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1 US KY: Kentucky Medical Marijuana Bill Shelved By House CommitteeWed, 07 Mar 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Brammer, Jack Area:Kentucky Lines:69 Added:03/10/2018

FRANKFORT -- Kentucky lawmakers shelved Wednesday a controversial bill to legalize medical marijuana, but supporters of the measure pledged to continue their fight.

Some backers of House Bill 166 were in tears after the House Judiciary Committee voted 14-4 to "pass over" the measure. That's a procedure to put off voting on the bill until a later date.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. John Sims, D-Flemingsburg, said it's doubtful the proposal will be revisited in this year's legislative session but "anything is possible."

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2 US IL: Legal Marijuana Question A Step Closer To Being On NovemberThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Garcia, Monique Area:Illinois Lines:63 Added:03/01/2018

The state Senate on Thursday voted to ask on the November ballot whether recreational use of marijuana should be legalized and taxed in Illinois.

The ballot question would be only advisory, so even if voters approve, lawmakers still would have to act.

Sponsoring Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, said it is important to poll the public because some lawmakers are already working to legalize recreational marijuana use for people over 21. He noted that in most states that allow recreational use, it was done by voters expressing support in the ballot box.

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3 US MD: Legalizing Marijuana, Other Pot Proposals Await Action InMon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Dresser, Michael Area:Maryland Lines:131 Added:02/28/2018

Pot is hot for Maryland lawmakers in Annapolis this year.

The General Assembly is considering more than two dozen bills on marijuana -- or cannabis, as the substance is called when used as a medicine.

For marijuana enthusiasts, full legalization for recreational purposes is at the top of the wish list. Bills in both the House and the Senate would put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to let voters decide whether to replace prohibition with a system of regulated sales and taxation.

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4 US MD: Editorial: It's Not Whether Maryland Will Legalize MarijuanaTue, 27 Feb 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:96 Added:02/27/2018

There isn't a better reader of the tea lives in Annapolis than Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller. He's been saying for a couple of years now that legalization of recreational marijuana in Maryland -- something that seemed like a far-out idea when former Del. Heather Mizeur made it a central plank of her 2014 gubernatorial campaign -- is inevitable. We're inclined to believe him. Public attitudes on the drug have shifted rapidly in recent years, and it is now legal for recreational use in nine states and (sort of) Washington, D.C. The most recent polls on the issue report that about 60 percent of Maryland voters support legalization. At least four of the seven Democrats running to unseat Gov. Larry Hogan have voiced support for some form of it. But legalization still may not happen as fast as proponents might like.

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5 US IL: Illinois Voters Could Be Asked In November About LegalizingThu, 22 Feb 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Lukitsch, Bill Area:Illinois Lines:67 Added:02/26/2018

Illinois voters could get a say whether the state should legalize recreational marijuana if lawmakers decide to put the question on November ballots.

A state Senate committee advanced the idea on Wednesday, but a ballot question would be non-binding. That means it would work like a statewide public opinion poll and wouldn't legalize marijuana even if a majority of voters approve. Lawmakers who want to legalize the drug could get a political boost, though, if voters favor it.

State Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, said putting the matter to a vote would "bring the public into the debate" and "give them an opportunity to register their opinion" as lawmakers debate the idea in Springfield.

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6 US MA: Healey, Legislators Pile On Cannabis CommissionThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:82 Added:02/15/2018

Political pressure on the state Cannabis Control Commission intensified Thursday, as Attorney General Maura Healey and 78 state legislators joined Governor Charlie Baker in pressing the independent agency to roll out a more limited recreational marijuana industry this summer.

In letters sent at the close of a public comment period on the commission's draft rules for pot companies, Healey and the lawmakers urged cannabis regulators to delay their provisional plans to license marijuana cafes, delivery services that don't also operate a physical storefront, and "mixed-use" businesses such as art galleries and theaters that want to sell cannabis on the side.

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7 US CA: Berkeley Declares Itself A Sanctuary City For RecreationalWed, 14 Feb 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Parvini, Sarah Area:California Lines:74 Added:02/14/2018

Berkeley may be the first city to declare itself a cannabis sanctuary city. A customer shops at marijuana dispensary MedMen in West Hollywood in January. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to declare the city a sanctuary for recreational marijuana, a move that may be the first of its kind.

