New Findings Raise Doubts Whether Legal Weed Reduces Opioid Deaths

July 12, 2019 3 min read This story originally appeared on Benzinga A study published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy is pushing back on the line of thinking that medical marijuana could lower the number of opioid overdoses. The findings. States with medical marijuana laws showed slower increases in opioid overdoses from 1999 to 2010, but that’s no longer the case, according to the study. “For end dates between 2008 and 2012, the association was negative … subsequently, the association became statistically indistinguishable from zero before turning positive in 2017.” The association between state medical cannabis laws and opioid overdoses has reversed direction from negative 21 percent to positive 23 percent and remained positive after factoring in recreational cannabis laws, the study’s authors said. “We find it unlikely that medical cannabis — used by about 2.5 percent of the U.S. population — has exerted large conflicting effects on opioid overdose […]

Read more

Illinois Has Legalized but What’s Going on In New York and New Jersey?

So much for the coastal elites thinking they can show Middle America how to get things done. July 8, 2019 7 min read This story originally appeared on Marijuana Business Daily Illinois is the 11th state in the nation to legalize adult-use marijuana, now that Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a recreational bill into law. The governor’s historic bill signing came not long after New York and New Jersey both failed to legalize potential billion-dollar commercial recreational programs. What lessons were learned by the cannabis industry, and how are business strategies shifting? Why did those states fail, while Illinois succeeded in approving recreational marijuana via a legislative move? Industry watchers see cannabis businesses generally maintaining their interest in the densely populated Northeast U.S., perhaps by trying to enter the growing medical cannabis markets. Meanwhile, New York and New Jersey marijuana businesses hope to continue to build support for eventual adult-use legalization. Here are five […]

Read more

Illinois Is Now the 11th State to Legalize Adult-Use Marijuana — $2B Market Projected

The legalization measure contains social equity provisions activists believe could be a national model. June 26, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Marijuana Business Daily Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday signed a recreational marijuana legalization bill into law, paving the way for the creation of a potential $2 billion market with strong business opportunities. With the signature, Illinois becomes the first state in the country to legalize retail sales through its Legislature and the 11th overall to approve adult use. Pritzker’s signature was considered a fait accompli, since he had pushed legalization and announced his intention to sign the bill as soon as the legislature approved it in late May. “We’re also creating a $30 million low-interest loan program to create opportunity for entrepreneurs in the communities that deserve it the most (from the war on drugs),” Pritzker tweeted Tuesday. Experts believe Illinois’ social equity program, if successful, could become a blueprint for other […]

Read more

Legal Dispensaries in LA Demand Regulators Crack Down on Unlicensed Pot Shops

Heavily taxed and closely regulated legal dispensaries are being undersold by outlaws who flaunt the law. June 24, 2019 6 min read Brought to you by Marijuana Business Daily Los Angeles marijuana czar Cat Packer did an impromptu Oprah Winfrey impersonation during an appearance at a Mendocino County retreat earlier this month when asked what she’d do with an unlimited budget and staff. “Everyone would get licenses!” the director of the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation said with a smile, spurring the audience to giggle, cheer and clap. “You get a license! You get a license! You get a license! Everyone would get licenses, and no one would get arrested.” But the reality is, this is anything but a laughing matter for Los Angeles cannabis businesses. To the California Minority Alliance (CMA), for instance, it’s an issue that rises to legal action. The trade group announced plans to sue City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office, contending […]

Read more

New York Cannabis Community Mourns Longtime Advocate Doug Greene

Greene was a constant presence at rallies and meetings to support cannabis legalization. June 12, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Benzinga The New York cannabis community lost one of its most vocal proponents when Doug Greene, 52, was fatally struck by an A train subway June 4. It is unclear how he found himself on the tracks. Decades of activism.  Greene’s passing leaves a void in the cannabis community. He specialized in bankruptcy law by day and fought for cannabis rights with most of his other time for more than 30 years, including serving as the legislative director for the Empire State NORML chapter. He was a constant fixture at rallies, protests, hearings and gatherings in the state, often serving as a speaker and always a supporter. The news of his passing sparked a slew of dedications on social media. Many cited his passion for the plant as well as his ability […]

