New York: Governor-Commissioned Report to Recommend Legalizing Marijuana

New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced this week that a forthcoming report conducted by his office will recommend that the state legalize marijuana.

The Health Department report will recommend that “a regulated, legal marijuana program be available to adults in the state”, Commissioner Zucker said at a recent press conference. “We looked at the pros, we looked at the cons, and when were done, we realized that the pros outweighed the cons. We have new facts.” The complete report is expected to be released in the near future, potentially as soon as next week.

The announcement from Commissioner Zucker comes just weeks after the New York City Comptroller’s office stated that they estimate New York would garner $434 million in annual tax revenue if the state legalized marijuana for adults.

The upcoming Health Department report was commissioned by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who hasnt publicly endorsed legalization.

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High Times Announces Acquisition of CULTURE Magazine

Fresh off the heels of the announcement that High Times is going public, the most iconic name in the cannabis space has another exciting development: High Times has officially acquired CULTURE Magazine.

From Southland Publishing, Inc., CULTURE quickly made a name in the cannabis industry as an authoritative source on developments about medical marijuana from its founding in 2009. Like High TimesCULTURE has a global following and is available both online and print, regularly publishing news, cannabis reviews, and exclusive interviews with artists and celebrities, including Ziggy Marley, Lizzy Jeff, and Lamar Odom. The magazine also highlights cannabis activists and advocates—the backbone of the legalization movement.

“We’re building a broad collection of different cannabis-related publications to offer to our many advertisers who are seeking the highly sought demographic of canna-users,” said High Times’ CEO Adam Levin on the acquisition. “CULTURE’s approach strongly complement High Times Magazine and other High Times media properties, events, and merchandise. CULTURE is a natural fit as we continue to expand.”

Southland Publishing vice president David Comden is also thrilled. “We’ve long admired High Times’ vital place at the heart of the industry, even as we went about creating our own distinctive voice on the culture, lifestyle, and business of cannabis,” he said. “Together, we’ll be even better positioned to bring

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JackPot! (What Canada can learn from Nevada’s Cannabis Windfall)

CANNABIS CULTURE-  This week, Canada’s Senate approved the Liberal government’s cannabis legalization bill.  While this legislative hurdle is clear, many are concerned that over-regulation and government monopolies have hijacked the natural order away from true cannabis liberty.  

Legal cannabis has worked, and is working in several jurisdictions worldwide. One of these places, Nevada, started with a rather rigid structure, and has since seen major windfalls from rolling back oppressive regulations.

Recreational cannabis legalization has turned out to be a great thing for Nevada since the legislation was passed in July of 2017. Legal sale of cannabis has had a number of positive effects for the state, many of which turned out to be surprising.
What has legalization done so far for Nevada, and what are its residents hoping it will do in the future?

Cannabis Businesses Finally in the Black

Medical cannabis has been available in the state of Nevada since 2000, but it was limited to individuals with a prescription, making it hard for dispensaries to turn a profit. That’s changed since recreational use was legalized. These businesses have seen a massive turn-around since legalization and are able to not only keep their doors open but also make a profit.

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Marijuana Milestone as Mass. Issues First Recreational Pot License

The recreational marijuana era is officially underway in Massachusetts.

Officials at the Cannabis Control Commission Thursday afternoon granted the state’s first-ever recreational marijuana license to a cultivation facility in Milford operated by Sira Naturals.

The unanimous decision by the agency’s five commissioners is a major milestone in the long process of implementing the state’s commercial marijuana market, which voters approved in a November 2016 ballot referendum. The license, however, is provisional, subject to conditions, including that the Milford facility pass inspections and the state completes background checks on Sira Naturals principals.

– Read the entire article at Boston Globe.

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Arkansas Supreme Court Clears Medical Marijuana Program Blockade

In a major ruling for Arkansas’ medical marijuana program, the state’s Supreme Court threw out a ruling that effectively blocked Arkansas’ five approved cultivators from receiving licenses. Today’s Supreme Court decision should put an end to months of legal challenges from the losing applicants who argued the licensing process was unfair. And patients are hoping it means that Arkansas’ program can finally launch.

Arkansas Supreme Court Dismisses a Prior Ruling That Found The State’s Application Process Unconstitutional

As recently as February, things were looking up for the nearly 5,500 registered medical marijuana patients in Arkansas. After nearly 18 months of failing to license any cultivators, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission announced it was rewarding five out of the nearly 100 applicants permits to start growing.

At the time, it seemed that medical cannabis products would be available in approved dispensaries as early as mid-summer. However, shortly after the successful applicants were announced, losing applicants launched a volley of legal challenges against Arkansas.

They argued that the commission had not reviewed applications fairly or accurately. They also claimed that it had awarded licenses to growers with connections to the licensing board.

Challenges like these are not uncommon. But in Arkansas, they faced

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Bill Introduced to Allow Marijuana in Public Housing in Legal States

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) has introduced a bill in Congress that would allow marijuana in public housing in states with legalized cannabis. Current regulations forbid all forms of cannabis, including medical marijuana, in all federally assisted housing. Norton’s bill, House Resolution 6152 (H.R. 6152) would apply to residents of both public housing and those in the Section 8 housing program.

