In Senate testimony today, nominee for Attorney General William Barr committed to not use the limited resources of the Department of Justice to prosecute state-regulated and compliant marijuana businesses. His statements came response to questions from Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) — each of whom represent states where marijuana is legally regulated for either medical or recreational purposes.
“It is encouraging that William Barr pledged not to enforce federal marijuana prohibition against the majority of US states that have reformed their laws. With this commitment, Congress has a clear mandate to take action and end the underlying policy of federal criminalization,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “In an era when 47 states have laws on the books that defy the Schedule 1 status of cannabis, it makes no sense from a political, fiscal, or cultural perspective to try to put this genie back in the bottle.”
In January of 2018, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded what is known as the Cole Memo, a 2013 Justice Department memorandum, authored by former US Deputy Attorney General James Cole to US attorneys in all 50 states. This memorandum directed prosecutors not to interfere with state legalization efforts and not to prosecute those licensed to engage in the plant’s production and sale — provided that such persons do not engage in marijuana sales to minors or divert the product to states that have not legalized its use, …
Older people are the fastest-growing group of cannabis users, as stigma fades and some seek an alternative to prescription drugs. As attitudes towards cannabis shift, the fastest-growing group of users is over 50 – and marijuana’s popularity among seniors is beginning to change the American experience of old age. Why are more seniors getting high? It might make more sense to ask: “Why not?” As adults reach retirement, they age out of drug tests and…
Representative Lou Correa (D-CA) has introduced HR 493: The Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act, which would codify the protections that were outlined in the now-rescinded Cole Memo.
The Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act essentially would give peace of mind to lawmakers, regulators, 149,000+ workers, and the millions of patients and consumers who are dependent on the normalization of lawful marijuana markets. The most essential component in creating a stable business environment to meet consumer demand is certainty, and that is what states and businesses would have with Congressman Correa’s legislation to protect state-lawful programs from potential rouge US Attorneys under a Department of Justice likely to be led by known drug warrior William Barr.
Click here to send a message to your Representative and tell them to add their name in support!
To date, these statewide regulatory programs are operating largely as voters and politicians intended. The enactment of these policies have not negatively impacted workplace safety, crime rates, traffic safety, or youth use patterns. They have stimulated economic development and created hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue.
Tax revenues from states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington now exceed initial projections. Further, numerous studies have identified an association between cannabis access and lower rates of opioid use, abuse, hospitalizations, and mortality.
It is critical that federal officials protect our progress. Send a message in support of HR 493 now!
On Feb. 16, 2017, a bi-partisan group of House members officially launched the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, making it the first marijuana-focused congressional member organization. There are nearly 300 issue-focused caucuses.
At the press conference announcing the new group, the four initial members—Democrats Earl Blumenauer (OR) and Jared Polis (CO) and Republicans Dana Rohrabacher (CA) and Don Young (AK) and suggested that they were ready to put up a fight should the Department of Justice ramp up enforcement of federal prohibition.
“If we have to, we’ll bump heads with the attorney general,” said Young, referring to embattled AG Jeff Sessions, who has since left the Cabinet.
Rohrabacher stressed that recreational cannabis legalization should get serious attention from Congress. So far, it’s only approved protections for state medical marijuana programs in the form of an appropriations rider, commonly known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. Blumenauer stepped in as the co-sponsor when Sam Farr retired in January 2017.
Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
As the first full week of the 116th Congress comes to a close, we have another new federal bill introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). HR 420 (yes, you read that right): The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act would deschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, thus permitting state governments to regulate these activities as they see fit.
Also, the rollout of the new leadership team of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus was announced. Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and David Joyce (R-OH) are joining founding members Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Don Young (R-AK).
At the state level, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington launched a new program and began granting pardons to those with past criminal misdemeanor marijuana-related convictions on their record.
At a more local level, the commonwealth attorney of Norfolk, Virginia will stop prosecuting all misdemeanor cannabis possession cases. And Dayton, Ohio completely decriminalized cannabis possession, as the city commission decided to eliminate the existing $150 possession fine.
Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center for legislation pending in your state.
Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and at the federal level. Another great way to stay up to date is Marijuana Moment’s daily newsletter, which you can subscribe to HERE…
One of the country’s largest dispensary operators, MedMen Enterprises Inc., announced Jan. 7 that Treehouse Real Estate Investment Trust had completed its first round of capital raising with $133 million, part of which will be used to purchase properties from MedMen in what’s known as a sale-leaseback transaction.
Such arrangements have become a way for companies to raise cash by selling their real estate holdings to another entity and then paying rent. For MedMen, it appears to be a quicker way to generate capital for additional growth.
MedMen (CSE: MMEN) (OTCMKTS: MMNFF) did not disclose how much of the first round from Treehouse will go toward the sale-leaseback for its properties. Both companies are based in the Los Angeles area. Treehouse was formed as a venture between MedMen and Stable Road Capital, an investment firm in real estate and cannabis businesses that’s worked with MedMen on other transactions.
MedMen currently operates 16 stores and three cultivation and manufacturing facilities with plans to expand to 76 stores and 16 cultivation and manufacturing facilities in 12 states.
Treehouse, which is governed by an independent board, holds a management contract with MedMen to oversee day-to-day operations at its facilities. At some point, Treehouse will go public, but details have yet to be set. The firm raised the $133 million through a private 144a offering to institutional buyers and accredited investors based in the U.S.
This week, Congressman Earl Blumenauer reserved HR 420 for his legislation, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act.
A decades-long champion of cannabis reform, this marks the first time that Blumenauer has staked out the specific bill number 420. His focus however, is ever on the goal of reform, telling Forbes, “While the bill number may be a bit tongue in cheek, the issue is very serious. Our federal marijuana laws are outdated, out of touch and have negatively impacted countless lives.”
The legislation would deschedule cannabis, thus permitting state governments to regulate these activities as they see fit. Further, marijuana would be removed from the enforcement power from the US Drug Enforcement Administration in matters concerning marijuana possession, production, and sales, to a newly renamed Alcohol, Marijuana, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to ensure compliance with state laws and prevent illegal trafficking of the substance.
In the 115th Congress, the bill had 26 cosponsors – compared to 19 cosponsors in the 114th.
Will you tell your Representative to cosponsor the bill? Click here to send a message in less than 20 seconds.
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Author of “Cannabis: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Marijuana” aznd High Times senior cultivation editor Danny Danko
One of the most respected writers in the cannabis media, Danny Danko has been covering cultivation and providing tips for growers in High Times for nearly two decades. One of his “mentors,” Jorge Cervantes, writes in the forward to Cannabis: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Marijuana, “Danny Danko was my only choice to assume my question-and-answer column for High Times.”
What Cervantes is referring to is his advice column in High Times, “Jorge’s Rx.” When Cervantes decided to move on, Danko was the natural candidate to take over the popular section in the magazine (renamed “Dear Danko”), which had previously been written by Ed Rosenthal as “As Ed.” Considering that High Times has long been the favorite journal of canna-growers, this was quite an honor.
Prior to this book, Danko wrote The Official High Times Field Guide to Marijuana Strains in 2011. Eight years later, his follow-up covers much different territory. It’s a basic how-to-grow primer. While Cervantes and Rosenthal have written at length (in articles and books) about cannabis cultivation, Danko’s 140-page book boils it all down in an easy-to-understand way, with illustrations throughout rather than photos.
Though knowledgeable about all aspects of pot culture and cannabis law reform, Danko stays focused and doesn’t wander from the subject at hand. Chapters cover grow-room setup, strains and genetics, germination, sexing, …
Today, the rollout of the new leadership team of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus was announced, with Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and David Joyce (R-OH) joining founding members Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Don Young (R-AK).
First founded in 2017, the Caucus has been a pivotal element in our ability to build broad bipartisan support for legislation that would address every aspect of reform, from ending criminalization to research to veterans healthcare.
“The Cannabis Caucus was the first of its kind to create a forum for elected officials to collaborate on ways to address our outdated federal marijuana laws,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “Congress is clearly out of step with the American people on cannabis when national support for federal marijuana legalization is at an all-time high and we saw several states move toward with legalization last November.”
“Over the last decade, I’ve worked to build understanding and consensus on the need for reform and our movement is cresting. I’m looking forward to working alongside Reps. Lee, Joyce, and Young to build on the bipartisan work we’ve done to end the senseless federal prohibition on marijuana once and for all.”
