Monthly Archives: December 2018

Chicago NORML Continues Push for Diversity in Pot Industry

 

As Illinois lawmakers continue to consider input from various stakeholders for legislation that would legalize the possession and use of marijuana for adults 21 and up in 2019, some advocates are feeling left out of the process. This is especially concerning because the majority reside in communities that have been devastated by marijuana prohibition. Are minorities already being excluded from the state’s blossoming marijuana industry? It appears so.

With members of Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker’s Restorative Justice and Public Safety Committee excluding prominent advocates from minority communities, some are starting to question the committee’s commitment to addressing minority inclusion altogether. The committee’s decision also seems to contradict statements made by Governor-elect Pritzker, who recently unveiled an equity program that would greatly benefit minority communities by offering technical assistance and subsidized loans for minority entrepreneurs.

When asked by the Chicago Sun Times about the committee’s decision, Edie Moore, executive director of Chicago NORML had this to say:

“If legislation is introduced that does not address our policy concerns, Chicago NORML, its supporters and community partners are prepared to push back until we are satisfied that every opportunity for advancement has been exhausted.”

Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Dispel the myths with NORML’s Fact Sheets! For more information follow Chicago NORML on Facebook and visit their website today.

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/12/30/chicago-norml-continues-push-for-diversity-in-pot-industry/…

NORML Chapters Prioritize a Wide Range of Reforms for 2019

Looking back at 2018, it was another productive year for marijuana law reform advocates. In addition to advancing legislation in state houses around the country, NORML chapters played a significant role in passing marijuana law reform initiatives in Michigan and Missouri, and were instrumental in numerous municipal marijuana decriminalization victories.

With more and more local and state governments taking steps to reduce the arrest and incarceration of marijuana patients and consumers, many are predicting 2019 to be a watershed year for marijuana law reform legislation. That’s why dozens of NORML chapters are organizing citizen lobby days to advocate for the end of marijuana prohibition and other reforms ranging from depenalization and expungement, to workplace drug testing and social consumption.

Below is a preview of what to expect from NORML chapters in 2019.

Michigan

Following the passage of Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act last November, which legalized the possession, consumption and cultivation of marijuana for adults 21 and up, state lawmakers will be focused on implementing various aspects of the new law in 2019. This includes robust policy debates ranging from health and public safety, to the allocation of tax revenues and consumer protections. At the local level, several municipalities have already opted out of recreational marijuana sales resulting in members of Michigan NORML working overtime to defend the progress that has been made well in advance of next year’s legislative session.

“2018 was an historic year in Michigan

Four Recreational Cannabis Stores Open in Massachusetts

Update: Two years after Massachusetts voters approved Question 4 legalizing the recreational use and sale of marijuana, two stores opened on Nov. 20Cultivate in Leicester and New England Treatment Access (NETA) in Northampton. At Cultivate, pot patrons paid from $19 to $420 for flower products.

In Northampton, Mayor David Narcewicz was first on line at NETA; he purchased an infused chocolate bar for $20. “It’s just a historic moment for the commonwealth and for the city,” he crowed. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Update: Two more stores have opened since then: Alternative Therapies Group (ATG) in Salem and Veralife in Wareham.

Back in June, the Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), tasked by the legislature and governor to draft and implement the establishment of a retail cannabis industry, publicly indicated that their self-directed date to open non-medical cannabis retail outlets, July 1, would not be realized.

The Top Ten Medical Cannabis Developments of 2018

It has been an exciting year in the world of cannabis reform. From studies that underscore the therapeutic potential of cannabis to political changes that bode well for patients and consumers, there is much to celebrate. Before we close the books on 2018, let’s take a look back at ten of the most significant developments over the past year from ASA’s perspective and consider their impact.

Source: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/the_top_ten_medical_cannabis_developments_of_2018…

Freedom Leaf’s Top 25 Cannabis Stories of 2018

It was a year filled with surprising cannabis developments in the Trump era. Canada went legal as did two more U.S. states recreationally and three more medically. Jeff Sessions bellowed about marijuana, but was kicked out of the Cabinet like so many others. Among the Midterms winners, many are cannabis supporters. Sen. Mitch McConnell led the Republican flank on marijuana, adding hemp legalization to the Farm Bill, while drug warriors like former House Leader John Boehner dove headfirst into the industry. Stocks climbed, especially in Canada, where deals were made with pharma, tobacco and alcohol giants. CBD was the buzz term of the year – everyone wanted to try the new cannabis cure-all. Several pioneers passed away, reminding us how important it is to remember those who laid the path to legalization.

