The Latest Trend in Cannabis: ‘Hauter’ Cuisine

Microdosing and terpene-pairing are about to give a whole new meaning to the high in ‘haute cuisine’.

The first time 30-year-old Sarah Best saw a Levo—a slender countertop appliance that could easily pass as a Nespresso machine—she knew it was the answer to her prayers. It was January 2019, and Best was at Love Child Social House, a co-working and event space in Toronto, for a demonstration on cooking with cannabis.

The Levo machine seemed pretty simple to use. It contained a reservoir that held a few cups of fat—olive oil, butter or coconut oil, for example—and a pod to hold the dried “herb” of one’s choice. Pop the herb pod into the oil, set the temperature and timer, and walk away. After a few hours, herb-infused oil is dispensed for use in cooking, baking or garnishing dishes.

– Read the entire article at Maclean’s.

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South Dakota Voters Will See Medical Marijuana Question on 2020 Ballot

Voters in South Dakota will have another opportunity to legalize medical marijuana in 2020. 

The group spearheading the effort, New Approach South Dakota, announced Thursday that Secretary of State Steve Barnett that the petition to get the referendum on next year’s ballot had been ratified. 

“There are no words that any of us could say right now to put the feelings we have into perspective,” the group said in a Facebook post. “Thank you all for the support, for signing our petitions, for registering to vote and for sticking with us. We did it together & we are so grateful for all of you. Let’s push for a strong united campaign to pass this much needed law for the people of SD.” 

The group needed 16,961 valid signatures in order for the measure to qualify for the ballot. Barnett said Thursday that 25,524 signatures, or 75 percent, were deemed valid. It will appear on next year’s ballot as Initiated Measure 26. 

Supporters of the measure will look to redeem themselves after previous failures to legalize medical marijuana in the state. There was an effort to get a measure on the 2016 ballot, but organizers failed to round up the requisite

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California Cannabis Dispensaries May Start Verifying Licenses With QR Codes

California regulators announced the launch of a new program on Thursday that will allow consumers to verify that they are visiting a licensed dispensary by scanning a QR code with their cell phones. Officials with the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) say the program will support licensed businesses and are urging consumers to look for the QR codes while they are shopping to ensure that the products they are buying comply with state regulatory standards.

“We believe licensed retailers will benefit from a recognizable emblem distinguishing them as a licensed business in the community,” said BCC Chief Lori Ajax in a press release. “We also want to provide consumers with the best information possible so they can determine which licensed California cannabis retailers carry products that are tracked, tested, and legal.”

The BCC said that the new QR code verification system should help the efforts to combat California’s unregulated cannabis market. Without the taxes, fees, and other costs that must be paid by licensed businesses, illicit market operators are able to offer lower prices and continue to thrive.

“The importance of a QR code identification system for licensees is underscored by the fact that many consumers have difficulty telling

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New Zealand’s Euthanasia and Cannabis Referendums Will Rightly Give Power to the People

Some politicians may fret about the consequence of a public vote on these two issues, but with an increasing suspicion of elites, it’s the best way forward.

New Zealanders will take part in a world-leading double referendum next year when they vote in the country’s general election. In addition to electing a new government, one referendum question will ask about the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use, and the other will ask whether euthanasia should be legalised in certain circumstances.

It’s going to be messy, emotional, and polarised. There’s already a lot of anxiety and negativity about the referendums across the political spectrum. Much of this is influenced by the ongoing fallout from the Brexit referendum, as well as a general fear of conservative populism.

– Read the entire article at The Guardian.

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Trump Administration May Start Denying Asylum Over Misdemeanor Marijuana Offenses

The Trump administration says it will begin denying asylum to migrant people with misdemeanor marijuana offenses in the United States. The new rule will likely take effect in 30 days. The move comes as part of a larger effort by the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to narrow eligibility among migrants with misdemeanor convictions. Asylum requests would also be denied for anyone accused of domestic violence, according to a draft version of the rule published Thursday.

Marijuana Could Join Murder, Rape and Domestic Violence as Reasons to Deny Asylum

The Trump administration already prevents most Central American immigrants from seeking asylum in the United States. Under a rule approved by the Supreme Court back in September, anyone who passes through another country on their way to the United States without seeking asylum there is automatically denied asylum in the U.S.