The resolution, adopted Tuesday, prohibits Berkeley's agencies and employees from using city resources to assist in enforcing federal marijuana laws or providing information on legal cannabis activities.

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8 US MA: Baker To Cannabis Commission: Keep Pot Legalization SimpleWed, 07 Feb 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:145 Added:02/09/2018

The Baker administration chastised Massachusetts pot regulators this week, saying their draft plan to create one of the world's most permissive regulated marijuana markets goes too far, too fast.

The Baker administration chastised Massachusetts pot regulators this week, saying their draft plan to create one of the world's most permissive regulated marijuana markets goes too far, too fast.

In a letter to the Cannabis Control Commission dated Monday , the governor's office warned the independent agency that it had reached beyond the core mandate of the state's marijuana legalization law by proposing the licensure of businesses not seen in other states' recreational markets: sit-and-get-high cafes, pot delivery services not tied to dispensaries, and even movie theaters that want to offer patrons cannabis-laced snacks.

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9 US MA: Town Will Decide On Recreational Marijuana SalesFri, 19 Jan 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Massachusetts Lines:27 Added:01/19/2018

A public hearing on Whitman's proposed ban of recreational marijuana sales will be held before the Planning Board on Feb. 12.

To take effect, the ban requires approval at a special town election, which has been set for March 17, and approval at a special Town Meeting. A date for the Town Meeting has not yet been set, according to Town Administrator Frank Lynam.

The town voted in favor of the 2016 statewide ballot question legalizing recreational marijuana, but Lynam said these votes test the will of residents on whether they want non-medical retail sales within the town.

"This is the community's opportunity to say yes or no here," he said.


10US CA: Jack In The Box Tests Munchie Meals For California Pot SmokersFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Giammona, Craig Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/22/2017

For Jack in the Box Inc., the warm smell of marijuana is rising in the air.

As California prepares for legal recreational pot on Jan. 1, the fast-food chain is partnering with a digital media company backed by rapper Snoop Dogg on a new "munchie" meal aimed at cannabis enthusiasts. While marijuana's connection to fast food is well-established, Jack in the Box will become the first national chain to explicitly embrace the drug.

The "Merry Munchie Meal," which will be available at three California locations for a week in January for $4.20, features two tacos, french fries, onion rings, five mini churros, three chicken strips and a small drink. The price isn't random: The number 420 is used as a code by potheads.

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11 US CA: This Colorado City Declined To Allow Pot Sales. Now It'sThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:California Lines:164 Added:12/18/2017

At the two malls in town you can buy key chains and Christmas ornaments shaped like marijuana leaves. Along a downtown shopping corridor, paintings of cannabis plants grace storefront windows.

Even Kmart stocks its shelves with T-shirts and mugs decorated with the signature green leaf and "Colorado est. 2012" -- the year the state legalized recreational marijuana.

But that is the one pot product you can't buy in Colorado Springs.

When Coloradans voted overwhelmingly to make non-medical marijuana legal, they left it up to cities whether to allow sales. Colorado Springs, home to five military bases and known for its conservative politics and religious values, blocked recreational cannabis sales. Now some in town want to change that, saying the state's second largest city is missing out on sales taxes that are enriching cities across Colorado.

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12 US OH: Lawsuit Threatens Medical Marijuana TimelineFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Provance, Jim Area:Ohio Lines:98 Added:12/06/2017

COLUMBUS - One day after Ohio announced its choices for larger growing sites that would fuel a fledgling medical marijuana industry, a legal challenge was announced that could throw a wrench into the works.

Ironically, such a lawsuit would be filed by some of the chief players behind 2015's failed ResponsibleOhio ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

"Whether we end up with a license or we don't end up with a license, that's not what this is about..." said Jimmy Gould, chairman and chief executive of CannAscend Ohio. "I care that this process is broken. I care that there should have been better oversight over this process, and I care where this ends up....

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13US NJ: Legal Marijuana Could Be Coming Soon To New JerseyFri, 24 Nov 2017
Source:Asbury Park Press (NJ) Author:Nash, James Area:New Jersey Lines:Excerpt Added:11/28/2017

The Garden State could soon become a bit more green.

