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Medical Marijuana

CN BC: High Interest In Higher Education On Cannabis

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 01/30/2017 - 08:00
Metro, 30 Jan 2017 - Kwantlen offers unique course as legalization on the horizon A continuing studies course that began as a joke two years ago has attracted more than 500 students who see medical marijuana as a growing job opportunity.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Confusion: Marijuana Legal Limbo Frustrating For Everyone

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 08:00
Cowichan Valley Citizen, 27 Jan 2017 - The owners of Green Aura, a marijuana dispensary in Chemainus, received another $200 ticket from the Municipality of North Cowichan last week. It's the second ticket from bylaw officers in a matter of weeks for the dispensary, given for not having a business licence, and co-owner Trevor Pewarchuk said he's "frustrated" with the municipality and the failure, so far, by the federal government to legalize marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Weemedical Wellness Business Licence Revoked

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 08:00
Chilliwack Progress, 27 Jan 2017 - WeeMedical Wellness reps were given one last chance to make their case to city council before it voted unanimously Tuesday to revoke their business licence. Weemedical lawyer Mitch Foster said allegations by an anonymous source that marijuana was being "sold" from the storefront location on Fifth Avenue in Chilliwack were false.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Israel Moves Toward Marijuana Decrim, ND&WY May Lower MJ Penalties, More.. (1/26/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 01/26/2017 - 23:15

It's all weed news today, even from the Middle East. State legislatures are taking up marijuana-related bills, and Israel is moving to decriminalize it.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Maine Legalization "Fix" Bill Passes Legislature. Both the House and the Senate approved LD 88 Wednesday. The bill now goes to the governor's desk. The most significant provision of the bill is a delay on retail operations by three months, into early 2018.

New Mexico Lawmakers Begin Push for Legalization Bills. Democratic lawmakers Wednesday announced a push to win approval of marijuana legalization via House Bill 89 and a yet-to-be-filed Senate companion bill. The bill would regulate marijuana commerce and apply a 15% state sales tax, with localities given the option of adding another 5%. "We create jobs, we create economic activity and we create revenues for the state," said Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) who plans to introduce the Senate version of the bill later this week. "It is one way this state has, and I think one of the most promising ways, to get back on track economically."

North Dakota Bill to Reduce Pot Penalties Filed. State Rep. Rick Becker (R-Bismarck) has filed House Bill 1340, which would reduce, but not eliminate, criminal penalties for using or selling marijuana small amounts of marijuana. Under current law, violators face up to three years in prison and a $3,000 fine. Under the bill, that would drop to one year and a $1,000 fine. The bill would make some marijuana-related offenses infractions instead of misdemeanors.

Vermont Push for Legalization Begins. Supporters of marijuana legalization gathered at the state house Wednesday for a press conference to kick off their effort to legalize it there this year. That's the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, including representatives from Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform, ACLU-VT, and the Marijuana Policy Project. "Massachusetts, Maine, and six other states have made marijuana legal for adult use," said Matt Simon, New England Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project. "It makes no sense for Vermont to continue punishing adults for using a substance that is safer than alcohol. Lawmakers should move swiftly to eliminate penalties for adult possession and limited home cultivation. They can then work to implement a reasonably regulated system that will take marijuana sales out of the illicit market."

Wyoming Bill to Lessen Marijuana Penalties Filed. A bipartisan group of legislators is sponsoring House Bill 157, which would not decriminalize pot possession, but would make the maximum penalty for possession of less than three ounces a $200 fine. Under current law, violators face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Medical Marijuana

New Hampshire Legislators Discuss Adding More Qualifying Conditions. The House Human Services, Health, and Elderly Affairs committee heard testimony on a series of bills that would add chronic pain, opioid addiction, fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder qualifying conditions to receive medical marijuana. The bills are sponsored by Rep. Joseph Lachance (R-Manchester), a medical marijuana card holder since 2015 who says "cannabis saved my life."

