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Newsletter #176

Alabama vs black marijuana users

A new report details how black marijuana users in Alabama are disproportionately impacted by the state’s war on cannabis. The Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and the Southern Poverty Law Center pored over and analyzed arrest data from 2016. They found that that black people were about four times as likely as white people to be arrested for cannabis possession, and the disturbing statistics don’t stop there. Keep in mind that black people and white people use marijuana at roughly the same rate. Get more information about this important, eye-opening report here.

Trump on cannabis reform

President Donald Trump is preparing to discuss marijuana policy reform after November’s midterm elections, according to Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. While Trump has vocalized support for medical marijuana over the past few years, he has done little to assist the cannabis industry. Maybe it’s time to fire Jeff Sessions.

How marijuana limits driving abilities

It should come as no surprise that getting behind the wheel five minutes after toking up isn’t a bright idea. What many may not realize is that their abilities to perform complex driving tasks are still impaired five hours after using cannabis. Yes, five hours later. Learn more about the study that dug into stoned driving here.

Facebook lifts ban on cannabis pages

For years, Facebook users have not been able to search for marijuana-related pages. Additionally, the pages of cannabis businesses were mysteriously deleted on the regular. Now, things seem to be shifting. Facebook will finally lift its ban on pages associated with cannabis. It’s about time.

Marijuana is now legal in Canada

Canada just became the second country to legalize recreational cannabis. Consequently, cannabis advocates all over the world are pretty stoked. Get the details on Canada’s legal marijuana situation here.

Newsletter #175

Share your opinion on cannabis with the FDA

The Food and Drug Administration has asked for public comments on marijuana and related policies. Officials are seeking this feedback in preparation of writing an official statement for the World Health Organization. This is happening because WHO is considering changing its recommendations regarding international marijuana laws, which could have huge implications for cannabis policies around the world. Get more information here.

Mormon church and medical marijuana

Utah voters will soon vote on an initiative to legal medical cannabis, which the Mormon church originally opposed. Now, the church has joined lawmakers and the governor in backing a deal that would legalize medical marijuana. This compromise would tweak some elements of the ballot initiative, but many cannabis advocates remain on board. Let’s do this, Utah.

Canada’s upcoming cannabis shortage

According to a new study, there will not be enough legal marijuana to meet the demand in Canada. In fact, the supply will meet only 30 to 60 percent of the demand post-legalization. This is largely due to the slow rate of licensing cannabis producers. Canadian friends, maybe now is the time to start growing your own.

MedMen’s massive acquisition

Most marijuana business talk has been focused on Canadian enterprises, which is fine, but let’s not ignore the fact that the largest cannabis acquisition to date in the U.S. just happened. MedMen snagged PharmaCann, a medical marijuana dispensary chain, for $682 million.

Missouri’s medical cannabis initiatives

While some states have zero marijuana ballot initiatives to look forward to in November, Missouri voters have three. Each initiative differs in taxes and regulations. Get the details on these three measures here.

Newsletter #174

California’s new batch of marijuana laws

Governor Jerry Brown of California had a busy week of signing marijuana bills into law. First up, we have the bill that will make it easier for people to erase their old cannabis convictions. Next, there’s a bill that establishes a program to help minorities take advantage of opportunities in the marijuana industry. Another bill allows veterinarians to discuss cannabis treatments for animals with their owners. Don’t forget about the bill that gives California the ability to approve temporary marijuana festivals. Go, Jerry, go!

Epidiolex gets rescheduled

Epidiolex made headlines when it became the first marijuana-derived drug approved by the FDA. Now, it’s making waves for being awarded Schedule V status, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s least restrictive classification. If you’re wondering why this is a big deal, you should know that this is the first time the DEA has rescheduled a cannabis compound since the Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1970.

How cannabis impacts cognitive development in teens

A new study suggests that marijuana is more dangerous to developing minds than alcohol is. Researchers tracked the alcohol and cannabis consumption of thousands of Montreal teenagers over four years. They found that marijuana use, more so than alcohol use, negatively affected important cognitive functions. Take it easy on the weed, teens.

Marijuana in space

The brains behind Space Tango, a Kentucky-based startup, want to know how space’s zero-gravity environment impacts the development of marijuana plants. With two micro-laboratories installed on the International Space Station, the company is truly going for it. Learn more about this incredible experiment here.

Pot brownies and homecoming crowns

In what sounds like a plot for a bad teen movie, a high school cheerleader gave away weed brownies in the hopes of earning votes for homecoming queen. Weird.

