Canada will legalize pot, after arresting a bunch of people for pot offences first: Neil Macdonald By: Neil Macdonald - CBC NEWS OPINION - April ...
Ottawa's plans for cannabis legalization may be slowed by provinces By: Mike Hager - March 27, 2017 - Globe and Mail Ottawa’s plan to legalize ...
BY: World Cannabis - March 9, 2017 Marc and Jodie Emery were arrested last night in at the Toronto Pearson Airport on their way to ...
By David Bell, CBC News - May 05, 2017 But U of C prof says we don’t know enough about effects on young brains, calls for ...
Despite special regulations, entrepreneurs hope to take bite of Canada's marijuana edibles market Mom and pop edible makers 'deserve a piece of legalization,' says organizer ...
Portland mayor decries 4/20 marijuana giveaway By: Marissa Bodnar - CBS 13 - April 23, 2017 PORTLAND, Maine — The mayor of Portland said he’s disappointed ...

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The Scratch & Sniff Book of Weed is Probably the Only History Book Worth Buying

By Miranda Larbi, Metro – May 21, 2017

When we were kids, scratch ‘n’ sniff books were all the rage.

And now they’re back, bringing all kinds of ~adult~ subjects to life – including cannabis.

Just take The Scratch & Sniff Book of Weed, for example.

Created by Seth Matlins and Eve Epstein, the book aims to educate people about weed, looking into the history of the herb, as well as highlighting its multi-sensory qualities.

But if you think this is an easy read for when you’re high, think again.

– Read the entire article at Metro.



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Workers at Toronto marijuana dispensary join Unifor union

Alexandra Posadzki – Toronto — The Canadian Press – May 17, 2017

Workers at a medical marijuana dispensary in Toronto’s east end have joined Unifor, the country’s largest private-sector union.

Forty workers – including reception, production, supervisors and packaging and retail staff – at the Broadview Avenue location of Canna Clinic are now represented by the union.

Unifor says it’s believed to be the first time that marijuana dispensary workers in Canada have unionized.

Read the entire article here



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Cuts to medical marijuana coverage ‘makes me sick,’ says P.E.I. veteran

By Shane Ross – CBC News – May 18, 2017 

Dennis MacKenzie among more than 100 protesters on Parliament Hill on Thursday

Dennis MacKenzie says the federal government’s decision to reduce medicinal marijuana coverage for veterans takes away their “right to health.”

The Charlottetown veteran and about a dozen other Islanders were among more than 100 people on Parliament Hill Thursday for the Marijuana for Trauma protest.

“I was very proud to be where I was, but disgusted to be fighting,” MacKenzie said on CBC’s Mainstreet P.E.I.

Read the entire article here



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How the Trump administration is affecting the multibillion-dollar marijuana industry

BY  – May 18, 2017

The pot industry is one of the fastest growing in the country — projected sales this year are in the billions. But with a new administration at the helm in Washington, D.C., one that is potentially less friendly to legalization, marijuana entrepreneurs and investors alike are dealing with uncertain times.

Startups, analysts and investors convened this week at Marijuana Business Daily’s Conference and Expo right outside the nation’s capital in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The topic on everyone’s minds: what the marijuana industry looks like under a Trump presidency, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Press Secretary Sean Spicer have signaled the potential for stricter enforcement at the federal level, where marijuana is technically illegal. The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Read the entire article here 



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Dad-of-two was forced to confess after he was nailed by forensic evidence

HGV driver who grew £13k of cannabis at girlfriend’s house let HER take the rap for it when cops discovered ‘sophisticated’ set-up

Granite only confessed to his involvement after forensic evidence showed he was responsible, the Lancashire Telegraph reports.

Cops found 23 plants weighing a total of 920 grams.

The cannabis would have a street value of £13,140 if dished out in 0.7 gram deals, Burnley Crown Court heard.

