Colorado Adult-Use Cannabis Dispensaries Reopen For In-Store Purchases

Colorado regulators have now decided that the state’s recreational marijuana dispensaries can reopen, following a previous order that limited the retailers to curbside pickup. The executive order for nonessential businesses to close was originally issued by Gov. Jared Polis on March 22 in an attempt to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the globe.

Under that order, which also instructed the state’s residents to stay at home unless necessary, licensed medical marijuana dispensaries were deemed to be essential services and permitted to stay open. Recreational marijuana shops were not covered by the order and were instead told to switch to drive-through sales or curbside pickup on March 24. On March 20, Polis approved temporary rules to allow dispensaries to take online orders and deliver orders to customers at curbside, both of which had been previously prohibited.

But on Monday, a bulletin was issued by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) indicating that recreational cannabis shops would be permitted to conduct sales on site once again.

“Licensees are no longer prohibited from allowing Retail customers on the Licensed Premises, but are required to implement Social Distancing Requirements pursuant to state and local orders,” reads the memo

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Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Will Not Happen in New York This Year

New Yorkers will likely have to wait another year before getting legal weed. The state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, said Tuesday that legalization for recreational marijuana use will not be included in this year’s budget deal. 

“Not likely,” the Democrat said at a press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic. “Too much, too little time.” Cuomo had included a plan for legalization in his budget proposal. The deadline for the budget is Tuesday, when the state’s fiscal year ends. Cuomo said last month that he doubted legalization could get done outside the budget.

The news marks another disappointment for the legalization effort in the Empire State. In his annual State of the State address in January, Cuomo called for an end to the state’s prohibition on pot. “New York at her best is the progressive capital of the nation, and we must fulfill that destiny again this year,” he said at the time. 

A Long Road To Legal Pot

It was a renewal of a failed effort from the year before, when Cuomo had called for a coordinated cross-state legalization policy with Connecticut. He and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont held a summit last fall, where Cuomo said they were “serious in this

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A Tale of Two Crises (Down and Out on the Downtown Eastside)

CANNABIS CULTURE – How the Cannabis Substitution Project adapts to serve Canada’s most notorious neighbourhood during COVID-19.

The following is a front-line report from CSP Director & Cannabis Culture advocate Neil Magnuson:

These are extraordinary circumstances for sure, with the measures being taken to address the spread of the latest version of the Corona virus, there is an eeriness and a very noticeable dampening of spirits on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. There are still a fair number of people on the sidewalks, unlike most other areas of the city. There are groups of people up and down Hastings St. in the usual spots, some people are closer than recommended but there is also more “spacing” than normal. Almost all businesses are closed, it’s really hard to find a washroom, there are alot fewer cars on the road and a lot fewer services available. These are strange times to be down and out in the Downtown EastSide. The authorities have installed several portable hand washing stations but the supplies are quickly stolen and the stations vandalized. The last few days there have been fire trucks driving up and down Hastings st. announcing the protocols over their speakers. So far

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Oregon Cannabis and Coronavirus: The New Rules

On March 23, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Executive Order No. 20-12 (the “Order”), which mandates that Oregonians stay home and observe social distancing and community mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The Order, in part, expressly prohibits the operation of certain non-essential businesses, such as amusement parks, barber shops and gyms. The Order, however, does not mention cannabis businesses, such as retailers, processors, producers, and wholesalers. This means that these cannabis businesses are authorized to remain open so long as they “designate an employee or officer to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority [“OHA”].”

OHA GUIDANCE

Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) Guidelines, the OHA released guidance to which Oregon employers must adhere to continue their business activities.

In addition to encouraging staff to telework when feasible and implementing social distancing measures, such as increasing physical space between workers at the worksite and staggering work schedules, cannabis employers must:

Be familiar with the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and know what to do if staff becomes symptomatic at the worksite. Develop workplace plans to account for liberal leave and telework policies, when feasible.

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Majority Of Americans Agree: Pot Shops Are Essential

A new poll shows that a majority of Americans believe that cannabis dispensaries should be considered essential services that are allowed to remain open during lockdowns ordered to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The online poll, conducted by YouGov on March 25, found that 53% of U.S. adults believe that cannabis dispensaries should be considered essential services.

The poll asked 5,369 U.S. adults one question: “Do you believe medical marijuana dispensaries should or should not be considered essential services?” In addition to the 53% who said that medical marijuana dispensaries should be considered essential, 26% said that the businesses should not be and 21% said that they didn’t know.

