Recreational pot sales start in Nevada. The state rolled out an early start to its adult-use cannabis program when medical marijuana dispensaries started selling recreational pot on Saturday. Both tourists and locals took advantage of the newly legal weed for sale, waiting in long lines at dispensaries. The demand exceeded cannabis businesses’ expectations, where they had to turn away customers and extend their hours of operation. The Associated Press Retailers say they aren’t too worried about running out of products before the issue of distribution has been resolved. A spokesperson for the tax department expects some distributors to be licensed within three weeks, and dispensary owners say they are prepared for at least a month. Marijuana Business Daily A couple got married at a Las Vegas grow house to support Nevada’s new cannabis laws. While they were not partaking, “[the groom said] his father was once imprisoned because of a marijuana-related offense, so the issue has always been personal for him.” The Associated Press
Denver finalizes social-use rules. The city released the final rules for Denver’s pilot social-use program — the first in the nation to develop such regulations. Businesses will be able to apply for the program by the end of August. So far, yoga studios, coffee shops, bars, and restaurants have all expressed interest. But how many of them will be willing to deal with the tight regulations remains to be seen — regulations are particularly restrictive for businesses with liquor licenses. The Denver Post
The DEA still has a monopoly on growing cannabis for research. Last summer, the DEA announced that it would begin accepting applications for others to become federally legal pot growers. Currently, the University of Mississippi has the only cannabis grow sanctioned by the federal government under a contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The DEA says it has received 25 applications, but has no estimate for when decisions may be made. The Cannifornian
Racial equity in D.C.’s medical marijuana industry. The city council passed legislation that would give preference to minority-owned medical marijuana businesses during the license application process. “We have locked up so many black people for marijuana, and I see it as incredibly hypocritical for those folks to return from prison on marijuana charges just to come back to a place that has now legalized and industrialized it, and they can’t play any role,” said the city council member who sponsored the legislation. A spokesperson for the mayor said her administration is reviewing the legislation, but taking steps to implement it. The Washington Post
Pot patents and lawsuits. Dozens of cannabis-related patents have been filed to the Patent and Trademark Office, setting the stage for future legal disputes. “In theory, patent owners may sue to stop anyone from growing specific kinds of patented pot plants in any state or territory – whether or not pot is legal there. To date, this hasn’t happened.” The Conversation
Greece legalizes medical marijuana. “The country is turning its page, as Greece is now included in countries where the delivery of medical cannabis to patients in need is legal,” announced prime minister Alexis Tsipras. The country is the sixth nation in the European Union to legalize medical cannabis. The government will also downgrade marijuana in its drug classification system. The Independent
CBD treats to help dogs during the fireworks. Marijuana companies are marketing CBD to help pets’ noise anxiety — especially during holidays like the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve. But even hemp-derived CBD products for pets fall under a legal gray area. While some vets are advocating for medical marijuana, others warn that research is lacking due to its status as a Schedule I substance. NPR
Morocco exports the most hash. While the country saw increased seizures of cannabis resin in 2015, it remains the largest exporter of hash in the world. A UNODC report found that Morocco is the world’s largest producer of cannabis resin, with 80 percent destined for export to Europe and other North African countries. Morocco World News
The decline of the coffeeshop. The numbers of cannabis cafes — or “coffeeshops” — in the Netherlands continue to decline. Last year, 573 businesses were licensed to sell the drug, 18 fewer than 2014. Cafe owners in Amsterdam attributed to the decline to new regulations on the locations of cannabis businesses. dutchnews.nl
The weedy smells of summer. “It’s the District of Cannabis.” Two years after Washington D.C. legalized non-commercial, recreational marijuana, cannabis smells wafting through the city are becoming more apparent. Residents express surprise at the scent in buttoned-up neighborhoods, office complexes, and inside apartment buildings. “Like Platform 9¾ or the wardrobe that leads to Narnia, the portals to D.C. weed world hide in plain sight.” The Washington Post “Marijuana smokers emboldened by the drug’s new legal status are altering the scentscape” of Boston. Cannabis legalization raises questions about pot smells, but also seem to have a normalizing effect. A school administrator in Colorado Springs says parents regularly come to school reeking of pot: “It’s so commonplace, it doesn’t raise a red flag.” Boston Globe
Word on the States
- In Massachusetts, after missing a Friday deadline, lawmakers will continue discussing marijuana regulation. Fears over the proposed tax hike may be overblown.
- In Vermont, neither pro- or anti-cannabis groups spent much money in the fight over legalization, relying on grassroots support. The state looks to add a fifth MMJ dispensary.
- In Montana, the health department issued temporary emergency rules for medical marijuana.
- In Florida, the health department announced new rules for medical marijuana.
- In Washington, D.C., whether or not cannabis is legal depends on where you live.
- In California, Los Angeles residents demanded diversity in the cannabis industry.
Word for Word
“Where would golden-age TV be without drugs? Illicit substances have served shows almost like characters, each with its own circumstances and even personality: heroin in The Wire, meth in Breaking Bad, marijuana in Weeds, bootleg hooch in Boardwalk Empire. Snowfall, which begins Wednesday on FX, aims to write an origin story for crack cocaine, which spread virally in the 1980s, and to invest viewers in the lives that it changed or ended. ” – James Poniewozik for The New York Times
“Ezra [Soiferman] actually brought the idea to us and we loved it… It made sense to have a program that increased the visibility of Ezra’s art and in turn, the visibility of our young company. Something like this has never been done before and we like to look at ourselves as a company of firsts. We wanted to see what happened when we associated an artist to a cannabis company, but put no shackles on creativity.” – Tweed president Mark Zekulin, The Cannabist
“You can only play so many games of bingo… My son thought it was hilarious that I was coming [on a Pot for Beginners tour], but I’m open-minded and want to stay informed. Cannabis has come so far from the days when you smoked a sly joint and got into trouble if they found out. We used to call it hemp then and didn’t know its strength. It just used to make me sleepy, so I didn’t see the point.” – 79-year-old Connie Schick, The Guardian