International

Israel Moves to Decriminalize Marijuana Use. Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced Thursday that he supports the decriminalization of marijuana use after the Justice Ministry called for decriminalization. It's not a done deal yet, though; the new policy will require the cabinet's approval. Erdan was head of a panel that recommended decriminalization, and now he has signed on to its conclusions.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Pot Raid Rattles Residents

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 01/26/2017 - 08:00
Packet & Times, 26 Jan 2017 - Two Oro-Medonte men were arrested this week for growing marijuana, despite having a licence to grow Angered over an "unjust" police raid over medicinal marijuana, two Oro-Medonte men feel victimized after being arrested at their home and taken away in handcuffs.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 22:25

The Illinois treasurer asks Trump for clarity on banking for the medical marijuana industry, North Dakota legislators work to ensure workers' compensation won't pay for medical marijuana for injured employees, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Arkansas

On Monday, Athe legislature approved changes to the state's new medical marijuana law. With the state Senate's approval Monday, House Bill 1058 now goes to the governor. It passed the House last week. The bill removes a requirement that doctors declare the benefits of medical marijuana outweigh the risk to the patient. It also specifies that patient information submitted to qualify for medical marijuana is "confidential," but would not be considered "medical records" subject to the Health Information Privacy Protection Act.

On Tuesday, the governor signed a pair of medical marijuana "fix" bills. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed into law two bills aimed at modifying the state's new, voter-approved medical marijuana law. House Bill 1026 will extend the deadline for rulemaking from 120 days to 180 days, and House Bill 1058 removes the requirement that doctors certify in writing that the help benefits of marijuana would outweigh the risks to the patient.

Illinois

On Monday, the state treasurer asked Trump for clarity on banking for the medical marijuana industry. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs sent a letter to President Trump urging him to give clear guidance to the banking industry on marijuana. Frerichs said currently federal law makes it difficult for legal businesses to get loans and restricts customers to cash-only transactions.

North Dakota

On Monday, the House approved a bill preventing workers' comp from paying for medical marijuana. The House overwhelmingly approved House Bill 1156. Passed in response to voters' approval of a medical marijuana initiative in November, the bill prevents the state Workforce Safety and Insurance agency from paying for medical marijuana to treat a workplace injury. Legislators said marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: NFL Players Want Less Punitive MJ Approach, Israel MedMJ Research, More... (1/25/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 22:01

NFL players want the league to ease up on weed, an Oregon bill seeks to declare a kratom "emergency" and study whether to ban it, the Israelis are funding medical marijuana research, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

NFL Players Association Will Propose Less Punitive Approach to Pot. The NFLPA is working on a proposal to change the league's drug policy to take a softer line on marijuana. The association will take the proposal its board of representatives first, and if the board approves it, on to the league. Currently, players are subject to fines or suspensions for using marijuana, whether recreationally or medicinally.

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Governor Signs Medical Marijuana "Fix" Bills. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed into law two bills aimed at modifying the state's new, voter-approved medical marijuana law. House Bill 1026 will extend the deadline for rulemaking from 120 days to 180 days, and House Bill 1058 removes the requirement that doctors certify in writing that the help benefits of marijuana would outweigh the risks to the patient.

Kratom

Oregon Bill Would Declare Emergency, Study Whether to Ban Kratom. The state Senate Interim Committee on the Judiciary has filed a measure, Senate Bill 518, which would declare a kratom "emergency" in the state and direct the state Board of Pharmacy to conduct a study to see if the plant and its derivatives should be scheduled as a controlled substance under state law. The DEA is currently weighing a similar move on the federal level, but has run into stiff opposition from users and advocates.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Maryland Governor Rolls Out Package to Fight Heroin. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) unveiled a package of proposals to deal with heroin and prescription opioid use in the state. He wants strict limits on doctors' ability to write prescriptions for opioids, stiff penalties for sellers of those drugs, and a new "command center" to coordinate the official response. In other states where such measures have been proposed, doctors have objected loudly to politicians placing legal limits on the care they provide. Democrats in the legislature are working on their own package of measures, but have released no details.

Drug Testing

New York Bill Would Require Drug Testing Children Whose Parents Get Arrested for Drugs. A bill named after an infant who died of a drug overdose would require hair follicle testing of children if their parent or guardian has been arrested on a drug charge. Kayleigh Mae's Law is not yet on the legislative website. Kayleigh Mae Cassell was found to have been given cocaine and heroin by her mother and live-in boyfriend, both of whom have pleaded guilty in her death.

