Pennsylvania Treasurer, Auditor General, & The Mayor Of Philadelphia To Speak At Cannabis Learn

3 PA Officials Will Discuss Social & Economic Benefits Of Cannabis Legalization At Cannabis Learn Conference & Expo

PENNSYLVANIA: Greenhouse Ventures,  a Philadelphia-based business accelerator, will host the three-day Cannabis Learn Conference and Expo featuring keynote presentations from Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, and Philadelphia’s Mayor, Jim Kenney on the economic benefits and savings from cannabis legalization.

In 2014, due to the work of then Councilmen, now Mayor, Jim Kenney, Philadelphia became the largest city to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis possession. Three years after implementing decriminalization the city of Philadelphia saw a 75% decrease in cannabis arrests, dropping for 12,000 (from the previous three years) to 2,900 (the three years after).

Cannabis Learn

“As a member of City Council, I was proud to pass legislation that decriminalized small quantities of marijuana. In the years since, we’ve seen a significant decrease in arrests for this. As a result, fewer people have entered our criminal justice system for possession than they did previously. I am looking forward to discussing our progress at this conference.” said Mayor Kenney.

In 2017 the ACLU of Pennsylvania released a study that found despite decriminalization inside Philadelphia, across the rest of the state there was a 33% increase in adults arrested from possession between 2010-2016.

Pennsylvania Auditor General, Eugene DePasquale, calls the state’s approach to dealing with cannabis nonsense. In 2016 the commonwealth’s general fund was down $1.6 billion, and another $600,000 deficit was expected heading into Fiscal Year 2018. DePasquale said in a conservative estimate, full legalization could provide at least $300 million in tax revenue a year.

“I think it is appropriate to regulate and tax marijuana in Pennsylvania because if we do this right we can actually reduce teen access, grow our economy, reduce opioid addiction and bring in critical revenue so that we don’t have to raise taxes,” Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said. “Pennsylvania could bring in, conservatively, about $300 million in revenue annually from regulating and taxing marijuana. It will also stimulate business and job growth in every region of the state.”

This estimate was made based on the cannabis industry operating strictly in all cash, as the industry is still largely shunned from banks. In effort to remove on of the industry’s most crippling problem, Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella, along with several other state Treasurers wrote Attorney General Jeff Sessions a letter, requesting a meeting to receive clarity of the federal administration’s stance on cannabis legalization.

“All across the country—including right here in Pennsylvania—states are evaluating the use and legal status of cannabis products and making policy decisions based on our needs, not Beltway politics. In a state like PA—which has passed legislation allowing for medicinal use of these products and affecting their legal and tax status, growers and distributors need access to basic structures of the economy like secure banking services. I’m glad to participate in the Cannabis Learn Conference and Expo, and to discuss and help navigate these important issues.” said Torsella.

With three days of workshops and advanced programming for business owners, ancillary professionals, and operators working in the cannabis industry, the Cannabis Learn Conference and Expo will provide a forum for subject matter experts, policy makers, and cultural influencers to connect and share insights with those working in the day-to-day industry. Following PA’a Department of Health (DOH) announcement regarding phase two of the medical cannabis program, and the “Chapter 20 clinical registrant” license guidelines, the Cannabis Learn Conference aims to provide a stage for an in-depth discussion on the state of the PA medical cannabis program, while examining the social impact and economic benefits that cannabis legalization could have within Pennsylvania and the tri-state area.

“A regulated and prosperous cannabis market can’t exist in Pennsylvania without support from credible influencers in Harrisburg and large cities like Philadelphia.” said Kevin Provost, CEO of Greenhouse Ventures – the Philadelphia-based organization hosting the Cannabis Learn Conference. “Mayor Kenney, Joe Torsella, and Eugene DePasquale have been publicly supportive of the cannabis industry to date, and we felt it necessary to bring the cannabis industry influencers from around the country to work more closely with leading politicians, health care professionals, universities, and economic development organizations here in Pennsylvania – that’s what this conference is all about”.

The Cannabis Learn Conference and Expo is taking place April 30th – May 2nd at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia as part of Philly Tech Week – Sponsored by Comcast. The conference is being hosted by Greenhouse Ventures, a business accelerator and program development organization specific for ancillary startups in the medical cannabis and industrial hemp industries.

Maine: Voter-Initiated Changes In Law Eliminate Marijuana Possession Penalties

MAINE:  Maine became the eighth state to eliminate criminal penalties specific to the adult possession and personal use of cannabis.

Language in Question 1: The Marijuana Legalization Act, specific to the private possession and cultivation of marijuana by adults, took effect on Monday. Maine voters narrowly passed Question 1 on Election Day.

The new law permits adults who are not participating in the state’s existing medical cannabis program to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and/or the harvest from up to six mature plants.

Public use of marijuana is a civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine.

In response to voters’ approval of Question 1, Maine lawmakers passed separate legislation last week, LD 88, also permitting adults to possess up to five grams of marijuana concentrates. However, other provisions in the measure delay the implementation of retail marijuana sales until at least February 1, 2018. It also prohibits the possession of “edible retail marijuana products” until this date.

Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington have previously adopted voter-initiated laws legalizing the private consumption and/or sale of cannabis by adults. The District of Columbia also permits adults to legally possess and grow personal use quantities of marijuana in private residences.

Justin Trudeau And The Cannabis Factory

CANADA: At a former Hershey’s chocolate factory just outside Ottawa a company called Tweed now produces a rather different confection: marijuana for Canada’s tightly regulated medical market. Under the gaze of surveillance cameras, scientists in lab coats concoct new cannabis-based blends in near-sterile conditions. A repurposed candy mixer does the blending. Only in the growing rooms does the spirit of Cheech and Chong, a stoned comedy duo, seem to preside: the plants have names like Black Widow, Deep Purple, Chem Dawg and Bubba Kush.

