Vermont Marijuana Legalization Bill Passed by Senate

A bill to legalize marijuana for those 21 and older has been given approval by Vermont’s full Senate.

The Vermont Senate approved a bill on Friday that would regulate the production and sale of marijuana and eliminate penalties for personal possession and cultivation by adults 21 and older.

The Senate amended House Bill 167, an unrelated House-approved bill, to replace it with a revised version of a marijuana regulation bill that passed last year in the Senate and failed in the House. The Senate also amended H. 167 to include the same home cultivation provision that is included in H. 170, a bill that has been making its way through the House. H. 170 would eliminate Vermont’s civil penalty for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana and remove penalties for possession of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants. The Senate proposal would allow unlimited small-scale cultivation licenses for producers no larger than 500 sq feet. The marijuana regulation bill that failed in the House last year, S. 241, did not include a home cultivation provision.

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Poll: 94% of U.S. Voters Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana, 60% Support Recreational Legalization

New polling shows that nearly every voter in the United States supports legalizing medical marijuana, and a strong majority supports legalizing recreational marijuana.

According to a new Quinnipiac University national poll, U.S. voters say 60% – 34% “that the use of marijuana should be made legal in the U.S.;” this is the highest level of support ever recorded for legalizing marijuana in a Quinnipiac poll.

Voters also support 94% – 5% “allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it,” also the highest level of support in any national poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Voters oppose 73% – 21% government enforcement of federal laws against marijuana in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. No group supports enforcement in states where marijuana is legal.

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Report: U.S. Hemp Market Valued at $688 Million for 2016

The market for hemp in the United States was worth $688 million in 2016.

Hemp Business Journal and Vote Hemp have released a report detailing the total retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2016. For the year, there was $688 million in hemp and hemp items sold; this includes items such as hemp soap, hemp seeds, hemp oil, hemp protein powders, hemp shampoo, hemp cereals, etc.. According to the report, sales of hemp CBD products boosted the industry to a five year 22% CAGR (compound annual growth rate).

Of the $688 million market, the report analyzed seven primary product categories: (1) Food (2) Personal care (3) Textiles, (4) Supplements, (5) Hemp derived Cannabidiol (CBD), (6) Industrial Applications such as car parts, and (7) Other Consumer Products such as paper and construction materials. The growth of Hemp CBD — a category with $130 million in sales and growing at a 53% AGR — contributed significantly to the $688 million in total sales.

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Oregon Measure Stopping Cannabis Outlets From Retaining Customer Information Signed Into law

An Oregon measure to prevent cannabis retail outlets from retaining customer information has been signed into law.

Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 863 into law on Monday, following a 53 to 5 vote in the House of Representatives, and a vote of 21 to 6 in the Senate.

The new law explicitly prohibits cannabis retailers and medical cannabis dispensaries “from retaining identification information of consumers and registry identification cardholders for more than 48 hours after close of business on business day on which marijuana retailer or medical marijuana dispensary acquired information.”

The bill also prohibits cannabis retailers from “recording, retaining and transferring type of information that is  contained on passport, driver license, military identification card or other identification card that bears picture of person.”

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West Virginia Governor Signs Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana

West Virginia’s governor has signed into law a bill that legalizes medical marijuana.

Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 386 into law today, a day before April 20, the unofficial cannabis holiday. The signing of the bill makes West Virginia the 29th state in the nation to enact legislation allowing seriously ill patients to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

SB 386, titled the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, was introduced by Senator Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and substantially amended in the House before receiving final legislative approval on April 6. It charges the Bureau of Public Health with regulating medical marijuana growers, processors, and dispensaries. Patients with specifically listed qualifying medical conditions will be allowed to use extracts, tinctures, and other preparations of marijuana, but not marijuana in flower or leaf form. A summary of the bill is available at http://bit.ly/2nbUAq3.

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Report: Marijuana Impacting Alcohol Industry, Millennials Prefer Cannabis Over Alcohol

According to a new report, marijuana is having a substantial impact on the alcohol industry, and a majority of millenials prefer cannabis over alcohol.

OutCo, a Southern California-based cannabis company, has partnered with Monocle Research to conduct a new report on the growing use of cannabis in California and its impact on the alcohol industry. The study revealed a sea of change is coming with many California millennials saying no to alcohol and yes to marijuana. Research further indicates this shift will continue to rise which could have a significant impact on the alcohol industry.

Millennials will be more open to diversity in their consumption of recreational substances than older generations, with more than 50% of them substituting cannabis for alcohol altogether. The study further shows that one in five Generation Xers will be substituting marijuana for alcohol, as will 8% of baby boomers.

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Iowa Senate Votes to Legalize Medical Marijuana

A bill to legalize medical marijuana has been passed by Iowa’s Senate.

Senate File 506 was passed Monday with a 45 to 5 vote, sending it to the House of Representatives for consideration. The proposal would drastically expand a state law that allows the medical use of cannabis oil to allow for the possession, use and licensed distribution of cannabis and cannabis products for those with a recommendation from a physician.

“I think this is the right thing to do,” says Senator. Matt McCoy (D), who noted that many supporters of the measure have died waiting for it to be passed into law. Senate File 506 is referred to as The Compassionate Use of Cannabis Act. The bipartisan measure was supported by 25 Republicans (4 opposed), 19 Democrats (one opposed) and the only independent.

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Poll: 52% of U.S. Adults Have Tried Marijuana, Only 1 in 5 Believe it’s “Riskier” than Prescription Opioids

A majority of U.S. adults have tried marijuana at least once, according to new polling.

According to the new Yahoo/Marist poll, 52% of adults in the United States have consumed marijuana at least once, with 56% consider usage of the plant to be “socially acceptable.” The survey found an overwhelming majority of adults – 83% – to be in support of legalizing medical cannabis. A considerably lower number, but still a plurality (49% to 47%), support the legalization of cannabis for all uses.

Two-thirds of the poll’s respondents stated that the use of prescription drugs like Vicodin or OxyContin is “riskier” to use than cannabis, even when the drugs are rightfully prescribed by a doctor. Only one in five believe that marijuana is “riskier” than prescription opioids.

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Trump Official Says Marijuana “Not a Factor” in the War on Drugs

A key Trump official says that marijuana isn’t a factor in the drug war.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday that marijuana is “not a factor” in a meeting with NBC’s Meet the Press. Kelly also said that solving the nation’s drug issues doesn’t involve “arresting a lot of users.”

The comment came during a discuss regarding the flow of drugs to United States from Central America and Mexico; Chuck Todd asked Kelly if legalizing marijuana would hurt this.

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A Look at How Canada’s Marijuana Legalization Plan Compares to Legalization in the U.S. and Uruguay

Today the Canadian government released their plan to legalize marijuana by July, 2018. How does this plan compare to Uruguay and the states in the U.S. that have already legalized?

In the U.S., eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. Uruguay, which legalized cannabis in 2013, remains the only country to legalize the plant federally. Canada’s government seeks to change this, however, with their newly-released plan to legalize by next year.

Below is a look at the differences and similarities between the laws in Uruguay and the U.S., and the law being proposed in Canada:

Possession Limits:

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