Recreational

U.S.: Sen. Ted Cruz Says He Supports States' Rights To Legalize Marijuana

TedCruzUSSenatorTexas

At least these days, both major political parties in the United States are smart enough to jockey for position on the marijuana issue rather than running away from as they did in the recent past. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thursday told attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference that he supports states’ rights to legalize and regulate marijuana, notwithstanding federal law.

Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity asked Sen. Cruz whether it was a good or bad idea for Colorado to legalize and regulate marijuana, to which he replied:

“Look I actually think this is a great embodiment of what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called ‘the laboratories of democracy.’ If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that’s their prerogative. I personally don’t agree with it, but that’s their right.”

A video of the exchange is available at http://bit.ly/1aqXrAC .

Sen. Cruz is the latest Republican presidential hopeful to take such a position. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) have also said they think the federal government should not interfere in states that legalize marijuana.

“Marijuana policy reform is, at its heart, a conservative issue," said Don Murphy, a former Republican state legislator from Maryland now serving as a federal policies analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "This is a matter of Federalism, the 10th Amendment, and state autonomy, which are core conservative priorities.

Jamaica: Cannabis Global Initiative To Assist Marijuana Companies Entering New Market

CGICannabisGlobalInitiativeDenver,ColoradoKingston,Jamaica

Legislation to make provisions for ganja reform was approved by the Jamaican Cabinet and tabled in the Senate in January 2015. This Bill, the Dangerous Drugs Act 2015, and popularly called the Ganja Bill, opened the door to the emergence of new financial and commercial opportunities for companies who want to do business in Jamaica.

As advisors for cannabis reform to the country of Jamaica, the Cannabis Global Initiative (CGI) says it is now offering "a full suite of services to assist companies wanting to be among the first to do legal cannabis business in the Caribbean," and has opened a second office in Kingston.

With the opening of its second office and CGI's longstanding relationships with the Jamaican government, policy stakeholders and the growing community, CGI is prepared to advise companies with placing their products and/or services in the first Caribbean country to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. TessMaria Leon, director of Client Services for CGI's Caribbean team, heads CGI's Kingston office.

"We've created a robust offering to ensure the best companies are being represented and positioned correctly to do business in the Caribbean," says CGI President Wanda James. "CGI has created a number of packages with several levels of service designed to introduce cannabis-related businesses to Jamaican culture, lifestyle and business infrastructure."

Vermont: House Bill Introduced To Regulate And Tax Marijuana Like Alcohol

ChrisPearson(VTHouse)

H. 277 mirrors the Senate bill, introduced last week, to establish a legal market for licensed businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older

State Rep. Chris Pearson (P-Burlington) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Vermont. Nine co-sponsors have signed on to H. 277, which mirrors S. 95, the Senate bill introduced last week by Sen. David Zuckerman (P-Chittenden).

“There is a lot of support among legislators and the public for ending marijuana prohibition in Vermont,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is part of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana. “It is never too soon to replace a failed, antiquated policy with a more sensible, evidence-based approach.

"If it’s the right thing to do, the right time to do it is now,” Simon said.

H. 277 and S. 95 would allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana; grow up to two flowering marijuana plants and seven non-flowering plants in a secure indoor location; and possess the marijuana yielded from those plants at the same location. It would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive while impaired by marijuana.

Alaska: Wasilla Bans Pot Brownies; Says Smoking Weed Still Illegal If It Pisses Off The Neighbors

MarijuanaBrownies

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Well, nobody can say the Wasilla City Council wasn't ready when marijuana legalization came along, no sir. Less than three hours before recreational cannabis became legal across the state, the council on Monday banned making pot brownies at home.

The city, known for its lax rules on everything from ATVs to big box stores, suddenly got all into restricting personal freedom and passed what for now look to be the strictest local laws covering recreational marijuana use in Alaska, reports Zaz Hollander at .

On a 4-2 vote, the council limited marijuana use within city limits to private proprty smoking, or consuming medibles if they were made outside Wasilla. Even smoking marijuana at home is still illegal, if it bothers the neighbors.

The new regulations ban making "edibles, concentrates or extracts" at home.

Within Wasilla, it's also now illegal to transport more than 2 ounces of cannabis inside one vehicle. State law allows up an an ounce per adult, but doesn't limit totals.

