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1 US MA: Legislators Send Pot Overhaul To GovernorSun, 23 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:114 Added:07/25/2017

The Democrat-controlled Massachusetts Legislature sent an overhaul of the voter-passed marijuana legalization law to Governor Charlie Baker's desk Thursday - but not before a top Republican lit into the legislation.

The Senate enacted the measure on a 32-6 vote. On Wednesday, the House voted 136-11 to move the bill forward.

Baker is expected to sign the measure, which would raise cannabis taxes from what the ballot question envisioned, merge oversight of recreational and medical marijuana, and change how cities and towns can ban pot shops.

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2 US MA: Legislature Moves Forward On Marijuana Law OverhaulWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:71 Added:07/22/2017

The legislation proposed in Massachusetts wouldn't change the basic marijuana rights of adults that the ballot question put in place.

The Massachusetts Legislature is advancing an overhaul of the voter-passed marijuana legalization law Wednesday, when both chambers are expected to accept a House-Senate compromise bill in the afternoon.

A final Senate vote, which would send the bill to the governor, is scheduled for Thursday.

The legislation would change the legalization law passed by 1.8 million voters in November.

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3US CA: Could Cannabis Be Coming To Your County Fair? It Depends OnWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Holland, John Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/21/2017

California's county fairs -- those wholesome showcases of agricultural bounty -- could become places to score some pot.

Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a bill that details how to carry out the November 2016 ballot measure that legalizes recreational marijuana as of January 2018. Tucked deep in the text is an option for county fairs to allow sampling and sales for people 21 and older in designated spots.

The Stanislaus County Fair has had "minor discussions" among the board and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cranford about the issue, spokeswoman Adrenna Alkhas said by email.

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4 US FL: Oviedo To Soon Allow Medical Marijuana DispensariesWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Comas, Martin E. Area:Florida Lines:58 Added:07/21/2017

Oviedo City Council members this week agreed to let the city's moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries expire Aug. 5, making it likely that Oviedo will become the first Seminole County municipality to allow such businesses.

Council members also directed city staffers Monday to draft an ordinance that will treat medical marijuana dispensaries under the same zoning regulations as pharmacies.

Pharmacies in Oviedo are allowed to operate only in certain office and commercial zoning districts, which are mostly located along major thoroughfares. Council members are expected to vote on a new ordinance in the coming weeks to allow pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries to operate only in certain commercial zoning districts, but not in zoning districts for offices.

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5 US MA: SJC Rules Mass. Companies Can't Fire Workers Just Because TheyMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:117 Added:07/21/2017

Massachusetts companies cannot fire employees who have a prescription for medical marijuana simply because they use the drug, the state's highest court ruled Monday, rejecting arguments from employers that they could summarily enforce strict no-drug policies against such patients.

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants said a California sales and marketing firm discriminated against an employee in its Foxborough office who uses marijuana to treat Crohn's disease when it fired her for flunking a drug test without first trying to reach an accommodation with her.

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6 US MA: Mass. Lawmakers Unveil Proposed Overhaul Of Marijuana LawMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:157 Added:07/21/2017

Representative Ronald Mariano, a Quincy Democrat and the majority leader, spoke about the revisions to the marijuana law on Monday at the State House.

The Massachusetts Legislature is expected to approve a broad overhaul of the voter-approved marijuana legalization law this week after House and Senate negotiators agreed on a bill Monday that would hike marijuana taxes and change how communities can ban local pot shops.

But the compromise immediately raised the specter of a serious legal challenge, and the bill drew a rebuke from the top lobbyist for cities and towns who said, should it pass, most municipalities would have trouble implementing the law.

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7 US MI: Proposal Would Let Detroit Pot Shops Open Near Liquor StoresSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Stafford, Katrease Area:Michigan Lines:143 Added:07/19/2017

An initiative to amend Detroit's medical marijuana ordinance to allow dispensaries to operate near liquor stores, child-care centers and parks could appear on the November ballot, after a group behind the effort submitted thousands of signatures backing the measure.

Citizens for Sensible Cannabis spokesman Jonathan Barlow confirmed his group submitted petitions late last month seeking to amend Chapter 24 of the city's code.

