Friday, January 24, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, January 24, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// MedMen Responds To Vendor Payment Crisis (Green Market Report)

// Two years in, California’s legal marijuana businesses struggle with financial woes as they battle illicit market (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Wisconsin Governor Blasts Lawmakers For Not Legalizing Medical Marijuana Despite Public Support (Marijuana Moment)


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!


// Illinois’ first marijuana lounge gets approved hours away from Chicago. ‘It’s going to be an experience.’ (Chicago Tribune)

// California to require marijuana retailers to exhibit QR code (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Chicago Housing Authority relaxes recreational marijuana policy (WGN9 News)

// Cresco Labs secures up to $200M in debt for marijuana operations (Marijuana Business Daily)

// No edibles under New Zealand’s medical cannabis scheme, government says (Marijuana Business Daily)

// New Hampshire Lawmakers Debate Non-Commercial Marijuana Legalization Bill (Marijuana Moment)

// Thief Steals Cannabis From Chicago Airport Amnesty Box (NBC 5 Chicago)


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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: Johanna/Flickr

GOP Shows Support For Legalizing Medical Cannabis In Wisconsin

For more than a decade, the Wisconsin Legislature has been where marijuana reform bills go to die. But a new bill to legalize some forms of medical marijuana, introduced by a pair of Republican lawmakers instead of the usual cohort of Democrats, may fare differently. At the very least, the new medical marijuana proposal may mean that the Wisconsin GOP’s brick-wall opposition to marijuana legalization is beginning to crack.

GOP Lawmakers Hope to Begin Hearings on Medical Cannabis Bill Next Month

In Wisconsin, public support for medical marijuana legalization is significant. At 83 percent, according to an April poll conducted by Marquette University Law School, more people back medical cannabis than ever before. Support for full legalization has even tipped the scales into the majority, at 59 percent according to the same poll.

But neither strong public support nor Democrats’ persistent efforts have been able to budge Republican lawmakers on the issue of marijuana reform. The GOP in Wisconsin won’t even get behind decriminalization efforts.

But in a region that has moved decisively into the legal cannabis industry, with neighboring states Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois having legalized medical cannabis and Michigan and Illinois recent legalization recreational cannabis, attitudes may be shifting among some GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin.

But certainly not all GOP lawmakers. As recently as September this year, Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald dismissed the idea that a legalization bill would pass the GOP-controlled Senate. “Everyone knows that medical marijuana leads to legalized marijuana,” Fitzgerald said.

Indeed, the Senate GOP have prevented progress on both Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ medical cannabis proposal from earlier this year and a bill introduced in October by 36 Democrats (and one Republican). “It’s time for Wisconsin to do the right thing and allow doctors to prescribe medication that’s best (for) their patient and their families,” Gov. Evers wrote in a tweet supporting the bill.

New Medical Cannabis Bill Is First-Ever Introduced by Wisconsin Republicans

Rep. Mary Felzkowski and Sen. Kathy Bernier are the two GOP lawmakers sponsoring a new bill to legalize medical cannabis. In fact, their proposal marks the first time Wisconsin Republicans have introduced legislation to legalize cannabis.

Rep. Felzkowski and Sen. Bernier know they have public support for their proposal. In addition to polls, the GOP lawmakers point to non-binding support votes held in communities across Wisconsin. The people want to have the conversation, and Felzkowski and Bernier hope to get it started. “We can and must find a way to make this work in Wisconsin,” Bernier said.

Still, the pair aren’t counting on party affiliation to overcome opposition from their GOP colleagues. But their bill does signal that a fissure may be opening within the state’s Republican party on the issue of marijuana.

The 45-page text of the bill lays out a plan to establish a Medical Marijuana Regulatory Commission to oversee licensing and registering patients and caregivers. It also sets a tax rate of 10 percent on wholesale medical cannabis, revises criminal provisions for medical marijuana production, sale, use and possession.

But the bill also bears the marks of GOP-friendly restrictions that have failed in other states. For example, Felzkowski and Bernier’s bill would prohibit smokable forms of medical cannabis and prevent anyone with a prior marijuana-related conviction from being able to register as a caregiver. Furthermore, the bill fails to specify protections for employees who register as medical cannabis patients or seek worker’s compensation or unemployment insurance.

