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The Cannabist | Feb 19, 2018 | TRENTON, N.J.
 New Jersey lawmakers opposed to marijuana legalization propose decriminalizing small amounts instead
Michael Catalini,

``I think this whole legalization stuff has to slow down,`` State Sen. Ronald Rice said
A bipartisan group of lawmakers urged caution on marijuana legalization on Thursday and instead introduced legislation to eliminate penalties for possessing small amounts of the drug. Democratic state Sens. Ronald Rice and Joseph Cryan and Republican Sen. Robert Singer unveiled the legislation at a statehouse news conference. The lawmakers effort offers a counterpoint to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who campaigned and won election in November while promising to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. But Rice has been skeptical, calling for hearings across the state ....
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The Cannabist | Feb 19, 2018 | BOSTON
 Will Massachusetts be the first state to allow social marijuana use?
Bob Salsberg

Everything you need to know about the states proposed social use regulations
Could Massachusetts become the first U.S. state where adults can gather and use legal recreational marijuana at so-called cannabis cafes? The Cannabis Control Commission, the five-member panel set up to regulate the states marijuana industry, is expected to decide later this month whether to approve draft regulations that would allow for the licensing of social consumption establishments. The idea has received strong opposition from Republican Gov. Charlie Bakers administration and from law enforcement officials who warn of public safety and public health risks if such fa....
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NORML | February 17, 2018
 It Was A Big Week For Marijuana In America


Justin Strekal
Valentines Day week 2018 saw a tremendous amount of activity when it came to addressing our nations failed policy of marijuana prohibition. From new federal legislation being introduced to two federal lawsuits having hearings, plus a number of members of Congress, old allies and new stepping up to demand the Trump Administration continue to allow the states that have reformed their laws be respected by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Rick Not Pro-Pot But Pro-Civil Liberties Steves Went To Washington: Bestselling guidebook author and travel host Rick Steves held two briefin....
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The Joint Blog | February 16, 2018
 Legal Marijuana Sales Delayed in Canada


Anthony Martinelli

Despite Canadas longstanding plan to begin legal marijuana sales in July, a Canadian official has conceded that they wont actually begin until August, maybe a little later.
As recently as last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeaus government was insistent that it was still on track to begin legalization in July, which has been the plan for quite a while now. However, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas said Thursday that this simply wont happen, and sales arent going to begin in July. Instead, sales are likely to begin in August, or potentially shortly thereafter. The change in time-frame is based on the Senates updated timetable for considering the issue, which has already been passed by the House of Commons. Petitpas Taylor says that provincia....
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The Joint Blog | February 15, 2018
 Berkeley Council Votes Unanimously to Become a Sanctuary City for Marijuana


Anthony Martinelli
The proposal, put forth by Mayor Jesse Arreguin along with two councilmembers, prohibits all local officials and city employees from assisting federal officials in the enforcement of federal marijuana laws. I believe we can balance public safety and resisting the Trump administration, says Mayor Arreguin. In a tweet made after the councils vote, Arreguin said the move was in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions misguided crackdown on our democratic decision to legalize recreational cannabis. According to Arreguin, the approved resolution doesnt prevent the city from....
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NORML | February 15, 2018
 New Federal Legislation To Protect Legal Marijuana States And Businesses


Justin Strekal
Representative Lou Correa D-CA has introduced the Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act which would essentially codify the protections that were outlined in the now-rescinded Cole Memo. Upon the introduction, Rep. Correa said, To date, eight states have legalized recreational cannabis, and twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia, representing more than half of the American population, have enacted legislation to permit the use of cannabis. Attorney General Sessions decision to rescind the Cole Memo created great uncertainty for these states and legal cannabis busine....
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NORML | February 14, 2018
 Update: Federal Judge Reserves Decision After Hearing Arguments In Washington, et.al v. Sessions


Justin Strekal
Today, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York heard oral arguments on the motion to dismiss Washington, et.al v. Sessions, et.al, a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Schedule I classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act. The federal government argued to have the case dismissed. Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York reserved the decision. The lead attorney for the case, Michael Hiller released the following statement: First, we w....
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The Joint Blog | February 10, 2018
 Trump Administration Names Jim Carroll as New Drug Czar