Elections Director Daniel Baxter said the group met the threshold of required signatures and his department has since turned the initiative over to the Detroit City Council, which is expected to consider it Tuesday.

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8 US NV: Nevada Has A Drug Problem: Shops Are Running Out Of MarijuanaTue, 11 Jul 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:Nevada Lines:141 Added:07/14/2017

Nevada officials have declared a state of emergency over marijuana: There's not enough of it.

Since recreational pot became legal two weeks ago, retail dispensaries have struggled to keep their shelves stocked and say they will soon run out if nothing is done to fix a broken supply chain.

"We didn't know the demand would be this intense," Al Fasano, cofounder of Las Vegas ReLeaf, said Tuesday. "All of a sudden you have like a thousand people at the door.aE&We have to tell people we're limited in our products."

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9US CA: Coalinga Legalizes Medical Marijuana OperationFri, 07 Jul 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/11/2017

The Coalinga City Council voted 4-1 on Thursday to immediately allow commercial marijuana cultivation within city limits.

Councilman Ron Lander cast the lone no vote. The ordinances required a four-fifths majority to pass.

The council also approved the sale of the city's dormant prison, Claremont Custody Center, to Ocean Grown Extracts for $4.1 million. Ocean Grown will transform the prison into a medical cannabis oil extraction plant.

This sale will immediately bring Coalinga's general fund into the black. City Manager Marissa Trejo said Coalinga was $3.3 million to $3.8 million in debt.

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10 US MA: Mass. Towns Balking At Pot Shops As Beacon Hill Weighs TighterSat, 08 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Rocheleau, Matt Area:Massachusetts Lines:184 Added:07/11/2017

At least 103 cities and towns - nearly one-third of all Massachusetts communities - have placed outright bans or other restrictions on marijuana businesses since voters legalized the drug for recreational use in November, according to a Globe analysis.

And another 47 municipalities are actively considering restrictions, the review found, as local elected officials express unease about the state's venture into legalized recreational marijuana.

Most of the restrictions are temporary, intended to allow local officials time to consider where marijuana shops should be allowed to operate in their communities - if at all.

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11US NV: Some Nevada Pot Retailers 'Running On Fumes'Tue, 11 Jul 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Sonner, Scott Area:Nevada Lines:Excerpt Added:07/11/2017

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Most of Nevada's recreational marijuana retailers are optimistic an emergency regulation that state officials are expected to approve will help keep them from running out of pot supplies, but some are "running on fumes," an industry official said Tuesday.

The State Tax Commission is scheduled to vote Thursday on an emergency measure Gov. Brian Sandoval endorsed late last week in an effort to allow the state to issue pot distribution licenses currently banned by a court order.

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12 US MI: Michigan's Marijuana Legalization Drive Hits SignatureTue, 11 Jul 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Laitner, Bill Area:Michigan Lines:97 Added:07/11/2017

Could Michigan be next to legalize marijuana? The stars are aligning, say fans of legal cannabis.

After a flubbed effort last year, supporters of marijuana legalization in Michigan can celebrate reaching a milestone at a posh $250-a-plate fund-raiser Thursday night.

Their new petition drive has gathered 100,000 signatures in just six weeks, putting the campaign well ahead of schedule and giving leaders reason to believe that this year's petition drive will manage to put the legalization question on Michigan ballots, spokesman Josh Hovey said.

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13US FL: John Morgan Sues State For Blocking The Smoking Of MedicalThu, 06 Jul 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Klas, Mary Ellen Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:07/07/2017

TALLAHASSEE -- Arguing that Florida legislators violated voters' intent when they prohibited smoking for the medical use of marijuana, the author of the state's medical marijuana amendment sued the state on Thursday to throw out the implementing law.

John Morgan, the Orlando trial lawyer who spearheaded and financed the successful campaign to make medical access to cannabis a constitutional right, filed the lawsuit in Leon County Circuit Court Thursday morning, asking the court to declare the law implementing the 2016 constitutional amendment unenforceable.

