Category: News

Bipartisan Bill to Legalize Marijuana Deliveries Filed in Washington State

Legislation that would legalize the delivery of marijuana to those 21 and older has been filed in Washington’s House of Representatives.

House Bill 1358 was filed by State Representative Steve Kirby (D) and is cosponsored by Representatives Brandon Vick (R) and Brian Blake (D). Filed today, the measure has been referred to the House Commerce and Gaming Committee.

Specifically, the measure would add a new section to chapter 69.50 of the RCW stating that “A marijuana delivery endorsement to a marijuana retailer license is established to permit a qualifying marijuana retailer to deliver marijuana for personal use to any individual twenty-one years of age or older.”

The Washington state liquor and cannabis board would be authorized to “establish the fee for the marijuana delivery endorsement””, and a marijuana retailer holding a delivery endorsement “may charge a fee to the customer for any delivery made
in accordance with this section.”

The full text of House Bill 1358 click here.

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Wisconsin Governor Announces Support for Legalizing Marijuana

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has announced that he now supports legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (photo: Steve Appsa/Wisconsin State Journal/Associated Press).

Attorney General Josh Kaul also said on Wednesday that he would make the case across Wisconsin for legalizing medical marijuana as an alternative to prescribing more opioids to combat pain, reports the Associated Press.

“At the end of the day do I favor legalization? Yes,” Evers said at a meeting of the Wisconsin Technology Council on Tuesday. “I want it to be done correctly so we will likely have in our budget a first step around medical marijuana.”

WisPolitics.com was the first to report on his comments.

Evers’ spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff did not immediately return a message Wednesday seeking more details.

Evers said he may call for a statewide referendum on legalization. Such referendums are advisory only in Wisconsin, but could increase pressure on reticent Republicans.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said he’s open to legalizing medical marijuana, but Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said he doesn’t support it.

“I still don’t believe the support’s there within the Senate caucus to move in that direction, but I know the debate is going on nationwide,” Fitzgerald said on Tuesday when asked about the issue.

Kaul, in an interview with WTMJ-TV, cast the issue as a way to combat opioid abuse.

“We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic and when people are facing pain issues — I would much rather have a doctor prescribing medical marijuana than an opioid,” Kaul told the television station.

Democratic state Rep. Melissa Sargent, who has introduced bills to full legalize marijuana, said she believed public support will put pressure on Republicans to come around.

“For too long we’ve had people at the top of the food chain who suffer from reefer madness,” Sargent said. “Frankly, it’s time for them to swallow their pride and hear the people of our state and move forward.”

There appears to be strong support among voters in Wisconsin for legalization. In the November election, voters in 16 counties supported non-binding referendums calling for legalization of medical marijuana. A Marquette University Law School poll in August found 61 percent support for full legalization, with 36 percent opposed.

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Medical Marijuana Bill Signed Into Law by U.S. Virgin Islands Governor

U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. signed the Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act into law Tuesday.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Positive T.A. Nelson, received final approval from the Legislature on December 28. The measure legalizes medical marijuana for those who receive a recommendation from a physician.

Comprehensive medical marijuana laws have been adopted in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Seventeen other states have adopted medical marijuana laws that are ineffective because they are either unworkable or exceptionally restrictive. Idaho is the only state and American Samoa is the only U.S. territory without any form of medical marijuana law.

“We applaud Gov. Bryan and the Virgin Islands Legislature for enacting this sensible and compassionate legislation”, says Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Medical marijuana is widely recognized as an effective treatment for a variety of debilitating conditions and symptoms. This new law offers the prospect of relief for countless patients, and it will do so for generations to come.”

O’Keefe continies; “Most U.S. states and territories have enacted effective medical cannabis laws, and those that have not are giving them increasingly stronger consideration. There is no reason why patients in 18 states and American Samoa should continue to be deprived of this medical treatment option that is now accessible to so many of their fellow Americans.”

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The Top 10 Most Popular Marijuana Strains to Start 2019

As we march into 2019, here’s a look at the most popular marijuana strains on the market.

Blue Dream.

Using data collected by Leafly, below is a list of the top 10 most popular marijuana strains for the start of 2018.

Anyone who has consumed cannabis for any amount of time will likely find Blue Dream’s placement on this list unsurprising (especially those in states with legal marijuana stores). This sativa-dominant strain has remained one of the most popular for years, and is a mainstay in almost all marijuana stores and dispensaries. The popularity of this strain – a cross between the indica-dominant Blueberry strain and the sativa-dominant Haze strain – is well earned, with it’s smooth, uplifting high, and it’s delicious blueberry-tinged taste and smell.