The market, though growing fast, is still tiny: just 30,000 registered patients buy their supplies from licensed firms like Tweed (short for therapeutic weed). Its parent company had sales of C$4.2m ($3.1m) in the six months that ended on September 30th. But the promise by Justin Trudeau, Canada’s new prime minister, to legalize marijuana could widen the customer base to well beyond the 3m Canadians thought to consume it now. The government’s first “speech from the throne” on December 4th named legalization as one of its priorities.

The existence of companies like Tweed, which obtained a stock market listing in 2014—long before Mr Trudeau, a tattooed former snowboarding instructor, looked likely to become prime minister—suggests that Canada’s transition from remedial to recreational pot will be smooth. It probably won’t be. “It’s going to be a lot harder to implement than you think,” said Lewis Koski, until recently the director of marijuana enforcement in Colorado, to a Canadian news agency.

Arizona Medical Marijuana Patients Can Now Buy Cannabis Legally In Las Vegas And Reno

ARIZONA:  Arizona’s medical-marijuana patients now can patronize newly opened dispensaries in Reno and Las Vegas and possess up to 2.5 ounces anywhere in Nevada.

Arizona, like some of the other 23 states with medical-marijuana laws, allows people with valid medical cards from other states to legally possess marijuana in Arizona, but they can’t legally buy it at Arizona dispensaries.

Nevada apparently is the only state that allows its dispensaries to sell to patients from other states. And now its dispensaries have begun to open, greatly expanding where Arizona’s 80,000 patients can legally buy cannabis.

Two Reno-area dispensaries opened in July. Las Vegas saw its first dispensary — Euphoria Wellness — open a couple of weeks ago. More dispensaries in Vegas and elsewhere in Nevada are expected to pop up in the coming months; the state has processed more than 60 dispensary applications.

Health Canada Will Actively Monitor For Marijuana Advertising Violators

CANADA:  Health Minister Rona Ambrose ordered a crackdown on groups that illegally advertise marijuana and re-stated the Conservative party’s pledge to keep storefront dispensaries illegal Saturday on the eve of the expected launch of a federal election campaign.

“Today I directed Health Canada to create a task force to crack down on illegal marijuana advertising,” Ambrose said in a statement.

“This task force will ensure that those who engage in such illegal activities are stopped, and should these illegal activities continue, promptly referred to law enforcement.”

Health Canada issued a statement saying it will begin actively monitoring marijuana advertising instead of acting mostly on the basis of complaints.

Salem City Council Allows Early Recreational Pot Sales

OREGON:  The Salem City Council voted 8 to 1 Monday night to allow early sales of recreational marijuana. Mayor Anna Peterson was the only member to vote no.

The decision will allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational pot to people 21 and over starting on October 1, more than three months ahead of the state’s planned start date.

At the city council meeting, some voters expressed frustration that the early sales period was even up for debate. Others were angry that council only gave the public two days notice that it would be on Monday’s agenda.

More College Students Regularly Smoke Marijuana Than Tobacco, Survey Finds

MICHIGAN:  More U.S. college students are making a habit of using marijuana, which has supplanted tobacco cigarettes as the smoke-able substance of choice among undergraduates who light up regularly, a study released Tuesday found.

Just under 6 percent of the full-time students surveyed by University of Michigan researchers for the annual “Monitoring the Future” study reported using pot either every day or at least 20 times in the previous 30 days.

By contrast, 5 percent of respondents identified themselves as heavy cigarette smokers, a steep decline from the 19 percent who said they smoked daily in 1999.

The findings suggest that teenagers and young adults have absorbed public health warnings about the dangers of cigarettes but increasingly regard marijuana as benign or carrying few risks, lead investigator Lloyd Johnston said.


Jeff Mizanskey, Sentenced To Life With No Parole On Marijuana-Related Charge, Walks Free

MISSOURI:  A man sentenced to life in prison without parole on a marijuana-related charge walked out of a Missouri prison a free man on Tuesday, after spending two decades behind bars.

The release of Jeff Mizanskey followed years of lobbying from family, lawmakers and advocates for the legalization of marijuana, who argued that the sentence was too stiff.

Mizanskey was sentenced in 1996 after police said he conspired to sell 6 pounds of marijuana to a dealer connected to Mexican drug cartels. The life with no parole sentence was allowed under a Missouri law for persistent drug offenders; Mizanskey already had two drug convictions — one for possession and sale of marijuana in 1984 and another for possession in 1991.

City Council To Ponder Early Marijuana Sales

OREGON:  The Salem City Council has two decisions to make about marijuana sales in the city, and members will begin the process Monday, Aug. 31.

The most immediate is whether the city is going to allow or prohibit the “early sales” period beginning on Oct. 1, of recreational marijuana from medical marijuana facilities. A decision that’s made somewhat complicated to both local city code and state law.

In Nov. 2014 Oregon passed Measure 91, which, legalized the recreational sale and use of marijuana in Oregon. And at the end of legislature passed a law that allowed for sales of tax-free recreational marijuana at medical dispensaries to begin Oct. 1 – more than three months ahead of the planned start date of recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 4.

Colorado Resorts Continue Rocky Mountain Quest To Attract Oregon Skiers

COLORADO:  Hey, Oregon skiers, the heavy breathing you feel over your shoulder may by a representative of a Rocky Mountain ski area trying to get you to go skiing or snowboarding there this winter.

Hot on the heals of an Aug. 20 Portland visit by representatives of Ski Utah, marketeers of Colorado skiing and tourism wined and dined Portland journalists on Aug. 26. They hit Seattle, too.

The Utah visit beat the arrival of my first Powder magazine of the season by one day and the Colorado visit beat Ski magazine’s arrival by two days.