Norton signed the bill at a ceremony in her Washington, D.C. office on Tuesday. Also at the ceremony was Sondra Battle, a resident of the District of Columbia and medical marijuana patient. Battle lives in assisted housing and uses medically prescribed cannabis to treat fibromyalgia. With Battle were Adam Eidinger and Nikolas Schiller, who together founded cannabis advocacy group DCMJ.

During the signing event, Norton announced that she would honor Battle in the title of the bill. In a press release, she also expressed gratitude to her guests for bringing the issue to her attention.

“I thank Sondra Battle and our DCMJ advocates for joining me to mark the introduction of what I am calling the ‘Sondra Battle Cannabis Fair Use Act,’” Norton said.  “Residents like Sondra should not fear eviction from federally-assisted housing simply for using cannabis to treat

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Delaware Legislature Unanimously Approves Bill to Expand Medical Cannabis Law

Legislation that would add two new conditions that qualify someone to become a medical cannabis patient has been passed by Delaware’s full legislature.

According to its official summary, House Bill 374 “adds glaucoma and chronic debilitating migraines to the list of debilitating medical conditions which may qualify a person, upon certification by a physician, to be eligible for the use of medical marijuana in accordance with the terms of the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act.”

The measure was passed by the House of Representatives last month in a unanimous 41 to 0 vote. It was passed by the Senate yesterday, also unanimously (19 to 0). The bill will now go to Governor John Carney for consideration. Although Carney has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without a signature, or vetoing it, the legislature can override a veto with 2/3rds vote.

Below is a list of the current conditions that authorize an individual to become a medical cannabis patient in Delware:

Alzheimer’s disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Cachexia Cancer Chronic pain HIV/AIDS Intractable epilepsy* Nausea Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Seizures Severe and persistent muscle spasms

House Bill 374 was introduced by Representative Peter Schwartzkopf with 23 cosponsors.

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Hemp to the Future: U.S. and Canada Industrial Crops on the Rise

While enthusiasm around the legal cannabis business continues to build, the hemp industry may be poised for explosive growth as well.

For now, however, public equity investors have relatively few options for hemp compared to the availability of cannabis stocks on the OTC market, such as Canadian companies that trade in Canada and the U.S. and larger companies with some exposure to the booming legal cannabis investors.

More of an agricultural and industrial product, hemp fiber and seeds are used in a wide variety of products; in addition, the plant contains CBD, a cannabinoid that can be extracted. Its use gaining in popularity for its purported health benefits.

Hemp is a close relative of cannabis, but does not contain psychoactive properties that make you feel high. Despite that fact, federal law classifies it under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I drug.

Despite this, 38 states currently have pilot programs in place to grow hemp. Most were set up after Congress included a measure in the 2014 Farm Bill that laid out hemp guidelines for states to follow. Under those guidelines, 11 states produced 9,700 acres of hemp in 2016 and 19 states grew more than 25,000 acres in 2017.

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LeBron James now has a Weed Strain Named After Him

LeBron James has a new honor that he can add to his list of accomplishments. The basketball great now has a strain of cannabis named after him. The new strain of weed is called LA’ Bron James and was introduced by hip-hop star The Game last week.

A Los Angeles native and huge Lakers fan, The Game said that the new herb is an attempt to entice James into playing basketball for the L.A. Lakers. He wants James to consider the team if the four-time MVP decides to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“[It’s] a strain inspired by my city and them trying to bring King James to the Lake Show,” The Game said.

The Game also shared a video of some sample nugs of the new brand.

“Would you look at that shit!” he exclaims as he displays the flower. As the short video continues, a friend and business partner of The Game twists up a joint of the new pot.

LA’ Bron James is a new offering from The Game’s cannabis company Trees By Game, which developed the strain. When he launched the venture last yearHigh Times asked the rapper what set Trees By Game apart from other cannabis brands.

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Poll: U.S. Support for Marijuana Legalization at an All-Time High

A new poll shows that support for the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. is at an all-time high. The survey found that 68% of voters now support legalizing cannabis. Research firm GBA Strategies conducted the online poll of 1,000 registered voters between April 25 and May 1. The Center for American Progress (CAP) commissioned the study and then released the results on Wednesday.

Ed Chung is the vice president of Criminal Justice Reform at CAP. He said that the poll’s results are a signal to federal lawmakers, noting that state and local jurisdictions have already led the way.

“This finding of widespread, bipartisan national support for marijuana legalization is important as Congress begins to take initial steps in this arena,” said Chung. “There is clear overwhelming public support for marijuana legalization, and cities and states across the country are taking action. It is time for a national effort to catch up with legislation to liberalize outdated marijuana policies.”

The poll also found support for cannabis legalization by a majority of all major demographic groups. By political affiliation, 77 percent of Democrats favor legalization, while 57 percent of Republicans do. Support by independent voters was lowest at 62 percent. Among African-Americans,

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