International

Israel Will Fund Research for Medical Marijuana Crops. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will fund medical marijuana research in what it says is a pioneering step to aid researchers in developing a new generation of medical marijuana products. The ministry and the Health Ministry have allocated $2.1 million US for the project.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Another Study Finds Little Medicinal Use For Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 08:00
London Free Press, 25 Jan 2017 - Another week, another massive study by top doctors and scientists finding limited medicinal value to marijuana. When liberal politicians such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson claim to be implementing "evidence-based" public policy, I find it odd they have such a blind spot with pot. A new report by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine - The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research - reviewed 10,700 studies on the medicinal qualities of marijuana and concluded there is "conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective" for only three conditions: chronic pain in adults, chemotherapy-induced nausea, and patient-reported multiple sclerosis spasticity.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Editorial: Don't Operate Outside The Law

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 25 Jan 2017 - Last May, when police raided illegal pot shops across Toronto, Mayor John Tory said he was worried about their alarming proliferation near schools and in residential neighbourhoods. "We cannot just have the Wild West when it comes to dispensaries cropping up on every street corner," he said. The mayor was right at the time. Distressingly, his concerns now seem understated after police made clear this week just how dangerous these shops can be to their customers, staff and neighbours.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Editorial: Let's Not Forget, Pot Dispensaries Are Still

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 08:00
Goldstream Gazette, 25 Jan 2017 - Last week's closure of a marijuana dispensary in Langford illustrates a big difference between our communities and the City of Victoria, where such shops outnumber Starbucks outlets. Victoria, in which one can find a so-called medical marijuana dispensary in virtually any neighbourhood, has chosen to turn a blind eye to the proliferation of these retail outlets. They believe that the day will eventually come when pot becomes legalized and regulated. Victoria council also controls its own municipal police force and can make that choice.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: More State Forfeiture Bills, Colombia Drug Farmers Organizing, More... (1/24/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 01/24/2017 - 22:30

Colorado high court rules cops don't have to give your legal weed back if they seize if, changes in the Arkansas medical marijuana law go to the governor, there's more asset forfeiture activity in the states, Colombia's drug crop growers organize, and more.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Colorado Supreme Court Says Cops Don't Have to Give Seized Marijuana Back. The state Supreme Court ruled Monday that police cannot be forced to return marijuana to a defendant acquitted of pot crimes, because that would cause them to violate the federal Controlled Substances Act. "The return provision requires law enforcement officers to return, or distribute, marijuana," the decision says. "Thus compliance with the return provision necessarily requires law enforcement officer to violate federal law." Three justices disagreed, however, saying that the CSA "immunizes federal and state officers from civil and criminal liability in the circumstances at issue here." But they lost.

Virginia Bill to End Drivers' License Suspension for Possession Advances. A bill that would undo an existing state law requiring the suspension of drivers' licenses for people convicted of pot possession was approved by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee Monday. The measure, Senate Bill 1091 still need approval from the full chamber.

Texas Judge Recommends No Punishment for Teacher Who Smoked Pot in Colorado. A teacher who admitted legally consuming marijuana while in Texas should not face any legal or professional penalty, an administrative judge has ruled. The Texas Education Agency sought to suspend the teacher's license for two years after she handed in a urine sample that tested positive for marijuana. The judge found that the teacher was not "unworthy to instruct" and that there was no evidence to suggest she was under the influence of marijuana while teaching. The TEA will have to make a final decision.

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Legislature Approves Changes to Medical Marijuana Law. With the state Senate's approval Monday, House Bill 1058 now goes to the governor. It passed the House last week. The bill removes a requirement that doctors declare the benefits of medical marijuana outweigh the risk to the patient. It also specifies that patient information submitted to qualify for medical marijuana is "confidential," but would not be considered "medical records" subject to the Health Information Privacy Protection Act.

Illinois State Treasurer Asks Trump for Clarity on Banking for Medical Marijuana Industry. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said Monday he sent a letter to President Trump urging him to give clear guidance to the banking industry on marijuana. Frerichs said currently federal law makes it difficult for legal businesses to get loans and restricts customers to cash-only transactions.

North Dakota House Approves Bill Preventing Worker's Comp from Paying for Medical Marijuana. The House overwhelmingly approved House Bill 1156 Monday. Passed in response to voters' approval of a medical marijuana initiative in November, the bill prevents the state Workforce Safety and Insurance agency from paying for medical marijuana to treat a workplace injury. Legislators said marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

Kratom

Florida Kratom Ban Effort Gets Senate Companion Bill. Rep. Kristin Jacobs' (D) lonely crusade to ban kratom is not quite as lonely today. Democratic state Sen. Darryl Rouson has filed Senate Bill 424, which, like Jacobs' House bill, would add the active ingredients in kratom to the state's list of controlled substances.

