Thursday, February 13, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Thursday, February 13, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Recreational pot bill spurned in New Mexico Legislature (CT Post (AP))

// Vermont Farmers Fear Pot Bill Will Shut Them Out of the Marijuana Market (Seven Days VT)

// Michigan recreational marijuana delivery now only a click away (Michigan Live)


These headlines are brought to you by Atlantic Farms, a Maine-based multistate cannabis business with operations in Maine and Massachusetts. Atlantic Farms is looking for people to help it grow and evolve as investors. Open up TheAtlanticFarms.com for more on the company and email info@theatlanticfarms.com to learn about investment opportunities.


// Medical marijuana bill filed at Alabama State House (ABC 33 40)

// Top Mexican Senator Says Marijuana Legalization Bill Will Be Approved This Month (Marijuana Moment)

// Canopy Growth earnings: When will the weed drinks arrive? (Market Watch)

// Many landlords will take cash from marijuana tenants report says (Marijuana Business Daily)

// L.A. pot licensing delays costing industry millions (LA Weekly)

// Two Pending Bills Could Substantially Change Washington’s Cannabis Advertising Laws (Canna Law Blog)

// Kentucky Lawmakers Approve Medical Marijuana Bill In Committee Vote (Marijuana Moment)


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Photo: Ron Cogswell/Flickr

New Mexico Races to Legalize Pot by the End of February

New Mexico is serious about being the next state to legalize cannabis. But the state has a legislative session of just 30 days in 2020, and the deadline now looms ominously.

There is a sense of déjà vu here. Last year, New Mexico came very close to legalizing marijuana. A legalization measure was approved by the state’s House, but never made it out of the Senate — despite the support of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat. As a kind of consolation prize to cannabis advocates, a decriminalization bill did pass.

After that, Lujan Grisham launched a Cannabis Legalization Working Group, with members from the public and private sectors, as well as representatives from activist groups including the Drug Policy Alliance. In October, it issued its recommendations, calling for a legalization model based on “equity and opportunity,” with low licensing fees and “micro business” licenses designed to keep proceeds within local communities. 

When the session opened in January 2020, legalization bills were quickly introduced in both chambers of the statehouse. But with the finish line now just two weeks away, lawmakers are still nailing down the details. 

Down to the Wire 

Most people expect, that if the bill passes, it will be a close call — including Pat Davis, the Albuquerque city councilor who headed the Working Group. He told the Albuquerque Journal last month that he expects the measure’s fate to be decided during the final days of the session, which ends on Feb. 20.

It’s somewhat predictable that most opposition is coming from Republicans. Even Albuquerque’s Sen. Mark Moores, one of three Republican senators who last year joined with Democratic colleagues on a legalization bill, is now balking at the idea of cannabis legalization. One issue is that last year’s proposal would have allowed sale only through state-run stores. The new measure follows the recommendations of the Working Group for a more decentralized system based on small private operators.

On Jan. 28, the Senate Public Affairs Committee voted 4-3 along party lines to advance Senate Bill 115, the Cannabis Regulation Act, which would legalize personal use for those 21 years and older. It has yet to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee or the Finance Committee — where last year’s version died.

The bill calls for a 9% tax on cannabis sales. And, as the Santa Fe New Mexican notes, it has plenty of elements designed to appease conservative sentiment. It requires law enforcement agencies to compile an annual report on the number of arrests, citations and other violations connected to those using cannabis. It mandates “cannabis education programs” for middle and high school students, and funding of additional substance abuse treatment programs. In what will certainly be a controversial move, it calls for police to devise an “oral fluid test” to determine if motorists are driving under the influence.

Beyond compromises that may end up not pleasing either side, however, there is also a degree of sheer confusion in the proposed legislation.

‘Haze of Unknowns’ 

A Feb. 5 editorial in the Albuquerque Journal was unable to resist the smart-alecky headline “Haze of unknowns clouds legislation on recreational cannabis.” But after you get past the puns, it noted some of the confusion around SB 115 and its counterpart House Bill 160. 

For one thing, the “timelines don’t track.” Under the proposed legislation, existing cannabis retailers operating under the state’s medical marijuana program (in place since 2007) will be able to start adult-market sales on Jan. 1, 2021. But that’s also the deadline for the regulations overseeing the market to be issued — meaning those retailers be “forced to comply on the fly.”

Complicating it further, those regs are for seed-to-sale tracking, quality control and the like. But the mandatory server training rules don’t even have to be drawn up until April 1, 2021 — leaving retailers unregulated for three months.

And while customers have to be 21, the servers can be 18. The Journal asks: “How does that make any sense?”

Then there’s the strange contradiction that “recreational” buyers will be able to get more product than medical patients. Current law limits medical users to eight ounces every 90 days, though recreational users will be able to buy two ounces per transaction. Retailers will supposedly be required to reserve enough product for the state’s 80,000-plus medical users, but there are concerns about shortages — especially because there will be no increase in the number of plants commercial growers are allowed.

