Medical marijuana takes on opioids
Two states are seeking to battle the deadly opioid epidemic by offering medical cannabis as a safer alternative to prescription painkillers. The New York Department of Health will permit anyone with an opioid prescription to use medical marijuana as an alternative treatment. Lawmakers in Illinois recently passed a bill that would allow those with opioid prescriptions to be part of the state’s medical cannabis program. Medical marijuana is being taken seriously as an alternative to opiates, which is welcome news to cannabis advocates nationwide.
Canada legalizes cannabis
Canada legalized recreational cannabis this week, and it’s a huge deal. The recently-passed Cannabis Act regulates how the drug will be grown, distributed and sold. Want the highlights? Here we go! Canadians will be able to purchase marijuana products both at retail locations and online. The minimum age to purchase and use cannabis has been set at 18. It’s expected that Canadians will be able to buy marijuana in just a few months. Bravo, Canada.
Portugal approves marijuana-based medicines
Portugal’s parliament voted to approve the use of cannabis-based medicines, and the bill is now awaiting the signature of President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. Learn more about this recent development here.
Cannabis stocks react to Canada news
If you thought that Canada legalizing marijuana would impact cannabis stocks, you were right. Marijuana stocks surged the morning after the big news.
A very expensive joint
Want to know what a $24,000 joint looks like? Here you go.
California’s marijuana regulations
When recreational cannabis became legal in California on January 1st of this year, regulators provided a six-month grace period for businesses to become compliant with the new laws. That point is now just two weeks away, and many marijuana enterprises aren’t ready for the change. Get more information about how this might impact the California cannabis market here.
Uruguay dealing with cannabis shortage
Uruguay, the first nation to legalize marijuana, is facing cannabis supply troubles. The government has only licensed two cultivators to provide the marijuana sold at pharmacies, and they aren’t producing close to the amount of bud Uruguayans are consuming. Growing pains, amirite?
Mayors supporting marijuana
What do Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and West Sacramento have in common? They all have mayors that want the federal government to remove cannabis from the list of illegal drugs. Nice.
Trump might support cannabis legislation
President Donald Trump said he “probably will end up supporting” legislation that would support and protect state-legal marijuana industries. Learn more about this bipartisan legislation and Trump’s uncertain stance here.
St. Louis changes pot policy
St. Louis will no longer prosecute cases of cannabis possession under 100 grams. The city is joining the many other American cities easing their cannabis policies. We’ll take all the good news we can get.
Congress’s new cannabis bill
A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a bill that aims to protect state-legal cannabis industries. The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act is sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Gardner, and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and David Joyce announced a companion bill in the House. If passed, the STATES Act would protect states with legal marijuana from federal interference by amending the Controlled Substances Act. Get the details here.
Canada is getting closer to legal marijuana
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is dedicated to making marijuana legal by this summer. Now, he’s one step closer. The Senate passed the Cannabis Act, and the bill is now heading back to the House of Commons. Members of Parliament will decide if they accept the many amendments the Senate added to the legislation. Canada could be legalizing marijuana very, very soon.
The return of Dennis Rodman, North Korea and PotCoin
Roughly one year ago, Dennis Rodman visited North Korea with sponsorship from PotCoin, a cryptocurrency for cannabis. Now, there’s word that the former NBA star will be heading to Singapore for the summit between North Korea and the United States. Again, he will be sponsored by PotCoin. The weirdness is not over.
Minneapolis stops undercover arrests for small amounts of cannabis
Citing concerns that black men were being disproportionately targeted, the Minneapolis Police Department is ending sting operations focused on low-level marijuana sales. One small step toward justice.
Colorado school nurses can now administer medical marijuana
A newly-passed bill allows school nurses in Colorado to administer medical cannabis to students, as long as parents give consent. Learn more about this trailblazing law here.
