Alabama: Bill Filed To Decriminalize Marijuana Possession


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A bill filed by Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) in the Alabama House would decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. Currently, that "offense" would get you a Class A misdemeanor in the Heart of Dixie, punishable by jail time and fines.

HB 257, sponsored by Rep. Todd, would make possession of an ounce or under simply a ticketable offense, reports Adam Powell at Alabama Today. "Possession charges for people clog up a lot of our court services," Todd said. "This would help eliminate some of that bottleneck."

The bill would lower penalties for recreational cannabis consumers, and would, Todd said, create much-needed revenue for the state, since offenders are forced to pay tickets.

"I believe it's safer than alcohol," Rep. Todd said. "If people could take their emotions out of it, I think most people would agree with me."

Todd said she'd spoken with law enforcement officials, and most are supportive, specifically because the measure would remove a lot of work processing and jailing nonviolent marijuana offenders. She does expect opposition, however, from district attorneys, she said.

California: Vouchers For 2,000 Grams Of Weed To Be Given Away Friday At San Jose City Hall


A California activist today announced he will be giving away vouchers for free weed at San Jose City Hall, Friday, February, 19, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Dave Hodges, founder of Weed4Votes, and the All American Cannabis Club, will give away vouchers for 2,000 grams of weed to California residents today, Friday, February 19, in San Jose, California, at San Jose City Hall.

This is part of Weed4Votes project called Weed4Voters, according to Hodges. The Weed4Voters program promotes awareness of the Marijuana Legalization efforts in the state for 2016.

During the Weed4Voters event, a voucher for 1 free gram of weed will be given to any California resident who provides their contact information to

Weed4Voters will be passing out 2,000 vouchers for free grams of marijuana today, Friday.

February 19, 2016
2pm - 8pm

Across the street from San Jose City Hall
200 E Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA 95112

Recreational marijuana users can redeem their vouchers for free pot after legalization passes. Medical marijuana patients may not have to wait for legalization to redeem their vouchers. "Patients are encouraged to ask their favorite cannabis collectives and delivery services if they are participating in the Weed4Voters voucher program," Hodges said.

Colorado: Marijuana Trends Analysis Includes Comparisons With Washington State


Shatter is the most popular style of concentrate in Colorado, candy is the first edible choice for most cannabis consumers in the state, and sativa is more popular in Colorado than in Washington state.

This represents a small look at the sweeping range of insights released on Thursday through BDS Analytics’ GreenEdge™ database, which the company says is "the cannabis industry’s most reliable source of data analytics."

Among other things, the in-depth analysis of the Colorado cannabis market, with comparisons to trends in Washington state, finds:

• The top 10 flower strains in Colorado account for roughly 20 percent of total flower sales
• Durban Poison, a pure sativa, was the No. 1 strain in Colorado in Q4 2015
• Colorado’s leading edibles brands include Wana, Cheeba Chews, Incredibles and Dixie Elixirs
• Colorado’s total cannabis sales for 12-month period through Sept. 2015 were 3.8 times larger than Washington’s
• Data analysis reveals zero correlation between top strains in Washington and Colorado, other than popularity of Blue Dream, a sativa-dominant hybrid.

“We have now normalized and categorized millions of transactions in Colorado and Washington State in our GreenEdge™ database, which is the backbone of this detailed report,” said Roy Bingham, BDS Analytics founder and CEO. “Sales growth in both states remains impressive — compared to growth in other industries, it is jaw-dropping.

Washington: Marijuana Sharing Law Passes House


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

When Washington state's marijuana legalization law, I-502, passed, it didn't take long until folks figured out it is the most badly written "legalization" law yet passed. It's so badly written, in fact, that under this purportedly "progressive" legislation, it's a felony to pass a joint to your significant other.

Since the people of Washington apparently didn't read the damn thing before they passed I-502, seemingly not making it past "legalization" and thinking "how bad could THAT be?", it now falls upon the hapless Washington Legislature to fix the mess -- and that's pretty damn scary to anyone who knows just how clueless is that body of lawmakers when it comes to cannabis.

But they get points for trying, at least when it comes to the sharing issue. House Bill 2494, "An act relating to penalties for marijuana offenses," on Monday passed the Washington House on a 73 to 24 vote, and has been referred to committee in the Senate, reports Jake Ellison at the Seattle PI.

Colorado: Cannabis Chamber Adopts Voluntary Edibles Standards


The Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (C4), a state association of 43 parent companies that employ more than 1,600 people, on Wednesday announced the adoption of new, voluntary edible standards that encompass both manufacturer and retail business members.

