New Jersey Lawmakers Will Soon Vote on Legalizing Recreational Weed

The timeline for legal weed in New Jersey may have just sped up. According to key policy makers in the state, legislative bodies may start voting on legalization bills as soon as next week.

Jumpstarting the Legislative Process

Talk of a new timeline for beginning the legislative process recently came from the office of New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney. According to news source Patch, Sweeney’s office issued a statement outlining a possible new timeline for voting on legalization.

In particular, committees from the New Jersey State Assembly and Senate will reportedly hold a hearing in the very near future. Then, if Sweeney’s new timeline unfolds according to plans, lawmakers would vote on a legalization bill on Monday, November 26.

But even if these plans materialize, more action will be needed before The Garden State fully legalizes weed. For example, the full Assembly would still need to vote. Similarly, the full state Senate would also need to weigh in with a vote of their own. And finally, assuming a bill passes all these milestones, Governor Phil Murphy would need to sign off on it.

So far, it’s unclear whether or not a legalization bill would receive all the votes it would need

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Massachusetts Officially Begins Recreational Cannabis Sales

Massachusetts residents queued for up to two hours today to buy cannabis on the first day of state legal sales. So far, local marijuana customers have two options; New England Treatment Access in Northampton and Cultivate in Leicester. At both locations, war veterans were the first historic customers to receive their cannabis.

Long waits on the curb echoed Massachusetts’ unexpectedly long process in opening the doors of the state’s retail locations a full two years after voters approved Question 4, which legalized cannabis for users of 21 years or older. Recreational sales had been projected to begin on July 1, but hit a series of roadblocks including a lack of testing labs and a desire to ensure proper supply. The state’s Cannabis Control Commission has now issued 20 provisional licenses, and was set to vote on two final retail licenses on Tuesday, so more cannabis shops should be opening within the next months.

Cannabis activist Stephen Mandile was the first to queue at the cash register of Cultivate, which received the state’s first retail permit this summer. Mandible, an Iraq War veteran from Uxbridge, Massachusetts, has been vocal in the struggle to ensure easy access to marijuana in his state.

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Devastating Woolsey Fire Impacts SoCal’s Cannabis Community

The power went out early in the morning on Friday, Nov.9. All communication to the outside world was crippled. Yvonne DeLaRosa Green and her husband Sam Boyer were still in their Malibu home. At this point, the Woolsey fire already singed multiple neighboring canyons. According to DeLaRosa Green (who was one of High Times’ top 100 most influential women in cannabis in 2018) the flames were still far enough away to stay in their home–or so she thought.

“We had no television, internet, or telephone,” says DeLaRosa Green. “So we had no idea that the fires had crossed from Oak Park into Malibu.”

Having the intuitive sense to look for an old landline, Boyer located a phone and plugged it into the wall. It instantly rang. Vanessa Rodriguez, the general manager of the 99 High Tide—a Malibu dispensary founded by Delarosa Green—was on the line.

“She was like ‘I can’t believe you guys are still there. You have to get out’,” says DeLaRosa Green, who was named  Industry Power Women‘s Business Woman of the Year in 2017. “I didn’t really understand. I was like ‘What do you mean? Isn’t [the fire] still far away?” And then she told us that our friend

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Joe Kennedy III Makes a Case for Federally Legalizing Marijuana

As legal sales of recreational cannabis began in his home state of Massachusetts, Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy III has called on the federal government to legalize marijuana. Kennedy made his case for an end to national cannabis prohibition in an op-ed published on Tuesday in the online health and life sciences magazine Stat.

Kennedy wrote in the editorial that Washington has failed in its duty to govern.

“Our federal government has ceded its responsibility — and authority — to thoughtfully regulate marijuana,” Kennedy said.

He noted that three more states passed cannabis legalization measures in this month’s midterm elections and that he believes it is time for the federal government to do the same.

“Given the rapid pace of state-level legalization and liberalization, I believe we must implement strong, clear, and fair federal guidelines,” Kennedy said. “To do that requires us to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and legalize it at the federal level.”

New Stance for Kennedy

Kennedy acknowledged that until now he has opposed the legalization of recreational marijuana.

“I’ve remained skeptical,” he said, and then went on to explain.

“My reluctance to embrace legalization stems primarily from one place: my ongoing work with the mental health and addiction

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Medical Marijuana Advocates Threaten Mormon Church with Lawsuit

Earlier this month, voters in Utah said yes to Proposition 2, which legalized medical marijuana. But despite the popular victory, Utah’s medical marijuana battle is far from over. Recently, state lawmakers scheduled a special legislative session aimed at replacing Proposition 2 with a “compromise bill.” Now, medical marijuana activists are threatening a lawsuit against state lawmakers and other powerful groups in the state.

