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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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3 Long Debunked Arguments Against Legal Weed That Just Won’t Die

America has largely accepted the facts about marijuana but a stubborn opposition refuses to. January 28, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. There has been a huge change in public opinion about legal marijuana over the past 20 years but the tired arguments against it — it’s a gateway drug, legalizing weed leads to more underage use, THC causes mental illness, etc — haven’t changed in decades, despite having been repeatedly disproved. These claims are scary but a significant body of research from leading academic institutions and states that have already legalized cannabis has largel disproved the arguments against ending cannabis prohibition. Myth: Weed is a gateway drug. The age-old argument against cannabis legalization, and cannabis use in general, is that weed is a “gateway” to more dangerous illegal substances. This argument rests a handful of studies. A study from 1999 found that people who use […]

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Here’s What the Average Cannabis Consumer in Canada Looks Like

Now that cannabis is legal in Canada, a whole new market of middle-aged, infrequent consumers has emerged. January 18, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The average cannabis consumer is young, adventurous, and not especially concerned with the law. More specifically, they’re between 18 and 34 years old, they ingest weed in some form more than once a week, and they’re likely to disregard legal and health warnings. But this is changing quickly. Now that Canada has legalized weed, middle-aged people who don’t break the law are interested. This new market is educated, family-oriented, and concerned with their wellbeing. Though young people will continue to be more frequent weed smokers, the average cannabis consumer in Canada is becoming a different kind of person with spending habits that are shaping the market. The average cannabis consumer is middle aged. Though there is some debate over […]

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Even Texas Is Getting Serious About Decriminalization and Medical Marijuana

The Lone Star state just might liberalize marijuana laws, at least as much as Oklahoma has. January 17, 2019 3 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Texas, which leads the nation in marijuana-related arrests, may be on the verge of decriminalizing marijuana possession. While that’s a small move compared to what’s happening in other parts of the country, it’s significant in a conservative “red state” where marijuana laws have remained at War on Drugs levels. Nothing is a given, but marijuana legalization advocates are optimistic that Texas marijuana law could change this year. Jax Finkel, executive director for Texas NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), told the Dallas Morning News that she remembers when “legislators laughed” at the possibility of changing Texas marijuana laws. This year should prove different. “There will be change,” Finkel said. Related: Colorado Cannabis Business Leaders Share Lessons From America’s […]

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Federal Cannabis Prohibition Got a Lot Weaker in 2018

Prohibition has inertia but no momentum. December 31, 2018 8 min read Any listing of cannabis legalization highlights for 2018 has to begin with the triumph of marijuana at the ballot box in the midterm elections — voter approval for adult use in Michigan and medical marijuana in states as culturally conservative as Utah and Missouri, the defeat of virulently anti-cannabis Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas and the election of pro-legalization governors and state legislators. The big shifts in cannabis in 2018 were at the state level. Progress toward the ultimate goal — federal legalization — was subtle but significant nonetheless. The dizzying pace of the news makes it easy to forget 2018 began with then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversing the hands-off Obama era policy toward state-legal cannabis businesses. The decades old ban on hemp was lifted, giving America’s farmers a lucrative new crop and creating a large and legal (though regulated) source of […]

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States Are Starting to Certify Organic Cannabis Because the Feds Won’t

That organic produce you pay a premium for is certified under a federal program that excludes marijuana, even when grown legally under state law. December 14, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Recently, agricultural committee leadership of both the United States Senate and House of Representatives announced they had reached a tentative agreement on the 2018 Farm Bill. If passed in its current form, this legislation will pave the way for industrial hemp and one of its non-psychoactive compounds, cannabidiol (CBD), to become fully legal under federal law. As a result, domestic industrial hemp producers soon could be eligible for organic certification by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Federal organic certification indicates to consumers that a farmer or processor complies with federal organic regulations, which permits it to lawfully sell, label and otherwise represent that its products are organic. To receive federal organic certification, the […]

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Pro-Marijuana Candidates Were Big Midterm Winners but Now They Need to be Prodded

