Canada legalization chief: Let black-market MJ growers join

The chair of the Canadian government’s marijuana legalization task force believes black-market growers should be allowed to participate in the country’s new recreational cannabis industry.

Such as move could affect business opportunities. The federal government’s proposal stipulated that newer, smaller cultivators would be given an opportunity to participate in the nation’s new rec industry, although existing licensed medical marijuana producers would get first dibs on the new…

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Vermont Moves Closer to Legalizing Recreational Marijuana for Adults

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont Senate approved a bill on Friday that would regulate the production and sale of marijuana and eliminate penalties for personal possession and cultivation by adults 21 and older.

The Senate amended H. 167, an unrelated House-approved bill, to replace it with a revised version of a marijuana regulation bill that passed last year in the Senate and failed in the House.

The Senate also amended H. 167 to include the same home cultivation…

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Canada Lawmakers Introduce Marijuana Regulation Measures

OTTAWA, ON — Liberal Party members introduced legislation late last week to legalize and regulate the possession, use, and sale of cannabis by those age 18 and older.

The legislation follows through on a 2015 campaign pledge by the Party, which has promised to regulate the marijuana market by mid-2018.

The proposed measures establish a legal framework for the commercial production and retail sale of herbal cannabis, germinating seeds, immature plants, and cannabis-infused…

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Canada provincial leaders concerned over rec MJ timeline

Canadian provincial leaders are raising questions over whether they will be ready when Canada’s recreational marijuana market is set to go online in July 2018.

That could slow the adult-use industry’s rollout across Canada, making it more difficult for entrepreneurs hoping to cash in on the federal government’s legalization program.

Under legalization legislation introduced Thursday, the federal government would be responsible for regulating rec cultivation while the provinces would…

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Week in Review: 4 takeaways from Canada’s recreational marijuana plan

By Omar Sacirbey

The biggest marijuana business development this week – and quite possibly this year – originated north of the border.

On Thursday, the Canadian government introduced landmark legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, giving entrepreneurs worldwide a look at how the country could regulate the first adult-use cannabis market in a G-7 nation.

Among the four notable business highlights:

  • The government hopes to fast-track the program and have it up and running by the middle of…

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Uruguay Retail Cannabis Sales to Begin This July

MONTEVIDEO — Pharmacies will begin selling cannabis in July to those age 18 or older, according to public statements made last week by government officials.

Sixteen pharmacies are already registered to participate in the forthcoming program, which will dispense cannabis provided by state-licensed producers.

Retailers will sell cannabis to customers in five-gram increments. The initial price per gram will be fixed at $1.30 per gram.

Customers must be enrolled in a government…

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Canadian government introduces bill legalizing rec marijuana

Canada’s government on Thursday introduced highly anticipated legislation in the House of Commons to legalize recreational marijuana, proposing that existing licensed medical cannabis producers get the first crack at business licenses.

The legislation sets July 1, 2018, as the target date for legalization, The Globe and Mail reported.

At that time, adults 18 or older would be able to possess up to 30 grams – a little more than an ounce – of cannabis in public and grow a maximum of…

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Illinois Marijuana Legalization Hearings Coming to Chicago Next Week

(Flickr/Kristen Wall)

CHICAGO, IL — Sponsors of a proposal to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use in Illinois announced Wednesday that lawmakers will hold the first hearing on the bill next week in Chicago.

The Senate and House Appropriations committees will hold a joint hearing on SB 316 and HB 2353 on Wednesday, April 19, in the Michael A. Bilandic Building, according to Senate Committee Chairwoman Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Kelly Cassidy…

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West Virginia legislature approves medical cannabis legalization

(This story has been updated from an earlier version.)

West Virginia appears poised to become the 30th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana after the Republican-controlled legislature signed off on a bill Thursday night establishing an MMJ program.

The measure now goes to the desk of Democratic Gov. Jim Justice, West Virginia Public Broadcasting reported. He is expected to sign it.

According to West Virginia Public Broadcasting, the measure levies a 6% excise tax on MMJ and…

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California Gov. Moves to Align Medical and Recreational Marijuana Regulation

California Governor Jerry Brown

SACRAMENTO, CA — Late Tuesday afternoon, Governor Jerry Brown released his proposal to align medical marijuana regulations passed by the Legislature in 2015 and the 2016 Adult Use of Marijuana Act, both of which call for commercial licensing and regulation to begin in January 2018.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, Proposition 64, was passed by California voters in 2016 with more than 57 percent of the vote, legalizing marijuana for adults 21…

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Joint Legislation: Federal Bills Would End Marijuana Prohibition in the United States

WASHINGTON, DC — Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Polis have introduced legislation in the House and Senate — to permit states to establish their own marijuana regulatory policies free from federal interference.

