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Del. House Committee Passes Marijuana Regulation Bill

The Delaware House Committee on Revenue and Finance voted 9-2 in favor of HB 110, a bill to tax and regulate cannabis like alcohol. The bill now heads to the full House where it needs a three-fifths majority to advance to the Senate.

HB 110 would allow adults age 21 and over to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis at state-licensed dispensaries. A new Division of Marijuana Control and Enforcement would oversee the program and ensure compliance. You can read MPP’s complete summary of the bill here.

MPP’s Maggie Ellinger-Locke released…

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Vermont Legislature Votes to Legalize Marijuana

Today, the Vermont Legislature became the first state legislature in the nation to approve a marijuana legalization bill and send it to a governor’s desk! The House voted 79-66 to concur with the Senate’s amendment to S. 22, which means the next step will be the governor’s office! Governor Phil Scott will have three options when the bill arrives on his desk: sign it into law, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.

The amended S. 22 represents a reasonable compromise between the House and Senate. As amended, the…

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Nevada Approves Early Start Program for Retail Marijuana Sales

Today, the Nevada Tax Commission adopted temporary regulations proposed by the Department of Taxation allowing the state to issue recreational marijuana licenses by July 1, 2017. The ballot measure requires the state to initiate sales by January 1, 2018, but this “early start” program will allow businesses to open six months sooner.

Only medical marijuana establishments that are already in operation can apply to function as recreational retailers during the early start period. The establishments must be in good standing and must pay a…

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Florida Legislature Fails to Implement Medical Marijuana Initiative, Leaving it to Health Officials

The Florida legislative session ended without a medical marijuana implementation bill being passed. As a result,  state health officials will now have to implement Amendment 2, the initiative approved last November by more than 71% of voters.

According to a report from the News Service of Florida:

A potential deal collapsed Friday evening after the House amended its proposal (HB 1397) to impose a cap of 100 retail outlets for each of the state’s medical marijuana operators, over the objections of some Democrats. The Senate had…

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Michigan Campaign to Make Marijuana Legal in 2018 Officially Launched

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol officially submitted ballot language to the state of Michigan today that would legalize and regulate marijuana.

The signature drive is expected to begin shortly after the State Board of Canvassers meets to review and approve the petition language. After that, the campaign must collect enough signatures to place the marijuana legalization initiative on Michigan’s November 2018 statewide ballot.

Like Michigan’s medical marijuana law, the initiative would create five categories of licensed…

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Vermont Senate Passes Another Marijuana Bill

On Friday, for the second time this year, the Vermont Senate voted to legalize marijuana for adults’ use! The Senate voted 20-9 to attach the legalization language from H. 170 to an unrelated bill, S. 22, and added a study commission to consider regulation and taxation. It will now be up to the House whether or not to concur with the Senate’s offer of amendment.

This move represents an attempt by the Senate to compromise with the House, which voted for the first time in its history to legalize marijuana earlier this week. H. 170,…

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Texas Advocates Release TV Ad Featuring Active Duty Police Officer and Victim of Marijuana Prohibition

A television ad in support of a bill to reduce marijuana penalties in Texas will begin airing Friday, just days before the state House of Representatives is expected to vote on the measure. It can be viewed here.

The 30-second spot features Nick Novello, an active duty police officer and 23-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, and Heather Jackson of Houston, an ovarian cancer survivor who was arrested for possession of a small amount of marijuana in El Paso in 2007.

“Arresting people for marijuana possession does not make our…

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Congress Passes Spending Bill Continuing Protections for State Medical Marijuana Programs

The Justice Department will continue to be prohibited from interfering in state medical marijuana laws under the federal spending bill passed Thursday in the Senate. The bill has already passed the House, and President Trump has said he will sign it.

The legislation includes a provision that is intended to prevent the department, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, from using funds to arrest or prosecute patients, caregivers, and businesses that are acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws.

The provision stems from…

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Vermont House Approves Bill to Legalize Possession, Home Cultivation

Late Tuesday, the Vermont House of Representatives made history by voting to legalize marijuana. H. 170, which would eliminate penalties for adults’ possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and limited home cultivation passed the House in a 74-68 vote. If the bipartisan measure is approved at a third reading, which is expected this week, it will advance to the Senate.