Asset Forfeiture

Alaska Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Filed. State Rep. Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole) has filed House Bill 42, which would end civil asset forfeiture by requiring law enforcement obtain a criminal conviction before property is seized. "This has to do with the belongings that are taken," Wilson said. "They still can seized. But now there will be a process for those who were not involved to be able to get their items back without a lengthy proceeding and have to get an attorney to be able to do that."

Oklahoma Asset Forfeiture Bill Coming Back. State Sen. Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) will once again file asset forfeit legislation this year. The bill would require convictions before asset forfeiture unless the property is valued at more than $50,000, if the person denies any connection to the property, or is deported or otherwise unavailable. Similar efforts in past years have been blocked by strong law enforcement lobbying efforts.

Wisconsin Asset Forfeiture Bill Filed. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is preparing an asset forfeiture reform bill that would require a criminal conviction before any seizure takes place, that any seizure be proportional to the offense, and that proceeds from forfeitures be directed to state general funds, and not law enforcement. The bill is not yet available on the legislative website.

Drug Testing

North Dakota Welfare Drug Testing Bill Filed. State Sen. Tom Campbell (R-Grafton) has filed Senate Bill 2279, which would require the state Department of Human Services to develop a procedure for testing welfare applicants suspected of illegal drug use. The bill would deny benefits for a year to applicants who refuse a drug assessment, refuse a drug test, or don't participate in a treatment program. Similar legislation has been introduced the last three sessions. The Department of Human Services does not support it.

International

Colombia Coca, Opium, and Marijuana Farmers to Form Association. The growers are planning to found the National Coordinator of Coca, Marijuana, and Opium Growers to try "to forge a common negotiating front with the government to influence any potential agreements on drug control that come as a result of peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The organization would have national reach and appears to be an effort to create a political coalition with the aim of directly negotiating with the government. Notably, such a coalition could form a future political support base for an eventual FARC political party. By linking the future of a FARC party to the issue of forceful eradication, which the group would almost assuredly oppose, the pace of eradication in Colombia could end up slowing even further," Stratfor reported.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Police Urge Pot-Shop Owners To Report Any Robberies

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 01/24/2017 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 24 Jan 2017 - Cops are 'setting a standard few can live up to' due to fear of charges, law professor says Toronto police are asking illegal marijuana dispensaries to report robberies committed in their shops, but lawyers say the fear of criminal charges makes co-operating with police a difficult prospect for pot sellers.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Editorial: Seeing Through The Fog On Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 01/24/2017 - 08:00
Hamilton Spectator, 24 Jan 2017 - It's not really anyone's fault that medical marijuana dispensaries exist in a legislative Wild West zone. Dispensing medical pot to people with the appropriate documentation is legal. Selling pot products to anyone else is still not legal. But it will be fairly soon, once the federal government and the provinces get together and hammer out distribution channels and a host of other serious questions and issues. Canada is not yet ready for legalized marijuana. It will be soon, which is why entrepreneurs across the nation are trying to stay ahead of the game, and dispensaries are sprouting at a great rate. Hamilton has something like 15, major centres such as Toronto and Vancouver have exponentially more.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: MA Bills Subvert Legalization Init, OR MJ Bill Protects Workers, More... (1/23/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 01/23/2017 - 23:06

A Democratic Massaschusetts state senator is out to seriously undercut the state's new, voter-approved marijuana legalization law, an Oregon bill seeks to protect marijuana users' employment rights, El Chapo gets extradited to the US, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

DC Activists Hand Out 8,000 Joints for Trump Inauguration. The same folks who brought you legal marijuana in the District were on hand Friday for the inauguration of the incoming president. DCMJ activists handed out nearly double the promised 4,200 joints they promised. A good time was had by all. "Oh yeah, there's 10,000 people who showed up for free marijuana today, so it's really busy," DCMJ founder Adam Eidinger said. "The goal is really to get Donald Trump talking about marijuana, to show the tremendous support. To show that you can have Trump supporters and non-Trump supporters together in unity."

Arizona Decriminalization, Legalization Bills Filed. State Rep. Mark Cardenas (D-Phoenix) filed a bill to decriminalize pot possession (House Bill 2002) and one to legalize marijuana (House Bill 2003). Previous similar bills have never won even a committee hearing, but the state's felony marijuana possession law may finally be out of step with the times enough to give the decrim bill a hearing.