Read more

With Precision Dosing Cannabis Will Become Like Coffee

Precision dosing unlocks the vast benefits of cannabis by making intoxication optional. May 29, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The conventional wisdom is that the end of Prohibition in the 1930s is the blueprint for the legalization of cannabis now. We once drank in speakeasies, now we drink in bars. We once smoked joints at home with the curtains drawn, now we vape on front stoops. Getting high will become like being tipsy. The black market will simply become a white market and the roster of legal, recreational drugs will simply increase from one to two. This conventional wisdom is logical and reasonable. But it is wrong. The future of cannabis doesn’t look like wine and spirits. Cannabis isn’t like alcohol. Cannabis is like coffee. Cannabis will be a part of everyday life — a common and routine presence. At work, at home, at […]

Read more

New Jersey Lawmakers Admit Failure on Weed Legalization, Will Let Voters Decide in 2020

Legalization seemed a certainty a year ago but political infighting and unflinching legalization opponents doomed the effort. May 15, 2019 4 min read New Jersey lawmakers have given up hope of legalizing adult-use cannabis and will leave the issue to be decided by a referendum on the 2020 presidential ballot. In the meanwhile, the Legislature will push forward a bill to expunge marijuana related criminal records. In recent days Governor Phil Murphy, who won election in part on his vow to pass marijuana legalization, has used his executive authority to dramatically expand the state’s existing medical marijuana program. “We are not going to move forward with adult use marijuana at this time. It’s something I feel strongly in, but the votes aren’t there,” state Senate President Stephen Sweeney said at a press conference Wednesday. “There’s no sense dragging this out,. We can’t hold back progress.” Expansion of the medical marijuana […]

Read more

7 Statistics Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Legal Cannabis and CBD

Public opinion and consumer preference for cannabis over Big Pharma are powerful forces shaping the cannabis market. April 30, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. How fast is the stigma of cannabis fading? Consider the numbers: Cannabis, whether for medical use or recreationally by adults, is legal in 33 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico. An estimated 73 million Americans live in the 10 states that have legalized for adult use. A record-high 62 percent of Americans agree cannabis should be legalized. 2019 marks the start of the second year of legal adult cannabis in California, the world’s largest legal market, yet consumers and business owners still must overcome significant hurdles. Cannabis consumers want to support the legal market but high prices, whopping taxes and impeded access to legal cannabis drives them to thriving illicit market. California has done a good job […]

Read more

The Politics of Reforming Federal Marijuana Laws Increasingly Favors the Reformers

Business interests and public opinion clearly favor ending prohibition but the status quo still has a lot of momentum. April 29, 2019 6 min read Brought to you by Marijuana Business Daily U.S. cannabis reform efforts have seen movement recently with a House committee’s endorsement of a banking bill and Attorney General William Barr’s comments that a federal shift would be preferable to the current “intolerable” situation. But the progress that marijuana businesses have awaited remains an uphill battle — with Senate leadership a key hurdle — and experts say a narrowly tailored bill remains most likely to pass – such as the SAFE Banking Act, which would protect financial institutions that serve state-legal marijuana businesses. “That, to me, is one of the lowest pieces of hanging fruit,” along with a measure to provide veterans access to medical marijuana, said Douglas Berman, director of Ohio State University’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center. […]

Read more

Licensing Snafu Could Cost California Cannabis Growers Thousands in Lost Revenue, Possible Shutdowns

California is the world’s largest legal marijuana market but nobody is claiming it is the best regulated. April 23, 2019 6 min read Brought to you by Marijuana Business Daily California’s marijuana growers are at risk of losing thousands of dollars in revenue as scores of temporary business licenses expire each day before the state can replace them with annual permits. That leaves many cultivators trapped in a licensing logjam with a difficult choice: Continue operating with expired permits — or shut down. This is the beginning of the outdoor cultivation season, and many growers went ahead and planted despite knowing their temporary licenses were set to expire — holding out hope that state regulators would speed up the licensing process and issue annual permits posthaste. That largely hasn’t happened. And lawmakers in Sacramento have yet to pass a legislative fix. As of April 16, roughly 3,000 temporary cultivation permits had expired […]