The post GOP Shows Support For Legalizing Medical Cannabis In Wisconsin appeared first on High Times.

Wisconsin’s Governor Signs Bill To Make Hemp Program Permanent

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday signed into law a bipartisan bill that makes Wisconsin’s hemp-growing program permanent as it continues to surge in popularity in just its second year.

Hailed by supporters as Wisconsin’s “comeback crop,” hemp is seeing renewed popularity in large part because of the growth in the market for CBD, a legal, therapeutic compound extracted from the cannabis plant that marketers say can treat a range of ailments without getting users high. It’s widely marketed in oils, lotions and foods.

Hemp is also used to make a variety of products, including rope, fabrics, lotions and granola bars.

“I
was proud to sign this collaborative, bipartisan bill into law today to
ensure the continued success of our hemp program and the many new
opportunities hemp provides to Wisconsin farmers,” Evers said in a
statement. He signed the bill in his office surrounded by lawmakers,
hemp growers, processers, retailers and consumers of products made with
hemp.

Wisconsin began a hemp pilot program in 2018, using about
250 licenses to grow the crop that is a form of cannabis. This year,
1,247 hemp growers and 556 hemp processors were licensed and registered
with the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

While
still a small, niche industry compared to other cash crops, proponents
of hemp say its strong growth potential holds promise for farmers
looking to diversify. One of the bill’s co-sponsors, Republican Rep.
Tony Kurtz, is a hemp farmer.

“This is still an emerging
industry,” Kurtz said in a statement. “Still, I believe that Wisconsin
can be a leader in hemp production.”

The bill Evers signed brings Wisconsin’s program into line with requirements under the 2018 farm bill, making mostly technical changes. It does change state law to allow for a THC concentration of up to .03% in the bloodstream, to account for people who may be taking legal products containing CBD with trace amounts of THC.

Hemp
is bred to contain less than 0.3% of THC, the active ingredient in
cannabis that gets people high. Marijuana seized by federal officials
averages about 12% THC. Any hemp crop that is above the 0.3% threshold
for THC must be destroyed.

Wisconsin joins six other states with similar laws allowing for people to legally have trace amounts of THC in their blood.

While
the hemp program has bipartisan support, Evers and Democrats have not
been successful in their push to legalize medical marijuana and
decriminalize small amounts of pot. A bill to fully legalize
recreational marijuana has also gone nowhere.

By Scott Bauer

The post Wisconsin’s Governor Signs Bill To Make Hemp Program Permanent appeared first on High Times.

Wisconsin Lawmakers File Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Wisconsin lawmakers filed a bill on Oct. 30, 2019, to decriminalize marijuana possession.

The legislation, introduced by Reps. David Crowley (D) and Shelia Stubbs (D), would decriminalize possession of up to 28 grams, which amounts to about one ounce. Currently, possession is treated as a misdemeanor offense that can carry up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

“The weaponization of drug possession laws, particularly marijuana, has been the driver of the state of ramped mass incarceration in which we find ourselves,” Crowley said in a press release. “This bill should have been passed years ago — Wisconsin is now an island of antiquated drug policy in a sea of decriminalization.”

“It is absolutely wrong to continue this needless cycle of disparate enforcement that continues to feed mass incarceration—I have seen firsthand the devastating effect of our unjust and racially inequitable criminal justice system,” he added. “We have lost a generation of men and women to the failed war on drugs and mass incarceration—how many more must be lost before we have the courage to do something about it?”

The legislation also contains provisions to facilitate the expungement or dismissal of prior marijuana possession convictions.

The sponsors held a press conference announcing the legislation on Wednesday, appearing alongside Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D), who also spoke in favor of the policy change.

Sen. Fred Risser (D), who also appeared at the event, said “I believe it is important to emphasize the distinction between decriminalization and legalization.”

“Decriminalizing marijuana simply means we are asking law enforcement to stop arresting folks for having small amounts of marijuana,” he said. “Under this bill, the manufacture and sale of the drug itself would remain illegal.”

It stands to reason that Gov. Tony Evers (D) would be supportive of the bill, as he called for the decriminalization of low-level possession, as well as medical cannabis legalization, as part of his budget proposal earlier this year. However, Republican leaders voted to strip those marijuana reform provisions from the plan.