 



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Dutch farmers to use weed drone to detect cannabis in their fields


By Dutch News – May 19,  2017

MPs have demanded a debate with government ministers to discuss the policing of maize fields in Limburg used by criminals to grow cannabis, the Telegraaf reported on Friday. The request, by CDA MP Jaco Geurts, was made after the paper reported on Thursday that farmers in Limburg had decided to check their crop for cannabis using drones. Farmers started taking action because cutbacks meant police would no longer continue their so-called helicopter ‘weed flights’. But although the fight against cannabis has been a successful one in recent years chairman Léon Faassen of the Limburg agricultural union LLTB  fears the discontinuation of the flights will encourage criminals to try again. ‘We want to keep our fields free of cannabis and together with our members we will do just that,’ he told the Telegraaf’.

Read the entire article here



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Different takes for different provinces as Canada moves to legalize pot

By Andy Blatchford – The Canadian Press – May 16, 2017

Provinces have been protesting the large volume of work and heavy costs they say the Trudeau government has piled on them in its rush to legalize recreational cannabis across Canada by next year.

So far, however, the small province of New Brunswick has been taking the high road.

Unlike other members of the federation, New Brunswick isn’t pressing for federal compensation to cover the bills of pot legalization, nor is it in a particular scramble to draw up the plans, the province’s health minister said.

Provinces have been busy since the federal government tabled legislation last month to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana use, with a primary aim of keeping weed out of the hands of youth and criminals. Ottawa hopes to make it happen by July 2018.

 

Read the entire article here 



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California Today: Still Serving Time for Marijuana

California Today: Still Serving Time for Marijuana

BY: Mike McPhate – NY Times – May 17, 2017

Cannabis may now be legal here, but drug policy experts say many Californians remain behind bars on marijuana-related charges.

Much of the attention after the passage of Proposition 64 last fall focused on its relaxing of rules against recreational marijuana use.

But the measure also called for retroactively eliminating the penalties for minor pot crimes, and reducing those for bigger ones such as cultivating and selling.

A survey published last fall by the Drug Policy Alliance, a group that pushes for drug law reform, estimated that more than 2,100 people were jailed for marijuana-only offenses in California in 2015.

Since November, hundreds of such inmates had been released after filing petitions under Proposition 64, said Eunisses Hernandez, a California-based program coordinator for the alliance.

That’s meant many happy reunions with family and chances for fresh starts. “It’s been very positive,” Ms. Hernandez said.

What’s more, many cases winding through the courts that might otherwise have resulted in jail time have been knocked down, according to a report that cited lawyers across the state in The Leaf, a cannabis-focused publication.

California’s forgiving mood has been in sharp contrast, however, to the plight of another class of inmates — people behind bars on federal charges that still treat marijuana as an illegal drug.

For those Californians, Proposition 64 has made essentially no difference, lawyers say.

Data on how many Californians are serving time in federal marijuana cases was not available, but drug policy experts said the figure was at least in the hundreds. Nationwide in 2016, more than 3,500 people were sentenced for federal pot offenses.

In a number of cases, Californians are serving terms of 20 years or more.

That category includes Luke Scarmazzo.

In 2008, Mr. Scarmazzo, of Modesto, was given nearly 22 years in federal prison on charges of marijuana distribution and running a continuing criminal enterprise. His partner, Ricardo Montes, got 20 years.

The men argued that they were running a legitimate medical marijuana dispensary, permissible under California law. Behind bars, they appealed to President Barack Obama for pardons, and last January he granted one to Mr. Montes.

But the president took a pass on Mr. Scarmazzo, who is now 36. (Mr. Obama offered no explanation, but some of Mr. Scarmazzo’s supporters believe a prior assault conviction played a role.)

Barring any change, Mr. Scarmazzo won’t be released until 2027.

To read the original article click here



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Marijuana smoking lounges could be next in Oregon

Marijuana smoking lounges could be next in Oregon

BY: Paris Achen – Daily Astorian – May 16, 2017

SALEM — Smoking lounges could still be the next trend for Oregon’s recreational marijuana market under a controversial state Senate bill in the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation.

Proponents say cannabis smoking lounges would stimulate tourism and give renters a place to legally smoke.

The recreational marijuana law, passed by voters in 2014, has created a conundrum for renters and tourists, proponents say. The law prohibits public consumption of marijuana but allows it in a private residence. If a landlord prohibits marijuana use at a rental unit, or if someone is visiting the state, some renters and tourists may have no legal place to consume the drug.

