How a woman ended up getting charged with a felony for having a sample of some CBD oil. A look at how the Trump administration has been good for private prisons. Once it’s legal, the hemp industry will still have many hurdles to overcome. Also: Some U.K. police are cool with cannabis clubs, much to the government’s dismay. 🌳
Charged with a felony for CBD oil. A New Mexico woman who was driving to Montana to care for her ailing mother was charged with a felony for possessing a 10-milliliter sample bottle of CBD oil from a health food store. She faces up to five years in prison. She was pulled over for expired license plates, and was jailed after being deemed a “flight risk.” It was there that staff discovered CBD oil in Anita Maddux’s purse. She stayed behind bars for 36 hours while waiting lab results from the oil. Two weeks later, law enforcement warned grocery stores that selling CBD oil with any amount of THC is illegal. (Maddux’s CBD oil contained .06 percent THC.) The county sheriff said he thought the charge would be pleaded down to a misdemeanor. Leafly
An explainer on private prisons. The first private prison opened in Tennessee in the mid-80s at the height of the war on drugs. What began at the state level has now morphed into a $5 billion industry. While the Obama administration announced that it would be phasing out the use of private prisons on the federal level, attorney general Jeff Sessions reversed those plans when he “swept into office on a pledge to lock up more people by reinstating mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession and other low-level offenses.” The Week
Congress can finally tell hemp from pot. For decades, hemp has been lumped into the same category as LSD, heroin, and MDMA. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), started to push for hemp legalization in 2012 and found his colleagues reticent: “Everybody said, ‘That’ll never happen! Everybody thinks that it’s pot, and nobody’s going to support it,” he said. It took the backing of a couple Republicans from Kentucky to move the issue forward in Congress. Still, a hemp market has its challenges: Not many farmers have experience growing the crop, and the ban on drug felons “means that many people with experience growing cannabis in the form of marijuana would be federally prohibited from growing its sister plant.” The Atlantic Once an indispensable crop, hemp is once again being grown at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. “The landmark home of the nation’s first president, about 20 miles south of Washington, is part of an effort to return industrial hemp to its historical context and promote its use in the modern world.” The Washington Post
Wisconsin wins case against synthetic-cannabinoid seller. State agencies sued Atomic Glass last year and won a $4.5 million judgment against the business for selling synthetic cannabinoid products. A judge found the owner of the business liable for the sale of 60,006 packets of the products between 2011 and 2016. The state attorney general said the case was pursued “as a civil forfeiture, rather than a criminal charge, because ‘the formula for synthetic drugs changes quicker than lawmakers can outlaw it.'” At least two people in Milwaukee county have died this year due to unregulated synthetic cannabinoid products. Journal Sentinel
What states are spending their cannabis taxes on. The way state regulators approach marijuana taxes have “wide-ranging effects on the development of cannabis markets in” each state. While tax regimes vary, common priorities among cannabis-legal states include local governments, drug treatment programs, and community funds for remedying the harms of the drug war. Here’s a detailed breakdown of states with legal adult-use marijuana and where all of that marijuana money goes. Cannabis Wire
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How to break in to the cannabis industry. Cannabis education platform Green Flower is hosting a virtual summit featuring 13 professionals from all corners of the industry talking about how they landed their dream jobs. The lineup includes everyone from lawyers to doctors to marketers to cultivators who have found their own niche in the industry. To watch the virtual event from August 6 – August 19, sign up here: Green Flower
Pot prohibition and pets. While dozens of U.S. states have legalized medical marijuana, none have specifically legalized cannabis for pets. Veterinarians generally fear discussing medical cannabis thanks to federal prohibition, leaving pet owners on their own to figure out treatment and dosage. But California could soon be the first state to pass a law that allows veterinarians to talk about medical cannabis for pets. “A human can get their doctor’s advice but a dog can’t, legally. It’s bizarre,” says one dog owner whose pup has benefitted from cannabinoid dog chews. Despite its lack of legal status, the market for pet CBD products has soared.
