Voters will likely bring legal weed to the Midwest for the first time at the polls. How a Democratic House could help D.C. finally set up its own regulated marijuana market. Cannabis industry interests are an increasing political force in marijuana-legal states. Also: Someone made a $2,400 laser bong that requires protective eyewear and an app to control it. 🌳
Where marijuana reform is most likely to win. Marijuana reform has been spreading across the country, and advocates hope to continue their winning streak today at the polls. Michigan voters are likely to pass recreational legalization. But polls on North Dakota’s legalization initiative are all over the place, yielding opposite results. Meanwhile, voters in Missouri and Utah may vote to legalize medical marijuana. But Utah will get some sort of medical cannabis program regardless of the ballot initiative thanks to a compromise deal between supporters and opponents of the proposal. The Washington Post Fact-checking the claims of marijuana opponents reveals some dubious claims. The Salt Lake Tribune If Utah approves the medical marijuana ballot initiative, it “could signal that the [LDS] church is no longer all-powerful in state politics.” The New York Times Live coverage of races that matter to marijuana policy: Leafly and Marijuana Moment
How a Democratic House could help cannabis policy in D.C. While Washington D.C. voters chose to legalize adult-use marijuana in 2014, the city has been barred from setting up a regulated market thanks to a Republican House. “The amendment has put DC in a bizarre spot, in which possession is legal but sales are not… If Democrats take control of the House, and, in turn, run the appropriations committee, that could all change.” Top Democrats in the House oppose the anti-marijuana rule, which has passed as an amendment to the spending bill. But a Republican-controlled Senate would still pose a challenge. BuzzFeed News
Cannabis could be Rohrabacher’s political lifeline. U.S. rep. Dana Rohrabacher is facing a serious challenge to his House seat for the first time in two decades. “If he wins… he will owe much of the credit to his support for another pet cause — legal pot.” His campaign finance chair estimates that industry interests could have had a large impact on his campaign funding — “I think you could safely say between $500,000 to a million.” The marijuana industry’s newfound political capital hopes to reward the congressman for his early support of the issue, long before marijuana advocacy had been acceptable in the political mainstream. BuzzFeed News Related: Cannabis industry leaders gave Nevada gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak a last-minute boost with at least $100,000 in donations. Cannabis Wire / Newsletter
Today in cannabis science news… A recent study out of Colorado found that people with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop life-threatening complications if they are also cannabis users. Previous research has found that cannabis may help patients with type 2 diabetes maintain lower blood sugar levels, but less is known about the impact of cannabis on those with type 1 diabetics. Reuters Researchers found that rats who were born to mothers that had been exposed to cannabis had cognitive differences compared to rats who hadn’t been exposed to cannabis in utero. Scientists exposed some rats to marijuana vapor, who gave birth to rat pups that had trouble learning a new strategy to receive a sugar reward. “The results do not suggest a general learning disability… but a specific deficit in their ability to switch strategies. ” The Scientist Related: A look at the most impactful cannabis research so far. Leafly
Jury selection begins for El Chapo’s trial. Potential jurors for the trial of Joaquín Guzmán Loera were asked about their views on marijuana and feelings about law enforcement. Many said they recognized Guzmán’s name as an international drug kingpin who had escaped from Mexican prisons. “The sobering facts at the heart of the case did not preclude jury selection from veering at times into the absurd. There was, after all, the juror who noted that his local deli had a sandwich called the ‘El Chapo.'” The New York Times A look at El Chapo’s rise and his continued legacy despite detainment in solitary confinement. Rolling Stone
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Israeli health ministry closes Tikun Olam farm. The Ministry of Health has temporarily shut down a Tikun Olam cannabis farm in Birya, Israel. Health officials found serious “defects,” including contamination, improper growing conditions, and use of forbidden pesticides. Tikun Olam disputed the health ministry’s claims, saying that the facility was experimenting with two different drying methods. The company said it does not use any sort of pesticides. Tikun Olam has a presence in Canada, Australia, and the U.S., and is waiting for approval on a new production facility to be able to export to other markets under the new cannabis reform law in the country. Globes
Elsewhere in cannabis business news… Atlanta-based medical marijuana company Surterra Wellness has raised nearly $55 million of its $165.5 million goal. The raise follows a $65 million funding round that was led by chewing gum heir William Wrigley Jr. in August. Marijuana Business Daily Marijuana firms Terra Tech and Golden Leaf are planning to merge in a $125 million deal. The new entity would 41 marijuana licenses in California, Nevada, and Oregon. Marijuana Business Daily
Cannabis in Canada. Postmedia will stop delivering newspapers to schools to comply with federal restrictions on marijuana advertising to minors. “We deeply regret that this precludes us from delivering print editions to elementary and high schools… we are exploring ways to reintroduce the program that comply with the Cannabis Act,” said a spokesperson for the company. The Toronto Star Cannabis investors in Canada are eyeing the U.S. midterms BNN Bloomberg Federal marijuana legalization could lead to a hike in car insurance rates. Insurance Business
Elsewhere around the world… A researcher in the U.K. writes about how loosening restrictions on medical marijuana could very well lead to recreational use. “The line between recreational and medicinal use is not an easy one to discern. One person’s need to feel different is another’s desire to self-medicate.” The Independent A look at the problems with the new medical cannabis law, including a lack of medical expertise. Vice Brewers in Germany are increasingly making hemp beer. The Local Israel‘s public security minister is delaying medical marijuana exports, and the finance minister has had enough. Haaretz The prime minister of Georgia says that the government decided to withdraw a marijuana cultivation bill that would have allowed cannabis production for export. “The public opinion was that this draft law should be withdrawn and this is what we did.” Georgia Today
Upcoming cannabis short film. Remembering Us, an upcoming short film, recounts the story of co-writer Scott Takeda’s traumatic brain injury. “On top of detailing the stigma of TBIs and how they affect the individual, the story of using medical cannabis to treat [his] medical issue is introduced.” The stigma surrounding cannabis kept him from trying the treatment until he had exhausted all other treatment options. “Takeda admits he struggled initially with the idea of using medical cannabis due to his exposure to Nancy Reagan’s heavily publicized Just Say No campaign in the ’80s and ’90s. This challenge is portrayed in the film as both a professional and internal struggle.” Westword
Word on the States
- In Massachusetts, a look at where candidates stand on the issue of marijuana.
- In California, a San Francisco dispensary is offering $1 eighths to vets on Veteran’s Day. Santa Barbara county officials seized 400,000 from an illicit grow. Merced County and the DEA seized more than 194 acres of marijuana plants.
- In Oregon, Klamath County received $200,000 in grant money to fight illicit marijuana grows.
- In New Jersey, a look at how marijuana policy is impacting local elections.
- In Oklahoma, a Tulsa MMJ dispensary ran out of stock on its first day of sales.
- In Virginia, a Republican Congressional candidate vows to work on marijuana reform if he’s elected.
- In New Mexico, Santa Fe’s city council considers a measure to urge state lawmakers to legalize marijuana.
- In Wisconsin, Green Bay’s city council approved a measure to reduce marijuana penalties.
- In Illinois, a Chicago judge could lose his seat for being ‘tough on crime’.
Word for Word
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Never underestimate the boundless creativity that stoners apply to getting high. Sometimes stoner engineering is delightfully low tech, like figuring out how to smoke weed from a crab leg. Other times, it’s scrappy and DIY, like this device to measure how hard you hit a bong. Then there’s the laser bong, a piece of stoner technology so advanced that it will probably take NASA scientists decades before they’re able to replicate it.” – Daniel Oberhaus for Motherboard