A Massachusetts couple is fighting their eviction over medical marijuana smoking. Ohio’s AG said the state will pay for lab testing to help distinguish marijuana from hemp for local prosecutors. Nearly half of Canadian employers still have zero-tolerance policies for marijuana. Also: A Portland commissioner questions parents complaining about a planned dispensary near a kindergarten. 🌳
Massachusetts couple evicted over medical marijuana.
A couple in Agawam, Mass. is fighting their eviction from an apartment complex over medical marijuana smoking. Francine and Timothy Weinandy’s eviction notice stated that being a medical marijuana patient “does not negate the no smoking policy.” They admitted to smoking out of a pipe on their patio but said that they generally vape. While the state has protections for medical marijuana patients in its anti-discrimination laws, landlords are allowed to ban smoking in their properties. Weinandy plans to argue “that because [they] are disabled, the law requires some accommodation, and they should not be evicted for a first-time infraction.” Mass Live
Ohio AG says marijuana is still illegal.
Ohio attorney general Dave Yost said that the legislature did not accidentally decriminalize cannabis by legalizing hemp. While the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation hopes to have a test to differentiate between marijuana and hemp by the end of the year, Yost said his office would reimburse local agencies for the cost of private lab testing of suspected marijuana. WOSU The state plans to have three new machines to test marijuana that cost $50,000 apiece. Meanwhile, Yost’s office has set aside another $50,000 to help local agencies with testing. cleveland.com Related: Law enforcement agencies are suspending marijuana-detection training for police dogs because they cannot differentiate between marijuana and hemp. The Columbus Dispatch
Hemp-marijuana confusion continues to spread.
A prosecutor in Pennington County, S.D. declined to charge a store owner after police raided her business and seized CBD products. Carol Pugh, who owns a health-food store, maintains that she did nothing wrong and thought that the products didn’t contain any THC. The state’s attorney said that it would be hard to prove that Pugh knowingly distributed THC. Rapid City Journal County attorneys in Nebraska are adopting different marijuana policies in the wake of a hemp legalization law. Governor Pete Ricketts says marijuana enforcement decisions come down to local prosecutors. KETV Cobb County, Ga. is also suspending marijuana prosecutions thanks to the state’s new hemp law. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Hope for legalization in New Jersey.
State Senate president Steve Sweeney said that the push to legalize marijuana is alive and well — even if it doesn’t happen through the legislature. He said that the legalization bill was two votes short and that the 5-lb possession limit was a sticking point for lawmakers. “We’re looking at possibly addressing that in a different piece of legislation,” said Sweeney. Here, he talks about the possibility of restricting marijuana edibles and why he’s opposed to home cultivation. Asbury Park Press
ABA calls for marijuana reform.
The American Bar Association approved a resolution recommending that Congress reform federal marijuana laws and allow states to set their own cannabis policies. While it didn’t adopt a position on marijuana legalization, the measure calls for ending the federal-state conflict that has led to problems for the state-legal industry (like a lack of access to financial services). The ABA is pushing for an exemption for state-legal marijuana under the CSA, rescheduling or descheduling marijuana, and encouraging more scientific research. Marijuana Moment
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New Mexico considers marijuana legalization.
New Mexico is taking another step towards legalizing marijuana today, holding a public hearing on the issue. The state is considering the possibility of state-run cannabis retailers — a provision that complicated the passage of a legalization bill last session. Proponents for state-run stores argue that they would “prevent high-density areas of cannabis retail or ‘clustering,’ allow independent cannabis producers in rural areas a chance to succeed by curbing corporate monopolies, and ensure consistency in the rollout of new cannabis regulations.” Cannabis Wire
Sherbinskis partners with veterans org.
Mario Guzman, the founder of cannabis brand Sherbinskis, is partnering with non-profit No Vet Alone to raise awareness for the benefits of cannabis. Guzman’s brother served in the military and found relief for his PTSD with cannabis. “Their work is beyond crucial to combating both veteran suicide and the opioid epidemic. Cannabis saved my brother’s life and we have the power to save more lives together,” said Guzman. Billboard
A Portland commissioner lectured a griping parent.
