The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana is allowed on college campuses. Republican judges give longer sentences to black defendants compared to their Democratic counterparts. A CBD producer said it signed a deal with 7-Eleven, but 7-Eleven says the announcement is false. Also: There will be no newsletter tomorrow. We wish everyone a restful long weekend — see you in your inboxes on Tuesday. 🌳
Arizona court rules in favor of college MMJ patient. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana is allowed on college campuses in the state. The decision overturns a 2012 law that prohibits medical marijuana on campuses. “The justices said the Legislature didn’t have legal authority to enact the 2012 prohibition because it effectively changed Arizona’s medical marijuana law in violation of state constitutional protections for voter-approved laws.” The Associated Press One justice wrote that schools can sanction those who possess illegal drugs on campus or even refer violations to federal prosecutors, but state lawmakers cannot authorize the arrests of medical marijuana patients in the state program. Arizona Capitol Times
Republican-appointed judges give longer sentences to black defendants. Racial disparities exist in all corners of the criminal justice system. A new paper out of Harvard found that much of the racial sentencing disparity can be chalked up to political party. Judges who were appointed by Republican presidents give black defendants longer sentences than similar white defendants. The disparity is twice as large among Republican judges compared to Democratic ones. “How Democratic and Republican judges treat black and nonblack defendants account for 65 percent of the total racial sentencing gap observed at the federal level… Black defendants fared particularly poorly in states with high amounts of population-level racial bias.” The Washington Post
Take three. For the third time, a former Vireo executive is trying to have her case tossed out. The former chief medical officer for the medical marijuana company is facing felony drug and conspiracy charges over allegedly trafficking cannabis oil from the company’s Minnesota operations to New York. Her attorney cited a legal battle over the company’s operations in Maryland that cast doubt on the smuggling case. The Journal News
Pharmaceuticals and cannabis. Big Pharma is not really in the cannabis industry yet, but that appears to be changing as an increasing number of cannabis companies turn to the pharmaceutical industry for processes and standards of manufacturing. The cannabis industry is also attracting more workers from the pharma world who bring a knowledge of FDA and EPA regulations. “Big Pharma can’t turn a blind eye to this type of profitability. The marijuana industry seems destined to change.” Colorado Springs Independent
CBD kerfuffle. Phoenix Tears, a Denver-based CBD producer, announced that it had struck a deal with 7-Eleven to sell CBD products on their convenience-store shelves. Hemp Industry Daily But 7-Eleven says that the Phoenix Tears announcement is false. “We have made no agreement or partnership with this company and do not know why they said that,” said a spokesperson for 7-Eleven. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Phoenix Tears said that she is trying “to get to the bottom of this.” HuffPost
Feds go after CBD beer. Federal officials have ordered a San Francisco brewery to stop producing beers that contain hemp-derived CBD. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau requires special approval for “non-standard beer ingredients,” including hemp. Black Hammer Brewing has released eight beers containing CBD, which have been “extremely well received,” according to its owner. The brewery is in the process of applying for approval for hemp. San Francisco Chronicle
The environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation. The feds have been cleaning up after illicit grow operations on forest land with the help of local environmental non-profits in Northern California. The use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers “turned thousands of acres, particularly in the Emerald Triangle, into virtual toxic waste dumps.” State-legal cannabis cultivation also takes an environmental toll: “it requires 4.5 gallons of water to produce a single joint.” Cannabis Now Here’s a look at regenerative agriculture for cannabis cultivation. Leafly
New Zealand legalization referendum in question. The prime minister of New Zealand would not commit to legalizing marijuana, even if a voter referendum on the issue is approved. The government is debating whether to hold the referendum in 2019 or 2020. The Labour party struck a deal with the Green Party merely to hold a referendum, not to legalize it if the referendum passes. “There’s not a lot of point holding a referendum if you don’t pay any attention to the result,” said the co-leader of the Green Party. Radio NZ
Cannabis in Canada. The medical cannabis industry in Canada is lobbying lawmakers to prohibit large-scale outdoor cultivation. Its argument: that outdoor sites have a higher risk of black-market diversion and can be harmful to the environment. iPolitics Big Alcohol is increasingly making inroads into the Canadian cannabis industry. Marijuana Business Daily
Happy Birthday Tommy 🎈 Tommy Chong turns 80 today and says he knew that he would live to see the day when marijuana legalization would sweep the country. He will celebrate by consuming his Chong’s Choice brand of cannabis. The Associated Press
In Dreams. “I’m always perplexed by marijuana’s ability to color my affection towards those I desire,” writes our new contributor as she muses about having sex while high. This week’s playlist “is a venture into the prettiest and ugliest corners of intoxicated sex, from the leathery techno of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft to the sexy R&B of Frank Ocean.” Word on the Tree
Word on the States
- In Nevada, marijuana sales reached $41 million in March.
- In New York, the state Democratic Party officially endorses marijuana legalization. MMJ operators think the medical program could serve as a stepping stone to recreational legalization. An MMJ company will turn a former prison into a pot processing plant. A Queens DA vows to keep prosecuting low-level pot offenses.
- In Illinois, the governor has on his desk a bill to legalize industrial hemp.
- In Utah, a look at the legal fight over a medical marijuana ballot initiative.
- In New Jersey, marijuana legalization won’t get rid of the black market. A look at Acreage’s plans for the state. Lawmakers are rethinking the state’s marijuana tax plan.
- In Alaska, a senator supports cannabis research at the VA.
- In Indiana, law enforcement officials are on the losing side of the marijuana debate.
Word for Word
“Cannabis can be used to be more productive and less lazy, it just takes some awareness and planning. Cannabis doesn’t inherently lead to eating a lot of shitty food, masturbating for hours, or watching TV for hours; if you do any of that after smoking cannabis, it’s your fault, not the cannabis’s fault. You can use the heightened sense of taste/pleasure to enjoy fruit and salad, or anything, more.” – Tao Lin, Merry Jane