Author Archives: William Sumner

Tennessee House Speaker Helps Break Tie on Medical Cannabis Bill

Tennessee House Speaker Helps Break Tie on Medical Cannabis Bill

Tennessee House Speaker Helps Break Tie on Medical Cannabis Bill

Efforts to legalize medical cannabis in Tennessee have gotten some unexpected support from state House Speaker Beth Harwell. On Feb. 27, 2018, Harwell voted to break a tie in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee in favor of HB 1749 / SB 1710, also known as the Medical Cannabis Act. Under the proposed measure, medical cannabis

Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Program Off to Rough Start

Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Program Off to Rough Start

The Pennsylvania medical cannabis program had a rough start as retail sales began on Feb. 15, 2018. The opening weekend was marked by long lines and short supply as Cresco Yeltrah was the only medical cannabis supplier able to provide products to dispensaries during the state’s first week of sales.

Study Finds MMJ Laws Do Not Increase Adolescent Cannabis Use

Study Finds MMJ Laws Do Not Increase Adolescent Cannabis Use

Although a majority of Americans support medical cannabis, a small segment of the population still opposes its legalization for fear that it will lead to an increase in adolescent cannabis use; however, according to a new study published in the journal Addiction, that fear may be unfounded.

Failed Applicants Sue Ohio Over Medical Cannabis Licensing Process

Failed Applicants Sue Ohio Over Medical Cannabis Licensing Process

More strife is on the horizon for Ohio’s troubled medical cannabis program. On Feb. 20, 2018, a group of unsuccessful medical cannabis applicants, led by Jimmy Gould of CannAscend Ohio LLC, filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s medical cannabis licensing process.

Judge Overturns Detroit Medical Cannabis Initiative

Judge Overturns Detroit Medical Cannabis Initiative

In the city of Detroit, the group Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform is weighing its legal options after Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Colombo, Jr., overturned Measure B, a Detroit medical cannabis initiative aimed at relaxing local control on the city’s medical cannabis industry, on Feb. 16, 2018.

Detroit City Council Approves Moratorium on New Medical Cannabis Licenses

Detroit City Council Approves Moratorium on New Medical Cannabis Licenses

Entrepreneurs hoping to open medical cannabis dispensaries in Detroit, Michigan, will have to put their plans on hold for the time being. On Feb. 13, 2018, the Detroit City Council voted to impose a 180-day moratorium on new medical cannabis licenses and permits.

Virginia Senate Passes Bill for First-Time Offenders to Have Cannabis Charges Expunged

Virginia Senate Passes Bill for First-Time Offenders to Have Cannabis Charges Expunged

Virginia residents caught with cannabis might get a chance to clear their convictions. On Feb. 12, 2018, the Virginia Senate voted to approve Senate Bill 954, a bill which would reduce the penalties for cannabis possession and allow first-time offenders to have their charges expunged.

Deadline to Challenge Michigan Legalization Signatures Passes Without Objection

Deadline to Challenge Michigan Legalization Signatures Passes Without Objection

The Michigan-based Committee to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol received a boost in support after the Feb 9. 2018, deadline to challenge the group’s petition signatures for a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in the state passed without any objection from opposing organizations.

Study: Medical Cannabis May Not Be Panacea to Prevent Opioid-Related Deaths

Study: Medical Cannabis May Not Be Panacea to Prevent Opioid-Related Deaths

It has often been touted by medical cannabis advocates that states with medical cannabis laws see a statistical reduction in opioid-related deaths, and there is some evidence to support this claim; however, a recent study conducted by the RAND Corporation and the University of California, Irvine, calls into question this assumption and paints a more complex picture.

Medical Cannabis Exports Suspended in Israel

Medical Cannabis Exports Suspended in Israel

Israel has temporarily suspended medical cannabis exports. According to Haaretz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was responsible for the suspension and has ordered a review from both the Health Ministry and the chairman of the National Economic Council.

Fourth Corner Credit Union Gains Conditional Approval From the Federal Reserve

Fourth Corner Credit Union Conditionally Approved by Federal Reserve

A Colorado credit union dedicated to serving the cannabis industry is one step closer to becoming fully operational. On Feb. 5, 2018, the Fourth Corner Credit Union was given conditional approval by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City for a master account.