Supporters can expect to face similar resistance from the Republican-controlled Senate and Assembly as this new bill moves forward. Following the announcement, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) said, “I’ve long been an opponent to any type of marijuana legalization and doubt that any proposals currently being floated will gain support from Republicans in the Senate.”

He’s made similar remarks in the past concerning efforts to legalize medical cannabis.

A spokesperson for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) said that he also opposes decriminalization.

Vos, meanwhile, has expressed some openness to allowing patients to access medical marijuana; however, he stipulated that he’d want products to be available exclusively in pill form and said that legislation would have to be implemented in “a very controlled environment.” Broader legalization is a “non-starter,” he said.

But while the prospects of action in the legislature seems dubious at this point, it’s increasingly clear that Wisconsin residents are ready for change. Three jurisdictions in the state voted in favor of non-binding resolutions expressing support for the legalization of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes in April. That followed the approval of other cannabis ballot measures in 16 counties last November.

Wisconsin stands in strong contrast to neighboring Illinois, where a comprehensive cannabis legalization bill was passed by lawmakers and then signed by the governor in June.

Feature image by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock. 


This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment under a content-sharing agreement. Read the original article here

The post Wisconsin Lawmakers File Marijuana Decriminalization Bill appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Thursday, October 31, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Thursday, October 31, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Quebec passes cannabis law that will raise legal age to 21 (CBC News)

// Cannabis Council urges Ontario to ramp up number of adult-use stores citing ‘ample’ marijuana supplies (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Judge upholds Gov. Baker’s vaping ban after state health officials report 2nd death (WHDH 7 News)


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!


// In Random Mold Tests at 25 Denver Dispensaries 80 Percent Fail (Denver Westword)

// Majority of Pennsylvania voters want legal cannabis poll shows – just not in state stores (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

// Wisconsin Lawmakers File Marijuana Decriminalization Bill (Marijuana Moment)

// Marijuana board wrangles with unincorporated area licenses (Alaska Journal of Commerce)

// Price averages for Canadian cannabis by province (Leafly)

// Maine cannabis retailers see spike in vaporizer sales after Massachusetts vape ban (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Washington marijuana businesses report glass jars packaging seized by U.S. Customs agents (Spokesman-Review)


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: Oregon Department of Agriculture/Flickr

Democrats Working To Decriminalize Weed Possession In Wisconsin

Wisconsin Democrats introduced a bill on Wednesday that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis in the state, but chances of the measure succeeding in the Republican-led legislature appear to be slim. Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said on Wednesday that the penalties currently paid by those convicted of cannabis possession are unjust.

“Possession of small amounts of marijuana is no reason for anyone to serve a prison sentence, lose out on a job, nor lose their voting rights,” said Barnes.

Under the measure introduced on Wednesday, possession, distribution, and manufacturing of up to 28 grams of marijuana or two cannabis plants would be decriminalized. Currently, possession of small amounts of marijuana is treated as a misdemeanor for the first offense, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to six months. Subsequent offenses can be prosecuted as a felony with a sentence of up to three and a half years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The Democrats’ bill would also prohibit police from using the smell of marijuana as probable cause for arrest and establish a process to dismiss previous convictions for possessing small amounts of pot.

Racial Bias in Drug Arrests

Rep. Sheila Stubbs, the bill’s author, said that decriminalization would address the racial bias prevalent in the enforcement of the nation’s drug laws.

“Wisconsin has among the worst racial disparities in the country,” Stubbs said. “The mass incarceration of African American men who have been disproportionately charged and imprisoned for low-level marijuana offenses is something that must be urgently addressed.”

“We need to rethink and modernize our marijuana laws in Wisconsin,” she added.

Black people accounted for 72% of arrests for possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana in Milwaukee between 2012 and 2015, despite making up just 39% of the population, according to research by the Public Policy Forum. Numerous studies nationwide have shown that blacks and whites use cannabis at approximately the same rate.

Rep. David Crowley, also a Democrat, demanded action from his colleagues.

“How many more people have to be lost before we actually get the courage to do something about it?” he asked.