Here are our top 25 stories of the year:

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Marijuana Legalization Initiatives Pass in Michigan, Missouri and Utah; Fails in North Dakota

2018 Year In Review: NORML’s Top Ten Events In Marijuana Policy

2018 NORML's Top TenRead the ten biggest stories that shaped marijuana policy in 2018.

#1: Public Support in Favor of Adult Use Legalization at Historic Highs
More adults than ever before believe that marijuana use by adults ought to be legal. An October poll conducted by Gallup reported that 66 percent of adults – including majorities of Democrats, Independents, Republicans, and those over the age of 55 – back legalization. The percentage is the highest level of support ever reported by the polling firm. A 2018 Pew poll similarly reported greater public support for legalization than ever before, while a June poll by the Center for American Progress reported that 68 percent of voters nationwide endorse legalization – the highest level of national support ever recorded in a scientific survey.

#2: Marijuana Initiatives Win at the Ballot Box
Voters in four states – Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Utah – passed voter initiated measures in 2018 regulating the use of marijuana. Missouri, Oklahoma, and Utah became the 31st, 32nd, and 33rd states to enact medical cannabis access laws, while Michigan became the tenth state to permit adult marijuana use. In January, Vermont legislatively enacted provisions permitting adults to grow and possess marijuana for their own personal use.

#3: Congress Amends CSA to Lift Ban on Commercial Hemp Production
Hemp-specific provisions included in the 2018 Farm Bill (aka The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) for the first time amend the federal classification of marijuana to …

Best Games Fro Ganja Lovers Presented By StonerDays

Best Games Fro Ganja Lovers Presented By StonerDays Just as amazing as it sounds there are ways to make getting stoned even more interesting and upbeat. Keep scrolling to unveil some of the coolest Ganja Games perfect for any stoner gathering! Puff Puff Pass Yes, we realize this is the universal stoner code for smoking […]

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Dr. Ethan Russo: ‘CBD Is Amazingly Therapeutic’

Dr. Ethan Russo: “CBD is an incredibly versatile and safe drug. It’s not a miracle, but it is amazingly therapeutic for a wide variety of conditions.”

An expert in neurology and psychopharmacology who specializes in cannabinoid research, we asked Dr. Ethan Russo to answer the following questions about CBD and THC.

What are the main therapeutic effects of CBD?

CBD has somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 mechanisms of action. Fortunately, all of these seem to be beneficial. The main ones are anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, anticonvulsant, antibiotic and anti-cancer.

What are the differences between CBD and THC?

In low doses, THC is analgesic, a muscle relaxant, anti-emetic, promotes sleep and is mood elevating. In high doses, it’s intoxicating and produces anxiety, rapid heart rate and even paranoia and orthostatic hypotension. On the other hand, in low-to-moderate doses, CBD is stimulating and anti-inflammatory and reduces anxiety and psychotic symptoms. It lacks THC’s side effects. CBD is an incredibly versatile and safe drug. It’s not a miracle, but it is amazingly therapeutic for a wide variety of conditions.

Is THC bad and CBD good, as some would have us believe?

Hardly. THC is a unique therapeutic agent that does not deserve the hysterical response that it evokes in politicians.

Expert Edibles: Laurie Wolf’s Weed Ginger Tea and Cannabread Scones

Award-winning cannabis cookbook author dishes on her favourite edibles for a cozy night in. How can weed be used to cook food? Infused edibles and beverages are a smoke-free alternative to consuming pot. I find the effects are stronger and last longer than smoking cannabis, so it’s win-win situation! Weed butter and weed-alcohol tinctures can be made using an infusion machine, like The Magical Butter. Just put your ingredients inside The Magical Butter, choose the…

Source: https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2018/12/23/expert-edibles-laurie-wolfs-weed-ginger-tea-and-cannabread-scones/…

Say Happy Birthday to NORML’s Founder

Today, 10 states and Washington, DC have legalized marijuana, 22 states have decriminalized marijuana, and 33 states have passed medical marijuana laws.

50 years ago, when Keith Stroup founded NORML, those numbers were all ZERO.

This Thursday is Keith’s birthday and the staff is planning a special surprise for him – a birthday card with YOUR SIGNATURE! Click here to sign the card.

For decades, he has been on the front line fighting for our freedoms and for the majority of that time, it has been an unpopular opinion. In late 1970, only 12% of the country supported legalizing marijuana; 88% were opposed to our goals. After decades of hard work by tens-of-thousands of committed supporters like you, together we have gradually won the hearts and minds of a majority of the public.

Today, some two out of three adults nationwide support ending marijuana prohibition and establishing a regulated market where consumers can obtain marijuana in a safe and secure setting.