The new Wasilla regulations prohibition marijuana clubs and require that the use of cannabis "cease immediately" if other residents or neighbors are "disturbed." Wait, I thought they already took a vote on this?!

"This is a first step," claimed Stu Graham, the newest member on the city council who also proposed most of the regulations. "This is a building block."

Maryland: House Committee Hearing Set For Tuesday On Bill To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

MarijuanaPolicyCoalitionOfMaryland(logoJPG)

House Judiciary Committee to consider bill at 1 p.m. that would make marijuana legal for adults, establish regulations for cultivation and sale

The Maryland House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing in the General Assembly on Tuesday, February 24, to consider a bill that would regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol.

Supporters of the bill, including representatives of the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland, are expected to testify.

The hearing will take place in Room 101 of the House Office Building at 1 p.m. ET.

HB 911, the Marijuana Control and Revenue Act of 2015, sponsored by Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore City), would allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants in their homes.

The bill requires the Maryland Comptroller to establish rules and regulations for the operation of cultivation facilities, product manufacturers, retailers, and safety compliance labs. It also creates an oversight commission to monitor marijuana businesses and advise the comptroller on regulatory issues.

WHAT: House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Marijuana Control and Revenue Act of 2015 (HB 911)

WHEN: Tuesday, February 24, 1 p.m. ET

WHERE: Maryland House Office Building, Room 101, 6 Bladen St., Annapolis

WHO: Sara Love, ACLU of Maryland
Eric Blitz, Libertarian Party
Tim Lynch, Cato Institute

Alaska: Marijuana Legalization Law Takes Effect Tuesday

AlaskaMarijuana2015

In First ‘Red’ State to Legalize Marijuana, Possession and Cultivation Become Legal; Commercial Retail Sales to Begin in 2016

Bipartisan Consensus Accelerates Momentum to Legalize Marijuana and End Drug War

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Tomorrow will mark a major step forward in the implementation of Alaska’s marijuana legalization law, as personal cultivation, possession, and consumption become legal. Last November, Alaskans voted 53-47 percent in favor of marijuana legalization, making it the first “red” state to pass such a law.

“First Colorado and Washington, now Alaska and Oregon – and all with levels of support higher than the winning candidates for governor and U.S. Senate achieved in those states,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Legalizing marijuana just makes sense now to voters across the political spectrum and – as we’ll likely see in 2016 – across the country.”

Starting tomorrow, it will be legal for someone 21 years of age or over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes (provided that only three of them are mature at any time), and to share up to 1 ounce of marijuana with someone 21 or over and give them up to six immature marijuana plants.

Private consumption will be completely legal for those 21 and over, though public consumption remains illegal.

Colorado: MPP Calls For Boycott of Holiday Inn After Hotel Operator Files Federal Lawsuit To Shut Down Marijuana Legalization

MarijuanaPolicyProjectvsHolidayInnRegulationWorksGetOverIt

Suit filed Thursday by New Vision Hotels Two, LLC claims its Frisco Holiday Inn location — which sells alcohol, a more harmful substance than marijuana — would lose business if a state-licensed marijuana retail store opens across the street

If you enjoy legal cannabis, you may want to avoid giving your business to Holiday Inn.

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) on Friday called for a nationwide boycott of Holiday Inn after a hotel operator in Colorado filed a federal lawsuit intended to shut down the state’s marijuana regulatory system.

New Vision Hotels Two, LLC is the primary plaintiff in a suit filed Thursday that claims its Frisco Holiday Inn location would lose business if a state-licensed marijuana retail store opens nearby. The operators of the hotel, which sells alcohol — a more harmful substance than marijuana — on its premises, say the presence of a marijuana business will hurt the hotel’s image and deter visitors.

In messages to its approximately 200,000 email subscribers and 414,000 combined followers on Facebook and Twitter, MPP urged supporters of legalizing and regulating marijuana to stop staying at Holiday Inn hotels until the lawsuit is dropped. It also launched a Change.org petition targeting New Vision Hotels and Holiday Inn’s parent company, InterContinental Hotels Group.

The petition is online at http://chn.ge/1w4Fqls.