Republicans Not On Board

But despite data from Marquette University Law School that shows 59% of respondents support the full legalization of cannabis, Republicans are giving no indication that they will support the decriminalization bill. In April, Republicans, who control both houses of the Wisconsin legislature, killed a similar proposal to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

“We’re not going to decriminalize it so people can carry around baggies of weed all over the state,” Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in February.

Kit Beyer, a spokeswoman for Vos, said that the Speaker supports limited medical marijuana but is opposed to decriminalization. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has also said that he will not support the bill.

“I’ve long been an opponent to any type of marijuana legalization and doubt that any proposals currently being floated will gain support from Republicans in the Senate,” Fitzgerald said.

The post Democrats Working To Decriminalize Weed Possession In Wisconsin appeared first on High Times.

Wisconsin’s Meth Crisis Is Growing While The State Fights An Opioid Epidemic

CHICAGO (AP) — Jess Przybylski had never really dealt with loss. Then the father of her children was killed in a car crash. In 2011, her friends offered her methamphetamine to distract from the grief.

Soon
after, Przybylski lost her job. Her two children were taken from her
once, then once more when she was caught faking a drug test. A growing
rap sheet eclipsed her college degree as she lost cars, relationships —
and nearly her life.

“It was a one-time thing, and that was it,” Przybylski, who lives in Chippewa Falls in northwest Wisconsin, says of her meth addiction. “It started out slow, but it was a pretty hard downward spiral for about five years . It gets to be where it just takes over your life and it’s not fun anymore. It’s all you think about.”

Like
other amphetamines, meth elevates dopamine levels in the brain,
creating a rush. But it is significantly more powerful than stimulants
like cocaine, says Timothy Easker, director of Chippewa County
Department of Human Services.

Meth can keep individuals awake for days on end, causing psychosis and even organ failure.

While
the widely known opioid epidemic killed 3,800 people in Wisconsin
between 2014 and 2018, a surge in meth use has quietly supplanted
opioids in western and northern parts of the state, according to service
providers and public health officials.

The State Crime Laboratory
handled 1,452 meth cases in 2018 — an increase of more than 450% since
2008. The number far exceeded the 1,055 heroin cases handled by the lab
that year.

On
Oct. 4, federal authorities in Madison announced that 16 people from
Wisconsin and Minnesota were charged with state and federal counts of
allegedly distributing meth in the Wausau area.

Unlike some
Midwestern states, where police shut down hundreds of meth labs a year,
in Wisconsin, the problem is more hidden. Much of the meth used here
originates in Mexico and is transported to the Twin Cities, according to
a 2016 analysis of methamphetamine use and trafficking compiled by
federal and state law enforcement officials.

The drug can be in the form of powder, crystals or pills and can be smoked, snorted or injected.

Sheila
Weix, director of substance abuse services at Marshfield Clinic’s
Family Health Center, says that when she started treating addiction in
central and northern parts of the state in the 1980s, alcohol, “nerve”
pills, marijuana, cocaine and heroin were the most common. Then, in the
early 1990s, meth appeared. Its prevalence rose, then ebbed when the
opioid epidemic hit.

Now she is again seeing increasing numbers of people with meth addictions.

Robert
Morrison, executive director of the National Association of State
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, says meth’s resurgence reminds him of
the movie “Groundhog Day.” Ironically, some people are using meth to
help with withdrawal from opioids. Others are using it because it is
cheap and available.

“It’s about the buzz,” Easker says. “People use drugs for the buzz, and people get the most bang for their buck with (meth).”

Due
to grant guidelines, more than $60 million in state and federal dollars
that have been released to combat opioid misuse cannot be used to
mitigate this new crisis.

Health care providers say they should be granted flexibility in how they use these funds.

“It
should be the providers who are in the trenches everyday that should
have a voice in determining what the needs are,” says Saima Chauhan,
clinical team manager at Journey Mental Health Center in Madison. “We’re
the ones every day .. seeing individuals and families that are
suffering so tremendously from the effects of addiction.”

Morrison
says widespread addiction to pain pills and heroin prompted Congress to
direct a “historic investment” to combat the opioid epidemic. According
to federal budget figures, Congress has appropriated at least $6
billion in the past five years for prevention, treatment and research.

Wisconsin
has received $63 million in federal grants specifically targeted to
opioid prevention and medication-assisted treatment, according to the
state Department of Health Services.