We still have a long way to go but working together, we’ll get there.

Be sure to share the card with your friends and family so that Keith knows we’re all rooting for him this coming year. But remember—it’s a surprise!

Click here to sign the card now!

Thanks for all you do,

The NORML Team

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/12/22/say-happy-birthday-to-normls-founder/…

Weekly Legislative Roundup 12/21/18

Legalize MarijuanaWelcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

History has been made at the federal level this week! President Donald Trump signed The Farm Bill into law on Thursday that includes language lifting the United States’ decades-long prohibition on domestic, commercial hemp production. Specifically, the 2018 Act amends the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 so that hemp plants containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer classified as a schedule I controlled substance under federal law.

On the other hand, Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) blocked lawmakers from considering an amendment on the floor of the U.S. Senate that sought to permanently remove the threat of federal intervention in states that regulate marijuana sales.

At the state level, Vermont’s Marijuana Advisory Commission delivered its final report to Governor Scott, which outlines recommendations on how a legal adult use market should be implemented. Recommendations include a 26% tax on cannabis sales, and that a consistent way to test for impairment among drivers is needed before the state moves forward.

At a more local level, Mayor DeBlasio of New York City officially announced his support for legalization; this came soon after Governor Cuomo also endorsed legalizing adult use marijuana. Also, prosecutors in Brooklyn, NY began to expunge records for minor marijuana offenses.

Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check http://norml.org/act for legislation pending in your state.

Don’t forget to …

What Does a Government Shutdown Mean for Medical Cannabis?

If you have seen the news lately, you know that the possibility of a partial government shutdown is looming. Although Congress has passed funding extensions, the President is threatening to veto any Shutdown.jpgappropriations packages that do not contain sufficient funding for border security. Without further action, much government funding will end at 11:59 PM on Friday, December 21, meaning that many non-essential government operations and agencies will be suspended until a budget is passed. This would NOT include operations at the Department of Justice (DOJ) as it is considered essential.

Source: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/government_shutdown_implications…

FDA Weighs In On Legal Status of Commercially Available ‘Hemp-Derived’ CBD Products

Following yesterday’s passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottleib issued a statement with regard to the agency’s oversight of products commercially marketed as ‘hemp-derived’ CBD.

The FDA states: “We’re aware of the growing public interest in cannabis and cannabis-derived products, including cannabidiol (CBD). This increasing public interest in these products makes it even more important with the passage of this law for the FDA to clarify its regulatory authority over these products. In short, we treat products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds as we do any other FDA-regulated products — meaning they’re subject to the same authorities and requirements as FDA-regulated products containing any other substance. This is true regardless of the source of the substance, including whether the substance is derived from a plant that is classified as hemp under the Agriculture Improvement Act.”

The FDA maintains that nothing in the 2018 Farm Act overrides the authority of the agency “to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and section 351 of the Public Health Service Act.” It further states: “Additionally, it’s unlawful under the FD&C Act to introduce food containing added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market CBD or THC products as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived. … We’ll take enforcement action needed to protect public health against companies illegally …

The Top 12 Canadian Pot Stocks (Updated)

These 12 stocks are where canna-investors should place their bets. Each company is a licensed producer (LP) of cannabis in Canada. This article has been updated.

1. Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC:US New York)

Market cap: $9.120 billion

Stock price: $26.44

Owns Ontario-based LP, Tweed. With its $4 billion investment made in August, Constellations Brands, whose stable of alcohol companies includes Corona and Mondavi, now owns 38% of Canopy.

2. Tilray Inc. (TLRY:US NASDAQ)

Market cap: $6.659 billion

Stock price: $72.27

Owns the British Columbia-based LP. On Dec. 20, Belgium-based Anheiser-Busch InBev partnered with Tilray to spend $100 million researching CBD and THC …

Canadian Company Tilray Makes Deals with Novartis and Anheiser-Busch

It’s a clean sweep. Within the last two weeks, Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and Big Alcohol have all made moves into the Canadian cannabis industry:

• On Dec. 7, Marlboro cigarette maker Altria Group purchased 45% of Toronto-based Cronos Group (NASDAQ: CRON) for $1.8 billion.

• On Dec. 18, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis (they own Sandoz) inked a deal with British Columbia-based Tilray Inc. to make medical cannabis products available through Novartis’ distribution network in 35 countries.

• On Dec. 20, Belgium-based Anheiser-Busch InBev partnered with Tilray to spend $100 million researching CBD and THC non-alcoholic drinks. Each company will pitch in $50 million. A-B InBev owns Budweiser, Stella Artois, Labatt’s and literally hundreds of other beer brands.