Hawaii Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed.Speaker of the House Joseph Souki (D-District 8) has filed House Bill 205, which "authorizes persons 21 years of age or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana for personal use. Provides for the licensing of marijuana cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, safety testing facilities, and retail stores" and "applies an excise tax on transactions between marijuana establishments."

Maryland Appeals Court Upholds Search Based on Pot Smell, Despite Decriminalization. Even though the possession of small amounts of pot has been decriminalized in the state, the state's highest court has ruled that it remains a banned substance and thus give police probable cause to search a vehicle if they smell it. "Simply put, decriminalization is not synonymous with legalization, and possession of marijuana remains unlawful," Court of Appeals Judge Shirley M. Watts wrote in a unanimous opinion issued Friday. Defendants had argued that police should be required to cite factors leading them to believe the amount they smelled was greater than the 10 grams decriminalized under state law. But the court didn't buy that argument.

Massaschusetts Bills Would Gut Legalization Law. Hardline marijuana foe state Sen. Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) has filed legislation that would deeply curb the ability of state residents to possess and grow marijuana and threaten the ability of recreational pot shops to begin selling a full range of products next year. Lewis would delay the ability of pot shops, now set to open in July 2018, to sell edibles and concentrates for at least two more years, and he would dramatically increase the ability of local governments to reject marijuana businesses. Under the legalization law, they must go to the voters, but Lewis's legislation would undo that. Groups that led the successful November legalization initiative are vowing a vigorous fightback. His package of 14 bills was filed last Friday, the last day to do so.

Oregon Bill to Prevent Pot Smokers From Getting Fired Filed. State Rep. Ann Lininger (D-Lake Oswego) has filed Senate Bill 301, which would override a state Supreme Court decision saying employers can fire marijuana users even though it is legal in the state. The bill would bar employers from requiring workers or prospective workers to "refrain from using a substance that is lawful to use under the laws of this state during nonworking hours."

Virginia Legislators Punt on Decriminalization Bills. A state Senate committee Monday refused to approve a pair of decriminalization bills, instead opting to delay them while the Virginia State Crime Commission studies decriminalization. The bills were Senate Bill 1269 from Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and Senate Bill 908 from Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth).

Asset Forfeiture

Illinois Bill Would End Civil Asset Forfeiture. State Rep. Al Riley (D-Hazel Crest) has filed House Bill 468, which would prohibit the state from seizing property without a criminal conviction. The measure would also block prosecutors from doing an end run around state law by passing cases off to the feds, who then return 80% of the money to the law enforcement agency involved. The bill has been referred to the House Rules Committee.

Drug Policy

California Bill Would Protect Immigrants from Deportation in Low-Level Drug Cases. Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) Monday filed a bill to shield immigrants from deportation for minor drug offenses -- as long as they seek drug treatment or counseling. The bill would adjust state law so that defendants without prior convictions within the last five years could enroll in drug treatment before entering a guilty plea and have those charges wiped from their record upon successful completion. That would prevent them from being considered drug offenders eligible for deportation under federal law. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed a similar bill last year. The bill is not yet available on the legislative website.

Drug Testing

Missouri College Appeals to US Supreme Court Over Student Drug Testing. Linn State Technical College has appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn federal appeals court rulings that its program requiring mandatory drug testing of all incoming students is unconstitutional. The college has lost at just about every turn in this case, with a federal district court judge issuing an injunction to block implementation of the program, and the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejecting mass, suspicionless drug testing. The appeals court did allow the college to impose testing on students in five safety-sensitive programs.

International

El Chapo Extradited to the US. Longtime Sinaloa Cartel leader and repeat Mexican prison escapee Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was extradited to the US last Thursday to face drug and other charges in New York City. "The government of the republic today delivered Mr. Guzmán to the authorities of the United States of America," the Mexican foreign ministry said in a statement.