“In reality, this restriction has made the legal consumption of cannabis impossible for many Oregonians who do not own their primary residence, live with small children or those who live in government housing. As a result, many otherwise responsible adults are left no other choice but to smoke or vaporize cannabis in public, on sidewalks, in parks, in cars,” said Sam Chapman, founder of Portland-based New Economy Consulting, which advises cannabis entrepreneurs and investors.

State Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton, testified that even with marijuana legalization, minorities have been prosecuted disproportionately for using marijuana illegally in public. Allowing smoking lounges also would help address that social injustice, she said.

Opposition to the bill led to the formation of a committee workgroup that tried to address concerns by public health officials that the lounges could normalize marijuana smoking for young people and pollute indoor air.

The workgroup proposed changes Tuesday that would require the lounges to be located on outdoor patios screened from public view and would eliminate a provision to allow members of the cannabis industry to obtain licenses to hold temporary events where attendees could consume cannabis. Cities and counties also would have to opt in to allow the licenses for the lounges.

Despite the concessions, public health officials continued to express their opposition to the bill during a hearing at the Capitol.

“The harms of secondhand tobacco smoke are well-known, and secondhand marijuana smoke is also harmful,” said Katrina Hedberg, state health officer and state epidemiologist at the Oregon Health Authority.

Like tobacco, marijuana smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals and poses a risk to those exposed to it, she said.

“By allowing for the social consumption of cannabis, Oregon risks the rollback of years of progress related to social norms around smoking,” she said.

Even if smoking areas are screened, minors will still be able to smell marijuana smoke wafting from lounges. She said studies show that communities that have hooka lounges have a higher prevalence of smoking among youth.

“Social normalization does affect youth so we are very concerned about that,” she said.

To read the original article click here



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New Report Says Total Marijuana Demand Tops Ice Cream

New Report Says Total Marijuana Demand Tops Ice Cream

By: Debra Borchardt – Forbes – May 17, 2017

The marijuana industry is growing so fast that if the government legalized it nationally it would outsell ice cream. A new report from Marijuana Business Daily has calculated that the estimated total demand for marijuana, including the black market is around $45 billion to $50 billion.

Annual ice cream sales are only $5.1 billion. Total recreational cannabis sales in the U.S. at this estimate would also top movie ticket sales ($11.1 billion) and snacks like Doritos, Cheetos and Funyuns ($4.9 billion.) The report says, “If the federal government legalized marijuana nationwide, sales might start out at around that level but would likely quickly rise as cannabis gained mainstream acceptance and the market evolved.” At that rate, it wouldn’t take long to eclipse cigarette sales and even potentially beer sales.

As it is, legal recreational and medical cannabis sales in 2016 were $4.0-$4.5 billion. This beats paid music streaming services at $2.5 billion and girl scout cookies at $776 million. “On the recreational side of the business, the original legalized states are still posting massive growth,” said Editor Chris Walsh. “The demand for marijuana is so enormous in this country,” he added. Walsh thought demand might wane and that the novelty would wear off, but it hasn’t. Just the opposite, it keeps growing.

Another metric that shows how big the industry has become is the employment figures. The report says that the cannabis sector now employs between 165,000 and 230,000 full and part-time workers. “To put this in perspective, there are now more marijuana workers than there are bakers or massage therapists in the United States,” says the report. It even outnumbers dental hygenists.

Then there is the ripple effect of all these jobs. The report points out that these employees spend their earnings on housing, food, travel and entertainment, which helps other local businesses. The launch of all these cannabis businesses has sparked a real estate boom in spaces that were for the most part previously vacant. Tourism is bringing new travel dollars into these states as well.

The report estimates that for every $1 consumers spend at dispensaries, another $3 in economic benefits are created in cities, states and nationwide. State and local municipalities are plugging holes in their budgets with the marijuana tax receipts and making infrastructure repairs and boosting schools.

The one caveat to all this is that the election of Donald Trump has cast a shadow over the industry. While many companies are forging ahead and its business as usual, Walsh said it is definitely the number one worry for companies. Increased enforcement from the Department of Justice would have a significant impact on future sales.

To read the original article click here



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