Proponents of legalized marijuana in New Jersey are lining up in the aftermath of Phil Murphy's election as governor, anticipating no-questions-asked pot sales to adults by late next year with an ally in the governor's office.

Murphy has named the head of a marijuana trade group as his chief of staff, and a new association for marijuana retailers has formed. The governor-elect vowed during his campaign to legalize the drug, and the growing industry is counting on him to quickly make good on the pledge.

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14 US MI: Marijuana Industry High On Prospect Of Michigan's CannabisMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI)          Area:Michigan Lines:160 Added:11/23/2017

LAS VEGAS -- For Hilary Dulany, long roots in Michigan and the prospect of expanding her Oregon marijuana business are luring her back to the Great Lakes State.

For Nancy Whiteman, the prospect of taking her business national has her looking for partners in Michigan.

For the two women and many other entrepreneurs attending the MJ Biz Conference in Las Vegas last week -- the pre-eminent conference where 18,500 professionals looking to get into the cannabis industry gathered -- the common thread was Michigan's soon-to-explode marijuana business.

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15 US: In These States, Past Marijuana Crimes Can Go AwayMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Quinton, Sophie Area:United States Lines:172 Added:11/23/2017

Stateline, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy.

When Californians voted to legalize marijuana last year, they also voted to let people petition courts to reduce or hide convictions for past marijuana crimes. State residents can now petition courts to change some felonies to misdemeanors, change some misdemeanors to infractions, and wipe away convictions for possessing or growing small amounts of the drug.

"We call it reparative justice: repairing the harms caused by the war on drugs," says Eunisses Hernandez of the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group that helped write the California ballot initiative.

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16US CA: Editorial: California Cities' Reefer ReluctanceFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

Demonized for decades, marijuana remains controversial even on the brink of its statewide legalization - and even in pot-friendly strongholds such as San Francisco. The city is one of many still debating local regulations that will either embrace an overdue retreat from the drug war or effectively prolong the failed policy at the neighborhood level.

For vacillating municipal officials, some context is in order. This week alone, New Jersey and Virginia voters resoundingly elected gubernatorial candidates promising to liberalize marijuana policy; Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500 seller of many popular wine and beer brands, was reported to have bought a nearly $200 million stake in a Canadian cannabis company; and California's attorney general approved signature-gathering for a ballot measure to legalize psilocybin mushrooms.

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17US CA: Colton Group Petitioning To Put Citizen-Backed MarijuanaSun, 12 Nov 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Whitehead, Brian Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

A citizens committee in Colton has launched an initiative to regulate and tax local cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution in order to generate millions of dollars in revenue for law enforcement, schools and public safety programs.

The Committee for Safer Neighborhoods and Schools recently filed its proposed marijuana ordinance with the city and will soon begin gathering signatures for placement on the 2018 ballot.

Meanwhile, the Colton City Council awaits a drafted ordinance of potential regulations recommended by a committee of city leaders and other representatives.

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18 US MI: You Can Be Fired For Medical Marijuana. Advocates Want That ToMon, 13 Nov 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Lehr, Sarah Area:Michigan Lines:203 Added:11/14/2017

Can you be fired in Michigan for using medical marijuana?

Joseph Casias injured his knee at the Battle Creek Wal-Mart where he worked in 2009.

Per company policy, he took a drug test. It came back positive.

Casias had been using marijuana at home to treat pain from sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued on his behalf for wrongful discharge in violation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

A U.S. District Judge sided with the company. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals later upheld the ruling.

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19 US MI: Editorial: Vote No On 2 Detroit Medical Marijuana BallotThu, 02 Nov 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI)          Area:Michigan Lines:105 Added:11/06/2017

Nine years after Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative that permits doctors to prescribe marijuana for therapeutic purposes, state and local lawmakers are still struggling to design a regulatory scheme that balances the interests of patients, providers and residents.

Earlier this year, Michigan legislators finally adopted a new regime that establishes distinct licensing criteria for growing, processing, testing, transporting and distributing the drug, which is still forbidden by federal law, and dividing the tax revenues generated by those activities between the state and local governments.

