Recreational Cannabis Now Legal in Oregon, Unlimited Hemp Cultivation Now Legal in Connecticut

marijuana plant 400With the clocks striking midnight, July 1st is now upon us and laws legalizing cannabis and hemp have taken effect in Oregon and Connecticut.

In Oregon, it is now entirely legal for anyone 21 and older to possess up to half a pound of cannabis at a private residence, or up to an ounce of cannabis in public. They’re also allowed to cultivate up to four plants for personal use. This is due to portions of Measure 91, approved by voters last year, taking effect.

In Connecticut, thanks to House Bill 5780, it’s now legal to cultivate an unlimited amount of hemp without first receiving a license from the state. Under the new law, hemp, which is defined as having no more than 1% THC, is treated like other agricultural products such as tomatoes.

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Initiative to Legalize Cannabis Approved by California Secretary of State

calProponents of the Responsible Use Act of 2016, an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis in California, have been given the go-ahead by Secretary of State Alex Padilla to begin collecting signatures in an attempt to place the measure on next year’s November ballot.

Advocates now have 180 days to collect 365,880 signatures from registered California voters. If they’re successful in doing so, the initiative would be put to a vote during the 2016 presidential election. If passed by voters, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis would be legalized for those 21 and older, with cannabis retail outlets authorized to distribute the plant.

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Washington Governor Signs Bill Eliminating Three-Tier Tax Structure on Recreational Cannabis

wapicWashington State Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law a measure that eliminates the state’s three-tier tax structure on recreational cannabis in favor of a single excise tax.

Under current law, recreational cannabis is taxed at three different levels, 25% at each level. Under House Bill 2136, most of which takes effect tomorrow, this system will be replaced with a single 37% tax which would be paid at the point of sale between retailers and their customers.

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Legislation to Allow Recreational Cannabis Sales to Begin October 1st Passes Oregon Senate

budlegalOregon’s full Senate has voted 23 to 6 to pass Senate Bill 460, a measure that would allow recreational cannabis sales to begin this October. The measure was passed on the eve of legalization taking effect.

Senate Bill 460 would allow currently operating medical cannabis dispensaries to begin selling cannabis – including seeds and immature plants – to anyone 21 and older starting October 1st. Although those 21+ can possess up to an ounce of cannabis, or up to half a pound at a private residence, the new bill would only allow the purchase of up to seven grams, and dispensaries would no longer be able to distribute the plant once recreational outlets open next year.

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New Jersey Legislature Passes Measure Allowing Children to Consume Medical Cannabis At School

cannabisLegislation to allow children with certain medical conditions to use cannabis oil during school has been approved by New Jersey’s full legislature. The measure now heads to Governor Chris Christie for consideration.

Under the proposed law, children who receive a recommendation from a physician and a medical cannabis card from the Department of Health would be eligible to consume cannabis medicines while attending school. The cannabis would be administered by a parent, guardian or primary caregiver. This would apply to children of all ages, and would also apply to school buses and school-sponsored activities such as field trips.

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Advocates Submit Signatures to Place Legalization Initiative on November Ballot in Ohio

maineNearly 700,000 signatures on an initiative to legalize cannabis have been submitted to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted by the group ResponsibleOhio, well more than the 305,591 needed to place the proposal on this November’s ballot.

Once Husted verifies that enough of the submitted signatures are valid (from registered Ohio voters), it will be placed on this year’s November general election ballot. If passed into law, the initiative would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older, and would establish a system of state-licensed cannabis retail outlets which would be supplied by ten cannabis production centers.

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Cannabis Possession, Cultivation Becomes Legal in Oregon Tomorrow

cannajointflowerBeginning tomorrow, July 1st, the possession and personal cultivation of cannabis will be legal in Oregon, thanks to last year’s passage of Measure 91.

Under the new law, which is one of the most progressive in the world, everyone 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to an ounce of cannabis in public, or up to eight ounces (half a pound) at a private residence. Those 21+ will also be authorized to cultivate up to four plants for personal use.

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Poll: Over 79% of Bermuda Voters Support Decriminalizing or Legalizing Cannabis

bermudaA new poll released by Profiles of Bermuda has found that an overwhelming majority of voters in Bermuda support either decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis.

