“Florida Cannabis Act” Would Legalize Marijuana

FLORIDA: Michael Minardi is on a mission to make recreational marijuana legal in Florida next year.

Asked how he would do that, considering that a ballot measure to legalize just medical marijuana didn’t pass in 2014, he says, “We’re going to use science, and we’re going to use stats.”

Minardi is a West Palm Beach attorney who in March won a landmark case that successfully used medical necessity as a defense for pot charges against his client. He has teamed with fellow attorney Bill Wohlsifer and marijuana activist Karen Goldstein to form the corporation Sensible Florida and an associated group, Regulate Florida. Together, they have developed a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adults.

 

Marijuana Stores Could Double In Washington State

WASHINGTON: Washington could get lots more pot stores.

State regulators will allow medical marijuana providers to seek retail licenses later this fall. There are no strict limits on how many new licenses could be granted, and there is no requirement that they focus on medical patients.

This sounds like it could mean more competition. But it also means that all pot stores will be on equal footing.

The passage of Initiative 502 in 2012 launched Washington’s regulated marijuana system. But officials watched in dismay as hundreds of unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries sprouted on street corners around the state. Now under a new state law, “gray market” marijuana providers must get state retail licenses or close their doors.

Liquor and Cannabis Board spokesman Brian Smith said the number of new licenses his agency can grant is open-ended.

Oregonian To OLCC: Allow Out-of-State Marijuana Business Investment

OREGON: When crafting a marijuana legalization measure, it is necessary to balance several objectives, including: personal freedom and public safety; tax revenue and responsible use; free speech and advertising restrictions designed to keep marijuana out of the hands of minors; and out-of-state competition vs. protecting in-state mom and pops. When drafting Measure 91, we co-authors carefully considered these various interests and felt that we had developed a sensible law that would stake a moderate middle on these issues and move the state of Oregon forward with a cannabis industry that would follow in the footsteps of our successful microbrewery and winery industries, while most importantly ending the arrest and citation of thousands of people for marijuana offenses. Apparently, voters agreed, supporting Measure 91 with more than 56% of the vote.

To balance the need to bring in out-of-state capital and protect Oregon’s homegrown industry, we concluded that the best way to balance these interests was to provide for a low, barrier to entry and provide for transparency. With a $1,250 license fee for growers, producers and retailers, Oregon entrepreneurs could be vertically-integrated for just $3,750 and market themselves as true Oregon small businesses.

Denver Makes Plans For Symposium On Local Marijuana Regulation, Seen As First Of Its Kind

COLORADO:  Denver city officials didn’t exactly embrace Amendment 64 before voters statewide — and heavily in Denver — approved recreational marijuana legalization in 2012.

But Mayor Michael Hancock and his administration is taking a new opportunity to exhibit pride in the city’s regulation of the retail cannabis industry.

This week the city’s Office of Marijuana Policy, headed by Ashley Kilroy, announced that it will host a two-day “marijuana management symposium” Nov. 5-6 at the Colorado Convention Center. It has invited attendees from across the country, largely targeting local governments that also are adjusting to legalized marijuana or might face a similar challenge on the horizon.

Advocates In Denver, Home To Legal Marijuana, Seek Public Place To Smoke

COLORADO:  Whether bought from a downtown shop or cadged from a friend’s basement greenhouse, legal marijuana is easy to find in Colorado. Places to smoke it, not so much.

Smoking in private homes and on front porches is allowed. But under a thicket of state, local and private regulations, marijuana use here, in a state at the forefront of legalization, is banned from parks and sidewalks, airport smoking areas, hotel rooms, gallery events, nightclubs and nearly every other corner of public life. Smoking in public is regularly ticketed, and this spring, the Denver police raided two private, marijuana-friendly clubs and handed out citations.

But in the latest battle over legalizing marijuana, advocates are seeking to allow legal pot use to tiptoe ever so slightly into public, into establishments like bars or clubs that cater to over-21 crowds. Supporters are calling it “limited social cannabis use.”

Denver Cracks Down On Pesticide Use In Pot Products

COLORADO:  Denver health officials Tuesday began inspecting and quarantining hundreds of marijuana products because their labels listed pesticides not approved for use on cannabis.

The move comes about six months after the city quarantined 100,000 plants at 11 grow facilities over concerns about pesticides.

Although pesticides are widely used on crops, their use on cannabis remains problematic because no safety standards exist. Marijuana is illegal under federal law, so the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates pesticides, has never established any limits.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture, however, has created a list of pesticides it says can be used.

Previously Undecided, House Speaker Shap Smith Now Favors Legalization

VERMONT:  Backers of a plan to legalize marijuana in Vermont have received some significant legislative support from House Speaker Shap Smith.

For more than a year, Smith has been undecided about this issue but now he says he’ll work to pass a legalization bill in the 2016 session.

For months, Smith has taken a “wait and see” position concerning the legalization of marijuana. He said he wanted to remain undecided until Vermont lawmakers could closely evaluate the experience of Colorado and Washington, the two states that have legalized marijuana for more than a year.

 

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.

 

Miley Cyrus Kept VMAs Party Going In MTV Press Room By Handing Out A Joint And Avocados

CALIFORNIA:  Miley Cyrus let her personality (and her love of marijuana) shine while hosting the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night, and apparently, the party didn’t end when the cameras stopped rolling. Cyrus entertained journalists backstage by sharing a couple of her favorite things: joints and avocados.

TMZ obtained a video of the 22-year-old “We Can’t Stop” singer entering the MTV VMAs press room Sunday after debuting her new single “Dooo It!” In the clip, Miley says that being that the song is partially about marijuana, she decided to bring in a joint to share.

“Because you’re all my friends and my song is kinda, sorta about the love of marijuana/the love of human kind, I brought a little joint is anyone would like it,” she says.

After smoking from the joint, she is shown passing it to a male reporter, who then attempts to hand it off to someone else. “Yeah, Miley. Smoke it up!” an unidentified person can be heard telling the singer in the clip. “Pass it around, Miley! Pass it around!”

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.