WeedWeek: Jeff Sessions’ Deputy Says Legalization Isn’t Working

Posted by | September 17, 2017 | Marijuana News

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Here’s the news:
Politics
U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (R) said the Justice Department can still crack down on state-legal cannabis. “I think there is some pretty significant evidence that marijuana turns out to be more harmful than a lot of people anticipated, and it’s more difficult to regulate than I think was contemplated ideally by some of those states.”
The Obama era Cole Memo that allows the industry to exist, doesn’t protect from prosecution, he added. “That’s been perceived in some places almost as if it creates a safe harbor, but it doesn’t. And it’s clear that it doesn’t,…That is, even if, under the terms of the memo you’re not likely to be prosecuted, it doesn’t mean that what you’re doing is legal or that it’s approved by the federal government or that you protected from prosecution in the future.” See his complete remarks here (a 42-minute video on a variety of topics.)
Congress extended the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which blocks the Justice Department from cracking down on state-legal MED, through December. Supporters are concerned about securing the next extension.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) introduced a bill to enable MED research. His speech included lots of puns, like, “It’s high time to address research” into MED. (High-larious!)
California will ban cannabis delivery by bike, robot, drone and boat. The legislature also signed a bill to ban cannabis use on beaches and in state parks.
Los Angeles, the world’s largest legal market, is racing to get regulations in place by Jan 1. The city planning commission approved a zoning ordinance for cannabis businesses.
After a cannabis conference withdrew his speaking invitation, Trump ally and political gadfly Roger Stone came to L.A. anyway.
San Diego will allow growing and manufacturing.
A poll found Massachusetts voters are skeptical about the state’s ability to regulate REC. Maine lawmakers will consider doubling REC taxes to 20%.
In Pennsylvania, the Health Department will have to justify any information in MED business applications that they withhold from the public.
An unsuccessful license applicant is suing Pennsylvania, to the consternation of some lawmakers.
Another Pennsylvania MED business is seeking an injunction against a subsidiary of Vireo Health. Vireo received a license despite criminal charges pending against two former employees for allegedly driving $500,000 in oil across state lines.
One year before it comes online, Ohio’s MED program has lots to do.
Nevada could be the first state to allow consumption lounges.
Employees at Arkansas’ largest airport can’t use MED.
Police say they won’t be ready, and growers predict a supply shortage, but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau still wants to legalize REC next year. The left-wing NDP party wants Canada to reach a deal with the U.S. on ending lifetime entry bans for Canadians who have ever consumed marijuana.
Rolling Stone explains MED legalization in Mexico, which happened this Summer.
South Africa plans to start issuing grow licenses for MED (“dagga”). Plans to decriminalize REC in Israelare advancing slowly.
Sponsored Content
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Marijuana Venture Publisher Greg James: “We looked around and saw that the retail side of the business was not being well addressed … We’re following the same model as major traditional shows like CES and BookExpo in which buyers are always allowed in free. This promotes a lot of foot traffic and qualified buyers.”
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Business
California delivery app Eaze raised $27M to expand into REC. Bailey Capital led the round. DCM Ventures, Kaya Ventures and FJ Labs also invested. Delivery services consider California the pivotal market.
Marijuana Policy Project hired former anti-pot Senator Alfonse D’Amato (D-N.Y.) as a lobbyist. Initially his focus will be on strengthening the New York industry. Existing New York MED businesses are suing to prevent more licensees from entering the market.
Less than two years into a five year contract, Nevada said it would drop MJFreeway’s seed-to-sale tracking software for competitor Metrc. MJFreeway has experienced two security breaches this year, but the announcement was not expected.
Westword interviews Colorado marijuana czar turned consultant Andrew Freedman and looks at how Colorado is fine-tuning its regulations.
California state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate John Chiang (D) said he will release a proposal for a state bank to serve the industry. Amid skepticism, Colorado-based Partner Colorado Credit Union thinks it can serve cannabis companies nationwide.
Hawaii is the first state to go cashless on MED sales.
A Portland Mercury reporter teases an upcoming story about the regulatory struggles of Drip Ice Cream and Luminous Botanicals, two preferred craft cannabis brands that have been forced to stop selling products.