Morrison says the nation was
facing “shocking conditions” and needed a “jolt to the system.” He
believes the jolt has been “tremendously helpful.”

But his group
of state substance abuse officials favors more flexible guidelines,
saying states are in the best position to decide where to spend money.

“The goal is to keep additional resources in the system,” he says.

As
it is, most people in Wisconsin who need substance use disorder
treatment still do not receive it. Less than 10% of the 397,000 people
with addictions from 2016 to 2017 got treatment, according to the latest
National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Unified Community
Services, the mental health agency of Iowa and Grant counties, has
received funding from one federal grant to fight opioid abuse, says
agency director Jeff Lockhart. Although the funds can be used to pay for
a wide range of services, including detoxification and residential
services, grant guidelines require the funds be used only for opioid-use
disorders.

“We are very, very pleased to get those funds. Those
allow us to do things we otherwise would have difficulty doing,” he
says. “But in contrast . it leaves other substances without that same
level of funding, so that does end up with a disparity.”

About 40%
of substance abuse prevention and treatment funds in Wisconsin flow
from the federal government. The rest is awarded through county and
state programs such as Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education. Although
initial HOPE grants established several opioid treatment centers,
recent grants have expanded treatment to include meth.

A 2018
report by the state Commission on Substance Abuse Treatment Delivery
recommended even looser restrictions, allowing treatment for any type of
substance abuse.

An estimated 22,000 people age 12 or older in
Wisconsin used meth in 2016-17, according to the most recent federal
drug use survey. Earlier surveys did not ask specifically about meth.

Other states, including neighboring Minnesota and Iowa, have even higher rates of use.

But
meth use is surging in places like Eau Claire County, where the number
of meth-related jail bed days grew more than eight-fold between 2011 to
2015.

In neighboring Chippewa County, the rise in meth use is
reflected in the numbers of children placed in out-of-home care by Child
Protective Services. In 2014, there were 28 children removed from their
homes. By 2018, that number had grown to 115 children — 93% of whom
were removed for reasons related to meth, says Kari Kerber, child and
families manager for Chippewa County.

Two of these children were
placed in Marcie and Jerry Lindbom’s home in Chippewa Falls, placed in
foster care because of their parents’ meth use.

Marcie Lindbom
sees the impact of meth at work, too. As a 4th grade teacher in the
Chippewa Falls School District, she spends time each day dealing with
traumas that her students have experienced. Some are unkempt and
unfocused; others fall asleep because they cannot get rest at home.

“It’s
like a stone in a pond,” Lindbom says. “The ripple effect of meth may
not feel relevant unless it’s someone really close to you, but that
ripple still reaches all of the people in our county.”

Children
can be directly affected by their parents’ meth use, metabolizing the
drug by inhaling it or absorbing its residue through their skin, Kerber
says. When smoked, meth is like cigarette smoke but heavier. It gets
everywhere, clinging to furniture, clothing and bedding, she says.

As
opioids have taken center stage, Journey’s Chauhan says meth has been
“hiding in the closet” in southern Wisconsin, in part because of the
lower risk of overdose.

“It’s starting to trickle south,” Chauhan says. “It’s a Wisconsin thing, it’s not just a northwest Wisconsin thing now.”

Kimberly
Hill runs a sober-living house for women with opioid addictions in
Dodgeville in southwestern Wisconsin. It has taken a long time for these
grants to reach the area, she says. Without such services, people
struggling with addiction go at it alone.

“You basically white
knuckle it and go through it in hopes that your affected family members
haven’t given up on you,” Hill says.

Three women currently living
at Recovery Pathways’ Opportunity House say they used opioids — and
meth. They say meth use is rampant in southwestern Wisconsin, with few
options for treatment. It is is the only recovery house in Iowa County,
with the next nearest facility in Madison, an hour away.

The grant
that funds the house requires the money be used for opioid-related
services, which has resulted in Hill having to turn people away because
they do not have a qualifying addiction.

Hill says the cravings
for meth and opioids are emotionally and physically draining. Jessica
Shepherd started living at the recovery house about a month ago. She
says the cravings for meth — which she used daily since trying it for
the first time — are very difficult to escape.

