When Washington state legalized recreational marijuana, some cities like Fife decided to place a ban on the sale of the drug within city limits. Through loopholes and determination 2 dispensaries will soon be opening in the city, and they could be paving the way for expansion. The first dispensary was allowed as it's operated within the city but on land owned by the Puyallup Tribe. The second dispensary is privately owned and reached an out-of-court agreement with Fife after filing an expensive appeal. Like many cities, Fife was cautious when marijuana became legal in their state, but now they're seeing that other cities are managing the change well and without the added crime the some expected. The dispensaries are expected to open within the next few weeks. The two pot shops, one privately owned and the other operated by the Puyallup Tribe, aren’t affected by the city’s ban. The tribal operation, in a former cigar bar at Pacific Highway East and 54th Avenue East, is on tribal land and isn’t governed by the city’s rules. The other store, to be located in a former drugstore at 5303 Pacific Highway E. within sight of the tribal shop, is exempt from the city’s ban because of an out-of-court lawsuit settlement reached last fall between the pot store owner and Fife. Fife City Manager Subir Mukerjee said the city’s decision to settle was based on several factors. The lawsuit was becoming increasingly expensive. Plus the tribe already planned to open a cannabis retail store, and other cities’ experience with pot retailers had shown they aren’t the crime magnet that some people had predicted.
Last year the Mayor of Nashville passed an ordinance allowing police to hand out a $50 citation or 10 hours of community service for someone caught with less than half an ounce of marijuana, but Tennessee state policy currently calls for those caught with small amounts of cannabis be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, up to 1 year in jail, and a $2,500 fine. Tennessee's marijuana penalties are very harsh for a drug that is now legal to possess in some forms in over half the United States. Those caught with even a small personal amount are given a criminal record which follows them through life making it difficult to find a job, housing, and schooling. This week republican lawmakers in Tennessee proposed legislation that would repeal Nashville's new bill reducing the harsh penalties. Advocates in the legislature countered the repeal of Nashville's bill by filing another bill to reduce Tennessee's statewide penalties for simple marijuana possession down to a $50 fine. \ Following through on a threat, Tennessee Republican lawmakers have introduced state legislation to nullify partial marijuana decriminalization laws passed in Nashville and Memphis last year. In September, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry signed into law an ordinance that gave Nashville police the option of reducing the penalty for people who are found in knowing possession or casual exchange of a half-ounce of marijuana or less to a $50 fine or 10 hours of community service. Police retained the option of charging a state misdemeanor. “We should apply a reasonable standard statewide so that possession of very small amounts of marijuana doesn’t increase our jail population or place a financial strain on you,” Love said. Metro Councilman Dave Rosenberg, lead sponsor of Nashville's ordinance, called the proposed repeal "an unfortunate manifestation of big government overreaching.
Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana in the U.S. however some of the state's medical marijuana regulations have proven to be more limiting than many other states'. PTSD is considered a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in over 20 states, yet Colorado legislators have tried and failed again and again to add PTSD to the list. This week the push for PTSD received a 5-0 vote by a state Senate committee in favor of including the condition. While some are concerned about the lack of available studies, the anecdotal evidence exists allover the U.S. and the consensus is that victims of PTSD, often veterans, can likely benefit from medical marijuana. Current drugs given to PTSD patients often include side effects involving suicide, a major problem for those already suffering. Advocates say it's time to let doctors use medical marijuana as one of their many tools to treat patients. SB 17, which heads to the full Senate for consideration, is the latest attempt – of many – to include PTSD as a medical marijuana qualifying condition in Colorado, joining the likes of diseases and conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, seizures, severe nausea and severe pain. “Why do we want to continue giving them medications that have suicidal thoughts as part of their side-effects,” she said. More than 20 states, plus Washington, D.C. and two U.S. territories have an allowance for medical marijuana to be used in treating PTSD
After much hard work by both advocates and opponents of marijuana law reform, Maine has finally legalized recreational marijuana! As of Monday, it is legal for adults over 21 in Maine to smoke, possess, grow, and gift up to 2.5 ounces of dry cannabis, but marijuana businesses will not be able to open until the state is done creating rules and regulations for the new marijuana industry. The close ballot race in which voters won by only 4,000 votes left some legislators uneasy, leading them to delay the beginning of recreational marijuana sales until February 2018. Maine has been running a successful medical marijuana program for some time now and advocates believe it will be a smooth transition into recreational pot. "It's huge. No longer will we be punishing adults for using a safer substance than alcohol," said David Boyer, campaign manager for the ballot question. "We're not making criminals out of thousands of Mainers who choose to use marijuana." Legalization also sparked a row between legislators and Republican Gov. Paul LePage. Lawmakers on Jan. 26 unanimously approved legislation delaying the retail sale of marijuana until February 2018
Valentine's Day is only 2 short weeks away and the clock is ticking to order your sweetheart a bouquet of their favorite flower, marijuana. No, not just any bag of pretty green buds, but an actual bouquet of ready-to-smoke cannabis on a full stem, elegantly arranged alongside wildflowers, eucalyptus, and other greens for a beautiful and fragrant surprise. This unique arrangement of flowers can be found at Lowell Farms in Los Angeles, where they use organic fertilizer, no synthetic pesticides, all natural materials, and they even pay their farmers a livable wage. The cannabis bouquet runs $400 for 1 full ounce of the strain Purple Princess, but if you're looking to spend a little less, Lowell Farms will also have more traditional gifts for your occasion. Forget lingerie, candy and boring flowers; this Valentine's Day, give a gift that truly keeps on giving. Lowell Farms is offering a $400 bouquet of cannabis stems, available for delivery anywhere in Los Angeles on February 14 (and by anywhere, we mean to any patients with a verified doctor recommendation).