H. 170, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chair Maxine Grad (D-Moretown), Vice Chair Charles Conquest (D-Wells River), and ranking Republican Rep. Tom Burditt…

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Study: Marijuana Use Linked to Lower Prevalence of Fatty Liver Disease

LOWELL, MA — Subjects who consume cannabis are significantly less likely to suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as compared to those who do not, according to population-based case-control data published in the journal PLOS One.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most prevalent form of liver disease in humans, affecting an estimated 80 to 100 million people in the United States.

A team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School…

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Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Decreased Crack Cocaine Consumption

VANCOUVER, BC — Cannabis consumption is positively associated with the decreased use of crack cocaine, according to longitudinal data published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Canadian investigators assessed the use patterns of cannabis and crack cocaine in a cohort of 122 subjects over a three-year period. They reported that participants subsequently reduced their frequency of crack cocaine consumption following the intentional use of cannabis.

They concluded: “In this longitudinal study, we observed that a period of…

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Study: Cannabis Often Substituted for Prescription Medications

Adults often substitute cannabis for the use of prescription medications, according to data published in the Journal of Pain Research.

Investigators from the Bastyr University Research Institute assessed the frequency of drug substitution among a self-selected national sample of 2,774 self-identified marijuana consumers.

Just under half of respondents (46 percent) reported using cannabis in place of prescription medications. Respondents were most likely to use cannabis in lieu of…

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New Hampshire One Step Closer to Decriminalizing Possession

For the first time in its history, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to approve a marijuana decriminalization bill. HB 640 was amended and passed by the committee in a 3-2 vote today. A vote by the full Senate is expected on Thursday, May 11. For a summary of the bill, as amended, click here.

The House overwhelmingly approved HB 640 in February in a 318-36 vote, and it has approved similar bills eight times since 2008. The Senate Judiciary Committee vote marks the first time such a bill has been approved by a Senate…

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Indiana Governor Approves Low-THC Medical Bill

Just days after the bill was sent to his desk, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law HB 1148, a bill establishing a low-THC program for patients suffering from severe seizure disorders. The program will be run through the Department of Health and will allow patients access to cannabis oils containing less than 0.3% THC with their neurologists’ certification. The law takes effect on July 1, 2017, and you can check out our full summary of the program here.

While this program will only benefit a tiny fraction of patients in the state…

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Vermont Medical Marijuana Improvements Moving Forward

The Vermont Legislature continues to make incremental progress on marijuana policy reform. The House Human Services Committee voted 10-0 to pass S. 16, a Senate-approved bill that would substantially improve the state’s medical cannabis program. As amended by the committee, S. 16 would add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Crohn’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease as qualifying conditions, and it would allow patients to grow their own plants without forfeiting their ability to purchase from dispensaries. It would also allow…

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New York House Approves PTSD Bill

New York is one of the only states that does not list post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for its medical marijuana program. The state got one step closer to remedying that today, when the Assembly voted overwhelmingly (101-6) to approve A 7006. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Twenty-four of the 29 states with medical marijuana programs allow patients with PTSD to qualify. Two of those that do not (Colorado and Alaska) allow all adults 21 and up to legally purchase and use marijuana, and two (Vermont and…

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Colorado PTSD Legislation Awaiting Governor’s Signature

The Colorado Legislature took an important step toward improving the state’s medical marijuana program last week by passing SB17-017, which would add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition. Twenty-four out of 29 states with medical marijuana programs allow patients with PTSD to qualify, but Colorado still does not.

Gov. John Hickenlooper has not yet indicated if he’s supportive. If you are a Colorado resident, please call him now at (303) 866-2471, and politely ask him to make this important treatment option…

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New York Could Add PTSD to Qualifying Conditions

New York recently expanded its medical marijuana program by adding chronic pain, but there is an important group of patients who are still left out — those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Twenty-four of the 29 states with medical marijuana programs allow patients with PTSD to qualify, but New York still does not. A 7006 and S 5629 would change that; please ask your legislators to support these bills.

Last week, the Assembly Health Committee voted unanimously to approve A 7006, and it now heads to the Assembly…

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Iowa CBD Program Improvement Bill Awaiting Approval From Governor

Last week, the Iowa Legislature approved HF 524, extending and expanding the state’s existing cannabidiol program. Now, all the bill needs is a signature from the governor to become law.

Although the Senate approved a full medical marijuana bill that allowed as much THC as patients might need, the House has lagged behind. HF 524 includes a 3% cap on THC. We are disappointed at the limits of the final bill, but it is still an important step forward.