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14 US MA: Marijuana Do's And Don'ts For The Fourth Of JulyTue, 04 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:116 Added:07/05/2017

Independence Day is a celebration of freedom. But on this July Fourth, for the first time in more than a century, our freedoms in Massachusetts include the ability to legally buy, possess, and use marijuana.

These privileges took effect in December, after voters approved a ballot question on recreational pot use. And that measure remains the law of the land, despite state legislators' ongoing debate over a rewrite of the rules.

But it's worth remembering that this freedom is heavily qualified. So, after consulting with law enforcement experts and studying guidance issued by state officials, here are some recreational marijuana do's and don'ts.

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15 US NV: Las Vegas Adds A New Lure To Its Repertoire With Legalized PotSat, 01 Jul 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:Nevada Lines:71 Added:07/04/2017

They arrived -- by the hundreds, on foot, in party buses and Uber rides -- at a strip mall marijuana dispensary, and the merchandise started flying off the shelf: Snake Eyes OG, double chocolate chunk brownie bites.

"What we're experiencing right here and now is history," Ross Goodman, co-owner of Las Vegas ReLeaf, said early Saturday as he stood behind a glass counter at the pot shop watching staff shuffle patrons in and out. "This is the future and we're a part of ending prohibition."

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16 US MA: Behind Closed Doors, Lawmakers Hash Out Plan To Rewrite PotMon, 26 Jun 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:119 Added:07/01/2017

The fate of marijuana legalization, enshrined in law by about 1.8 million Massachusetts voters, is now in the hands of a half-dozen lawmakers meeting in secret.

Those legislators' first action on Monday was to kick out members of the news media, close the door, and begin their deliberations to reconcile fundamentally different Senate and House rewrites of the ballot question that legalized adult recreational marijuana's use and sale.

"We're going to ask the press to leave," said Senator Patricia D. Jehlen, the Senate's point person on pot policy.

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17 US MA: Sorting Out The Cannabis ConundrumSat, 24 Jun 2017
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Salsberg, Bob Area:Massachusetts Lines:106 Added:06/24/2017

BOSTON -- After a week of sharp divisions and heated rhetoric over the future of the state's recreational marijuana law, it's now up to a conference committee of six legislators to try and sort everything out.

On one hand, there's a House bill that infuriated pro-marijuana activists by proposing a major overhaul of the voter-approved law. On the other, a more restrained Senate bill won praise from the groups behind the November ballot question.

Democratic Rep. Mark Cusack, the House bill's lead author, suggested before the votes that the two chambers were in about 80 percent agreement on their respective approaches.

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18 US OH: Cases Proceeding Against Marijuana Petition CirculatorsFri, 23 Jun 2017
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH) Author:Lane, Mary Beth Area:Ohio Lines:49 Added:06/23/2017

Criminal charges filed against petition circulators accused of falsifying signatures on petitions for the marijuana-legalization ballot issue in 2015 show that people must be careful, Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O'Brien said.

"It serves as a cautionary note that people circulating petitions need to be very careful and follow the law when they are gathering signatures," O'Brien said. "People need to be careful to only sign their own names."

O'Brien commented Friday as four cases continued to move through Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

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19 US MA: Central Mass. Has Mixed Views On Marijuana Law ChangesThu, 22 Jun 2017
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Lee, Brian Area:Massachusetts Lines:148 Added:06/22/2017

On the heels of a House rewrite Wednesday of the state's adult-use recreational marijuana law, approved by voters in November, local reaction has been mixed.

Increasing the tax rate on marijuana sales from 12 percent to 28 percent and allowing local governing boards to ban or limit pot stores without asking local voters are among the more significant changes in the House bill.

On Thursday, the debate over reshaping the law shifted to the state Senate, where a more modest set of revisions to existing law appeared headed for passage.

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20 US NJ: Legislators Begin Marijuana Legalization Effort As They LookMon, 19 Jun 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Racioppi, Dustin Area:New Jersey Lines:100 Added:06/19/2017

Looking beyond Gov. Chris Christie and seeing a more socially liberal future, Democratic lawmakers opened their campaign to legalize marijuana in New Jersey with a lengthy legislative hearing Monday.

