Tag Archives: marijuana

Houston area decriminalizes possession of small amounts of weed

Effective March 1, the nation’s fourth-largest city will no longer make arrests of those carrying four ounces or less of marijuana

HOUSTON — The district attorney in the most populous Texas county has announced a new program in which law enforcement agencies will not arrest individuals caught with four ounces or less of marijuana.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced in Houston on Thursday that her office will offer those possessing misdemeanor amounts of marijuana an opportunity to participate in the program starting March 1.

Individuals won’t be jailed or have to appear in court, but they will have 90 days to complete a four-hour decision-making class. Those completing the program won’t face charges.

Read Full – http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/02/17/houston-marijuana-possession-misdemeanor/73835/

How a Federal Crackdown on Marijuana Could Affect Mexican Cartels

President Donald Trump campaigned on making the United States “great again,” but if his administration follows through on a threat to crack down on legal marijuana, it’s Mexican drug cartels that could be restored to their former glory.

TOM ANGELL – MARIJUANA.COM

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that states with legal recreational marijuana will likely “see greater enforcement” of federal laws, which prohibit all use of cannabis. Spicer’s statements echo what Attorney General Jeff Sessions said during his confirmation hearings: “It is not so much the attorney general’s job to decide what laws to enforce. We should do our job and enforce laws effectively as we are able.”

The Department of Justice declined to comment.

Eight states and the District of Columbia currently allow the retail sale of marijuana for recreational use, all thanks to voter referendums.

In Colorado, where in 2012 voters were the first in the nation to back retail sales, the marijuana industry generated over $1.3 billion in revenue last year, adding about $200 million in taxes to the state’s coffers. In California, the first state to legalize the medical use of cannabis, marijuana has become the state’s leading agricultural commodity, according to the Orange County Register, which estimated its value at $23.3 billion — even before voters legalized recreational sales last November.

Most people think that’s a good thing. A poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University found a majority of the U.S. public now supports marijuana legalization, and 71 percent oppose a federal crack down on states that have legalized it already.

The rise of the homegrown weed industry has come at a cost, though: In 2016, U.S. Border Patrol reported that “marijuana seizures along the southwest border tumbled to their lowest level in at least a decade,” The Washington Post reported. Between 2011 and 2015, seizures dropped 39 percent, according to Fortune.

Read Full – http://www.attn.com/stories/15170/how-president-trump-could-affect-mexican-drug-cartel

Will California finally have a statewide standard for the sale of legal marijuana by 2018?

November’s law legalizing recreational weed has added a new set of challenges for regulation

Marijuana for medical use has been legal in California since 1996, but efforts to regulate it like a normal product have been elusive.

For nearly two decades the production, distribution, sale and taxation of cannabis has operated through a patchwork of local rules that can differ from one city or county to the next. What one grower or pot dispensary does in one part of the state could be illegal in another, from the number of plants producers can grow to whether or not cannabis-based edibles require warning labels.

Now that voters have approved the sale of marijuana for recreational use through November’s Proposition 64 referendum, officials involved with working out regulations are scrambling. They must establish statewide rules before the start of next year, when licenses are supposed to become available for the sale of recreational-use marijuana.

Some are doubtful that state policymakers will have everything in order by then.

“They can’t get it together about what they want the laws to be,” Alicia Darrow, chief operations manager of Blum Oakland, a 13-year-old Bay Area medical marijuana dispensary, told Salon. “I’ll be shocked if it goes live in 2018.”

The problem, she said, is that Prop. 64 threw a wrench into regulators’ efforts that began in October 2015 after the passage of Assembly Bill 266, the state’s first successful attempt to pass a law regulating medical marijuana.

Prop. 64 and AB 266 have considerable differences in the way marijuana is regulated that must be worked out. For example, AB 266 requires a small number of third-party companies to control distribution and oversee testing for pesticide contamination, something dispensaries argue is unnecessary and would increase costs. Another unanswered question pertains to how dispensaries that sell medical-use marijuana and the more heavily taxed recreational-use weed will be required to track and manage their inventories and sales. Under Prop. 64,  dispensaries must have two separate inventories and tracking systems.

“It’s a big job, but we’re working hard and have every intention of meeting our goals,” Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the state’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, said in an email to Salon. “The work we’ve done on regulations for medical cannabis have given us a great start.”

Meanwhile established growers, many of them mom-and-pop operations, are worried about being muscled out by bigger, well-financed ventures backed by deep-pocketed investment groups that are chasing the potential for big gains in the years to come. California’s medical marijuana business generated nearly $2.7 billion in sales in 2015 and that’s expected to balloon to $6.45 billion annually by 2020, including sales from recreational-use marijuana, according to cannabis industry investment network Arcview.

Read Full – http://www.salon.com/2017/02/05/will-california-finally-have-a-statewide-standard-for-the-sale-of-legal-marijuana-by-2018/

Prop 64 Legal Weed in California: VICE News Tonight on HBO (Full Segment)

On Election Day, voters in 4 states legalized marijuana for recreational use. California was one of those states.

Medical marijuana was already legal in The Golden State, but the passage of Proposition 64 means the state is now poised to become the world’s largest legal weed marketplace.

Read: “The high stakes for legal weed on election day” – http://bit.ly/2g3jLmN

Read: “The election wrecked America’s underground weed economy” – http://bit.ly/2fDOD01

Read: “Trumps pick for attorney general has legal weed advocates freaking out” – http://bit.ly/2fhFvuq

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Legal Weed Is Hurting Beer Sales

It would appear that citizens of states with legal marijuana are switching out their beers for joints: A study from research firm Cowen & Company into the beer industries of Washington, Oregon, and Colorado asserts that those states’ beer industries are “underperforming.”

Craft beer industry news site BrewBound has some of the report’s details. “Domestic brewers” (that is, Big Beer) have seen the largest drops, with so-called premium brews (Coors Light, Bud Light) going down 4.4 percent in terms of the volume being sold. Economy brews (the regular, “non-fancy” forms of mainstream beers such as Budweiser or Coors) fell 2.4 percent.

Craft beer isn’t totally immune. The report suggests craft beer continues to grow in these three states (all of which are known for their robust microbrewing scenes), but those smaller breweries aren’t doing as well as their peers in other parts of the nation. However, the U.S. craft brewing scene was already slowing down, so that’s not entirely the fault of cannabis.

The epicenter of this trading-beer-for-weed phenomenon has been Denver, where beer volumes dropped by 6.4 percent Strangely, the report notes that import beers are relatively unaffected, indicating that lighting up a joint and drinking a Corona may be a more popular pastime.

Since only three states were studied this perhaps isn’t the most definitive look into the trend — but as marijuana goes on sale in several more states in the near future, there will be plenty of opportunities to see what legal weed might do to the beer industry.

sourced from – http://www.eater.com/2016/12/5/13847656/legal-pot-beer-sales-down