New York: Cuomo Administration To Back Adult Use Marijuana Bill

NEW YORK: A spokesperson for Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that creating a framework for legalizing adult marijuana use is among the administration’s 2019 legislative priorities.

“The goal of this administration is to create a model program for regulated adult-use marijuana – and we determined the best way to do that was to ensure our final proposal captures the views of everyday New Yorkers,” said Tyrone Stevens, a spokesperson for the Governor. “Now that the listening sessions have concluded, the working group has begun accessing and reviewing the feedback we received and we expect to introduce a formal comprehensive proposal during the 2019 legislative session.”

In July, a Health Department study commissioned by the Governor’s office recommended legalizing adult marijuana use and commerce. It concluded: “A regulated marijuana program enjoys broad support and would have significant health, social justice, and economic benefits. … Regulating marijuana enables public health officials to minimize the potential risks of marijuana use through outreach, education, quantity limits at point of sale, quality control, and consumer protection. … The positive effects of a regulated marijuana market in New York State outweigh the potential negative impacts.”


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500 or visit Empire State NORML.

Massachusetts State Senators In Colorado To Study Marijuana

MASSACHUSETTS: Eight state senators are flying into Colorado this week for a primer on life in a state that has already legalized marijuana, in case Massachusetts voters follow suit this November and lawmakers have to decide quickly how to respond.

They’re poised to see a cultivation facility, tour a marijuana dispensary, and pepper top state, municipal, and law-enforcement officials with questions about the implementation of the voter-approved law. The four-day trip is being arranged and paid for by the New York-based Milbank Memorial Fund, which describes itself as a nonpartisan health policy foundation.

While lawmakers regularly travel to educate themselves about issues of public import, the context for the Colorado trip makes it unusual: Beacon Hill leaders have made clear there is not the political interest or will to pass a legalization bill, but they have floated the idea of tinkering with a legalization law, if it garners sufficient signatures to make the statewide ballot and if voters approve it.

Medical Marijuana May Go The Way Of Alcohol In Michigan Senate

MICHIGAN: Michigan would create a tiered system for medical marijuana growers, distributors and retailers under evolving legislation up for a likely vote Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said Monday medical pot bills approved by the House earlier this year will be amended in his committee to prevent an owner from being licensed to operate multiple types of medical marijuana businesses.

The state regulates alcohol in a similar, three-tiered fashion.

Legal Marijuana Stirs Hope In Illinois Town

ILLINOIS: A skunky aroma fills the room in which hundreds of lush marijuana plants grow, some nearly ready for harvest.

Grower Ashley Thompson, a former high school agriculture teacher in this rural part of southeastern Illinois, takes the scent of weed home with her.

She doesn’t mind. It’s the fragrance of money and jobs.

“My family says I smell,” said Thompson, who quit the classroom to work for Ataraxia, one of a handful of cultivation centers in Illinois, which is one of 23 states with medical marijuana. “I can’t tell though.”

The Associated Press recently gained an exclusive look at Illinois’ first legal marijuana crop, and the new farmland ritual beginning amid surrounding cornfields in the historic town of Albion: the harvest of medical marijuana that will soon be sold in dispensaries around the state.

 

Say Hello To The UK’s First Cannabis Pharmacy

UNITED KINGDOM: The UK’s first ever cannabis pharmacy is set to open its doors this week.

Don’t be too quick to delete your dealer’s number however – the pharmacy sells health and beauty products, none of which can get you high.

Carun UK, which will be based in Twickenham, London, aims to ‘harness the healing super-powers of hemp’ which is claims is the ‘ultimate skin saviour and well-being booster’.

Michal Takac, Carun’s UK Managing Director said they use compounds grown on a specially cultivated species of Cannabis sativa called Carmagnola.

USVI Senator “Positive” Nelson To Meet With Washington Marijuana Business Leaders April 14th @ Green Lion Farms

WASHINGTON: Senator Terrence “Positive” Nelson and a delegation of pro-pot politicians on a fact-finding mission from the U.S. Virgin Islands will be visiting Washington next week and meeting with Washington’s legal cannabis business community leaders, as part of the Senator’s efforts to legalize and implement a Medicinal Marijuana industry in the USVI.

While in Seattle, Senator Nelson will be the guest of honor at a “High Tea” event, presented and hosted at the SODO headquarters of Green Lion Farms, a licensed cannabis producer/processors,  and attended by leading members of Washington’s legal cannabis business community.

“The success of Washington’s Marijuana industry is very commendable and one to be imitated. Recognizing this, a delegation from the U.S. Virgin Islands will be making an exploratory trip, with the sole purpose of meeting with business owners/participants in the industry and government officials, to gather information and discuss the strategies that could assist the USVI in duplicating Washington’s success with the transition of legalizing and implementing this industry,” the Senator told MJ News Network.

The Marijuana Business Association (MJBA)  is a co-sponsor of the prestigious gathering, and MJBA CEO David Rheins has volunteered to act as emcee. High Tea takes place on Tuesday, April 14th, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM (PDT). Tickets are $150 and available via Eventbrite.

Do 76 Percent Of Doctors Support The Use Of Medical Marijuana? PolitiFact Oregon

OREGON: An initiative proposing to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon appears headed for the November ballot.

Signature verification by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office is continuing, but an extraordinary number of the more than 146,700 signatures gathered by New Approach Oregon would need to be tossed out for the group to fail to reach the 87,213 names needed.

The pro-pot group, on its Facebook page, recently posted a statistic indicating that physicians back the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

“Did you know…76 percent of doctors support the use of medical marijuana,” reads the claim.

Is the figure really that high? PolitiFact Oregon checked it out. Find out how we ruled in “Do 76 percent of doctors support the use of medical marijuana?”

NJ Gov Christie Says Medical Marijuana Programs Are ‘Front For Legalization’

NEW JERSEY: Following reports that New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is suffering from low enrollment, Gov. Chris Christie called the program and similar programs across the U.S. “a front for legalization.”

New Jersey passed its medical marijuana law in 2009, and former Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, signed it just before Christie, a Republican, took office. The first dispensary opened in December 2012, with predictions that the drug could help tens of thousands of patients in the state with severe or painful illnesses.

But The Star-Ledger reported on Sunday that only 2,342 patients have signed up for the program.

And last week, the president and chief executive of Compassionate Care Foundation, Inc. of Egg Harbor Township — one of the state’s three medical marijuana dispensaries — announced he had quit because he couldn’t keep working for no pay in a struggling industry.

Christie said it’s clear there is not a demand for medical pot.