New Mexico Senate Rules Committee Approves Legalization Bill

New Mexico Senate Rules Committee Approves Legalization Bill

Recreational cannabis might be heading for the New Mexico ballot in 2018. On Feb. 2, 2018, the New Mexico Senate Rules Committee voted 4-3 to approve Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino’s Senate Joint Resolution 4, a measure which would allow state residents to vote on cannabis legalization in the next general election.

Maine Governor Agrees to Delay Implementation of Controversial Medical Cannabis Rules

Maine Governor Agrees to Delay Implementation of Controversial Medical Cannabis Rules

Controversial rules regulating Maine’s medical cannabis program will not go into effect as scheduled. On Jan. 31, 2018, Gov. Paul LePage agreed to delay implementation of the medical cannabis rules, which would have gone into effect on Feb. 1, 2018, until May 2018.

Study: Cannabis Use May Reduce Risk of Alcohol-Related Liver Disease

Study: Cannabis Use May Reduce Risk of Alcohol-Related Liver Disease

Can cannabis protect individuals from alcohol-related liver damage? Maybe. According to a study published in the journal Liver International, heavy alcohol users that use cannabis on a daily basis have reduced incidence of liver disease than those that do not.

Legislative Committees in the Pine Tree State Vote to Delay Maine Marijuana Regulations

Legislative Committees in the Pine Tree State Vote to Delay Maine Marijuana Regulations

Two legislative committees in the Pine Tree State have decided that they need more time to perfect Maine marijuana regulations. On Jan. 25. 2018, the state legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee voted to approve a moratorium bill that would delay the implementation of new medical marijuana rules issued by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Nevada Tax Department Taking Steps to Address Issues Surrounding Testing Facilities

Nevada Tax Department Taking Steps to Address Issues Surrounding Testing Facilities

The Nevada Tax Department is taking steps to address issues with state-licensed cannabis testing facilities. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, four of the the state’s nine licensed cannabis testing facilities have been suspended in the last five months.

Illinois Judge: Add Chronic Pain as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana

Illinois Judge: Add Chronic Pain as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana

Illinois patients suffering from chronic pain may soon have a new way to treat their medical condition. On Jan. 16, 2018, Cook County Judge Raymond Mitchell ordered the Illinois Department of Public Health to add chronic pain as a qualifying condition for the state’s medical marijuana program.

Maine Medical Marijuana Caregivers File Lawsuit Against DHHS

Maine Medical Marijuana Caregivers File Lawsuit Against DHHS

In an effort to halt implementation of new regulations governing Maine medical marijuana caregivers, two medical marijuana shop owners, along with two unnamed patients in their care, have filed a lawsuit against the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the state medical marijuana program.

Maryland Report Suggests State Consider Race in Cannabis Licensing Process

Maryland Report Suggests State Consider Race in Cannabis Licensing Process

Minorities in the state of Maryland are at a disadvantage in the state’s medical cannabis licensing process, according to the report of a state consultant hired to review a 2017 disparity study after controversy arose over the fact that no minority-owned businesses were awarded a medical cannabis license.

New York Governor Calls for Feasibility Study to Examine Legalizing Marijuana

New York Governor Calls for Feasibility Study to Examine Legalizing Marijuana

Could New York become the next state to legalize recreational marijuana? On Jan. 16, 2018, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his proposed FY 2019 state budget, which includes funding for the creation of a feasibility study aimed at understanding the social, health, and criminal justice impact of legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.

Vermont Senate Votes to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Vermont Senate Votes to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Recreational marijuana is coming to the state of Vermont. On Jan. 10, 2017, the Vermont Senate voted to approve H. 511, a bill that will legalize recreational marijuana possession for adults 21 and older, as well as home growing of two mature plants and four immature plants.

Arizona Supreme Court Reviewing Ruling in Campus MMJ Case

Arizona Supreme Court Reviewing Ruling in Campus MMJ Case

Can Arizona universities and colleges ban medical marijuana on their campuses? Can the state legislature ban it for them? These are the questions that the Arizona Supreme Court is set to decide.

New Hampshire House Gives Preliminary Approval to Legalization Bill

New Hampshire House Gives Preliminary Approval to Legalization Bill

A legalization bill in the state of New Hampshire has just cleared its first legislative hurdle. On Jan. 8, 2018, the state House of Representatives voted to give preliminary approval to an amended version of HB 656, a bill legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.

