On Cannabis Wire
What we’re writing about
Germany Could Be the Next for Medical Cannabis: Germany’s Federal Health Ministry Drafts Medical Cannabis Bill. Big Apple Opens its First Dispensary: New York Medical Cannabis Industry is Live. Hundreds Have Applied So Far: Week One Numbers Are in for Oregon Cannabis Industry Applications. Edibles Get a New Look: Washington Revises Draft Rules for Legal Cannabis Industry. Fears Over Diversion: Kansas Attorney General Wants Data on How Colorado Legalization Affects Kansas. Medical Cannabis Gets a Nod from GOP Candidate: Ben Carson Gets the Cannabis Question.
The news of the week
Legalization got a big boost in two states this week. In Vermont, Governor Peter Shumlin outlined his expectations for legalization in his State of the State address.
And in California, the leading campaign to legalize was cleared for signature gathering to get their initiative on the ballot this November. The campaign already has $1.2 million, and $500,000 of that is from Sean Parker, formerly of Napster and Facebook.
Intersection with ________.
News where cannabis intersects with topics like research, business, tech, health, and criminal justice
This week, field trips.
In anticipation of legalization on the ballot in their state this year, Senators from Massachusetts are traveling to Colorado to learn about the legal cannabis industry and how regulation has unfolded there.
News from states and other countries
Bumps in the legalization road. Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize and regulate cannabis in 2013, but there is still no cannabis available for residents. Sales should begin this year for both medical and non-medical use.
Speaking of which, some people are losing out in Washington state’s move to merge the medical and non-medical industries. Even though the state has increased the number of cannabis retail shops allowed in the state, many shops have already closed, and more that don’t meet the state’s requirements for zoning or licensing will also close.
Shared and discussed
Some people are miffed that Democratic National Committee Chair, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, is not in favor of legalizing cannabis. She said in an interview with The New York Times, “I just don’t think we should legalize more mind-altering substances if we want to make it less likely that people travel down the path toward using drugs. We have had a resurgence of drug use instead of a decline. There is a huge heroin epidemic.”
The Intercept noted in a story headlined “DNC Chair, Fueled by Booze PACs, Blasts Legal Pot” that Wasserman Shultz receives thousands from the alcohol industry.
In the past, cannabis advocates have been critical of Wasserman Schultz’s cannabis stance. Politico reported that she offered to change her “no” position on a Florida medical cannabis initiative if the campaign lead took back some critical statements he’d made publicly about her.
Our take on cannabis journalism
Montreal 420. That’s the name of a new CBC series on the forthcoming cannabis legalization in Canada. The series will look at where cannabis might be sold, what lessons U.S. states that have legalized might offer, the economics of legalization in the country, and public health implications.
Odds and ends
What’s in your cannabis?: Some cannabis testing labs in Washington state may be letting bad cannabis slide.
Medical cannabis at a Maine school: Auburn, Maine will allow limited access to medical cannabis in schools. A New Jersey school became the first in the country to do so last year. The cannabis cannot be in smokable form, and would need to be administered by the student’s parent or guardian.
Medical cannabis legislation abounds: Pennsylvania’s governor called the legalization of medical cannabis a “top priority” for 2016, Ohio lawmakers are also looking into legalizing medical cannabis this year, and a medical cannabis bill has been introduced in Georgia.
Will Portland’s World Famous Cannabis Cafe remain open?: The popular World Famous Cannabis Cafe in Oregon, which has been allowed to operate for years, is in danger of closing due to changing laws. But inside, it’s business as usual. (The below image is from Cannabis Wire co-founders’ reporting trip to Portland, Oregon, for A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition).
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See you next week.