Although no vote was planned on the bill that was introduced last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing formally set in motion a campaign to make New Jersey among the first states in the Northeast to legalize marijuana. Voters in eight other states and Washington, D.C., have approved marijuana legalization, but New Jersey would be the first to do so through legislation.

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21 US: High Times Is Sold For $70 Million To A Group That Includes SonFri, 02 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Victor, Daniel Area:United States Lines:75 Added:06/02/2017

High Times, the magazine that has chronicled the transformation of marijuana use from an underground vice to a major American business, said on Thursday that it had been acquired by a group of investors that includes Damian Marley, son of the reggae star Bob Marley.

The group, led by Adam Levin, the founder of the investment firm Oreva Capital, bought a controlling interest at a price that values the magazine at $70 million, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

In a news release, the new ownership group said it planned to expand the publication's audience and its events business.

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22 US MI: Detroit Shuts Down 167 Pot Shops, More Closures On The WayTue, 30 May 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Stafford, Katrease Area:Michigan Lines:110 Added:05/30/2017

Detroit's crackdown on illegally operating medical marijuana dispensaries has shuttered 167 shops since the city's regulation efforts began last year and dozens more are expected.

Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell told the Free Press that 283 dispensaries were identified last year, all of which were operating illegally.

"None of them were operating lawfully," Hollowell said. "At the time I sent a letter to each one of them indicating that unless you have a fully licensed facility, you are operating at your own risk."

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23 US VT: Vermont Pot Bill Vetoed As Changes SoughtThu, 25 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Kamp, Jon Area:Vermont Lines:73 Added:05/25/2017

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said Wednesday he is vetoing a bill that would have made the state the first to legalize marijuana through legislation rather than a ballot measure, but he also left the door open for legalization.

The bill, passed by the Vermont House and Senate, would have made it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow a limited amount starting in mid-2018. The bill also called for a commission to propose yet-more legislation that could have created a taxed, regulated market later on.

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24 US: Column: Big Labor Looks At Californi's Marijuana Market And SeesSat, 06 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Finley, Allysia Area:United States Lines:105 Added:05/06/2017

When California voted 57% to 43% last November to legalize recreational marijuana-the eighth state to do so-it fertilized a national market whose value by some estimates could top $20 billion by 2020. The ballot initiative was backed by a phalanx of progressives-Napster founder Sean Parker provided the seed funding-and liberal interest groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union. But now as state lawmakers debate how to regulate the industry, one worry is that the Teamsters will hijack the process and corner the pot market.

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25 US MD: How Much Marijuana Is Too Much For A Police Recruit?Wed, 26 Apr 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Calvert, Scott Area:Maryland Lines:112 Added:05/01/2017

BALTIMORE - As more states relax their approach to marijuana, police departments are rethinking how many hits are too many for aspiring officers.

Maryland just passed a new standard, set to take effect in the state June 1, that bars applicants if they smoked pot in the past three years, the same policy used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The longstanding, previous policy had ruled out those who had used marijuana at least 20 times or at least five times since age 21.

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26 US: Marijuana Advocates Vow To Smoke On Steps Of U.S. CapitolThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Davis, Aaron C. Area:United States Lines:100 Added:04/22/2017

Dozens of activists, including some military veterans, plan to light joints Monday on the steps of the U.S. Capitol - federal land where committing the offense could draw a sentence of up to a year in jail - as part of an effort to urge a reluctant Congress to support marijuana legalization.

"Monday @ High Noon" reads a flier for the event, calling on Congress to also remove marijuana from the nation's list of most-dangerous drugs. "Mass Civil Disobedience @ 4:20p - East Side of the US Capitol."

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27 US AZ: Sinister SubstitutesThu, 06 Apr 2017
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Meyers, Nick Area:Arizona Lines:91 Added:04/06/2017

Major anti-pot campaign funder lands DEA approval of THC drug amidst flurry of lawsuits

Ethics is a hazy argument when it comes to marijuana.

On one hand, opponents of legalization argue that the plant is harmful to society and individuals, and therefore should not be used. "Good people don't smoke marijuana," remember?

