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Newsletter #141

Medical marijuana sales begin in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program was signed into law in April 2016, and after nearly two years of planning, dispensaries finally opened their doors this week. The program is pretty restrictive—patients can’t purchase flowers or edibles—but starting small is better than not starting at all.

Berkeley becomes cannabis sanctuary city

The city of Berkeley has enacted a policy that prohibits city departments, officers and employees from using city funds to enforce federal marijuana laws. This makes Berkeley the first cannabis sanctuary city in the U.S. Check out the details here.

Chelsea Handler announces pot line

Comedian Chelsea Handler is the latest celebrity to announce her foray into the marijuana business world. She used her Instagram page to proclaim this new venture, but has yet to reveal any specifics. Stay tuned.

Elderly patients may benefit from marijuana use

Have you talked to your grandparents about cannabis? According to a recently published study, adults over the age of 65 may benefit greatly from the use of medical marijuana. Learn more about the research here.

Colorado weed sales reach $1.5 billion in 2017

Colorado’s legal marijuana industry reached a new high in 2017: $1.5 billion in sales. The state amassed $247 million in taxes and fees revenue from these sales. Whoa.

Newsletter #140

The social media challenge for dabbers

From swallowing spoonfuls of cinnamon to biting pods of laundry detergent, social media “challenges” have become quite popular. If you’ve been waiting for a marijuana-specific challenge, here you go: the Crab Dab Challenge. Participants hold a crab, who in turn holds the dab tool. It’s hard to describe. Just look at the pictures.

Seattle to tackle marijuana misdemeanors

Seattle’s mayor and city attorney have announced plans to dismiss misdemeanor cannabis possession convictions that were prosecuted before marijuana was legalized in Washington state. It is estimated this action will erase over 500 criminal convictions from court records. First San Francisco, then Seattle. Who’s next?

Brewing with bud

A Canadian company has filed a patent for beers brewed entirely from the cannabis plant. While some companies have crafted wines and beers enriched with marijuana, Province Brands appears to be the first to go all in on cannabeer. Nice.

Girl Scout sets up outside of dispensary

A Girl Scout in San Diego set up shop outside a marijuana dispensary and sold over 300 boxes of cookies within six hours. Well done, brilliant child and future businesswoman.

Crime plummets in Uruguay following legalization

Uruguay legalized the sale and possession of cannabis last July. Since then, drug-related crime has already plunged 20 percent. Learn more about this good news here.

Newsletter #139

San Francisco takes on marijuana convictions

California’s cannabis legalization legislation created a pathway for people to have their previous marijuana convictions expunged or reduced. San Francisco’s district attorney decided that instead of waiting for people to come forward and petition the courts, prosecutors will review and expunge or reduce thousands of convictions going back decades. As District Attorney George Gascón said, “We believe it is the right thing to do. We believe it is the just thing to do.” We couldn’t agree more.

World’s first CBD store now open

Many of marijuana’s medicinal properties come from CBD (cannabidiol), a compound found in the plant. CBD products aren’t too hard to find, but until now, there haven’t been any stores dedicated to CBD-only merchandise. Fortunately for fans of this cannabinoid, the world’s first CBD store just opened in Las Vegas. Learn more about it here.

Booze, bud and liver disease

According to a new study, cannabis might lessen the liver damage caused by chronic alcohol use. Researchers found that alcoholics who used marijuana daily had a lower risk of developing liver disease than those who did not. Here we have yet another medicinal use for cannabis.

Texas’ first medical cannabis oil delivery

Over two years after Governor Greg Abbott of Texas signed a law legalizing the sale of cannabis oil to Texans suffering from intractable epilepsy, a six-year-old girl became the first person in the state to receive her legal medical marijuana delivery. Baby steps.

Dank Donald

Donald Trump Jr. seems to love Twitter and hate proofreading as much as his dad. He recently tweeted that “democracy dies in dankness.” Marijuana enthusiasts are thrilled.

Newsletter #138

Racist profiling and cannabis arrests

A new report from the Drug Policy Alliance shows that marijuana-related arrests in legal weed states have declined significantly since legalization. Unfortunately, it’s clear that racist policing has continued through cannabis legalization. Here’s an example: According to a 2016 report by the Colorado Department of Public Safety, marijuana-related arrests decreased by over 10% for white teens, whereas comparable arrests increased by 50% for black teenagers. Not good.

Vermont legalizes recreational marijuana

On Monday, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed a recreational cannabis bill into law. This is the first time a state has legalized marijuana through the legislative process. So when you can expect recreational pot shops in Vermont to open their doors? No one knows. The legislation doesn’t create a state market for recreational cannabis. Learn more about this new law here.

California banking bill

A bill was introduced in the California State Senate that would allow California-chartered financial institutions to provide banking services to marijuana businesses. This could be a game-changer for many cannabis enterprises, which are currently forced to conduct almost all business in cash.

Weed farmers sue California

As California’s marijuana regulations stand, businesses can acquire an unlimited number of growing licenses. Small-scale cannabis farmers believe this unfairly favors big businesses, which is why a coalition is suing California in hopes of blocking these regulations. Stay tuned.

Canadians love their cannabis

According to new data, it’s estimated that Canadians spent $5.7 billion on marijuana in 2017. That’s a lot of pot.

Newsletter #137

Restorative justice bill introduced

A group of House Democrats introduced a companion bill to the Senate’s Marijuana Justice Act. This bill would not only remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act list, but also provide restorative justice to communities disproportionately affected by marijuana prohibition. Get the details here.

Thailand to legalize medical marijuana

Thailand has had decades of extreme drug prohibition. There was a brutal war on drugs, similar to what is transpiring in the Philippines. Fortunately, the Thai government has had a change of heart. Officials are planning to rewrite the nation’s drug laws and legalize medical marijuana. Well done.

Los Angeles awards first recreational licenses

Weeks after recreational marijuana became legal in California, Los Angeles officials finally issued the city’s first recreational licenses to cannabis dispensaries. Now, these pot shops are waiting for state approval. Hold tight, people of L.A. Your legal cannabis is on its way.

Governor of Vermont to sign recreational cannabis bill

Governor Phil Scott of Vermont expects to sign a bill this weekend that will legalize recreational marijuana. This will make Vermont the first state to legalize cannabis through the legislative process, as opposed to a citizen vote. This is a BFD.

Choosing between guns and grass

Do you own a firearm? Do you use cannabis? According to the federal government, you need to make a choice. Federal law prohibits marijuana users from having guns or ammunition. As you might imagine, many Americans aren’t happy about this.

Newsletter #136

Pot stocks bounce back

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he was giving the go-ahead for federal prosecutors to target cannabis businesses that are in compliance with state law. Some people panicked, and stocks of marijuana-related companies plummeted. Many of those stocks have since recovered, showing the resiliency of cannabis firms and ineffectiveness of Sessions.

Most Americans oppose federal crackdown on cannabis

A new poll conducted after Jeff Sessions’ marijuana announcement found that the majority of Americans would oppose federal action against state-legal cannabis businesses. Give the people what they want, Sessions!

The potential effects of legalizing marijuana nationally

If the United States were to legalize marijuana nationwide, it could bring in $132 billion in tax revenue and create over one million new jobs within the next decade, according to a new study. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

No cannabis at Coachella

Recreational marijuana is now legal in California, but organizers of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival aren’t changing their no-pot policy. The kicker? Coachella falls on 4/20 this year.

Threatened owls poisoned by marijuana farms

A new study shows that rat poison used by marijuana farmers is harming threatened northern spotted owls in Northern California forests. Learn more about this study here.