The Wall Street Journal looks at whether Canadian stock exchanges will list U.S.-based cannabis stocks.
A Bloomberg columnist is skeptical of the cannabis and cryptocurrency markets.
In the S.F. Chronicle’s Green State, I found some big names in tech who are involved in the green rush, whether they want to be or not.
A Detroit MED dispensary is closing in hopes of eventually winning a license.
Uruguay will allow cash-based dispensaries because banks don’t want to work with the pharmacies that currently sell pot.
Some charities won’t accept donations from cannabis businesses.
The Green Market Report, a new site, wants to be the CNBC of cannabis. The CEO is financial journalist Debra Borchardt.
The Journal of Cannabis, a PDF magazine on “industrial hemp, MED, wellness, horticulture and culture” recently published its first issue.
A MED farm in Sri Lanka hopes to export to the U.S.
Colorado’s hemp industry faces growing pains.
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Note: WeedWeek editor Alex Halperin is excited to be on a panel at the New West Summit.
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Health and Science
Legislative alert: House Republicans are advancing legislation that critics say would gut the Americans with Disabilities Act. Senate Republicans are presenting a new version of Obamacare repeal that would likely cost tens of millions of Americans their health insurance. If enacted, both bills would have serious negative consequences for the health and well-being of your colleagues, customers, friends and families.To learn what you can do, go here.
While teen cannabis use has not increased with legalization, adult use has. The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham points out 19% of cannabis users are daily users, up from 12% in 2002.
In response to the data, HIV-positive columnist Andrew Sullivan wrote about his dependence on pot.
The powerful Senate Appropriations Committee wants to develop a national testing program for marijuana products. (Also, cannabis journalist and activist Tom Angell has moved from MassRoots to a new home at Forbes.)
A Columbia University study finds marijuana can cause “psychotic-like effects” in high risk young adults.
Nevada will launch a PSA campaign to dissuade pregnant women from using cannabis.
Soil in California’s Central Valley agricultural region may be too contaminated by pesticides to grow cannabis, Green State reports.
There’s a petition for Canada to implement tight environmental controls on the cannabis industry.
The FDA approved the first mobile app for substance abuse disorders, a big boost for developer Pear Therapeutics. The cognitive behavioral therapy app is designed to be used in conjunction with counseling.
Some universities are experimenting with hydroponic and aeroponic agriculture.
Netflix released a documentary Heroin(e), about the opioid crisis in West Virginia.
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Criminal Justice
Rolling Stone tells the stories of five Americans serving long sentences for non-violent cannabis related offenses.
The feds have asked health officials in at least eight states for MED patient data, raising suspicions about what the government wants to do with it.
The Arizona Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Maricopa County (Phoenix) top prosecutor Bill Montgomery (R), who argues the county can ignore the state’s MED law because of federal illegality.
A foster mother in Arizona won’t be eligible for support payments from the state because a state-legal CBD product was found in her home.
California State Senator Ted Gaines (R) asked Gov. Jerry Brown (D)to declare a state of emergencyrelated to illegal grows in the state’s far north. In Siskiyou County, he writes, “All laws regarding legal marijuana cultivation are being ignored by individual criminals, crime syndicates and drug cartels.” The L.A. Times has more. The N.Y. Times finds growers in northern California who aren’t changing their ways with legalization.
Oregon will co-operate with the Justice Department to eliminate illegal grows. Colorado and Washington also want to reduce the number of illegal grows.
Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department is ending Obama-era initiatives to oversee local police forces.
A beneficiary of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA or “Dreamers”) program faces deportation for possessing about a gram of weed.
Trump son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner hosted a discussion on criminal justice reform which included prisoner advocates. AG Sessions and Deputy AG Rosenstein did not attend. In 2004, Kushner’s father, a billionaire real estate developer, was convicted of crimes including witness tampering and spent more than a year in federal prison.
In a surprise vote, the House blocked an asset forfeiture expansion supported by AG Sessions.
A dispensary employee was kidnapped in Washington.
A California bill would enable people who have been arrested but not convicted to protect that information from prospective employers.

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