On the other, little evidence exists to show that marijuana was even made illegal on ethical grounds, and thousands of individuals' lives are affected by simple possession of a joint, regardless of context.

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28 US CA: Pot To Pair With Wines? Sonoma Embraces PossibilitiesSun, 19 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:136 Added:03/24/2017

SANTA ROSA, Calif. - In the heart of Northern California's wine country, a civil engineer turned marijuana entrepreneur is adding a new dimension to the art of matching fine wines with gourmet food: cannabis and wine pairing dinners.

Sam Edwards, co-founder of the Sonoma Cannabis Company, charges diners $100 to $150 for a meal that experiments with everything from marijuana-leaf pesto sauce to sniffs of cannabis flowers paired with sips of a crisp Russian River chardonnay.

"It accentuates the intensity of your palate," Mr. Edwards, 30, said of the dinners, one of which was held recently at a winery with sweeping views of the Sonoma vineyards. "We are seeing what works and what flavors are coming out."

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29 US WI: PUB LTE: Pot Referendum Should Be WelcomedMon, 30 Jan 2017
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:33 Added:02/04/2017

State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, and Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, recently introduced legislation that would place an advisory referendum on the November 2018 general election ballot asking state voters if they support legalizing medical cannabis.

In 2012, after Washington and Colorado voters passed initiatives legalizing cannabis for adult use, the Associated Press published an article looking at potential legalization in other states.

Wisconsin was included: "Republican Gov. Scott Walker said ... he's not interested in legalizing marijuana. The only way he sees it happening is if state residents approve the idea in a referendum similar to Colorado and Washington."

Walker has not weighed in on the advisory referendum proposal since it was introduced, but his 2012 comments to the AP certainly suggest he should welcome Sen. Erpenbach and Rep. Taylor's proposal to let voters decide.

Gary Storck, Madison

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30 US MA: Mass. Legal Marijuana Law As We Know It May ChangeWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:149 Added:01/18/2017

Will lawmakers gut key parts of marijuana law?

A marijuana joint was rolled.

Marijuana legalization advocates fear the Massachusetts Legislature, which has already delayed the opening of pot shops, will now gut several key parts of the law approved by 1.8 million voters in November.

Public comments from Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg about potential changes are setting off alarm bells among backers.

Rosenberg has raised the prospect of lawmakers sharply increasing the marijuana tax rate, lowering the 12-plant-per-household limit on homegrowing pot, and even raising the legal age for purchase, possession, and use up from 21.

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31 US MA: Marijuana Legalization, Opioid Crisis Come To An AwkwardSat, 14 Jan 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Pindell, James Area:Massachusetts Lines:101 Added:01/15/2017

[photo] A marijuana bud.

Across New England, two issues appear to be driving legislatures this year - - and they both have to do with drugs.

States are grappling with the emergence of marijuana legalization. But the region is also the epicenter of the opioid crisis, with overdose rates in New Hampshire among the highest in the country.

These two debates - separate, but not unrelated - transcend party. Marijuana legalization efforts have been supported by Democrats and Republicans, but none of the region's six governors fully support recreational use of the drug. On the opioid crisis as well, there is bipartisan consensus about the importance of the issue - as well as the fact there's no silver bullet to solve the problem.

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32 US MA: Holyoke Mayor Sees Future In PotFri, 13 Jan 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:160 Added:01/13/2017

Holyoke has a number of old mill buildings that Mayor Alex B. Morse believes would make an excellent location for the industry.

HOLYOKE - Vacant mill buildings along a series of canals serve as constant reminders of this impoverished city's halcyon days as the Paper City of the World. But the mayor has a distinctly 21st-century plan for the old factories.

Alex B. Morse imagines marijuana growing in them.

Morse, the 27-year-old wunderkind who has been in office for more than five years , believes his hometown is on the upswing, with the lowest rates of crime and unemployment in many years. But the city, with a poverty rate almost three times the state average, requires an infusion of industry. And the state's nascent recreational marijuana business, he says, would be a perfect fit.