Many new office holders support legal marijuana but few made it their highest priority. November 16, 2018 6 min read After more than a week of sifting through the results it is increasingly clear that what initially appeared to be a good election for expanding legal marijuana access in the US was actually a very, very good election. Voters in Utah and Missouri approved medical marijuana programs in midterm voting, while voters in Michigan (which already has a large and growing medical marijuana program) gave landslide approval to full legalization. But if there is one lesson cannabis advocates ought to have learned by now, electing pro-marijuana candidates is just a step in the right direction. While it’s likely many more states will be legalizing marijuana, don’t be surprised if it takes until the 2020 elections. Why will it take so long? Consider New Jersey. The Garden State has long had a […]

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Key Cannabis Legalization Wins Could Bring in Upwards of $2 Billion in New Sales

With few exceptions, voted approved both ballot measures and candidates favorable to legal marijuana, at least for medical purposes. November 12, 2018 5 min read Brought to you by Marijuana Business Daily Marijuana scored a sweeping victory at the ballot box on last Tuesday, with voters approving new markets in Michigan, Missouri and Utah that eventually could generate $2 billion in medical and recreational sales. Across the nation, voters installed the Democrats as the new majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives, improving the odds that lawmakers will pass federal marijuana reforms that benefit MJ businesses. Cannabis-friendly gubernatorial candidates, meanwhile, won in California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico and New York. “Voters have once again sent a message loud and clear that it is time to legalize and regulate marijuana,” said Steve Hawkins, executive director of Washington DC-based Marijuana Policy Project. A recreational ballot measure in North Dakota was the only marijuana initiative that voters […]

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Pesticide Contamination Is a Growing Cannabis Safety Concern

Marijuana’s continuing status as illegal under federal law makes the job of regulating it for consumer safety much harder. November 9, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Pesticides and herbicides have been in the news recently, with the publication of a new JAMA Internal Medicine study, which suggests that people may be able to lower their overall risk of developing cancer by more frequently eating organic foods. This was followed a few days later by the release of a report by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental advocacy group, which found that 26 of the 28 breakfast cereals and snack bars it tested had levels of an herbicide that were “higher than what [its] scientists consider protective of children’s health with an adequate margin of safety.” However, none of the foods had more than the Environmental Protection Agency’s limits for this herbicide, and […]

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FDA Welcomes Public Comments on Marijuana

Marijuana is considered a dangerous drug under international treaties, a stance that needs updating as legalization goes global. November 1, 2018 3 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If you’re a green entrepreneur, chances are you have strong opinions on how marijuana should be classified under law. Now, you have a chance to make that opinion known, at least when it comes to international law. The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has opened a small window of opportunity in the month of October for citizens to comment on whether marijuana should be reclassified under global treaties that the United States participates in. Comment can be made through the federal government site that allows for citizen comments on public policy issues. In this case, the issue is “international drug rescheduling,” which includes “cannabis plant and resin,” according to the FDA. Comments were accepted through Oct. 31. […]

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These Are the States Voting on Legal Marijuana in November

Voters in some of the most conservative states in the Union are poised to legalize marijuana, at least for medical purposes. October 11, 2018 3 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Even Utah is considering legalizing marijuana in the November 2018 election. Let that one sink in for a moment. Of course, the key is that Utah voters will consider legalizing medical marijuana, not recreational. Support is so high in the United States for medical marijuana that even the measure in Utah seems likely to pass. How high is that support? A Quinnipiac survey in April 2018 found that 93 percent support legalized medical marijuana, with only 5 percent saying they don’t. Nothing in America gets 93 percent support. The irony is that the federal government continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug with no medical benefits. This November, voters in four […]

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The Bright Future of Cannabis Retail

The regulatory hassles of doing anything in the marijuana business is giving startups an opening that bigger, more risk averse companies dare not enter. September 17, 2018 8 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When I was a kid, Christmas shopping looked much different for my parents than it does today. My mom would plan for months, stealthily collecting tidbits of information from her brood, carefully curating our lists of presents. She would do her shopping early, spend a few weeks wrapping everything to the utmost standards (we always felt fleetingly bad ripping her beautiful work apart), and execute with precision. My dad is a different beast. Looking back, I am pretty sure he would wait until the 23rd, then mount a Christmas shopping extravaganza, fighting other parents for parking spots at the mall and ripping Tickle Me Elmo’s from the hands of hopeful soccer […]

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