Non-Spoliation Letter

On November 14, attorney Ross “Rocky” Anderson sent a “non-spoliation letter” to several key leaders in Utah. Among the recipients were several lawmakers and representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), commonly known as the Mormon Church.

The notice was sent on behalf of Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE) and The Epilepsy Association of Utah. Both were leading advocacy groups in support of Proposition 2.

The letter stated that the groups are now looking into a potential lawsuit. Additionally, it warned recipients against deleting, destroying, or damaging any records that could eventually become evidence if the lawsuit materializes.

The Mormon Church is at the heart of the possible lawsuit. More specifically, the degree to which the Mormon Church is influencing plans to overwrite Prop 2.

The LDS Church is

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Researchers Think That Hemp Could be an Additional Pollen Source for Bees

Good news for bee fans; hemp fields may hold a worst-case cache of nutrients for hungry colonies, according to a study done by a Colorado State etymology student. Last week, Colton O’Brien presented, in a gathering of etymological societies, his discovery of a total of 23 bee genera in traps that he set up in a hemp field in August. The preponderance of the winged critters that the student found among the hemp rows indicate that the crop could have unexpected ecological value — a nice bonus should current rumblings of hemp legalization result in a boom of the plant’s commercial production.

In some ways, hemp plants are a surprising draw for bee populations. The plant does not create nectar, and its pollen is typically spread by wind, not insects. O’Brien’s month-long study was conducted at a time of year in which few other plants are growing, which may explain in part the hemp’s popularity for hungry bees on the search for sustenance. In reporting the story, ScienceNews adds that the effects of hemp pollen on bee larvae is unknown.

But it’s possible that in hard times, hemp could be a good resource for struggling bee colonies. In the November 11

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Poll: 81% of Indiana Adults Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana

According to new polling, the vast majority of Indiana adults support legalizing medical marijuana.

The poll, conducted at Ball State University, found that 81% of adults in Indiana are in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. Only 16% are opposed to the move.

Earlier this year Indiana passed legislation legalizing the medical use of CBD oil. However, the extremely restrictive nature of the law has led to medical marijuana proponents to continue advocating for an expanded law that allows for the medical use of all marijuana, not just CBD oil, while expanding the list of conditions that qualify individuals to use the medicine. This new poll gives them quite a bit of ammo in their effort.

The poll shows that support for medical marijuana in Indiana is roughly the same as, or just slightly lower than, support nationwide: A HealthDay/Harris Poll released earlier this year found that 85% of Americans believe that marijuana “should be legalized for medical use”.

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Florida Brings Lawsuit Against CVS, Walgreens for Alleged Role in Opioid Crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced last week that she is suing retail pharmacies CVS and Walgreens for their alleged role in the nationwide opioid crisis. The two companies have been added to a lawsuit filed by the state in May against Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, and several pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors.

Bondi said in a press release on Friday that she will hold accountable firms that profit from the country’s ongoing epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths caused by opioid painkillers.

“We will continue to pursue those companies that played a role in creating the opioid crisis,” Bondi said. “Thousands of Floridians have suffered as a result of the actions of the defendants.”

In an amended complaint filed in the lawsuit, the attorney general’s office alleges that CVS and Walgreens were two of the largest distributors of opioids in the state and that the companies failed in their responsibility under Florida law to stop suspicious orders for the drugs. The suit also alleges that Walgreens and CVS dispensed unreasonable quantities of opioids from their pharmacies.

Billions of Pills Dispensed

According to the amended complaint, since 2006 Walgreens has dispensed billions of opioid pills from its Florida pharmacies. At

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Canadian Chef Has High Hopes for Cannabis-infused Fine Dining

‘Cannabis and food do go together’: Travis Petersen says the appetite is growing.

The legal sale of edible cannabis is still a year off but a Canadian travelling chef is discovering a definite appetite for it at his private parties and events.

Travis Petersen, the chef and owner at The Nomad Cook, a Vancouver company that hosts pop-up dinners, has started catering events serving cannabis-infused dishes.

“Cannabis and food do go together. Some people may not understand it, but don’t knock it till you try it,” he said at a dinner earlier this month where he served a five-course meal to Edmonton customers.

– Read the entire article at CBC News.

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Cannabis in a Can: Whitby Brewery to Infuse Pot Into Its Pints

The team at a Whitby, Ont., brewing company is in high spirits, as they’re hopeful a new joint venture will bring in big business.

Brock St. Brewing Company has partnered with Province Brands to produce a new kind of beer, a brew that may get you high, which the head of the company says will hit the market once edibles become legal in Ontario.

The brewery has signed a licensing agreement with Province Brands, which touts itself as the developer of the world’s first beers brewed from the cannabis plant, so that it can produce a new line of products.

– Read the entire article at Global News.

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