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33 US MD: Experts Have Only A Hazy Idea Of Marijuana's Myriad HealthFri, 13 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Healy, Melissa Area:Maryland Lines:166 Added:01/13/2017

Marijuana's health effects

A new report says the precise health effects of marijuana on its users remain something of a mystery. (Jan. 13, 2017)

More than 22 million Americans use some form of marijuana each month, and it's now approved for medicinal or recreational use in 28 states plus the District of Columbia. Nationwide, legal sales of the drug reached an estimated $7.1 billion last year.

Yet for all its ubiquity, a comprehensive new report says the precise health effects of marijuana on those who use it remain something of a mystery -- and the federal government continues to erect major barriers to research that would provide much-needed answers.

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34 US: Experts Have Only A Hazy Idea Of Marijuana's Myriad HealthThu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Healy, Melissa Area:United States Lines:168 Added:01/12/2017

Researchers combed through more than 10,000 scientific studies to examine the various health effects of marijuana use.

More than 22 million Americans use some form of marijuana each month, and it's now approved for medicinal or recreational use in 28 states plus the District of Columbia. Nationwide, legal sales of the drug reached an estimated $7.1 billion last year.

Yet for all its ubiquity, a comprehensive new report says the precise health effects of marijuana on those who use it remain something of a mystery -- and the federal government continues to erect major barriers to research that would provide much-needed answers.

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35 US KY: Pot Groups Say Vote On Attorney General Nominee Sen. JeffMon, 09 Jan 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Hotakainen, Rob Area:Kentucky Lines:122 Added:01/09/2017

Backers of marijuana legalization on Monday stepped up their pressure on the U.S. Senate to block the confirmation of Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next attorney general.

Sessions, a staunch opponent of legalization, angered proponents in April when he called pot "dangerous" and said that "good people don't smoke marijuana."

Marijuana backers want the issue aired Tuesday when the Senate Judiciary Committee begins Sessions' confirmation hearing.

"It's a national thing: This hearing is make or break for the marijuana folks," said Adam Eidinger, who heads a pro-legalization group in Washington, D.C., called DCMJ.

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36 US MA: $325 Plastic Bags - With Free Weed 'Gift' - Advertised OnWed, 04 Jan 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Annear, Steve Area:Massachusetts Lines:78 Added:01/04/2017

Giving away -- or "gifting"-- up to one ounce of marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts, but are some people pushing the new law too far?

Days after Governor Charlie Baker signed a measure delaying the opening of recreational marijuana retail shops statewide by six months, a budding entrepreneur took to Craigslist to offer people a backdoor approach to getting their hands on some pot - one that authorities say would violate the new law.

In an ad posted to the website titled "Bud, weed, marijuana, cannabis," a person who identified himself as "Corey" listed for sale empty plastic bags ranging in price from $20 to $325. Depending on which bag is purchased, the seller promised to include a "gift" of marijuana inside.

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37 US MA: Warren Seeks To Ensure Bank Services For Those Doing BusinessTue, 03 Jan 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Massachusetts Lines:94 Added:01/03/2017

Senator Elizabeth Warren is leading a new effort to make sure vendors working with marijuana businesses don't have their banking services taken away.

As marijuana shops sprout in states that have legalized the drug, they face a critical stumbling block: lack of access to the kind of routine banking services other businesses take for granted.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, is leading an effort to make sure vendors working with legal marijuana businesses, from chemists who test marijuana for harmful substances to firms that provide security, don't have their banking services taken away.

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38US CA: Huron Moves Toward Medical Pot Other Fresno County CitiesMon, 02 Jan 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/02/2017

Huron could be the second city in Fresno County to allow medical marijuana cultivation, manufacture and distribution, city documents show. Meanwhile, growers already are lining up to court neighboring Coalinga, which approved medical cannabis in July.

But other cities in conservative Fresno County, which has opposed all marijuana use for decades, remain in opposition to medical cannabis. Some have even passed resolutions formally opposing California Proposition 64, the state initiative in the upcoming election that would legalize adult recreational marijuana use. The initiative is likely to pass, but most of the county appears ready to forgo millions in potential marijuana revenue due to public safety concerns.