German MPs Vote to Approve Medical Marijuana. The lower house of parliament last Thursday approved a measure legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana. The law limits the use of medical marijuana to "very limited exceptional cases" and patients will not be allowed to grow their own. Instead medical marijuana will be imported until state-supervised grow operations are set up in Germany.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

North Americans Are Spending Nearly as Much on Weed as They Do on Wine

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 01/23/2017 - 17:43

Move over, Napa Valley, there's a new kid on the block. When it comes to spending on mind-altering substances, Americans and Canadians are shelling out just about as much for marijuana as they do for wine.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]In its executive summary of a yet-to-be-released report, Arcview Marijuana Research pegs the size of the North American marijuana market -- legal and illegal -- at $53.3 billion, which puts it roughly even with the market in wine. According to Statista, US retail wines sales sit at $55.8 billion, and Canadian government figures put sales there at $3.2 billion.

Weed has not yet overtaken wine, but it's damned close. And this is happening in a marijuana market that is still mostly illegal. Yes, Canada will legalize marijuana, but it hasn't done so yet. And yes, more than half the states allow medical marijuana and eight of them have legalized it for adults, but illegal sales still account for 87% of the market, according to Arcview.

For Arcview CEO Troy Dayton, the huge illegal market is not a bane, but a boon.

"The enormous amount of existing, if illicit, consumer spending sets cannabis apart from most other major consumer-market investment opportunities throughout history," he explained. "In contrast to comparable markets with fast growth from zero to tens of billions in recent decades such as organic foods, home video, mobile, or the internet, the cannabis industry doesn’t need to create demand for a new product or innovation -- it just needs to move demand for an already widely-popular product into legal channels."

As the adult use markets in the newest legal US states (California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada) and Canada are established, Arcview predicts the illegal market's share of total sales to decline. The legal market should grow from $6.9 billion last year to $21.6 billion by 2021. But even then, Arcview says, the black market will still account for two-thirds of all sales.

That's because black market operators in states that have not legalized even medical marijuana, not to mention recreational weed, will continue to thrive on an "illegality premium" or "prohibition tax" built into black market prices with no competition from legal operators.

Conversely, state-legalized sales also include an illegality premium due to federal law, and businesses are unable to reap the efficiencies of scale that fully legal businesses are able to. The marijuana prices of tomorrow may be markedly lower than the marijuana prices of today, which could mean a smaller market eventually if measured by dollars spent, even if it is larger in terms of number of customers.

Stil the marijuana market is huge by any meausre, and it's not going away -- despite what happens in Washington, DC. That's something to ponder as you sip your Chablis.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: City Pot Dispensaries In Regulatory Wild West

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 01/23/2017 - 08:00
Hamilton Spectator, 23 Jan 2017 - Walking into Pacifico Health and Wellness in Westdale feels much like walking into a spa: white walls, exposed wood beams, chic lighting, and calm atmosphere. Nevermind the fact that it's a medical marijuana dispensary.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN AB: Charges Dropped Against Local Marijuana Dispensary Operators

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 08:00
Edmonton Sun, 21 Jan 2017 - One of the operators of an Edmonton storefront cannabis dispensary says he has joined an industry legalization committee after charges laid in a police raid were dropped. Aaron Bott, his brother Colin Bott and his mother and stepfather, Janice and Bob Cyre, were charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and production of a controlled substance when their non-profit "compassion club" was busted in July 2015.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Column: Marijuana Linked To Health Issues, Study Finds

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 08:00
Prince George Citizen, 21 Jan 2017 - Here we go again. Another week, another massive report by top doctors and scientists finding very limited medicinal value to marijuana. In an age when liberal politicians such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson claim to be implementing "evidence-based" public policy, I find it odd that they have such a blind spot when it comes to pot. A new report by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine - The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research - that reviewed the results of 10,700 studies on the medicinal qualities of marijuana concluded that there is "conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective" in treating only three conditions: chronic pain in adults, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and patient-reported multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms (although there was "limited" evidence of "clinician-measured" spasticity relief).
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Pot Dispensaries Under Fire

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 08:00
Hamilton Spectator, 20 Jan 2017 - Bylaw enforcement officers to target storefronts, memo says The city is abandoning its hands-off approach to illegal marijuana dispensaries and forming a team to search for possible bylaw violations by the proliferating pot sellers.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MD: Maryland General Assembly Ethics Committee Hires Special

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 20 Jan 2017 - Del. Dan K. Morhaim, a Baltimore County Democrat, speaks to reporters on the last day of the Maryland General Assembly's 2016 session. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun) Special counsel hired for ethics investigation into Baltimore County Del. Morhaim's cannabis work.
Categories: Medical Marijuana
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