Read more

Pay Attention to These 6 Cannabis Industry Trends

The weed businesses that thrived four years ago don’t necessarily yield big profits today as new cannabis industry trends dictate the market. April 19, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Cannabis industry trends evolve faster than most markets. Not only haven’t regulations been finalized, but methods of consumption, investment and the geography of the market itself are in constant flux. Though all the noise, these are the top six cannabis industry trends that entrepreneurs should pay attention to. 1. Cannabis industry trends indicate higher sales than ever. The biggest evolution within the cannabis industry is that sales will be higher this year than they were in 2018, and investors, consumers and entrepreneurs alike should expect to see legal weed sales blossom for the next few years as the market grows annually. The biggest of all cannabis industry trends for the next few years is […]

Read more

Legalization Stalls In New Jersey Legislature

The vote on a bill to legalize marijuana for adults was cancelled when it became apparent it would be defeated. March 25, 2019 3 min read A bill to legalize marijuana use for adults and create what would have been among the nation’s largest markets for the booming cannabis industry has stalled in the New Jersey state Senate, a stinging defeat for Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat who was working with Democrat majorities in both houses of the state Legislature. Propents of legalization avoided outright defeat by withdrawing the bill when it became apparent it did not have the 21 votes needed to pass the state Senate. Despite the vigorous backing of the leaders of both houses of the Legislature and the governor, the bill never gained support either from Republican legislators representing suburban and rural areas of the state or from several prominent, and notably older, African American legislators representing […]

Read more

The UN Is Moving Toward Ending Decades of International Cannabis Prohibition

America and the entire world is waking up to the promise of cannabis and tiring of prohibition. March 25, 2019 9 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The pace of expansion within the “legalized” cannabis industry is impossible to miss. News of U.S. states “going legal” or large commercial operations “going public” are often front page news. Notably, an increasing number of non-cannabis businesses find themselves working with the industry as it expands and requires greater resources. In all of this, people ask, “How is this legal?” Explaining the quickly-evolving U.S. regulatory framework is complicated — and it’s just as complicated at the international level. The role of United Nations coordinating international cannabis prohibitions. Following the creation of the United Nations (UN), member countries sought to consolidate existing treaties and debates concerning the control of so-called dangerous drugs. With this stated purpose, the UN convened and […]

Read more

Presidential Candidates Back Marijuana Justice Act, But What Would It Do?

The bill would end the War on Drugs and allot funds to repair the damage it caused low-income communities. March 14, 2019 3 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Democratic congressional members, emboldened by a freshman class that put their party in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, have pressed fast-forward on introducing progressive legislation. The Green New Deal is one example. Legalization of recreational marijuana from sea to shining sea is another. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has reintroduced the Marijuana Justice Act, which he first proposed in 2017. It legalizes marijuana at the federal level, among many other sweeping changes. The chances of it passing Congress and becoming law are approximately zero — Republicans still hold a majority in the U.S. Senate and President Trump has a veto — but it should at least get a full hearing in the Democratic-controlled House. California Representatives […]

Read more

Volunteer Coders Partner With San Francisco to Clear 9,300 Marijuana Arrest Records

People arrested with a joint long ago were saddled with criminal records for decades. March 12, 2019 3 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Marijuana legalization isn’t just about stopping arrests under War on Drugs-era laws for cannabis possession. In California, it’s also about clearing the records of thousands who were arrested during that era and still struggle with the stigma of a criminal record for actions that ara legal now. With the help of a volunteer organization that uses technology to make governments more efficient, San Francisco officials plan to expunge records of 9,300 marijuana-related convictions that go back as far 1975. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón called expunging the records “the morally right thing to do,” according to the Los Angeles Times. He then added, “If you have a felony conviction, you are automatically excluded in so many ways from participating in […]