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39US MA: Massachusetts Governor Signs Delay For Marijuana ShopsSat, 31 Dec 2016
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI)          Area:Massachusetts Lines:Excerpt Added:01/02/2017

Action by the governor and legislature doesn't change a new law that allows adults 21 and older to possess and use limited amounts of recreational marijuana and grow as many as a dozen pot plants in their homes, but it pushes back the timetable for opening retail marijuana stores from the beginning of 2018 until the middle of that year.

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill Friday aimed at delaying by up to six months the opening of marijuana shops in the state until mid-2018.

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40 US MA: Why A Skirmish Over Pot Legalization In Massachusetts IsFri, 30 Dec 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Phillips, Amber Area:Massachusetts Lines:99 Added:12/31/2016

In November, Massachusetts voters decided to make recreational marijuana legal, allowing it to be bought and sold in stores by January 2018. But this week, state lawmakers quietly voted to delay the sale date by at least six months.

The delay has outraged some marijuana-legalization advocates, less so because they'll have to wait a few months to buy pot and more so because they feel the legislature is trying to subvert the will of the people by fundamentally changing what they voted for. A similar skirmish is happening in Maine over the minimum wage, and progressives in both states are worried that their opponents are trying to delay or even reverse their remarkable success via ballot initiatives.

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41US CA: Editorial: Just Because Marijuana Is Legal Doesn't Mean It'sThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2016

[photo] Gelato marijuana is for sale at Bud and Bloom, a dispensary in Santa Ana that got a $2 million loan this year from AP Investment Fund, a private lender that works with marijuana businesses. Allen J. Schaben Los Angeles Times

Asked whether marijuana should be legal for adults in California, voters answered with a resounding "yes" in November. But that doesn't mean the matter is completely settled. And it definitely doesn't mean voters support marijuana use by minors.

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42 US NY: With Legal Pot Comes a Problem: How Do We Weed Out ImpairedThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:New York Observer, The (NY) Author:Grant, Igor Area:New York Lines:133 Added:12/30/2016

On Nov. 8, 2016 voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada approved ballot measures to legalize recreational cannabis. It is now legal in a total of eight states. And this creates potential problems for road safety. How do we determine who's impaired and who's not?

The effects of alcohol vary based on a person's size and weight, metabolism rate, related food intake and the type and amount of beverage consumed. Even so, alcohol consumption produces fairly straightforward results: The more you drink, the worse you drive. Factors like body size and drinking experience can shift the correlation slightly, but the relationship is still pretty linear, enough to be able to confidently develop a blood alcohol content scale for legally determining drunk driving. Not so with marijuana.

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43US UT: Nevada's Marijuana Use To Be Legal Sunday, To A DegreeThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:Spectrum, The ( St. George, UT) Author:Jenkins, Kevin Area:Utah Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2016

Marijuana grows in an illegal Southern Utah cultivation in this file photo (Photo: The Spectrum & Daily News file photo)

On Sunday, the recreational use of marijuana will become legal in Nevada following passage of the state's "Question 2" during this year's elections.

The law will allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis or one-eighth ounce of cannabis concentrate with the start of the new year, but the need for Nevada to establish a licensing and taxation infrastructure means it will be a while yet before individuals can actually buy pot if they don't already have a medical marijuana prescription card.

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44 US: Editorial: The Voters Have Spoken On Marijuana. Trump Ought ToWed, 28 Dec 2016
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:United States Lines:98 Added:12/29/2016

Californians may have voted overwhelmingly on Nov. 8 to legalize marijuana, but Americans also elected Donald Trump, whose position on legalization has been a bit -- hazy. That's a potential problem because marijuana is regulated under federal law, giving Trump and his administration veto power over whether California and the seven other states that have voted to legalize cannabis can really do so.

So where does the president-elect stand on pot? He has said he supports individuals' right to use medical marijuana "100%," which is good news for the 29 states that allow medicinal use of pot. As for adult recreational use, which Californians approved through Proposition 64, it's hard to say what he believes because his statements have been all over the map, shifting from audience to audience.

