Governor of Colorado Signs Public Cannabis Consumption Bill

On Wednesday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill legalizing and regulating public cannabis consumption. Colorado cannabis advocates have been fighting for legalized public and social use since 2013. But their latest and most expansive attempt, House Bill 1230, finally broke through the Colorado Legislature this year. While establishing regulations for retail shops to set up consumption lounges, the bill also clears the air for mobile and temporary licenses, which advocates say will help spark more creativity, innovation and, they hope, equity in the cannabis industry.

The new law won’t take effect until the beginning of 2020. But municipal governments can pass resolutions to opt in ahead of time if they wish. Of course, as with dispensaries and retail shops, Colorado towns can also opt out and ban public and social consumption licenses.

Public, Social Cannabis Consumption Green-Lighted in Colorado

The landscape of retail cannabis in Colorado is about to change dramatically. Previously the province of underground cannabis clubs, social consumption venues like marijuana cafes, lounges, tasting rooms, tour buses, limousine services, and more now have the official green light from the governor’s office.

In fact, House Bill 1230, which Gov. Polis signed into law this week, establishes regulations for

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Illinois Senate Approves Adult-Use Marijuana Legalization Bill

Illinois cannabis advocates have been eagerly awaiting a recreational regulation bill forecasted by the governor and last night, they got the forward movement they craved. On Wednesday, the state’s Senate passed a bill legalizing a regulated cannabis industry, along with consumption, possession, and sale for residents 21 years and older.

The plan, which will now go to the House for approval, was part of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s campaign promises. At the start of the month, the politician told the press that he was deep into negotiations with other policy makers about the form that legalization would assume.

Unsurprisingly, Pritzker seemed thrilled to see the momentum gaining for his marijuana master plan. “Illinois is poised to become the first state in the nation that put equity and criminal justice reform at the heart of its approach to legalizing cannabis, and I’m grateful that the Senate has taken this important step with a bipartisan vote,” he tweeted after news went out of the senators’ affirmative decision.

Text of the bill contains instructions for a social equity program that will prioritize industry leadership by people from communities that have been negatively impacted by the War on Drugs. The bill also features language prioritizing

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Illinois Inches Towards Recreational Marijuana Legalization

While efforts to legalize marijuana in Northeast legislatures have been mostly stymied this spring, Illinois is moving full speed ahead.

On May 30, the state Senate voted 38-17 in favor of SB 2275, the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. It now goes to the House as HB 1438. Gov. J.B. Pritzger says he’ll sign it.

This would be landmark legislation in a number of ways: Illinois would be the first state to legalize recreational marijuana legislatively (30 grams in this case) and create a commercial market at the same time (Vermont did the former last year). It would also expunge more than 750,000 cannabis-related cases, including all convictions for possession of less than 30 grams, and create a social equity program for people most directly impacted by the War on Drugs.

ILLINOIS GOV. J.B. PRITZKER: “Illinois is poised to become the first state in the nation that put equity and criminal justice reform at the heart of its approach to legalizing cannabis.”

Home growing (five plants) would only be allowed for medical patients. The tax structure is 10% on flower, 20% on edibles and 25% on concentrates, as well as state and local sales taxes, adding up

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Illinois Senate Approves Bill to Legalize Marijuana

Legislation to legalize marijuana for everyone 21 and older has been passed in an overwhelming vote by the Illinois Senate.

The Illinois Senate voted Wednesday to pass the bill, sending it to the House for consideration with just a couple days left in the legislative session. The vote was 38 to 17, with just two Republicans voting in favor, reports the Associated Press.

“This bill is going to set the model, I believe, the gold standard for how to approach social equity issues, relating (to) cannabis legalization,” Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, the bill’s chief sponsor, said in her closing statement on the Senate floor.

The action Wednesday came just hours after a new, revised version of the bill was made public, and it is substantially different from the one Steans introduced on May 3, a proposal that sparked strong resistance from law enforcement, business groups and some local governments.

Like the original draft, the new bill, an amended version of House Bill 1438, provides that starting Jan. 1, 2020, Illinois residents could possess up to 30 grams, or roughly one ounce, of marijuana flower, 5 grams of THC concentrate and 5 grams of THC in a marijuana-infused product.

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Canada’s Largest Outdoor Cannabis Farm Ready for Growth

After receiving the greenlight from Health Canada, preparations are underway in southern Ontario for what will soon be Canada’s largest legal outdoor cannabis farm.

Located on 100 acres of land in Brant County, just west of Hamilton, Ont., 48North’s farm is about to be home to 250,000 marijuana plants.

The company already operates two indoor cannabis facilities in Ontario, in Kirkland Lake and Brantford, but the owners call this particular undertaking “unprecedented” in the country.

– Read the entire article at CTV News.

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Iowa Lawmakers Plan Attempt to Override Veto of Medical Marijuana Expansion

Two Democratic lawmakers in Iowa are calling for a special legislative session to override last week’s veto of a medical marijuana expansion bill by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds. On Friday, Reynolds vetoed a bill (House File 732) that would make more patients eligible to use medical cannabis products and increase the allowable THC dosage for therapeutic cannabis products. The bill was passed with bipartisan support in both the Iowa House of Representatives and Senate but was rejected by Reynolds last week.

