A racketeering case against a medical marijuana dispensary was settled out of court. A new bill in Congress would shield federal workers from getting fired for using marijuana in states where it’s legal. Connecticut lawmakers introduced a trio of marijuana legalization bills. Also: The North American cannabis industry has raised $3.3 billion so far this year. 🌳
Medical marijuana RICO case settled out of court. A federal court case between neighbors and a medical marijuana dispensary in Cambridge, Mass. was settled out of court. A shopping mall led a racketeering lawsuit against the dispensary, arguing that the dispensary decreased property values in the area. “The case had high stakes because if a judge agreed that the RICO statute could be used to prosecute businesses allowed by the state, it could force Massachusetts to rethink its medical and recreational marijuana laws.” The case was settled out of court for a “significant” but undisclosed payment. Similar cases are ongoing in other states that have reformed their cannabis laws. Mass Live
Bill would shield federal workers from getting fired for marijuana. U.S. reps. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) Don Young (R-Alaska) would prevent federal agencies from firing employees for testing positive for marijuana in states that have legalized it. “For federal employees complying with state cannabis law, they shouldn’t have to choose between a proven treatment and their job.” The current policy of firing workers has a disproportionate impact on veterans. Marijuana Moment Related: A new poll found strong support for marijuana reform across the political spectrum, although 51 percent of Republicans said they oppose legalization. Marijuana Moment
Connecticut lawmakers introduce marijuana legalization bills. Democrats in the Connecticut House announced a plan to legalize recreational marijuana. The trio of bills would legalize commercial sales, expunge low-level drug convictions, and contains provisions to promote equity in the industry. It also includes bans on home cultivation and cannabis-infused candy that could appeal to children. “For us to pass a cannabis legalization bill means some people will be making a lot of money … at the very least, we need to go back and fix those decisions we made in the past,” said state senator Gary Winfiel. Hartford Courant
Cannabis regulators asked to look out for the little guy. Medical patients, drug policy advocates, and those who work in the cannabis industry appealed to Massachusetts marijuana regulators to look out for the little guy during a Cannabis Control Commission listening session. “Among the most requested changes: help low-income medical marijuana patients. Give small businesses an advantage. Pressure companies to do more for people with pot convictions.” The Boston Globe
Today in cannabis science news… Almost two-thirds of medical marijuana patients in Minnesota use it to treat chronic pain. 64 percent of them who were on opioids were able to reduce or stop them. Park Rapids Enterprise Could medical marijuana solve the opioids crisis? No, but it can be part of the solution. Scientific American Researchers in Colorado are recruiting volunteers for an impaired driving study. The Denver Channel
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Wine vs. weed in Santa Ynez Valley. A new wave of outdoor cannabis growers in Santa Barbara County, Calif. created tensions with existing vintners in the area. The wineries complained of marijuana smells and the “blinding glare” of the hoop houses used by cannabis growers. The vintners tried to argue that the county’s hoop house exemptions shouldn’t apply to cannabis cultivators. But the planning commission eventually rejected the proposal. “As for alleged odor issues, [a cannabis grower] noted that her immediate neighbor grows broccoli, which she contended, ‘smelled like a big fart.'” Santa Barbara Independent
Native American tribes embrace cannabis. Casinos transformed the economic lives of Indians in the past 50 years. Now, the cannabis industry could do the same. Reservations still struggle with high rates of unemployment as tribal leaders consider marijuana as a new revenue stream. “Behind these discussions were coded questions, old and new: How best to provide for a people in the absence of industry and opportunity? How to use tribal sovereignty to the best possible effect? Did tribes really want to invest in another ‘lifestyle economy’ like tobacco shops, casinos and tourism?” The Guardian
Today in cannabis business news… The marijuana industry is the fastest-growing job market in the country, creating 64,389 jobs in 2018. CNBC North American cannabis companies have raised nearly $3.3 billion this year, far outpacing funding levels in 2018. Marijuana Business News A San Diego-based cannabis company bought a Colorado brewery, which had the “only federally-approved formula for brewing beer with CBD.” Westword Federal prohibition makes it difficult for cannabis companies to invest in sustainable energy. Fast Company A look at which states have the cheapest cannabis. Leafly
Cannabis in Canada. A Vancouver hospitality company is under fire for naming its chain of cannabis dispensaries “Hobo Recreational Cannabis Stores.” Critics say using a term associated with homeless people is offensive. The company, which operates pubs and bars in B.C. and Ontario, said it was meant to evoke the “wanderlust” of traveling workers of the 1920s. “The fact that he doesn’t consider it to have a negative connotation is a blatant example of his privilege,” said one social worker. Vice Some moms want to change the stigma of cannabis and say that using it makes them better parents. AFP Nearly 100 organizations are hoping to sell cannabis in rural Manitoba. CTV News
Headline of the day. “Artist carves out plan for big wooden bong for the town of Woodenbong.” ABC News
Word on the States
- In Arkansas, the legislature unanimously passed a bill to significantly reform civil asset forfeiture.
- In New Mexico, the House-approved legalization bill doesn’t have enough votes to pass a Senate committee.
- In Maine, a bill would force insurance companies to cover medical marijuana.
- In Washington, a bill would allow parents to give students medical marijuana on school grounds.
- In Massachusetts, the governor urged lawmakers to pass a stoned driving bill.
- In Alaska, Fairbanks mayors disagree on whether to allow on-site marijuana use.
- In Kansas, a family fights for legislation to allow parents to bring cannabis oil from Colorado.
- In Missouri, about 1,800 showed up for the state’s first medical cannabis trade show.
- In Michigan, a marijuana social club closes amid small-town controversy, but its co-founders expect it to re-open in two weeks.
- In Oklahoma, the governor signed medical marijuana rules into law.
- In Idaho, a House committee advanced a hemp legalization bill.
- In New York, county leaders are lining up to opt out of marijuana sales.
Word for Word
“Maybe this is why Gregory and Marcia Abbott allegedly bought their daughter’s way into college. Their ‘rapper’ son, Malcolm, popped out of the family’s Fifth Avenue building to smoke a giant blunt — while defending his parents and bragging about his latest CD.” – David McGlynn and Lia Eustachewich for The New York Post