Berlin Researchers Hope to Recruit 25,000 Marijuana Consumers for Massive Study

A research initiative is hoping to get approval for a study that would require recruiting 25,000 marijuana consumers in Berlin.

According to The Local, the group called the Research Initiative on Cannabis Consumption is hoping to get an application for a new study approved so that they can analyze the “consequences of cannabis for psychologically healthy, adult consumers”. The aim is to “understand what effects cannabis use has after several years”, according to the group, which was started by an attorney and a clinical psychology professor at the Medical School Hamburg.

The group reported last week that they submitted an updated application to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) for approval.

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New York Committee Votes Unanimously to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

A key legislative committee in New York has voted to add post traumatic stress disorder to the state’s list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions.

Assembly Bill 7006 was passed yesterday by the Assembly Health Committee with a unanimous 26 to 0 vote. The proposal is sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of 36 Assemblymembers (30 Democrats and 6 Republicans). The measure must now be passed by a second committee before it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Assembly.

Both Assembly Bill 7006 and its companion legislation Senate Bill 5629 would allow those with PTSD to legally purchase, possess and use cannabis and cannabis medicines if they receive a recommendation from a physician and become registered with the state as a medical cannabis patient.

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Legal Marijuana Sales Exceeded $45 Million on April 20 (4/20)

There was over $45 million in legal marijuana sold on April 20 (4/20), the unofficial cannabis holiday, according to a new report.

MJ Freeway, a leading provider of seed-to-sale tracking for the cannabis industry, reports that cannabis retail sales for April 20 exceeded $45 million, a 20% increase compared to the 2016 holiday.

Prior to 4/20, MJ Freeway predicted a 20% increase in retail cannabis sales and a 10% increase in customer traffic. MJ Freeway’s predictions and reports are based on sales data figures compiled through analysis of their majority cannabis retail market share.

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Nevada Hemp Legalization Bill Passed Unanimously by Senate

Nevada’s Senate has unanimously voted to legalize the production and cultivation of industrial hemp.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 396 with a unanimous 20 to 0 vote, with one member absent. This send it to the House of Representatives, where passage would put it to the desk of Governor Brian Sandoval for consideration.

Existing Nevada law authorizes an institution of higher education or the state’s Department of Agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or for other agricultural or academic research. Section 2-21 of Senate Bill 396 creates “a separate program for the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp and produce agricultural hemp seed in this State”, allowing hemp to be grown for commercial purposes.

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Denver City Council Passes Ordinance to Allow Marijuana Outlets to Stay Open Longer

An ordinance extending the hours marijuana businesses can remain open has been passed by Denver’s full City Council.

The council approved the ordinance with an 11 to 2 vote. The new law allows marijuana retail outlets to stay open an additional three hours. Starting May 1st, such outlets must be closed by 10pm; under current Denver regulations, marijuana businesses are prohibited from remaining open past 7pm.

The council rejected amendments to reduce the amount of hours outlets can stay open, including an amendment from Councilmember Chris Herndon that would have prevented marijuana businesses from opening prior to 9am, compared to the current allowed opening time of 8am.

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Nevada Senate Votes to Add Opioid Addiction as Qualifying Medical Marijuana Condition

A bill to allow those with opioid addiction to legally possess and use medical marijuana – along with some other changes – has been passed by Nevada’s full Senate.

Nevada Senate Bill 374 was given approval yesterday by the state’s Senate with a 12 to 9 vote, sending it to the House of Representatives for consideration. According to its official legislative digest, the measure would include opioid addiction within the definition of “chronic or debilitating medical condition”. Section 1.5 of the proposal “prohibits a professional licensing board from taking disciplinary action against a person licensed by the board on the basis that the person holds a validly issues registry identification card or engages in lawful activity, pursuant to the person’s licensed profession, relating to the medical use of marijuana or to a registered medical marijuana establishment”.

Section 2 of the measure “prohibits a professional licensing board from taking disciplinary action on the basis that the person engages in lawful activity, pursuant to the person’s licensed profession, relating to: (1) the recreational use of marijuana; or (2) a licensed marijuana establishment.”

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Massachusetts Supreme Court Throws Out Over 21,000 Drug Convictions

In the largest dismissal of convictions in U.S. history, Massachusetts has thrown out more than 21,000 drug convictions linked to a former state chemist who admitted to faking test results.

Former state chemist Annie Dookhan.(Photo: David L. Ryan/AP)

The convictions were overturned by the Massachusetts Supreme Court several years after former chemist Annie Dookhan admitted to faking test results in 2013. The court threw out all drug cases where Dookhan was involved, in order to make sure that none of the individuals convicted were done so wrongly. In total, 21,587 convictions were overturned, by far the largest single dismissal of criminal charges in United States history.

According to NPR; “Over the nine years Annie Dookhan worked at the Hinton State Laboratory Institute outside Boston, she admitted to returning positive results on drug evidence she never tested and to sometimes forging co-workers’ signatures.” As the scandal unfolded, hundreds of people were released from prison and hundreds more had their charges dismissed. Dookhan herself was released from prison last April after serving about two and a half years of her three- to five-year sentence.

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Americans for Tax Reform Endorses Allowing Legal Marijuana Businesses to Take Tax Deductions

Americans for Tax Reform, one of the largest conservative groups in the country, has sent a letter to lawmakers urging a change in federal tax laws in regards to marijuana.

Congressman Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Congressman Blumenauer (R-Ore.) have introduced House Resolution 1810, the Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017, which would remove the inequities in the tax code that are biased against state-legal marijuana businesses claiming tax credits or deductions. Section 280E of the tax code prevents businesses with expenditures connected to illegal drug sales from utilizing deductions or tax credits.

However, in 28 states, D.C., and Guam, marijuana businesses are not considered illegal, yet are unfairly discriminated against by Section 280E. Because of this, marijuana businesses nationwide face income tax rates as high as 90%. This bill will remove marijuana businesses from the arbitrary measures of Section 280E and entitle them to the same deductions and credits any other legal business has. Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) has urged support for this bill. Below is the full letter they sent from ATR president Grover G. Norquist to Representatives Curbelo and Blumenauer:

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Measure to Regulate Marijuana Edibles Same as Other Foods Passes Washington Legislature

Legislation requiring the state to regulate marijuana-infused food products (edibles) the same as other foods has been passed by Washington’s full legislature.

Prepackaged marijuana cookies.

House Bill 1462 has been sent to Governor Jay Inslee for consideration after passage in both the House of Representatives and Senate. The measure would require “the department of agriculture to regulate marijuana-infused edible processing the same as other food processing under the state food processing act.”

It also “Requires a marijuana processor that processes, packages, or makes marijuana-infused edibles to obtain an annual marijuana-infused edible endorsement.”

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WA Bill to Legalize Marijuana Sharing and Allow Producers to Sell Plants to Patients Passes Legislature

An omnibus bill making several positive changes to Washington’s marijuana law has been passed by the state’s full legislature.

Senate Bill 5131 was sent to Governor Jay Inslee on Sunday after being approved by both the House (48 to 0) and Senate (74 to 24).

The proposal would make several alterations to the state’s marijuana law. One of this biggest changes is to legalize the sharing of up to an ounce of cannabis between those 21 and older. Currently sharing marijuana, even passing a joint between two adults, is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

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