Anthony Martinelli
Drug czar is the unofficial but often used term for director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy ONDCP. According to CNN, Carroll was named deputy director of the ONDCP on Friday, a position he will retain until confirmed by the Senate as director. We have full confidence in Jim to lead ONDCP to make significant strides in combating the opioids crisis, reducing drug use, and coordinating US drug policy, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a public statement. Fighting the opioid crisis and drug addiction is a priority for this administration. We grea....
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The Weed Blog | 2/14/18 | Washington, DC
 Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Announces Support To Legalize Marijuana



Support for Marijuana Legalization is at an All-Time High, With Nearly 60 Percent of Americans Supporting Legalization.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced she is cosponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act, landmark legislation that would legalize marijuana and help reverse decades of failed drug policy that has disproportionately hurt communities of color and low-income communities in New York and across the country. This legislation, introduced by Senator Cory Booker D-NJ, would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, making it legal at the federal level. It would also expunge the records of Americans who have prior marijuana possession convictions. A record numbe....
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The Cannabist | Feb 9, 2018
 Recreational marijuana sales highest per capita in Colorados southern border towns
Alicia Wallace,

Las Animas County led the state with more than $3,100 of recreational cannabis sold for every adult and child
Colorados southern border communities led the state in 2017 per-capita cannabis sales by a country mile. While the bulk of Colorados $1.09 billion in 2017 recreational marijuana sales occurred in the states population hubs of Denver and Arapahoe counties, rural Las Animas County, population 14,083, led the state with more than $3,100 of recreational cannabis sold for every adult and child. The town of Trinidad, located in Las Animas County, Colorado, as seen on March 27, 2009. RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post Las Animas County, which is on the Colorado-New Mexico border and ....
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| February 9, 2018
 Federal Medical Marijuana Protections Temporarily Extended, Again


Justin Strekal
After a brief government shutdown, congressional leadership voted to enact a six-week continuing resolution that maintains present federal spending levels and priorities through March 23, 2018. The resolution extends medical cannabis patient protections imposed by the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment until that date. The amendment, which has been in place since 2014, maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana. Without these protect....
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Marijuana Policy Project | February 6, 2018
 Fourth Corner Credit Union gets conditional approval from Federal Reserve for marijuana-related banking


Omar Sacirbey
fter a 40-month battle, a Colorado credit union thats determined to serve marijuana-related companies has finally won conditional approval from the Federal Reserve to launch its business. But the Fourth Corner Credit Union will not be serving plant-touching businesses as it originally had planned to do but will instead cater to advocacy groups, charities and ancillary companies such as accountants. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City informed The Fourth Corner Credit Union in a Feb. 2 letter that it would conditionally grant the Denver financial institution a so-cal....
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The Joint Blog | February 9, 2018
 Over $1.5 Billion in Legal Marijuana Sold in Colorado in 2017


Anthony Martinelli

According to data released by Colorados Department of Revenue, there was $1.51 billion in legal marijuana and marijuana products sold in 2017.
The $1.51 billion sold is an increase over the $1.3 billion sold in 2016. In 2015 there was $995 million sold, and in 2014 the first year of legal sales $683 million in marijuana was sold. According to the new data, which was released today, there was $1.09 billion in recreational marijuana sold in 2017. As for medical marijuana, licensed dispensaries sold $416 million worth. These sales resulted in roughly $250 million in new taxes for Colorado. In Washington State which legalized marijuana in the same election as Colorado at least $1.2 billion in legal marijuana was....
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Smell The Truth | February 6, 2018
 Virginia lawmakers unanimously approve medical marijuana bill


Oscar Pascual
Virginia is set to allow anyone in need to use cannabis for medical purposes. The Virginia state Senate on Monday passed Joint Commission on Health Care bill SB 726 with a 40-0 vote, reports the News Leader. The newly approved bill allows doctors to prescribe oils rich in CBD or THCa for any diagnosed condition or disease. Previous legislation only allowed medical access for intractable epilepsy. A companion bill was also passed unanimously in the Virginia House of Delegates last week. SB 726 will now head to the desk of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam D, who promised to leg....
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