California Drugged Driving PSA Nixed Over Concerns It Encouraged Cannabis Use

California Drugged Driving PSA Nixed Over Concerns It Encouraged Cannabis Use

Cannabis may be legal in California, but that doesn’t mean that reefer madness has gone away. According to a report by FOX40, the California Department of Traffic Safety has pulled an anti-drugged-driving PSA over concerns that it encouraged cannabis use.

Alaska Investigating Inconsistent Results at Marijuana Testing Facilities

Alaska Investigating Inconsistent Results at Marijuana Testing Facilities

On Jan. 2, 2018, the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office announced that it had been made aware of several inconsistencies at two marijuana testing facilities in the state. In an announcement released by AMCO, officials outlined two specific examples of inconsistencies found at the testing facilities.

Mike Tyson Breaks Ground on Cannabis Resort in Nevada

Mike Tyson Breaks Ground on Cannabis Resort in Nevada

After a lifetime of conquering opponents in the ring, legendary boxer Mike Tyson has set his sights on a new opponent: the legal cannabis industry. On Dec. 20, 2017, Tyson broke ground on a 40-acre cannabis resort in California City, Nevada.

Florida Judge Halts Issuance of Cultivation License Intended for Black Farmer

Florida Judge Halts Issuance of Cultivation License Intended for Black Farmer

On Dec. 29, 2017, a Florida judge ordered the state health department to halt the issuance of a medical marijuana cultivation license intended for a member of the Florida chapter of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association.

New Mexico Legislator Wants Marijuana on the 2018 Electoral Ballot

New Mexico Legislator Wants Marijuana on the 2018 Electoral Ballot

A New Mexico legislator is once again working to legalize recreational marijuana. On Dec. 21, 2017, state Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino introduced a measure that would put a ballot amendment legalizing recreational marijuana on the 2018 electoral ballot.

Former California Attorney General Bill Lockyer Launches Cannabis Distribution Company

Former California Attorney General Bill Lockyer Launches Cannabis Distribution Company

After spending the bulk of his professional career enforcing federal cannabis law, former California Attorney General Bill Lockyer is cashing in on the state’s legal cannabis industry by co-founding his own cannabis distribution firm.

Vast Majority of Utah Voters Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana

Vast Majority of Utah Voters Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana

The vast majority of Utah voters support legalizing medical marijuana. According to a new poll by UtahPolicy.com, approximately 73% of registered Utah voters either strongly or somewhat support legalizing medical marijuana in the state.

Nevada Marijuana Sales in October Generated $5.8 Million in Tax Revenue

Nevada Marijuana Sales in October Generated $5.8 Million in Tax Revenue

Tax revenue from Nevada’s fledgling marijuana industry continues to climb. On Dec. 20, 2017, the Nevada Department of Taxation reported that marijuana sales brought in approximately $5.8 million in tax revenue in the month of October.

Senator Ron Wyden Becomes First Co-Sponsor for the Marijuana Justice Act

Senator Ron Wyden Becomes First Co-Sponsor of Marijuana Justice Act

On Dec. 18, 2017, United States Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced that he would be the first co-sponsor of S.1689, better known as the Marijuana Justice Act, a bill that would take marijuana off of the federal list of controlled substances.

Alaskan Edibles Manufacturer Has License Revoked By State Marijuana Control Board

Alaskan Edibles Manufacturer Has License Revoked by State

On Dec. 15, 2017, Frozen Budz, an Alaskan edibles manufacturer, had its manufacturing license revoked by the state Marijuana Control Board, marking the first time that the state control board has had to take such an action.

Ohio Officials Defend Medical Marijuana License Selection Process

Ohio Officials Defend Medical Marijuana License Selection Process

Ohio officials are defending the way in which they chose the state’s 24 medical marijuana cultivators after a series of scandals have brought the integrity of the department’s selection process into question.

PharmaCann Suing Ohio Over Licensing to Fulfill Racial Quota

PharmaCann Suing Ohio Over Licensing to Fulfill Racial Quota

For the third time in two weeks, Ohio’s medical marijuana program is once again at the center of controversy. PharmaCann Ohio, LLC, a medical marijuana company that failed to obtain a cultivation license in the state, has filed a lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Commerce over its alleged “racial quota.”


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