Ashley Beach used
meth in part so she would have more energy while working night shifts.
She worked nights to provide for her children and is pregnant now.
Children are not allowed in most recovery houses, but Hill says she will
not make Beach leave once the baby is born.

The facility is
funded by a program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
and Public Health. Bridget Mouchon-Humphrey, program director for the
Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program Inc., helped write the
grant, which covers Iowa, Lafayette, Grant, Green and Richland counties.
She says the group specified opioids because the drug was in the
spotlight.

But now they are worried about meth, too.

“People
will just bounce to a different drug, and meth seems to be the drug
people are bouncing to. That’s always been the case, it always will be
the case,” she says.

In some ways, treating an addiction to meth is more difficult than opioids.

There
is no FDA-approved medication to help with meth withdrawal. And it can
take an entire 28-day program to withdraw, making patients unable to
focus on treatment, says Corina Fisher, behavioral care therapist at
Prevea Health in Chippewa Falls.

Fisher says longer-term programs
that span months to a year are “very beneficial” for recovery,
especially for meth, which has a high relapse potential. However,
providers say there are few options for inpatient or long-term care, a
dearth of substance abuse counselors and lack of training in how to
treat meth addiction.

“In some ways, we focus more on the opioids
because there’s ways to solve the problem. There’s medications, there’s
watching how you’re prescribing it . but with meth, we have very limited
options of how to fully stop it,” Fisher says.

Jess Przybylski
sat in jail for four months until a bed opened up at an inpatient
treatment facility. Accessing treatment is even harder for those who are
not arrested, says Przybylski, who has since regained custody of her
children.

Przybylski says that without longer-term help like she
received, many people leave treatment programs and go back to the life
they were living before. The women at the recovery house in Dodgeville
agree, saying they likely would have relapsed had it not been for
Recovery Pathways.

“If you get out and you don’t have anywhere to
go, where are you going to go? Back to what you’re comfortable with and
back to where you were using,” Przybylski says.


By Parker Schorr of Wisconsin Watch, a nonprofit news outlet that provided this article to The Associated Press through a collaboration with Institute for Nonprofit News.

The post Wisconsin’s Meth Crisis Is Growing While The State Fights An Opioid Epidemic appeared first on High Times.

Monday, September 23, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Monday, September 23, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// House Marijuana Banking Vote Officially Scheduled For Next Week, Leadership Announces (Marijuana Moment)

// No Marijuana Banking Without Justice Reform Three Presidential Candidates Say (Marijuana Moment)

// 200 cannabis stores approved by Calgary, more than BC, Ontario, & Quebec combined (Marijuana Business Daily)


Today’s headlines are brought to you by our friends over at Eaze.com, California’s top one stop website for legal marijuana delivery. If you live in the golden state, swing over to Eaze.com to see if they are active in your area. With deliveries taking place in less than an hour, it’s never been easier to get legal California marijuana delivery. And of course, if you don’t live where Eaze delivers, you can still benefit from all the useful bits of industry insight and analysis they’ve developed using their properly aggregate and anonymized sales data stream.


// Former Federal Prosecutor’s Marijuana Legalization Measure Advances In South Dakota (Marijuana Moment)

// Wisconsin Senate leader snuffs medical marijuana bill that appeared to have some GOP backing (Journal Sentinel)

// Veto overridden on New Hampshire medical marijuana prescribing bill (WMUR 9)

// Cannabis Canada: Monthly pot sales in Canada surpass $100M for the first time (BNN Bloomberg)

// Colorado beer makers are expanding to cannabis beverages: ‘Down the road it could be as big as beer.’ (Colorado Sun)

// Bernie Sanders Talks Marijuana With Killer Mike, Danny Glover, And Ben & Jerry’s Founder (Marijuana Moment)

// Colorado marijuana companies are subject to federal labor laws despite being illegal, court rules (Denver Post)


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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.
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: Pearly85/Flickr

Wisconsin Legislators Introduce Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana

A bipartisan group of state legislators has introduced a bill to legalize medical marijuana in Wisconsin, according to media reports. The bill, from Republican Sen. Patrick Testin and Democrats Sen. Jon Erpenbach and Rep. Chris Taylor, was being circulated among lawmakers for cosponsors on Friday.