“I am proud to announce that members of the C4 organization, along with our Board of Directors, began discussing this initiative to address these concerns in the fall of 2015,” stated Tyler Henson, C4 president.

“C4 has worked to ensure our members adopt manufacturing and sales standards which recognize that legal marijuana should only be consumed by adults," Henson said. "This is done in good faith and in the spirit of cooperation with cannabis regulators, community leaders, and our elected officials as we work together to continue to advance both public safety and robust industry standards.”

The newly adopted standard is as follows:

C4 manufacturers will no longer produce or sell marijuana infused edibles that are in the shapes of humans or animals. Animal shapes such as gummy bears, gummy worms, “sour patch kids”, and others items will be prohibited.

As a business organization, C4 is committed to producing products that are marketed and sold only to law-abiding adults over the age of 21. C4 members will thereby begin to phase out all these products – with an estimated complete implementation date of October 1.

Uruguay: Legal Marijuana Growing Starts At Authorized Facilities


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Uruguay's first legal marijuana crop is growing in the fields.

The two companies authorized to grow cannabis in the South American nation have started production of the crop, reports Fox News Latino.

ICCorp and Simbiosys "are already working in the fields of the Cannabis Regulation and Control Institutte, or IRCCA, to produce and distribute marijuana, reports

Technicians and experts spent a week preparing the fields, located in the southwestern province of San Jose, to grow cannabis.

Marijuana sales and purchases were legalized in Uruguay in 2013 by the administration of former Presidente Jose Mujica, who served from 2010 to 2015.

The government said that it expects the first marijuana grown in Uruguay to be available for sale at pharmacies by August.

Both customers buying weed (who must be at least 18 years old), and the stores selling it -- priced at about 90 cents to $1.20 per gram -- will be listed in a mandatory national registry.

ICCorp and Simbiosys are each authorized to grow up to two tons of marijuana a year for recreational use. The license to produce medicinal cannabis still hasn't been put out for bids.

Washington State Has First Cannabis Recall Due To Pesticides


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

While marijuana product recalls have seemingly become commonplace in Colorado, Washington state had seemed remarkably free of such problems -- until now. Washington-based Evergreen Herbal on Friday issued the state's first voluntary cannabis product recall due to pesticide concerns.

The recall is an indirect result of two producers, New Leaf Enterprises and BMF Washington, recently being investigated by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) for using prohibited pesticides.

While the LCB did find prohibited pesticides on cannabis products from both companies and made them pay fines of $2,500 and suspend operations for 10 days, interestingly, BMF -- despite using no fewer than 12 prohibited pesticides -- was allowed to continue selling tainted flowers with a "warning label" after paying the fine. (All concentrates were destroyed upon orders of the LCB; the process of making concentrates also means higher levels of poison, as well as THC.)

Evergreen Herbal, clearly not wanting to end up like New Leaf and BMF, announced its voluntary product recall via press release on Friday, reports Graham Abbott at Ganjapreneur. The three products being recalled are the high-CBD edibles Hibiscus Quencher, Strawberry Quencher, and CBD Dark Chocolate 420 Bar; all three were, at one point, produced using Dama CBD oil, according to Evergreen.

New Hampshire: House Kills Bill That Would Have Legalized Marijuana


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The New Hampshire House on Thursday killed a bill that would have legalized, regulated and taxed marijuana.

House Bill 1964 would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older, and would impose a $15 tax per ounce on leaves, and a whopping $530 per ounce tax on flowers, reports Garry Rayno at the Union Leader.

The bill would allow adults to grow up to six plants; three could be mature plants.

“(HB 1694) would provide adult New Hampshire citizens with a controlled, tested, labeled, and less harmful alternative to alcohol,” said the bill's main sponsor, Rep. Geoffrey Hirsch (D-Bradford).

“How much more available can it be,” Hirsch said. “It's hard to imagine an environment where students have greater access to marijuana then they already do.”

But. Rep. John Tholl (R-Whitfield) wasn't having any of this marijuana business. "This is not the New Hampshire way, to say 'Yes you should use this federally illegal drug, while we are trying to stop the use of opioids," a nonsensical Tholl blathered.

The New Hampshire House several years ago approved a bill legalizing marijuana, but the bill died in the Senate. The House has approved decriminalization several times, but the more conservative Senate has also methodically killed all those bills.

Colorado: Regulated Marijuana System Generated More Than $135 Million In Revenue For State


Revenue Includes More Than $35 Million for School Construction Projects

Total revenue raised from 2015 surpassed original projections and far exceeded the costs associated with regulating the system

Colorado’s regulated marijuana system generated more than $135 million in revenue for the state in 2015, including more than $35 million for school construction projects, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

There were just under $588 million in adult-use marijuana sales in Colorado from January-December 2015, producing approximately $109.1 million in tax revenue in addition to $4.7 million in license and application fees. The state’s regulated medical marijuana system produced more than $11.4 million in tax revenue and $9.8 million in license and application fees.