Vermont: Bill Introduced To Legalize, Regulate, Tax Marijuana Like Alcohol

VermontCoalitionToRegulateMarijuana

Sen. David Zuckerman (P-Hinesburg) introduced a bill Tuesday night that would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Vermont.

“Marijuana prohibition has worn out its welcome in Vermont,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is part of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana. “This is an opportunity for state lawmakers to demonstrate leadership on this issue and set an example for other states to follow in coming years.

"It’s not often that legislators have the chance to improve public safety, bolster the economy, and enhance personal liberties all in one piece of legislation,” Simon said.

The bill, S. 95, would allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. They could grow up to two flowering marijuana plants and seven non-flowering plants in a secure indoor location, and they would also be allowed to possess the marijuana grown from those plants at the same location.

It would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive while impaired by marijuana.

The Department of Public Safety would be directed to license and regulate marijuana retail stores, lounges, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, and testing laboratories. Localities would have the ability to regulate or prohibit marijuana businesses within their borders.

New Hampshire: Supporters Of Marijuana Legalization Bill Hold Press Conference

NewHampshireMedicalMarijuana

Bill sponsors joined by attorneys Paul Twomey and Jonathan Cohen, and Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project, at event prior to House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee hearing on HB 618

Supporters of a bill to remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana in New Hampshire held a news conference at 1:30 p.m. ET in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building prior to a hearing on the bill by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

The bill sponsor, Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket), was be joined at the event by bill cosponsor Rep. Joe Lachance (R-Manchester), attorney Paul Twomey, attorney Jonathan Cohen, and Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project.

The committee hearing followed, scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET in Room 204 of the Legislative Office Building.

HB 618, sponsored by Rep. Schroadter and a bipartisan group of seven co-sponsors, would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana punishable by a civil fine of up to $100. It would also make cultivation of up to six marijuana plants a Class A misdemeanor instead of a felony.

Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that treats simple marijuana possession as a criminal offense with the potential for jail time.

U.S: Ganjapreneur Adds Search Feature To Marijuana Job Feed Site, Business Directory

GanjapreneurCannabisBusinessServices

Ganjapreneur, a website dedicated to cannabis business news and culture, has announced the addition of a search engine to their marijuana job feed and their business directory for cannabis companies. The new feature is intended to help aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals in the industry find and connect with cannabis-focused companies who are hiring.

Ganjapreneur launched their Marijuana Job Feed, a live feed of job listings from the leading cannabis industry job boards, in fall 2014. The feed refreshes throughout the day to reflect the most recently-posted job opportunities on the internet.

Ganjapreneur's Business Directory also launched in 2014, and serves as a resource for professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs who wish to find and connect with companies that have specialized in cannabis. Categories of these companies include lawyers, consultants, web designers, and accountants.

Since their official launch in July 2014, Ganjapreneur has also published a large volume of news articles and editorials related to the cannabis and hemp industries. They offer a weekly cannabis industry newsletter, and have published a news-reader app which is available for Android and Apple devices.

They also publish in-depth interviews with cannabis entrepreneurs and investors, and have announced that they are developing a "Freelancer Network" designed to help independent workers find gigs with cannabis industry businesses.

Maryland: Bill To Legalize, Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Introduced In Legislature

MarylandMarijuana[TheDailyChronic]

Bill would make marijuana legal for adults, establish regulations for cultivation and sale

A bill that would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol was introduced in the Maryland General Assembly on Friday. HB 911, the Marijuana Control and Revenue Act of 2015, sponsored by Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore City), would allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants in their homes.

The bill requires the Maryland Comptroller to establish rules and regulations for the operation of cultivation facilities, product manufacturers, retailers, and safety compliance labs. It also creates an oversight commission to monitor marijuana businesses and advise the comptroller on regulatory issues.

The fiscal note for similar legislation proposed in 2014 estimated about $95.6 million per year in revenue from the $50/ounce excise taxes and about $39 million in new revenue from sales taxes. State expenditures would be exceeded through the estimated $1.995 to $3.985 million in yearly revenue in licensing fees from wholesalers, retailers, and safety compliance facilities.

A companion bill, SB 531, was introduced by Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County) earlier this week.

Marijuana businesses would not be permitted to operate within 1,000 feet of a school, and localities would be able to enforce additional regulations. Using marijuana in public and driving under the influence would remain illegal.