In addition to removing marijuana from the United States Controlled Substances Act, this legislation also removes enforcement power from the US Drug Enforcement Administration in matter concerning marijuana possession, production, and sales —…

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Illinois Poll Finds Two-Thirds of Voters Support Legalizing Marijuana

CARBONDALE, IL — Sixty-six percent of voters believe that the adult use and sale of marijuana ought to be treated like alcohol, according to statewide polling data compiled by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University.

Support for legalization is strongest among voters under 35 years of age (83 percent) and among Democrats (77 percent). However, majorities of respondents in every age demographic and of every political ideology endorse regulating…

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Canada: Trudeau Administration Looks to Legalize Marijuana By July 2018

OTTAWA, ON — Legislation is anticipated from the Trudeau administration in early April to regulate the use, production, and sale of marijuana.

In 2015, the Liberal Party pledged to “legalize and regulate” marijuana if Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister.

The forthcoming legislation will likely be modeled after recommendations issued in 2016 by a federal task force. Members of the task force called on Parliament to permit those over 18 to possess and grow…

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Report: Canada’s legal rec MJ program to start by July 2018

Recreational marijuana will become legal in Canada by July 1, 2018, CBC News reported Monday.

The disclosure of the launch date for Canada’s rec sales is expected to piggyback on the liberal government’s announcement next month about the nation’s cannabis legislation, according to the national broadcaster.

Under the proposed legislation, which could be unveiled as soon as the week of April 10, Canada’s federal government will be responsible for licensing and monitoring cultivators,…

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Legalizing Marijuana in Rhode Island Would Yield Nearly $50 Million in New Annual Revenue

PROVIDENCE, RI — Taxing and regulating the marijuana market in Rhode Island will generate nearly $50 million in new annual tax revenue, according to a report issued this week by the advocacy coalition Regulate Rhode Island.

According to the report, commercial sales of cannabis are estimated to reach $161 million by 2020.

Taxing this retail market at rates comparable to those in Colorado or Washington would yield $48.3 million per year.

Legislation (The Adult Use of Cannabis Act) is pending in the Rhode Island House and Senate to regulate…

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Washington: Marijuana Use By Young People Largely Unchanged Post-Legalization, Survey Says

OLYMPIA, WA — The percentage of young people consuming marijuana has not been adversely impacted by changes in state law regulating its adult use and distribution, according to 2016 data compiled by Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

Results from the 2016 Healthy Youth Survey, which surveys over 230,000 students in grades 6 through 12, “rates of teen marijuana use have remained steady” post legalization. The Department issued similar findings…

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Vermont Marijuana Legalization Bill Advances; New Poll Shows Strong Public Support

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont House Judiciary Committee approved a bill 8-3 Wednesday that would make personal possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older.

“Today’s vote shows just how far this issue has advanced in just this past year,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Most Vermonters agree it makes no sense to continue punishing adults for consuming a…

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Illinois General Assembly to Consider Ending Marijuana Prohibition, Regulating and Taxing Marijuana for Adult Use

SPRINGFIELD, IL — State lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday that would end marijuana prohibition in Illinois and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed for adult use.

The Senate bill, SB 316, is sponsored by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Heather Steans (D-Chicago), while the House version, HB 2353, was presented by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago). Each would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase…

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Massachusetts liquor stores eye rec cannabis licenses

About 200 Massachusetts liquor store owners are considering applying for recreational marijuana business licenses in a bid to capitalize on the state’s new adult-use program.

If approved, the liquor stores’ entry would add a new wrinkle to the competitive landscape for the rec industry, which traditionally has been served by marijuana-focused retailers.

Liquor shop owners’ interest in pursuing adult-use retail licenses heightened after they received the backing of the Massachusetts…

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Jeff Sessions Won’t Rule Out Using Mafia Law to Go After Legal Marijuana

On conservative radio talker Hugh Hewitt’s program Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions continued to bad mouth marijuana and suggested he might use laws enacted to go after the Mafia against the legal marijuana industry.

“I think it’s a more dangerous drug than a lot of people realize. I don’t think we’re going to be a better community if marijuana is sold in every corner grocery store,” the attorney general told Hewitt.

The conservative talker then helpfully…

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Pennsylvania Auditor General Says State Lawmakers Should Regulate the Marijuana Market

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania’s auditor general on Monday publicly advocated for the legalization and taxation of retail marijuana sales, arguing that such a policy would bring new jobs and tax revenue to the state.