Testin said in a statement that for him, legalizing the medicinal use of cannabis in Wisconsin is a personal issue.

“Growing up, my grandfather was one of my heroes. I watched as cancer robbed him of his strength and vitality,” he said. “I saw him make the decision to go outside the law to seek treatment with medical marijuana. It restored his appetite, and I believe it added months to his life. Doctors and patients, not government, should decide if cannabis is the right treatment.”

Under the measure, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services would be required to establish a medical cannabis registry and issue identification cards to patients with a qualifying condition such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other serious medical conditions. Patients’ regular physicians will be required to request identifications cards from the state registry on their patients’ behalf.

The proposed legislation would also require that medical marijuana producers, manufacturers, testing laboratories, and dispensaries be licensed by the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, which would be directed to prioritize locally-owned small businesses. Applicants would be required to pay an initial fee of $250 and those granted licenses will have to pay an annual fee of $5,000 to operate.

State Rep. Says Bill ‘Long Overdue’

Taylor said in a statement that “nobody should be treated as a criminal for accessing the medicine they or their loved ones need.”

“This is a long overdue compassionate law that will finally allow sick patients to access the medicine they need,” she added.

Although the bill has bipartisan support, its chances in the state’s Republican-controlled legislature are uncertain. A spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who has previously indicated support for the legalization of medical marijuana, said that Vos was reviewing the bill but otherwise had no comment. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said that he does not support legalizing the medicinal use of cannabis, but his office had no comment on the new bill.

Earlier this year, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers included the legalization of medical marijuana and the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of cannabis in a state budget bill, but those provisions were not included by the legislature in the final version of the measure.

The new bill is the first bipartisan attempt to legalize medical marijuana in Wisconsin since 2001, according to lawmakers. Currently, only CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are permitted in the state.

The post Wisconsin Legislators Introduce Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana appeared first on High Times.

Wisconsin Man Allegedly Sold Bootleg Vape Cartridges Filled With THC

Now that the recent, unexplained vaping-associated death toll in the United States has risen to six victims, tensions are running high when it comes to illegal vaping products. Today, such unlicensed THC products have a poster boy: 20-year-old Tyler Huffhines of Wisconsin, whose business law enforcement officials say was producing 3,000 to 5,000 vaping cartridges a day.

His arrest was announced in a Wednesday press conference. Though Huffhines has not been formally charged, various felonies hang over his head: manufacturing and delivering THC and possession with intent to sell among them.

“I’m glad we caught it,” said Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth. “If this one is out there, there’s other ones out there.”

Apparently, officials discovered $300,000 worth of THC oil when they busted Huffhines’ operation, which was located in a Wisconsin condominium.

This is a high profile arrest, largely due to the fact that the nation is currently in the middle of a major vaping health scare that could be caused by unlicensed, untested vaping products. A Kansas woman who died on Tuesday was the sixth US resident to perish after vaping, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that at least 450 people had fallen ill with severe lung disease from the products.

Concern has even reached the White House, though the response has not been targeted at cannabis products specifically. On Wednesday, the Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that his agency had proposed a ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

First Lady Melania Trump, who is not renowned for her participation in public policy, has even weighed in on vaping this week. “We need to do all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth,” she tweeted.

In response to the widespread lung damage, the Canadian federal government has issued a warning about vaping any kind of product, nicotine or cannabis, licensed or unlicensed. Amazon has pulled products used for building and packaging vape cartridges.

Time will tell how the current crisis might affect how Huffhines fares in the criminal justice system. His operation was notable for both its alleged size and duration — it had been in operation since January, 2018. Police say Huffhines was selling his carts for $22 a piece, and had 10 people on his staff, many of whom worked on an assembly line, used time cards, and were paid 30 cents per cartridge filled.

Police were unable to say whether the THC oil being used in Huffhines’ company was being cut with other materials or drugs. New York officials have raised alarm that the recent deaths related to vaping were caused by the addition of vitamin E acetate to vaping liquid, a thickening agent that though inoffensive when used in skin care products, has proven to be toxic when inhaled.

Currently, Wisconsin police are testing the oil for possible added substances and investigating other potential players in Huffhines’ operation, a collection of people that “seems to keep growing each day,” according to Beth.

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