Some might tell you it's too early to invest in the marijuana market, but these 3 stocks are some of the most promising for this year due to the continued expansion of the U.S. marijuana market. The first stock belongs to GW Pharmaceuticals, makers of the drug Sativex which is currently being used in 16 countries to treat multiple sclerosis, though still not available in the U.S. While Sativex will surely make it's way into the American market soon, GW will also be submitting a different cannabis-based drug to the U.S. FDA within the coming months, Epidiolox. Found to significantly reduce seizures in epileptic patients, Epidiolox will likely continue the growth trend set last year when GW stock grew over 60%. The second stock is from the company Insys Therapeutics, who were approved for their first cannabinoid product less than a year ago, Syndros. Having already been approved by the FDA, Syndros only awaits it's scheduling by the DEA before it can hit the U.S. market. Projected sales are around $200 million. Last but not least is a stock that will remain essential for as long as cannabis is grown and harvested, Scott's Miracle-Gro. It's quite possible, though, that GW Pharmaceuticals will crack the U.S. market before long -- but with another drug. The company expects to submit Epidiolex for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the first half of 2017 for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. I suspect that Insys will see a big bounce when the DEA completes the scheduling for Syndros. The company projects peak sales of $200 million or more for the drug.I suspect that could be on the low end of Syndros' potential. Considering that Insys probably will make less than $250 million in total revenue for 2016, good news from the DEA should translate to nice gains for the stock this year. Scotts Miracle-Gro's share price jumped nearly 50% in 2016. Can it go even higher? I think so. The stock trades at 20 times forward earnings, which is a bit pricey. However, the relaxation of marijuana laws in more states in the November elections has opened up a much bigger market for Scotts for 2017 and beyond.
In 2001 South Dakota lawmakers passed a bill that made it illegal not only to possess marijuana, but to have traces of the drug in the body. This has caused some problems as its well known that the presence of marijuana remains in the user's body for days or weeks after the effects have worn off, causing sober and innocent people to be arrested and charged with marijuana possession when they truly had none. Last week, South Dakota legislators introduced and showed support for a bill that would overturn this old law, once again making it legal to have marijuana in your system. Until this new bill is passed, those with even the smallest amount of marijuana in their system can still be charged with a felony. South Dakota is the only state in the U.S. to say that already ingested cannabis can be a felony. "When I hear possession, I think the of the potential for distribution, and obviously if the drug is already ingested that can't happen," Lust said Thursday. "There is no chance this drug would end up in the hands of a child once it has been ingested." He noted the punishment, which can include a felony charge, seemed "unduly harsh" for the crime. "It is refreshing to see our state making choices to move forward into lessening the penalties of cannabis use," Mentele said. "With cannabis being legal in over half of the U.S., it is very sad to see children and adult patients still suffering in our state. While this is not where we need to be, it is a step forward."
Delaware decriminalized marijuana 2 years ago and has since only opened 1 medical marijuana dispensary, meaning every patient in the state must travel to a single location for their medicine. The first dispensary located downstate Delaware is set to open in two months, but the location remains a secret from the public. The medical marijuana program created in 2011 in Delaware allows patients with qualifying conditions and a doctors recommendation to purchase up to 3 ounces of cannahis every 14 days and possess up to 6 ounces total. Advocate legislators say there is much support for cannabis among lawmakers and that a bill fully legalizing th drug will be introduced at the end of March, potentially legalizing recreational marijuana in only a few months time. The Sussex Compassion Center, operated by First State Compassion Center, will start providing cannabis to patients in March, according to the Division of Public Health. It will be near Lewes, although the exact location has not yet been revealed to the public. Meanwhile, two years after passing a bill to decriminalize cannabis, Delaware could legalize the drug in the upcoming months: Sen. Henry plans to introduce legislation to that end in March. Questions still remain about how exactly the bill will look, such as if it will establish a tax, but Sen. Henry said she “knows” there is enough support among lawmakers to legalize cannabis.