Farm Bill Provisions Lifting Federal Hemp Ban Become Law

Washington, DC: President Donald Trump today signed legislation into law that includes language lifting the United States’ centuries-long prohibition on domestic, commercial hemp production. The provisions were included within The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka ‘The Farm Bill’), which takes effect on January 1, 2019.

“The significance of this law change should not be underemphasized,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “This law marks the first change in the federal classification of the cannabis plant since it was initially classified as a schedule I controlled substance by Congress in 1970, and paves the way for the first federally-sanctioned commercial hemp grows since World War II.”

Language included in the 2014 version of the Farm Bill (Sec. 7606) permitted states to license farmers to cultivate hemp as part of a university-sanction pilot program, but did not allow for the commercialization of the crop.

The hemp-specific provisions of the 2018 Act amend the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 so that hemp plants containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer classified as a schedule I controlled substance under federal law.

The Act also broadens the definition of ‘hemp’ (Section 297A) to include “any part of the plant, including …. extracts [or] cannabinoids” that do not possess greater than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis. To date, various commercial products – such as some CBD oils – are advertised as being derived from hemp, although

Virginia Delegate Files Bill to Allow Medical Cannabis Use at Schools

Del. Chris HurstVirginia State Delegate Chris L. Hurst (D-12) has filed HB 1720 to allow students registered with Virginia’s medical cannabis program to use their medicine at school and school-sponsored activities.

If passed, the bill would prohibit a school board from suspending or expelling from school attendance a student who possesses or uses Virginia’s allowed medical cannabis oils on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity if they are a registered patient and maintain an unexpired written certification.

“We’ve received emails and calls from concerned parents throughout the Commonwealth who are worried their children could be expelled for using their doctor-recommended medical cannabis oil at school,” said Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML. “Delegate Hurst’s bill would provide a much-needed solution for these families.”

The bill does not provide explicit guidance as to how the medicine would be administered on school property.

Take Action: Click here to send a message to your lawmakers in support of this bill.

Track this and all marijuana-related legislation on Virginia NORML’s 2019 legislation monitoring page.

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/12/20/virginia-delegate-files-bill-to-allow-medical-cannabis-use-at-schools/…

Excerpt from Ed Rosenthal’s ‘Beyond Buds’: The Rosin Revolution

Rosin is a concentrated blend of terpenes and cannabinoids extracted using a method sometimes called “rosin tech” (RT). It’s the simplest, least-expensive way to extract concentrate from raw buds or hash for more effective dabbing.

Instead of a chemical process, rosin tech relies on heat and pressure to squeeze cannabinoids and terpenes from the source material. It’s a very fast process: A batch of rosin can be produced in moments and consumed immediately. Another advantage of rosin production is that it poses minimal risk of physical injury.

Rosin is the simplest, least-expensive way to extract concentrate from raw buds or hash for more effective dabbing.

The physical science of rosin is simple: Applying heat melts the terpenes and cannabinoids into a pliable resin. Then it’s squeezed using a press. Some lipids and waxes melt at the same temperatures. Thus, the finished product is generally not as refined as the results of some other methods. The tradeoff is the speed and ease of extraction.

There’s a wide range of tools and equipment that can be used to make rosin. The choice depends mostly on the quantity being pressed. On the hobby level, you can use household items. Industrial processors use pneumatic or hydraulic presses.

Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office Moves Forward with Marijuana Expungement Initiative

While lawmakers in Albany continue to explore the intricacies of legalizing and regulating adult-use marijuana in New York, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced a plan to expunge low-level marijuana convictions from criminal records. In a recent interview with CBS New York, Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez had this to say. “I do not believe these cases keep us safer. They cause a lot of distrust in our justice system. We all here know there is a tremendous racial disparity in respect to how these cases have been enforced in the past.”

Following the announcement from the District Attorney’s Office, David C.  Holland, Esq., Executive and Legal Director of Empire State NORML, weighed in on the DA’s decision. “Justice is being vindicated by District Attorney Gonzalez through his actions by openly acknowledging that cannabis was and is not the source of social ills or disruption. Rather, his actions continue to help the Empire State continue to move to responsible use legislation as communities and individuals most impacted by the misguided drug war may become innovators and leaders in this new green industrial era. ”

For months state legislators and officials with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office have been soliciting feedback from stakeholders and hosting roundtable meetings with the hope of drafting legislation for next year’s legislative session that’s scheduled to convene on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. In addition to discussions about tax revenues and health and public safety, many are