On March 21, 2017, California Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Temecula, presented a resolution to the Senate Standing Committee on Public Safety that would have the California State Legislature urge the United States Congress to pass legislation to reschedule marijuana and have President Donald Trump sign it.
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On March 17, 2017, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser signed Bill 220138, increasing the medical marijuana dispensary cap from five to six and greenlighting an application period for a sixth dispensary to be located in Ward 7 or Ward 8.
Two Illinois legislators have introduced bills to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. However, state Sen. Heather Steans and state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, both Democrats from the north side of Chicago, said they will not put the bills up for a vote this year. Rather, they will hold hearings on the bills with an eye toward putting them up for a vote next year.
On March 22, 2017, the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion for the city to create the Cannabis Licensing Commission, with the commission being responsible for the oversight of the city’s recreational cannabis licensing process.
As the Ohio Department of Commerce prepares to give licenses to medical marijuana growers, some entrepreneurs want the state to restrict licensees to only those who live in Ohio. Ohio’s medical marijuana law allows the Department of Commerce to grant licenses to 12 large growing operations and 12 small growing operations.
When the House of Representatives convened for its Morning Hour on March 21, 2017, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, took to the floor to urge House members to support H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act.
On March 17, 2017, Connecticut Sen. Ed Gomes announced that he is hosting a panel discussion on March 27 in Bridgeport to discuss recreational marijuana legalization in Connecticut.
In the latest speculation about the impact of legal marijuana on beer sales, Cannabiz Consumer Group research shows more than a quarter of beer drinkers have switched or would switch to marijuana, causing a major hit to retail sales of beer. Cannabiz estimates retail sales of beer could drop $2 billion annually, or 7.1 percent of existing sales.
On March 18, 2017, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced that it had issued a recall on nine pounds of marijuana flower produced by Emerald Wave Estate and sold by Buds 4 U in Mapleton due to the presence of unsafe levels of pesticide residue.
Marijuana grown by the federal government for research purposes does not have the same quality as the pot from other sources. Until recently, the U.S. federal government had to grow all the marijuana that would be used in scientific research, but researchers have found the government’s pot to be, essentially, irrelevant.
The Mendocino County Department of Agriculture recently announced that it will be hosting workshops in mid-April to help medical cannabis cultivators with their applications for cultivation permits.
The recent announcement of Oxford University’s $12.3 million Cannabis Research Plan has attracted the support of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, or at least the actor who portrayed him. Actor Patrick Stewart, also known for his role as Professor X in the current movie “Logan,” released a statement to the Telegraph describing his own success with medical marijuana, which he has used in spray, ointment and edible forms.
Oxford University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, recently announced that it is launching a program to research the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancer, inflammatory disease and pain.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has voted to prohibit new marijuana operations in unincorporated areas and to set a closing date for existing operations. The 3-2 vote by the Board of Supervisors will allow three existing dispensaries to operate until 2022. Two dispensaries in the process of getting permits can open, but they also must close within five years.
On March 15, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech to law enforcement officers in Richmond, Virginia, on his mission to fight violent crime and bolster public safety. It was during his discussion of drugs that Sessions brought marijuana into the conversation, reinforcing a stance that he has previously communicated.
A veterans group is opposing Arizona’s prohibition of medical marijuana on college campuses, according to a March 14, 2017, article at 12News.com. The veterans’ update on their Change.org petition, posted March 12, 2017, claims the University of Arizona campus police are “ready to lock up medical cannabis patients.”
The Colorado House has voted to impose a new restriction on the number of marijuana plants that can be grown in a residential space, according to a March 13, 2017 article in the Denver Post. If passed into law, the bill approved in the House would restrict all residential growing to 16 plants.
On March 9, 2017, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies announced that Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome has ordered John W. Long, Jr., of Nederland, as well as his marijuana businesses, Green Farms Consulting and Green Farms Holdings, to cease and desist offering and selling unregistered securities.
On March 13, 2017, the Ohio Department of Commerce announced that it is in search of a contractor with experience in the legal marijuana industry to create a rubric to score applicants for medical marijuana business licenses.
A Pennsylvania town that lost its steel industry 25 years ago hopes a new medical marijuana facility will bring economic revitalization. Braddock, Penn., lost its steel industry more than 25 years ago and since has been considered a financially distressed community. But the prospect of a medical marijuana facility is encouraging news for the town.
The Colorado Senate has approved marijuana clubs, where members can bring their own pot, according to a March 9, 2017, article by the Associated Press. Under the senate bill, the marijuana clubs would only be permitted to serve light snacks. Alcohol would be prohibited. However, Gov. John Hickenlooper has suggested he might veto the bill.
The founders of ResponsibleOhio, the group that sought to legalize recreational marijuana through a 2015 ballot measure, want to start growing and processing medical marijuana, according to a March 8, 2017, article at Cleveland.com. Jimmy Gould and Ian James are seeking one of 12 licenses available under the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.
A bill introduced in the Nevada Senate would allow public use of marijuana in certain circumstances, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. As of Jan. 1, 2017, Nevadans can possess marijuana, but they can use it only in private residences. Senate Bill 236 would allow local governments to give businesses and events licenses so patrons can use marijuana publicly.
A committee in the Colorado House has voted to restrict the number of home-grown marijuana plants to 12, according to the Associated Press. The committee voted 11-2 for the limitation. Currently, medical-marijuana users are allowed to have up to 99 plants at home, while recreational users can have six, which can be placed in greenhouses operated by co-ops.
Peru is a conservative nation with strict drug laws and a politically right-leaning Congress, but when police raided a lab in which mothers made medical marijuana for their sick children, attitudes began to change, according to a March 2, 2017, article by Reuters.