Sour Diesel is another long-term mainstay of the cannabis world. With Super Skunk and Chemdawg lineage, this strain is best known for its strong diesel-like smell, and potent, energetic high.

This hybrid – a cross between OG Kush and Durban Poison – has bursted onto the scene in recent years. With it’s excellent taste and smell, and its powerful high, this relative newcomer has quickly become more popular than legendary strains like OG Kush and White Widow.

Despite an unfortunate name Green Crack is a growingly popular and respected strain. It has an extremely energetic high and powerful body buzz, and its sweet, ofttimes citrusy flavor and smell make it stand out from the crowd.

OG Kush is known the world around. The classic combo of Hindu Kush and Chemdawg has an earthy and piney flavor, and has one of the most sought after marijuana strains for years.

As far as indica-dominant strains go, Granddaddy Purple is one of the most vaunted. An excellent mix of Big Bud and Purple Urkle, this strain has a sweet, often berry-like flavor. Most people know this strain for its dense, kiefy nuggets.

The newest addition to this list, Original Glue is “a potent hybrid strain that delivers heavy-handed euphoria and relaxation, leaving you feeling “glued” to the couch. Its chunky, resin-covered buds fill the room with pungent earthy and sour aromas inherited from its parent strains, Chem’s Sister, Sour Dubb, and Chocolate Diesel.”

White Widow’s popularity is due to its energetic, uplifting and powerful high; its uniquely earthy flavor and smell also help it stand out. This strain is a mix between South American Sativa and South Indian Indica.

Jack Herer – named after the legendary activist and author – is a sativa-dominant cross between Northern Lights and Shiva Skunk. It has a piney smell and flavor with a backdrop of citrus, and a smooth, even high.

Bubba Kush is a powerful indica-dominant strain that has remained popular for years, and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

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Legislation Filed in Virginia to Legalize Marijuana

A legislative proposal that would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older, while decriminalizing it for those under 21, has been filed in Virginia’s House of Representatives.

was filed by Delegate Steve Heretick (D) along with four cosponsors. The measure would remove all criminal penalties for the personal possession of marijuana for those 21 and older, while legalizing marijuana retail outlets. These outlets would be taxed at 9.7% in addition to the state’s current sales tax. Around 2/3rds of the tax revenue would go to the general fund, with the remainder going to public education.

According to the bill’s official summary, it “also decriminalizes marijuana possession for persons under 21 years of age and provides a civil penalty of no more than $50 for a first violation, $100 for a second violation, and $250 for a third or subsequent violation.”

A separate but similar legalization measure, House Bill 2373, was also filed recently in the Virginia House of Representatives. Both House Bill 2373 and House Bill 2371 have been assigned to the Committee for Courts of Justice Subcommittee #1.

For the full text of House Bill 2371, click here – for House Bill 2373, click here.

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U.S. Attorney General Nominee Says He Would Respect State Marijuana Laws

U.S. attorney general nominee William Barr said during a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday that he would not target marijuana businesses that are operating in compliance with state laws that allow them, whether for medical or recreational purposes.

William Barr.

If confirmed, Barr said his “approach to this would be not to upset settled expectations and the reliant interests that have arisen as a result of the Cole memorandum.” He later added that he “is not going to go after companies that have relied on the Cole memorandum.”

The Cole memorandum was issued in 2013 by then-Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole and provided marijuana enforcement guidance to U.S. attorneys. It stated that the Justice Department would not enforce federal marijuana prohibition laws in states that have legalized marijuana for adult or medical use as long as certain federal priorities are addressed, such as preventing interstate trafficking and sales to minors.

Barr also expressed frustration with the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws, calling the current situation “untenable.”

“We are pleased to hear Mr. Barr intends to respect state marijuana laws if he is confirmed as our next attorney general”, says Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “His reference to the Cole memo suggests that he will maintain the policy of non-interference that has existed since August 2013. This is not only a sensible decision, but is one supported by a vast majority of Americans.”

Hawkins continues; “We are also sympathetic to Mr. Barr’s call for a more consistent federal approach, provided it is one that respects the will of the people. To that end, it is time for Congress to pass a law that either removes marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act or formally exempts state-legal cannabis activity from its provisions.”