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45 US MA: Mass. Lawmakers Vote To Delay Retail Marijuana ShopsWed, 28 Dec 2016
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Tlumacki, John Area:Massachusetts Lines:117 Added:12/29/2016

A man showed the marijuana he was selling on Boston Common earlier this month.

It took less than an hour and about a half-dozen state legislators to undo the will of 1.8 million voters expressed just last month.

The House and Senate passed a bill on Wednesday delaying the opening date for recreational marijuana stores in Massachusetts by half a year - from January to summer 2018.

The extraordinary move would unravel a significant part of the marijuana law. About 1.5 million people voted against legalization on Nov. 8.

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46 US MA: Mass. Legislators Move To Delay Legal Marijuana SalesWed, 28 Dec 2016
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Murphy, Matt Area:Massachusetts Lines:100 Added:12/29/2016

BOSTON -- The process for licensing retail marijuana shops would be delayed by six months under legislation that surfaced Wednesday in the Senate before clearing both branches, the result of which could push the legal sale of marijuana, authorized by a successful ballot campaign this year, well into 2018.

The House and Senate on Wednesday morning during lightly attended informal sessions passed a bill (S 2524) amended by Sen. Jason Lewis, D-Winchester, pushing out the effective dates of several key milestones in the new law, including the dates by which the state will begin accepting applications and issuing licenses for retail pot shop licenses. The state, under the bill, would have until July 2018 to issue the first licenses for retail pot sales.

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47 US MA: Colo. Pot Problem Solver Seen As Possible Mass. RegulatorWed, 28 Dec 2016
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:McCrimmon, Cyrus Area:Massachusetts Lines:174 Added:12/28/2016

Andrew Freedman is Colorado's director of marijuana coordination.

DENVER - Marijuana legalization brought unexpected challenges to Colorado, and it was rarely clear what part of state government was supposed to solve them, or how.

Businesses were selling marijuana-infused, animal-shaped candy attractive to children. Residents growing pot at home were selling it illegally in other states. Growers were applying pesticides to cannabis plants even though none was specifically approved by the federal government for such use.

Enter Andrew Freedman, Colorado's pot czar, who is bringing together the state's bureaucracy, marijuana industry, law enforcement community, and public health advocates to fix problems no other state had faced.

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48 US MA: Joint Effort As Weed Goes LegalMon, 12 Dec 2016
Source:Boston Herald (MA) Author:Sweet, Laurel J. Area:Massachusetts Lines:71 Added:12/12/2016

City Hall, cops, pols spearhead informational campaign

Cops, City Hall and lawmakers are bracing for Thursday's onset of legalized "recreational" marijuana in Massachusetts, determined that if they can't dissuade tokers from lighting up they can at least provide information plus some vigilant law enforcement to try to keep people safe.

Bay Staters voted last month to permit adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of weed while out in public - 10 ounces at home - while cultivating up to 12 plants per household. Selling pot remains illegal while the Legislature works on regulations to license retailers.

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49US GA: Column: The Debate Of Marijuana Use In Georgia ContinuesThu, 01 Dec 2016
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Galloway, Jim Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/05/2016

The debate over whether Georgia will become a safer space for marijuana, in medicinal or any other form, is poised to pick up speed next year. But only if the incoming Donald Trump administration doesn't shut it down.

And with the nomination of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama as the nation's next U.S. attorney general, that has become a distinct possibility.

On the same November day that voters handed the New York businessman the keys to the White House, four states - California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada - approved the adult use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

Three more - Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota - passed ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana derivatives for medicinal purposes.

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50 US: New Attorney General Could Mean No More Smoke SessionsThu, 24 Nov 2016
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Meyers, Nick Area:United States Lines:94 Added:11/28/2016

Roll Out

New attorney general could mean "no more smoke" Sessions

While many are still reeling from election night's results, some of that dizzying effect may owe itself to new marijuana laws in eight states. Only one state didn't pass its marijuana ballot measure, and we all already know who it is.

Prop 205 failed by a relatively narrow margin-2.65 percent or 67,021 votes-compared to Clinton's 3.57 percent gap in Arizona. More than 125,000 voters cast their ballot for the presidency, but not for Prop 205.

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