If passed, patients suffering from illnesses such as Crohn’s disease, multiple…

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Carbondale traffic stop nets 160 bags of heroin

CARBONDALE — City police seized 160 bags of suspected heroin and arrested two men following a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon.

Christopher Bandelt, 21, 36 N. Church St., and Victor McKinney, 19, listed as homeless, were taken into custody Wednesday after police stopped the red Dodge Neon they were occupying. A search of the car yielded three bricks of suspected heroin, which amounts to 150 bags of the drug. A 10-bag bundle of heroin also was discovered in the car, police said.

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Pot-license “points” systems in Aurora, Thornton invite legal scrutiny

Cities and towns in Colorado have devised all sorts of ways to decide how many pot shops can open and where, but two communities using a points-based system to evaluate and select prospective recreational marijuana businesses — Aurora and Thornton — are running into legal hot water.

Aurora is facing a lawsuit alleging that it didn’t follow its own rules for ranking pot shop applicants for the two dozen licenses it issued. Thornton, which has four available licenses for recreational…

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Can Decriminalizing Marijuana Lead to Higher Wages? Study Says Yes.

(Flickr/neetalparekh)

IRVINE, CA — Reducing criminal penalties for marijuana offenses is associated with greater overall employment and higher wages, according to data compiled by economists at the University of California.

Researchers at the Economic Self-Sufficiency Research Policy Institute at the University of California at Irvine assessed the relationship between statewide marijuana decriminalization laws and labor outcomes.

Authors reported that decriminalization is…

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Alcohol, tobacco interests eyeing Michigan marijuana market

By John Schroyer

At a time when Michigan’s medical marijuana regulations are being written – and adult-use proponents are finalizing a legalization measure for the 2018 ballot – representatives from the alcohol and tobacco industries have had a seat at the negotiating table.

It’s not yet clear how the alcohol and tobacco interests will be involved in the marijuana business.

But there are signs the tobacco industry is at least eyeing the retail end of the market. And MJ industry officials have…

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Lowe to present cancer research findings at Harvard summit

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Jamaican cancer research scientist Dr Henry Lowe will be heading to Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, this weekend, to participate in the 2017 Global Health Catalyst Summit.He is expected to discuss his research findings on cannabis and cancer.

Dr Lowe will also participate in the innovative partnerships/collaborations in curbing the growing global burden of noncommunicable diseases like cancer.

The Global…

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Vermont man grew pot because he thought it’d be legal soon, police say

ST. ALBANS, Vt. — Vermont police have arrested a man who acknowledged growing marijuana to prepare for possible statewide legalization of the drug.

St. Albans police say they came across Michael Marshall while investigating a hunting violation. Marshall fled into a house after a confrontation with police, and then consented to a search of the residence. Police say they then found and seized 13 full-grown marijuana plants and 27 smaller plants.

Police say Marshall told them he thought…

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New studies shine light on cannabis consumers’ spending habits

America’s legal marijuana market topped $6.5 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow to $24 billion by 2025, yet data-driven insights into consumers have remained elusive.

Two new studies are shining a light on the cannabis consumer, providing insight into actual purchase behavior as the industry prepares for four new state recreational markets, including California, and six new medical markets expected to come online in the next eight months.

As the legal recreational and medical cannabis…

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Judge remands marijuana dispensary suit to QA Circuit Court

CENTREVILLE — U.S. District Court Judge Frederick Motz dismissed a federal claim against Queen Anne’s County after a hearing April 13 in Baltimore.

Hippocratic Growth and two other companies are suing the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners to allow a medical marijuana dispensary at 101 Drummer Drive, Grasonville.

The judge found the plaintiffs “did not have a property/vested right,” attorney Kevin…

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Colorado House votes to bar cops from helping with federal marijuana crackdown

DENVER — Colorado may prohibit law enforcement officers from assisting in a potential federal marijuana crackdown.

The state House voted 56-7 Wednesday to bar public employees from assisting federal agents in “arresting a Colorado citizen for committing an act that is a Colorado constitutional right.”

The Colorado bill doesn’t specifically mention marijuana. But sponsors say it is inspired by threats that federal authorities may try cracking down on the marijuana industry. Federal…

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PA gets hundreds of applications for medical cannabis licenses

Pennsylvania has received hundreds of applications from entrepreneurs interested in obtaining cultivation and dispensary licenses under the state’s new medical marijuana program.

In a live-streamed press conference, state regulators said Wednesday they had received more than 500 packages containing one or more grower or dispensary applications. The winners are expected to be announced by the end of June.