Cannabis in California. A report from the cannabis delivery service Eaze found that one in five cannabis consumers in the state are buying marijuana from the black market. The most common complaint about the state-legal market is high taxes. Marijuana Moment The legal cannabis market will contract as marijuana businesses must obtain harder-to-get annual licenses once their temporary licenses expire. Delays in licensing, like those in Los Angeles, further restrict businesses’ ability to comply as only those with tons of money will be able to wait for their permits. Marijuana Business Daily Santa Cruz is attracting cannabis industry startups thanks to its history with the plant and its proximity to Silicon Valley. Mercury News
Cannabis in Canada. The Canadian Securities Exchange has been publishing the personal information of investors for 15 years thanks to an internal rule that requires it to publish data for private placement transactions. The exchange, which has become a go-to for marijuana businesses, is now facing backlash over privacy concerns. Financial Post Nova Scotia’s cannabis stores is coming under criticism for dividing cannabis products into categories like “relax” and “enhance.” A psychologist said the signage is “glamorizing and normalizing cannabis use,” while the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation says the classifications were aimed at educating consumers. CBC News Quebec spent $2 million on an advertisement aiming to educate the public on its upcoming cannabis laws. MTL blog Toronto clubs are bringing together cannabis and comedy. Comics say stoned audiences “are often the toughest to make laugh,” but give friendly feedback and don’t heckle as much as drinking audiences. The Toronto Star
U.K. police turn a blind eye to cannabis clubs. A lack of enforcement has promoted a proliferation of cannabis clubs in the U.K., where paying members can have a place to consume cannabis without fear. “At least two Police and Crime Commissioners have visited or endorsed the clubs.” But police leaders have been rebuked by the government for turning a blind eye and prioritizing more serious offenses. Cannabis club insiders say they have yet to hear of a raid or a member being arrested. The Telegraph
Legalizing psychedelics. Now that marijuana reform has spread to dozens of states, some advocates are looking to legalize psychedelics on the state level. Here’s a look at efforts to decriminalize psilocybin through ballot initiatives. Big Think Researchers in Canada found that those who microdosed psychedelics “reported lower anxiety and depression levels, less vulnerability to failure and less self-doubt than those who never microdosed.” The study involved current and former microdosers. Newsweek
Word on the States
- In Missouri, a criminal justice reformer won the Democratic primary for the St. Louis D.A. race (and has no Republican opponent).
- In Oklahoma, a campaign to legalize recreational marijuana inflated its signature counts keep “people in the movement motivated.” Volunteers are still holding out hope. The new medical marijuana rules face a legal challenge.
- In Massachusetts, regulators will consider more applications for marijuana licenses on Thursday (none of them for testing labs).
- In Florida, a court ruling could lead to big changes in the medical marijuana law. MMJ clinics are growing. The Broward County School Board approved allowing students to get medical marijuana on campus.
- In North Dakota, recreational legalization will likely make the November ballot. Patients may have to wait until 2019 for medical marijuana.
- In Michigan, an anti-marijuana funder says jailing a grandmother over a lapsed MMJ card “is not such a big deal.”
- In Arizona, the attorney general concluded that the state can use medical cannabis fees to operate drug treatment programs.
- In Ohio, how to get a medical marijuana card.
- In New York, clemency has been slow under governor Cuomo.
- In Indiana, a legislative committee visited a hemp research site.
- In the Northern Marianas, lawmakers approved a bill to legalize marijuana.
Word for Word
“Getting back to the combo of cannabis and alcohol, at one level it’s like mixing chocolate and champagne: Two wonderful flavors on their own that do each other no favors. Why go there? Probably the same reason why somebody in Poland invented vagina beer, and others created – we swear – ‘chocolate stout’ and Hello Kitty beer: Because its advertising writes itself, and it stands out from the six-pack. At another level, spiking with cannabinoids is merely the latest chapter in the great history of experimenting with beer, which goes back to the dawn of civilization.” – Ruth Schuster for Haaretz
“I do not [smoke weed]. I tried it twice when I was in college. It wasn’t for me, but I promised a number of people that when we legalize it in New York, I will give it another shot.” – New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, New York / The Cut
“A Bluffton woman who ran a stop sign while driving drunk more than 30 miles an hour over the speed limit early Saturday told officers she shouldn’t be arrested because she is a ‘very clean, thoroughbred, white girl,’ according to a Bluffton Police Department report… She told officers, ‘I’m a white, clean girl,’ and when they asked what they had to do with anything she said, ‘You’re a cop, you should know what that means,’ the report said… The woman was booked into the Beaufort County Detention Center and faces driving under the influence, speeding, disregarding a stop sign, simple possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia charges, according to the jail log.” – Lana Ferguson for Island Packet