For the last 6 years the Indiana legislature has refused to even hear proposed medical marijuana bills, let alone discuss and pass them. 2017 marks a transition for Indiana as the first medical marijuana bill was heard by a Senate committee and over 10 more bills involving medical marijuana have also been proposed. The bill heard by the Senate committee would create a limited medical marijuana program in the state to allow some children with epilepsy to use 'hemp oil' which does not get the user high as it's low in THC and high in CBD. Indiana remains one of the few U.S. states to still heavily prohibit the drug, but advocates say this low-THC bill is the state's best chance to begin marijuana law reform. With veterans on their side, marijuana advocates are ready to educate legislators who have believed misinformation for far too long. There are more than 10 Indiana bills that have been proposed this session pertaining to medical marijuana in some form or another. But advocates say the best chance of making any headway in the conservative state is by pushing for passage of a law that would allow for limited access to the low-THC, high-CBD extracts. Though he recognizes medical marijuana may be a long way away, he says if Indiana politicians are going to listen to a voice, they’re going to listen to their veterans. “We’re the protectors of our country, we are the enforcement of democracy,” he said. “And we come back and you don’t want to fight for our rights? I don’t think so.
Due to marijuana's limited legality throughout the US, many who greatly benefit from the drug are forced to make a choice - remain in pain in their home, or leave family behind to seek a legal medical marijuana state. Luckily, residents of Florida no longer have to worry about such problems as the state has made great strides over the last few years in legal marijuana availability. Trulieve is one company making a huge effort to reach out to patients in Florida and make their products available to anyone in need. Opening it's third location this week in Tampa, Trulieve hosts an inventory of THC and CBD capsules, tinctures, and liquids, which are often used to treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease and fibromyalgia. Trulieve, one of seven companies in Florida authorized to grow marijuana and produce and sell cannabis pills and oil, opened in a former fitness gym at 8701 N Dale Mabry Highway. It's Trulieve's third location in Florida — the others are in Clearwater and Tallahassee — and the latest in a plan to expand to all of the state's major markets, said chief executive officer Kim Rivers. A St. Petersburg location is expected to open later this year. The goal is to improve access for patients, Rivers said. Trulieve, which has a growing and production facility near Tallahassee, already delivers anywhere in the state, but patients can avoid a delivery fee by picking up their medication in person. "We think it's very, very important for dispensing organizations and dispensaries to be located close to patients so they can develop a relationship with that particular dispensary," she said
Marijuana culture is far more than the steretypical lazy stoner who binges on cheetos and video games. High end restaurants in marijuana legal states have begun the next generation of dining similar to wine and beer pairing, but now with cannabis. Colorado-based restaurant, Mason Jar, has started hosting private dining services with a special menu of high-quality foods paired with a complementing or contrasting cannabis strain. Guests ready to indulge in fine dining and top shelf cannabis have paid $199 for their multi-course meal and new social smoking experience. With experts saying the marijuana industry will continue to grow to be worth upwards of $20 billion in the next several years, it's no doubt that more cannabis restaurants will follow suite. There is a niche industry for connoisseurs of beer, wine, and now cannabis will have it's time to shine. Think wine pairing, but smokier. “I have a need to bring people together,” says dinner organizer Kendal Norris of the Mason Jar Event Group. “Weed has always done that. So does food.” “This is incredible,” says diner Kate Hawkinson, 31, as she looked around the hazy room where strangers shared joints, the wine and beer flowed, and Fader’s food came in course after course. “It’s not just a bunch of stoners in a basement.” “Events like this legitimize the reality that we all smoke pot,” Fader says as he dishes out lobster tamalitos, to be eaten while smoking Blue Dream, a strain favored for giving users a euphoric high. “I love that we can have a culture where we as adults can partake, dine and drink wine without feeling like criminals.”
Maine voters said YES on Question 1 during the 2016 election and the state's new recreational marijuana law will go into effect on Monday. Adults over the age of 21 will be able to purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, though it is still undecided when marijuana dispensaries will begin sales. Adults will also be allowed to grow up to 6 plants within their own home, but smoking in public and driving under the influence will remain illegal. The ballot vote ended in a close race, but despite the opposition's best efforts the vote was upheld adding Maine onto the growing list of 8 states, and Washington DC where recreational marijuana is now legal. Mainers approved marijuana legalization by voting in favor of Question 1 in November. The ballot initiative was approved by the slimmest of margins and was subject to a lengthy recount effort that ultimately failed to change the results of the election. In addition to Maine, Marijuana is legal for recreational use in Massachusetts, Colorado, California, Oregon, Alaska, Washington, the District of Columbia, and Nevada