With jurisdictions around the globe enacting stay-at-home orders to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, cannabis activists in several locales have argued that dispensaries provide legitimate health care services that should be permitted to remain open, just like pharmacies and doctor’s offices. On Wednesday, Steph Sherer, the founder and president of Americans for Safe Access, noted in a press release that “18 states have now declared cannabis businesses essential.” 

Breaking Down The Demographics

Regionally, the YouGov poll showed the strongest support for keeping medical marijuana retailers open in

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New Software Ensures Cannabis Advertising Complies With Regulations

Cannabis technology platform Fyllo announced on Monday that it is launching a new software tool that helps companies ensure that advertising and other creative content is compliant with applicable regulations. The new tool, known as Compass, allows brands in the cannabis industry to quickly verify compliance using Fyllo’s proprietary Compliance Recognition Technology.

With Compass, brands can drag and drop any digital asset such as advertisements, social media posts, and website content for analysis. The tool then uses advanced artificial intelligence, image recognition, and language processing to analyze text and imagery to detect non-compliant content.

Legal cannabis companies operate in one of the most tightly regulated industries in the world, rife with rules governing issues such as labeling, advertising, and claims of medical benefits that can vary by country, state, or even municipality. This lack of consistency from jurisdiction to jurisdiction makes it difficult to produce compliant creative content, particularly for brands attempting to establish a footprint at the regional or national level.

“Building a successful cannabis business means having to deal with numerous regulatory hurdles and roadblocks,” said Chad Bronstein, the CEO and founder of Fyllo. “Each state government and local municipality has its own stringent rules on advertising, which

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The Best Weed Reads To Build Your Cannabis Library

As we mentally prepare for a full month of COVID-19 quarantine ahead, cannabis and books are two go-to saviors (best enjoyed together) from social media screen time and the barrage of bad news. Whether you’re an industry insider reeling from conference cancellations, an entrepreneur looking to get into the business, or just want to learn more about legalization, I’ve curated a coronavirus cannabis reading list from my own library to help tackle tough times. From two classics authored by pioneering activists to an Emily Post Institute-approved guide on marijuana manners, these ten texts will take a casual cannabis consumer to an expert-level enthusiast.

Note: Books are listed alphabetically, not ranked. Now stay home and stay high.

– Read the entire article at Forbes.

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People Are Still Using Cannabis During the Pandemic. How Are They Getting It?

“We’re considered an ‘essential service,’” one dealer told BuzzFeed News. “Which is a mixed blessing because I have to pay for my divorce and rent but I’m immunocompromised.”

What better way to deal with a global, economy-shattering, life-altering, seemingly endless pandemic than tucking in at home (as the government has asked you to do for a few weeks now), watching something soothing (may I recommend Tiger King?), and rolling a joint, using some CBD drops, eating an edible, or whatever else is your preferred method of cannabis relaxation? But, of course, it’s not clear how much access to cannabis we’ll have as the shutdown goes on.

In response to a BuzzFeed News callout, hundreds of people across the country and in Canada told us how they were getting their cannabis products, how supply has changed, how their dealers have changed the process of buying, and whether they’re worried about future supply as the quarantine goes on. We also received a number of replies from dealers in different cities who either are ramping up sales due to high demand or have stopped selling entirely because they can’t do so safely. (In fact, thanks to me tweeting repeatedly about this story and

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U.S. Charges Venezuelan President With Cocaine Trafficking

The U.S. Justice Department charged Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and several other government officials of drug trafficking last week, accusing them of conspiring with Colombian insurgents to smuggle tons of cocaine to the United States. The charges were announced by U.S. Attorney General William Barr at a video press conference in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

Maduro and the current and former government officials were indicted on charges of conspiring with the Colombian leftist rebel group FARC to use Venezuela as a base for conducting drug trafficking operations that sent cocaine to the U.S. through Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The FARC rebels then used proceeds from the drug smuggling to finance its civil war with the Colombian government.

The officials indicted more than a dozen other defendants along with Maduro. They include Diosdado Cabello, a former president of the National Assembly and the second-most powerful politician in Venezuela; Hugo Carvajal, a former director of military intelligence who is believed to be on the run in Spain; and Clíver Antonio Alcalá, a former general in the Venezuelan armed forces. Two senior FARC leaders were also charged. All of the defendants face charges of drug trafficking, narco-terrorism, and weapons violations.

“Maduro

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