Newsletter #173

Legal marijuana in the Northern Mariana Islands

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is a U.S. territory located in the Pacific Ocean. The tiny commonwealth just legalized cannabis, making history in the process. To begin with, CNMI is the first U.S. jurisdiction to go straight from marijuana prohibition to legalized recreational cannabis. There was no medical marijuana program as a middle step. Additionally, CNMI is the first location in the U.S. to legalize a recreational cannabis market not through a ballot initiative, but through the legislative process. Learn more about this pioneering event here.

Cannabis arrests on the rise

Despite more and more U.S. states legalizing marijuana, cannabis-related arrests are increasing. According to FBI data, there were 659,700 marijuana arrests made in 2017, which averages to one arrest every 48 seconds. This is certainly a disheartening trend, but here’s hoping we’ll see a reversal when the 2018 numbers come out.

Dispensary thieves steal oregano

A group of burglars broke into a Colorado Springs dispensary and snagged some green-filled boxes. They were probably disappointed when they realized they stole display containers of oregano, not marijuana. Oregano is a nice herb, but it might not be worth that amount of trouble.

Ontario to allow public toking

People living in and visiting the Canadian province of Ontario will soon gain a new freedom: the right to smoke cannabis in public spaces. Marijuana users will be expected to follow the same rules as tobacco smokers. Legal public pot smoking is rare, so this is kind of a big deal.

Flying high out of LAX

Los Angeles International Airport recently announced a new policy that permits passengers to travel with cannabis. Airport police will not stop or arrest marijuana-carrying travelers. Yes, LAX has definitely given new meaning to the Mile High Club.

Newsletter #172

Aurora Cannabis plans U.S. listing

Canadian company Aurora Cannabis, currently listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is planning to list its shares on a major U.S. exchange next month. It’s worth noting that recreational marijuana will be legal in Canada starting October 17th. Coincidence? We think not. Pot stocks have been going crazy, and we can assume this will only add to that hysteria. Invest wisely, friends.

Insuring marijuana businesses

With a lack of banking and conflicting state and federal laws, marijuana businesses have to put up with a lot. An issue that receives less attention is that cannabis enterprises are prohibited from being fully insured. While this problem is far from being solved, more insurance companies are providing coverage for those in the industry. Get the details here.

South Africa legalizes cannabis

The Constitutional Court of South Africa just legalized recreational cannabis, going against the government’s wishes. South Africans are now permitted to use and grow marijuana for private consumption. However, public use and selling the drug remain illegal. Fun fact: Cannabis is known as “dagga” in South Africa.

Stoned lobsters

No, this isn’t a fun way to describe yourself after getting high and falling asleep in the sun. The owner of a lobster restaurant in Maine has decided to sedate lobsters with cannabis before cooking them. Apparently, this makes cooking the lobsters more humane. Interesting theory.

Coca-Cola to enter the cannabis sphere

The Coca-Cola Company is reportedly interested in creating a range of CBD-infused beverages. The soft drink giant plans on teaming up with Aurora Cannabis, one of Canada’s major marijuana companies. Learn more about this venture here.

Newsletter #171

The Clean Slate Act

A group of lawmakers reached across the aisle to introduce the Clean Slate Act, which would tackle a major issue faced by people convicted of non-violent marijuana crimes. The bill would seal the records of qualifying offenders who remain crime-free one year after their completed prison sentences. Consequently, those impacted could stop being penalized by their criminal records. This criminal justice reform bill came about from a partnership between the Congressional Black Caucus and the Freedom Caucus, two groups rarely aligned on any issues. Get the details on the Clean Slate Act here.

Elon Musk and the infamous blunt

You probably already heard about this, but in case you didn’t, we’re here to tell you about Elon Musk’s recent cannabis experience. While on the very popular “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, billionaire businessman Musk tried a puff of Rogan’s blunt. Musk exhaled extremely quickly. The internet freaked out over Musk trying marijuana, even though this took place in California, where recreational cannabis is legal. Shares of Tesla briefly took a dip. The end.

Puerto Rico’s recovering medical marijuana program

It’s been nearly one year since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, killing thousands of people and causing billions of dollars in damage. The storm also destroyed medical cannabis facilities. While the rebuilding process for marijuana businesses has not been easy, these enterprises are now doing quite well. Learn more about these resilient businesses here.

Coral Reefer cannabis

Musician/businessman/dad rock idol Jimmy Buffett has decided to license the “Coral Reefer” brand to a medical marijuana company. If you didn’t know (we didn’t know), the Coral Reefer Band is the name of Buffett’s touring and recording band. Soon, you’ll be able to buy Coral Reefer edibles and vape pens.

Dispensary hero vs robbers

When four robbers ran into a dispensary in Canada, one courageous employee decided to stand up to them. This brave soul used a bong as a weapon. It worked. Superheroes are real, and they come in the form of bong-brandishing knights.