The closing assessment of the Journal’s editorial may prove accurate: “There are simply too many unanswered questions, too many contradictions and too hard of a push to get recreational cannabis through in a short 30-day budget session.”

It is clear that lawmakers in Santa Fe are going to have to work fast if they are to avoid a repeat of last year’s narrow defeat for legal cannabis in the Land of Enchantment.

TELL US, which state should legalize cannabis next?

The post New Mexico Races to Legalize Pot by the End of February appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// New Mexico Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill (Marijuana Moment)

// New Hampshire Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill (Marijuana Moment)

// Chart: More consumers boost Colorado’s recreational marijuana market in 2019 (Marijuana Business Daily)


These headlines are brought to you by MJToday Media, publishers of this podcast as well as our weekly show Marijuana Today and the most-excellent Green Rush Podcast. And check out our new show Weed Wonks!


// Massachusetts urges revamp of scrutinized municipal marijuana pacts (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Leafly slashes 18% of workforce to align business with ‘market realities’ of tech and cannabis industry (Geek Wire)

// New Zealand’s adult-use cannabis referendum is set for September (Marijuana Business Daily)

// California Bill Requires Cities To Open Medical Cannabis Stores (Benzinga)

// Cannabis trade group’s report targets illicit market in response to vaping health crisis (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Massachusetts Judge Lifts Cambridge Marijuana Moratorium (Harvard Crimson)

// AOC Says Colorado Is Doing A ‘Great Job’ With Marijuana Legalization (Marijuana Moment)


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Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
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Photo: Andrew Hersey/Flickr

Legislative Committee To Discuss Major Marijuana Reform Bill in New Mexico

After New Mexico’s governor predicted that legalization of cannabis is a priority for some lawmakers this year, a Democratic state senator has proposed a bill that would regulate adult use. SB 115 will be reviewed for the first time by a legislative committee on Tuesday. 

The initiative would make it mandatory for recreational dispensaries to supply state-subsidized medical marijuana to patients. The plan looks to learn from the experiences of cannabis legislation in other states like Oregon, where medical marijuana has become scarce when recreational becomes legal. 

This is far from the first indication that New Mexican lawmakers are looking to push a legalization agenda this year. Earlier this month, the state’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham commented at a Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce luncheon that regulation of adult use cannabis could prove to be “an economic game-changer.” 

“If we are clear-eyed about the risks, we have to be clear-eyed about the opportunity,” said Grisham — a nod to the bipartisan policy makers in the state’s legislature that are unconvinced that access to marijuana is without its health risks. Last June, Grisham established a group to explore the feasibility of cannabis regulation. 

Albuquerque Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino introduced the legislation, which would establish an automatic expungement process for individuals with past cannabis-related criminal convictions. 

It would require local governments to allow for recreational industry activity — a measure that is presented as a way of fighting against illegal market cannabis sales. That language was taken from recommendations published by the governor’s task force earlier this month. 

Marijuana in New Mexico

Last year, New Mexican lawmakers were also presented with a draft of legalization legislation. Though it passed the House, it was unable to clear the Senate. Both chambers are controlled by Democrats in New Mexico, but cannabis legalization is not an issue that cleaves cleanly to party lines in the state. Some prominent Democrat elected officials have expressed their doubts regarding cannabis legalization, while some Republicans have thrown their support behind plans to regulate the drug.

The state’s medical marijuana program saw a considerable expansion last year of the number of qualifying conditions. Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel signed off on the addition of opioid dependency as a new entry to medical cannabis treatment. New Mexico has consistently seen higher than average rates of opioid abuse among its population. 

Last July, a New Mexico decriminalization law took effect that reduced the maximum sentence for possession of less than a half ounce of cannabis from 15 days in jail to a $50 fee, for an individual’s first such offence. Subsequent offenses can still garner incarceration, however. 

It seems as though lawmakers efforts to widen access to cannabis have the support of the New Mexican population. A December poll of slightly over 1000 voters suggests that support for recreational cannabis legalization in the state may be hovering at around 75 percent. New Mexico was the 12th state to legalize medicinal cannabis — could it hold the same honor when it comes to regulating adult use weed?

The post Legislative Committee To Discuss Major Marijuana Reform Bill in New Mexico appeared first on High Times.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, January 22, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Rumors Are That MedMen Is Unable To Pay Vendors (Green Market Report)

// New Mexico Governor Says It’s ‘High Time’ To Legalize Marijuana (Marijuana Moment)

// Arizona climate blamed for ‘off the charts’ THC failure in first hemp crops (Marijuana Business Daily)


These headlines are brought to you by Curaleaf, one of the leading vertically-integrated cannabis operators in the U.S. With legal medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation sites, and processing facilities all over the United States, Curaleaf has served more than 165,000 medical cannabis patients and looks forward to helping many more long into the future. Swing over to Curaleaf.com to learn more about this very cool company!