In response to an email expressing concern that a cannabis dispensary is opening next to his daughter’s kindergarten, Portland city commissioner Amanda Fritz reiterated that the retailer’s plans are legal. “Do you avoid taking your children to restaurants where alcohol is served?” wrote Fritz in her reply. “Why do you consider cannabis more harmful than alcohol?” Parents are expressing opposition to a planned dispensary near a preschool and kindergarten. “State law doesn’t prevent cannabis businesses from operating next to day cares and preschools. Parents would need to lobby state lawmakers for a bill—or seek tighter city regulations.” Willamette Week
Today in cannabis business news…
Cannabis dispensaries are eyeing pricey real estate on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The Chicago Tribune Medical marijuana markets are expanding rapidly, with Oklahoma and Florida leading the way. Marijuana Business Daily Canadian cannabis producer Tilray and U.S. multi-state operator Acreage reported mixed Q2 earnings. Cannabis Wire / Newsletter MedMen’s stock rose 6 percent on the news that its cannabis sales are on track. Barron’s Cresco plans to open 50 marijuana retail outlets across 11 U.S. states in an aggressive expansion plan. Chain Store Age Clio and High Times are teaming up to launch a cannabis marketing competition. Marijuana Business Daily
Cannabis in Canada.
Employers in Canada are still struggling with the country’s legal marijuana laws. Nearly half of employers have adopted a zero-tolerance policy on marijuana use after legalization, according to a new study. “A zero-tolerance policy would not hold up legally in non-safety-sensitive workplaces — this is based mainly on legal precedence and not on legislation,” explained the study’s senior researcher. Organizations seem to be less concerned with cannabis use as time goes on. Calgary Herald New Brunswick’s cannabis Crown corporation Cannabis NB lost nearly $12 million during its first six months of operation. A spokesperson blamed unlicensed marijuana sellers for its financial difficulties. Leafly
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Word on the States
- In Pennsylvania, the Lehigh County D.A. appealed a ruling that found that the smell of marijuana doesn’t justify a vehicle search.
- In Nevada, marijuana businesses with dormant licenses are losing millions as a licensing hearing trudges on.
- In Illinois, lawsuits allege that botched police raids in Chicago traumatized children. Adams County considers opting in to recreational marijuana.
- In Maine, how Auburn is using technology to optimize marijuana licensing decisions.
- In Michigan, medical marijuana patients are experiencing a drought.
- In New Mexico, state and local officials toured medical marijuana dispensaries as they consider recreational legalization.
- In California, Siskiyou County is calling on the state to declare a state of emergency over the number of illegal cannabis grows.
- In Alabama, the medical marijuana commission held its first meeting.
- In Georgia, Augusta commissioners voted to reduce marijuana penalties.
- In New York, Staten Island’s first medical marijuana dispensary is set to open this fall in New Dorp.
- In Guam, budget cuts are hampering efforts to regulate marijuana.
Word for Word
“I think we need to be a little careful in only focusing on THC milligrams. There are so many other things that come into play when you’re eating cannabis-infused foods. Because it’s fat-soluble, if you’re eating a dish that’s fatty, it’s going to be stronger. What you’ve already eaten that day, how your mind feels going into it, what kind of situation you’re in, if you feel comfortable, your body weight and chemistry — that all makes a difference. It’s much more complicated than just saying, ‘I’m serving you 10 milligrams of THC.'” – Author and journalist Robyn Griggs Lawrence, Westword
“This appetite for harsh punishment has echoed across the decades. Late in the 20th century, amid protests over civil rights and inequality, a new politics of fear and anger would emerge. Nixon’s war on drugs, mandatory minimum sentences, three-strikes laws, children tried as adults, ‘broken windows’ policing — these policies were not as expressly racialized as the Black Codes, but their implementation has been essentially the same. It is black and brown people who are disproportionately targeted, stopped, suspected, incarcerated and shot by the police.” – Executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson for The New York Times Magazine