State regulators said 258 applications have been processed. They included 132…

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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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State of the Leaf: Sacramento Sees 500% Drop in Cannabis Arrests

US News

Arkansas

It’s regulation by legislation in Arkansas as lawmakers cobble together the rules that will govern the state’s nascent medical cannabis program. There is a ton of new laws. Literally dozens of them.

“They did some crazy things, but it wasn’t anything that would affect the overall stability or the overall ability to get medicine, marijuana to the patients,” said David Couch, who led the campaign for the November ballot measure that legalized medical cannabis in the state.

California

Cannabis arrests in the state…

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West Virginia Governor Signs Limited Medical Marijuana Measure Into Law

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (D) signs Senate Bill 386, the Medical Cannabis Act, on April 19, 2017. The Governor was joined for the bill signing by two of the initiative’s primary supporters, Senator Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha), as well as Senator Mike Woelfel (D-Cabell) and Dr. Rahul Gupta the State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health. (image/Office of the Governor)

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Cannabis use in adolescence linked to schizophrenia

A new study points to cannabis as a trigger for schizophrenia. The research finds that smoking pot or using cannabis in other ways during adolescence may serve as a catalyst for schizophrenia in individuals already susceptible to the disorder.

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In a first, drug use eclipses alcohol in fatal crashes

By Ashley Halsey Iii, The Washington Post

For the first time, statistics show that drivers killed in crashes are more likely to be on drugs than drunk.

Forty-three percent of drivers tested in fatal crashes in 2015 had used a legal or illegal drug, eclipsing the 37 percent who tested above the legal limit for alcohol, according to a report released Wednesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

Of the drivers who tested…

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Do medical marijuana laws promote illicit cannabis use and disorder?

Illicit cannabis use and cannabis use disorders increased at a greater rate in states that passed medical marijuana laws than in other states, according to latest research. The new study is among the first to analyze the differences in cannabis use and cannabis use disorders before and after states passed medical marijuana laws, as well as differentiate between earlier and more recent periods and additionally examine selected states separately.

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Colorado lawmakers pass bill adding PTSD to MMJ conditions list

The Colorado Legislature has approved a bill that would add post-traumatic stress disorder to its list of medical ailments that qualify patients for medical marijuana, a move that could provide a shot in the arm to the state’s MMJ industry.

The state Senate signed off on the measure Tuesday, and the bill now heads to Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has not yet indicated if he will sign it into law.


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If Hickenlooper does sign it, the move could result in a boost in the state’s MMJ patient…

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What the cannabis industry can learn from the natural products business: Q&A with Loren Israelsen

By Bart Schaneman

Loren Israelsen feels the cannabis industry’s pain.

For more than three decades, he’s been dealing with regulatory and commercial issues in the global dietary supplement industry, including labeling and being viewed as a fringe business. Israelsen is the president of the United Natural Products Alliance.

The Salt Lake City-based trade association represents more than 100 natural products, dietary supplements and related companies. He’s watched firsthand the issues that arise…

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Medical marijuana, genital mutilation & corpse abuse bills work through Texas legislature

Texas Capitol in Austin. (Photo: Sinclair Broadcast Group)

Here is the latest on some of the bills currently being considered by the Texas legislature.

Texas advocates push longshot pot bills with veterans, moms

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Medical marijuana advocates in Texas are playing up support from non-traditional sources to push longshot legislation easing pot laws in the country’s largest conservative state.

Conservative Christian mothers of autistic children and veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder rallied outside the state…

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Creating standards for cannabis industry gets ASTM International board approval

ASTM International, a century-old standards organization, gave the official go-ahead to establish a standards-writing committee for the cannabis industry, officials announced Tuesday.

ASTM’s board of directors approved the formation of Committee D37, a group that will develop standards for cannabis, its products and processes, officials said. The committee, reported on by The Cannabist in March, is scheduled to hold its first meeting on June 11.

“This committee will help meet a need for…

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Colorado bill adding PTSD to medical marijuana list heads to governor’s desk

A bill to add PTSD to the list of Colorado’s medical marijuana qualifying conditions is headed to the governor’s desk.

The Colorado Senate on Tuesday voted 32-2 to re-pass Senate Bill 17, which was amended in the House.