Read more

California’s National Guard Targets Outlaw Pot Growers

The trauma of roughshod airborne enforcement by the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting remains raw in the Emerald Triangle. March 1, 2019 7 min read Brought to you by Marijuana Business Daily Legal marijuana companies are cautiously welcoming California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement that 150 National Guard troops will deploy to Northern California to “go after illegal cannabis farms,” but the news also is kindling fears in some industry circles of a renewed, government-led drug war. Many legal marijuana companies have long argued that illicit operators pose a major threat to their bottom line — and a widespread law enforcement conundrum for the state at large. However, some of California’s legal cannabis companies remain unclear about how the National Guard effort will proceed, and the state has yet to offer clear-cut answers. Parallels drawn to the decades-old Campaign Against Marijuana Planting program (CAMP) have some worried about a “drug war 2.0” because in years past, CAMP arguably victimized many […]

Read more

Booker, Harris Push Marijuana Legalization to Center Stage for 2020 Election

Perhaps the greatest proof the American people have rejected the War on Drugs is that presidential candidates can favor legalization at no political cost. February 19, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Two senators who are leading candidates in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination have already accomplished something early in the campaign – they’ve made legalization of marijuana at the national level a primary issue. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey already has introduced legislation to remove marijuana from the federal list of illegal drugs and continues to take that position as a candidate. And Sen. Kamala Harris of California this month very publicly declared her support for legalizing pot on “The Breakfast Club” morning radio show in New York City. She couldn’t have been much more straightforward. “Let me just make this statement very clearly: I believe we need to […]

Read more

WHO Cannabis Rescheduling Recommendations Are Too Little for Some

The proposal would be great progress for medical marijuana and CBD but does much less for those who think adults can make their own choices about recreational cannabis. February 6, 2019 5 min read Brought to you by Marijuana Business Daily The World Health Organization (WHO) made great strides in its recommendations on how cannabis should be scheduled, but the global industry believes there’s more work to be done. Martin Jelsma, drugs and democracy program director at the Netherlands-based Transnational Institute, emphasized to Marijuana Business Daily that there are “very positive elements in the WHO recommendations,” including: Recognition of “medical usefulness” with its removal from Schedule IV. Additional clarity about CBD not being under international control. Resolution of the inconsistency of having cannabis under the 1961 and THC under the 1971 Convention. But the recommendations – first reported by Marijuana Business Daily – didn’t go far enough, Jelsma said. “(It’s) quite disappointing that the WHO recommends to keep […]

Read more

World Health Organization Recommends Rescheduling Cannabis and Provides Clarity on CBD

The WHO is on the verge of removing marijuana from the world’s list of dangerous narcotics while recognizing its vast therapeutic potential. February 6, 2019 6 min read Brought to you by Marijuana Business Daily Member states of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) received the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Drug Dependence’s (ECDD) cannabis recommendations, which had been expected in December, Marijuana Business Daily has learned. The CND had been expected to consider rescheduling cannabis in March 2019 at its annual meeting, but the delay in receiving the ECDD recommendations may push that consideration into 2020 to provide additional time for member states to review them. The report recommends several changes to how cannabis is scheduled, which could have significant implications for the cannabis industry: The scheduling of cannabis in the international drug control conventions wouldn’t be as restrictive as it is now, because it would be removed from Schedule IV of […]

Read more

More Seniors Are Using Marijuana and It May Decrease Their Opioid Use

Usage is surging among seniors looking for alternatives to prescription painkillers but research faces many legal barriers. February 5, 2019 3 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The U.S. population is aging, which means a growing percentage of Americans are experiencing the aches and pains that come with the senior years. Apparently, many have found a way of managing those aches and pains: marijuana. Using cannabis for pain relief is a growing trend among seniors. The New York Times recently reported that “older Americans are flocking to marijuana.” They interviewed a 66-year-old Orange County, Calif., resident who uses a salve containing cannabidiol (CBD) on an aching toe she broke decades ago. She also said she smokes a little weed in the evening because “relaxing is healthy for you.” Related: 5 Ways Hemp Is a Boon for Health Seniors are a huge market. Seniors are a growing […]

Read more
1 2