Report claims a crackdown wouldn’t hurt the cannabis industry. Arcview Market Research has released a report claiming that the cannabis industry will maintain its double-digit growth rate despite the uncertainty of a Trump administration. The company’s CEO said a crackdown would be “so politically unpopular it would be silly.” Bloomberg In a press release announcing the report, he also said that a crackdown “won’t impact the growth of the market much at all,” and that “no matter what the administration does, states will continue to issue cannabis licenses.”
States vs. Trump. Meanwhile, states are trying to protect their cannabis programs from a possible crackdown. California lawmakers have proposed legislation to block local law enforcement from cooperating with federal drug agents (unless compelled to by a court order). Law enforcement officials are opposed to the legislation, but supporters say it’s necessary to reassure those in the industry. The Los Angeles Times
Colorado rep. Mike Coffman said that while he thinks legalization was “a bad decision” he will try to defend the state from a federal crackdown through amendments to the appropriations bill. He also said he was working on legislation for some sort of federal banking fix for the industry. “What the attorney general of the United States has said is that he’s going to become more aggressive enforcing federal law. And, so, I’m going to have to go up against him,” he said. The Colorado Statesman
A few other measures are advancing in state legislatures that would pressure the federal government to respect state-level cannabis laws. Legislative committees in California, Pennsylvania, and Georgia have advanced resolutions that would push the federal government — addressing issues including banking, research, and enforcement. MassRoots
Trump administration scares cannabis cruisers. A Trump voter who had plans to launch a cannabis cruise says that comments on marijuana from the administration has scared away participants, sponsors, and investors for his project. Canceling the cruise will cost him “millions.” But he says he would still vote for Trump. Yahoo Finance
There are lots of drugs in the mail. Nearly 35,000 pounds of cannabis were seized from USPS packages in 2015. While the numbers indicate a “nationwide surge in drug deals,” it’s unclear whether there has been an increase in mailing drugs or an increase in those drugs being intercepted. Law enforcement investigations likely represent a fraction of trafficking. “It takes a lot of resources, a lot of money and a lot of manpower. Even with that we’re only intercepting a small portion of it,” said one narcotics investigator. NBC Washington
Nearly $10 million for marijuana. The Canadian government’s 2017 budget directs $9.6 million in funding over five years for “marijuana public education programming and surveillance activities.” The budget also notes that cannabis taxes should “remain sustainable over time.” Lift News
Drug wars are bad for tourism. The Philippines tourism secretary criticized journalists for their coverage of president Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war. She insisted that the country is a safe destination, but news of the thousands of killings is scaring away potential visitors. “Help us because you know, it’s really difficult for me to sell the Philippines, especially when extrajudicial killings becomes the topic… To the media, please tone down a little the extrajudicial killing (reports).” Asia One
A deal that’s bad for addiction. Republicans are considering eliminating essential health benefits in a bid to gain votes for the American Health Care Act. Among the benefits? Mental health services and addiction treatment. These Obamacare protections helped 2.8 million Americans with drug use disorders and “would come at a particularly hard time for America’s drug problem.” Vox
Headline of the day. “Sessions rattles baton along prison bars in speech vowing to crack down on violent crime.” The Onion
And now, in local news…
- In California, interest in the industry is high at a cannabis job fair. A late change has stalled Oakland’s new cannabis law, which also voted to end hiring discrimination based on past pot use.
- In Massachusetts, activists push back against proposed limits to marijuana home-grow. Towns temporarily ban retail stores. The Senate president promised no more delays on implementing adult-use.
- In Oregon, regulators issued the first recall for pesticide-tainted recreational marijuana.
- In Colorado, lawmakers are trying to end the black market and raise marijuana taxes at the same time.
- In Vermont, the House may vote on a measure to legalize non-commercial cannabis tomorrow.
- In Illinois, lawmakers introduced bills that would legalize adult use of cannabis.
- In Utah, medical marijuana advocates hope to put it on the 2018 ballot.
- In Florida, one lawmaker is backing off from some of his proposed medical marijuana regulations.
- In Arkansas, the attorney general rejected a proposal to put recreational legalization on the ballot.
- In New York, chronic pain is officially a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.
- In Rhode Island, incoming Senate leaders will give legalization a boost in the legislature.
- In Washington D.C., the Department of Health will license a sixth medical marijuana dispensary.
- In Louisiana, LSU extends its deadline for medical marijuana business proposals.
Word for Word
“[Ross] Rebagliati’s situation led all newscasts around the world. Gold medal snowboarder arrested on marijuana charges. For anyone familiar with the skier-vs-snowboarder, snobs-against-the-slobs feud playing out on the mountains of North America and Europe, Rebagliati’s failed drug test and arrest fit neatly into a stereotypical groove. As the sun rose around the world, Ross Rebagliati found himself cast in a role that he spent years trying to escape: That Canadian snowboarder. You know the one. The gold medalist DQ’d for weed.” – Gage Peake for Leafly
“Alabama has spent a lot of time – and money – needlessly branding people as felons. In 2010 alone, Alabama spent $13 million to enforce its marijuana possession law, an analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union found. And what are we getting for our money? The newly minted “felons” discover they’re punished long after paying their debt to society. Job opportunities are lost. The right to vote is lost. The stigma of the conviction, however, is not easily lost. A misdemeanor conviction also takes a toll that far outweighs the offense. A student with a misdemeanor faces, at a minimum, a temporary ban on student financial aid, which can lead to drop out and a chain reaction of negative consequences.” – SPLC associate legal director Ebony Howard and Alabama Appleseed executive director Frank Knaack for al.com