What’s happened to this point:

The state House on Friday passed SB 17 by a vote of 39-25, with one member absent. The vote came a day after the bill was amended in second reading to add a stipulation that one of the two recommending physicians required for minor patients be…

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Houston indoor farming co. agrees to acquire San Antonio co. to focus on medical cannabis

Houston-based Indoor Harvest Corp. will acquire San Antonio-based Alamo CBD LLC to create a company focused on medical cannabis, according to a press release. The companies first announced they were working on a potential deal at the beginning of the year.

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Colorado Lawmakers Pass Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Approximately 8 million adults suffer from PTSD, including many military veterans. (WikiMedia Commons/USMC)

DENVER, CO — Lawmakers in the Colorado legislature have passed a measure to add post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in the state.

The measure, Senate Bill 17, will now be sent to the desk of Gov. John Hickenlooper for final approval.  It was approved

Previous attempts to add PTSD to the conditions that qualify a…

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Oregon marijuana company fined $5,300 over butane explosion

Oregon regulators fined Higher Level Concentrates $5,300 for workplace safety violations following a butane-extraction explosion last year that landed one man in a Portland burn ward.

The Oregonian reported that Oregon OSHA fined the extraction company, which is based in in Astoria, for failure to:

  • Ventilate the building
  • Have an adequate electrical system
  • Obtain city permits


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The accident occurred last October, when, according to a lawsuit, William “Chris” West was handling butane…

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Montana close to enacting medical cannabis rules

A bill that would create a seed-to-sale tracking system, licenses, fees and regulations for Montana’s medical marijuana industry is one vote away from moving to the governor.

The Montana House gave preliminary approval to a bill to regulate the medical marijuana industry after voters last November approved lifting restrictions that severely restricted sales of MMJ by dispensaries. The Senate already approved SB 333, which now must pass a final House vote before it goes to the governor.


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A…

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Marijuana bill moving to full Florida Senate

– Florida patients wouldn’t have to wait 90 days to purchase marijuana if doctors recommend the treatment, under a proposal on its way to the Senate floor for a vote.

The possibility of a 90-day requirement remains one of the biggest patient-focused differences between House and Senate measures crafted to carry out a constitutional amendment — overwhelmingly approved by voters in November — that legalized marijuana for a broad swath of people with debilitating medical…

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Texas Medical Marijuana Supporters Push for Hearings on Critical Legislation

Medical marijuana supporters outside the Texas capitol on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 (Heather Fazio)

AUSTIN, TX — A group of patients, caregivers, and medical professionals gathered at the Texas State Capitol on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to allow hearings on critical medical marijuana legislation.

The group called on House Public Health Committee Chairman Four Price and Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Charles Schwertner to schedule hearings on HB 2107…

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CANNABIS WEARS CALIFORNIA’S AGRICULTURE CROWN

With warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters, it is no surprise that California produces more than two-thirds of all the fruits and nuts and one third of all the vegetables grown in the United States. In fact, all told, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, California’s agriculture industry is worth approximately $47 billion dollars—that’s more than 11 percent of the national total. But it’s not oranges or lettuce that are raking in the most cash in the state; it’s cannabis.

The Worth of Cannabis…

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Washington Lawmakers Send Marijuana Reform Bill to Governor

OLYMPIA, WA — Lawmakers in Washington state have sent a comprehensive marijuana reform bill to the desk of Governor Jay Inslee (D), making several changes to the state’s cannabis regulation policies.

The bi-partisan Senate Bill 5131 was sponsored by Sens. Anna Rivers [R] Steven Conway [D], and received overwhelming support in both chambers of the legislature.

Among the notable changes made by SB 5131 is a provision that makes it legal for adults 21 or older to share up marijuana…

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Ohio issues applications for medical cannabis growers

Prospective medical marijuana growers can start applying for a license in Ohio now that the state has begun issuing applications for one of 24 available MMJ cultivation permits.

The Ohio Department of Commerce plans to issue up to 12 licenses for large grows totaling as much as 25,000 square feet of growing space and another dozen for small grows ranging up to 3,000 square feet.


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pplicants will be required to meet capital requirements and secure local zoning approval for the proposed…

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Colorado Supreme Court sides with Northglenn on local controls for marijuana licensing

Northglenn City Council—had the right to deny a medical marijuana license because the new dispensary was deemed superfluous, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The state’s highest court ruled that Northglenn’s code—language listing criteria such as “number, type, and availability” of existing medical marijuana centers when considering new applications was not “unconstitutionally vague.”

Read the rest of this story at The Cannabist.

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