The addition of Rep. Lee brings much-needed diversity to the Caucus’s leadership, as she will become the first woman and first African-American to serve as co-chair. A longtime champion of reform efforts herself, Rep. Lee introduced the Marijuana Justice Act in the last Congress which had the highest number of cosponsorships of …
Since the passage of Proposition 1, officially known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, which legalized the sale, possession, consumption and cultivation of marijuana for adults 21 and up last November, members of Michigan NORML have encountered a new challenge: municipal opt-out. Similar to other states that have legalized adult-use marijuana like Colorado, California and Oregon, it’s up to municipal governments in Michigan to decide if legal marijuana businesses can operate within their communities.
To date, more than 80 municipalities in Michigan have imposed moratoriums or outright bans on the sale of adult-use marijuana. In some cases, like with the city of Troy where residents opposed Proposition 1, it’s due to a lack of support for legal marijuana. In other cities, municipal governments are simply waiting until they have a better understanding of how the new law will be implemented by state lawmakers before exploring rules and regulations for local licensing.
“I’m confident that many municipalities will opt-in after the State promulgates administrative rules and sample ordinance amendments are made available to municipal attorneys,” said Brad Forrester, Board Member of Michigan NORML. “Some of the municipal officials I’ve spoken with have expressed an interest, but they don’t really understand exactly how the process works and they said they’re awaiting guidance from State officials.”
Considering many who supported Proposition 1 believed passage of the new law was going to eliminate underground marijuana sales by …
Happy New Year and welcome to the first Weekly Legislative Roundup of 2019!
The new Congress was just sworn in yesterday, and they are not wasting any time. U.S. Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Don Young (R-AK) re-introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which protects those engaged in state-lawful medical marijuana programs from federal prosecution. Separate provisions in the bill exclude cannabinodiol from the federal definition of marijuana, permit VA doctors to authorize medical cannabis access to qualified patients, and remove undue federal barriers to clinical trial research to better assess the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis.
At the state level, Alaska regulators have voted in favor of plans to permit on-site marijuana consumption at designated retailers. And lawmakers in Maryland are planning to establish a working group to explore marijuana legalization implementation, if and when voters approve a ballot initiative in 2020.
And at a more local level, Dayton, Ohio is considering a proposal to completely decriminalize marijuana and remove the $150 possession fine.
Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center for legislation pending in your state.
Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and at the federal level. Another great way to stay up to date is Marijuana Moment’s daily newsletter, which you can …
Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee today announced his intent to provide an expedited process in order to grant pardons to those with past criminal misdemeanor marijuana-related convictions on their record. It is estimated that some 3,500 individuals will have their criminal records vacated as a result of these actions.
“The Governor is to be commended for taking this proactive stance,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “Thousands of citizens unduly carry the undue burden and stigmatization of a past conviction for behavior that is no longer considered to be a crime. Our sense of justice and our principles of fairness demand that officials move swiftly to right the past wrongs of cannabis prohibition and criminalization.”
Washington is one of ten states where adult marijuana use is legally regulated. Several additional states have decriminalized minor marijuana possession. In recent years, over a half dozen states have enacted legislation permitting for the expungement of past marijuana-related convictions, and in 2018 California began the process of automatically reviewing and repealing past convictions.
“Branding these individuals, many of whom are at an age when they are just beginning their professional careers, as lifelong criminals results in a litany of lost opportunities including the potential loss of employment, housing, voting rights, professional licensing, and student aid and serves no legitimate societal purpose,” Armentano said. “It makes no sense to continue to punish people for actions that are no longer considered to be criminal in nature.”
For those who choose not to ignite cannabis, vaping is the way to go. While vape pens are best for oil (loaded into cartridges), portable models that fit neatly in your palm are often the best method to consume flower.
That’s where AccuVape’s Dragon X comes in. It truly is handy and compact. Larger than a Zippo lighter and smaller than a flask, its sleek black design and overall utility make for a great addition to any cannasseur’s collection.
After charging, lift the swivel top and load freshly ground flower into the bowl. Close it and turn the device on by holding the power button for two seconds. It will start as red and then turn blue. The convection heating has begun.