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20 US MA: Cannabis Exposition Comes To Boston And No, That Smell Is NotThu, 05 Oct 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Finucane, Martin Area:Massachusetts Lines:90 Added:10/05/2017

Organizers of the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition say they expect more than 2,000 people at the event Thursday and Friday at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

It's the first time this particular exposition has come to town. The organizers also held events this year in New York and Los Angeles.

"We are planting our flag here," said Dan Humiston, an organizer of the show.

"We anticipate the New England area is going to be the next big market for the industry. All the tea leaves say this part of the country will take off."

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21US CA: Recreational Marijuana Sales Won't Start In January In SFTue, 26 Sep 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Swan, Rachel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/28/2017

People eager to start buying recreational marijuana from shops in San Francisco when sales become legal throughout the state in January are going to have to wait a little longer.

The city won't issue permits to sell recreational marijuana until it passes new laws to regulate the industry and creates an equity program to help low-income entrepreneurs, people of color, and former drug offenders break into the market.

According to Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who introduced an ordinance with proposed regulations at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, city officials still have no idea what that program will look like or how it will operate.

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22 US MI: State Says Growers, Processers, Sellers Of Pot Can Be In SameThu, 21 Sep 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Gray, Kathleen Area:Michigan Lines:83 Added:09/26/2017

The medical marijuana business is expected to explode next year when the state begins to hand out licenses, and rules released Thursday by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs could prove to be even more profitable for some budding marijuana entrepreneurs.

LARA said in an advisory that one person could apply for three of the licenses -- grower, processor and dispensary -- and locate all of those businesses in one facility.

Read more:

"It's something that we've had a lot of inquiries about," said David Harns, spokesman for LARA, as people looking to get involved in the medical pot business get ready for Dec. 15, when applications for licenses will become available from the state.

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23US CA: Editorial: Governments Wisely Moving To Regulate MarijuanaTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/20/2017

Just a couple of years ago, discussions of how to deal with marijuana in the Inland Empire were limited. Now, several Inland jurisdictions are considering opening up to marijuana businesses, an overdue development given the failure of prohibition and the anticipated availability of commercial sales of marijuana in 2018.

Late last month, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted to move forward with plans to draft regulations for marijuana businesses in the county's unincorporated areas. The move came after an ad-hoc committee of Supervisors Kevin Jeffries and Chuck Washington concluded that regulating and taxing marijuana "would enable the County to better manage an already growing and uncontrolled industry," as opposed to simply banning marijuana.

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24 US MA: Marijuana Rally On Boston Common Features Vendors, Music, AndSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Carozza, Jacob Area:Massachusetts Lines:42 Added:09/19/2017

The Boston Freedom Rally was on Boston Common on Saturday.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Boston Common this weekend for the 28th annual Boston Freedom Rally - the first time the marijuana festival has been held since voters approved a ballot referendum last November legalizing the drug for recreational use.

As of Saturday morning, about 7,400 people indicated on Facebook that they plan to go to the rally, organized by the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition.

The festival, which began Friday, is scheduled to be held from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday according to its Facebook page.

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25 US MI: Detroit Voters To Decide On 2 Marijuana Proposals In NovemberFri, 15 Sep 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Stafford, Katrease Area:Michigan Lines:144 Added:09/19/2017

Two initiatives that would amend Detroit's medical marijuana ordinance to allow dispensaries to open near liquor stores, and grow facilities to operate legally, will appear on the November ballot, after a Wayne County circuit judge's ruling earlier this week.

If approved by voters in November, the changes could have a wide-reaching impact on the city's budding marijuana industry.

Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell told the Free Press that the city respects the right of voters to decide but concerns have been raised about the measures, particularly the one that would impact zoning regulations.

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26 US MA: Question 4 Opponents Will Have Majority On Cannabis CommissionFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Young, Colin A. Area:Massachusetts Lines:115 Added:09/01/2017

BOSTON -- Marijuana legalization opponents will outnumber supporters four to one on the new commission that will spearhead the state's efforts to get a legal marijuana industry up and running by next summer and then regulate the newly legal market.