According to the survey, 41.5% of Bermuda voters support legalizing cannabis, with an additional 37.8% supporting decriminalization. Altogether 79.3% support either legalizing or decriminalizing cannabis, with just 20% in favor of retaining the laws as they are. This represents and 8.5% increase in support since just last year.

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Louisiana Governor Signs Bills to Legalize Medical Cannabis, Reduce Cannabis Penalties

cannaLouisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has signed into law two measures to legalize the medical use of cannabis, and to significantly reduce the penalties for cannabis possession.

House Bill 149 reduces the penalty for someone caught possessing up to 14 grams of cannabis to a maximum sentence of 15 days in jail, whereas it’s currently a maximum sentence of 6 months. The penalty for a second cannabis possession offense will be reduced to a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 6 months, compared to a maximum sentence of 5 year prison as it is currently. The penalty for a third cannabis possession offense would be reduced to a maximum sentence of 2 years, with the fourth offense being a maximum jail sentence of 8 years; under current law, a person’s third and subsequent offenses can result in 20 years in prison.

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Washington Legislature Passes Recreational Cannabis Reform Bill, Governor Inslee Expected to Sign

Washington’s Senate on Saturday voted 36 to 7 to approve legislation that would make changes to the state’s recreational cannabis market, includingcannabud removing the three-tier tax structure in favor of a single excise tax. The vote came a day after the House of Representatives passed the measure with a 59 to 38 vote. It now heads to Governor Jay Inslee.

House Bill 2136 would remove Washington’s three-tier tax structure on recreational cannabis (25% on the producer, processor and retailer), and would replace it with a single 37% tax which would be paid at the point of sale at retail outlets.

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Washington House Passes Bill to Eliminate Three-Tier Tax Structure on Recreational Cannabis

moneycannabisWashington’s House of Representatives voted on Friday to pass House Bill 2136, a proposal to make several changes to the state’s recreational cannabis market, including eliminating the three-tier tax structure. The vote was 59 to 38.

Under current law, recreational cannabis is taxed at three different levels, 25% on the producer, 25% on the processor and 25% on the retailer. Under House Bill 2136, this structure would give way to a new system where cannabis is taxed just once, at the point of sale at the retailer, with the tax being set at 37%.

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China Sentences 13 to Death for Drug Charges in Public Rally

chinaChina sentenced 13 people to death on Friday for drug-related charges at a public rally attended by thousands.

According to the official Xinhua News Agency. the prisoners were among 38 convicts to receive sentences before a crowd of over 10,000 people in the city of Lufeng, which is located in the southern province of Guangdong. Eight of the prisoners were sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve, while others were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

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Pennsylvania House Health Committee Unanimously Approves Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill

marijuana-medicalPennsylvania’s House Health Committee voted unanimously on Friday to approve Senate Bill 3, which would allow Pennsylvanians with certain medical conditions to possess, use and purchase cannabis pursuant to a recommendation from a physician. The proposal will now goes to the House Rules Committee before being up for a full House vote.

Senate Bill 3 was approved in May by the state’s Senate 40 to 7, but has since stalled in the House Health Committee, where many assumed it dead. Friday’s vote follows a discharge petition by Representative Nick Miccarelli (R-Ridley Park) that would have removed the measure from the Health Committee.

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First Ever Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Open in Massachusetts and Delaware

openFor the first time in their state’s histories, a medical cannabis dispensary is now open and operating in both Massachusetts and Delaware, years after the medicine was legalized.

In Massachusetts, Alternative Therapies Group, based in Salem, officially opened Thursday morning. The dispensary, which is located at 50 Grove Street in Salem (01970), is accepting patients by appointment only.

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Beginning July 1st Unlimited Hemp Cultivation Will Be Legal in Connecticut, No License Required

hemp1On Wednesday, July 1st, House Bill 5780 will become law in Connecticut, legalizing the unlimited cultivation of industrial hemp.

The new law, which officially takes effect at 12:00am on July 1st, removes hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances, legalizing it for all purposes. This means that hemp will be treated like other agricultural commodities such as tomatoes. Farmers will not be required to receive a license from the state, and no limit will be imposed on the number of plants they can cultivate. They will, however, need to maintain a THC level of no more than 1% in all of their plants (if it goes above that, it will be considered cannabis and remain illegal), though that number is higher than the 0.3% limit established in most states that have legalized the crop.

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