Report: Canada to Garner $675 Million Annually from Legal Marijuana

With a standard sales tax placed on legal cannabis, Canada would garner approximately $675 million ($507 million US) annually.

According to the report from the C.D. Howe Institute, “applying only federal and provincial sales tax (GST/HST, PST) results in over 90 percent of the marijuana market being regulated and $675 million in annual revenue”. The report notes that “Any increase in taxes beyond this level serves to increase the share of the black market and generates little additional revenue.”

The Institute breaks it down like this; “With the regulation of marijuana, the government has a choice to make: either legitimize the market or generate large revenues, not both.”

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Bill Adding Five New Medical Cannabis Conditions Passed Unanimously by Hawaii Senate

Legislation expanding Hawaii’s medical cannabis law has been approved unanimously by the state’s Senate.

House Bill 1488 was passed by the Senate today with a unanimous 25 to 0 vote. Although it passed the full House of Representatives last month, it will need to go back for one final vote before being sent to Governor David Ige for consideration, given it was amended slightly in the Senate.

House Bill 1488 would amend the definition of adequate supply of marijuana to “include seven marijuana seedlings”, and would also amend the definition of debilitating medical condition under the state’s medical cannabis law to include lupus, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and autism.

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Donald Trump Names Tom Marino Next Drug Czar – Marijuana Advocates Not Happy

Pennsylvania Congressmember Tom Marino (R) will serve as the nation’s next Drug Czar.

Tom Marino.

Drug Czar is the unofficial but oft-used title for the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). As a member of Congress, Marino has consistently voted against marijuana policy reform legislation, even those that are simply medical marijuana related.

“We are disappointed but not at all surprised to hear a marijuana prohibitionist is being selected as the next drug czar”, says Robert Capecchi, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. “After all, whoever fills the position is required by law to oppose any attempts to legalize the use of marijuana for any purpose.”

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Alaska Senate Votes Unanimously to Legalize Hemp

Legislation to legalize hemp has been passed by Alaska’s full Senate.

Senate Bill 6 received a unanimous 20 to 0 vote from the Senate yesterday. This puts it before the House of Representatives, where passage will send it to Bill Walker for final consideration. The proposed law would define industrial hemp as an agricultural product and would remove it from the state’s list of controlled substances.

“The commercial possibilities of hemp are numerous and versatile,” says Senator Shelley Hughes (R), who filed the bill with four cosponsors. “Hemp can be used for fiber products, such as clothing and paper, as well as for building materials and insulation, among thousands of other products.”

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Anti-Marijuana Group Facing Thousands of Dollars in Fines for Campaign Violations

A national anti-marijuana group is facing thousands of dollars in fines for violations they made while working to oppose California’s Proposition 64.

SAM Action Inc. has agreed to the $6,000 in fines proposed by enforcement staff for the California Fair Political Practices Commission for violations they made during their campaign to oppose the marijuana legalization initiative Pop 64, which was handily approved by voters. SAM Action Inc. is associated with Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), one of the largest anti-marijuana groups in the U.S.; the group is headed by Kevin Sabet, a former drug policy advisor to President Obama.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the violations included “not changing the campaign committee’s name to include its major donor, Juliet Schauer, a retired art professor and Pennsylvania activist who contributed $1.36 million to the group to cover expenses in California and other states considering marijuana legalization. The committee also “was late in disclosing five Schauer contributions, failed to accurately report the total amount of contributions and failed to file a list of its top 10 contributors, as required by the state Political Reform Act.”

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Oregon Legislature Passes Bill Preventing Marijuana Businesses From Retaining Customer Info

An Oregon bill requiring marijuana businesses to “destroy” customer information after a certain period of time has been passed by the state’s House and Senate.

Senate Bill 863 was passed by the House of Representatives today with a 53 to 5 vote; it was passed by the Senate last month 21 to 6. It will soon be sent to Governor Kate Brown, who is expected to sign it into law. The proposal would prohibit marijuana retailers and medical marijuana 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 legislation would also prohibit prohibit marijuana 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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Maine Committee Passes Legislation to Prevent Medical Marijuana Patients from Being Denied Organ Transplants

A key committee in Maine has given approval to legislation designed to protect medical cannabis patients from being denied organ transplants.

LD 764 has been given approval by the Join Standing Committee on Health and Human Services with a close 7 to 6 vote. According to its summary, “This bill prohibits the medical use of marijuana from being the sole disqualifying factor in determining a person’s suitability for receiving an anatomical gift.” The measure was filed by State Representative Deborah Sanderson (R) along with eight bipartisan cosponsors.

Below is the full text of the one-page measure:

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Canada Marijuana Stocks Jump 12% in One Day, Now at All-Time High

After a large single-day jump, the Canadian Marijuana Stock Index is now the highest it’s ever been.

Recently we reported that the Canada Marijuana Index rose over 20% in less than three weeks; from 261.74 on March 21, to 319.90 last Friday. At the close of today’s market, the index had one of its largest single-day jumps ever, going from 319.90 to 359.19, a 12.3% increase.

355.97 marks the highest the Canada Marijuana Index has ever been (The Marijuana Index began tracking the market in January of 2015). The previous high was 348.35, which came on November 18 of last year.

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Canadian Marijuana Stocks Rise Over 20% in Less than 3 Weeks

Canadian marijuana stocks are on the rise.

Canadian Marijuana StocksFollowing anger with the government’s lack of speed in implementing marijuana legalization, the Canada Marijuana Index hit a three-month low on March 21 at 261.74, slightly higher than the previous low of 258.47 on December 21. However, since March 21, the market has seen a steady increase, including an almost 10% increase on March 27 to 295.41 following the announcement that marijuana will likely be legal throughout the country by July 1 of next year.

11 days later, and the market has continued to climb. The market jumped from 287.73 on April 4, to 319.90 at the close of yesterday’s (April 7) market. The total increase from March 21 to yesterday is 22%.

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Hawaii Medical Marijuana Expansion Approved Unanimously by Three Senate Committees

A Hawaii bill to add five new conditions that qualify someone to become a medical cannabis patient, along with making some other changes to the state’s medical marijuana law, has been passed by three Senate committees.

Hawaii Medical MarijuanaA couple weeks ago we reported that House Bill 1488 was passed unanimously by the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health Committee, following its passage in the full House of Representatives. Now, the proposal has been approved by both the Senate Judicial Law Committee, and the Senate Ways and Means Committee – both unanimously. The proposal will soon be up for a vote by the full Senate; if they give it approval, as expected, it will go to Governor David Ige for consideration.

House Bill 1488 would amend “he definition of “adequate supply” of marijuana to “include seven marijuana seedlings”, and would also amend the definition of “debilitating medical condition under the state’s medical cannabis law to include lupus, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and autism.

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