// New York Governor Includes Marijuana Legalization In New Budget Plan (Marijuana Moment)

// Colorado Tries to Beckon Tourists With Buy-and-Try Pot Lounges (Bloomberg Government)

// 1 in 13 Oklahoma Adults Are Now Using Medical Marijuana Legally (Merry Jane)

// New Zealand to overturn cannabis vaporizer ban, clearing the way for imports (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Free Weed: Sicily Is No Longer Charging Patients for Medical Cannabis (Merry Jane)

// Pete Buttigieg wants to end the war on weed- but not in South Bend (Leafly)

// Chart: Florida sales of smokable marijuana topped 22,000 pounds in less than six months (Marijuana Business Daily)


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Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
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Photo: Chris Goldberg/Flickr

Governor of New Mexico Starts Campaign to Legalize Marijuana

Calling it a potential “an economic game-changer” for the state, New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham initiated a campaign to legalize recreational marijuana. 

“The legislature has the opportunity to pass the largest job-creation program in New Mexico in a decade,” Grisham said this week as she outlined her legislative priorities for the new session, as quoted by local news station KOB. “Skeptics have been right to preach study and patience. I agree with their caution – and that’s why we haven’t rushed into this issue. But if we are clear-eyed about the risks, we have to be clear-eyed about the opportunity.”

Grisham, a Democrat who previously served in Congress before being elected as governor of New Mexico in 2018, reiterated the call for legal weed in a meeting with local business leaders at a luncheon Thursday hosted by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.

“Recreational cannabis is an economic game-changer,” Grisham said, as quoted by the Albuquerque Journal. 

“It is an incredibly important opportunity,” Grisham added. “We are serious about getting it passed.”

There is reason to think Grisham might have the people on her side. A poll released last month by Marijuana Work Group, an organization trying to promote legal weed in New Mexico, nearly three in four voters in the state support legalization. 

Grisham has been telegraphing this move for a while. Last year, she spearheaded a working group tasked with studying legal weed in the state; the group ultimately proposed an oversight system that would cap taxes on recreational pot at about 17 percent. 

But the group’s findings did little to persuade skeptical New Mexico lawmakers.

Pushback on Pot

“I could sit here and rant and rave all day long and I intend to do that when it comes to the legislation part,” said Republican state house Rep. Martin Zamora, as quoted by the Associated Press. “I just want more factual stuff — more scientific, more medical, in a more direct way.”

That underscores the challenges the lie ahead for Grisham and other advocates. Previous efforts to legalize marijuana in New Mexico, including a bill that passed the state house last year, have fizzled in the legislature.

Should this effort succeed, New Mexico would join 11 other states, most recently Illinois, that have already lifted the prohibition on legal recreational pot use for adults.

The post Governor of New Mexico Starts Campaign to Legalize Marijuana appeared first on High Times.

Friday, January 17, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, January 17, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// New Mexico Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed After Governor Puts Issue On 2020 Agenda (Marijuana Moment)

// Global Cannabis Sales Grow 48% to $15 Billion in 2019 (Valdosta Daily Times (AP))

// 40% of Arizona’s Hemp Crops Must Be Destroyed Due to Too Much THC (AZ Marijuana)


These headlines are brought to you by MJToday Media, publishers of this podcast as well as our weekly show Marijuana Today and the most-excellent Green Rush Podcast. And check out our new show Weed Wonks!


// Raimondo’s $10-billion budget plan includes state-run stores for recreational pot (Providence Journal)

// Ontario Cannabis Store sells out of edibles within hours (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Alaska pot board chair being chaired (Boston Globe)

// Marijuana deliver giant Eaze may go up in smoke (Tech Crunch)

// Congressman Backs Ballot Measure To Legalize Psychedelic Mushrooms For Therapeutic Use (Marijuana Moment)

// Travelers Threw Away Over 37 Pounds of Weed at This Colorado Airport (Merry Jane)

// High Times To Open Dispensaries (Green Market Report)


Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
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Photo: EMILY’s List/Flickr

Thursday, January 16, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Thursday, January 16, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Congressional Hearing Exposes Marijuana Research Limitations Imposed By Federal Law (Marijuana Moment)

// New California-based marijuana strains drew a line around the block in Baltimore. Could more be coming (Baltimore Sun)

// Lawmakers Consider Ending Residency Requirement for Marijuana Workers (Denver Westword)


These headlines are brought to you by Green Worx Consults, a company specializing in project management, workflow mapping and design, and Lean & 6 Sigma process. If you could use help making your business better at business, get in touch with Green Worx Consults.


// Michigan pot shops sold $10 million worth of marijuana in first 6 weeks of legal weed (Detroit Free Press)

// Colorado Finally Files Bill to Protect Weed-Smoking Employees (Merry Jane)

// With a new CEO High Times looks to open dispensaries (Digiday)

// Vermont Governor Seems Open To Legalizing Marijuana Sales (Marijuana Moment)

// New Mexico Governor Calls For Marijuana Legalization In 2020 (Forbes)

// Curaleaf Upsizes Loan Facility To $300 Million Makes Progress in Utah (Green Market Report)

// 16% of cannabis vaping illnesses tied to store purchases CDC says (Marijuana Business Daily)


Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Photo: Reizigerin/Flickr