On Tuesday, Sen. Joe Bolkcom and Rep. John Forbes, both Democrats, said they plan to ask for a special session of the legislature to override Reynolds’ veto.

“By doing that, we hope the governor will know that we are serious, and we really think that this legislation is necessary to enhance the lives of Iowans through better care,” Forbes said.

Special Session Unlikely

Forbes, who is a licensed pharmacist, said that expanding the state’s medical marijuana program would help Iowans with debilitating medical conditions including cancer, epilepsy, and chronic pain. Although the bill was passed by the House with a vote of 96 to 3 and succeeded in the Senate by a margin of 40 to 7, he doesn’t

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Study Links Medical Cannabis Legalization to Lower Opioid Prescription Rates

After two decades of going all-in on opioids, the medical community is now desperately searching for ways to de-escalate their use. What a powerful cabal of pharmaceutical manufacturers convinced doctors was a panacea to cure chronic pain and ease suffering has revealed itself to be the agent of a suffering of another sort: the nationwide devastation and death wrought by an opioid epidemic that killed 47,600 people in the US in 2017 alone.

And so the medical community is on a quest for alternatives, and cannabis continues to demonstrate its potential to be one. In fact, according to an important new study just out in Preventive Medicine, medical marijuana legalization is already helping to reduce opioid prescription rates. And that’s even without the wider medical community accepting it as a non-opioid painkiller alternative. In other words, researchers in Texas found, making medical cannabis legal seems to lower the number of patients prescribed opioids.

Researchers Find Significant Interactions Between Age, Cannabis Laws and Opioid Prescriptions

A just-published study, titled “Association between cannabis laws and opioid prescriptions among privately insured adults in the US,” analyzed how different cannabis laws influenced the rate of opioid prescriptions among adults from different age groups in

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No Documented Canadian Cases of Cannabis Laced With Opioids: Ontario Harm Reduction Network

Despite the discovery of a “product resembling cannabis” that was actually carfentanil, there are no documented cases of opioids being found in marijuana in Canada, according to the Ontario Harm Reduction Network (OHRN).

Some public health organizations and police forces have issued the warnings after the substance — which, despite looking like cannabis from a distance, actually contains no marijuana — was discovered in southern Ontario.

However, Thunder Bay Drug Strategy coodinator Cynthia Olsen said the OHRN has issued a statement about the substance out of concern that the warnings are giving the impression that cannabis containing opioids has been found in Canada.

That has not been the case, Olsen said.

– Read the entire article at CBC News.

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Wisconsin Police Raid Rastafarian Church, Arrest Leaders For Distributing Cannabis

A showdown between a Wisconsin Rastafarian church and law enforcement over the church’s right to distribute marijuana to its congregants reached a climax on Wednesday morning. Dane County Narcotics Task Force raided Lion of Judah House of Rastafari, arrested its two founders, and detained several people on site.

“We are practicing religious freedom,” said Jerry Sersch, one of the church’s maintenance workers who was present for the 8:30 a.m. raid. Sersch and his father Byron reported that police shone lasers in their faces with their weapons drawn, and that they were put into separate squad cars while officers shattered church windows and confiscated herb that the place of worship uses in its rites. “I thought I was going to get shot,” Jerry continued, as reported by the Wisconsin State Journal.

A neighbor told the Cap Times that some 30 officers were present for the raid.

“It’s just a church, man, [marijuana] is sacrament,” said the elder Sersch. “I don’t get it.”

Church co-founder Jesse Schworck was arrested in the raid, as was co-founder Dylan Paul Bangert when he arrived on the scene nearly three hours later.

The Lion of Judah House of Rastari opened its doors in March. Its website

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Cooking with Cannabidiol: Dosing Basics and Recipes

If you know how to cook with THC, then you can cook with cannabidiol (CBD). The two essential cannabinoids have a lot in common; after all, they come from the same plant—cannabis sativa.

If you’re cooking with a high-CBD whole-plant cannabis strain, the techniques are identical to a high-THC strain. But in many areas of the country, the only options people have is CBD isolates or distillates. No worries. Whether it’s concentrated CBD or a crystallized CBD isolate, you can still use it to cook with.

Decarboxylation, Temperature and CBD

The acidic form of CBD-A present in raw cannabis has many medicinal benefits. However, for the full CBD effect, you’ll want to decarboxylate (heat in oven) at least some of your cannabis, just as you would when extracting THC. CBD concentrates or isolates may be decarbed already (most are), so check the labels to see if this step is necessary.

Decarb high-CBD strains (defined as 90% or more of total cannabinoid content) for 15 minutes at 220°F in order to dry the plant material, and then another 60 minutes at 250°F for decarboxylation. Since oils and isolates don’t need to be dried, you can just decarb for 60 minutes at

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