Health Canada Wants Feedback on Cannabis Act Amendments 

Health Canada wants feedback on possible Cannabis Act amendments. This proposal is separate from the federal government’s legislative review of the Cannabis Act.  The Cannabis Act, of course, legalizes and regulates cannabis in Canada.  Health Canada put out a notice of intent for consultation. The purpose is to “inform Canadians and interested parties that Health Canada is seeking feedback on potential amendments to the Cannabis Regulations (CR) for regulatory burden reduction while still addressing public health and public safety risks.” […]

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Traffic Reefer Madness Means No Consumption Spaces

There’s a new cannabis report from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, and with a name like that, you can be sure it’s traffic reefer madness. Some in the media consider this report the final “hard evidence” we need to take driving stoned seriously (and by proxy, never legalizing consumption sites, since, presumably, that increases the chance of traffic accidents). Today’s reefer madness appears more insidious than the old justifications for prohibition. America’s first drug czar Harry J. Anslinger said cannabis […]

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Legalizing Psychedelics: California & the United States

California is one step closer to legalizing psychedelics. A State Senate committee approved a bill that legalizes possessing certain psychedelic substances. The bill looks to legalize the “possession, preparation, obtaining, transfer, as specified, or transportation” of small amounts of psilocybin, psilocin, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline for personal use. LSD and MDMA will remain illegal due to an appeal to nature. While earlier versions of the bill included them, some felt LSD and MDMA are synthetic and thus not genuine plant-based […]

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Ten Ways Cannabis Can Revive a Depressed Economy

An economic winter is coming, but don’t worry; we’ve compiled ten ways cannabis can revive a depressed economy. When many people hear “cannabis,” they may think of it as a recreational activity or a medical necessity. And it is. But it’s more than that. So while politicians will inevitably announce “stimulus” and bailouts, the real solution will come from entrepreneurs in a free market. And since Canada has already legalized cannabis, that’s one hurdle out of the way. Next, cut […]

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Can Cannabis Cause Psychosis?

Can cannabis cause psychosis? Public health busybodies will list negative aspects of cannabis as an argument either against legalization or for the “public health” model of legalization (which, in Canada’s case, has been a complete failure). So if you’re playing public health bingo, you can stamp psychosis next to anxiety, depression, cardiovascular disease, and other “harms” associated with cannabis. Of course, only .047% of cannabis consumers seek medical help for psychosis. So what’s the rationale behind this belief? Or is […]

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Cannabis Public Health Harms Debunked

Cannabis‘ public health harms need a thorough debunking. We’ve covered the cannabis industry‘s public health problem before. But now we’ve got a recent review of existing studies. And the results are favourable for us and unfavourable for public health prohibitionists. Of course, the problem is “public health” itself. Like “public education,” it confuses the state for civil society. It assumes that individual adults, private organizations, healthcare providers, insurance companies, and other agencies cannot determine and provide quality and accessible healthcare. […]

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Week in Review: Germany Likely to Legalization; Politics a Hot Topic at SXSW

Germany’s Health Minister Indicates That Legalization Will Proceed

The German health minister has indicated that adult-use legalization will move forward in the European country, reports Marijuana Moment. Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Tuesday that he has received “very good feedback” from the European Commission and expects his bill to be formally presented “in the next few weeks.” 

“We’ll soon present a proposal that works, that is, that conforms to European law,” Minister Lauterbach said. Throughout the lobbying process, the minister has indicated that his efforts aim to improve public health in Germany via regulating adult-use cannabis. In 2022, the Federal Cabinet of Germany adopted a preliminary outline for legalization legislation. Still, the government required EU approval to ensure that adopting the change wouldn’t violate their international duties.

Under the government’s soon-to-be-revised proposal, which is currently only a 12-page framework and not actual legislation, adults 18 and older would be permitted to purchase and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis from establishments with federal licenses, potentially including pharmacies. Moreover, they may raise up to three plants for their own use.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Andrew DeAngelo. Photo courtesy of SXSW

Legalization the Hot Topic at SXSW 2023

Global Cannabis Consultant and Strategic Advisor Andrew DeAngelo, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) gathered onstage to discuss federal cannabis legalization at this year’s SXSW conference in Austin. The panel, called “Which Political Party Will Legalize Weed?” gave the two representatives an opportunity for a lively discussion on the end of federal cannabis prohibition. Moderator DeAngelo pushed the politicians on the lack of progress in the Capitol, according to Green Market Report.