In 2014, the state’s regulated marijuana system raised just over $76.1 million in total revenue, including about $56.2 million from adult-use marijuana tax revenue and fees and $19.9 million in medical marijuana tax revenue and fees.

“There are hundreds of millions of dollars in marijuana sales taking place in every state,” said Mason Tvert, the Denver-based director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Colorado is one of the few where those sales are being conducted by licensed, taxpaying businesses.”

Adult-use marijuana sales in Colorado are subject to the state’s standard 2.9 percent sales tax, plus a 10 percent special state sales tax. Additionally, wholesale transfers of adult-use marijuana are subject to a 15 percent state excise tax.

Colorado: Cannabis Industry Reaches Nearly $1 Billion In 2015


Cannabis Business Alliance applauds Colorado’s impressive growth while noting regulatory challenges ahead

Colorado has released the cannabis industry sales report for 2015, with total sales reaching more than $996 million, an increase of more than 42 percent over the previous year.

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) noted this impressive industry growth even as many of its members prepare for more regulatory challenges ahead.

“With greater growth and continuation of operators entering the industry, Cannabis Business Alliance members and Colorado operators have continually set the standard of the maturing industry nationwide, impressively thriving amidst increasing regulation, including stamping, equivalency, and pest management,” said Mark Slaugh, CBA Board member and iComply CEO.

“Amidst these regulatory hurdles, CBA and its members continue to be committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public," Slaugh said. "We are especially focused in protecting our adolescents and youth, by encouraging and actively supporting adult-use education, responsible parenting, and pragmatic and sensible regulations.”

During the second full year of recreational cannabis sales, Colorado retailers sold more than $587 million of recreational cannabis and more than $408 million of medical cannabis. In 2014, the total sales of medical and recreational cannabis in Colorado added up to roughly $700 million, making this year’s growth an impressive 42 percent.

Oregon: Cannabis Lobby Day and Rally at the Capitol


Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), along with several other cannabis organizations, will be participating in Cannabis Lobby Day at the Oregon State Capitol on Monday, February 8, 2016. A press conference is scheduled for noon, 12 pm. The free speech event, will feature speakers, music and vendors until 5 pm.

On February 2, the Joint Committee for Marijuana Legalization held a Public Hearing to discuss HB 4014 and SB 1511. Hundreds attended, but only a fraction where allowed to testify due to time restrictions.

HB 4014 makes changes to laws regulating production, processing, sale, use and governance of cannabis. As citizens, we must protect the OMMP and continue the fight for patient rights and access to medicine.

SB 1511 directs the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to register qualified marijuana producers, marijuana processors, marijuana wholesalers and marijuana retailers for purposes of producing, processing and selling marijuana and usable marijuana and medical grade cannabinoid products, cannabinoid concentrates and cannabinoid extracts. "We will be rallying to prevent over-regulation of marijuana under M91 by the OHA, OLCC, OAC and ONI that could hinder, rather than aid, the creation, regulation and stabilization of legal marijuana related businesses," said press liaison Michael Bachara of CRRH.

Oregon: Medical Marijuana More Profitable Than Recreational Weed


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

In Oregon, which had the largest medical marijuana dispensary infrastructure in place when recreational weed was legalized in a November 2014 vote, medicinal cannabis is still more profitable for shop owners.

Recreational marijuana first became available commercially in Oregon last October, when medical dispensaries were first allowed to sell weed under a three-month tax holiday, reports Sean Williams at The Motley Fool. Following the tax holiday, a 25 percent tax kicked in on January 1 this year.

When the Oregon Liquor Control Commission takes control of the recreational marijuana industry later this year, taxes will drop to 17 percent.

Oregon dispensaries are free to pass the tax along to their customers, absorb some or all of the tax, or ask growers and processors to share in the tax. State regulators aren't at all involved in cannabis pricing; they just want their share of the revenue.

While some Oregon consumers have paid the 25 percent tax without blinking, others have returned to "a guy" to buy black market weed. Some shop owners are taxing their customers, while others are attempting to absorb the tax in an effort to establish consumer loyalty.

U.S.: New TV Show Chronicles Emerging Cannabis Economy


VICELAND, VICE’s new TV network, has shared the first trailer for its show "Weediquette," hosted by Krishna Andavolu. The show premieres on Tuesday, March 1, at 11 p.m., on VICELAND.