Speaking at a news conference at the state capitol, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said:

“The regulation and taxation of the marijuana train has rumbled out of the station, and it is time to add a stop in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I make this…

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Study: Marijuana Use Stable In Colorado Post-Legalization

DENVER, CO — The percentage of Coloradoans who report using cannabis has remained relatively unchanged following the regulation of the adult use market, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Preventive Medicine.

Researchers at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reviewed statewide marijuana use data from January 1, 2014.

They reported:

“[M]arijuana use, both among adults and among youth, does not appear to be…

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US Attorney General: “We Do Not Need To Be Legalizing Marijuana”

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) listens to a question during confirmation hearings on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

WASHINGTON, DC — Speaking to a gathering of state Attorney Generals this week, newly sworn in US Attorney General Jeff Sessions blamed recreational drug use for an alleged increase in violent crime and urged officials to reject efforts to regulate the adult use of cannabis.

Sessions disputed scientific evidence that legal cannabis access is associated with lower rates…

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Nevada Lawmakers Moving Forward With Expedited Plan For Adult Use Marijuana Sales

CARSON CITY, NV — State officials in Nevada are holding firm on an expedited plan to begin adult use marijuana sales in July, despite comments from the Trump administration indicating a forthcoming crackdown in states that regulate its commercial production and sale.

Nevada Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein told the Associated Press that the agency is “moving forward” with plans to permit retail cannabis sales by this summer.

Fifty-five percent of…

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NORML Responds to Possible Federal Crack Down on Legal Marijuana

WASHINGTON, DC — White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested this week that the Trump administration will step up enforcement of federal laws against recreational marijuana.

“I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement,” Spicer said, and added that the exact policy is “a question for the Department of Justice.”

The Department of Justice is lead by Jeff Sessions, a renowned ardent marijuana prohibitionist.

“If the Trump administration goes through with a…

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NORML Forms Multi-State Workplace Drug Testing Coalition

DENVER, CO — The fact that 190 million Americans now live in states where marijuana has been legalized to some degree is raising a number of questions and issues about how to integrate the American workforce and marijuana consumers rights in regards to drug testing.

With medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and recreational marijuana for adult use in 8 states and Washington DC, millions of responsible and otherwise law-abiding adults remain at risk of being excluded from the…

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Marijuana Use Rates Have Not Changed in Colorado Post-Legalization

Thousands of signatures for the Colorado Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which later become known as Amendment 64, outside of the state capitol in February, 2012.

DENVER, CO — The percentage of Colorado adults and teens who report using cannabis regularly has remained virtually unchanged in the years following its legalization, according to a new report released by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.

The report, entitled…

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Over 50 Vermont Attorneys Urge Legislature to End Marijuana Prohibition

MONTPELIER, VT — More than 50 Vermont attorneys have signed a letter urging the Legislature to “reform our state’s outdated and unjust policies towards cannabis by passing a bill to legalize and regulate its cultivation and sale for adult use in 2017.”

The letter will be presented to lawmakers at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on H. 170, which is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. ET in Room 30 of the Vermont State House.

Hose Bill 170 is a bipartisan…

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Rhode Island Poll Finds Strong Support for Legalizing Marijuana

“Welcome to Rhode Island sign” at Beach Pond, Hope Valley, RI (Flickr/Morrow Long)

PROVIDENCE, RI — A new poll shows momentum is building behind the effort to end marijuana prohibition in Rhode Island.

Regulate Rhode Island director Jared Moffat held a news conference Tuesday at the State House to discuss the results. He was joined by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Cranston) and Rep. Scott Slater (D-Providence), who recently introduced the Cannabis Regulation, Control, and…

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Vermont House Judiciary Hearings on Marijuana Bill to Begin This Week

The Vermont House Judiciary Committee will begin holding hearings this week on H. 170, a bill that would legalize possession and limited home cultivation of marijuana for adults 21 and older. This bill is sponsored by the committee’s chairman, vice-chair, and ranking Republican, and its prospects appear to be bright: Vermont Public Radio reported on Friday that the House “appears more receptive” to legalization in 2017, and Governor Phil Scott is “willing to consider the House plan.” 

Although this bill would not legalize and…

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Vermont Marijuana Legalization Hearings Start Thursday

MONTPELIER, VT — Lawmakers will start legislative hearings on a proposal to legalize marijuana in Vermont on Thursday.