Blumenauer is said to be “more optimistic” than last year, referencing President Biden’s pardoning of cannabis prisoners and the fact that Biden is also keeping the possibility of descheduling on the table after initiating a review of cannabis classification. However, he was said to be more critical of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) inability to get a voting measure passed by the House, quoted as saying their desire for perfect legislation is behind the continued stalling but believes the two had “learned their lesson” and are more open to compromise.

Mace was reportedly less optimistic, saying if any change is going to happen, it needs to be done before June, as after that, “it’ll be about the presidential election,” she said. The South Carolina Republican also noted that President Biden could use it to his advantage to boost his reelection hopes.

Photo couresy of Death Row Cannabis

Snoop Extends Death Row Cannabis Product Offering 

 Following the sold-out first product drop of its debut offerings LA Runtz, Trop Cherry, Strawberry Garry and SFV OG, Death Row Cannabis has launched two new additions, True OG and Strawberry Gelato (Apple Fritter x Lemon Cherry Gelato hybrid), on March 10. Plus, fans of LA Runtz can be reassured that the popular strain also be returning. Like the first fire drop, these new cultivars were carefully by Death Row Cannabis’ Head of Operations, AK, a longtime West Coast legacy cultivator. 

“We’re very excited to introduce California consumers to Death Row Cannabis’s newest heavy hitter, Strawberry Gelato,” Travis “Shaggy” Marshall, head of product, said. “It has a loud, unique strawberry nose that’s tart and sharp on the front but sweet and creamy on the back. To me, it’s what I’d imagine a strawberry shortcake-flavored milkshake would taste like. Not only is it uniquely delicious, but testing at over 35% it also packs a punch for heavier smokers like me.” 

Arkansas Police: Medical Marijuana Causes Other Crimes

No Increase in Traffic-Related Hospitalizations Following Cannabis Legalization

The introduction of adult-use marijuana sales in Canada isn’t linked to a rise in hospitalizations for traffic-related injuries, according to data published in the journal Addiction, reports NORML. Researchers compared the national rates of hospital admissions and emergency room visits in the years before and immediately after legalization. 

 “Overall, there’s no clear evidence that RCL [recreational cannabis laws] had any effect on rates of ED visits and hospitalizations for either motor vehicle or pedestrian/cyclist injury across Canada,” the authors concluded.

The results align with an earlier Canadian study from 2021, which “found no evidence that the implementation of the Cannabis Act was associated with significant changes in post-legalization patterns of all drivers’ traffic-injury ED visits or, more specifically, youth-driver traffic-injury ED presentations.”

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New Hampshire Votes to Legalize Without Regulations

Did New Hampshire vote to legalize cannabis without regulations or restrictions? The New Hampshire House of Representatives has approved two bills to legalize cannabis. About a month ago, the House passed your typical legalization bill, including taxes and regulations. While that’s tied up in the Senate, the House has introduced a “simple” legalization bill. House Bill 639 is a “simple” legalization bill that would remove cannabis from the state’s list of controlled substances. It also removes cannabis-related offences from the […]

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Oklahoma Proposes Medical Marijuana Changes After Adult-Use Measure Fails

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said last week that he’d seek changes to the state’s medical marijuana program, which leads the nation in the number of dispensaries among all states with regulated cannabis sales. Stitt made his comments following the failure of a ballot measure to legalize adult-use marijuana in Oklahoma that was rejected by 61% of voters in a special election on March 7.

