Thousands Light Up Joints at Nepal Hindu Festival

On Friday thousands of Hindu holy men, who were joined by devotees and the public at a revered temple in Kathmandu, lit up cannabis joints during an annual festival despite prohibition and warnings by authorities.

The Associated Press reports that hundreds of police officers patrolled the forested area around the Pashupati temple, which was crowded with cannabis smokers celebrating the Shivaratri festival. Despite this no arrests were made.

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Report: Over 243,000 Full-Time Marijuana Employees in the U.S.

According to a new report, the legal marijuana industry now has 243,700 full-time employees.

Leafly’s annual Cannabis Jobs Report found 243,700 full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs supported by legal cannabis as of January 2020, a 15% year-over-year increase. Over the past 12 months the expanding industry has created 33,700 new jobs nationwide, making legal marijuana the fastest-growing industry in America. This year’s jobs count found Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Illinois leading the employment expansion. As its adult-use market passed its one-year anniversary, Massachusetts added 10,226 jobs. Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s robust medical marijuana industry added more than 7,300 jobs in the past year.

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Colorado Marijuana Outlets Sold $1.74 Billion in Marijuana Products in 2019

Marijuana stores in Colorado sold over $1.74 billion in marijuana and marijuana products in 2019. This marks a new state record: Marijuana has been legal in the state since 2012. This is all according to data released by the Colorado Department of Revenue, and first reported by Westword.

According to High Times, the $1.74 billion figure represents a significant jump for the marijuana industry in the state after back-to-back years of stagnant revenue. In 2017, marijuana dispensaries in the state sold a little more than $1.5 billion in cannabis products—at the time, a high-water mark for Colorado, which legalized recreational pot in 2012 and implemented the law in 2014.

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Alabama: Senate Committee Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

A medical marijuana bill was approved by a vote of 8 to 1 in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week in Alabama. Audience members cheered after the vote was announced.

The measure, sponsored by Senator Tim Melson (R), would allow people with a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana for 15 conditions (such as cancer and chronic pain) and purchase cannabis products at one of 34 licensed dispensaries, reports the Associated Press. The bill would allow marijuana in forms such as pills, gummy cubes, oils, skin patches, gels and creams but not in smoking or vaping products.

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Amsterdam Mayor Pushing to Restrict Marijuana Tourism

Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema is pushing to restrict marijuana tourism, which has been a boon to the city for decades.

Mayor Halsema wants to restrict tourism in order to deal with congestion issues that have plagued the Wallen and Singel areas: The mayor cites research which shows that a third of visitors would come less often if marijuana “coffee shops” were prohibited to tourists. The research was commissioned by the mayor and conducted by Amsterdam’s Research, Information, and Statistics Office.

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Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana in Alabama Introduced

Alabam State Senator Tim Melson (R) has introduced legislation that would legalize medical marijuana throughout the state, making Alabama the 34th state to do so.

According to High Times, Melson’s legislation would establish the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, which would be charged with establishing and administering a patient registry system, issuing medical marijuana cards, issuing licenses for cultivating, processing, dispensing and transporting, and testing the cannabis. The commission would also adopt rules, impose restrictions on licensee activity, and regulate the medical cannabis program in the state. Under Melson’s proposal, patients with anxiety or panic disorder, autism, cancer-related cachexia, nausea or vomiting, weight loss or chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, and HIV/AIDS, among other qualifying conditions, would be eligible for a medical marijuana prescription.

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Nepal Lawmakers Seeking to Legalize Cannabis

Members of the ruling party have proposed legalizing marijuana in Nepal, where it has been used for generations and was famed during the counterculture ’60s. This is according to a new report by the Associated Press.

Forty-six members of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal filed the proposal in Parliament to legalize the production and use of marijuana, party lawmaker Birod Khatiwada said Monday. He said the Himalayan country’s mountainous terrain is suitable for the crop and allowing farmers to grow it would greatly benefit those who are impoverished.

2021

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Kentucky Medical Marijuana Legalization Could be Voted on by House Next Week

Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne has said that legislation to legalize medical marijuana may be voted on in the House as soon as next week.

The measure cleared the House Judiciary Committee on a 17-1 vote Wednesday, reports the Associated Press. One of its lead sponsors, Republican Rep. Jason Nemes, has predicted it would pass the House by a wide margin. House Republicans will discuss the measure internally to gauge support and develop a plan for it when the GOP-led legislature reconvenes Tuesday, Osborne told reporters Friday. The speaker praised the bill’s supporters for crafting a version that has drawn a lot of support.

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Los Angeles: Tech Used to Clear 66,000 Marijuana Convictions

Los Angeles County prosecutors are joining other district attorneys to use technology to wipe out or reduce as many as 66,000 old marijuana convictions, according to a new report by the Associated Press.

The county is working with the Code for America nonprofit tech organization, which uses computer algorithms to find eligible cases that are otherwise hard to identify in decades-old court documents. The group has offered its Clear My Record technology free to all 58 state district attorneys “The dismissal of tens of thousands of old cannabis-related convictions in Los Angeles County will bring much-needed relief to communities of color that disproportionately suffered the unjust consequences of our nation’s drug laws,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement. Lacey planned a Thursday news conference to announce the plan.

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Western Illinois University Offering Minor on Marijuana Cultivation

Western Illinois University school officials announced on Monday that beginning fall 2020, they will be offering a degree minor for marijuana cultivation.

According to the Associated Press, the university’s school of agriculture (Macomb) is “acting on interest officials expressed in such a class before adult-use marijuana became legal in January.” The minor in cannabis production will require 18 to 19 credit hours with additional coursework offered by Western Illinois’ department of biological sciences.

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