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Federal Legislation Introduced To Protect State-Level Marijuana Legalization Laws

Representative Lou Correa (D-CA) has introduced House Resolution 493: The Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act, which would codify the protections that were outlined in the now-rescinded Cole Memo.

As reported by NORML, 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.

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!

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Legislation to Legalize Personal Marijuana Cultivation Filed in Washington’s House and Senate

Companion bills that would legalize the personal cultivation of marijuana for those 21 and older has been filed in Washington State’s House of Representatives and Senate.

The legislation, which has bipartisan support in both chambers of the legislature, would allow anyone 21 and older to grow up to six marijuana plants at a private residence, for personal use. If three or more individuals 21+ are living in the same residence they could grow up to, but not more than (regardless of the number of residents), fifteen plants.

Despite the current marijuana possession limit in the state being one ounce, the bills would allow those growing marijuana to possess over this amount if their harvest is larger.

Currently there are 10 states in the U.S. where marijuana has been legalized. However, Washington is the only one of these states where marijuana can’t be grown for personal use.

For the full text of Senate Bill 5155 and House Bill 1131, click here.

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Vermont Supreme Court Rules Burnt Marijuana Smell Not Probably Cause to Search Vehicle

In a ruling that sets immediate precedent across Vermont, the state’s supreme court has decided that the smell of burnt marijuana is not enough to justify law enforcement obtaining a warrant to search a vehicle.

The court ruled that the odor of burnt marijuana emanating from a vehicle is not strong enough evidence or sufficient probable cause to conduct legally search said vehicle. The ruling comes roughly six months after the possession and personal cultivation became legal in the state.

“The seizure, aimed at immobilizing the plaintiff’s vehicle while the officer sought a search warrant, was essentially based solely on the trooper’s initial detection of the faint odor of burnt marijuana, which did not, in and of itself, create fair probability that marijuana would be found in the vehicle”, states the ruling.

The case, Zullo v. Vermont, effectively overturned a lower court decision.

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Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana Filed in South Carolina

Legislation to legalize medical marijuana has been filed in South Carolina’s House of Representatives.

was filed by Representatives Todd Rutherford (D) and Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D), and has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. The measure would legalize the medical use and possession of marijuana by those with a qualifying medical condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. This includes legalizing a system of licensed dispensaries.

Under the proposed law, patients or their caregiver would be allowed to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, and could grow up to six plants (three of which can be mature).

The law defines “debilitating medical condition” as:

(a) cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or treatment for these conditions;

(b) a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, or treatment of that disease or medical condition, that results in one or more of the following symptoms, and for which, in the professional opinion of that patient’s physician, the use of medical marijuana would alleviate one or more of the symptoms:

(i) cachexia;

(ii) severe pain;

(iii) severe nausea;

(iv) seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy; or

(v) persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; and

(c) another disease or medical condition, or treatment of that disease or medical condition, determined by the department to be a debilitating medical condition pursuant to department regulation or department approval of a petition submitted by a patient or a patient’s physician.

For the full text of the proposal, click here.

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Enough Signatures Submitting in Denver to Put Magic Mushrooms Initiative on November Ballot

Proponents of an initiative to decriminalize the possession and use of magic mushrooms in Denver have submitted enough signatures to put the measure to a vote of the people.

The group Decriminalize Denver submitted over 8,000 signatures today for their initiative, well more than the 4,726 required to make the November general election ballot. However, the Denver Election Division must now verify that enough of the 8,000+ signatures are valid (from registered Denver voters) before the measure can be officially placed on the ballot; they have 25 days to do so.

The proposal would make psilocybin mushrooms (A.K.A “magic mushrooms” – psilocybin is the psychoactive ingredient found within them) the lowest law enforcement priority for those 21 and older, similar to what Seattle did for cannabis in 2009 (three years prior to cannabis being legalized). More importantly, the initiative would prohibit the city – including law enforcement – from using any funds to impose penalties on those who use and possess personal amounts of psilocybin.

Below is the official ballot title for the Denver Psilocybin Initiative:

Shall the voters of the City and County of Denver adopt an ordinance to the Denver Revised Municipal Code that would make the personal use and personal possession of psilocybin mushrooms by persons twenty-one (21) years of age and older the city’s lowest law-enforcement priority, prohibit the city from spending resources to impose criminal penalties for the personal use and possession of psilocybin mushrooms by persons twenty-one (21) years of age and older, and establish the psilocybin mushroom policy review panel to assess and report on the effects of the ordinance?

For the full text of the initiative, click here.

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