Voters in Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana with the passage of State Question 788 in 2018, making it the 30th state in the nation to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis. With low barriers to entry including license fees for cannabis businesses of only $2,500, a fraction of the amount charged by most states, and no limit on the number of cannabis dispensaries, Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry quickly grew to become what’s arguably the most robust in the nation. The ballot measure also had few restrictions to qualify for a medical marijuana card, and the number of registered patients now equals nearly 10% of the state’s population. As of November 2022, Oklahoma had more than 2,300 medical marijuana dispensaries, a figure that eclipses the number of gas stations in the state, according to a report from local media.

Medical Marijuana Backlash

But many residents of Oklahoma believe that the fast pace of growth of the medical marijuana industry has outpaced the state’s ability to regulate it. Additionally, the lack of oversight has led to the development of a lucrative illicit industry of cannabis growers who ship their crops to jurisdictions that haven’t yet ended cannabis prohibition.

“There’s enough marijuana, I’ve been told, grown in Oklahoma to supply the entire United States. That’s not what this was supposed to be,” Stitt said last week. “This was supposed to be about medical use in the state of Oklahoma, and it’s gotten way out of control.”

State lawmakers responded last year by passing a bill that put a two-year moratorium on the issuing of new licenses for medical marijuana cultivators, processors and retailers. The state has also put new regulations in place, including a requirement for a seed-to-sale tracking system to monitor the production and movement of cannabis throughout the state. Other new rules include a requirement for cannabis producers to submit water and electricity usage data to state regulators in an attempt to identify businesses that are producing more cannabis than they’re reporting.

Stitt says that the backlash against Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry was largely responsible for the failure of State Question 820, an initiative that would’ve legalized adult-use cannabis. After being denied a slot on the ballot for the November general election by procedural delays and a state Supreme Court ruling, Stitt announced in October that a special election to decide State Question 820 would be held on March 7.

“As I was traveling the state, I knew Oklahomans didn’t want it,” Stitt said. “They were so tired of a dispensary on every single corner.”

State Question 820 was opposed by law enforcement organizations and many of the state’s Republican leaders, including Stitt. Representatives of the state’s agricultural industry and many residents of the state’s rural areas also expressed opposition to the ballot measure to legalize adult-use cannabis in Oklahoma.

“We’ve seen the negative impact the rapid growth of the unregulated medical marijuana industry has had on Oklahoma agriculture and the rural communities,” said Scott Blubaugh, president of American Farmers and Ranchers. “We’ve seen a rise in farming challenges, and we’ve seen a strain on our rural electric and our rural water utilities.”

Voters Reject State Question 820

State Question 820 failed at the polls in last week’s special election, with 61% of the electorate voting against the measure. The governor attributed the loss to the state of Oklahoma’s existing medical marijuana industry.

“I think Oklahomans had a lot of fatigue around marijuana,” Stitt said. “They clearly do not want recreational marijuana.”

With the fate of SQ 820 now sealed, Stitt and state lawmakers have said that they’ll work to tighten control over Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program. But he acknowledged that they must be careful not to infringe on the will of voters who passed the medical marijuana legalization measure.

“Oklahomans have a big heart: that if it’s [cannabis] going to help someone medically, we want that to happen,” Stitt said. “But we don’t believe everyone with a hangnail should be able to get a medical card.”

So far, dozens of cannabis-related bills have been introduced for the 2023 legislative session, including several bills designed to tighten regulations on the state’s medical marijuana industry. Among them is SB 116, which prohibits commercial medical marijuana growers from being located within 1,000 feet of a place of worship. SB 133 excludes marijuana production from agriculture sales tax exemptions, likely raising the tax liability for cannabis cultivators. Another bill, SB 801, rolls back restrictions on local control of cannabis businesses by allowing municipalities to modify their planning or zoning procedures to forbid medical cannabis businesses to locate in certain areas.

The bills will be considered during the 2023 legislative session that ends on May 26.

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Germany One Step Closer to Legalization

According to a top German official, Germany is one step closer to legalization. The coalition government plans to move forward with cannabis legalization after receiving “very good feedback” from the European Union (E.U.). German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is confident Germany will introduce legalization legislation “in the next few weeks,” reports the German press. “We will soon present a proposal that works, that is, that conforms to European law,” said Lauterbach. Why Germany Needs the E.U.’s Support Germany took a […]

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