The Vermont House Committee on Judiciary is slated to hear testimony on House Bill 170, which would legalize limited marijuana possession and personal cultivation for adults 21 or older.  The bill being considered is sponsored by the committee’s chairman, vice-chair, and ranking Republican.

If passed, HB 170 would eliminate all civil and criminal penalties for…

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Vermont Bill Filed to Legalize Adult Possession, Cultivation of Marijuana

MONTPELIER, VT — Lawmakers in Vermont have filed a bill that would legalize marijuana possession for adults 21 or older.

House Bill 170, sponsored by Reps. Maxine Grad (D), Charles Conquest (D), and Thomas Burditt (R).

If passed, the bill would eliminate all civil and criminal penalties for possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and up to ten grams of concentrates by adults.

Adults would be allowed to grow up to two mature and seven immature cannabis plants in a…

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Wyoming: Joint Resolution 11 Would Legalize Marijuana for Adults

CHEYENNE, WY — Two lawmakers from opposite sides of the aisle have come together to co-sponsor a measure that would legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older.

House Joint Resolution 11 is co-sponsored by state Reps. James Byrd (D-Cheyenne) and Mark Baker (R-Sweetwater), the same two lawmakers who have co-sponsored a separate bill to decriminalize marijuana possession in Wyoming.

The resolution would legalize and regulate the commercial cultivation and retail sale of…

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Marijuana is Now Legal in Maine as Question 1 Takes Effect

PORTLAND, ME — A voter-approved initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine officially takes effect today, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.

“Maine voters made it clear that it’s time to end the failed and costly policy of punishing adults for their choice to responsibly use marijuana,” said Alysia Melnick, an attorney with the Yes on 1 campaign. “This is a win for personal privacy, personal…

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Maryland Lawmakers to Consider Legalizing Marijuana

ANNAPOLIS, MD — State lawmakers are rolling out legislation Monday that would regulate and tax cannabis similarly to alcohol in Maryland.

The proposal consists of two bills — a regulation bill and a tax bill — that will each be filed in the Senate and the House.

The regulation bill, sponsored by Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery) and Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore City), would make possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis legal…

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New Hampshire Marijuana Legalization Bill to Receive Hearing Wednesday

CONCORD, NH — Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House will hold a hearing on a Republican-backed bill to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older on Wednesday.

The bill, House Bill 656, is sponsored by Reps. Glen Aldrich, Caleb Dyer, Brandon Phinney, and Nick Zaricki, all Republicans.  The proposal is not related to a similar measure filed in the Senate by Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn (D).

Members of the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public…

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Marijuana Possession Officially Becomes Legal in Maine on Monday

PORTLAND, ME — A voter-approved initiative to legalize marijuana in Maine will officially take effect on Monday, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.

“The era of marijuana prohibition in Maine is finally coming to an end,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, who served as campaign manager for the Yes on 1 campaign. “Responsible adult marijuana consumers will no longer…

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Maryland Marijuana Legalization Bills to be Introudced Monday

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Lawmakers in the Maryland House of Delegates are expected to introduce a combination of bills Monday that would legalize marijuana for adults.

Two bills are expected to be introduced in each chamber.  One proposal would make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and regulate its production and sale similarly to alcohol, according to the Washington, DC based Marijuana Policy Project.

The other bill would enact taxes on non-medical marijuana sold in…

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Activists Renew Push to Legalize Marijuana in Vermont

MONTPELIER, VT — A renewed push to legalize marijuana in Vermont will kick off Wednesday at the State House.

Members of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, including representatives from Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform, ACLU-VT, and the Marijuana Policy Project, say Vermont should join other New England states that are removing legal penalties for adult possession and home cultivation of small amounts of marijuana.

Massachusetts and

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North Americans Spend Almost as Much on Weed as They Do on Wine

Move over, Napa Valley, there’s a new kid on the block. When it comes to spending on mind-altering substances, Americans and Canadians are shelling out just about as much for marijuana as they do for wine.

In its executive summary of a yet-to-be-released report, Arcview Marijuana Research pegs the size of the North American marijuana market — legal and illegal — at $53.3 billion, which puts it roughly even with the market in wine. According to Statista, US retail wines sales sit at $55.8 billion, and Canadian government figures put…

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New Hampshire Marijuana Legalization Study Commission Proposed

CONCORD, NH — A bi-partisan group of lawmakers in New Hampshire has filed a bill that would create a commission to study the legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana in the Granite State.

House Bill 215 is sponsored in the House by Reps. Robert Cushing (D) and John O’Connor (R), and in the Senate by Sens. Dan Feltes (D) and John O’Connor (R).