Attorney General Maura Healey on Friday appointed Britte McBride, a lawyer with experience working for the attorney general's office, the state Senate and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, to the newly minted Cannabis Control Commission, and joined Gov. Charlie Baker and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg in agreeing on two picks to round out the five-person panel.

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27US CA: Legal Marijuana: Fresno City Council Passes Ban On PotThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Sheehan, Tim Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/31/2017

When it comes to buying pot for pleasure, Fresno won't be on the recreational map

Retail marijuana dispensaries and other businesses related to recreational use of marijuana will be barred from setting up shop in Fresno after the City Council voted 4-3 Thursday to prohibit such establishments.

Proposition 64, approved by California voters in November 2016, legalized the possession and recreational use of marijuana. It also legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational use starting Jan. 1, 2018 -- but gave cities and counties the authority to regulate or prohibit commercial cannabis operations in their jurisdictions.

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28US CA: Perris Gets The Inland Empire's First Licensed MedicalWed, 30 Aug 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/30/2017

The Inland Empire has its first licensed medical marijuana dispensary, with Green America now open for business in Perris.

"This is the first time that patients will be able to purchase their products from a permitted dispensary," said Mark Douglas, chief executive of the nonprofit that runs Green America. "This is a historic day not just for Green America Inc., but for the city of Perris and all of the Inland Empire."

The move comes after more than 77 percent of Perris voters in November approved Measure K, an initiative put on the ballot by the Perris City Council to remove the city's ban on marijuana businesses. The measure permits dispensaries in industrial and commercial zones, with strict rules on record keeping, buffers from schools and more.

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29 US MI: Communities Dilemma: Yes Or No To Medical Marijuana BusinessesMon, 21 Aug 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Gray, Kathleen Area:Michigan Lines:183 Added:08/25/2017

To weed or not to weed? That is the question for Michigan's communities.

As the state board that will regulate Michigan's new medical marijuana law begins to craft the rules that will govern the multimillion dollar industry, the state's cities, townships and villages must decide whether they want in or out.

As they are making their decisions, local officials are being bombarded with phone calls from people who want to gain a foothold in the medical marijuana business and are promising untold riches for the communities that let them in.

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30 US MA: White House Anti-Drug Office Asks Massachusetts For MedicalFri, 25 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:139 Added:08/25/2017

An arm of the White House's anti-drug office has asked Massachusetts and several other states where medical marijuana is legal to turn over information about their registered patients, triggering a debate over privacy rights and whether state officials should cooperate with a federal administration that appears hostile to the drug.

Dale Quigley, deputy coordinator of the National Marijuana Initiative, or NMI, has asked Massachusetts health officials for demographic data on the age, gender, and medical condition of the state's approximately 40,000 registered medical marijuana patients. Quigley is a former police officer in Colorado with a long history of speaking out against legalization.

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31 US MI: New Petition To Legalize Marijuana In Michigan Gets OKThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Egan, Paul Area:Michigan Lines:78 Added:08/22/2017

LANSING -- The Board of State Canvassers gave approval Thursday to a new proposed ballot effort to amend the state constitution to fully legalize recreational use of marijuana without taxing the drug.

The proposal from Abrogate Prohibition Michigan of Midland would nullify all laws prohibiting or regulating the use of marijuana and impose no fines, taxes or penalties on its use.

"I call it the Second Amendment of cannabis," sponsor Timothy Locke told the Free Press, comparing it to the U.S. constitutional provision granting the right to bear arms.

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32 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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33 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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34US 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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35 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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36 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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37 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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38 US MA: Activists Cheer Pot Bill Provision Allowing PreviouslyFri, 21 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Parker, Claire Area:Massachusetts Lines:140 Added:07/21/2017

Tax rates and questions of local control have dominated the conversation surrounding the Legislature's rewrite of the voter-approved marijuana law. But for former firefighter Sean Berte, who spent eight months in federal prison for cultivating marijuana, the bill spells out something else entirely: a second chance.

Berte initially swore off the drug that he says cost him his job, his life savings, and his freedom. But now, he sees an opportunity in the green-leafed plant - this time, on the right side of the law.

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39 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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40 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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41US 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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42 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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43US 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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44 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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45US 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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46 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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47 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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48 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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49 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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50 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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