Dragon X from AccuVape costs $98.95
Here’s where it gets a little tricky. The four small lights on the side indicate power status as well as different temperatures. Click the power button two times to adjust the temps (they range between 344°F and 428°F). It’s best not to heat at the high end or you’ll have brown flower before your know it. The device will turn off automatically to save battery; however, it does get hot to the touch.
With a new year on the horizon, members of Nevada and Las Vegas NORML wanted to take time to shine light on 18 of our most memorable moments from 2018. (It was hard to choose just 18!)
January 2018: Protested Jeff Sessions
We certainly didn’t expect the opportunity to protest Jeff Sessions alongside Congresswoman Dina Titus and State Senators Aaron Ford & Tick Segerblom at the Apothecary Shoppe Dispensary with every news outlet present, but it happened! We loved the chance to stand up for the State of Nevada and to be able to show our community that we are a strong voice of the people!
February 2018: Dr. Dabber became a sponsor
Yeah, that freaking happened! It was such an honor to have a company like Dr. Dabber, that we all know and respect, believe in our work and sponsor us! Together, we were able to provide record sealing services and great education throughout Las Vegas. They were even cool enough to offer hella deals to NORML members!
January – March 2018: Partnering with Harrison House
Throughout the earlier part of 2018, we had the great pleasure of volunteering for Harrison House, which was the 1st African American Guest House in Las Vegas during a very segregated time. In learning about Las Vegas’ history from a perspective that isn’t often discussed, we got a firm grasp on how marijuana has undisputedly been a tool used for oppression. This only …
Maui Wowie strain (photo courtesy of The Clinic)
Hawaii’s place in the cannabis pantheon is legendary. Anyone 50 or older who was privileged enough to smoke the island’s famous kine or pakalolo at their peak often still describes it as amongst the best herb they’ve ever smoked.
During the late ’70s, High Times routinely listed strains such as the infamous Maui Wowie, Puna Budder and Kauai Electric Blue for more $2,000 a pound at the same time commercial Mexican or Colombian was fetching just $300. There were four reasons for this: seeds, climate, passion and gardening acumen. Hippies traveling the hashish trail brought many varieties of Middle Eastern, Indian and Nepali cannabis seeds to the Hawaiian islands.
Returning Vietnam vets, many of whom had first been exposed to cannabis in Southeast Asia, increasingly settled in Hawaii. Along with seeds of the fabled Laotian Red and Chocolate Thai, the vets brought an understanding of jungle survival courtesy of Uncle Sam. The hippies, for their part, provided access to worldwide markets.
By the late ’70s, Hawaiian marijuana enjoyed its rightful place in the sun. The hippest dealers in New York and Los Angeles received $500 an ounce for precious Hawaiian flower. One OG grower, Papaya John, cleared $8,000 a pound for his prized product in the mid-’80s.
Everyday NORML Chapters from around the country invest countless hours in advocating for meaningful marijuana law reforms on the local, state and federal level! Below is a brief rundown of some of their most recent accomplishments.
NORML Chapters are Organized and Energized for State Legislative Sessions in 2019
“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.”
Read more from NORML.org!
Follow NORML on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and become a member today!
California NORML Supports Legislation to Protect Cannabis Compassion Programs
“These programs are now threatened by Prop. 64, which requires that all donations be taxed at the same rate as if they were sold. Thus every pound of cannabis which is donated free of charge to legal patients is liable for nearly $1000 in state taxes.”
Read more from City Watch!
Follow California NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!
MassCann NORML Joins Mass. Grower Advocacy Council and the Mass. Patient Advocacy Alliance to Host Second Annual Harvest Cup
“We believe small and medium businesses are the lifeblood of the industry – the ‘mom-and-pop’ shops. That’s who we are and that’s who we believe will really make this industry flourish.”
Read more from the Telegram.com!
Follow MassCann NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become …
5-6: Maui Cannabis Conference, Royal Lahaina Resort, Lahaina, Maui, HI
10: CannaGather CT, Shish Kebab House, West Hartford, CT
10: Lift & Co. Cannabis Business Conference & Expo, Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, BC
11: Colorado Winter Hemp Summit, Block One Events, Fort Collins, CO
12: Willie: Life & Songs of an American Outlaw, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN; featuring Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Jimmy Buffett, Chris Stapleton, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Eric Church, Emmylou Harris, George Strait, Lukas Nelson & many more
12: Errl Cup…
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.
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.
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 …