New Mexico: Marijuana Legalization Resolution Passes Out Of Senate Rules Committee

NewMexicoMarijuanaLegalizationAreYouReady

Public Opinion and Wasted Tax Dollars Push Legislator to Fix Broken Marijuana Policies

For the first time in history, a legislative committee on Thursday voted in favor of taxing and regulating marijuana in New Mexico. On a vote of 5-4, New Mexico State Senator Ortiz y Pino’s (D-12-Bernalillo) Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR2) passed the Senate Rules Committee.

SJR2 would allow for the possession and personal use of marijuana by persons 21 years of age and older and for the regulation of the production, sale and taxation of marijuana in New Mexico.

“Today’s vote sets in motion the process to put the issue on a 2016 statewide ballot for voters,” said Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico state director with the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Marijuana prohibition in New Mexico has clearly failed.

"It hasn’t reduced use and instead has resulted in the criminalization of people, gross racial disparities, and enormous fiscal waste," Kaltenbach said. "Senator Ortiz y Pino’s resolution will allow our legislature rethink how we can enhance the health and safety of all New Mexicans through sensible reforms.”

U.S.: NBC Launches Mini-Docu 'Legalized: A Year in the Life of Recreational Marijuana'

LegalizedAYearInTheLifeOfRecreationalMarijuana

Congratulations, America: You're making progress. For the first time since the 1930s, cannabis is being legally grown, sold and consumed in the United States.

NBCNews.com on Thursday launched an original, digital mini-documentary titled "Legalized: A Year in the Life of Recreational Marijuana."

This project, led by Bill Smee, director of original production for NBC News Digital, was filmed on and off in Colorado over the last three to four months months.

The mini-documentary is one of six mini-docs that have already been produced by the NBC News Original Video Unit.

You can watch the NBCNews.com mini-documentary here:

Graphic: NBCNews.com

Washington: Small Town Plans To Run Its Own Marijuana Store By Month's End

NorthBonnevilleWAMayorDonStevens[TheColumbian]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The City of North Bonneville, Washington, a community of about a thousand residents on the Columbia River, doesn't appear extraordinary at first glance, but it's unique in one way: It's about to become the first municipality in the state to run its own marijuana store.

The city is just weeks from getting a license to open the store, which local officials said could serve as a model for other cities across the state, reports Bill Conroy at The Narcosphere.

North Bonneville was founded on the timber industry, which is now in steep decline, so it counts on tourism as a major economic force. The city's just 45 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon, another state which recently legalized recreational cannabis.

But city leaders said tourism wasn't the driving force behind their decision to open a marijuana store. North Bonneville Mayor Don Stevens said the city wanted to seize control of its own destiny in the evolution of a legal cannabis market that holds great promise, even while pockets of hard-core opposition to pot continue to exist.

Alaska: Marijuana News Show Now Broadcast On KBYR Anchorage

TNMNews(logo)

TNMNews, which calls itself "the unbiased marijuana talk radio program," is now broadcast on KBYR Anchorage. The announcement follows the news last month that TNMNews is also broadcast on KFAR 660 AM, the oldest radio station in Alaska.

"KBYR has become the third terrestrial station to pick up our unbiased cannabis-related news and talk show," said Todd Denkin, president of TNMNews and CEO of its parent company, DigiPath, Inc. "Cannabis is a hot topic in Alaska, where voters recently gave thumbs up to the recreational use of marijuana by passing Ballot Measure 2."

Hosted by Todd Denkin and Jen Gentile, the latest episode of TNMNews examines how political activism is working to advance acceptance of marijuana use in America and features leaders in the fight to expand cannabis in healthcare and its role in films and television.

First up in this week's show, certified nurse Lanny Swerdlow describes how in 1995 he administered cannabis to a patient for the first time. The patient had contracted HIV/AIDS, and he was wasting away while experiencing severe side effects from his medication cocktail.

Cannabis mitigated the side effects, so Swerdlow's patient stayed compliant with his prescribed medications. It also stimulated the patient's appetite, reversing his wasting, and helped lift his spirits. The problem that Swerdlow faced in treating his patient with marijuana was having to "deal with criminals to get it for him."

Syndicate content