Washington D.C. Council Committee Approves Bill to Legalize Cannabis Sales

Wdcashington D.C.’s Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has given approval to a proposal which would legalize cannabis retail outlets, allowing them to sell the plant to anyone 21 and older.

The Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2013 (Council Bill #20-466) will now need to be approved by the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety and the Committee on Finance and Revenue before being up for a full council vote.

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Colorado Officials Recommend $7.5 Million Worth of Cannabis Studies

Colorado herofficials have recommended that the state fund eight different studies on the benefits of medical cannabis, including two for childhood epilepsy, two for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), one for inflammatory bowel disease and one for pediatric brain tumors. Officials recommend that $7.5 million be put into these eight studies.

The studies would be paid for by a surplus of money brought in from medical cannabis registration fees. The grants still need final approval by the state Board of Health, which is expected to vote on the proposal next month.

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Drug Sentencing Reform Bill to Be Filed in Washington State

Legislation to remove felony charges for the personal possession of illegal substances will be prefiled in the Washington State Housesensiblewashington of Representatives next month by Rep. Sherry Appleton (D, 23rd District), according to the nonprofit organization Sensible Washington. The proposal, which will be identical to House Bill 2116 from the 2014 session, would defelonize personal drug possession, reducing the penalty from a felony, to a misdemeanor.

“Defelonizing personal drug possession is a smart, pragmatic approach to reducing the harms associated with the drug war”, says Rep. Jessyn Farrell (D, 46th District), who will cosponsor the bill. “The move would reduce incarceration, save the state millions of dollars, and prevent thousands of individuals from receiving a permanent and costly felony record.”

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Proposal to Legalize Cannabis Filed in Georgia Senate

Gimageeorgia State Senator Curt Thompson has filed a constitutional amendment aimed at legalizing recreational cannabis for everyone 21 and older.

Senate Resolution 6 will be considered by the state’a Legislature when it reconvenes on January 12th. If approved by lawmakers, it will be placed on the ballot to be voted on by the people before becoming law.

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Congressional Research Service: Cannabis Would Fall to Under $20 an Ounce if Legalized Nationwide

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has released a thirtycrs five-page report examining the effects of the federal government implementing a wholesale excise tax on the production and sale of cannabis and cannabis-related products.

CRS’ analysis indicates that cannabis prices would fall to as low as $5 to $18 an ounce under a legalization model; they claim that today’s average prices of $200 to $300 an ounce are inflated due to prohibition. The report found that if cannabis were taxed at $50 an ounce, the nation would generate over $7 billion in taxes from an estimated $40 billion legal cannabis market.

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Philadelphia: Cannabis Arrests Drop 78% in One Month After Decriminalization Takes Effect

The Philadelphia Liberty Bell.

The Philadelphia Liberty Bell.

On October 20th, a law decriminalizing the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis became law in Philadelphia. Between October 20th and November 20th, there was just 20 new tickets issued, 14 for possession (a $25 ticket) and 6 for consuming in public (an $100 ticket).

In that same time period, there were 72 arrests for cannabis, though that number is down drastically from the amount of arrests during the same time period in 2013 (320); in total, there was a 78% decline in arrests. These numbers are from the Philadelphia Police Department.

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Colorado Division of Financial Services Grants Charter to Credit Union for Cannabis Industry

By Associated Press

DENVER, CO — Colorado has granted a charter for the first financial institution to serve its cash-only marijuana industry.colorado

However, before it can open permanently for business, action is also required by the National Credit Union Administration and Federal Reserve.

The Colorado Division of Financial Services issued the charter Wednesday to The Fourth Corner Credit Union, which could open in January, The Denver Post reported Thursday.

The charter is a step toward resolving a significant problem for the industry, which generally is unable to obtain traditional banking services. As a result, dispensaries frequently transport cash – a crime risk – and use currency to pay employees, expenses and taxes.

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Report: Washington to Garner Over $694 Million in Taxes from Legal Cannabis by 2019

marijuana-money-live-trading-newsWashington State is set to bring in over $694 million in taxes from legal recreational cannabis sales by the middle of 2019, according to a new report released by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

The number is up from the Council’s September prediction of $636 million.

The report shows that the state is expected to bring in nearly $43 million is taxes from legal cannabis sales by the middle of 2015. Roughly $237 million is expected over the next two-year budget that ends in 2017, and an additional $415 million more is expected for the 2017-19 budget biennium.

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Federal Bill Introduced to Overturn Ban on Veterans Affairs Physicians Recommending Marijuana

By Americans for Safe Access

“Veterans Equal Access Act” would allow VA physicians to discuss medical marijuana with their patients without federal censure

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. imageHouse Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with ten bipartisan Congressional cosponsors introduced the “Veterans Equal Access Act” (VEAA) today, marking a concerted federal effort to allow our country’s veterans to become medical marijuana patients in states where it’s legal. The VEAA would simply allow Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians to discuss and recommend medical marijuana to their patients, a right enjoyed by physicians outside of the VA system.

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Study: Cannabis Can Treat Pain Caused by Pancreatitis

Cannabis imagecan treat pain related behavior caused by alcohol and high fat induced pancreatitis, according to a study being published in the journal Molecular Pain, and e-published ahead of print by the National Institute of Health.

According to the study; “Chronic Pancreatitis (CP) is a complex and multifactorial syndrome. Many contributing factors result in development of dysfunctional pain in a significant number of patients.

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