If passed, the commission created by the legislation would “examine the possible impacts of changing state policy to treat…

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Maine lawmakers seek to delay launch of rec industry

Maine legislators agreed Wednesday on legislation to postpone implementation of parts of the state’s new law legalizing adult-use marijuana until Feb. 1, 2018.

The law was scheduled to take effect on Oct. 30, 2017.

The proposed bill would have a big impact on the retail side of Maine’s cannabis industry. According to the Bangor Daily News:

  • State officials would receive more time to develop sales and licensing stipulations.
  • Officials also would have longer to formulate testing and certification procedures.
  • Legalization of edible cannabis…

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Bill Filed to Delay Maine’s Marijuana Legalization Law

AUGUSTA, ME — Bipartisan lawmakers in Maine have filed a bill that would delay most of the implementation of Question 1, which legalized marijuana in Maine, by over a year.

The bill, House Bill 88, was introduced Wednesday by state Rep.  Louis Luchini (D-Ellsworth) and Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Winterport).

The proposal would delay the implementation of most of Question 1 until February 1, 2018, including establishing a framework for a retail cannabis industry in…

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Criticism of Massachusetts Lawmakers Meddling with Marijuana Legalization Initiative

A supporter holds up a “Yes on 4” sign at the 2016 Boston Freedom Rally (Scott Gacek/The Daily Chronic)

There has been much talk in the Massachusetts Legislature about making changes to the Question 4 marijuana legalization initiative, which was passed by Bay State voters Nov. 8.

The new law is already filled with restrictions designed to boost profits for the marijuana industry. Further restrictions will benefit the industry even more.

Examples can best be shown by making…

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Massachusetts Lawmakers Want to Reduce Plant Limit, Raise Marijuana Taxes

BOSTON, MA — Lawmakers in Massachusetts are considering big changes for a voter-approved law that legalizes marijuana in the Bay State, including an increase in tax on retail marijuana sales and a reduction in plant limits on personal home grows.

Following decades of inaction on similar bills in the state legislature, voters in Massachusetts approved Question 4 in November, legalizing marijuana for adults.

Some provisions in the new law took effect in December, including personal…

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Rhode Island Lawmakers Start Push to Legalize Marijuana

Welcome to Rhode Island sign at the Massachusetts/Rhode Island state line. (Flickr/Taber Andrew Bain)

PROVIDENCE, RI — As the Massachusetts government prepares to implement an initiative to regulate and tax marijuana that was approved by voters in November, lawmakers in Rhode Island are poised to introduce similar legislation.

State Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Cranston) and State Rep. Scott Slater (D-Providence) will discuss the proposal at a news conference at the Rhode Island State…

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Legalization on the Legislative Agenda for Connecticut

The Connecticut Legislature, which convened on January 4, is expected to consider legislation that would end marijuana prohibition for adult use and replace it with a system that would tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol.
Voters in nearby Massachusetts and Maine have voted to legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol. While polling shows 63% of Connecticut voters support this policy change, Connecticut lacks a ballot initiative process, so it’s crucial voters reach out to their elected officials. If you are a Connecticut…

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Massachusetts Lawmakers Delay Start of Legal Marijuana Sales

BOSTON, MA — Lawmakers in Massachusetts wasted no time in meddling with a referendum passed by voters in November to legalize recreational marijuana for adults, passing legislation Wednesday to delay the start of a retail cannabis market by several months.

Home cultivation and personal possession of marijuana by adults 21 or older became legal on December 15, but thanks to Beacon Hill lawmakers, the black market will continue to thrive as the state works to delay full…

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Reminder: Oregon Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Return to Patients Only Jan 1

As of January 1, 2017, Oregon’s medical marijuana dispensaries will no longer be able to sell to adults 21 or older without a valid medical marijuana card as the state’s early recreational marijuana sales end.

Adults 21 or older wishing to purchase marijuana for recreational use will only be able to do so from retail marijuana shops licensed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.  Currently, there are about 100 recreational pot shops licensed statewide.

Limited…

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Rhode Island estimate: $15M in tax revenue from MJ legalization

Gov. Gina Raimondo last week predicted Rhode Island could see between $10 million and $15 million in revenue in the first year if it were to legalize recreational marijuana.

It’s the latest indication from Raimondo that her administration is considering regulating and taxing adult-use cannabis and the first time an administration official has made a marijuana revenue forecast, the Providence Journal reported.


Marijuana Business License Directory
But Matt Sheaff, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Business Regulation, cautioned that Raimondo’s figure was a…

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