When White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer commented on the potential of “greater enforcement” of federal marijuana law under the Trump Administration, the industry reacted immediately. Now, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has penned a letter in an effort to protect the recreational marijuana industry.
Delays in implementing Texas’s medical marijuana law could be keeping the state from millions in tax revenues, according to Forbes. The Texas Compassionate Use Act became law on June 1, 2015, but it required doctors to write prescriptions for medical marijuana. Two problems stem from that requirement.
A Duke doctor has refused to continue seeing a nine-year-old North Carolina girl because her family gives her cannabidiol oil to cope with a rare illnes. The nine-year-old, Mia Morley, has a medical condition called Lennox Gastaut Syndrome. Her father, Dylan Morley, said Dr. Muhammad Mikati’s decision was based upon the federal status of CBD oil, which is not FDA approved.
On March 1, 2017, Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced that licensed medical marijuana cultivators are now eligible for PG&E’s agricultural energy rate and recreational cultivators will be eligible once they’ve been licensed under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
If law enforcement officers in Harris County, Texas, find someone in possession of less than four ounces of marijuana, the officers will take the marijuana and require the possessor to sign a contract to attend a drug-education class. Kim Ogg, the District Attorney of Harris County, Texas, has decided as of March 1, 2017, she will no longer prosecute most marijuana cases.
While President Donald Trump vowed on his campaign trail to let states decide the fate of marijuana legalization, recent comments by the Trump Administration seem to negate his campaign promise and have created a ripple effect in the public cannabis markets.
On Feb. 27, 2017, Congressman Tom Garrett, R-Va., introduced the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017,” to the House of Representatives. If passed, the bill, H.R. 1227, would decriminalize marijuana federally by removing it from the federal controlled substances list.
During a Feb. 27, 2017, meeting with reporters at the U.S. Justice Department, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a new explanation of his views on marijuana and federal law. “Most of you probably know I don’t think America is going to be a better place when more people of all ages and particularly young people start smoking pot,” Sessions said.
According to a study recently published by the International Journal of Drug Policy, patients in Canada are substituting marijuana for opioids, benzodiazepines and antidepressants for symptom relief from pain and mental health conditions.
In a nationally broadcast interview on Feb. 26, 2017, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said his state has sovereignty on matters of marijuana, despite the federal government’s anti-pot laws and the new attorney general’s stance as a weed opponent. Hickenlooper was a guest on NBC’s Meet the Press.
On Feb. 23, 2017, during a daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer answered a reporter’s question regarding marijuana enforcement, prompting immediate reactions from members of the legal cannabis industry.
On Feb. 23, 2017, Louisiana’s Southern University Land-Grant Campus held a town hall meeting on medical marijuana, providing attendees information on the university’s plans to move forward with the state’s medical marijuana program.
A new study from the United Kingdom has revealed academically high-achieving students are two times as likely to smoke marijuana during their teen years. The nine-year study of 6,059 school children was conducted by researchers at University College London. The study was published in the medical journal BMJ Open.
During a White House Daily Briefing on Feb. 23, 2017, press secretary Sean Spicer gave insight into how the Trump Administration may proceed in regards to the enforcement of federal marijuana law.
On Feb. 22, 2017, Australia’s Department of Health announced that providers approved by the Office of Drug Control will be allowed to import medical marijuana from approved international sources.
Lindy Snider, daughter of the late Pennsylvania business and sports leader Ed Snider, wants to get into Pennsylvania’s fledgling medical marijuana industry. She hopes to build a 125,000 square-foot growing space on the northeast side of Philadelphia. She said her late father, owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, would have endorsed medical marijuana as a good business idea.
On Feb. 21, 2017, the Oregon Department of Revenue announced that it had collected $5.3 million in marijuana tax revenue, brining the state’s total marijuana tax collection to $65.4 million.
A new cold-brewed coffee drink infused with THC is now available in the San Francisco Bay area. Somatik is a joint effort between the edibles company of the same name and Ritual Roasters. The 8-ounce bottles are available at several Bay-area dispensaries or through the CANNVIS delivery service for $12 each.
On Feb. 21, 2017, the University of Texas, in conjunction with the Texas Tribune, released the results of its February 2017 poll, with the outcomes demonstrating that opposition to legalization is on the decline while support for private use marijuana is on the rise.
A bill introduced in the Colorado Senate could allow licensed dispensaries to obtain a state endorsement to make deliveries to homes. If passed, Senate Bill 192 would allow residential deliveries of up to one ounce of recreational marijuana and up to two ounces of medical marijuana. Dispensaries would not be allowed to deliver to commercial, public, hotel or dormitory addresses.
In mid-February, researchers at Colorado State University and the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health, published “Work and Well-Being in the Colorado Cannabis Industry.”
Ohioans now can get an education in their state’s medical marijuana program. Richard Pine, an Ohio native, has opened the Cleveland Cannabis College. The college will offer courses in horticulture, history, law and other areas related to medical marijuana. Classes will begin in Fall 2017.
The Georgia Senate has passed a bill that would require a reduction in the amount of THC in cannabis oil. Senate Bill 16 reduces the amount of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, allowed in cannabis oil from 5 percent to 3 percent. However, the bill also adds a medical condition, autism, to the eight legal uses of medical marijuana established in 2015.
On Feb. 17, 2017, members of Washington’s state agencies toured the Department of Agriculture’s cannabis pesticide testing lab in Yakima.
On Feb. 16, 2017, the Congressional Cannabis Caucus held a press conference in Washington, D.C., to address the future of cannabis policy reform in the United States.