Yet the White House is seeking to restrict asylum eligibility further with a new set of rules related to misdemeanor convictions. One of those rules would deny asylum to anyone convicted “for possession or trafficking of a controlled substance,” according to the DOJ notice. Under federal law, cannabis containing more than 0.3 percent THC is considered a Schedule

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Rhode Island State Senators Voice Disapproval of Potential Marijuana Legalization

For years, Rhode Island’s state legislature has seemed to be on the brink of legalizing recreational cannabis. The state’s Governor Gina Raimondo announced at the beginning of the year her plans to aide legalization and was thwarted in the attempt. Now, an end of year roadblock has emerged. In a Tuesday interview, Rhode Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio said they won’t be throwing their support behind any plans to regulate adult use cannabis in 2020. 

“I supported medical marijuana, and I’m disappointed over how it has been handled,” said Ruggerio in an interview with the Boston Globe. 

The politician cited legalization’s effects on neighboring state Massachusetts, in particular what he sees as increased rates of car accidents from impaired driving. 

A report examining traffic fatalities in Massachusetts between the years 2013 to 2017 found that marijuana was involved in 31 percent of accidents that caused a death. 

“Massachusetts is starting to realize the side effects of it, and insurance rates are going up,” said Rhode Island Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey in the same article. 

Their comments mark the latest chapter in an ongoing battle between the second term governor and the state’s general assembly over the future of

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Newly Released CDC Report Shows How Many Americans Admit to Driving Stoned

Millions of Americans are getting high, and then getting behind the wheel.

That’s just one of the findings detailed Thursday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which showed that 12 million American adults said that they had driven under the influence of marijuana in 2018. 

The report also showed that more than two million said they had driven under the influence of drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine.

Those findings may underscore the growing prevalence of pot and illicit drugs, but the report also found that driving under the influence of alcohol remains far more common. Eight percent of drivers said they had a drink before driving in 2018, according to the CDC. For comparison, the CDC’s findings break down to 4.7 percent of Americans who drove after using marijuana, while less than one percent said they drove under the influence of illicit drugs.

The CDC said that an estimated 10,511 alcohol-impaired driving deaths occurred in 2018. 

The findings on driving under the influence of pot dovetail with a report released by AAA this past summer. 

The AAA report found that almost 70 percent of Americans believe it is unlikely for a driver

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A Tiny African Kingdom Wants to Export Its Cannabis to the World

Marijuana has been cultivated in Lesotho for centuries. Now it’s a critical piece of the government’s agricultural strategy.

Kekeletso Lekaota spends her work days nurturing rows of cannabis plants for harvest. Pruning a few yellowed leaves from stems with thick, flowering heads, she says the job requires a soft touch and delicate hands.

It’s a crop Lekaota had no experience with 18 months ago, when she saw an advertisement for a grower in her local newspaper. Now, the 27-year-old trains others how to cultivate the plants for MG Health Ltd., a supplier of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products, at a farm and oil extraction facility in Lesotho, the tiny, mountainous kingdom bordered on all sides by South Africa.

– Read the entire article at News.

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Legal Cannabis Retailers Worry Low-THC Edibles Will Send Customers to Black Market

Products will show up on shelves in Newfoundland and Labrador stores in the coming days.

Local cannabis retailers do expect to attract new customers as a result of edibles becoming legal across Canada, but they are not convinced the product will help them compete with the black market.

As of Tuesday, Dec. 17, it is legal to sell cannabis-infused edible goods such as candies, chocolates, tea bags, powders and beverages, among other goods. Cannabis NL, the arm of the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation tasked with controlling the sale of cannabis related goods in the province, reported on its website that a limited number of items are available now through retailers and ShopCannabisNL.com, with additional products to come in the weeks and months ahead.

– Read the entire article at The Chronicle Herald.

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Man Caught Traveling With 80 Pounds of Weed Disguised as Christmas Presents

Cannabis culture includes a long, rich, and often times very interesting history of smuggling. And in many cases, these stories involve all sorts of creative methods for sneaking weed where it is not allowed.

Looks like this history has another incident to add to the books. This time, a man attempting to fly out of Nashville International Airport was caught with weed wrapped up to look like Christmas gifts.

Busted With Fake Presents

According to the Associated Press, the man who was allegedly trying to sneak the weed through the airport is 57 year old Somphone Temmeraj.

The man in question had reportedly flown from Seattle, Washington to Nashville, Tennessee. It is not entirely clear if Temmeraj was staying in Nashville, or simply transferring to another flight.

But one way or another, officers in the airport saw Temmeraj load his three bags onto a cart. The only problem was that the bags apparently smelled very strongly of marijuana. So much so, in fact, that reports indicate that both police officers and their K-9 units smelled it.

When officers approached Temmeraj, the man voluntarily let the cops search his bags. Inside were what appeared a bunch of wrapped Christmas presents.

But

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