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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.

Newsletter #135

California’s computer tracking system not ready

California residents and dispensaries were stoked for legal recreational marijuana sales to begin on January 1st, but the computer system that cannabis businesses are supposed to use to track pot from seed to sale isn’t quite ready. Businesses are being asked to document everything manually. If you’re wondering why there aren’t numbers for California’s first day of recreational cannabis sales, this is why.

Sessions plots cannabis crackdown

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a known marijuana-hater, has lifted a policy that kept federal authorities from going after cannabis businesses in states where the drug is legal. This gives federal prosecutors the authority to target dispensaries and growers that are in compliance with state law. If you’re angry and confused, you’re not alone. The backlash has been intense.

Merry Munchie Meal

Snoop Dogg is partnering with Jack in the Box to introduce a limited-edition combo meal geared toward potheads. The Merry Munchie Meal will be available at three Jack in the Box locations in California. It includes two tacos, five churros, chicken strips, french fries, onion rings and a small drink, all for a mere $4.20. Get it?

Mike Tyson plans pot resort

Mike Tyson wants in on the marijuana industry. He plans to open a cannabis resort in Southern California that will grow the plant, as well as boast a “glamping” site and edibles factory. Learn more about this future wonderland here.

Marijuana stocks plummet

If you thought that Jeff Sessions’ cannabis announcement would be bad for business, you were right. Cannabis stocks have plunged.

Newsletter #134

Reminder: don’t drive high

Officials want you to know that even though recreational marijuana becomes legal in California on January 1st, driving while under the influence is still very illegal. There is no legal threshold for the amount of cannabis that can be in a driver’s system, and there is no widely accepted standard for exposing marijuana impairment. Better be safe and just not drive even a little bit stoned.

Canada’s indigenous people insist say in marijuana laws

As Canada prepares to legalize recreational cannabis, the leaders of Canada’s indigenous communities are demanding the right to determine the marijuana laws within their own territories. Learn more about how those in the First Nations want to handle cannabis here.

More pregnant women using marijuana

Recent studies have shown that more pregnant women are using cannabis. The health effects of marijuana use on a fetus are unclear, but it could lead to developmental issues down the road. For the record, doctors discourage pregnant women from using cannabis.

Stoner Santas

An elderly couple was driving from California to the Northeast when cops pulled them over in Nebraska. The duo had 60 pounds of cannabis, which they insisted was for Christmas presents. That’s a lot of green to give.

Monica Lewinsky weed

If you’re nostalgic for the 90s, here’s one way to channel that era: the Monica Lewinsky strain of bud.

Newsletter #133

Second chance for Californians with marijuana convictions

Most California residents know that recreational marijuana will become legal on January 1st, 2018. What some may not realize is that there’s a provision in the new state cannabis law that could drastically change the lives of hundreds of thousands Californians. People convicted of marijuana crimes will have the opportunity to have their records wiped clean or charges reduced. Learn more about this incredible provision here.

VA introduces new medical cannabis policy

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been excruciatingly slow to embrace medical marijuana as a beneficial option for many veterans. Fortunately, things are going to get a little bit better with a new policy. While VA doctors are not permitted to recommend medical marijuana to their veteran patients, they’ll be allowed to discuss the possibility. Baby steps.

World Health Organization rules on CBD

The World Health Organization, an agency of the United Nations, has recommended that cannabidiol (CBD) should not be scheduled as a drug. This could pave the way for legal CBD use around the world. Well done.

World’s longest joint

What do you get when you combine 40 people, 1,000 grams of marijuana and 3,000 yards of rolling paper? A 100-foot-long joint, which was rolled at a cannabis festival in Massachusetts. Nice.

USPS bans pot pictures on stamps

The U.S. Postal Service has decided that custom stamps may not contain any images of cannabis. Depictions of tobacco, booze and guns are still permitted. Seems illogical, but okay.