Pesticides at illegal pot farms
Pesticide use is rampant at illegal marijuana farms on California’s public lands, according to researchers and federal authorities. Carbofuran, an extremely toxic pesticide, was found at 72 percent of grow sites in 2017. For reference, a quarter of a teaspoon of Carbofuran can kill a 300 pound bear. It’s nasty stuff. Learn more about this environmental hazard here.
Medical marijuana for pets is a possibility in New York
New York may be expanding its medical marijuana law to include pets. Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow veterinarians to recommend medical cannabis to pets. If the bill passes, New York will become the first state to legalize medical marijuana for our furry friends.
California Senate seeks state cannabis bank
The California Senate just approved a bill that would create a state bank for cannabis enterprises. This is welcome news for California’s many marijuana businesses that are forced to operate largely in cash. The bill is now on its way to the State Assembly. Wish it luck.
Utahns to vote on medical marijuana
Utah has a lot of marijuana-haters, but they couldn’t stop a medical cannabis initiative from getting on this year’s ballot. We’re looking forward to seeing how this plays out come November.
Cannabis cooking show coming to Netflix
In a few short weeks, Netflix will debut “Cooking on High,” a competitive marijuana cooking show. Get the details here.
If you love marijuana and are into the British royal family, there’s a new cannabis strain for you. Meghan Markle’s Oregon-based nephew created “Markle’s Sparkle,” a strain that celebrates (and capitalizes on) his aunt’s marriage to Prince Harry. Do you think Queen Elizabeth will give it a go?
DEA marijuana busts decline
In 2017, Drug Enforcement Agency agents confiscated 37% fewer cannabis plants than they did in 2016. While that is a massive drop, the feds still seized over 3 million marijuana plants last year. That’s a lot of bud.
Nevada cannabis sales
Nevada’s recreational marijuana industry is doing well, to say the least. Sales have continued to surpass projections, with the state seeing its highest monthly total yet in March. Check out the numbers here.
Marijuana giant meets Wall Street
Canopy Growth Corp, Canada’s massive cannabis business, has begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange. It’s a BFD for marijuana enthusiasts and investors alike.
Chong turns 80
Comedian and cannabis-lover Tommy Chong turned 80 on May 24th, and he looks great. Does heavy marijuana use slow the aging process?
San Francisco gets tech help in righting cannabis wrongs
California’s Proposition 64 is known as the law that legalized recreational marijuana in the Golden State. What many don’t realize is that Prop 64 also authorized a pathway for Californians to have their prior cannabis-related convictions reduced or cleared. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón decided that his office would automatically apply the new law to all misdemeanor and felony cases from 1975 onward. It’s a mighty undertaking, and the DA’s office needed some help.
Enter Code For America, a tech nonprofit working to develop an app that would help automate the conviction-clearing process. As Gascón said, “When the government uses 20th-century tools to tackle 21st-century problems, it’s the public that pays the price.” Learn more about this dream team here.
Oregon marijuana farmers focus on hemp
The Oregon cannabis market is flooded, and many growers are in search of a more profitable crop. This has led many farmers to apply for state licenses to grow hemp. Hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD, is in high demand, and growers can rake in over $100,000 an acre cultivating the crop that produces it. That’s a lot of green.
Manhattan’s district attorney vs minor cannabis cases
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has vowed to stop prosecuting minor marijuana cases. Vance’s reasoning? People of color are arrested and prosecuted for minor cannabis infractions at disproportionate rates. Learn more about how New York City is tackling this injustice here.
Estonian bud banner
Kanepi, a recently-formed Estonian municipality, voted on a new emblem, and a marijuana leaf was the winner. A cannabis leaf will soon adorn the official regional logo, flag and coat of arms. Well done, people of Kanepi.
Major marijuana merger
Two of Canada’s biggest cannabis companies have agreed to the most massive merger seen thus far in the industry. Aurora Cannabis Inc. is purchasing MedReleaf Corp. for $2.2 billion in stock. Yowza.