In the show, VICE correspondent Krishna Andavolu chronicles the science, culture, and economics of the emerging “green” economy.

Each episode explores the impact of marijuana legalization across the United States and internationally, examining how people on all sides of this issue are dealing with the growing popularity and acceptance of this remarkable plant.

"There are many players in this weed revolution, and each one has a story to tell," "Weediquette announced in a press release.

Watch the trailer here:

D.C.: Council Reverses Opposition To Regulated Spaces To Consume Marijuana


Council Creates Taskforce to Explore Creation of Designated Spaces for Marijuana Use

The Council of the District of Columbia on Tuesday voted to halt consideration of legislation that would permanently ban adult consumption of marijuana outside the home, and instead moved forward with the creation of a task force to explore the establishment of regulated places where adults can legally consume marijuana in the District.

"The will of District voters was upheld today by the Council, which voted unanimously to move forward on establishing regulated places where adults can consume marijuana," said Kaitlyn Boecker with the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “One year ago this Council voted unanimously to ban such spaces, stripping residents of their rights under Initiative 71, but today Councilmembers righted that wrong and voted for reform,” said Boecker.

Initiative 71, which was overwhelmingly approved by District voters in 2014, legalized the possession of up to two ounces marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and allowed individuals to grow up to six plants in their home. The implementation of Ballot Initiative 71 in the District has resulted in an unprecedented drop in arrests for possession of marijuana.

D.C. laws prevented the ballot initiative from addressing the taxation and sale of marijuana, which requires action by the D.C. Council. However more than a year ago, Congress blocked D.C. lawmakers from using locally raised public funds to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol.

California Medical Association Announces Support For Adult Use of Marijuana Act


The California Medical Association (CMA) – representing more than 41,000 physician members statewide -- on Monday announced its formal endorsement of the ballot measure known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Consistent with the organization’s historic White Paper of 2011 urging legalization and regulation of cannabis to allow for greater clinical research, oversight, accountability and quality control, CMA has endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act so:

· First, the impacts of marijuana in California can be monitored, researched, tightly regulated and, where necessary, mitigated to protect the public health and

· Second, improper diversion by non-symptomatic patients into California’s medical marijuana system can be reduced.

"In addition, CMA does not as a matter of policy encourage the use of marijuana and discourages smoking," the group announced. "But, ultimately, its members believe that the most effective way to protect the public health is to tightly control, track and regulate marijuana and to comprehensively research and educate the public on its health impacts, not through ineffective prohibition."

D.C.: Council To Vote On Mayor's Marijuana Club Ban


Council Chairman Phil Mendelson Pushes Bill Through the Council Despite Strong Opposition from the Public and Councilmembers

DPA: Public Favors Legal Regulation of Marijuana Clubs, Not A Ban; District Residents are still fighting to have Their Voices Heard

The Council of the District of Columbia plans a Tuesday vote on legislation that restricts adult marijuana use in the District, prohibiting marijuana consumption everywhere but the home.

The legislation is opposed by a majority of District residents and a growing number of councilmembers who oppose limiting consumption of marijuana to the home, favoring instead the creation of regulated places where adults can legally consume marijuana.

Councilmembers are expected to offer amendments to the measure to allow a limited number of marijuana clubs in the District. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson have opposed a compromise and have pushed the bill through the council in a move advocates say dilutes the will of D.C. voters and limits the District’s local autonomy.

“District residents are fed up with congressional interference with local marijuana policy,” said Kaitlyn Boecker, policy associate at the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “D.C. lawmakers would be wise not to cede more control of local marijuana policy to Congress by approving the Mayor’s ban on marijuana consumption.

Maine: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Submits Petition Signatures


The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol on Monday submitted its petitions to state officials in support of a ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine.

The campaign collected 103,115 total signatures and needs at least 61,123 valid signatures of registered Maine voters to qualify for the November ballot. Voters from over 400 Maine towns signed the petition.

State Rep. Diane Russell joined the campaign for a news conference in front of the campaign’s headquarters in Falmouth (183 U.S. Route 1). Campaign leaders and volunteers then loaded boxes of petitions onto a truck and delivered them to the Maine Secretary of State in Augusta.

“Over the past eight months, we've talked to more than 100,000 voters across the state, from Kittery to Caribou,” said campaign manager David Boyer. “Most Mainers agree it is time to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition, and they will have the opportunity to do it this November.”

The proposed initiative would allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow a limited number of marijuana plants in their homes. It would also establish the framework for a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, product-manufacturing facilities, and testing facilities, and it would create rules governing the cultivation, testing, transportation, and sale of marijuana.

The initiative would enact a 10 percent tax on marijuana sales.

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